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New book: Making Space


I just saw a new book announced that seems pretty interesting. The author has also made an online MOOC at Coursera.


Making Space
How the Brain Knows Where Things Are
Jennifer M. Groh

Knowing where things are seems effortless. Yet our brains devote tremendous computational power to figuring out the simplest details about spatial relationships. Going to the grocery store or finding our cell phone requires sleuthing and coordination across different sensory and motor domains. Making Space traces this mental detective work to explain how the brain creates our sense of location. But it goes further, to make the case that spatial processing permeates all our cognitive abilities, and that the brain’s systems for thinking about space may be the systems of thought itself.

Our senses measure energy in the form of light, sound, and pressure on the skin, and our brains evaluate these measurements to make inferences about objects and boundaries. Jennifer Groh describes how eyes detect electromagnetic radiation, how the brain can locate sounds by measuring differences of less than one one-thousandth of a second in how long they take to reach each ear, and how the ear’s balance organs help us monitor body posture and movement. The brain synthesizes all this neural information so that we can navigate three-dimensional space.

But the brain’s work doesn’t end there. Spatial representations do double duty in aiding memory and reasoning. This is why it is harder to remember how to get somewhere if someone else is driving, and why, if we set out to do something and forget what it was, returning to the place we started can jog our memory. In making space the brain uses powers we did not know we have.

Versioning Reaper projects using GIT



The Reaper DAW just gets cooler by the day. I’ve just set up a small test project, set the folder up as a GIT repository, and made a few commits. Next step was to branch out, do commits at the two branches, and then merge them back in.

It turns out the the Reaper project format is text based. When merging I got a conflict, as expected, but it was straight forward to merge, and all changes survived.

This means that it will be possible to do distributed editing of Reaper projects. I will be using this shortly (as in the next few hours). I am about to start editing recordings of conversations with Gerhard Eckel in Stockholm earlier this fall. We spent a couple of days reflecting on our artistic practices, and generally talking about sound, space, place and whatever else matters in the life of geeky sound artists.

MIAP (Manifold-Interface Amplitude Panning)



MIAP is a new, free, and expanded implementation of Meyer Sound’s SpaceMap abstract spatialization tool implemented as a suite of Max/MSP and Pure Data externals.

From a quick glance at examples and help patches, this seems to be based on the principle of 2D triangulation.

Lydlandskap - text for exhibition by Line Hvoslef



I have written a text for the opening of the exhibition “Lydlandskap” by Line Hvoslef at USF Visningsrommet. In this exhibition Line combines painting, drawing, mechanics, sound and electronics into a really interesting work.

The full text (in Norwegian) can be read here.

Photo by Torill Nøst, used by permission, all rights reserved.

ATK Reaper 4 and a screencast


Preparing B-format sound files from Trond Lossius on Vimeo.

ATK for Reaper v. 1.0 beta 4 is now out, and can be downloaded here. This version fix an issue with matrix-based encoders reported to the Reaper forum, and adds a new utility plugin that can be useful when preparing recordings for ambisonic processing.

I have had several questions regarding how to extract the relevant channels from recordings on multichannel portable hard disk recorders. The above screencast illustrates how I am doing this myself.


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