‘Concatenative Synthesis’ Lets You Play Anything With Anything

This video, by Rodrigo Constanzo, explores ‘concatenative synthesis’, an approach to synthesis that lets you play anything with anything:

C-C-Combine is a corpus-based audio mosiacing application, built in Max/MSP, based on concatenative synthesis. Concatenative synthesis is a technique for synthesizing sounds by concatenating short samples of recorded sound. It is essentially a type of granular synthesis that, instead of playing back grains based on position/windows, plays back grains based on analysis of incoming audio. In order to do this you must have a corpus (the pre-analyzed body of sounds) and an input sound source (either incoming audio or file playback).

You can get more info or download the patch at Constanzo’s site.

15 thoughts on “‘Concatenative Synthesis’ Lets You Play Anything With Anything

  1. Admire the effort that went into this but honestly I don’t care much about the video.

    I’m all into experimental stuff, but 30 seconds into the video I only hear sound snippets on top of what could be a nice percussion. To me this doesn’t sound like a good addition to the percussion at hand, more like a distraction.

    Assuming this was merely a demonstration of the patch I skipped forward and see someone playing the piano with additional sounds on top.

    Each to his own, I’m not criticizing the end results but in all honestly I was left a little disappointed that your vid never showed anything on your patch background. Why did you make it (what triggered it?), what are you using the patch for, are you using it yourself, what triggered the approach and how does it work as intended ?

    I know I can simply download the patch and look for myself, its not the same. I really miss your comments on all of that.

    Give us a little more than this!

    1. I hate to sound like a Luddite, but I just don’t hear the humanity in many things like this. The high tech can be shiny and impressive at first, but there is a difference between “MAKING” conversation and having it flow naturally. I once saw 2 different pianists play Chopin at a concert. One made it lyrical and rich; the other was just hitting the keys in the right order, which sounded stiff. The day I can tell you how the first guy managed it and the second didn’t, maybe I can devise a better response to approaches like this.

    2. @PrometEUs

      Even noise (white or colored) can be a huge factor or addition with some specific sounds. For example; Reason’s Kong device (drum designer) ships with a noise generator effect for that specific reason.

  2. John Cage beat you to it mate (no pun intended)
    Everyone is trying to re invent the wheel , and perhaps over time the original round design will be held up as the correct design. A lot of passion to end up sounding so duff, Pyschic TV. Throbbing Gristle,Cabaret Voltaire, Martin Hannet, Laurie Anderson . remain safe in their legacy






  4. I found it fascinating and fun. I liked it. Yes, it’s been done before, but there’s room in this world for all sorts of sounds.

  5. I loved this. I’m not saying the video couldn’t have been better, but I ended up wanting simply more when it came to an end.
    I doubt I will be using it often or for an entire body of work, but it would serve as a nice piece in a performance with some noise/experimental-rock friends later on in the winter/spring.

    Sure, it’s not really something one hasn’t heard before, at least to some extent, but so what? We’ve all heard an A minor chord or a detuned oscillator too, should we just moan and complain about everyone who ever uses that too?

  6. Howdie all, that’s my patch/video up there.

    I made a decision to use instruments to trigger the patch, as well as leaving the actual instrument audio in there. The Mogees video is just a contact mic on a piece of wood and you don’t hear any of the actual sound, so I didn’t want this to be used/seen the same way. It can do that, but as an instrumentalist (I’m the drummer/pianist in the video) my main reason for making this was to expand the expressive capabilities of existing instruments.

    With this kind of synthesis 100% of what you get is what you put in. I like noisy/glitchy sounds so all the “corpuses” used in the video (noisy guitar, glitchy drums, data sounds, circuit bending) are fitting with my aesthetic. It could easily be analog synths sweeps or 808s or Brian Eno’s first three albums, it doesn’t matter, and it would sound very different. The application is about a way of interacting/playing with sounds, and those sounds can be anything.

    As far as feel/heart/humanity that’s a whole separate discussion.

    1. hey really interesting patch just discovered this type of synthesis last week
      downloaded a set of audiomosaicing externals from ircam last week aswell

      im build a dj style remix live patch and just wondering how useful Concatenative Synthesis’could be in such a system
      could i for instance resynthesise parts of a track seperate like bits of drums from the track bassline synths vocals n stuff then morph these with pitch and amplitude data from another track

      cheers again

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