This compilation of original music and sound has been generated in the days immediately following the staggering 9.0 earthquake which ravished Japan, and is released in support of the ongoing rescue and reconstruction efforts ongoing today.
Tectonic is a realtime seismic analysis and sound synthesis system. Sound is created in realtime by earthquakes as they occur across the globe. A tightly integrated system between Max/MSP, Google Earth and Symbolic Sound’s Kyma processes earthquake data that is translated into sound synthesis parameters. A USGS XML feed is parsed into numerous fields including magnitude, elevation, time of day and geographical coordinates. These data are mapped to synthetic spectrums and processed by granular, aggregate and subtractive synthesis.
The Tectonic compilation includes almost an hour of earthquake sonifications that can be listened to as a full length album, or played as an instrument in Ableton Live. The Live instrument includes over 30 high quality samples arranged as a menu of soundscapes.
The compilation’s source material originated from US Geological Survey data, parsed by Cycling 74’s Max/MSP and synthesized in Symbolic Sound’s Kyma X. Read more about Tectonic
Live Pack Instructions (Be sure that you are running the latest version of Live 8.2)
1) Download the Tectonic audio content by clicking the download (arrow) icon in the SoundCloud player above.
Tectonic’s Max output is now interfacing directly with a Kyma system. This has enabled me to realize the project’s full potential through various types of synthesis created organically, through the the many parameters being passed to Kyma. The initial planning of the port basically took place in this sketch.
Programming this “flowchart” in Kyma is taking place slowly day-by-day. However, most of the synthesis channels are completed. So what’s happening here?
When Max picks up a new earthquake it sends the data to Kyma generating a new synthetic spectrum. From there, based on a parameter (like latitude) the spectrum gets resynthesized through 1 of four methods - granular resynthesis, waveshaping, subtractive or physical modeling.
As in the original prototype, longitude controls the output of the speaker array. It will automatically spatialize the longitudinal coordinates across multiple speakers. Basically, this means that Tectonic is no longer limited to one speaker per zone. Instead, the reading can register at any point in a 360-degree radius.
Finally finished the prototype for Tectonic after 2 months of work. Tectonic is a system I’ve been developing to create realtime synthesis based on data from seismic activity. It will ultimately be a complete install with a projector and over 12 speakers (see models below). This is the first working prototype I have set up in the studio.
I’ve already begun making new implementations and alterations. It’s quite amazing how flexible the system actually is - and a very powerful content generator. The other day I created an entire live performance powered by the barrage of seismic activity in Chile. It really is endless…
Tectonic is a sound sculpture created in real time by earthquakes as they occur across the globe. A tightly integrated system between Max/MSP, Google Earth and Ableton Live processes a stream of real-time data that is translated into synthesis and sample playback parameters.
When an earthquake occurs, seismic data is relayed to the system, sound is produced and Google Earth immediately flies to the coordinates of the latest earthquake giving us a visual representation of the newest developments. As multiple earthquakes occur daily, the sculpture builds, enmeshing itself in a complex soundscape of textures and tones - every second, different from the last and never repeating the same stage twice.