The Convolving Universe


1. Elements of Light

2. Lunar Dream

3. Corona Restitution

4. Perhelion

5. Daath

6. Aphelion

7. Aurora

8. Corona

9. Ninth Emanation

10. Cepheid

11. Typhonian

12. Heaven

DVD-Video Version (NTSC Stereo)

The entire album was an experiment recorded in early 1999. The album was release as a CD-r in 2000 and then finally on CD in 2003.

The album was created using a process called Convolution, which is a digital signal processing algorithm where the spectral information from one sound (the impulse) is multiplied together with spectral information of another sound (the sound source). Both the impulse and the source sounds can be minutes long and produce some of the most interesting sounds imaginable. I started by playing a simple 4 to 8 note phrase using single and multi-voiced choir samples. I then recorded the resulting phrase into another sampling keyboard and then played it one would a normal piano. I only could play a few notes in each octave or it would start to sound very chaotic. I then convolved these resulting loops with a variety of other sounds (impulses), and finally mixed these to create the songs. I also used a vocoder in many of the tracks as well as samples of my own voice.

As I mentioned before this album was really just an experiment. I first heard about convolution after reading about it in the manual of my Emu Emax II sampler. It had a convolution function in it that allowed you to convolve for example a single piano note sample with a single string sample. It took forever to render a single sound. I created some really interesting sounds while using vocal samples with 2 or 3 notes.

Sometime in 1998 I created a convolution plugin based on Angelo Farina's convolution plugin for SAWPlus (a digital audio workstation). It took forever and crashed all the time, but it allowed me to convolve using long impluse files. Some songs took over 16 tracks where one track would take anywhere from 1 to 3 days to render. I never thought I would put it on an album.

The convolution process creates some pretty heavy overtones that made it very difficult to control the sound. This was on of the most difficult albums to master. On the other hand, I delighted at the random element and textures it produced.