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Field-recording trip with Jeremy Welsh

2014-08-04

Atmospherics_iii

A few weeks ago me and Jeremy Welsh went for a two day video and sound field recording trip to Nord-Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane. The trip was the kick-start for a new collaborative project – “River Deep Mountain High : The Atmospherics”. In the coming months we are planning more field recording trips like this, collecting ambisonic surround sound field recordings and nigh-resolution (4K) moving image for a a new series of work that might take various forms such as short film, installation, or video screening.

In every way this was an inspiring trip. The weather was absolutely fantastic, and staying over in Dale in Fjaler we had the added bonus of meeting up with Torkild Sandsund in e´the evening again.

I am now listening through the several hours of sound recordings from the trip. In the process of doing so, writings by Michel Chion and Salome Vogelin comes to mind.

In a recent essay in Wire, Salome Vogelin criticises a somewhat naive tendency within some of current field recording practice where the recordings are understood as capturing the essence of what was recorded, and an accompanying naive belief that reproductions of the recordings will be able to mediate this essence to the audience. “This age of innocence, now abandoned or ironised by photography, is hard to shift in the invisible realm of phonography. The difficulty partly arises from the recordists’ trust in their own multisensory memory of the field. They mistake the reduced sonic data for the sensorial complexity of the contingent encounter, and forget the frame of reference left behind that needs reframing if it is to trigger anything.”

Atmospherics

I agree that this would be a naive assumption. One of the fascinations I have with surround (ambisonic) field recordings is that the recordings carry the notion of a place, but they do not carry any notion of the place. The mediated sound, removed from the original time and place, and detached from the parallel sensory information provided by vision, smell, heat or cold, and the general bodily experience of the place, becomes abstracted and generic.

This can be seen as the first of a series of abstractions that the recorded sound from the field enables and possibly enforce. According to Michel Chion, repeated playback of recorded sound is a prerequisite for reduced listening: “When we listen acousmatically to recorded sounds it takes repeated hearings of a single sound to allow us gradually to stop attending to its cause and to more accurately perceive its inherent traits” 1, p. 32.

For me it is this potent field of tension between concrete representation and abstracted sound and abstracted and (re)synthesised place that I want to explore further. If I just wanted to transport the audience to the various places that I record, it would make more sense to simply take them for a walk.

 

1 Michel Chion (1990): Audio-vision. Sound on screen. Columbia University Press

CfP: 1st Web Audio Conference (WAC) — Ircam and Mozilla Paris, France, 26–28 January 2015

2014-07-08

This conference seems interesting:

WAC is the first international conference on web audio technologies and applications. http://wac.ircam.fr

The conference welcomes web R&D developers, audio processing scientists, application designers and people involved in web standards.

The conference addresses research, development, design, and standards concerned with emerging audio-related web technologies such as Web Audio API, Web RTC, Web Sockets, and Javascript.

Contributions to the first edition of WAC are encouraged in, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Innovative audio and music based web applications (with social and user experience aspects)
  • Client-side audio processing (real-time or non real-time)
  • Audio data and metadata formats and network delivery
  • Server-side audio processing and client access
  • Client-side audio engine and rendering
  • Frameworks for audio manipulation
  • Web Audio API design and implementation
  • Client-side audio visualization
  • Multimedia integration
  • Web standards and use of standards within audio based web projects
  • Hardware, tangible interface and use of Web Audio API

Call for submissions

  • Technical papers – 2 to 8 pages
  • Demo / Poster
  • Web Audio Gig – involving usage of the Web Audio API and “audience devices participation”

October 10, 2014: Deadline for submission -
https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=wac15

Please refer to the WAC website for additional information:
http://wac.ircam.fr

Max4Live live.dial widget trick

2014-07-07

M4l_trick

I’m currently in the process of overhauling the views of all Jamoma stereo audio modules to use Max4Live widgets in preparation for the Jamoma 0.6 release.

In particular live.dial is fast becoming a favourite, as this widget provides a graphical and numerical display of value, as well as info on what parameter it is controlling, and the unit used.

However, I’ve had one problem: If the unit is set to decibels, it only displays decibel with decimals for values in the [-10, 10] range. Today I got a tip from Emmanuel Jourdan. If I instead set the unit Style to Custom, I can use sprintf expressions to get what I want.

The same trick can be used with live.numbox.

Seminar on surround sound recordings

2014-03-21

1921091_10152274473944326_787390053_o

Photo by Jana Winderen

Saturday March 29 I am participating in a one day seminar at Atelier Nord ANX in Oslo on surround sound recordings, alongside Jana Winderen and Gisle Tveito. This will be a hands-on sharing experience and thoughs kind of seminar, and in Norwegian, and I’m very much looking forward to it!

More info here

Customising TexShop editor color scheme

2014-03-17

Screen_shot_2014-03-17_at_08

I’m currently writing up submissions for upcoming conferences, preferring to use LaTex rather than regular word processors. However I find the default “black font on white background” colour scheme of the TexShop editor straining to the eye when at it for hours. The TexShop Preferences does not leave much options for customising its colours, but it seems like more can be done as a series of Terminal commands. So here are the commands required to use the Solaraized color scheme, retrieved from one of the issues in the Solarized repository:

	# solarized dark color scheme

	# background = solarized base03 = 0  43  54
	defaults write TeXShop background_R 0.00
	defaults write TeXShop background_G 0.169
	defaults write TeXShop background_B 0.212

	# commands = solarized red = 220  50  47
	defaults write TeXShop commandred 0.86
	defaults write TeXShop commandgreen 0.196
	defaults write TeXShop commandblue 0.184

	# comments = solarized base01 = 88 110 117
	defaults write TeXShop commentred 0.345
	defaults write TeXShop commentgreen 0.431
	defaults write TeXShop commentblue 0.459

	# foreground = solarized base0 = 131 148 150
	defaults write TeXShop foreground_R 0.514
	defaults write TeXShop foreground_G 0.580
	defaults write TeXShop foreground_B 0.589

	# index = solarized magenta = 211  54 130
	defaults write TeXShop indexred 0.83
	defaults write TeXShop indexgreen 0.21
	defaults write TeXShop indexblue 0.51

	# marker = solarized cyan = 42 161 152
	defaults write TeXShop markerred 0.165
	defaults write TeXShop markergreen 0.63
	defaults write TeXShop markerblue 0.596

	# insertionpoint = solarized base0 = 131 148 150
	defaults write TeXShop insertionpoint_R 0.514
	defaults write TeXShop insertionpoint_G 0.580
	defaults write TeXShop insertionpoint_B 0.589

And here are the commands required for the solarized light colour scheme:

	# solarized light color scheme

	# background = solarized base3 = 253 246 227
	defaults write TeXShop background_R 0.99
	defaults write TeXShop background_G 0.96
	defaults write TeXShop background_B 0.89

	# commands = solarized red = 220  50  47
	defaults write TeXShop commandred 0.86
	defaults write TeXShop commandgreen 0.196
	defaults write TeXShop commandblue 0.184

	# comments = solarized base1 = 147 161 161
	defaults write TeXShop commentred 0.58
	defaults write TeXShop commentgreen 0.63
	defaults write TeXShop commentblue 0.63

	# foreground = solarized base00 = 101 123 131
	defaults write TeXShop foreground_R 0.40
	defaults write TeXShop foreground_G 0.48
	defaults write TeXShop foreground_B 0.51

	# index = solarized magenta = 211  54 130
	defaults write TeXShop indexred 0.83
	defaults write TeXShop indexgreen 0.21
	defaults write TeXShop indexblue 0.51

	# marker = solarized cyan = 42 161 152
	defaults write TeXShop markerred 0.165
	defaults write TeXShop markergreen 0.63
	defaults write TeXShop markerblue 0.596

	# insertionpoint = solarized base00 = 101 123 131
	defaults write TeXShop insertionpoint_R 0.40
	defaults write TeXShop insertionpoint_G 0.48
	defaults write TeXShop insertionpoint_B 0.51

If you want to do further customisations, you might also want to check out DonSchado’s Ruby script. And while at it, let’s customise the distance between lines in the editor as well:

	defaults write TeXShop SourceInterlineSpace 10.0

According to documentation only values between .5 and 40.0 will be accepted. The standard line spacing is given by the default 1.0, and double spacing is given by the value 10.0.

 
 
 

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