The Border Community boss shares some Max for Live magic.

Looking to add some of the swing, groove and spontaneity that can only come from live performance, James Holden has built a Max for Live device that shapes the timing of audio and MIDI channels in a way that mimics human interaction.

Holden based the patch, called the Group Humanizer, on research by Harvard scientist Holger Hennig. “The Harvard scientists focussed on one aspect of musical performance – the fine (millisecond level) details of timing when two people play together,” he explains.

“What they found was that the timing of each individual note is dependent on every single note that both players had already played – a minor timing hiccup near the start of a piece will continue to affect every single note after it, up to the last notes. And when you play a duet every note your partner plays affects your playing, and every note you play affects your partner: a two directional information transfer is happening.”

“Now using the model proposed in Holger Hennig’s research I’ve developed a set of Max for Live devices which are able to inject a realistic timing into multiple computer generated parts, as if they were being played by musicians performing together,” he continues.

Read Holden’s in-depth account of the research and his patch via Ableton and download his “contribution to the resistance” over at MaxforLive.



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