Scriptability and Algorithmic control

2014, Till Bovermann

Scriptability adds flexibility to instruments because it not only allows to define and alter the mapping between two instrument components on the fly but also enables to define and redefine the components themselves. This especially includes just-in-time adjustments of digital signal processing parts (see also Rohrhuber2008JustInTime).

Scriptability and, more generally, algorithmic elements add even more to an instrument, since they allow to switch between levels of control: While conventional direct control, as it is common for acoustic instruments, lets the performer play sounds explicitly and explicitly only, meta-control levels add time and timbre automation, ranging from underlying musical material to capture small phrases or gestures up to larger sections or entire pieces.

Meta-control allows steering of musical processes on multiple layers, from controlling prepared sequences to modifying control gestures (whether algorithmically generated, recorded in advance or played just in time) to adapt them to the evolving musical context of a performance.

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