rudigermeyer / Rudiger Meyer

A composer interested in the play between traditional concert music and recent developments within the fields of sound-art, new media and the web.

There are no people in rudigermeyer’s collective.

Huffduffed (70)

  1. Pauline Oliveros & Halim El-Dabh · Rudiger Meyer

    I had the opportunity of interviewing Pauline Oliveros and Halim El-Dabh while attending Unyazi, Africa’s ‘first electronic music festival, back in 2005.

    Pauline and Halim generously granted me an interview, the recording of which was unfortunately plagued by wind noise and barely listenable as a result. The file has been sitting on various hard discs through the years and I’ve long meant to transcribe it. Now, fifteen years later, with the possibilities provided by modern software, I’ve finally had a go at cleaning it up – to the extent that I can.

    Pauline and Halim clearly enjoyed each other’s company and, against the background of the festival, discuss African knowledge and culture, the importance of the body in their work, the power of sound as a means of transformation and healing, dream states, (personal) histories, instruments, the environment, and sensing peoples’ vibrations.

    00:06: Africa – Objects, Philosophy and Way of Life 01:34: Knowledge by Way of the Body 02:31: Sound and Healing 05:18: Pauline’s History 07:09: Sonic Meditations 08:25: Sound as a Tool of Transformation 11:25: African Art 12:23: Rituals, Opening Up 13:39: History 15:58: History and Healing 17:32: George Lewis 18:33: Institutions 19:23: The Western Canon 21:58: Halim’s Background 23:44: Pauline’s Beginnings 24:39: Accordions, Sho 26:17: Wire Recorders 26:34: Music and Architecture / Open Spaces 30:12: Tunings 32:09: Environmental Sound 34:34: Photographs, Aural Snapshots 35:47: Vibrations

    —Huffduffed by rudigermeyer

  2. A Walk with Bongi through Alex· Rudiger Meyer

    A Walk with Bongi through Alex began nearly 800 kilometers south of the township with Bongi Dhlomo-Mautloa’s installation in progress at the Grahamstown Festival 2000. The idea emerged of not only showing the visual riches of the township but also documenting a day in its aural life.

    From recordings made over a 24 hour period two and a half minutes were selected from each consecutive hour of the day beginning at 9:30 on Sunday morning the 30th of July 2000. Accompanying the recordings of ambient sound are some of the stories and commentaries that Bongi provided as we walked through the township.

    The result is a the course of a day compressed into 60 minutes – a collection of everyday sounds, stories, information and conversations that can be experienced as an hour long loop in an installation setting, on CD, or here on the web:


    Tagged with bongi-alex

    —Huffduffed by rudigermeyer

  3. Frankenstein’s Modular Lab Report – Frankenstein’s Lab – Bjørn Svin

    Bjørn Svin brought along a beautifully compact case with an unusual arrangement of (duplicated) modules.

    Bjørn gave an hour long demonstration of how he used those modules, communicating his enthusiasm for the brilliance their inventors had invested in them, and what they enabled him to do.

    “I use the modular system to renew myself” …

    —Huffduffed by rudigermeyer

  4. Modular Diary · 5 Sep, 2018 · 9:27 AM · Rudiger Meyer

    Rob Hordijk includes bipolar VCAs as part of both the Mini Matrix Node Processors and the Dual Fader and has demonstrated, in his various tutorials on these modules, the ring modulation effects that this makes possible.

    Via a recent Reaktorplayer tweet I came across a nice Learning Modular tutorial demonstrating the difference between amplitude and balanced (ring) modulation.

    Towards the end of the tutorial there’s also a nice demonstration of the way in which the fundamental of the carrier falls away with ring modulation but remains present with amplitude modulation.

    I’ve uploaded some simple demonstrations using my Audulus versions of both the Mini Matrix - Node Proc and the Dual Fader to the Audulus forum.

    —Huffduffed by rudigermeyer

  5. Modular Diary · 27 Aug, 2018 · 12:06 PM · Rudiger Meyer

    I thought I’d gotten through all the Hordijk Modules, but of course there’s always one more thing…

    Hordijk’s Mini Matrix – Node Proc

    Inspired (like much else with Hordijk) by the EMS Synthi/Putney he gives his own take on the use of a matrix within a modern context.

    Hordijk’s innovation is to use the well established technique of using a stereo cable to provide an insert point, here applied to each node in the matrix. This means that instead of a simple on/off connection, a level control or other kind of (more complicated) effect/processing can be applied to each node. Hordijk includes two level knobs as well as some ‘node processors’ alongside the matrix ready to be patched in for this purpose, but external sources can but used just as well. Concerning the size of the matrix itself (and the balance between flexibility and usability) he finds that a 6 x 4 grid is well suited to a typical 12 module (4 panel) Hordijk system since connections can also be made directly without necessarily having to go through the matrix.

    I’ve been experimenting with how to set up something similar in Audulus: Stereo cables, the key element, are possible in Audulus, but unfortunately only in a single direction, i.e. it isn’t possible to use a single cable for both a send and a return. This means that one has to resort to manually making both parts of the connection, which is not quite as elegant as a single stereo cable and can easily get visually messy and confusing, even though it does open up even more possibilities for routings. (One trick that I’ve found useful to check on which connections have been made, is to zoom out slightly so that one shifts out of connection mode on iOS.)

    Following Hordijk’s example, I’ve included 4 bipolar VCAs (using @RobertSyrett’s Audio Attenuator) for the ‘node processing’ – bipolar for the ring modulation and echo-like effects that they make possible, as with the Dual Fader. In my version VCAs 1 & 2 have controls to adjust the amount of modulation applied via the modulation input, and 3 & 4 have controls to adjust the offset, which also makes them useful for scaling unipolar modulation signals.

    As Hordijk points out a matrix can be useful not only for mixing signals, but also distributing them (multiples), as well as creating complex (multiple) feedback loops.

    I’ve posted a simple demo on the Audulus forum, as well as a basic version without the node processors.

    —Huffduffed by rudigermeyer

  6. Modular Diary · 11 Aug, 2018 · 6:45 PM · Rudiger Meyer

    Here’s a take on Rob Hordijk’s 24dB Filter – the last in my series of Audulus versions of his modules.

    As usual Hordijk gives his own take on the classic Moog 4-pole ladder filter, creating a multimode filter through the addition of high-pass and band-pass inputs all mixed to a single output (rather than a single input with multiple outputs). This arrangement makes it possible to use the filter as a kind of mixer and spectrally cross-fade between the (independent) input signals.

    One can also connect the same signal to all of the inputs and use the input controls to shape the curve of the filter. Ideally if the low- and high-pass inputs are set to the same amount they should complement each other and the cutoff frequency (and feedback resonance) should have no effect on the sound. Unfortunately, despite some head-scratching and various attempts, I haven’t managed to get this aspect to work, and one can hear a peak when sweeping though the frequency range. The high-pass with the cutoff frequency all the way to the left does however match the low-pass with the cutoff frequency all the way to the right, and spectrally crossfading between two different signals works well. With the same signal applied to all inputs the cutoff frequency (and potentially resonance) is clearly apparent on the band-pass input which can be used as a kind of equalizer.

    Hordijk provides a good explanation of the principles on which the ladder filter is based in his NOVARS tutorial, and with that clear starting point I took the opportunity to dive into the The Art of VA Filter Design by Vadim Zavalishin – the ‘Bible’ of digital filter design as @stscheon puts it – as well as @stscheon’s Introduction to Digital Filters. I found the Introduction useful as an accessible complement to Zavalishin’s in-depth explanations with some good examples of Zavalishin’s diagrams patched in Audulus.

    On the basis of @stscheon’s explanations I replaced the LPFs in the 24dB ladder filter with LPFs based on the Audulus LowPass node – and they indeed turn out to be more efficient. Comparing the node-based 1-pole low-pass filter with the patched version from the Audulus Module Library shows that they are almost identical: the node version does however have a slightly stronger attenuation – c. 2–3dB above 10 kHz, or thereabouts. This difference meant that in the 24dB filter the high-pass with the cutoff all the way to the left was slightly brighter than the low-pass with the frequency all the way to the right, and I ended up reimplementing the patched 1-pole LPFs in order to achieve the same brightness. (See above.)

    Zavalishin interestingly describes (in Chapter 4.4) some of the multimode functionality that Hordijk builds on, warning however that:

    The multimode functionality of the ladder filter is a rather exotic feature. If you’re looking for the bread-and-butter bandpass, highpass, notch etc. filters, you should first take a look at the multimode 2-pole state-variable filter discussed later in the book.

    Exotic or not, Hordijk’s inclusion of independent inputs that simultaneously combine to a single output provides some unique functionality with the ability to spectrally crossfade between them. Although there is a diagram available on The Hordijk Modular Blog I’ve nevertheless been unsure of the details on how to combine the various filter modes. I’m not sure if I’ve solved this in the best way – but, with the exception of the HP and LP inputs perfectly complementing each other, it seems to cover the functionality that Hordijk demonstrates in the NOVARS video. Regarding the LP/HP asymmetry, my guess is that the four 1-pole LPFs each need to be converted to a HPF to achieve a ‘true’ HP ladder filter as Zavalishin explains in chapter 4.5 of The Art of VA Filter Design. The problem though is then how to maintain the LP signal simultaneously – unless one has a parallel ladder of filters… (which would seem to defeat the point of the design)?

    An additional feature of Hordijk’s module is the addition of some subtle tube-like distortion that can help boost the resonant feedback peaks. He favours an all-harmonic distortion rather than one that only boosts the odd harmonics – as is the case with soft clipping and some tube-distortion models, as well as the tanh saturation that Zavalishin suggests in his diagrams. Hordijk generates his distortion through a process of FM feedback and I experimented with achieving something similar building on the techniques that I’d tried out in the Audulus version of his VCA-Shaper and Harmonic Oscillator. In the end I settled on using the JFET VCA in the Audulus library for the subtle all-harmonic distortion that it can provide (the Audulus Tube VCA provides odd harmonic distortion).

    The JFET distortion does however introduce a strong fundamental when applied to the high-pass input even though it is effective in boosting the peaks. The introduction of lower frequencies when resonance is applied to the high-pass is however a general problem with the ladder filter design and I haven’t found a satisfactory countermeasure (such as introducing a HPF in the feedback loop, as Zavalishin suggests) given the multimode nature of the module. Nevertheless, despite the rough edges in my version, I find it an effective and fun way of blending and shifting between different signals or different spectral areas of the same signal.

    I’ve uploaded the module and various demos to the Audulus forum.

    —Huffduffed by rudigermeyer

  7. Modular Diary · 9 Jul, 2018 · 10:37 AM · Rudiger Meyer

    Here’s my take on an Audulus version of Rob Hordijk’s Triple LF-VCO.

    The first of the three VCOs is pretty much the same as oscillator A in the Rungler, and so I used @stschoen’s Audulus recreation of it as a starting point. Oscillator A, taking the 3rd oscillator of the EMS Synthi as a point of inspiration, has a range from around a minute extending all the way up to 5 kHz, well into the audio range. Its special feature is a rounded triangle ‘parabol’ waveform (very close to a sine) and the fluctuation modulation that can be applied to it with LFO C as the modulation source. Fluctuation, a combination of frequency and amplitude modulation, makes for a gentler, more natural sounding vibrato than is possible with regular frequency modulation, and since the amplitude varies, opens up for interesting modulations when combined with a waveshaper.

    LFO C is closer to a more standard LFO with a range from around 60 seconds to 100 Hz. Both oscillators A and C have bipolar audio outputs and this, in combination with the wide range of oscillator A, makes them useful in combination with the modulation inputs on Hordijk’s other modules, many of which can be used with bipolar signals well into the audio range.

    In the version of the Triple LF-VCO demonstrated in both the NOVARS tutorial and Mallorca demo, LFO C has a selfmodulation feature in which the downward part of the triangle wave can be modulated with the pulse wave that runs parallel with it. This means that the upward slope maintains the set frequency while the downward slope can be slowed down allowing for the creation of an something approaching an inverted sawtooth wave. The pulse width of the accompanying pulse wave is coupled to the upward slope of the triangle, and maintains its width, while the time between the pulses (the downward slope) can be stretched to as much as half an hour!

    Hordijk has apparently replaced this selfmodulation feature with a sample and hold circuit in his most recent version of the Triple LF-VCO. The S&H is triggered at both the upper and lower peaks of the triangle wave making it possible to create slopes that rise and fall at different rates, again with potentially large differences between them, as was possible with the selfmodulation version. In this case the modulation input for LFO C, i.e. the input for the S&H, is normalized to the output of LFO A, which can in turn be modulated by LFO C, allowing for complex cross-modulations.

    LFO B differs in that it generates a unipolar signal, making it suitable for generating envelope-like modulations. Inspired by the modulation generator on the KORG MS-20 it has a range from around 10 seconds to 100 Hz, and its triangle wave can be skewed to gradually approach an inverted or regular sawtooth shape. As with LFO C the accompanying pulse wave follows the rising slope of the triangle wave, meaning that skewing the triangle also adjusts the width of the pulse wave. I used the skewed triangle LFO in the Audulus library as my starting point, but ended up having to rethink the equation for the triangle wave so that it syncs from the bottom point of the triangle rather than in the middle of the wave (as it does in the Audulus library/docs examples) – in this way both the transient of the inverted saw (when the triangle is skewed that way) and the pulse wave correspond to the beginning of a new (sync) cycle.

    The syncing is an important aspect since LFO B can be synced via a switch with LFO C (which can in turn be synced externally). This makes it possible to easily generate irregular or shuffle-like rhythms. The switch can also be set to a ‘hold’ position so that on each downward slope of LFO C the pitch of LFO B is frozen until the point at which LFO C changes to an upward slope, at which point LFO B continues from the point at which it left off, making it possible to create interesting step-like modulations. Hordijk provides at good demonstration of the possibilities in his Mallorca demo as well as at the close of the NOVARS tutorial video.

    I’ve uploaded both the S&H and selfmodulation versions to the Audulus forum.

    For schematics and further information see:

    —Huffduffed by rudigermeyer

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