Seeper & the gang.

Seeper.

Founded in 1998. UK-based. Interactive installations and performances.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/10692284]

AND THEN THE WALLS CAME ALIVE...

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/5595869]

Inventing Interactive.

Interactive media design and innovation - past, present and future.

Plus some insights into projection mapping design+delivery.

Graffiti Research Lab - DIY Projection Bombing

Steps 1-8. Dear internet, I love you.

Linked:

http://www.thecoolist.com/when-buildings-come-alive-10-unreal-urban-projection-videos/

Designed.

While working on an animation for my "Sight + Sound" project I realized a palette I'd created would look great on a tank top. So I made one. Voila.

Nina Sings.

Here's just a quick update and sample on my sight + sound project. Recently learned how to make basic animations, which I will begin applying to these project and an example of which is in the clip below.

Haven't bought this software yet...so rebuilding this project every time is both a blessing and a curse. But it's in the cards, so I will certainly have the power within my hands soon enough!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9Dar-gp__k]

Sight + Sound.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_537WmMuHU&w=480&h=390]Here's a sample of a visualization project I'm working on. Based on themes of 'time, space and place' it features live video, visual effects based on sound input and original music.

enjoi.

Train Songs

Recently took a trip north to my hometown.The train is a timeless means of travel. Thought I'd capture some of the journey for nostalgia.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuT6J0nICTY&w=640&h=390]

Tinnitus?

...............n.....n..n...NNNNNN......n....n.............n.............

If you've been to as many live music shows as I have, you know that dreaded feeling at the end of an extraordinarily loud performance that you're ears are going to sing you to sleep unless you remembered the essential protections of ear plugs.

Playing drums almost every day doesn't exactly minimize this impact either. But for any of us suffering some form of hearing loss, there is always hope in sight thanks to scientists with their bunsen burners and bubbling beakers and puzzled lab mice.

The Globe and Mail just published a piece on leading research claiming to pinpoint and isolate the neurological factors related to hearing loss. You can read the whole article here. The major finding in research by Josef Rauschecker of Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, is that "MRI scans revealed that part of the brain (the ventromedial prefrontal cortex) that would normally turn off or cancel out the ringing is unusually small in people with tinnitus. “Hopefully, we can find some therapies [to treat tinnitus] that are based on this new knowledge,” said Dr. Rauschecker, whose study was published in the journal Neuron."

Thank you science, for all your wonderful cures.

.........n...n..nn....>>NNNNNNNNNNN>.>>>N>....n....n....

The History of Headphones

For me, headphones are pretty much a piece of apparel at this point. I keep a coiled mess of iPod headphones in my courier bag whenever the outside world gets too noisy, and at home I've got various pairs for recording, drumming, etc. Listening to music in a great pair of headphones can completely change the way we experience a song; forget laughable laptop speakers, or even well-positioned studio monitors when compared to a true holophonic aural experience, which can only be conveyed by isolated signals reaching either ear simultaneously.

C5 Sound Inc., a New York-based production company, recently posted this great article on the history of stereo headphones. Written by Mark Schubin, it covers the storied past of an integral component to the iPod/iPhone generation. For anyone that has wondered how headphones have evolved from navy and pilot communication devices to gym apparel, the answers lie in this article.

Updates

First off, I've finished my MA in Media Production at Ryerson University. My thesis on the aesthetics of experimental audio was accepted by my peers and it brought with it an absolutely wonderful sense of fulfillment and completion.Since my graduation I spent some time freelancing on some production projects; I worked on two films as the sound recordist and as well as a live sound tech at a local performance venue in Toronto. I'm expecting the release of both films in the new year. Lastly, I've taken a position at Recording Arts Canada as an 'integrator,' essentially acting as liason between instructional faculty and administration.

In addition to all of this, I've been working on a variety of music projects in both a performance and producer role. With Olympic Island & Megan Bonnell, I'm predominately playing percussion and producing some demo material for a few aspiring friends. I'll continue to post when I find the time.

Interactive Landscape - Daan Roosegaarde

Nuit Blanche - Toronto - 2010.Lower Bay subway station installation by Daan Roosegaarde featuring interactive LEDs supported by wavy stocks of plastic.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIc8P6ZDuYU]

Interactive Sound Design Project

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmQVNFsMJJg] Final testing of an immersive music project using a video camera, motion tracking technology, and original sound design.

Levels, frames and tones are all adjusted. External speakers and a visualization program will be added day of presentation for added experience and visual representation.

Partner in crime: Ryan Zak.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZBveFEuotg&NR=1]

Behind the scenes set up of our Eyecon Immersive project.

Binaural Field Recording in Sunnybrook Park

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hmvW5O5zXA&hl=en_US&fs=1&]
In order to create the auditory ambiance needed for my final project in Ryerson's MA Media Production program, I recently went out into Sunnybrook Park in Toronto with a couple friends. The objective of the outing was to capture some environmental noise to use as a bed track in an experimental binaural recording project. The video above illustrates how we decided to set up in the park, using a set of bleachers to host my computer and binaural dummyhead rig. A friend and fellow sound recordist also set up his new AKG 414 mic to capture some sounds while we were there.

My mobile recording rig is the same as I've used in studio's and venues around Toronto: MacBook Pro, M-Audio Firewire 410, homemade stereo-mono patch cable, 9V aux in-line power supply to a binaural dummyhead equiped with two SP-TFB-2 omnidirectional microphones.

The sound recording turned out absolutely fantastic! At the start of the recording you can clearly hear a fly buzz behind the dummyhead, creating this movement and audible space that is really incredible when experienced through headphones. The positioning in the park was great to capture environmental noise. The sound recording features background birds chirping, a low rumbling of traffic off in the distance and the occasional plane roaring overhead every few minutes (it's difficult to escape traditional cityscape sounds even in parks and greenspaces within the city). These sounds help build the space through their volume and proximity to the dummyhead and microphones. Because the set up is recording binaurally, the spatial effect is hightened when compared to a mono or even stereo recording. Overall, the day was a complete success with even a few surprises (a fly buzzing across the dummyhead's path!).

A sample of the field recording is coming soon. I am reducing some of the hum associated with the wind, and applying some filters to bring up the bottom end of the audio spectrum which is lost due to the types of microphones employed. Stay tuned!

The Church of Transfiguration Choir


I spent yesterday evening in the Church of Transfiguration recording their choir using my calibrated dummyhead. It was an amazing experience to listen to the performances from the very front pew, both directly with my own ears as well as through the microphones recording and capturing their performance. The choir was composed of seven singers, ranging from baritone to soprano, accompanied by John Sigerson (choir director) on piano. Before recording, the choir warmed up their vocal chords in a smaller, upstairs room in the church while I set up my recording equipment. Having never been inside this church before it was quite an enjoyable experience. The dummyhead was placed on top of a baby grand piano, which was positioned in the area known as the nave (facing the chancel). These are architectural terms related to specific religious building layouts, so I'm not entirely sure if these terms accurately reflect the Church of Transfiguration; regardless they provide a sense of location within the building. The dummyhead was situated on top a cushion above the piano to help reduce vibrations introduced by playing the piano. The choir members were staggered around the piano, and dummyhead, providing an ideal scenario to experience individuated listening to each section of the choir (i.e. the soprano section can be heard identifiably seperate from the baritone and tenor singers). Here are the recordings from the evening... [soundcloud width="100%" height="81" params="" url="http://soundcloud.com/user6193556/binaural-ave-verum-corpus"] Binaural: Ave Verum Corpus by airick
[soundcloud width="100%" height="81" params="" url="http://soundcloud.com/user6193556/binaural-lord-for-thy-tender-mercys"] Binaural: Lord For Thy Tender
[soundcloud width="100%" height="81" params="" url="http://soundcloud.com/user6193556/binaural-lead-me-lord"]
Binaural: Lead Me Lord by airick

[soundcloud width="100%" height="81" params="" url="http://soundcloud.com/user6193556/teach-me-o-lord-2"] Binaural: Teach Me, O Lord, The Way of Thy Statues (again) by airick
Post-production on all tracks involved applying some panning to clearly differentiate the spectrum of recorded sound, apply matched EQ (calibrated to pink noise in the foley studio at Ryerson University), and a denoiser filter to remove a low-level of hiss (which I must figure out the source of...). enjoi.

Bread & Circus SNAFU

[soundcloud width="100%" height="81" params="" url="http://soundcloud.com/user6193556/binaural-crowded-room"] Binaural Crowded Room by airick On Saturday night I got the chance to set up my mobile dummyhead rig in a music venue in Toronto's Kensington Market. The Bread & Circus is a live music venue that hosts theater, jazz, alternative and indie rock shows every week. The aim of the evening was to experiment with capturing the large volume dynamics of the performing rock bands. There were three acts throughout the night; Mosh Pit Orchestra, Amaura & Speed of Service, all of which shared the usual rock characteristics of guitar, bass & drums at a substantial volume considering the size of the space they were performing in.

In addition to recording with the dummyhead, a room mic and board line-out were captured using a secondary laptop/logic system. My partner in crime and I were hoping to blend the three channels (binaural, board and room) into one cohesive mix. Here's the rub: there was a point where I could not longer control the clipping and distortion introduced by the intensity of volume in the room, and so a majority of my recordings are horrible. This is what went down...

I set up at the back of the room with my dummyhead, I/O box and laptop. All the usual pieces were in place; dummyhead patched through a 9V in-line power supply, split from stereo-to-two mono channels into a Firewire 410 interface, leading into my laptop. The stereo-to-mono cable was plugged into the front preamps of my soundcard and I believe this is where I ran into trouble. In loud environments, while using SP-TFB-2 mics and the 9V power supply, the line inputs on my soundcard should be used. I only discovered this information at the end of the night, scrolling through minute fonts on my iPhone, all the while horrified by the fidelity of what I was capturing. Attempts to pad the signal were fruitless during the performances. Even with the gain completely zeroed, clipping and distortion were prevalent. Moving forward I will try using the line inputs in loud recording environments, as well as try to understand how I can more effectively control input signals on the software side. I found it frustrating and strange that I had no control over the incoming signal through my audio interfaces hardware control panel. Moving sliders in the M-Audio control panel had no affect. Perhaps driver updates will correct this issue, but more investigation is necessary.
The night was not completely fruitless; I did manage to capture some clean room noise, filled with a flood of conversations, bangs and cracks of musicians shuffling about on stage between sets, clinking glasses and a constant din of room reflections. As mentioned, two other mono lines were captured but won't appear here as they are not binaural recordings.

Binaural: Glebe Presbyterian Church

[soundcloud width="100%" height="81" params="" url="http://soundcloud.com/user6193556/binaural-triangle"] Binaural Triangle by airick On Friday, April 23 I was allowed to record in the Glebe Presbyterian Church right across the street from my house. Bill Elliot, of the Church, was kind enough to let me into the space early in the morning to record using a fairly mobile rig of computer, soundcard, binaural dummyhead, cables and percussion instruments.

[slideshow]

The space inside the building is quite impression, and the reflections of sound from talking, clapping, playing drums really presented some interesting recording concerns. The process of getting set up and functional, especially on the software settings side, took slightly longer than expected but in the end everything was a success.

The microphones within the dummyhead had to be calibrated in order to properly function, based on their placement at the end of tubing "ear canals." Using a single monitor, placed 6' away parallel to the dummyhead ears, white noise was played and recorded through the left & right inputs in Logic. Using the "Match EQ" function in Logic, its possible to compensate for the distortions to frequency by the microphone placement. For example, there were noticeable distortions caused by the Church hall's large area starting at 600Hz, then spiking from 2.5kHz - 7kHz.