Monday, May 29, 2006

Week 11

I missed the Audio Arts this week so I’ll comment quickly on the articles. The two SOS (Sound on Sound) articles were quite interesting although I am unsure if I will be able to implement some of the techniques in my major. There are 2 reasons for this, I’m unsure if we have the plug-ins mentioned in the article and wether they are appropriate for my recording of a five piece jazz band. I found The Darkness article very interesting. The amount of time that was spent recording the same thing but with a different mic placement or amp or room was astonishing not to mention the fact that it was all recorded on tape. Stav’s article contained some useful tips. My recording will have a limited time so the article was quite relevant to me.

David was sick this week so we didn’t have workshop so it was straight into forum. Stephen spoke to us this week about the area of vocoding and distributed performance, which has been an interest of his for some years. For Approaches to Music my research topic was on using the Internet and computer networks to make music so the relevance was convenient. I am quite interested in using the Internet as an interactive music tool. I had seen VoiP whilst looking at broadband Internet pricing but I hadn’t thought of VoiP as a use for distributed performance.

Whittington, Stephen. "Vocoding and Distributed Performance" Forum presented at the Electronic Music Unit, EMU Space, University of Adelaide, 25 May.

Super Collider work to come son…

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Adelaide Symhony Orchaestra - The Edge

I heard on Triple j the other week that the ASO will be performing arrangments of modern "rock" songs. Found this info on the ASO website..

The Edge will seek out the sounds of contemporary culture fusing the music of the X and Y generations to the classical. The Edge will merge the forces of Triple J with ABC Classic FM, 1960’s French poet of jazz Serge Gainsbourg with Radiohead, Sigur Rós, Muse and Jeff Buckley. The emergent sounds will have its audience listening to music standing bravely on The Edge! These late-night, one hour concerts at the ASO’s Grainger Studio will be recorded for broadcast on Triple J Radio with the support of ABC Classic FM.

Good to see the ASO doing something to try and connect with a new generation. Kinda makes me wonder why certian parts of my study seem to be stuck in the past.

The first series is..
The Edge: Re-writes
Grainger Studio, 91 Hindley Street

Thursday 27 July at 9pm
Friday 28 July at 9pm

The second series is..
The Edge: New Beats
Grainger Studio, 91 Hindley Street

Friday 1 December at 10pm

ASO website link

Monday, May 22, 2006

Red Bull Lectures...

I stumbled across the Red Bull Music Academy website which features a great section of lectures by the guest presenters. Some very interesting topics are covered.

Go forth and watch!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Week 10

Mixing was covered in Audio Arts this week. I had never really known the process that I should go through when mixing a recording. I was happy to find I knew the basics for example removing the excess at the start and ends of recordings/tracks., make sure everything is flat i.e. effects, eq, etc, set the panning, invert tracks which need their phase inverted i.e. figure 8 in mid side piano recording and underneath snare mic and finally set up groups. Once this is done we are ready to mix. Usually you start with the drums then the bass. Other rhythm instruments are then done followed by the melody instruments and finally the vocals are done last. David gave us a quick run down of EQ-ing particularly with the drums. My knowledge of EQ-ing has been quite limited so it was good to have some clarification. David explained that it is better to reduce frequencies rather than boost the others around it. The one thing we did learn though is that the better the microphone placement, the easier EQ-ing will be and the better it will sound.

Grice, David. 2006. Mixing. Tutorial presented at the Electronic Music Unit, University of Adelaide, 16 May.

The music of workshop this week primarily featured two artists/composers, Mr Bungle and Karlheinz Stockhausen. The first song we listened to was Love Is a Fist by Mr Bungle. Followed by Dead Goon off Mr Bunlge’s self titled album. The sound of the record reminded my of the Red Hot Chili Peppers album “What Hits!?” Mr Bungle” was released in 1991 and “What Hits!?” was released in 1992 both I felt shared a similar bass sound that was reminiscent of the later years of the 80’s.

Image from Bungle Fever

Stockhausen’s experiments with short-wave radio led to the composition “Hymen”. Stockhausen used short wave radio to obtain interesting sounds then used voice recordings, looping and other filtering to create the piece. Hymen had many ideas inside the one song with the piece regularly skipping in-between the different ideas. This idea was called moment form and was adopted by Mr Bungle in their compositions, although on a more accessible level. We finished with “To Love Knows When” by My Bloody Valentine. Nice piece although I wasn’t sure of the relevance to the days class.

Harris, David. 2006. Workshop presented at the Electronic Music Unit, EMU Space, University of Adelaide, 18 May.

Forum was interesting this week. Robert Chalmers, an employee of the university came to talk to us legal issues that effect us as users and consumers of music technology. The issues of copyright and intellectual property featured in relation to sampling. One thing that I didn’t know was that the date for things to go into public domain is now 70 years after the death of the composer rather than 50. We also spent a lot of time discussing the mash up which we had discussed in Perspectives at the start of the term. The legalities of the mash up are very blurry and chances are a bedroom producer will be breaking the law when they attempt to create one. Robert pointed us to a blog for more up to date information on copyright and intellectual property in Australia.

Chalmers, Robert. "Law, Music and Technology" Forum presented at the Electronic Music Unit, EMU Space, University of Adelaide, 18 May.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Week 9

This week’s Audio Arts class saw us focus on the topic of reverb. I had used reverb previously for spatial effects in 5.1 mixing but I didn’t really know about using it for vocals and other instruments. In Pro Tools David showed us how the various parameters on the Digidesign D-Verb effect the sound. We then patched in the Ensoiq reverb unit installed in the rack. It was good to hear what a decent reverb (compared to the D-Verb) sounds like. David then showed us the range of reverb settings such as the gated reverb in the unit. I’m looking forward to experimenting more with this hardware in the future.

Digidesign D-Verb image from Sound On Sound

Grice, David. 2006. Reverb. Tutorial presented at the Electronic Music Unit, University of Adelaide, 9 May.

This week workshop got me thinking about the relevance of what we were listening to. We listened to Pink Floyd’s Shine On You Crazy Diamond. Apart from the odd synth part I wasn’t sure whey we were actually listening to it. It would have been good to get some explanation from David. We also listened to a turntablist called Christian Marlcay from the 1980’s. One piece was a music concrete style montage of John Cage compositions which was interesting. The other Marclay compositions we listened to were “scratched” collages of original works including Hendirx Strauss (only one artist per song). The music concrete style is about all I could draw links with to our study. As far as turntablism is concerned the past decade has seen the development of new techniques that are much more interesting and challenging than what was shown to us. For example the Invisable Skratch Piklz recreated the effect of a band by scratching records of various instuments to create their own compositions. Here is a link to a small clip of 3 members of the group performing.

Invisable Skratch Piklz image from Wikipedia

Harris, David. 2006. Workshop presented at the Electronic Music Unit, EMU Space, University of Adelaide, 11 May.

This week’s forum continued on from last week with presentations from two more honours students. Seb Tomczak was first to present to us his project of developing Do-It-Yourself Physical Interface for Music Technology. Seb explained that his aim was to develop a cheap interface for transferring physical data i.e. from light or infrared sensors to digital data on computer for music technology applications. Seb then explained that he would be using the MJoy Mapper to convert the data and some of the background and costs behind MJoy. I look forward to seeing Seb’s progress later on in the Year.

Darren Curtis
was followed Seb and introduced us to his topic of Frequency Medicine. I found Darren’s topic quite interesting although some parts went over my head. It was interesting to hear about something completely different to what I had heard of before. It seems like a very big topic to be researching

Curtis, Darren and Tomczak, Seb. "Honours Topics" Forum presented at the Electronic Music Unit, EMU Space, University of Adelaide, 11 May.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Week 8

Voiceover recording was the topic for Audio Arts this week. Christian had sent out an email recently asking for people to record voiceovers for the media student’s commercials so David gave us the low down on the process. Some things I found obvious such as recording in the dead room, using the pop shield, etc. however the topic of compression was quite new to me. Compression is used to reduce the dynamic range of a signal. On most compressors there are 4 main things you can adjust, the ratio, threshold, gain and attack/release. For voiceovers the idea is to have the signal as loud as possible to draw the attention of the listener. To do that the ratio was set at 4:1, the threshold was set to minimise the dynamic range and the gain was turned up just below clipping level. It was good to learn about compression and I look forward to applying it in my Audio Arts assignment.

Grice, David. 2006. Voiceover Recording. Tutorial presented at the Electronic Music Unit, University of Adelaide, 2 May.

I workshop this week we listened to rock music that was influenced by electronic music techniques and instruments. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa and Pierre Henry were the featured composers. Some of the pieces gave me flashbacks to first year with the use music concrete techniques. It was also good to hear the VCS III used in Breathe by Pink Floyd.

Harris, David. 2006. Workshop presented at the Electronic Music Unit, EMU Space, University of Adelaide, 4 May.

Honours student Tim Swalling spoke to us about his honours project looking at A-Life in music. Tim explained to us what a-life was and had various examples of the different programs that use a-life to create music. He also discussed his aims and issues for his study. Tim’s speech was informative and easy to understand. Honours student Jasmine Ward then spoke about her studies. I found Jasmine’s talk to be hard to grasp. It seemed that she may have been nervous as she was talking rather fast. This made it hard to understand exactly what she was talking about as she was talking about something new before I could grasp what she had just said. A handout similar to Tim’s with a basic outline of the talk may have helped with this problem.

Swalling, Tim and Ward, Jasmine. "Honours Topics" Forum presented at the Electronic Music Unit, EMU Space, University of Adelaide, 4 May.