Wednesday, July 8, 2009

On Non Linearity

We live in the digital age and yet, most things around us are analogue including sound. Most sound that we hear when we walk around is based on acoustic properties not computer programs. Computer programs can in many ways try to mimic the natural world. In the synthesis world we have the example of physical modelling but I find myself wondering if a computer program is encapulating all that there is to discover about a physical system?

In many acoustic instruments and other acoustical systems, we have the aspect of non linearity. I suppose some of that can be modelled by a program but I am wondering if in our quest for the ease of computer programs, music is being deprived of what can be done with analogue electronics? Is a computer program always coming close to an analogue circut or an acoustic device or is there something essential and non linear that is not being captured at all?

In having now worked with Moogerfoogers, I find myself wondering because they don't react like any of my pristine computer programs that I have in rack effects or in my M3 synth and that intriques me. Perhaps, in the end, computer programs, however useful for music, can't do it all. Perhaps, rather than dividiing up into camps, its possible to realize the benefits of both and perhaps, even the joining of the two to create new and diverse musical worlds. Who knows, the possiblities are endless.

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