This is a MAX/MSP program used to build sonic time-lapses from large audio datasets.
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Latest commit f75c822 May 21, 2017

Sonic Time-lapse Builder

This is a MAX/MSP program used to build sonic time-lapses from large audio datasets.

The Sonic Time-lapse Builder (STLB) reads a set of files specified by the user. These are sorted sequentially by filename and then loaded into RAM into a series of audio buffers. The STLB then determines a playback sequence, playing back one section or slice from each file. The length and density of the final sequence is defined by the controls slice length and overlap amount. The control slice length defines how long the section from each file runs for, whilst overlap amount defines how many slices are playing concurrently at any one time.

In effect, the playback section of the STLM is a macro-scale granular process; as it creates a synchronous audio stream comprised of many audio slices (Roads, 91). On playback, the program distributes the playback sequence data for each slice to one of the four stereo players, cycling this distribution sequentially through them. Each player also shapes the slice with an amplitude envelope to avoid clicks. The envelope shape used is a pure Gaussian curve to attempt to create a smooth fade between slices. Before recording to disk the stereo output of the four players is summed together, then this is rendered as a single stereo file recorded to disk.

To use this program:

  1. Download the four MAX/MSP programs contained in this Github repository into a folder called "Sonic Time-lapse Builder". Within this folder, keep "Timelapse Batch Slicer 1.maxproj" separate, and create a sub-folder called "patchers" to contain "f.split.maxpat", "Timelapse Batch Slicer 1.maxpat", "Timelapse Bpatch Player 2.maxpat".

  2. Open "Timelapse Batch Slicer 1.maxproj" in MAX/MSP. Make sure that the path containing the "Sonic Time-lapse Builder" folder and any folders containing audio files that will be used are added into the MAX/MSP directory.

  3. Load in some folders. Drag and drop folders containing audio files into the region called "Drop Folders Here".

  4. Set the timelapse settings including "Slice Length" and "Overlap Amount".

  5. Set the batch start and end point (eg if you added 5 folders then Start at 0 and end at 4).

  6. Change the output folder if required by pressing the "Set Output Single Folder". By default the program will record each timelapse to the source folder, but you can set a single output folder using the button 'set single output folder'

  7. Click 'Run Batch'

  8. Wait.

  9. Drink tea.

  10. Listen.

  11. Then go to the output folder and check the recordings.