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 Post subject: External real-time pitch modulator
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:11 pm 
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Hi everyone

I play free jazz with 2 friends and want to use my sp to play samples live (as well as add fxs, do live sampling, ... but that is not relevant). However, since the music is improvised it is not determined beforehand what key(s) we will play in. So if I save my samples all in the same key (or memorise their key centers) I would simply adjust their pitch to match the current key. The problem is then of course that the pitch function of the sp-555 is controlled by a knob that continuously changes the pitch meaning that before playing the sample I can't know much it has adjusted. Also this pitch effect changes the quality of the sample which is not always ideal. My question is thus the following: "is there a simple external device that I can run my audio through and that can change the pitch of that audio in discrete steps (whithout any latency issues)".

Thanks in advance!

Sidenote: i guess this question is relevant for all sp models so is it usefull/allowed to put this question also in the other subfora?


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 Post subject: Re: External real-time pitch modulator
PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:34 pm 
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Hi!

Can´t offer any relevant help with the question, sorry...

Just wonder how ´free´your free-jazz is if you need to giveahh what key you or your friends are playing in?

Maybe it´s acid-jazz?
Or jazz-funk?
Or...

I dunno... Dolphy wasn´t even that ´out´by todays standards and he was quoted as saying there arren´t any wrong notes; it´s jut how you resolve them...

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 Post subject: Re: External real-time pitch modulator
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:32 pm 
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Hi l i f

I mean free jazz in the sense that nothing is preset beforehand (no melodies, harmonies, key, ...). We just play by ear. I play saxophone and my friends guitar and drums. I guess we venture into other genres and it is certainly not always the chaotic noise that you might expect but I would call it free jazz still. There are of course many degrees of ''free'' music. For example people call music by Ornette Coleman or Eric Dolphy free but there is still a lot of structure in it. Probably the most well-known example of "real free jazz" is Cecil Taylor.

Anyway, if you are interested you should be able to listen to some of our music at https://vi.be/platform/mrchong. It is recorded with a phone but still sound fairly good I think. I have no idea that samples would fit in but I am listening a lot to standing on the corner (and relatives, especially MIKE) and am generally interested in plunderphonics, sound collage, spoken word things.

Thanks for the interest!


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 Post subject: Re: External real-time pitch modulator
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:55 am 
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Cheers for linking to your sounds! I skim-listened a couple tracks but will have to come back to it when I have more time.

Are you guys from the Netherlands? Maybe you are familiar then with Han Bennink, Misha Mengelberg, Tristan Honsinger, Ab Baars et. al... Instant Composer's Pool Orchestra?
I think they have done marvellous things with balancing free/Avant impulse and song-forms and structures. Bennink is among my all-time favourite drummers; love his duos with pianist Mengelberg.

Standing on the corner I have not heard before, but have read a little now having looked them up... Look forward to hearing sounds.

As for using the sampler in these contexts, I would treat it as an instrument and use it to sample live what your friends are playing as well as maybe pre-prepared samples, trusting the guitarist to respond/react/resolve. Meanwhile the 555 has a really sweet djlooper that can do some interesting pitch stuff, outside of the standard pitch shifter, which ain't great, but does what it does.

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 Post subject: Re: External real-time pitch modulator
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 6:52 pm 
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We are from Belgium so you are close :wink: . Still I'm somewhat familiar with Mengelberg and recall hearing an album of Han and Misha with Dudu Pakwana which I liked a lot. I should check out more of their music.

Anyway, if you listened to one or more of our "songs" and have any strong opinion(s) you can always let me know!!


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 Post subject: Re: External real-time pitch modulator
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:53 am 
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Location: Out the back.Im digging up the yard and spying on the devil
quote="charelm"]
Probably the most well-known example of "real free jazz" is Cecil Taylor.

[/quote]

Debatable.

You could also argue the case here for Sun Ra, Archie Shepp and several others like Albert Ayler or of course, John Coltrane.
From 1965 until his death in 1967 his music was more or less entirely improvised, dispensing with chord sequences and organised tempos altogether.

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 Post subject: Re: External real-time pitch modulator
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 11:58 am 
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Quote:
Debatable.


I agree but they are still mostly known for their music that is not totally improvised (except for Ayler but he always plays melodies first). Anyway Sun Ra, Albert Ayler and John Coltrane are in my 5 favorite musicians so it is nice that you mention them.


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 Post subject: Re: External real-time pitch modulator
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:05 am 
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charelm wrote:
"is there a simple external device that I can run my audio through and that can change the pitch of that audio in discrete steps (whithout any latency issues)".


Read thru the op again...

I think if you listen carefully you'll find the pitch effect on the 555 does actually work in discrete steps and not continuously. It's the same when using the sub-bass and even ctl2 on the djfx; that the pitches are stepped.

I actually think that if you were to use samples in a live context, a real, continuous pitch would be better. I have used the Sp808 in a live band, live sampling, improvised context and with the vari-pitch wheel you can change pitch by either 1% margins or 0.1% margins. Much like a violin player will use vibrato to deal with intonation issues, trying to match sample pitches on the fly is much more musical if you can change pitch 'mirotonally' than if you are 'clicking' thru pitches to find the right one.

I can't tell you, however, that the 808 is the solution to your problems!
But, you won't find anything better in the Roland/Boss Sp series.

Maybe Ableton?
Or other Roland products... the newish loopers seem good?

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 Post subject: Re: External real-time pitch modulator
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:43 am 
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"Well-known" depends very much on who is having the conversation, don't you think?!

The genre free-jazz in America was inseparable from the political all through the 70's so was never going to be well-known in any general sense (racism) Even now, the concept of playing 'free' of key, pitch, harmony, rhythm constraints or defined roles of instruments (rhythm section, soloists etc etc) feels like a political fight ("tyranny of the mainstream!")....
And at the same time has had enough time, here and now in 2020, to itself become codified. Cliche, even.

There are, and definitely were, voices within the genre (and any genre for that matter) that speak their own truth.

Cecil Taylor, absolutely. I love love love his 1959-64 period, then the duo recordings from Berlin 1988 with Paul Lovens, Tony Oxley OMFG.
Ornette Coleman you guys left off the list!
Roland Kirk played on the Tonight Show... Did that make him well-known?


You guys have any modern players to recommend?

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 Post subject: Re: External real-time pitch modulator
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:37 am 
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Quote:
I actually think that if you were to use samples in a live context, a real, continuous pitch would be better. I have used the Sp808 in a live band, live sampling, improvised context and with the vari-pitch wheel you can change pitch by either 1% margins or 0.1% margins. Much like a violin player will use vibrato to deal with intonation issues, trying to match sample pitches on the fly is much more musical if you can change pitch 'mirotonally' than if you are 'clicking' thru pitches to find the right one.


Yeah but the thing is that I normally know what key we are playing in at the moment. So if I know the keycenter of the sample itself and if I can change the pitch by semitones I could just calculate the difference to match the sample with the rest of our playing. In that way I don't have to play the sample a couple of times in the wrong key(s) before finding the right pitch (which is necessary for your method).

As far as modern players go, Louis Moholo is still around (sadly the only one of the blue notes that is still alive) as well as Evan Parker and other people related to this South-African/London scene. One of my favorite albums ever is Spirits Rejoice by Louis Moholo on which Parker also appeared but this is already a while back. I can also recommend Carate Urio Orchestra.


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 Post subject: Re: External real-time pitch modulator
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:24 pm 
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I see your point, if you already know the key... Although I would (personally) still trust my ears first and risk playing 'out of tune' since once you chop samples, the original key of the sample becomes less important... That, or maybe just make sure you play deliberately in the same key as your samples. I dunno.

I listened to People or the corner, or (or was it standing on the corner?) and I thought the album I listened to started off very promising, but didn't hold my attention for the duration.
I might try a different recording tho.

Listening now to Joachim Badenhorst/ Carate Urio. This is really good. Sonically similar to ICP Orchestra without the absurdist humour. He's from your home-country, yes?

Love Evan Parker, tho haven't heard so much from him lately. The John Butcher Covid 19 quarantine record released recently is worth a listen tho... He's like second generation UK improv if Parker is 1st gen.

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 Post subject: Re: External real-time pitch modulator
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:01 pm 
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Quote:
I listened to People or the corner, or (or was it standing on the corner?) and I thought the album I listened to started off very promising, but didn't hold my attention for the duration.
I might try a different recording tho.


Well sotc is certainly sonically very different from the other artists discussed. If you listened to their self-titled album I would recommend to also listen to red burns which has more of the sound collage that I'm reffering to.

Quote:
He's from your home-country, yes?


Yes he is Belgian although this is not how I discovered him which is a bit funny. Also which John Butcher record are you referring to?


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 Post subject: Re: External real-time pitch modulator
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:55 am 
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Yah it was red burns I was referring to. I thought the beginning of the album was really promising, but it lacked any flow, seemed a bit uneven. I should probably give it another chance.

The John Butcher album is this one:
https://www.cafeoto.co.uk/shop/john-butcher-stuck/

The preview track on SoundCloud is probably the best on the album, mostly because it reminds me of solo Steve Lacy.

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