Karlheinz Essl

Portrait KHE


Modular Algorithmic Zound Environment
1998 - 2012

Basics | CD | mp3 | Videos | Literature

m@ze°2 is a computer-based electronic instrument which serves as a realtime environment for composition and improvisation as well. This project is another attempt to realize an old idea that has been haunting me for many years: the vision of a music

This software is written entirely in MAX, taking advantage of Karlheinz Essl's Real Time Composition Library (RTC-lib). It is based on an ever-growing database of carefully selected samples. They are processed in realtime by so-called structure generators which are triggered and controlled by the computer keyboard, the mouse, foot pedals, MIDI controllers and a webcam. An elaborated section of DSP routines (including reverb, harmonizer, transposer, pitch shifter, equalizer, LFO, ring modulator, and panning) enables the player to process the generated sound structures on the fly.

NB: This software is not public domain. It is used by its author, the composer Karlheinz Essl, as an electronic instruments for his solo performances and improvisations with other musicians. However, several modules of m@ze°2 are available as freeware or shareware: REplay PLAYer (a generative sound shredder), fLOW (an ambient sound generator), and Amazing Maze (an interactive realtime composition for sampled sound particles).

Karlheinz Essl and his m@ze°2 environment

Karlheinz Essl amidst his m@ze°2 environment:

2x MIDI controllers with 16 faders, 1x MIDI controller with 16 rotary knobs
RME Hammerfall audio interface, Behringer mixing desk

Photo © 2007 by Didi Sattmann

CD release

In 1999, Karlheinz Essl has recorded a solo CD with live performances played on his m@ze°2 realtime composition environment. As the original limited CD edition is sold out, you can still listen to it on SoundCloud where you can download all tracks for free.


User interface of m@ze°2

User interface of the m@ze°2 realtime composition environment (1999-2012)


Karlheinz Essl improvising on his m@ze°2 realtime composition environment
Project Arts Centre, Dublin (21 Oct 2011)
Portrait Concert Karlheinz Essl

Karlheinz Essl performing Demo Crazy on his realtime composition environment m@ze°2
Pernegg, Parish church (20 Aug 2009)
12th GlobArt Academy

Karlheinz Essl improvising with m@ze°2 together with Gerald Preinfalk and Jörg Engels
Klosterneuburg, Essl Museum (21 Nov 2009)

Karlheinz Essl: free improv with m@ze°2
Klagenfurt, Alpe-Adria-Universität (15 Jan 2009)
A-m@ze-ing - Portrait Karlheinz Essl

Karlheinz Essl performing Sonnez la cloche!
Berlin, 401contemporary fine arts gallery (13 Jun 2009)
SOUND MARKS - Solo performance Karlheinz Essl


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Updated: 6 Oct 2015