Scanline granular synthesis

This is a live clip from a Max/MSP/Jitter patch I made in 2010.

The patch uses a scan line from a video to fill a buffer which is then played back by a granular synthesiser. The sound is used to create a NURBS object in OpenGL and then textured with the original video.

The patch works by taking a row of pixels from each frame of a video, the scanline, the row of pixels is a four-plane char matrix with dimensions of 320 x 1. For the matrix to be useful as a waveform it will need to be converted from four dimensions to one dimension.

This is done using the jit.rgb2luma object which converts ARGB matrices to monochrome using the equation:

L = (0.299*R) + (0.587*G) + (0.114*B)

The values are then converted from char (0 – 255) to float32 (0.0 – 1.0).

Before the matrix is poked into a buffer the matrix is copied, inverted (-1.0 – 0.0) and concatenated with the original matrix using the jit.concat object. This new matrix, now 640 x 1, is then poked into a buffer using jit.buffer~.

This is done so that when the waveform is played back there will be silence for a solid black frame and a square wave for a solid white frame.

The buffer is played back using overlapped pulse grain generators as shown in this pure data patch here.

The NURBS object is created using the Catch Nurbs patch described in the jitter recipes book 2 with the sound generated from the overlapping pulse grain generators.

Our audio is converted to 1-D matrices by the jit.catch~ object and then downsampled and passed along to a matrix using 'dstdim' messages (see TimeScrubber). The resulting matrix is then downsampled further, sliced into 3 columns and packed into a 3-plane named matrix.

From there, we use jit.slide to smooth the movement, and jit.op to scale the values to the desired range. This is then given to the object as a 'ctlmatrix'.

To create a more interesting shape the NURBS object is textured with the original scanline that was used to create the waveform (before it was converted to monochrome).

Grab the patch here