PunchKit: Live Composition FAIL

Punch Bag Interface

For the second part of my sound module project, ‘PunchKit’, I was hoping (and trying) to develop the concept into more of a live installation/compositional instrument where a user could layer up a complex track, using the built in overdub functionality, to create detailed musical pieces.

The one major issue I faced following the live demonstration of ‘PunchKit’ was a minor syncing issue that occurred when recording and playing back the sound. Say I was sampling for 4 seconds, the computational time it took to register the end of the loop and jump back to the beginning meant that over a longer period of time (say 1 minute) the recording/playback would drop fully out of sync – meaning any  new layers would also be out of sync. At the beginning of this term I was working on trying to fix this issue and actually made some significant progress, almost completely eradicating the problem – meaning I could start composing, which i did!

Over the last couple of weeks I have been adding, editing, updating and enhancing the sample libraries available in PunchKit as well as experimenting with what recording length is best for creating a detailed track. Nevertheless, with all this done, every attempt at composing has just failed – miserably! The results from 3-5+ minutes of layering just make your ears want to bleed. I’ve begun to realize that PunchKit probably won’t fulfill my dreams of becoming a compositional instrument mainly because of the limitations of input (8 pads) and the fact you can only affect two sounds at anyone time as you’re limited with the number of fists you have!

Noting that the second part of this module is being marked solely on the quality of the sound output, I think, with just two weeks to go, I am best to switch directions and focus on a different aspect – maybe using PunchKit as a gaming sound interface or focus more on using it as a boxing training tool, by getting a user to repeat sound patterns. I plan on talking to my tutor this week so I can crack on with it – ASAP! :S

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