This month’s piece was born out of me reading Sean Costello’s reverb design posts over at Valhalla DSP (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4). I’ve been coding audio effects for 20(!?) years, and I’ve always avoided coding reverbs because I’d read that they’re complicated and require a lot of fiddly tuning. And when I had tried to look into reverb design it was always presented in a way that seemed to confirm that impression.
But Sean’s posts (in addition to the explanation on this dated-looking semiconductor site, which Sean links to in Part 3) explained things in a way that makes it clear that reverb design doesn’t need to be complicated. It really just revolves around 2 basic building blocks: an all-pass filter and a delay. Turns out, creating a nice reverb is just about connecting a bunch of all-passes and delays together, and modulating the delay times to avoid that nasty metallic sound you get with bad reverbs. Here’s a scrawled diagram of the design I came up with (the various numbers are pretty arbitrary; you can easily create a different-sounding reverb by choosing different numbers)
(this was also the first time I saw someone explain what an all-pass filter actually is in non-maths terms. It’s literally just a delay that has a feedforward signal as well as a feedback signal)
Anyway, I made this thing. You can either play it as an instrument (see the readme for the full controls), or just leave it running as a super minimal, hypnotic generative piece.
I really like the idea of streaming super minimal, hypnotic generative pieces, so I’m going to stream this one. If you want to tune in, it’ll be on youtube on Sunday 5th, 7pm GMT (and available after, of course).
Controls: escape: quit; main keys: play notes with the selected instrument
At Biome, we’ve just announced the second Biome Grant. This time round we’ll be giving £500 each to 3 digital creatives from marginalised backgrounds. If you’re interested, we also wrote - in detail - about how things went with the Grant the first time round.
This Shattered Vessel, Which Holds Only Grief: An aching, heartbroken tale of witches, resistance and survival from Izzy Wasserstein.
This Steve Albini interview is fascinating, and heartening. It feels vanishingly rare to hear people publicly take responsibility for their actions in this way.
I read the final volume of Stephanie Hans and Kieron Gillen’s Die this month. It’s a hell of a thing. I think it might be my favourite thing Gillen’s written, and Hans’ art is gorgeous.
I also played through all of garmentdistrict’s …Of The Killer games over a weekend. They’re so, so good. I love this format of short episodes, gradually building up the wider world.
Okay, that’s enough from me. Hope you’re warm, and safe, and that the holidays treat you well.