Richard Devine
Where Sound Gallaxies Collide

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Devine also coded a couple FFT apps in Supercollider, an environment and programming language for real-time audio synthesis. “I was drawn by Supercollider’s sound quality and efficiency. And I made these sound bridge morphing modules and stuff in it,” he says. “It’s interesting, because you’re doing things to sound that just aren’t physically possible.”

Reaktor, Absynth and MAX/MSP
Devine also uses Native Instruments (NI) software. His favorite NI apps are Reaktor 3.0 and Absynth. Reaktor is a very powerful modular system, similar in many respects to classic modular synthesizer systems. And Devine liked Absynth so much that he designed a bunch of sound patches for the app.

“As with MAX/MSP, you can build objects that will link together,” explains Devine. “The sound quality of Reaktor is excellent and the environment is very intuitive. I have been using their software since it first began as Generator. The company has evolved nicely and has created some of the most impressive sound applications to date.”

“I was amazed at the sound variety and I quickly discovered that computer synthesis was going to play an important role in my music,” reflects Devine.

Lately Devine has been experimenting with composing music using algorithmic-based sequencers. “I was doing quite a bit of this with MAX/MSP, but soon discovered other interesting avenues,” says Devine. “The first was a neat little app called Symbolic Composer.” Symbolic Composer is a complete music language that covers all aspects of music composition.

“It was one of the first systems that I encountered that explored the art of algorithmic composing interactively. The system functions are selected from hierarchical menus and pasted on the editor, so it’s a completely different approach to musical composition, and an exciting one. It’s like composing music from one’s DNA structure.” says Devine.

“Softstep is yet another app that gives you algorithmic composing tools of all kinds, including fractal, chaos, probability and numerical based algorithms,” he adds. “But you can achieve similar results with a simple Mac application called Soundhack.”

Home built components

Convulse, Mutate And Morph
Soundhack does convulsion, sound mutation and sound morphing and lets you apply envelope amplitude and frequency data from one sound to another sound, computing the two into another sound. “It’s just advanced FFT mutation of two sound files into a new one,” says Devine.

What’s Next?
Since Devine just completed his studies, he’s received numerous offers from various game companies, and production studios. “I just recently took part in a very cool project to remix Iannis Xenakis for Asphodel. I remixed ‘Persepolis’ which was originally created in 1971,” says Devine.

He also just finished up two pieces that were commissioned for this year’s SonicActs Festival. They are his first compositions in 12.1 surround sound, with horizontal and vertical stereo fields. He also has a new album coming out called “Asect:Dsect” which will be released by Schematic Records. Devine also plans to put out a new 5.1 DVD release this year, to — as he puts it — “push my sound explorations further.”

Richard Devine

1. Architect of Aural Mayhem
2. Intention and Accident
3. Enter Computer Synthesis
4. Where Sound Galaxies Collide

Useful Links

Record Labels
Warp Records
Schematic Records

DAW Software
Emagic Logic Audio
MOTU Digital Performer
Steinberg Cubase SX and Nuendo

Virtual Effects & Instruments Software
Cycling ‘74 Max/MSP
Cycling ‘74 Pluggo
Native Instruments’ Absynth, Battery and Reaktor

Sound Design Software
Symbolic Composer
Symbolic Sound’s Kyma

Audio Hardware
Digidesign Pro Tools
MOTU 896

Sound Design Hardware
Symbolic Sound’s Kyma

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