Prof. Rolf Grossmann

Rolf Großmann studied musicology, German literature, philosophy and physics at the Universities of Bonn, Siegen and Gießen (Germany), Dissertation on "Music as Communication". He is currently working at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg (Germany) as professor and director of the Center of Competence "((audio)) Aesthetic Strategies"; founding member of the Institute for Culture and Aesthetics of Digital Media (ICAM). He held lectures on digital production and aesthetics of music and on media art at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne, Popakademia Baden-Württemberg, the Bern University of the Arts, the Universities of Basel, Siegen and Hamburg. Research Interests: Technoculture and aesthetics of music; sampling, remix, virtual instruments. Most recent publications are: "Sensory Engineering. Affects and the Mechanics of Musical Time." In: Marie-Luise Angerer, Bernd Bösel, Michaela Ott (Ed.): Timing of Affect. Epistemologies, Aesthetics, Politics. 2014 (Zürich, diaphanes), p. 191-205; :"Computer als Klangmedium." (with Malte Pelleter). In: Schröter, Jens (Ed.): Handbuch Medienwissenschaft. 2014 (Suttgart, Metzler), p. 328-333.

Further information and publications



Simulation in Digital Environments for Auditory Design
with Malte Pelleter, M.A.

"Virtual analog" is a common term used to mark products and methods of the simulation of analog devices since the 1990s. Sounds, whose production and design are not dependent on the oscillation of physical masses, have existed since the electronic resonance circuits of the 1910s. Forerunners of the sampler, which simulates ("emulates") the presence of "real" instruments by means of phonographic recording, first came up in the 1950s. Today's everyday simulation in studios and live performances is based on the digital resurrection of the world of mechanical hardware, electronic tubes, tapes and patch cables, usually accompanied by photo-realistic replica of original surfaces. Simulation in this context, on the one hand, has a technological perspective, from the calculation of sawtooth waves and room reflections of famous concert halls across the physical modeling of air columns and resonance bodies to the analog behavioral modeling of analog synthesizer circuit elements. On the other hand, we find a backward-looking creative practice directly linked to it, which is shaped by its simulative framework and does not exceed the playing techniques and sonic experiences of the past.

In this context, simulation is therefore not a future or even visionary method, but has already become a commonplace method of back reference and sometimes even regress. It may sound like a paradox, but the technically elaborate simulative processes that establish the connection between digital environments and conventional instruments are essential for the handicraft tradition of making music. However, the only way of developing the potential of new digital design possibilities in music is by using and overcoming the simulation paradigm at the same time. Two central questions will need to be examined in this context: What technical and dispositive framework arises from the simulation processes in auditory design? And where in this framing can degrees of freedom for the exploration of new aesthetic strategies be found? In answering these questions, both the traditional lines of historical design practices and phonographic electronic music as well as the analysis of current technical configurations will play a role.