This was just too funny not to post, and I was introduced to it by one of my sound class students. Right after I sort of trashed the scientistic nature of the studio process that negates freeflow of creative expression. I guess some flows need to be genetically engineered!
Posts Tagged: ‘audio’
I am sharing one of the latest recordings I made with also my first attempts at my own scene – The Everyday Listener. It has four pages/stages going from a more heavily processed, musical environment to a more “natural” one. I guess I was intrigued by the idea of introducing natural sounds (water, birds chirping) into an application that also samples and transforms one’s surrounding environment (which for me is often transit, traffic, street noise, etc.). I am yet to do more purposeful trips to record and preview different surroundings, not necessarily just with my scene, others too. I particularly like everything made by Kids on DSP – great stuff! And it is too bad I was never able to use “A Tool through which to experience the city” – when it actually managed to load, which was one of out ten times, it sounded terrible, and inevitably resulted in static noise. I realize the slowness may have to do with the fact that my phone is just a 3G, so a bit slower, but I think somehow it should work better.
Anyways, I am already thinking of a new scene that perhaps doesn’t use music per se, but synthetic drones and again moves towards a natural soundscape. Or, just a one-pager with some bird sounds and processed mic input. Simple but it might be fun. And then I can go out and compare a whole bunch of environments with their typical sounds. Hmm.
Here is one example of using the scene I created, I believe on the skytrain again.
Finally, someone has created a wiki-entry for what has been going on in the recording and music industry for decades now – (oh, and let’s not forget the advertising industry, one of the biggest culprits) – cranking up the volume on everything by expanding the dynamic range to the brim and running through a limiter. This wikipedia post named Loudness Wars, traces some examples.
Ever since I listened to a talk by one of the lead sound designers at the UK-based Electronic Arts about their work on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, I’ve been impressed. The actually took the time to incorporate stealth mode with sound (i.e. moving the character slowly enough so that their footsteps are soft enough not to be overheard by the guards) Even rudimentary, this is still more than a lot of other, more serious RPGs can say for themselves. That game also featured, as I recall, an affect-driven musical composing real-time algorithm – e.g. if you are doing well as Harry, the music subtly takes on a more major tonality, more victorious, happy overtones; if you are not progressing well the music takes on darker, minor tones.
The video below is a short overview of the basic sound design process that the UK Harry Potter team has gone through in the latest version of the game. It’s refreshing to see a female audio professional there too for a change!
Just wanted to share two apps that I recently discovered for the iPhone. I was looking and trying to sift through various audio tools that are of decent quality given the hardware limitations (of which I am yet to educate myself).
One of them comes from Faber Acoustical I haven’t personally tried it, but it looks really good. So good, I had a dream about it (#nerddreams, what can you do). The Suite is $9.99, while the Sound Level Meter app standalone is $19.99, while a smaller app called dB is only 99 cents. As I don’t own any of them I can’t tell why the price disparity, as “dB” is a fun all-in-one snapshot of life – takes a picture with the date, time and dB measure for posterity. Some guesses are that perhaps “dB” doesn’t have A/C scale-weighting or other typical pro-SLM settings. However, in my opinion, unless you have a pro SML (those are in the vicinity of thousands of $$$) it might not be worth spending $20 on an app that you can’t calibrate professionally. I still think I’ll buy dB though, it’s too cute. And the Signal Suite, looks pretty good.
The other SLM comes from Studio Six Digital and is simply called SPL. I already bought that one ($8.99) and it’s quite good I think, readings seem accurate and stable, too bad I had already stored about six values before I realized the trim (the calibration setting) is set to +17.5 dB as default. Boo. I’ll have to redo those. Studio Six Digital also suggest a pro-calibration but offer that a typical trim would be +7 dB on the internal iPhone 3GS mic. I will give that a whirl.
Dare to Dream
Here is what I would ideally like – and why, oh why doesn’t it exist: A sound level meter app that comes with a signal noise generator for accurate calibration; many more slots for saving readings, a image capture capability with annotation (create a complete aural postcard of a place!); an embedded Spectrum and RTA visualization with each reading; A capture function – record dB readings or just peak values over a period of time; and an export function to export all the beautiful data in some great format to my computer.
Is that too much to ask?