The Musicstick

this is my new created Instrument, a MaxMSP patch. It plays the "maccis"
They are sinus-tones of the harmonic row given an own identity and an own shape. There is one Cycle sinus oscillator with a given fundemental frequency . This is multiplicated with 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 ....

Thus you get
1) the fundamental,

2) the octave

3) the fifth

4) the next octave,

5) the third,

6) the other fifth

7) the seventh .... and so on.

updated: this youtube example shows the use of the musicstick within an improvising group in Liverpool My Mac Laptop used as instrument : " MACCI " requires: a Mac version 10 or later, MAX/MSP 5 (runtime) , my software, the Cyborg Joystick Since there is generally such an overload of acoustic impacts I constrained myself to very simple musical elements, called : maccis. A macci is a simple sinus tone with a specific fundamental frequency and a singular dynamic shape in ms or seconds. It seems to be a very poor element, but it is pure and gives the player and the listener the chance easily to follow and enjoy dynamic changes. It uses amongst others the well known attack-decay-sustain-release ADSR object. We all know that the tiny differences of attack makes a whole difference to the character of a normal instrument. But when you are freed of all timbre -changed observation you find the new world of dynamic shapes. A very short attack on a low sinus sounds more drum -like with many kinds of resounding. With very high frequencies you can make stars twinkling in its tiny different appearances and you can produce smooth therapeutic sounds by balancing an agreeable attack with a harmonically falling curve. Principally I took as "melodic" line the series of the overtone row, just the multiple of the fundamental. So I am free of interval bindings and common scales but always embedded in the general harmonics 1 - 32. I think , it is a very good monophonic instrument for laptop improvisation and composition. There are several modifications to make it sound more interesting. a) you can toggle between different fundamentals of the scale. b) you can change the different shapes or characters very quickly - on hand. c) if the tone is a bit longer you can add some frequency gliding to it. Another possibility is to apply a different set of multiplication to build all kind of scales There is a whole field for further developments! The playing needs of course a comfortable controller. I use the very handy joystick that gives me the chance to trigger 12 notes ,to play with the main volume and to control the presets additionally with levers just as a want to A great help is the new Midi/USB Korg controller which serves for even more presets and controls and is an extra to the MAX/MSP hi input.

Here is the patch

               Playing and Sound modulations

If you use the interface there are lots of things you can modulate,though one is advised to practice.

To put the dsp on , press the on/off on the body of the interface. All the other buttons are ready then to play one note of the harmonic row. Leds show, which one is played. The first thing you can easily change is the duration combinded with a preset ADSR. These sets can be chosen by lever (21 +confirming trigger) The X and the counter shows you where you are. The shortest (preset1) has the duration of 70 ms. so you can play as fast as possible. There are others that take up to 12 sec. - you may set your own table --
The stick within the y-axe changes the volume middle =0.5, down=1. , up= 0.02

With the first lever (20) you regulate your own attack

Using a little trick (going most left, you make it possible to play more to the right with the amount of release.

The last addition is: if you trigger (11) in the back, you can put in some sliding by turning the stick.

For me it is enough to play the "maccis". You can build up all kinds of rows - as for instance the diatonic. And may be in later time one can use any sound as the main material. Good luck