Ctrl-S is a series of surround sound plugins built for Ableton Live 10 using Max for Live. The plugins are designed to specifically aid with the spatialisation of live musical performances with an entry-level design. The project was created as part of my dissertation, which examined their effectiveness through live performances with the software, as well as evaluation in comparison to other software, systems and performances.
Ableton Live 10 Integration
The plugins are incorporated into Ableton Live's workflow and directly work alongside features such as the sequencer and clip system. The Ctrl-S.looper uses the clip system to create a 5 channel live looping device and the Ctrl-S.sequencer device plays back preset movement cues alongside the Ableton arranger. These plugins would output to a master Ctrl-S.ambisonics channel strip which utilities Ableton Live 10's new multichannel support alongside ICST's Ambisonics devices to create the surround sound mix. Users can adjust the positioning and amount of speakers easily, as well as ambisonics settings.
Low Frequency Position Oscillator
The Ctrl-S plugins have a custom made movement engine called the LFPO. The LFPO is a simplistic approach to automated movements, with four shapes providing varied automation that can be moved, sped up, slowed down and scaled dynamically. The device allows for dual modulation also, meaning a secondary shape can modulate around the position of the first, for added detail.
Ctrl-S Live Performance
To evaluate the plugins, I created an hour long performance evening design with the software. The evening was split into two sections. The first section featured a 'hy_brid' DJ set recorded with external analogue hardware. This was then sequenced with the Ctrl-S.sequencer device into a surround mix, with the mix including music that influenced my live performance. The second section was the live performance, which used the Ctrl-S.looper device to create a layered ambient electronic performance with automated and manual movement and imrpovisation.
The full dissertation contained research into the historic use of spatialisation and it's modern development in the 20th century. I then analysed and presented key cases of software and systems that would influence my program development, as well as musical and artistic cases that would influence my musical production. The software and musical development was then broken down, analyzing and presenting issues I faced along the development, before analyzing the live performance and concluding with the effectiveness of my research project. I am delighted that the dissertation received first class honors.