Chris Cousin > Ircam’s FTM and Gabor Workshop with Diemo Schwarz

I recently attended Steim’s interesting and stimulating workshop looking at Ircam’s FTM + Gabor extensions for Max Msp. Many Thanks to Diemo Schwarz who skilfully took us through the main elements of the package illustrating with real time audio examples.

I have been using FTM + gabor for about a year now after attending a similar workshop at BEK. Since then I have been using it exclusively for my live performance set up, consisting of a range of file and real-time granulators, cross filtering and data handling. I’d been looking forward to this workshop to increase my knowledge and skills as a self taught programmer.

The Package is aimed at real-time audio manipulation and really allows the user complete control and flexibility of digital audio.

Deimo started out by introducing the different data classes, keeping things moving for what is a pretty dry subject matter for impatient musicians. FTM is a set of complex data structures for max msp, ideally suited for real time audio manipulation. Functions can be called and applied to data held in matrices. I find it far more simple and powerful than max’s data handling and have already started to use it exclusively to handle data.

Following the basics we moved on pretty quickly to making some noise with a whistle stop tour of the Gabor externals which handle audio. Gabor works with its own independent timing structure giving sub sample accuracy and a noticeable improvement in sound quality from msp for granular and spectral synthesis. Deimo showed us plenty of examples including many real-time analysis re-synthesis patches.

Next up was a look at the MnM externals and abstractions – a set of tools for mapping, machine learning and gesture recognition. It’s an excellent set of tolls for anyone handling and mapping controller data.

Deimo then showed us his amazing concatenative synthesis patch CataRT that allows the real time analysis and playback of grains selected through range of spectral descriptors.

After this second week I feel already inspired to develop my performance patch further with more expressive synthesis, accurate live analysis and more intelligent mapping.

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