<% strScriptID = 96 Call subPageTimer_start() %> History of the Ambient Automat
 

The history and background of the Ambient Automat

This material is presented as it is (were)- the source is java 1.0, adaption to early Netscape and Hot java bugs course some of the applets not to work like they are supposed to or at the best work in a strange way in newer netscapes ( or explorer ) editions.

It started with an interest in how to describe and speak about music - specially about ambient music or background sounds.
At the exhibition "Update" at Turbinehallerne in Copenhagen (22. marts - 26. april 1996 Turbinehallerne Adelgade 10) the first page was made, merely a survey about which words could or should be used for describing the functions of an Ambient music automat.

After a while I found that it was possibly to make a solution built on Java. A solution where the computation was done by the client and download time minimized. The beta version of the "Ambient Synth" was one of the first experiment with the Ambient Synth. (by now the way netscape/java behaves have changed so when you move the mouse over a button it acts liked it is pushed).

As I made the first version of the Ambient Synth I saw the possibilities in a multiuser ambient automat - this was to be done in tree steps This was thought as the first step out of tree
   1) The "Ambient Synth"
   2) The "Ambient Automat" using the Ambient Synth
   3) The "Virtual Ambient Automat" using the Ambient Automat.
In this version the parameters from the beta version is merged into 3 parameters with more or less meaningful names - to ease the use of the automat.

The Virtual Ambient Automat should have been a real time ambient music machine/automat. The idea was to make an algorithm where everybody would have their saying on the outcome of the composed/generated and played music in a way where changes made by one user should have had an effect on the automat experienced by everybody else using the automat.

The first step away from the Ambient Synth toward the Ambient Automat was just to put 4 ambient synths together on a page.

Experiments with the ambient synth led to need for automatic changes over time. Changes to the parameters of the Automat began to develop and the first beta version of the "Ambient Automat" where one parameter constantly changes emerged.
At first without any control of the development but methods for controlling the flow without any or little knowledge of making music was in sight - the idea that it could be enough just to start one or more Automat and then the flow of sound / music would change over a long period.

The source code for this one is commented in danish and not very readable - they project is not to make a nice program (not even efficient though recently it is a lot more efficient - instead of Math.sin() operations array look up in pre calculated waveforms tables are used) but to carry out some ideas.

The possibilities to program or control changes of parameters controlling the sound was then expanded. The next phase introduced programmable parameters controlled by a small set of knobs, choices and a single slider to the Ambient Music Automat

The next step was to make a "package" of different modules with different sound control and sounds, but the main idea is still to have the music playing without disruptions and then to have the controllers in second row resulting in a little delayed before you hear the changes you just have made





From time to time people have answered questions about the ambient automat functions and parameters: Submitted data


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