genPhyMdl: Physical Models in gen~

December 31st, 2017 Posted by Computer Music / Digital Arts, Creations No Comment yet

Post edit:

This work on mass-interaction physical models in gen~ has now stabilised and progressed further.

The new, up to date tools can be dowloaded here:

and a Python-based model editor (with Qt UI) can be found here:


Old Post:

Recently, I have spent a little time playing around with Physical Models.

More specifically, I have been working on getting modular Mass-Interaction simulations to run inside Max/MSP, so as to simulate all kinds of mechanical vibrating objects, that can be connected to pretty much anything else going on in Max (MIDI or OSC controls, effect post-processing, etc.): I called this genPhyMdl.

Some similar things have been done by others, namely Edgar Berdahl and Alexandros Kontogeorgakopoulos (HSP and Synth-A-Modeler projects). Hovewer, the main difference of my work is that it runs in gen~ (Max’s efficient, DSP-oriented tool), meaning simulating single sample delay loops for computation is no hassle, and meaning that it runs pretty fast!

Here is a quick low-down on genPhyMdl:

  • Physical Models are described by a number of masses and links (springs, detents, non linear interactions, etc) in a fairly simple text file format.
  • A set of Python scripts generate gen~ Codebox dsp code from the model description and encapsulate it into a nice clean .gendsp object that can be included into any Max patch.
  • The user can now connect this object to inlets and outlets, depending on what he wants to do with the model!

(edit: go to instead)

It also contains a PDF document that goes into some more detail about mass-interaction modelling for sound synthesis, how genPhyMdl syntax works and how you can do some fun stuff in Max.

Of course, it also comes with a bunch of examples (with pre-compiled .gendsp objects) that should be ready to go on any machine with Max/MSP running.

Now, as this is a small-scale project that I’ve been doing on my spare time… some stuff may not be perfect. In particular, I haven’t fully checked the compatibility/easiness of getting this all to run on Mac (I develop on Windows/Linux, hence Windows for Max stuff).

Here’s hoping that some people will be interested enough to bug-test it, provide me with additional feedback and maybe create some nice physically-based virtual musical instruments in Max/MSP!

I leave you with a short track I created, using several layers of a bowed “monochord” type instrument…. Have a happy new year everyone!

Lobster Updates: EPs, Eptagon, Projects

November 8th, 2017 Posted by Creations, Music Production No Comment yet

Les projets avancent de bon train pour Plastic Lobster!

En premier lieu, l’EP “Do Not Repeat” de Faith In Agony vient tout juste de sortir! Un rock/grunge de qualité, versatile, tantôt doux et envoûtant, tantôt musclé et ravageur… Je vous encourage fortement à aller découvrir ça:

L’EP “Empalé c’est Pesé” des Pur Boeuf pointe le bout de son nez également, et sera disponible lors de leur concert du 9 Novembre avec les Ramoneurs de Menhirs. En attendant, un petit extrait:

Et pour finir l’album de Barús touche également à sa fin, ainsi que d’autres projets dont un travail avec le rappeur SID, du groupe Movez I.D. !

Je profite aussi de cette occasion pour vous présenter le site Web du collectif d’artistes Eptagon, dont fait partie Plastic Lobster Studios: 


A bunch of projects that I have worked on are being released this week: Faith In Agony‘s newest EP, as well as Pur Boeuf‘s first release!

Also, the Eptagon collective’s website is now up and running, head over to discover a bunch of cool artists that the Lobster works with on a daily basis: 

Lots more to come, stay tuned…

Sound Design: The Instant Droner

September 23rd, 2017 Posted by Computer Music / Digital Arts No Comment yet

Here is the second installment in my ‘sound design’ series:  The Instant Droner.

The “Instant Droner” is a granular synthesizer designed in Max/MSP, derived from the “ganular” example in the Max/MSP reference files.

Here are the main features:

  • Granular synthesis of audio files, by selecting a point or an area to make grains with, a given number of voices, a time value between grains, as well as pitch, panning and duration ranges for the grains (this is basically the Max tutorial patch).
  • FX section, with a feedback delay line (w/ lowpass and highpass filtering) and reverb unit (Foreverb, an awesome gen~ reverb by Akihiko Matsumoto). Watch out, the feedback delay can grow unstable if the feedback coefficient is too high!
  • Possibility of switching between kslider control of the pitch (selecting a note or a “cluster”/range of notes which are randomly used by each individual voice) or using a MIDI Keyboard input for polyphonic control (when playing a chord, each individual note is registered, then the voices of the granulator randomly each chose one note of the chord).
  • Audio Input Recording: real time input can be recorded into the granulator buffer, for ‘on-the-fly’ sound transformation. This doesn’t change the buffer size, it records over it, starting from the beginning.
  • Audio Input Trigger: the on/off function of the granulator can be controlled by an audio threshold trigger, for instance so that the system can be triggered in reaction to the input of a musician.
  • MIDI control of most of the parameters, with smoothing of the midi data for smooth transitions between parameter values
  • A double preset system: sound parameters presets (granulator, FX, etc) and MIDI CC routing presets. The default MIDI CC is a personal mapping to a Korg Nanokontrol, but it should be easy to set up and save other controller mappings.

There is nothing too fancy about what it actually does, but I’ve been slowly building it into quite a central instrument for a lot of projects. I particularly enjoy messing around with live audio feed, recording snippets on the fly from other musicians, playing back granularised variations and creating a “virtual” double of the original instrument, that can extend its natural timbre to some pretty extreme stuff. A recent example is “Emulations/Distensions“, a work-in-progress piece for cello and electronics (video below).

If you don’t have Max/MSP, you can head over to Cycling’74 (the free download version will allow you to open and run all patches indefinitely, but you can only edit/save/modify patches for 30 days).

And here is the small package for the Patch (211.5 KB, keep files in the same folder for dependencies) : Download This Shit !

More to come soon, enjoy!

Faith In Agony – EP Recording

August 27th, 2017 Posted by Music Production No Comment yet

Au terme de 3 journées intenses d’enregistrement, les prises pour l’EP à venir de Faith In Agony sont désormais terminées !
Venant compléter des prises de batterie faites chez l’ami Suntzu Records, Plastic Lobster a eu le plaisir d’enregistrer des instruments en tout genre : guitares, basses, voix, shakers et bien d’autres objets mystérieux… Vous en saurez plus quand tout ça sera mixé !

Recordings for Faith In Agony’s new EP are now complete!
3 days of tracking guitars, basses, vocals, shakers and all sorts of strange things that fit perfectly in place atop of the drums recorded by Suntzu Records earlier this month. Now for the mixing!

Un petit aperçu de ce qu’ils vous préparent… / A small glimpse of what is coming…


Deuxième journée de studio terminée avec Plastic Lobster Studios! On vous offre une mise en bouche 😉

Posted by Faith In Agony on Monday, 21 August 2017

Et une performance musicale légendaire / And a legendary musical performance

This sh*t is BANANAS !

Tout est dans le détail.
Enregistrement du prochain Faith In Agony terminé, et ça SONNE.

#bananespirituelle #shaker #rocklobster #BeeAiyEnnnAiyEnnnAiiyEsssss

The devil is in the details.
Putting the finishing touches on Faith In Agony’s new record!

Posted by Plastic Lobster Studios on Thursday, 24 August 2017

Sound Design: Pandemonium Looper

August 14th, 2017 Posted by Computer Music / Digital Arts No Comment yet

So… I have been messing around with various sound synthesis and sound transformation techniques for a while now, mostly using Max/MSP to design and code patches. A lof of the things that I make are “instruments” that I use with the experimental music trio Orcae, however I thought it might be nice to share what I’ve been working on and see what others make of it.

The first system I will be sharing is this strange looping patch built in Max:

The Pandemonium Looper

Starting from the idea of “musique concrète” style sound manipulation (playback speed, looping a certain cut of the audio forwards or backwards, etc.), it branched into a sort of abstract drone making machine, with an FX section comprised of a comb-filter, feedback delay (that can be used as a resonator) and reverb.

Depending on the audio clip that is loaded, the speed of playback, the section that is looped, and the FX settings, resulting sounds can vary drastically… from simple quirky loops to completely crazy feedback-driven sonic textures. It’s a mess but I’ve had some fun with it.

There are two preset management systems in the patch:

  • Sound parameter presets: save and recall all the looping and FX settings (except for loading the sound clip, which is done separately).
  • Midi CC assign presets: save and recall MIDI CC (continuous controller) settings that define which CC messages control which sound parameters.

I have routed the controls to my small Korg Nanokontrol midi controller, however if you go into the guts of the patch (ctrl+shift+E to go from the presentation view to horrible-mess-of-cables-and-boxes) you can reassign them however you like and then save your preset.

Oh yeah, and the patch also has a record function, so that you can record and process incoming audio into the Looper in real time.

Here is a short improvised sequence recorded with this patch, using a 5 second long field recording of… a creaky building door (I shit you not):

If you don’t have Max/MSP, you can head over to Cycling’74 (the free download version will allow you to open and run all patches indefinitely, but you can only edit/save/modify patches for 30 days).

And here is the small package for the Looper Patch (28.9 KB, keep files in the same folder for dependencies) : Download this shit!

More geeky sound stuff to come in the near future!

Pur Boeuf – punk/metal EP recording

August 13th, 2017 Posted by Music Production No Comment yet

Mois d’Août chargé pour Plastic Lobster!
L’enregistrement des Pur Boeufs (punk/metal) a eu lieu il y a quelques jours: de la bonne humeur, de la prise live et une grosse dose d’énergie!
Mixage de l’EP dans les semaines à venir, sortie d’ici peu.

August is a busy month for Plastic Lobster!
Recording of Pur Boeuf’s first EP took place last week: lots of fun and energy, recorded live… things are looking good!
Mixing in the next few weeks, the record should follow shortly.

Enregistrement des Pur Boeuf !

Petite vidéo de la session d’enregistrement des Pur Boeuf!
In Koenigsbeer we trust.

Posted by Plastic Lobster Studios on Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Barús: 1st album

August 13th, 2017 Posted by Music Production No Comment yet

Barús’ first album – recording preview

The recording process for Barús’ first album is coming to a close, with final guitar reamping and vocal sessions scheduled in the coming weeks.

We are aiming for an early 2018 release, depending on label conditions/deals.
In the meantime, here is a short taste of things to come.

L’enregistrement du premier album de Barús touche à sa fin, les sessions finales de réamping guitare et de prises des voix étant prévues au cours des prochaines semaines.

En fonction de notre situation côté labels, nous visons une sortie début 2018.
En attendant, voici un bref aperçu de ce que nous préparons.

Posted by Barús on Sunday, 6 August 2017


Le premier album de Barús avance à grands pas!
Après une session d’enregistrement de batterie chez Octavox Studios en Avril, les enregistrements s’enchainent et le pré-mixage commence.
Sortie visée début 2018!

Barús’ first album is now nearly ready.
After recording drums at Octavox Studios in April, I am now finalising the last elements and starting to pre-mix the record.
Should be out in early 2018!

Début de semaine avec Barús pour le recording des drums de leur premier album… ça envoie déjà du lourd 🙂

Posted by Eddy Fromtape on Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Musique Expérimentale: Emulations / Distensions

August 13th, 2017 Posted by Computer Music / Digital Arts, Creations No Comment yet


Parce qu’il faut bien parfois faire autre chose que produire du death metal et du rock, voici un travail récent réalisé dans le cadre de la classe de composition du Conservatoire de Grenoble. Une première mouture d’un duo semi-improvisé entre violoncelle (joué par Fiona Feeley) et dispositif électronique.
Tous les sons électroniques sont issus d’enregistrements « en temps réel » du violoncelle, transformés par synthèse granulaire (à l’aide d’un patch codé en Max/MSP, sur lequel je compte faire un article sous peu). Ca rend la performance quelque peu sportive – cette version est d’ailleurs loin d’être parfaite – mais ça permet de faire des choses amusantes !
Disclaimer : c’est de la musique contemporaine.

Sometimes it’s nice to do something other than produce death metal or rock music. Here is some recent work done for the composition class of the Conservatoire de Grenoble: a first draft of a semi-improvised duo between a cello and live electronics.
All the electronic sounds stem from « on the fly » recording of the cellist, transforming the sound with a homemade granular synthesis patch (in Max/MSP). This makes the performance quite challenging and unpredictable – this one is far from perfect – but it’s pretty fun.

Orcae : Experimental Improvised Music

July 16th, 2017 Posted by Computer Music / Digital Arts, Creations No Comment yet

Rapide présentation d’un nouveau projet de Plastic Lobster: ORCAE.

En quelques mots, Orcæ est un trio de musique expérimentale, essentiellement électronique, dont les influences s’étendent de la musique électroacoustique au noise, post-rock, ou encore l’ambiant ou le drone.
La particularité étant que notre musique est totalement improvisée, le fruit à « l’instant t » d’une énergie commune et d’une configuration instrumentale donnée. Parfois ça fonctionne très bien, parfois moins, mais ce processus nous plaît beaucoup.
Les enregistrements que nous diffuserons en ligne sont des extraits de ces sessions d’improvisation, présentés presque tels quels (hormis quelques légers post-traitements), et les prestations live que nous souhaitons faire à l’avenir suivront ce même modèle.

Première démo en téléchargement libre!

Quick presentation of a new musical project: ORCAE.

Briefly, we are Orcæ, a trio of experimental, mostly electronic music, with influences ranging from electroacoustic to noise, post-rock, ambient or drone.
Our music is entirely improvised: it is the result at a given time of a certain collective energy, and a specific instrumental configuration. Sometimes it works great, sometimes not so much, but we enjoy working this way a lot.
The recordings that we will put online are extracts of these improvisation sessions, presented almost as-is (except for some minimal post-processing), and the live performances that we hope to give in the future will follow this approach.
Hopefully this will help you to better understand and be tolerant towards the (many) imperfections of our first demo, which is free download (link above)!

Gemini Triptych

June 13th, 2017 Posted by Creations No Comment yet

Bandes sonores réalisées en été 2016 pour un tripyque de films courts, commandés par la marque Beardalizer.

Soundtracks for a triptych of videos created for the Beardalizer brand in 2016.