Saturday, May 19, 2012

It's Just a Matter of Time

I think one of the greatest blind ally's in electronic music is that the most important consideration in composing music is the waveform. The reason I believe this is not the case is expressed in one simple word that embraces all music and that is "time". Music, unlike the visual arts happens in time. So to of our experience of timbre.

Take the example of the filter sweep. No one ever remarks, wow, I love that setting you used for the filter cutoff. No, rather, music is modulation, change. By sweeping a filter we experience a waveform in a different way not as static but dynamic.

Consider a sculpture. To really experience it you have to walk around it. Language is a series of constantly changing timbres.

What got me thinking about this is Izotope's new Iris synth. When I used it in a static way by selecting frequencies the results were somewhat disappointing but once I started to think in terms on sweeps like movements of a brush stroke, I started getting interesting results.

This I believe proves my point. Working only in the frequency domain is boring but once visuals express flow and change the whole musical landscape changes. I rather like to see timbre as dynamic. It's the difference between a 2D painting and a 3D sculpture. And in the end, it's just a matter of time.

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