Montréal’s Société des Arts Techniques / by Les Stuck

 Zack Settel at the keyboard(s).

Zack Settel at the keyboard(s).

This week I visited Montréal’s Société des Arts Techniques, where I spoke with my old friend Zack Settel. He gave a sneak peek demo of his impressive recent work for the Métalab–where he has worked since its inception. The Metalab is a large immersive projection hemisphere with a 32-channel sound system (using 157 Meyer MM-4 speakers) that is used for performances and research. Zack’s project used the physical modeling engine of Unity, not only to control the video projections, but also to control sound synthesis in Pd and Supercollider, so that the virtual physics interactions created a very fluid and appealing form of counterpoint. It was enchanting.

Zack and I met in Paris when we both worked at IRCAM. Zack contributed the Forbidden Planet patch to MSP’s first release, and I updated the patch for the pfft~ object a few years later. We shared a digital studio in Paris, where he developed control software for Yamaha digital mixers and I proposed and tested the first version of MSP’s vst~ object.