ScrapFB18, Ableton Live Set by Dan Senn for live performance
ScrapFB1.2 by Dan Senn
A description of an Ableton Live Set for live improvisation and performance.
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ScrapFB1.2 was developed from the works improvised live while teaching at Ball State University in 1989 using my Scrapercussion #7 (see b/w photo to the left), now part of the Sylvia Smith Archive at the University of Akron in Ohio. Beginning in the mid-1970s, and then through the 1990s, I developed a series of non-linear sculptural instruments, some mobile for use by dancers, which consisted of suspended pieces of resonant found scrap located within a continuum of 1/4" steel rods... Read a 1983 article in Percussive Notes for more detail.

In the late 1980s I developed a crude but wonderfully efficient method for playing these instruments electronically using a simple feedback circuit. I would attach 2 contact speakers (speaker magnet without paper diaphram) to the chassis of the sculptural instrument and then 1-4 contact microphones (piezos) to various pieces of suspended scrap. The mikes leads were connected to the input of a 6-in 2-out Tascam audio mixer--each input having a left-right pan pot (potentiometer), high and low EQ pot, a slider volume pot, and a master volume pot. The output signal was sent through a stereo limiter, to a small amplifier and then back to the contact speakers. The FB was controlled-performed by raising-lowering levels for each mike input, along with the EQ and pan settings, to create an extraordinary range of newly "found" sounds that depended on the resonant properties of the scrap article it was attached to plus that of the entire instrument.

Here are a few works created live in 1989 also included as part of the set ScrapFB1.2 above: 1) Tiananmen Square, 2) Beep Boop I, and 3) Before Roulette. I toured with this instrument performing it both acoustically and using this feedback circuit for many years to zero acclaim whatsoever.

Around 2007 or so, I took about 20 samples from various FB recordings to create a soundfont that the ScrapFB1.3 set is based on. Recently, in July 2018, I developed the font further. Here is an improvisation created with ScrapFB1.2, as represented in the chart above, called March of the T Folks. Use headphones or a rubust external sound system to listen to these rauckus works.

A separate soundfont was developed for Scrapercussion #7 made from acoustic samples of the instrument struck. Late Takes, for algorithmically controlled samples and audience-thrown coins can be heard here. I have long loved the idea of money being thrown at art.

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