Piano music sound processing by Alva Noto. How?

Just wanted to ask if anybody knows how Alva Noto is processing Sakamoto piano sound in the albums they made together :slight_smile:

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It mostly sounds quite simple to me. At a guess, sampling/chopping, bit of granulation, maybe some spectral stuff for drones?

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I’ve always been curious about the mic/amplification setup; does Sakomoto just record and send off the files? Or does he have some live effects happening on the piano.

I love the sound so much that I want to believe it can be created live. But it would be hard to amplify the effects enough to match the piano sound, while also avoiding feedback.


Same. I’m curious what the live setup is, too.

i’ve read an article long time ago, basically Noto setup is a macbook+motu+max/msp and stop! sometimes a small controller, but basically a huge FFT max patch to analyse sound and make something react to it
i’ll try to find the article


here the article



Apparently a lot of custom built hard/software some using MAX for live. He has his own developer/collaborator called Nibo. This is how he describes working with RS.

“One example of this is a live analysing tool that Nibo and I built. It also functions as a sine wave generator. Its purpose is to analyse what Ryuichi plays, in this case, and then it gives me a precise frequency of the decay of the tone. I then have a choice on which sine waves I am going to add, lower or higher. I can do this in my studio, in an offline situation, but it’s not possible to do it live on stage.”


Thank you for the link to this article! :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the info shared in this post. It’s very interesting to see how different can be making an album and playing it live.

I think you could do quite a bit of the freq analysis and sine generation picking live these days using Max, or Kyma. I don’t think it would need to be an offline process.
AN doesn’t come off particularly well in that blog post…

Nowadays there are fft plugins or instruments that could do the work live