Huddersfield Experimental Laptop Orchestra

13.1 Surround

HELO Experimental Group 2011

for an amplified laptop orchestra of 13 people

Experimental laptop composition based around a circle of laptop players, hooked up to each other via their inputs and outputs (to an amp).

The circle starts with THE SOUND MAKER :-x who provides the signal/sample to the next person in the group. Each laptop will have a delay set (say under 1 second) and the sound will eventually get passed around the circle, creating a surround effect. That’s cool =)

At any given point, there is the possibility that another sample could be added from around the circle from anyone. This will then add to the sounds currently in the loop.

Each person can affect the input into their laptop using effects. It may be more sensible if the effects were less noticable at the beginning of the circle and then gradually got ‘harsher’ as they went round, as you may end up with a complex “in your face” :-\ signal.

The samples can be a mixture of short and long signals, but this will have to be experimented with.

There will be one player, THE VOLUMIZER 8-) who controls the overal volume of the output, as he/she will be at the end of the circle before it reaches THE SOUND MAKER :-x

Basically thats the rough composition, before we look into the compositional score (sections, samples etc) we are in the process of experimented if the loop will work, as well as any possible latency and other issues.


Could everybody be ready with a delay and gate in their DAW of choice so that we can go straight into practice, could everyone also get there an hour earlier so we can have more time with it


There is a 24 channel patch bay in the tech stores which could be used to link the laptops up, using minijack to 2 X 1/4” mono (2 per player).

Sound Samples

As a backup, we all need at least one sound (of the same) so that IF the patching method doesn’t work, then we can manually play the piece. Please could at least a few people submit a sound, these will then have to be downloaded by EVERYONE in the group so we all have the same:

Piano Samples