[Etoys] Sound tool refactoring and enhancement

polishookm polishookm at mail.montclair.edu
Tue May 6 21:51:48 EDT 2008

karl wrote:
> polishookm wrote:
>> I think I'm thinking about something like a holder for sounds (audio 
>> files) where each sound could also have a costume (what it looks 
>> like) and a flexshell (possible transformations that have been 
>> applied to the audio file). So tile scripting would then be able to 
>> do quite a bit in the way of multimedia presentation with sound and 
>> morphic objects.
> There is allready quite a lot of the functionality you ask for but the 
> tools could be improved.

I'm not sure quite where to find the "functionality you ask" but for 
sure, I'm happy to look. And I'd be very willing to contribute to all 

> Yes it would be nice to script the FM synth, something like the Tamtam 
> synth editor in etoys.

For sure that's one way to go. But I think a significant limitation that 
I see, at least from the image at


is that Tamtam makes you work in, well, Tamtam. I think what I'm trying 
to articulate is a more general workflow based more directly on Morphic 
to go out-of-the-box, rather than in-the-box (where tamtam is the box). 
But this isn't to say at all that Tamtam isn't a great tool .... because 
at least from what I see as posted on the web, it looks great.

> Sound could be  represented with their sonogram but that would soon 
> get confusing.  You could have a sketch associated with a sound to 
> represent it in a holder but the maintenance could be big if you where 
> to create a long list of sounds and then a image for each.

For sure, this could happen and it would be cumbersome. On the other 
hand, transformations applied to sounds could greatly reduce the number 
of sketches in the holder.

> SampledSounds are a little like sketches and you don't really script 
> other transformations of sketches than rotate and scale and 
> SampledSound can script it's volume.
I'm suggesting scripting along the lines of things that are possible in 
SuperCollider or Csound or Pd or Max or those sorts of environments. For 
example, reading through a soundfile with a variety of shapes (lines, 
sines, randomly, etc.) Or amplitude or ring modulation or reading 
backwards through a table, etc. Where SuperCollider and Csound and Pd 
and Max fall short compared to Squeak is, of course, they don't have 
anything in the way of interface controls that approach much less 
parallel capabilities of Morphic.

> BookMorphs can trigger sounds on page turns etc.

That's a good idea. So a BookMorph can be a holder of sorts.
>> Perhaps the piano roll mechanism (and the metaphor of the piano) is 
>> outdated (or should be one option among several others ....).
> It's absolutely not the only path. But I find the score quite 
> attractive and if it could be generalized into a spread sheet all kind 
> of things could be scripted and played back. Take a look at the 
> Skeleton animation package for example. 
> http://languagegame.org:8888/ggame/11

Skeleton looks great. I'm going to take a look at it in the next few 
days (thanks for the reference).

One reason I'm suggesting going past the piano metaphor (and I'm a 
pianist ..... ) is that the piano, in the form of a keyboard, and MIDI 
and perhaps FM synthesis put a kind of time stamp on things. It's not 
that they're not fabulous tools - because they are. But they may not be 
contemporary in the sense of DJing and VJing.

>> Perhaps the entire mechanism could link to OLPC Csound (through OSC?)
> After reading about the different plans laid out for OLPC lately I'm 
> quite happy to keep as much tools as possible in the image and let the 
> world around have their system switches and temper tantrums ;-)
For sure :)
>> .... Hope this is all helpful as ideas ....
> Very helpful and its good to have different ideas brought up : -)

Another way to frame what I'm suggesting is that it would be fabulous to 
see what might happen if the authors of many of the games and projects 
that are available through etoys had sound scripting capability that 
parallels what's now available in the visual realm.

I know the capability and possibility exists .... as you mentioned in 
another post, I think what' needed is some careful, far reaching design.

Well, again, all ideas for discussion .... :)

> Karl
>> karl wrote:
>>> polishookm wrote:
>>>> Perhaps more tile options to deal with sound through the script(or) 
>>>> mechanism such that morphs could  represent graphical (musical) 
>>>> scores - morph properties could be mapped to sound properties and 
>>>> vice versa.
>>> Yes, that is part of ScorePlayerMorph. I have a change set somewhere 
>>> that adds a menu option to the ScorePlayerMorph to add tracks, so 
>>> editing of scores becomes accessible.
>>> Karl
>>>> karl wrote:
>>>>> I've been slowly working my way through the code of WaveEditor and 
>>>>> added a few enhancements to GraphMorph and PianoKeyboardMorph as 
>>>>> well. Now I'm wondering if there is interest to include such work 
>>>>> in the Etoy image?
>>>>> The tools kind of work the way they are were but are arcane eg. 
>>>>> WaveEditor is really a sound/instrument loop editor not a tool for 
>>>>> editing general sound clips. I have started to make it into a 
>>>>> general editor to edit sound clips and have made good progress in 
>>>>> that regard. What are your thoughts on where these tools should 
>>>>> move or not move ?
>>>>> Karl
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> Etoys mailing list
>>>>> Etoys at lists.laptop.org
>>>>> http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/etoys

Mark Polishook, D.M.A.
Technology Coordinator
Morehead Hall, Rm 132
Center for Academic Advising and Adult Learning
Montclair State University
Montclair, NJ 07043

polishookm at mail.montclair.edu

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