Friday, June 13, 2008

Beat Slicing (not sliced beets)

Friday June 13, 2008

Hello and Happy Friday the 13th! Tonight's timely topic is music and I've an interesting technique to share. In past blog entries I've described the use of looping in music to create pieces from short instrument or synthesized samples. Beat slicing is a related electronic music technique, in which a loop or sample is divided into separate beats, usually some even increment such as 1/16. Each subdivision can now be played independently of the other so that you can now play the entire phrase at a different tempo with little of the distortion associated with time stretching. You can also reorder the segments (slices) to get a completely different musical loop. Beat slicing is most often used on drum patterns, but you can also use other instruments or vocal loops for different effects. The first and most famous beat slicing tool is ReCycle, but you can use a number of different music applications and plug-ins to get the job done. My advice to the uninitiated is, as always, to try it and see if you like it.

The picture of the week was created using Bryce
Click on the image for a full-sized view

The loops of the week are some beat-sliced drum loops.

The PC game of the week is Future Pinball. Future Pinball is a both a detailed emulation of a real pinball table and a flexible construction set. The coolest thing is that it's a free program. The 2nd coolest thing is that there are a lot of user-designed recreations of classic tables available for download.

The book of the moment is The Art of Computer Programming volume 1 by Donald Knuth.

Send your comments and feedback and I’ll read it all and respond to some of it.
Bye for now!