Micro Sizzle

Micro Sizzle

I’ve been meaning to experiment with additive and granular synth techniques for sometime. When I heard about Tobiah’s Sine Composition Challenge, I figured I could use this as a fairly good excuse to move forward.

The point of the challenge is to compose music using a simple Csound instrument that only generates sine wave. I decided to focus on creating a processor that converts audio into short bursts of sine waves. Something that sounds less pretty and more nasty. And this how I did it:

I took a 1-minute stereo audio file created with Ableton Live. This file was then analyzed with Csound using the pvsbin opcode. See getSizzleData.csd. Using the printks opcodes, the analyzer writes out information about the audio file to the Csound console, data such as bin number, k-block index, amplitude, frequency, and which stereo channel. The data was captured to the sizzleData.txt using this command-line in Terminal window in OS X: csound -g getSizzleData.csd 2> sizzleData.txt.

The next step was to process the numbers and transform it into a new Csound score. This was achieved using the Perl script createSizzleScore.pl. This created the Csound score MicroSizzle.sco. This file contains over 160,000 i-events, and is a little over 13 MBs big.

After the score was generated, it was simple a matter of rendering an audio file in Csound using Tobiah’s sine orchestra. The output reminds me of a real lo-fi internet audio stream circa 1999. Nasty achieved. And that’s how MicroSizzle was made.

This whole process is just a starting point, a rough draft if you will. My hope is that once I spend some time tweaking parameters, I’ll be able to make serious improvements to the overall output of this additive resynthesizer.

Download: MicroSizzle.mp3, MicroSizzle.zip

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