MATRIXSYNTH: ALLINAIRE - Mandelbrot vs Buchla 259e

Saturday, September 11, 2021

ALLINAIRE - Mandelbrot vs Buchla 259e

video upload by Allinaire

"In this piece the Mandelbrot set ‘plays’ a Buchla 259e and friends (including various Max-for-Live devices). The 259e is my favourite Buchla oscillator as it contains a wealth of tones varying from a simple sine wave to chaotic digital noise - which kind of represents what happens to the points within and around the Mandelbrot set. With a 259e you can make a ton of sounds ranging from pure and harmonic, melodic to percussive, so it is perfect for this experiment.

OK, so this is the first of my explorations into the ‘sound’ of the Mandelbrot set. I’ve been thinking about and working on the idea of ‘sound and fractals’ & order and chaos for some time now. Some of my earlier work is based on these ideas and I intend to release more material exploring the many aspects of these fascinating mathematical constructs and the relationship to sound and rhythm.

This first track and video is relatively simple – I basically look at various points, being real and imaginary numbers, in and around the Mandelbrot set. Depending on where a point starts there is a pattern, or orbit, related to the formula z = z2 + c where ‘c’ is the point of examination. The equation is repeated, and a pattern emerges which you can see by the lines emerging from each point. If the pattern stays within the black area then it is said to be part of the Mandelbrot set and tends to produce a pure or harmonic set of tones. Stable orbiting patterns within the set can also have different periods from 2, 3, 4, 5 and so on, as you can see in the video, these points derive from the ‘bulbs’ off the main set. These periods create the harmonic series tones. Points that are outside of the Mandelbrot set quicky become noisy and chaotic and disappear to infinity.

For this sonic experiment the movement of the original point ‘c’ and the patterns each point creates forms the origin of the notes and gates. The starting point being the fundamental frequency, and the patterns with stable orbits become harmonic ‘chords’. These are converted to midi note data. Changes in the position of the point are registered as a midi note on and off which generates gates and triggers used for the percussive tones. I convert the midi data to cv (control voltages) to drive the Buchla modular synthesiser as well as using the midi within various Max devices. The sounds on the video are derived wholly from the midi / cv data created by the movement of the original point on the Mandelbrot, there is nothing added. The ‘artistic’ aspect of the piece is derived from where I choose to sweep the points and the sounds and percussion allocated to the midi / cv data. I have more in the works exploring Mandelbrot and Fractals! I want to acknowledge that I’m certainly not the first person to do this. There are many many examples to be found on-line and in some instruments. My version is based on this original concept and application code by CodeParade found here:"

Sounds of the Mandelbrot Set

video upload by

"Try it out now! Making music and sound effects directly from common fractals was an idea I though of one night, so I just had to try it out to see what it would be like. The results were really interesting and actually helped me understand even more about fractals and chaos.

Source Code:"

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