Your next project will be in partnership with SPARX, so it will be good for you to research your client properly and carefully! SPARX is an online e-therapy tool provided by the University of Auckland, as an initiative of the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project. So – an amazing opportunity for you to be involved with!
SO – TRY out SPARX and work though the 7 levels for next week!
Studio IV: Serious Games – a Game NOT for Entertainment!
The ‘Serious’ Mobile Game for Young People
Term 1) As a game design start-up company, create a concept around the theme of ‘Serious Games’. Set up a company (co-starters), a brand and construct one prototype, a mini-game for mobile phone based on SPARX aimed at young people who would like to feel less stressed/depressed or happier. See full brief attached.
Today we learnt about doodling. Apparently Doodling is a great way to learn thing because your brain is chill..
Line drawing techneques.
collaborative drawing on a large sheet of paper
Steve Reich: Pendulum Music (1968)
Created with swinging microphones over speakers which generate phasing feedback tones.
There is some sharp sounds and some deeper drones. It sounds artificial.
It reminds me of a seesaw or a swing. Or my alarm clock in the morning. the high pitch tones remind me of a kettle boiling on the stove. It is quite random.
Overall it gives me some creeped out vibes. the high pitched screeches and electronic tones are just to much for me to handle.
I wonder what other things could be done with this feedback technique. maybe if you altered the sounds produced from each speaker it could generate other types of sounds.
This work is meant to showcase an experiment by Steve Reich. It brings an understanding of a new experimental technique which could be fun to play with.
I notice a phrase “come out to show them.” it is looped through the entire piece. the words build into an reverberated echo. I’m listening to this on headphones. So I am not sure how many channels the track has. it is at least a stereo piece. The voice track slowly gets out of sequence and splits creating a sort of reverb. eventually it merges again with two channels doing the same thing now with four channels. The tracks overlaying again and again repeating until It is barely comprehensible. and repeats this process of desyncing a stereo track into two out of sync tracks that are the same but has the effect of reverb or an echo.
This piece reminds me of the looping in songs by fatboy slim. when first listening to Come Out, I was expecting it to break into a drum loop and turn into a dance track. A song that comes to mind is Rockerfeller Skank. check it out now..
As I respond to this work I feel a bit confused and lost. It doesn’t seem to mean anything. Its just “come out to show them.” it repeats and then I cant understand it.
I wonder more about the history of this piece. After doing some reading I learned it is for a young man who has to cut open his bruise to be admitted to hospital after being beaten by police. This raises another question, How was this piece presented? or used. What purpose did it serve. Did people march down the streets playing this to get the message across or was it played in a gallery to raise awareness?
I think it is supposed to raise awareness for police brutality. It is a literal echo of a young mans chilling words let the blood come out to show them. Without knowing the context of the piece or being told what its about you would never get this message. It made an impact though.
Creative Sound Design III: Spatializing Sound.
Space and sound have a dynamic relationship. Sound performs with and through space, it reverberates acoustically and socially. This paper explores the techniques involved with crafting sound for a range of spatial situations and the technologies integral to this process. Designing sound for multiple speaker configurations is included in this investigation of the theory and practice of spatializing sound.”
What is sound?
Compression and expansion of air molecules. propagates outward from a source.
How does sound respond to space?
if we confine discussion to rooms, factors include size and shape of space, angle of walls, their surface (smooth or rough), wall material, and density. also consider sound outside of a room, ie. with no walls to reflect off. also consider sound travelling through a different medium, eg water, solids.
reflection and absorption at surfaces. These reflections are very complex. The aural results are: Reverberation and echoes. Reverberation = wash of delayed sound. Echoes = discrete repeats.
resonance: spaces have resonant frequencies, ie. certain frequencies which are reinforced and made louder. resonance acts as a set of filters which give each space a characteristic spectral response, eg. sound engineers may describe a room as “boomy” if there is a lot of low frequency resonance, or to have a “ping” if there are strong resonance in the upper range. eg. glovebox gallery on k road. gallery space is in the old k road BNZ vault. THICK concrete walls, reflect a lot of low frequencies rather than absorbing them. creates a weird low frequency reverb that we do not normally encounter.
how do we normally listen to sound works? the standard format that more music is produced for is stereo – two channels. this was not always the case – mono was common until the late 60s. music was release in “quadraphonic” ( four-channel) format in the 1970s. these are just conventions, there is no theoretical need to limit our sound works to a small number of channels. for film, 5.1 channel sound is common in theatres and at home. This consists of three front channels, two rear channels, and a low-frequency channel. works for 8 or more channels are common as sound-art installations in galleries and public spaces. Works for hundreds of speakers have been produced, eg. poeme electronique by edgard varese (1958) used over 300 speaker, and featured sound travelling up and down walls.
Some contemporary multi-channel sound works:
John Wynne Untitled (i installation of 300 speakers, player piano and vacuum cleaner) https://youtu.be/ClTkySDBEwg
“The Forty Part Motet” (Janet Cardiff) https://youtu.be/rZXBia5kuqY Some important historical works:
“Dream House” by La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela https://youtu.be/WC6bhnu5Luc
This is a composition first proposed in 1963 by La Monte Young. Light and sound installation conceived as a work that would be played continuously and ultimately exist as a ‘living organism with a life and tradition of its own’, where musicians would live and create music twenty four hours a day. The first Dream House existed continuously from 1966 to 1970, and has been recreated at various times and places. There is currently a Dream House in New York that is open to the public. Continuous, fixed pitch sine tones, multiple speakers, movement in the space changes sound, also movement of other people change the sonic character of the room.
Discuss how it was made, concept of phasing, perception of time in drone and loop performances Practice: Setting up multichannel system
Project 1: 3 8 speaker sound design work original or a remix.
Create blog or workbook etc. for this course. To contain responses to work presented in class, also research engaged research not just sharing vids.
Suggested work: Critical response to “Come Out” by Steve Reich.
Bring next time: External hard drive or USB flash drive Headphones
From reading this excerpt from Micheal Chion i have learnt about a new concept.
The concept of the three listening nodes.
Micheal Chion has seperated our listening into three modes. Casual, Semantic and reduced listening. Casual listening is how we find the source of a sound. An example of this is a dogs bark. We logically know that this sound is from a dog therefore we have casually listened to the sound of a bark and figured the source to have come from a dog. Now semantic listening is slightly more involved. This is where we listen to sounds and try to make meaning out of it. An example would be the sound of glass shattering followed by a dogs barking. The semantic listening mode would have us listen to these two sounds and find meaning. shattering glass and a dogs bark. This might mean someone is breaking and entering. Reduced listening is the last mode of listening. In this mode the listener will be analyzing a sound purely as a sound with no source or meaning.. I found this to be quite philosophical. Micheal Chion made it clear that these modes of listening are not completely seperate and can overlap.
Spinning speaker device
Parts of a films sound
The Mad Professor
DAW ( Digital Audio Workstation )
I have found different DAW’s to be good at different things. Pro tools is amazing when peicing together finished audio clips. Audition is great at editing and creating sounds to create a audio clip. FL studio is good at creating music. I have learnt this the hard way.
Noatble Daws for future reference
Frequency = Deeper/Higher
Amplitude = Louder/Quieter
180 degrees out of phase. CANCEL
-chorus ( nirvana )
-phaser ( soma
-flanger ( Jimi Hendrix )
Echo flutter cone filter
-vibrato ( mac demarco )
Moving the frequency
-filter sweep (
Amplitude Modulation & Dynamics
-Compression ( red hot chili peppers )
Everything is loud used in commercials.
-Distortion ( slayer )
White noise ahhhh so loud
-Tremolo ( the smit
Wobbley wobble volume up and down
80s hard attack cut the sound off
-expander ( u2e
Long tails cavernous room
The Basics of Sound
Waveform ( time domain ) ( frequency domain )
On or off. Binary like an organ
Makes really good fat baselines
There are sounds that you don’t hear…?
Amplitude and time
1-2k is human speech
Outside the box
Levels are important.
Sound Effects Vs Sound Track
Sound Sources Everywhere!
The birds ending.
Hans Zimmer how does he do it?
Manipulate the sound man
Timbre and memory
Associations to sounds.
Space Is so important
Physics – where is everything? things to think about when creating soundscapes.
Who/where is the point of view
Who Is there
What is the size of the space?
Think about every aspect of the scene….
Whats not in the scene.
4th wall going further than the screen. Reaching the audience.
iv. Anything else you choose to record/reference in your research process/research diary
Notes on Stalker and Andrei Tarkovsky’s approach to sound.
The sound goes in and out of a scene
the haunting sounds of Andrei Tarkovsky time turns back on itself and with it the sounds of the world.
Emotion Over Logic
It focuses on what the character is focusing on and takes you into what their attention is on.
How they feel and what is important to them it doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
It often lingers and sometimes returns
It might come from nowhere.
It is often diegetic but not intending to create a realistic soundscape of the image but the attention of the character..
Those that make you lean in to hear a whisper only to be thrown back by a yell seem to be the most successful.
experience rather than concrete communication.