​Pulsar Synthesis - Eric Schmid


Curtis Roads writes, "Pulsar synthesis (PS) is a method of electronic music synthesis based on the generation of trains of sonic particles. PS can produce either rhythms or tones as it criss‐crosses perceptual time spans. The basic method generates sounds similar to vintage electronic music sonorities, with several important enhancements. The advanced method combines multiple pulsar trains and convolution with sampled sounds." This release explores the phenomenological effects of pulsar synthesis on perception.
As Hakwan Lau writes, "How do we explain the seemingly rich nature of visual phenomenology while accounting for impoverished perception in the periphery? This apparent mismatch has led some to posit that rich phenomenological content overflows cognitive access, whereas others hold that phenomenology is in fact sparse and constrained by cognitive access. Here, we review the Rich versus Sparse debate as it relates to a phenomenon called subjective inflation, wherein minimally attended or peripheral visual perception tends to be subjectively evaluated as more reliable than attended or foveal perception when objective performance is matched. We argue that subjective inflation can account for rich phenomenology without invoking phenomenological overflow. On this view, visual phenomenology is constrained by cognitive access, but seemingly inflated above what would be predicted based on sparse sensory content." This release questions the 'subjective inflation' inherent to perception related to the question of whether the listener fills-in the holes or gaps of auditory experience by a rich phenomenology or does the subject inflate their cognitively poor sparse perception?
Subjective inflation is defined by Lau: "Inflation can be defined as the subjective overestimation of the reliability or quality of the sensory representations themselves … in inflation, the representations themselves are not necessarily filled in with details but are subjectively misestimated to be rich in content. Across the entire visual periphery, it is unlikely filling-in processes provide all the fine details in early sensory regions in a precise, pixelated representation instantly as soon as we view a scene". Ultimately, this hearkens back to Piaget's developmental psychology where the child intuitively understands the topology of a cup being half-full or empty based on perception and the rich phenomenology of the subject. This metacognitive intuition is further corroborated by Jean Petitot's work on 'neurogeometry,' where he defines a 'functional architecture of vision' defined by sub-Riemannian geometry, where perception is perfectly modelled by 'cut loci'. But more importantly, this substantiates the thesis of a transcendental method of 'pure reason' that is a-priori to the subject and therefore a universal condition of possibility to empirical experience.
As Reza Negarestani writes: "Perception is only perception because it is apperception, and apperception is only apperceptive in that it is an artefact of a deprivatized semantic space within which recognitive-cognitive agents emerge as by-products of a deeply impersonal space which they themselves have formally conditioned. The intertwining of semantic structure and deprivatized sociality enables mind to posit itself as an irreducible ‘unifying point or configuring factor’ that extends into, encompasses, and integrates both consciousness of itself and consciousness of the universe. In conceiving itself as the configurative or structuring consciousness of itself in the world (or universe), mind is endowed with a history rather than a mere nature or past. It becomes an artefact or object of its own conception. Where there is the possibility of having a history, there is also the possibility of having not only the concept of the concept, but also a history of history—a critical transformation of mind as an object of its own concept, and the critical reconception of the object into which it has transformed. And once there is a history of history, there is the possibility of abolishing what is given in history or purports to be its consummate totality."
This release was made using SuperCollider.
The code used for SuperCollider was found online here: https://scsynth.org/t/pulsar-synthesis/1618/2 .
Thank you to Daniel Mayer for generously posting his code online.
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