Sound module countdown

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The sound module asks that we submit a 2-3 minute sound piece, obviously not wanting to make it easy for myself, I am going to create two, to play with mood and emotion. I have my video very nearly finalised, but no you can’t see it.

Interestingly when I showed it to my peer group at college, they were already interpreting the footage in  many different way, with alternate storylines, and this without a soundtrack. Maybe this is an indicator of how much we need to see to be involved with the sound…

Or maybe I have got it wrong to use a visual piece to try and drive very differing emotions. But that’s me I’m a very visual person.

So the piece is ready, I just want to add a few fades, dips and ghosts over the vanilla video, so it lends itself to emotion.

Looking through my audio recordings and experiments, I know which bits worked best and those I would like to use for this module.

I have booked in for two sessions in the sound studio and hope to be on time and not too stressed.

In my last group tutorial with Suzie, she could see that I was wrangling with the question of how to make happy music/soundtrack for my experiment and she thought I should look at what parameters I would allow myself. I am torn between purely creating the sound design from found or recorded sound effects, rather than using music to get my emotional message across. I have come to the conclusion that for the purpose of this experiment I should allow myself to use music, and will be using a piece of my ukulele playing as I feel it is almost integral -for me – to connect music with upbeat/happy thoughts, it’s just the way I am…

The visuals that didn’t quite make it.

I knew pretty much from the beginning of this module that I would need to have visuals to work to and tried a couple of different things before settling on my piece. The reason that they didn’t work – I felt – was because they had no narrative to them, I got some lovely shots and the images looked how I wanted them to look, but they were too disjointed, but here are the rejects.

This is my random around Norwich sequence, I storyboarded what I wanted and managed to get most of it shot in two days, but when I came to put it together, I felt, it just didn’t work as a sequence and for my sound module, even though it’s supposed to be about the sound, I needed to have something with a little more narrative structure.

After the Norwich sequence didn’t quite work for me, and maybe it just needed a soundtrack to pull it together, but I wouldn’t have been happy working on it. I then looked to create a narrative using my to hand actress – my youngest Daughter. I found her drawing in the front room and with the sun streaming through the window it lit her face up beautifully, and it instantly fired my imagination to use a central character to drive some narrative.

I intersposed her drawing with the tap dripping to give a sense of time and waiting, but in the edit, although it looks lovely, it just didn’t go anywhere , this was mostly down to seeing something visually beautiful, but not having any thought  behind it go into it… I needed to storyboard this idea a little more with a central character. Which is exactly what I did to get the sequence I am now using.

Julian Treasure – TED talks

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This is a lovely little talk by Julian Treasure on a very basic level about how sound affects us..

Playing sound effects both pleasant and awful, Julian Treasure shows how sound affects us in four significant ways. Listen carefully for a shocking fact about noisy open-plan offices.

  • “[Ocean surf] has the frequency of roughly 12 cycles per minute. And … 12 cycles per minute is [also] roughly the frequency of the breathing of a sleeping human. There is a deep resonance with being at rest.”
  • “Birdsong is a sound which most people find reassuring. There is a reason for that. Over hundreds of thousands of years we’ve learned that when the birds are singing, things are safe. It’s when they stop you need to be worried.”
  • “You are one-third as productive in open-plan offices as in quiet rooms.”
  • “Sound is complex. There are many countervailing influences. It can be a bit like a bowl of spaghetti: sometimes you just have to eat it and see what happens.”
  • “The world is now so noisy with this cacophony going on visually and auditorily, it’s just hard to listen; it’s tiring to listen.”
  • “We spend roughly 60 percent of our communication time listening, but we’re not very good at it. We retain just 25 percent of what we hear.”

Better Listening- Julian Treasure

In our louder and louder world, says sound expert Julian Treasure, “We are losing our listening.” In this short, fascinating talk, Treasure shares five ways to re-tune your ears for conscious listening — to other people and the world around you.

Sound Health…

our increasingly noisy world is gnawing away at our mental health — even costing lives. He lays out an 8-step plan to soften this sonic assault (starting with those cheap earbuds) and restore our relationship with sound.

Video, Sound, Effects

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I really like the way the video turned out, but being an inquisitive soul, I wondered, could I push it further with a little tweaking to the video with some special effects in Premiere…?

Yes… I think I can…

What I wanted was a vignette (oval) effect on a couple of the shots, but premiere only provides a circle, I may have been able to create one in photoshop and bring it in, but I thought I would see what Premiere had to offer straight out of the box. It works fairly well and I like you can use it as a alpha mask, perfect… All of the controls such as feather edge, alpha mask, center points and percentages are so familiar to me it was a breeze to alter it how I wanted it too look, pretty much the same as in Photoshop or Illustrator, (which I have been using for over 20 years) so that definitely gives me an advantage.

I also tinted a couple of the shots, to make them slightly darker and have more of a ‘cold’ feel to them. Like this…

I wonder what you can do in Final cut pro…..

Handmade – Digitally altered…

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Short ukulele piece recorded in the studio.

Taken into logic pro and reverb, pan and fades added to give a dreamlike feel to the piece.

It works really well… very pleased with this first test to record and alter handmade sound.

It’s good to get to grips with Logic through this small test.

Gesture Recognition

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Mogees – gesture recognition to play music. I found this video and think that the possibilities are enormous, it almost seemed to good to be true!

In this video we show how it is possible to perform gesture recognition just with contact microphones and transform every surface into an interactive board.
Through gesture recognition techniques we detect different kind of fingers-touch and associate them with different sounds.
In the video we used two different audio synthesis techniques:
1- physic modelling, which consists in generating the sound by simulating physical laws;
2- concatenative synthesis (audio mosaicing), in which the sound of the contact microphone is associated with its closest frame present in a sound database.

The system can recognise both fingers-touches and objects that emit a sound, such as the coin shown in the video.

Ear splitting effects test

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Taking 4 tracks in Adobe Audition, I added a few different effects and got them to loop and add to the original 12 second piece, then I re recorded this through Audacity.

The original sounds are from the same metronome track as I used before, just split and stretched down to one beat, plus the regular track underneath to give a sense of drive and rhythmn.

It does get ear splittingly loud at one point, verging on the painful, but deployed at the right point in a piece it would have the desired effect.

I would have like to have had more control over the ending and the extremely loud part, but I just don’t have the know-how in Audition. This is why I had to re-record it in Audacity because the 12 second piece kept adding to itself through the effects and that was part of what I really liked..

Exploring sound and it’s effect

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So, whilst driving back late last night, I started to record part of my journey, with the snow blowing straight towards me and the windscreen wipers soporific movement and sound.
I wanted to put a low electronic style more ambient sound track with the original sound and I chose Michael Chocholak – Walking Backwards as I felt it had an icy type ‘chinkling’ sound within it.