Monday, December 15, 2014

Haunted Jukebox - sound exploration device

Haunted Jukebox is experimental automaton for generating abstract noise grooves, that I have built in Kontakt sampler. It is not quite a musical instrument, it doesn't take notes as input, rather it works as a jukebox, it takes a number and plays a groove. It generates pure machine music, calculating a sort of composition derived from input token. User can select the token using set of 25 buttons, each button representing single bit in token number. Then the machine creates a program for 8 track step sequencer and modulation programs for each layer, using step sequenced modulators that I used before in Quescape or Bleepman. Each of 8 tracks / layers has 12 independent modulation sequencers running at different speeds and different program length. So generated groove can get quite sophisticated. To make it more funny the machine also generates a name for each groove. It is possible to mix different tokens across layers, which can be done manually or automated with 'evolution' function which will gradually change grooves. All grooves are synchronized with host tempo. Here's a video of the machine in action:

If you'd like to get into details, try these fairly confusing manuals in funny English: operator's manualservice manual.

The machine requires full version of Kontakt 4.2 or possibly newer and considerable amount of CPU, also it relies on transport synchronization with host. It might happen, it won't initialize properly in certain hosts, at least until you start playback. In short, it may or may not work for you, you will need to find it out experimentally.

There are two free sets/configurations available:

Minimal Noise Set is made, as the name suggests, of different noise fragments. This is 10MB download and is free to get and use to make noise, privately or commercially.

Junk Percussion Set is using junk percussion samples that I recorded some time ago. It's also free to get. The download doesn't include the samples, which you need to get by separate download here. Unpack samples to 'samples' directory.

If you like the idea and the machine works for you, there is third set available at Sampleism. This version, besides different sample set, offers access to configuration panels (fine-tune engine, midi learn for keyboard automation, groove generator setup).

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Alimchord: Paranoid Edition

This is follow up for Alimchord, imaginary musical instrument for Kontakt. It is built on samples from 7 tone kalimba and a wooden stick captured using various configurations of contact microphones. Paranoid edition has more controls, more samples and a preset memory function.

There is 290MB load of 96/24 wav samples, in three velocity layers and up to nine algorithmic round robins. It sounds somewhat different from regular model, percussive sound partials and release noises are the same, but tone partials is significantly more detailed.
It is available at Kontakt Hub. Note that you need full version of Kontakt 4.2 or newer to make it work. Also, this instrument can consume a lot of CPU, there are multiple sample layers and three convolution reverbs in use, if you have doubts, try regular edition first.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Alimchord is rare electroacoustic keyboard instrument. Few units have been produced in Poland in late 60s, however most of them broke down rather quickly. Today, I'm happy to bring it out of obscurity with a Kontakt based emulation. It does mimic most of 262144 valve switches combinations, although some of them appear to be broken. Here's screenshot and sound example.

Operating the instrument is quite simple, the set of switches will change the sound, in more or less apparent way each combination has a unique vibe. Two additional switches can be used to reset pattern or shuffle switches in random way. Ambiance knob will set the amount of ambiance effect, Stereo adjusts microphone placement and panorama and Tension will influence keys sensitivity, like a velocity curve.
This fine instrument is available free of charge, get it here, 15MB compressed archive. You need full version of Kontakt 4.2 or newer to make it work. Note that due to its triple convolution design, it is not recommended to those faint of CPU. Have fun.
If you like to have more control and more detailed sound, try paranoid edition.