Laconisme de l’aile

For general technical notes go to Electronics-general-notes.html

For solutions to common problems go to Electronics-common-solutions.html

General information

The electronics for this piece can be run with a Max patch including reverberation and harmonizers.

In both rehearsal and performance a sound engineer/musician should alter the levels of reverberation and harmonizers as indicated in the score and adjust the relative levels of the flute and electronics on the mixing desk, according to the given context (musical interpretation, equipment, acoustics of the performance space).

Alternatively, the piece can be played without computers, using external reverberation and harmonizer processors as in the original version.


latest version does require Max installation

Technical requirements for the current version

- Macintosh computer equipped with an external audio interface compatible with Max (cf:, e.g. Motu:, Digidesign:, RME:

  1. - Microphone(s) for the flute (or preferably one headset, e.g. DPA:

  2. - Mixer & stereo diffusion (possibly a return monitor for the flautist)

Technical requirements for the original version (or alternative version without computer)

- General reverberation (e.g. Lexicon PCM81)

- Harmonizers (e.g. Yamaha SPX90 or any dual pitch shifting device) - see ‘Harmonizers’ for parameters

- Microphone(s) for the flute

  1. -Mixer & stereo diffusion (possibly a return monitor for the flautist)

Harmonizers (for the original or alternative version)

Two harmonizers should be set to produce microtonal pitch shifting, the transposition being about 50 cents (1/4 tone) on either side of the input signal.

If using the Yamaha SPX90 harmonizer, select programme 22 (pitch change B) and set the parameters as follows:

pitch1 +0 / fine1 +45 cents/ delay1 20ms

pitch2 +0/ fine2 –50 cents/ delay2 15ms

Reverberation (for the original or alternative version)

If several reverberation programs are available, one should select a bright reverberation without any other effects. The reverberation time should be set to about 4.5 seconds (depending on the performance space).

Notation of the electronics

The two effects are marked with R (reverb) and H (harmonizer). Changes in the degrees of the effects are marked approximately with crescendos and diminuendos from a previous level to a new level. Dotted lines indicate that the current level should be maintained.
The percentages are advisory and should be reconsidered every time, depending on the performance space and musical interpretation.

Performance notes

If two microphones are used, they should be set symmetrically to give an even sound image, even if the musician has to move during the performance to read the score.
The ideal amplification will create a rather intimate 'close' sound.
The amplified sound should be sent to both loudspeakers. The amount of amplification required naturally depends on the concert space, but it should never totally cover the acoustic sound of the instrument (though the general level can be rather high). The level should not grow enormously when the effects are added; here the straight amplified sound can be set down slightly. Nevertheless, no abrupt changes in the sound image should be made.