Monday, May 15, 2006

Week 10

  • Practical 1 - Audio Arts - Mixing (1) [1]
This week was an introduction to Mixing. David Grice taught us his method of approaching a Mix.

  1. Trim Files.
  2. Organise applause for the start and end of the piece (for live performance).
  3. Label each track on desk.
  4. Make sure the fader for each track is at ‘0’ amplitude, and panned centre.
  5. START the mixing.
It’s good to start mixing from the foundation (drums) through to the bass, then harmony, and finally the lead parts.

Group all the drums on the drum kit into a ‘Drums’ group. Depending on the style of music, you might want apply gates, EQ’s, or clean up noise between drum hits. EQ is useful to pull back on any resonance individual drums might have. You’d usually start with the kick, and then the snare. The overheads can be paned left and right, and the other drums panned according the ears of the drummer.

We brushed over the Bass, Piano, and Vocals as we didn’t have enough time to go into detail. David emphasised the fact that stereo mixes should also sound good in mono and urged us to test our mixes throughout to check for this. He also told us to monitor at low volume to avoid audio fatigue, but also because you can usually hear a lot more detail – As I understood it, you’re brain isn’t as overloaded at a softer volume so it can process more, revealing extra detail. Finally, he suggested that at some point we listen to the mix in the hallway from outside the studio to give us a perspective of the mix in a different acoustic environment.

The experience, knowledge, and personality of David Grice is exactly what this degree needs, and I hope he can teach the students here for as long as possible.
  • Practical 2 - Creative Computing - Supercollider (7)
Ok, this week we looked at streams. So far I have literally spent around 10 hours working on this blasted patch and I can't work out why it's distorting. It also sounds great on the Mac, but when I take the recording to the PC, it sounds like crap. I don't know what's wrong. I've spent way too long on this patch, so I'm just going to post what I've done and be done with it. Besides, I've probably permanently lost 1Hert from my upper hearing range judging by pain in my ears. I suspect the distortion might have something to do with the "Resonant Low Pass Filter Cutoff Freq". Please, if anyone knows what's wrong with this patch, I'd love to know.

Week 10 result (crappy) - It kinda reminds me of the periodic sound of shooting out diarrhea poo. Enjoy!

// Week 10

// SynthDef


// Arguments
arg midinote, // MIdi Note
dur = 2, // Duration of Event (for use in Envelope) (NOT DONE)
leg = 0.8 // Space between start of events (for use in Envelope) (NOT DONE)

// Variables
var bus = 21, // Bus 21
i, // Instrument
i_modfreq, // Instruments Modulating Frequency
filtercutfreq, // Cutoff Frequency of Filter
out // Output

// Instruments Modulating Frequency
i_modfreq =
freq: 60,
mul: 0.1

// Instrument
i =
freq: midinote.midicps // Carrier Frequency
+ i_modfreq, // Modulating Frequency
mul: 0.1 // Overall Amplitude

// Envelope
i = i *[0,1, 0.3, 0.8, 0], [dur*leg, dur*leg, dur*leg, dur*leg],'sine'),
doneAction: 2

// To Bus 21, i

// Resonant Low Pass Filter Cutoff Freq
filtercutfreq =
freq: leg*1000,
start: 10000, end: leg*50, dur: dur,
doneAction: 2

// Bus 21 passed through a Resonant Low Pass Filter and assigned to 'out' variable
out = // Signal to be Processed
bus), // Bus 21
filtercutfreq // Cutoff Freq

// 'out' variable to Output 0 (Left) and 1 (right)[0,1], out


a = Prand(#[10, 66, 65, 63, 47, 2, 65, 63, 61], inf).asStream;

\instrument, "Horror",
\dur, Prand(#[8, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0.5, 0.25], inf),
\leg, Prand(#[6, 5, 4, 3, 2], inf)

  • Music Technology Forum - Presentation - Presentation by Robert Chalmers [2]
For our presentation this week, we had the pleasure of listening to Robert Chalmers talk to us about Copyright and the Law. As he mentioned a couple of times during his talk, if he were to tell us everything then it would take months or even a years, so he just outlined some main points.

He started off by explaining what copyright is, what it covers, and how long it lasts for. He also talked about lyrical, moral, musical, and personal rights, and how they can be exercised in different situations. He talked about infringement and fair use, and how “fair use” only really applies in America. Finally, he skimmed over p2p file sharing systems, the iPod, and how the law views both these things, before finishing off with questions and answers. The questions and answers were equally as interesting and educational as the lecture part of the session. I found the whole session to be thoroughly enjoyable, educational, interesting, and worthwhile.
  • Music Technology Forum - Workshop - Workshop on Mr. Bungle, Stockhausen, and My Bloody Valentine [3]
Mr. Bungle – “Perfection”. I think that word basically sums them up. We listened to “Love is a Fist”, and “Dead Goon”. “Love is a Fist” used the block form (John Zorn) technique, and was of a crazy metal genre with guitar screeches and staccato brass stabs. “Dead Goon” on the other hand was comical, dynamic, and atmospheric with a free feeling to the structure. Both were excellent pieces, and reminded me just how fantastic these guys were.

We then listened to Stockhausen’s, “Hymnen”. This piece was based around picking up noise with a shortwave radio. It also contained what sounded like some tape technique, especially near the end with the German word collage. Overall it was a very inspirational piece that reminded me of horror films in certain sections.

Lastly, we listened to “To Here Knows Web”, by My Bloody Valentine. To me I thought this piece sounded like a pop tune with some of Alex Carpenters ‘noise’ music layered over the top. The combination of these two together didn’t really appeal to me.

  • References
    [1] Grice, David. 2006. Practical on Mixing. University of Adelaide, 16 May.
    [2] Robert Chalmers. 2006. Lecture on Copyright and the Law. University of Adelaide, 18 May.
    [3] Harris, David. 2006. Workshop on Mr. Bungle, Stockhausen, and My Bloody Valentine. University of Adelaide, 18 May.


Blogger Jake Morris said...

i kinda thought that the mr. bungle tunes would make good listening for circus freaks or carnys. real kinda sick and twisted music, in a freakish and colourful way.
take it easy bro

10:47 am, May 22, 2006  

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