North Coast News

Listening longer to the Mandelbrot Set
2020 Dec 26th

Listening longer to the Mandelbrot Set

I've long been interested in ways to sonify fractals, and I wrote an article here about Listening to the Mandelbrot Set in 2017. At that time, I was thinking of it as a way to generate a waveform: basically, imagine running a point along the (in…

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Vexations
2020 Nov 6th

Vexations

Erik Satie was a French composer who lived around the turn of the 20th Century and did a number of bizarre things, including the creation of a piece of music called Vexations which was not published during his lifetime but which has fascinated peo…

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Genome Jazz
2020 Aug 31st

Genome Jazz

The COVID-19 pandemic has made everybody interested in virology, and molecular biology more generally, and one of the cool things about living in the Future is that genome sequences have become accessible. Where it used to be the work of a person…

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Ambient chord progressions
2019 Dec 20th

Ambient chord progressions

I get a lot of questions about ambient chord progressions. Actually, I don't get any questions about ambient chord progressions. What I get is search engine traffic from people who were looking for that on the Net, and end up reading my old arti…

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More music of the dwarves
2019 Jul 1st

More music of the dwarves

I've written before about the music of Dwarf Fortress - not just music to listen to while playing (which is the main thing you can find if you search the Web for this topic) but the music described in-game. The game simulates a procedurally-gener…

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Walking the hypercube
2018 Jun 20th

Walking the hypercube

Here is the skeleton of a four-dimensional hypercube, or tesseract, with the vertices labelled by musical note names. No label is used more than three times, and out of the 24 two-dimensional faces of the tesseract, on 18 of them the note name…

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Alternate harmony with additive synthesis
2018 Apr 22nd

Alternate harmony with additive synthesis

Much of musical harmony comes down to combining notes that share harmonics. Sounds produced by (some...) physical objects typically have consistent waveforms, where each wave is the same shape as the last. That is also typical of modular-synth osci…

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The Music of the Dwarves
2018 Feb 12th

The Music of the Dwarves

Orid Oru, "The Universes of Forever": a world not much different from many others, whose most notable feature is a huge inland ocean connected to the outer waters that surround the world only through a small channel in the northwest. The western dw…

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Live-coding a permutation-based fugue
2018 Jan 28th

Live-coding a permutation-based fugue

If you've been following North Coast for a long time, you may remember the live video streams I did back in 2016. This week I spent some time getting the software and hardware set up to do that again, which pretty much meant starting over from…

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Listening to the Mandelbrot set
2017 Dec 31st

Listening to the Mandelbrot set

Okay, it's New Year's Eve, I'm overdue to write this week's Web log entry, and the topic I wanted to write about is held up because of (among other things) a package that apparently was stolen from my front porch after it was "delivered" during my…

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Maximizing inharmonicity
2017 Dec 17th

Maximizing inharmonicity

As I've said before, I'm interested in slow ambient drones - sounds that smoothly change their texture over a period of time without any sharp boundaries or beats. If you have something like this playing in the background, I want for it to never…

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Preferred values for resistors and capacitors
2017 Oct 29th

Preferred values for resistors and capacitors

You've probably noticed that although resistors and capacitors come in many different values, some of which seem like they could be randomly chosen, there's nonetheless some sort of logic to it. You'll see power-of-ten sizes like 1kΩ, 10kΩ, 100kΩ an…

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