Static is a concept piece. It is realised through using the Static software built in Max 7. The work is for two loudspeakers presenting four undefined static frequencies in an undefined space.


The Static patch offers five predetermined frequency set variations, which were deemed to be particularly physical and offer complex auditory distortions. However, the user is invited, if they wish, to select the random button, which will trigger a random frequency set in the ratio range chosen to trigger distortion product otoacoustic emissions. The focus of this piece is not on the sonic material but on the concept of exploring and interacting with space through auditory distortions. The installation can materialise in infinite frequency variations but they always remain static and at a frequency group which triggers auditory distortions. It is the listener that initiates change in the static sound by moving around the space and creating their own intimate composition from their navigational choices. The experience of the piece will be different in each presentation, not only because of the variable audio but also because no two spaces will sound the same and it is incredibly unlikely two people will take the same route when exploring the space and creating their personal composition. The work is intended for gallery exhibition but equally is available for anyone to use for home-listening if they feel they have a space and set-up it could function in. 

The Software

The main element of the patch is the pre-selected frequency sets which are simply loaded when the application is opened and can be called up when the number is clicked on. Below, the sub patch that is responsible for deciding different frequencies in the randomiser is explained in more detail. 

Randomiser sub-patch

The process runs from left to right. Firstly, a number between 800 and 1300 is randomly selected; this number dictates the frequency in hertz of the first sine tone (cycle~). This is the deciding frequency for the rest of the frequency set. This number is divided by a random floating point number between 1.001 to 1.101 to define the second number. The division sum is set to a range of between 1.001 to 1.101 because although it is agreed 1.1 to 1.3 is best for achieving distortion product otoacoustic emissions, I prefer the closer and harsher texture, the beating effecting and the explicit physicality gained from these ratios. The same process is carried out again to determine the third frequency, and finally the third is divided by a number in the same range of 1.001 to 1.101 to decide the forth frequency number. The interesting nature of this process in relation to my other algorithmic or computer process-based work, is that not only is there a random element controlling the starting frequency but also a random element controlling the division element of each of the numbers.