So I'm on vacation from school, and I finally got some time for a project I've been trying to get round to for some time. You know those corrugated plastic tubes that you whirl above your head, and they produce several different harmonics, depending how quick you whirl them...Well I bought a few, cut them to different lengths, and sampled them.
The files are here (wav files with Kontakt programs)
I made three programs.
1. 'Whirly Tubes'
has all the samples from a single tube mapped on one key, and Nils' crossfade script integrated into the program. So you hold down a note, and use the modwheel to cruise through the harmonics. It takes some practise, since the overlaps in the crossfade are a lot larger than the areas where you get a single note, but once you get used to it, it's very playable. The samples are mapped in two groups, with the group on the right being a quarter tone sharper than those on the left. (I had a lot of tubes, and it turns out that there is a minimum length of tube which will usefull resonate, so I went for small increments, although bear in mind that I tuned them to a piano that probably needs some attention).
2. Spread Out A
maps the harmonics of each tube onto the note which they actually approximate to. Because the harmonics become closer together the higher you get I could only map four tubes together. So F# to A are mapped in a clump, with their harmonic above them. Then Bb to C# are mapped two octaves up the keyboard.
3. Spread Out B
the same idea as the last program but a quartertone sharper.
I'm in the middle of writing something with the samples, and will no doubt think of ways to improve the programs as a result, but any feedback on their useability would be welcome. I'm also thinking of producing a set with a mic setup that would place more emphasis on the doppler effect - let me know if you think it's necessary, or if it would become too pronounced.