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Live diffusion - a performance practice

Sound diffusion as performance

In the performance of electroacoustic music a precomposed tape (often stereo) that has been duplicated to N channels of the mixing- or rather diffusion- console, is diffused live into N speakers around the concert hall. A typical stereo performance will focus upon the manual control of sound, with one fader of the diffusion console controlling one loudspeaker. ‘Musique fixé sur support’ was a term coined by Michel Chion in the early 90s and is used to differentiate between music created prior to performance and compositional choices made ‘live’.

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I remember you discussed this briefly at the last meeting and I found it interesting.

Could this method be achieved by creating Return tracks (8 returns for 8 speakers for example) and using volume faders to ‘send’ the stereo pre-recorded track to the different speakers around the room? Basically, just automating the send volume to go to each speaker…

This seems like a quick and effective way at multi-channel that I’d like to try out sometime.

Yes, that’d be a method to basically create a “digital mixer”. And you could use a fader controller, each fader assigned to a specific send of your stereo track.

Want to try it out some time?
We could make a little experiment called “Live” Diffusion - how to create your own diffusion console within Ableton Live.

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Yeah that would be great. Let’s definitely try that out.

Brian