Peter Batchelor: composer, sound designer


Multisound sampler and gesture generator




A software sound design 'secret weapon', Clatter is a multisampler and gesture generator tool which can be used to generate dynamic new material from old sounds. Users load a (theoretically unlimited) number of samples into memory; then, by dragging a mouse over a two-dimensional 'scrubscreen', trigger these samples in rapid succession, yielding sonic gestures that mirror the physical gesture of 'scrubbing' the mouse over the screen. More extravagant movements trigger a greater number of samples, in turn producing more elaborate gestures.

Technically, the tool has similarities to granular synthesis in aggregating many small fragments of sampled data to create larger gestural shapes or textures). Unlike these tools, however, which fragment material arbitrarily, each triggered sample in Clatter maintains its full morphology (as defined by the composer when the sample is edited) and existing gestural profile, which in turn, perceptually, lends greater gestural realism to the outcome.

The results are therefore entirely dependent on the sound samples loaded; very different results will arise from different sound-types and from different combinations of sounds. The best results from each sound-type will also require different physical gesture-types from the user, making Clatter very instrument-like in character: the user is required to be reactive to the sonic outcome, performing the sounds to achieve the best results.