I spent the weekend in Glasgow in Scotland doing a presentation of etherSound. After having worked on this piece for more than two years I think I have finally reached a point where I can feel somewhat satisfied with it. It still has some problems that ought to be resolved. The latence is now far to long - over six seconds. This is the result of the slow response time of the memory and operating system of the phone I am using (a Nokia 6310) although I doubt a more modern phone would make a huge difference. I will contact the people behind the gnokii project whose libraries I use in order to access the memory of the phone. Maybe they will have a solution of how to proceed.
What’s positive is I feel there is now a decent balance between the variation and the consistency of the output. The next thing I will do is to recreate a few of the previous performances of the work ‘offline’ so to speak. This will give me an idea of whether or not the algorithms work or not. Also, i will finally get a chance to hear what it sounds like if I implement the original idea of the formant synthesis modelling the series of vowels in the input text. Because of the limited processing power in the real time version I can’t have enough overlapping voices to achieve this, but as I recreate it offline, I can have the control program generate a csound score file that i can process in non-real time.
I felt alright about my presentation, although it is difficult to give a full presentation of this work in 20 minutes or so and my feeling was it would have been better to focus on one single aspect rather than trying to talk briefly about everything that etherSound is and tries to be and how it works. I was also told that, while most of the feedback I got was very positive, some of the participants had some serious doubts about my project. I would be very interested in knowing more about what constituted this criticism. I would also gladly engage in a discussion around this. I think that soon it is time for me to leave etherSound behind and move on to the other projects of my PhD. I have learned many things from it and I will have great use of this knowledge and of the thoughts it has provoked in the following years to come.