Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Chop Shop

This sound machine took a long while to build, mainly because there was always something else in the way. Possibly it is the most confusing one, which might be the reason I have been putting it aside for so many times.
I have been using this tool to automate sample chopping and slice sequencing for experimental/glitch/collage kind of music. There is a sequencer, which aside from playing sample slices, can be programmed, to change its parameters at certain points of the sequence. For example, it can be set to increase sample playback offset every second sequence step and/or set different filter cutoff every 6th sequence step. At higher level it can remember several sequence parameters and play those in defined order to create complicated structures. As many of instruments I created, it takes advantage of seed based pseudo-random number generator, so any event can be set to random, derived and re-played from initial seed number. This way you an completely change the output of a complicated structure, simply by changing the seed.
In the following video, I play around loading different presets and changing general parameters. Offset, seed and sample knobs in effect panel modify those values throughout any program sequence, playing with them on presets is an easy way to start having fun with Chop Shop.

The machine is designed to use sound fragments (parts of a more or less finished tracks) and re-organize them, in a way unrelated to original tempo. In other words, it doesn't use multisamples and it's not suitable to chop 'beats'. It is however synchronized to host's tempo. I included a set of somewhat random samples. Custom samples can be used, but you will need to rename and replace the sample files.

To play with Chop Shop, you will need full version of NI Kontakt sampler 5.5.2 or newer. The instrument is free to use, you can get it HERE, it's 62MB file. It comes with fairly confusing manual in PDF file. If you don't get it, read the manual (I can't guarantee it will help though). Have fun.

A note on presets: This instrument is using its own preset system, presets should be in /presets/ folder. Each preset is being saved in two separate files, it should be possible to trade/exchange/copy presets files between different instrument copies.

And here's small intro to programming the critter...