I Does DAT

Interactive Jam Machine
January 18, 2007, 4:58 pm
Filed under: Sound Practice

For the main sound project I intend to make an interactive jam machine. It should beat match and pitch match incoming sound (via microphone or instrument) and generate other parts of a song, allowing one musician to create a full band performance using just one instrument.

I will be making this using Pure Data.

One Man Band


Hearing and seeing patterns
November 2, 2006, 4:08 pm
Filed under: Dissertation, Major Project, Sound Practice

It seems quite irrelavant to anything I’m working on really but I thought it was interesting: apparently it’s easier to hear patterns in protein strands by assigning musical notes to individual amino acids than it is to see them in a visual list. This seems pretty simple and obvious to me, although a good idea from these scientists that I wouldn’t have thought of.

Incidentally, this is one my the best blogs I’ve found for little nuggets of research. There are often some interesting articles popping up there and a lot of them are relevant, especially when they’re technology related, so I recommend you take a gander.

Sound Applet
October 31, 2006, 3:55 pm
Filed under: Sound Practice

Our next assignment in this module is to create a sound applet, i.e. something that does something (with sound and using Max/MSP).

I’m a guitarist and for a long tme now I’ve wanted a loop pedal but buying one, although I can technically afford it, would seriously stretch my budget. This project looks to me like the ideal opportunity to have a go at making one myself. I know that it’s entirely possible with the software and support I have at my disposal so the only question mark is my own ability to get it working.

So, a loop pedal, or at least some software that does the same job – i.e. providing the ability to record samples on the fly, layer them in channels and control and loop their playback – is my intended focus for this assignment. I’m hoping the insentive of around a £200 saving will spur me on to succeed.

Max/MSP and Pure Data
October 31, 2006, 3:48 pm
Filed under: Major Project, Production of Space, Sound Practice

Throughout the year I forsee myself doing a lot of work with a very powerful piece of software called Max/MSP. In the 2nd year I created a negotiated project which was an interactive sound app and was tipped off about this software as an ideal route so I had a play with it and found it to be a style of programming (patch programming) that, on a basic level, I took to fairly well. However, this meant that my 30-day trial was used up back then and, not knowing how much I’d want to use it in the future, decided to have a go at the open source equivalent, Pure Data (pd).

Since I got to grips with this, and since it has its own advantages over Max, I intend to immerse myself in pd and use that instead. Any tips will be greatly appreciated, particularly if they help with the projects mentioned anywhere on this blog.

i-Doser: The not so shady world of sound drugs
October 27, 2006, 1:12 pm
Filed under: Dissertation, Major Project, Sound Practice

During a conversation with a friend the other day, i-Doser was brought to my attention. This is a website from which you pay for a ‘dose’ of sound which is designed to make you feel a certain way. Once the sound has finished playing, it destroys itself and you can buy another dose.

There are a whole range of doses available which the creators claim can emulate, mostly recreational, drugs from anti-depressants and coffee to cocaine and out-of-body experiences. They do this using binaural beats to stimulate the same parts of the brain as the drug itself, supposedly giving you the sensation of the drug without any of the harmful chemical side effects.

I found the whole thing very interesting, especially considering the subject of my dissertation. I’ve tried a couple of doses myself without too much effect but I believe it works and I’ll persevere. Give it a go – you get some free doses to try when you download the program.

Metropolis Mix
October 27, 2006, 12:17 am
Filed under: Sound Practice

The first assignment on the sound practice module was to create a soundtrack for a 1 minute segment of the anime version of Metropolis. To do this I used Goldwave, a simple wave editor, and Adobe Audition, which allowed me to place sound and video along side one another and therefore position sounds to link up with the visuals.

Some of the sounds I used were from sound packs of human beatboxing, some were noises I made myself using a microphone and the talking was a clip from the Mighty Boosh radio series, and I manipulated these samples using effects such as reversing, echoing, pitch adjustment, etc. in both pieces of software to get them sounding how I imagined they should.

There are two sounds running almost constantly throughout the clip. The first is a recording of the first minute of ‘ecstacy’ from i-Doser, and the other a sound taken from a previous project; an oscillating wave noise created using Pure Data. I varied the volume level of this sound to reflect the camera shot and its distance from the robot.

Finally, the music in the background which divides the clip into two sections. I wanted a low, bassy, simple piece of music for the first part so I simply played some chords on a bass guitar and layered the recording into the movie. I played using a metronome to ensure that the music would fit in place according to my calculations. I wanted to time it so that a particular chord change happened at the same point as the main explosion. The second section is Yves Klein’s ‘Monotone Symphony’, which I thought had the right sound for the moment.

Sound Installation at Hampton Court Maze
October 8, 2006, 3:19 pm
Filed under: Dissertation, Major Project, Sound Practice

Taken from http://www.hrp.org.uk/webcode/content.asp?ID=1078

Trace sound installation
Hampton Court Maze From May 2005, giggling children and scuttling feet will not be the only sounds reverberating through the hedges of the Maze – the final stage of the project is a new audio installation. Entitled Trace, this new permanent art installation has been created by internationally renowned sound artists Greyworld, commissioned by Historic Royal Palaces through the Artpoint Trust.

Drawing on the idea of the historic maze as a place of furtive conversation and flirtation, Greyworld have created a gentle soundwork that affects the visitors’ experience of their journey through the labyrinth. Visitors will be enticed along the green corridors, tempted by tantalising sounds – a fragment of music, a snatch of laughter, the seductive rustle of fine silks and the whispers of an illicit conversation – that will disappear around the winding paths.

At the centre of the Maze, touch-sensitive benches will also create subtle sounds as visitors sit to relax and contemplate their journey into – and their strategy to find their way out of – the Maze! Over a thousand self-generating sounds will be incorporated into the Maze ensuring the visitor will never experience the work in the same way twice.”

This installation aims to enhance the user’s experience of the maze and to help them appreciate its historical significance. By triggering sounds that one might have heard throughout the maze in its early days it is possible to transport the user back to that time, making it a truly immersive feature.