Clap on, clap off!
Guiliano Cantini sends this patch he’s put together with Kore Player and Pd. He uses transient detection in Pd to trigger randomized parameter changes in Kore Player. That rig is entirely free (as in beer), but the same ideas could apply to Kore, too – and if you’re not into the clap metaphor, you could find other audio-reactive or controller-reactive approaches. (You can also just slap the mic on your laptop.)
From the description:
Instantly tweak NI Kore Player’s sound controls with a clap. Pure Data detects your clap and uses it to randomize all 8 controls. Download pd patch @ jkant.altervista.org
If you want to try this yourself, you’ll need:
1. A copy of Pd. It’s free and open source and runs on every OS, so no reason not to give it a try. I recommend downloading the latest “Pd-extended” release for your operating system of choice.
(Pd-vanilla isn’t quite as friendly to new users; Pd-extended is stable and includes a complete selection of the documentation and additional stuff you’ll want.)
2. A way of routing MIDI between apps, so you can transmit MIDI to Kore or Kore Player. On the Mac, enable IAC. Open up Audio MIDI Setup, look for an icon called IAC, double-click it, and make sure “enabled” is checked. You’ll then see this bus as an input and output in your Mac apps, including Pd, so that you can route MIDI virtually between apps. On Windows, try installing a tool like MIDI-Yoke. I have heard some performance issues with MIDI Yoke for Pd for some reason; I’m testing LoopBe1 now. Both work under Vista. On Linux, if you’re running Kore under WINE (unsupported but an interesting route), you can use JACK.
We’re big fans of Reaktor, of course, but once you’re addicted to patching, you may want to try Pd, too, especially since it’s free. I often get asked which patching app I think is “better,” and it’s more about choosing the right tool for the job. One of the things that’s nice in Pd is that there are lovely objects for audio analysis. (In this case, as my colleague Peter Dines notes, Reaktor could do the job, too. I don’t think Reaktor has some of the pitch-tracking features Pd does, however, if you wanted to go that route – and I’ve found skills I’ve learned in one tool have at least helped me in others, too!)
If you’re new to Pd, you’ll want to do two things when opening up this patch. First, check out the Media menu, which holds all-critical audio and MIDI configuration options. Next, try right-clicking objects and choosing Help. With Pd-extended, this will open interactive documentation on what each of the objects does.
If you’re a fan of Max/MSP, of course, this patch could be easily ported. (There are just some subtle differences, like Pd’s use of “moses.”)
The important Kore-related stuff is at the bottom, and it illustrates how you can use MIDI control of Kore parameters to make it even more powerful in performance. “ctlout” is an object that sends controller data, so you can see that controllers 40-47 here are the ones in which we’re interested. (ctlout 40 1 sends MIDI Control Change 40 on MIDI channel 1; since the random object above is random 127, it will send a value from 0-127.)
This is a pretty wacky patch, but it gives me some ideas for different ways of using Kore as a performance host. And because it’s relatively simple, it should spark some other possibilities. Brilliant work, Guiliano!
I can imagine Pd and Kore being generally a powerful combination, with Pd for control and sequencing and Kore running instruments and effects (including, if you want to get really crazy, Reaktor patches).