sdf PhD





Exploring visual representation of sound
in computer music software through
programming and composition



Selected content from
a thesis submitted with a portfolio of works to the University of Huddersfield in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

December 2013

Samuel David Freeman

Minor amendments
April–June 2014

5: CirSeq

To complement the spiroid-frequency-space representation in new software for composition, circular representations of time have been explored. By separating the frequency- and time-domain conceptual aspects of sound, but then using visually similar representations of each, the idea was (in part) to be able to take data from one domain for use in the other, where the visual representations facilitate that transduction.

Near the end of the previous chapter (§4.4.3), a sixteen step circular sequencer was described for its use as part of a spiroidArc based system, and The Cyclotron (Trueman, 2007) given as a contextualising example for that model of cyclic time-domain representation. The investigation described in this chapter is closely related to that time-space system, but this exploration was derived from an approach of geometrical drawing in search of a logical stepwise genesis for a time-space model in a way that can be thought of as an attempt to replicate, for the time-domain, the process that begat the spiroid.

As with the introduction of the spiroid-frequency-space, at §4.1, CirSeq will be thus introduced through a sequence of geometrical drawings that demonstrate how it was that I approached the objective of developing a time-space representation as a counterpart to the spiroid (see §5.2). Additional contextualisation can then be given for the work, and indeed there are many precedents for the CirSeq concept; it will be shown, however, that my ground up approach to the circular representation of periodic time has founded an original contribution in the field: whereas visually and conceptually similar designs are plentiful, I have yet to find duplication of the logic and utility that CirSeq is based on and can offer.

Much of the thinking and practice going into the development of CirSeq is tied to the parallel thread that is called thisis: §5.1 describes the thisis concept, its connection to CirSeq, and how these two elements of the project are intertwined, both prior to and during the implementation of CirSeq Zero (which is the software composition described in §5.3). Development did begin toward what would have been 'CirSeq Alpha', but the critical thinking coming out of the CirSeq Zero developments, which became foundational for the next stage of the project, did not include continuation of this investigative trajectory.


← 4.5 Assessment of the spiroid

5.1 CirSeq and thisis →