Alex McLean

Making music with text

Category Archives: vocable

ASCII Rave in Haskell

by Alex on August 8, 2007

I’ve been playing with using words to control the articulation of a physical modelling synthesiser based on the elegant Karplus-Strong algorithm. The idea is to be able to make instrumental sounds by typing onomatopoeic words. (extra explanation added in the comments) Here’s my first ever go at playing with it: ASCII Rave in Haskell For […]

Canntaireachd for sinewaves

by Alex on April 10, 2007

An early sketch of a system of vocables for describing manipulations of a sine wave. The text is a bit small there, it’s better in the original avi version. Vowels give pitch, and consonants give movements between pitches. Inspired by the notation of canntaireachd. Made with hsc (Haskell client for scsynth). As ever, code available […]


by Alex on March 18, 2007

A new project: The idea is to use festival speech synth to turn what people type into rhythms, giving them a simple multi-user interface for playing words together. It needs flash 8 or later, but all of the interface is in good old HTML – I’m just using flash for the audio stream and […]

Onomatopoeic synthesiser

by Alex on November 7, 2006

In the afore-mentioned paper Rationalizing musical time: syntactic and symbolic-numeric approaches, Bernard Bel describes onomatopoeic notation for music, and then later a language for composing similarly structured music, the Bol Processor 2 (BP2). In BP2 however, the sound objects are represented by non-onomatopoeic symbols. That is, as far as the software is concerned, the particular […]