Variation Explorer


This page presents online video and audio material for the ICMC 2012 article by Diemo Schwarz and Benjamin Hackbarth:

Navigating Variation: Composing for Audio Mosaicing

The article presents a method, applicable to and specifically to audio mosaicing, that assists the composer in exploring the relationship between the parameterization of a concatenative algorithm and the resulting similarity between the output sound and the original target soundfile. Rather than focus solely on straightforward imitation, our work is predicated upon the notion that similarity can be manifest in a variety of perceptually meaningful ways and that both semblance and dissemblance have compositional utility. Our method consists of visualizing a collection of concatenated outputs, each of which is a unique solution to the problem of matching the same target soundfile with the same sound database but using a different combination of descriptor weights. We create a solution space where the location of each output is modeled by its similarity to the target as well as its similarity to each other solution. Visualization and navigation of this space is made possible through a multi-dimensional scaling algorithm, permitting 2D browsing, aural feedback, and the composition of paths through the solution space. This meta-control framework helps to give the composer a more comprehensive understanding of concatenative potential. By arranging concatenated outputs into different regions of similarity and dissimilarity, the solution space provides a rich and expansive terrain for compositional exploration and discovery.

More video and audio examples are available from Ben Hackbarth's page on AudioGuide

Example 1

Traversal of solution space of audio mosaicing along a path, browsing through from one area of very dissimilar solutions, passing by the closest solutions and the synthesis target in the middle (for demonstration purposes only), and reparting into a very different realm of dissimilarity.

Example 2

Setup of the navigation space using the Mass–Spring–Damper model: after the initial placement respecting the radius, the influence of the balance between (radial) target distance and (circular) variation distance is shown. (Drawing of the radial links is switched off after a while for smoother animation.)

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