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Live surround panning approach
Old 30th November 2016
Lives for gear
carlheinz's Avatar

Live surround panning approach

Hello and thank you so much in advance!

I know there are certain Buchla surround panning devices and other processing you may use in your more recent live show's like the one at moogfest this last year.Could you please share some of your live surround panning techniques or surround methodology and recommend some tips or tricks to better that type of experience for someone who might want to experiment with that?

Old 3rd December 2016
Suzanne Ciani
Sevwave's Avatar

Thank you for your question. Spatial manipulation is one of my favorite aspects of electronic music...and in the "cookbook" that I keep mentioning, that paper included in the Finders Keepers Buchla Concerts 1975, I mention several techniques for spatial control in a quadraphonic set-up. The Buchla 227 output module allows lots of control over the location of a sound.

I use a continuous curved space for slow-moving sounds, say ocean waves...
I can voltage-control that curved space easily with a CV from, say, an envelope generator fed into the bridged X and Y inputs. So the circular motion can be continuously slowed down and sped up.

I like to use a "discreet" spatial location, i.e. a sound in only one speaker at a time, for rhythmic passages. It's very important the the spatial rhythm be integrated with the rhythm of the music. Spatial movement alone can create a rhythm...and that's fun, too.

I like to use a random S&H for selecting the discreet location. This discreet approach works well because the sound is in only one speaker at a time and the whole audience can experience the movement without any masking from a nearby speaker. In very large spaces, though, I add in a low level of slower moving sound so that the space doesn't sound too empty.

In the old days we had a simple voltage controlled reverb that was great to affect the overall perceived "size" of the space, making the sound orbit or jump closer or farther away. Now I use an Eventide H9 before the spatial input and wish that it were voltage-controllable, but in any case, the FX are amazing!
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