slow-15ANDbelow-tapeRecorderX4, as the title suggests, is a 4-channel tape-recorder, transposing and slowing down sounds in real-time as they are recorded and coloring them with some distortion.
click on the image below to download the Max collective and project folder as well as a version that is already mapped to the KORG nanoKONTROL (stR-KnK.mxf). the text following it is a guide to slow-15ANDbelow-tapeRecorderX4.
“record”, “play”, “reverse”, and “vol” (volume) are straightforward. “link” links the “record” button to the “play” button, so that when “link” is on, pressing “record” automatically turns on “play”. because “record” deletes first the content of the buffer, when “link” is off and “play” is on, pressing “record” automatically stops the playback. “slw” (slowness) is how slow the playback is, ranging from 4 times slower to 100 times slower; “dst” (distortion) mixes the slowed-down signal with a distorted one; and “amt” (amount of distortion) determines how distorted it is.
it is only possible to record from the beginning of the buffer, but the point from which the playback starts can be changed by clicking on the desired position along the waveform. changing the playing position (as well as dragging the mouse along the waveform) is also possible while the buffer is being played. clicking on a position beyond the recorded part automatically stops the playback (a 2-second latency in this automatic behavior is introduced while dragging the mouse along the waveform to prevent auto-stopping the playback when one unintentionally clicks on a position beyond the recorded part).
“time left” displays how long the playback can continue before reaching the end of the buffer at the current speed. it has 3 states: *rec* while recording, >5min if there are more than 5 minutes available, and the exact duration in seconds if there are less than 5 minutes.
the “buffer functions”, available as a 4-item menu for each channel, can be used to open external audio files (“read”), save the buffer’s content to disk (“write”), and clear the buffer (“clear”). the last item, “setup”, opens a small window for changing the size of the buffer (ranging from 1000ms to 1 hour), and activating and deactivating “pause mode”. note that changing the buffer’s size will immediately clear its content, and a file longer than the available buffer will be truncated if it is read. “pause mode” determines the behavior of the “play” toggle, alternating between play/stop and play/pause: when “pause mode” is off, turning on “play” starts playing from the last defined playing position; when “pause mode” is on, turning on “play” starts playing from the position at which it was turned off).
at the right panel, the input, the signal of each channel, and the master output, can be monitored. the “input” dial adds the incoming input signal to the mix, and the “master” dial controls the main output level. the number next to this dial allows an additional control over the output gain (default is -6dB).
setting the audio driver and devices, as well as the MIDI input, is to be done by clicking on “extras” and selecting the desired driver, inputs, and outputs from the drop-down menus. clicking on the texts to the left of the menus refreshes their content.
most of the parameters of slow-15ANDbelow-tapeRecorderX4 can be controlled via MIDI. they are mapped according to the following list:
8 L/R balance
16 L/R balance
24 L/R balance
32 L/R balance
34 input L/R balance
this mapping can be changed by clicking on “MIDI table”, opening a table in which the x-axis represents MIDI values and the y-axis represents the values given above. for example, to control stR4’s “slw” with controller number 80, set a point at x=80 y=28, and change the one at x=28 y=28 to x=28 y=0. changes can be preserved by saving the “stR-extras” patcher after altering the table.
“link” and “pause mode” can be controlled also via the computer keyboard. 1, 2, 3, and 4 turn on and off “link” (default is on), and “q”, “w”, “e”, and “r” turn on and off “pause mode” (default is off).
because slow-15ANDbelow-tapeRecorderX4 is intended to work mainly with stereo inputs, panning is available only in the “extras” window in the form of 4 “L/R balance” number boxes (-1=L, 1=R).
note that it is also possible to make a stereo recording of the output of slow-15ANDbelow-tapeRecorderX4. to do so, double-click on “recSTR”, click on “open” to save the file, and turn on the toggle to start recording (do not forget to turn it off when you are done).
the idea of slowing down sounds came up during the 4th brainstorming session i had for CompositionCloud, and earlier experimentations that preceded slow-15ANDbelow-tapeRecorderX4, include feedbackMacBookPro14timesSlower, zH5pB_dZH5_processed, and pen1v1111-ann_GPVsR_dZH5_prcsd.