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Algorithmic Solutions


Doug Somers

 Genre: Electronic

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This project started as a 'short' ambientish piece with a pulse that I wrote for my son who was working on a couple of mathematical models that he was rendering into software. I thought it would give him something a little different to listen to as he worked. I've tried to capture the magic that happens in our brains as we do creative work such as analysis and programming. Some of it is wrestling with problems, some is inspiration that comes at odd times from odd angles, some of it is derivative work that is an elaboration of the inspired thought (and can be like a breakthrough and hitting a rhythmic stride), and some is just grinding work solving problems of our own making - such as programming errors!

I sent my son the piece and he liked it. I thought it could be longer (the original was about 3 to 4 minutes) and I wanted more variety so I created a version 2 which added the middle ambient bits without a clear beat and wrapped it up with a return to a different form of rhythmic interplay. It finishes with a fadeout that I don't usually use but in this case I wanted to voices of inspiration to remain as the last element in the piece. They are always there, regardless of whether they are heard well or not. Everything ended up at about 10 minutes.

I chose artwork based on a search for algorithms and found this piece created and owned by Guo Jun Pan called Spiral Tree. It is tagged as algorithmic art but I suspect a heavy dose of direct intervention by the artist was involved too.

Packages used include Logic Pro X with the new Alchemy synth embedded (great move Apple!), SoundIron Cylindrum v2, Native Instruments Kore Player, and NI/Heavyocity Evolve Mutations.

I'll be back to more classical writing after this one.

All feedback of any sort is welcome. I can always learn from others.
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Song Stats
Hits: 1782
Comments: 28
Fans: 19
Plays: 64
Downloads: 15
Votes: 0
Uploaded: Nov 12, 2015 - 02:52:22 PM
Last Updated: Nov 12, 2015 - 02:52:22 PM Last Played: Feb 17, 2019 - 02:24:43 PM
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Mac Pro, Mac Mini
Logic Pro X; Alchemy; Kore Player; Evolve Mutations; Cylindrum
Bowman said 1197 days ago (November 12th, 2015)
The Mystery of Creation.
Didn’t need to read about this to get it.
The searching and great unfolding of a mind at work is here present and alive.
An avenue, a dark corner, shadows flit past. Is the answer here? Is it everywhere? We explore, unable to stop we keep searching. Hints appear beckon then retreat until we are lost in the answer.
A beautiful work Doug. Stunning.
Of course your sounds and mixing talent on full display here.
Check out my latest song called ANTHIMOS
Doug Somers said 1197 days ago (November 13th, 2015)
Great unfolding of a mind at work
Charlie you should be a writer as well as a composer and videographer. Maybe you already are doing that? In any event your kind and well considered prose captures well what I was after. We can't force this ineffable thing called creativity but we can certainly ride on her wings.

Thanks so much sir. I appreciate your on-point feedback.
Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
Daugrin said 1197 days ago (November 12th, 2015)
Bells of Reason
Lots to like here... a welcome addition to the genre, sounds that develop and grow are welcome... Richard Wright might have been a inspiration? The talking book section was an interesting development.

Check out my latest song called A.O.C.
Doug Somers said 1197 days ago (November 13th, 2015)
Sounds that grow
One of the things I like about some of the more modern synths is the ability to have a sound evolve in a periodic or even random way without having to twiddle too many knobs or sliders. That lets me add one sound to another and layer them to add my own evolution but at the same time have each element of the sound stack also be evolving on their own. As to influence from Richard Wright, at first I thought Hmmm - really? but then as I thought about it more I think you're right - there is something going on there which comes from Floyd (e.g., On the Run). Probably from Jarrre, Vangelis, and a host of others too, but Floyd for sure.

Thanks for the favourable remarks Daug.
Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
davisamerica said 1197 days ago (November 12th, 2015)
Check out my latest song called ok char2(Vic and Flatrock mix)
Doug Somers said 1197 days ago (November 13th, 2015)
To the point
Thanks x 2 Jack! :) Glad you liked it.
Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
PeterB7858 said 1197 days ago (November 13th, 2015)
Algorithmic Solutions
Bit of a different inspiration for a song, Doug. Really interesting post. Made me (almost) remember some the of third order differential calculus I did in my Physics & Applied Maths degree. But that all just looks like hieroglyphics now... Lovely atmospheric piece. Wonderful, organic sound, too. Creative and captivating. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called The Parting Of The Ways
Doug Somers said 1197 days ago (November 13th, 2015)
An odd inspiration
I couldn't agree more. And yet, watching the progress my son was making from taking mathematical hieroglyphics and creating something more concrete and functional got me thinking about the modeling process and it's inexplicable nature of wrapping creativity with well trodden maths. I too did some higher maths as part of my engineering studies but if I can remember how to multiply these days I'm doing well. My son studied physics and knows (and remembers) way more than I ever did.

In the end, I'm glad you were captivated by the evolving soundscape, and thanks for letting me know of your thoughts Peter. Cheers.
Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
Narad said 1197 days ago (November 13th, 2015)
Algorithmic Solutions
Very creative work ! Bravo ! :)
Check out my latest song called Bass Time
Doug Somers said 1196 days ago (November 13th, 2015)
Cheers Harald
I think I hear some of your influence in here too. Thanks and Be well.
Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
Warren Smith said 1197 days ago (November 13th, 2015)
Creative solutions
I was working on a geometric pattern design while listening to this .. and it provided a great soundtrack as I was searching for a creative solution.

Well, as the solution has been stubborn .. I've had to listen to the piece more than once : )

I, too, generally prefer clean resolves .. but sometimes the apt choice is a fade out. It works fine here.
Check out my latest song called I'll Be On My Way
Doug Somers said 1196 days ago (November 13th, 2015)
Multiple listens are OK :)
Best of luck with your solution Warren. I guess that a piece of music that is meant to represent creativity doesn't necessarily mean that it will bring forth creativity when heard (Wouldn't that be cool!) Glad the fade worked for you too. It's a little more effective in cans but should work on speakers in a quiet environment.

Glad you liked this one! And thanks for your kind words.
Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
jiguma said 1196 days ago (November 13th, 2015)
Great sound/s
I often listen to MJ stuff on my 'phones, but I'm listening to this on my studio monitors and it sounds brilliant. Something I find with a lot of electronic music at MJ (including my own) is a lack of light and shade. You have it here in spades.
You've inspired me to have a closer look at Alchemy. The sounds here are the stars - really interesting piece on all counts.
VERY impressive post!
Cheers from Oz,
Check out my latest song called We End Up Being All The Same (42)
Doug Somers said 1196 days ago (November 13th, 2015)
Where to start?
Thanks for the very kind remarks Neil. One never knows at posting time if this piece is really worth the time to listen to it or not. Maybe all artists face this - I know I'm not the only one. Glad it worked on your monitors as I only mixed the first 4:00 on Monitors at home and then finished the piece here on vacation using my Bose noise cancellation 'phones (which are not great as they are too warm but they pack really well for travel.)

As for the light and shade, some of that is quite intentional on my part in the choice of presets and when they were used and some comes from the clever sound designers from Camel Audio via the Alchemy synth. I was an Alchemy user before and really liked it because of the innards which let you morph and evolve the sounds in quite a few ways. I know there are other synths that are great, like Zebra and Omnisphere but they are not free in Logic.

Anyway, I'm so glad you liked this one. Thanks for listening and sharing your thoughts!
Cheers from Florida (normally the GWN)
Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
DWL said 1196 days ago (November 14th, 2015)
A lot to take in
You've done a great job in how this is paced and the changes in textures. A superb choice of sounds (I must check out Alchemy as I rarely use anything but the most basic synths)

The introduction of the voices worked really well.

9 minutes passed remarkably quickly!


Check out my latest song called Fascist in my Soup
Doug Somers said 1195 days ago (November 14th, 2015)
choice of sounds
Cheers Dick. I've barely scratched the surface of the sounds that this synth can make, although truth be told some of them are rubbish and others are almost copies of others in the sound list. Still, it's good value. I have to admit, being a sometimes unimaginative sort, I'm not sure what most people would use many of the sounds of Alchemy for other than unusual electronic ambient-y pieces or electronic dance music. Still, I'm sure someone can find applications maybe even in rock or folk.

So glad you like it! Thanks for taking 9 minutes out of your day (even if it may have felt shorter!)

Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
Henke said 1194 days ago (November 15th, 2015)
This equals classic in my book
But a very creative take. Can't imagine what you have to learn from others in this genre, but I guess it is a good way of thinking... Maybe you have already guessed it, but this blew me away. It is a nice listen any day, but it is also filled with details for those times when you want to listen more carefully. And that surely will be rewarding with this piece. (Thanks for the download!) BTW, a 10 minute-masterpiece deserves a nice fade out, and you nailed it :-)

Thanks again and welcome back to ambient/electronic any day :-)
Check out my latest song called Summer (Promenade) (WIP)
Doug Somers said 1194 days ago (November 15th, 2015)
Henrik, you're a gentleman. I will say that I think there's always more to learn both in style, form and the technical details of course of how to make music. I don't mean to be argumentative - it's just that there are so many good musicians in this genre, even here at MacJams, that there is lots of space for noticing what others have made work very effectively (Cerulean series anyone?). I'm glad that this piece gives you the depth that allows for revisiting from time to time. Thanks for sharing your impressions and very kind words!
Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
KCsGROOVE said 1194 days ago (November 15th, 2015)
wow`! impressive soundscape
great sounds!
cool changes
good one, Doug!
Check out my latest song called WANDERLUST
Doug Somers said 1194 days ago (November 15th, 2015)
Thanks so much KC. Changing the sound groupings on this one was fun to allow each set to run through the useful combinations before bringing on the the next. Glad you liked this one, and thanks for having a listen and leaving such supportive comments!
Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
Franciscus_Henri said 1193 days ago (November 16th, 2015)
As I am someone with synaesthesia I can say you've captured it. well balanced colours and shapes and wonderfully three dimensional.
Check out my latest song called FRIENDSHIP VOLUME 2 Tribute to PHIL18
Doug Somers said 1190 days ago (November 19th, 2015)
So glad you liked this one! I sometimes get colours and texture from music - especially electronic - and certainly associate smell with audible pitch.

If this was a balance of lights and dark, masses and spaces that worked for you then that's wonderful. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
egobandit said 1193 days ago (November 16th, 2015)
rhythmic stride
bouncing in and out against the ambient reverb, alchemy is amazing like what you have done hear total immersion creative work and your sons math problem and out comes this Tops
Check out my latest song called the unheard
Doug Somers said 1190 days ago (November 19th, 2015)
Bouncing in and out
Lots of sounds that come and go in this one, and while most are electronic some are recorded odd instruments too. The aim was to put this all together to almost tell a sonic story. Thanks for taking the 10 minutes to have a listen and to leave your encouraging comments. Appreciate it!
Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
Sigmund said 1191 days ago (November 19th, 2015)
Algorithmic Solutions
Hi Doug - As I have become more involved with electronic music, I've come to realize how much work and skill it takes to create the type of soundscape you have envisioned here. I'm impressed with both the variety of textures you have used, as well as the types of sound manipulation effects you have employed to create some interesting and sophisticated ear candy. I listened while I worked, and the time flew by! Enjoyable piece, my friend - very nice!
Check out my latest song called Running with the Wind by Peter B, feat rok41
Doug Somers said 1190 days ago (November 19th, 2015)
Ear candy
That is sufficient for me :) It's been interesting moving back and forth between orchestral composing and electronic work in that I see more parallels between them over time, and also I find that each composition takes a little longer than the last one whether or not the piece is actually any longer. I don't know why that is quite but I think some of it comes from listening to the details and trying to get them right in context.

I'm keen to hear your electronic compositions as you post them too.

Thanks for having a listen and letting me know your thoughts and impressions. Very kind! Be well my friend.
Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
Fire_Angel said 1190 days ago (November 19th, 2015)
A great piece.
This builds so subtly and grows on the listener as it develops. Always filled with enough thoughtful details to keep you interested, it's really quite a huge sound once it gets going. Most unusual to find a piece so long that doesn't bore, so well done for that and so much more.
Check out my latest song called Dreamer's Dance.
Doug Somers said 1190 days ago (November 19th, 2015)
Long interesting pieces
I have to say I learned about how to do that here at MacJams - there are a number of great ambient/electronic artists here who have a real gift for sonic choices and patient development. I used to rush through this kind of music however it really needs time to soak in the listener's mind a good long while to establish its landscape and to give clues about the way the nuances of sound will evolve. Perhaps this is more significant in purely ambient pieces with no beat to them but I found even here it took a while to get the flow right: enough changes to make it interesting, not changing so fast that the listener lost their bearings.

Anyway, thanks for the very kind words and I am glad you enjoyed the listening experience.
Check out my latest song called Western Stranger
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Name: Doug Somers
Location: Ottawa Ontario Canada
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I make music for pleasure, usually using a computer to create soundscapes around all kinds of music. I used to jam with a local celtic group, playing bodhran and 12 string guitar, but I find that my technical and live performance skills fall short o... [see more]

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