More about AM and SARAH...

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Zax's picture
Joined: June 20, 2011

Further to Brendon's enquiry:

SARAH isn't custom hardware; it's a specific combination of off-the-shelf devices which, when configured in a particular way, produces a passable impersonation of the kind of free improvisation derived originally from free jazz - it's musically plausible but doesn't involve looping/playback or chaotic (random) responses.

SARAH works best with input that involves a wide range of frequencies, so AM is a highly effective instrument for the human co-performer to use. There's a short demo file here:

...which doesn't involve AM, just squirts of noise, but it gives a clear idea of what SARAH (here on 'soprano sax' - the standard MIDI patch) does.

There's also a relevant abstract in the draft programme for the SPEEC symposium - see link at the bottom of this page:

Thanks for your interest!

brendon bussy
brendon bussy's picture
Joined: June 26, 2009

Thanks for the description. I've been working on and off with similar systems, but have yet to find something which gives me sufficiently surprising or receptive response on an ongoing basis. My objective being to create a virtual duo partner to respond to my mandolin playing.

The best I've come up with is a combination of Audiomulch (also running on an eee) combined with an effect pedal setup (looper + digital delay + 8ve pedal + eq) and an A/B switch. The switch is key to the setup as it allows me to rapidly switch between AM and the pedal board - the switching adding complexity in a way similar to the use of a matrix in AM. The last time I tried this setup I contemplated using more AB switches. And the other thing I definitely need is a midi foot controller (like the McMillen soft touch) which would really open up a number of options.

And randomness. I normally feed some kind of random modulator into AM.

But it's interesting how a system exponentially gains complexity and in so doing gains an identity.

And I like your remarks about dissembling a cello :)

brendon bussy
brendon bussy's picture
Joined: June 26, 2009

Had a listen to the soundfile. Is the noise the input or output i.e. is the sax sound the response to the noise?