Tag Archives: Sound

Conversation with Drew Daniel

What is sound? How does the mystery of determining what a sound source is shape our experience of both music and everyday life? Can you really make pop music out of a cow uterus, and why would you want to?

Join Drew Daniel talking with Greg Hainge and Andrew McLellan for a free, informal public conversation about these and other matters that will range across musical subcultures from the academy to the dancefloor and beyond.

About Drew Daniel
As an electronic musician, performer, recording artist and writer, Drew Daniel has created a body of work that plays with these questions in direct, accessible, sometimes silly, sometimes disgusting but usually entertaining ways. With his partner M.C. Schmidt, Drew Daniel is half of the acclaimed electronic duo Matmos; under his own steam he releases ridiculous conceptual dance music as The Soft Pink Truth. He is the author of 20 Jazz Funk Greats, a book about the album of the same name by the English occult industrial band Throbbing Gristle for the 33 1/3 series. His writings on music have appeared in The WIRE, Pitchfork, Yeti, Stereogum, Opera Quarterly and numerous edited collections, including a contribution to the forthcoming Oxford Guide to Music and Queerness.
Drew is Associate Professor of English at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA, and is visiting Australia as a guest of the UQ Node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (Europe 1100–1800). His public lectureBetween the Angel and the Dog: Dürer’s Melancholy Community“, is presented in partnership with UQ Art Museum, on Tuesday 25 November at 6pm, as part of the current exhibition Five Centuries of Melancholia.


Conversation with Drew Daniel

What is sound? How does the mystery of determining what a sound source is shape our experience of both music and everyday life? Can you really make pop music out of a cow uterus, and why would you want to?

Join Drew Daniel talking with Greg Hainge and Andrew McLellan for a free, informal public conversation about these and other matters that will range across musical subcultures from the academy to the dancefloor and beyond.

About Drew Daniel
As an electronic musician, performer, recording artist and writer, Drew Daniel has created a body of work that plays with these questions in direct, accessible, sometimes silly, sometimes disgusting but usually entertaining ways. With his partner M.C. Schmidt, Drew Daniel is half of the acclaimed electronic duo Matmos; under his own steam he releases ridiculous conceptual dance music as The Soft Pink Truth. He is the author of 20 Jazz Funk Greats, a book about the album of the same name by the English occult industrial band Throbbing Gristle for the 33 1/3 series. His writings on music have appeared in The WIRE, Pitchfork, Yeti, Stereogum, Opera Quarterly and numerous edited collections, including a contribution to the forthcoming Oxford Guide to Music and Queerness.
Drew is Associate Professor of English at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA, and is visiting Australia as a guest of the UQ Node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (Europe 1100–1800). His public lectureBetween the Angel and the Dog: Dürer’s Melancholy Community“, is presented in partnership with UQ Art Museum, on Tuesday 25 November at 6pm, as part of the current exhibition Five Centuries of Melancholia.


Conversation with Drew Daniel

What is sound? How does the mystery of determining what a sound source is shape our experience of both music and everyday life? Can you really make pop music out of a cow uterus, and why would you want to?

Join Drew Daniel talking with Greg Hainge and Andrew McLellan for a free, informal public conversation about these and other matters that will range across musical subcultures from the academy to the dancefloor and beyond.

About Drew Daniel
As an electronic musician, performer, recording artist and writer, Drew Daniel has created a body of work that plays with these questions in direct, accessible, sometimes silly, sometimes disgusting but usually entertaining ways. With his partner M.C. Schmidt, Drew Daniel is half of the acclaimed electronic duo Matmos; under his own steam he releases ridiculous conceptual dance music as The Soft Pink Truth. He is the author of 20 Jazz Funk Greats, a book about the album of the same name by the English occult industrial band Throbbing Gristle for the 33 1/3 series. His writings on music have appeared in The WIRE, Pitchfork, Yeti, Stereogum, Opera Quarterly and numerous edited collections, including a contribution to the forthcoming Oxford Guide to Music and Queerness.
Drew is Associate Professor of English at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA, and is visiting Australia as a guest of the UQ Node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (Europe 1100–1800). His public lectureBetween the Angel and the Dog: Dürer’s Melancholy Community“, is presented in partnership with UQ Art Museum, on Tuesday 25 November at 6pm, as part of the current exhibition Five Centuries of Melancholia.


Sound Hunter II – Circle Synth Loops

circle

Following on from the Sound Hunter II workshop, I have been creating a few patches and a bunch of loops for download and use. Circle Synth from Future Audio Workshop is a VST software synthesizer that combines analogue wave emulation with more contemporary wavetables, filters, bitcrushers, sequencers, arpeggiators and effects. The interface is really intuitive, and features a visual wavetable (pictured), and a colour coded routing system for your patch chain. You can download a demo, but I selected this plugin to work with because it is a really affordable piece of software… i.e. <$100.

circle_synth_wavetable

The Sound Hunter Dropbox now holds a folder for synthesized royalty free samples and Circle Synth patches. You can make these sounds yourself using the Circle Synth plugin or just start up a track with the royalty-free samples uploaded. I will be adding new samples over the next week to the folder for download. Stay posted.

Mxen

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Sound Hunter I – Field to Sample

the edge Sound Hunter

Following on from our sampling session in Sound Hunter I | Field to Sample, I have broken down our field recordings into over 100 royalty-free samples ready for use in your own sonic constructions! Just follow the Dropbox link for listening and downloading. Over the next week the Sound Hunter Dropbox will hold over 500 royalty free samples for use in experimenting with sound composition.

This series has seen a collection of interested artists, musicians and general experimenters recording sound found along the riverside of South Bank and inside the SLQ precinct. We used a range of recording devices, from the Zoom H4n, Zoom Q3HD, Samsung and iPhone smartphones.  The sounds range from ambient, percussive, incidental, drone-like, noisy, complex and bell-like. I have taken these raw files (featuring a range of quality files from a range of input mics) and cut them up into a range of samples. If you click the Dropbox link you will see they are organised into a range of sonic descriptors such as crackle, noise, tap, kick, crunch, melodic, ambient etc. Feel free to download!

See you soon. Mxen

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Sound Extrusions: Interview – 3D Printing, Prototyping & Muffins with Mick Byrne

I have come across another obstacle in the proposed porcelain speaker design recently — how to actually attach an inductive speaker onto the interior surface of the proposed porcelain shape … Mick Byrne from The Edge came up with a great idea to use a 3D printer at The Edge to do the job. We found out that it probably won’t print the final piece for the installation (it’s quite fragile and wouldn’t hold the weight properly), but it would be great for making a prototype and help with latex mould creation for later resin casting of the part itself!

After the bold introduction to porcelain making in the last blog post, here’s another topic, yet again very much connected with object design and modelling. This technique, completely new to the creative tool box, is based on recreation of digital models through printing, using various materials.

I have caught up with Mick Byrne for a short interview on 3D printing, just to give you a quick glimpse into this new emerging creative hi-tech universe, mixing computer graphics and design into one. Thank you Mick, for also sharing with us a great document covering the sintering experiment by Markus Kayse. Powered by the sun and using sand as printing material in the Sahara desert, it looks like a great adventure!

How far away are we from printing our muffins for breakfast in the morning, Mick?

In fact the technology is already out there, it just wouldn’t make sense to do it money-wise I would say!

Being in Australia right now makes me think about printing even surfboards on demand!

Yeah, you are right, the scale of 3D printers changed quite a lot recently. There are already some building companies using it for computer controlled injection of materials  which is pretty much the same thing as a filament printing process we do use here at The Edge.

It feels somehow, that 3D printing has a bit too much hype  being this new and seductive an element is an almost fetish approach to technology, don’t you think?!

I would say it’s more about narrowing the technology divide and allowing pretty much everybody to try it out. Not just the big companies with research parks behind them. In a way it’s democratizing the creative industry right now (on-line jewellery boutique shops, etc.). It’s a bit similar to what happened in the movie production some years ago.

This brings me to a tricky question, which has arisen quite recently  the publication of a 3D printed gun on the internet. What’s your point of view on that?

It’s not a real issue from my point of view. It was just a single use gun. It still has to be loaded with regular and controlled ammunition anyway …

Anyway, what is the most intriguing object you have come across concerning 3D printing?

It’s actually a sintering machine powered only by solar heat using mirrors and lenses. That is quite cool!

What’s the sintering process anyway? We have been talking about filament printing, which makes use of liquefied plastic cords what’s the difference then?

It’s a very different printing process: consecutively laid layers of powder on top of each other (which could be anything from plastic to titanium!) are heated in a very precise way with a laser to form the object. The beauty in that is that each layer of the actual powder adds a supportive structure to the originating element. In the end you just blow off the dust & away you go!

Is it very different to traditional production methods, such as mould casting or block subtractive manufacturing?

Sure, big time! You are able to build quite complex even interlocking structures, which are not possible to achieve with traditional industrial design approaches.

What are the current trends in 3D printing?

I know about amazing medical applications  basically you would print a shape of an organ, as an ear for example, out of cellulose. Then you “invite” the cells to grow onto it to form the actual organ, great idea!

Let’s finish off the interview with connection to my actual Sound Extrusion project! What are the workflow ideas in this case for me?!

It’s pretty straight forward  first of all you have to clean your model (we use Tinker CAD, but any other 3D or CAD software will do), export it to 3D printer and print the prototype. The next step would be to cover the printed object in a release agent (to prevent it from sticking to the actual mould) and use a two part latex putty to create a casting mould. Then you can use regular resin to produce the object for real life use.

Thank you Mick, for your time and the workflow ideas!

solar sinster video
Markus Kayser – Solar Sinter Project from Markus Kayser on Vimeo


Sound Extrusions: Oh Deer! (Introduction to Porcelain)

Porcelain ceramic casting workshop in Brisbane sound experimental ceramic speakers

Porcelain Casting Workshop Brisbane

In the last blog post we went through the overall idea of the Sound Extrusions project at The Edge. Before we dive deeper into some of the more technical issues, such as MAX/MSP programming, this post is dedicated to the introduction of porcelain as an exciting material to work with. All the visible parts inspired by the organic shape of avocados and beans — the actual individual components you saw in the visualisation in the last post — will be casted in porcelain.

Anyway, how cool is that? Crafting your own porcelain shapes! But it wasn’t always as easy as that… European porcelain is a fairly young phenomenon, emerging as late as the beginning of the 18th Century in Meissen, Germany. Before that, porcelain was solely imported from China and bought by European aristocracy at the weight price of gold at times. This is the reason why the creation of porcelain was such sought after technology. The Chinese had long known the secret to making porcelain, with modern style porcelain emerging around the 12th century, thanks to a specific mix of clay readily available in China. The actual research in Europe into recreating white translucent Chinese porcelain would have been a high-tech, top secret enterprise back in 1708 (just like The Edge today!), and only few people would have known about it.

The later Meissen porcelain production was in a self contained workshop with very strict regulations from 1710, when a team lead by Johann Friedrich Böttger made the final discovery. The second wave of porcelain making in Europe started only after a few workshop members “exported” the very secret knowledge to Vienna and started to operate their own businesses.

There’s one irony in the whole search for the real porcelain in Europe — one of the main porcelain material components, the kaolin clay, was always at the fingertips of the aristocracy who were importing the pottery from China at extraordinary prices. And I mean literally — kaolin was mostly used as a facial perfecting white powder back then, in the pale make-up of aristocratic beauties, who were sipping hot drinks from expensive Chinese porcelain — imagine that!

Besides kaolin clay, the other main component is silica. That’s why after the firing, porcelain is closer in consistency to glass than to regular pottery, the most sought after feature being the translucency in the thin walls or edges. This attribute is explored in contemporary design as well — taking the technology to its limits from translucent coffee cups to innovative variations on lamp shades for example. Porcelain is also an inert and very dense material, which makes it ideal to work with sound as well. This feature hasn’t been explored to any greater extent yet and that’s also one of the surprise elements in the Sound Extrusions project at The Edge — the porcelain and sound interaction project feature!

Please stay tuned for other posts to come. The announced interview with Mick on 3D printing is ready as well (Thanks Mick!), but we’ll probably cover the actual porcelain production process next — let’s see how we go anyway. The good news is that porcelain is not a top secret, guarded behind the medieval walls of Meissen any more! We’ll get into an introduction of clay modelling, plaster casting & porcelain slip casting later. Maybe we’ll get even into the process where the porcelain magic actually happens — the kiln firing and glazing. Let the porcelain deer be with you!


Sound Extrusions: Let’s Get Started!

Let me introduce you to the sound residency project at the Edge — the project is called Sound Extrusions and is about creating organic and living sonic elements within The Edge itself. What does this mean? Basically it’s a multichannel sound installation with custom made porcelain speakers. Once it’s up and running it will deliver natural ambient sounds. The actual sounds will be synced to selected natural phenomena through realtime online data flow. We will dive into the details shortly and I will take you through the creative and assembly process in the blog posts to follow. Expect an exciting trip, so please buckle up!

As for the start, expect blog posts in three diverse fields such as: porcelain design, sound design & music technology. There’s also a plan to throw in a workshop on multichannel audio installation setups featuring online lecture entry with Hans Tammen from HarvestWorks in NYC, later on.

In the porcelain design posts I will introduce you to the basic workflow techniques used in ceramic production, namely porcelain. The porcelain slips will be the main visible part of the installation and they will be fitted with solid drive speakers. The sound design and music technology posts will cover a wide range of topics, from sound design concepts to MAX/MSP programming, along with sound & technical issues emerging during the production process of the installation. I would like to get a few interviews done as well, to introduce to you some great artists and musicians you might not have heard about before!

There could also be other themes emerging, for example the use of 3D printing. I have asked Mick from the Edge to do a short introductory text on 3D printing with me already, as we found 3D printing handy for quick prototyping last week.

Stay tuned and the next blog post is going to be dedicated to basic workflow techniques in ceramic production!


Sound Hunterrrrrs

edgewater

Hey Peeps…

Michelle Xen here, about to embark on the last of the Sound Hunter workshops this coming weekend.

The Sound Hunter series has seen us take to the rivers edge collecting ambient noise from the Brisbane river and the cultural centre caverns and spaces. With all the intensive listening going on we have managed to collect sound from just about anything we can tap, scrape, hit, rustle, or simply observe. With a wealth of resonant spaces (such as the Cultural Centre carpark) we also discovered much glorious reverb on the existing hums and echos in the space. We now have a range of sound files I am cutting up, cleaning up and organising for upload to our Edge Dropbox for you to share in >>> Ready soon!

Tomorrow will be our final Sound Hunter workshop where we will take our samples and begin to effect and construct them into sonic spaces, songs or scores. Come along, the deets are HERE.

Come Sound Hunting!!

See you soon. Mxen

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Meet our new Sound Resident, Daniel Bartos

SAE_one

Daniel Bartos is our new Sound resident. He’s arrived here in Brisbane from the Czech Republic (via Central America and Arnhem land) to complete his PhD in multimedia. On the side he will be joining us for six months to build and install Sound Extrusions, an organic sonic project combining porcelain crafting with sound design. We sat down for a chat to get to know Daniel a little better.

Can you give us a little glimpse into your background and where you inspiration comes from?

My current focus is on live electronic music blended with an electro-acoustic music. I was originally inspired by the electronic music from the end of 90’s; the new and emerging sounds of Bjork, The Prodigy and even Jimi Hendrix. From there a music technology course in London familiarised me with guitar pedals and tape echo machine building. I then learned C++ programing, and began to create virtual instruments such as a sitar sound string generator based on Karplus-Strong algorithm.  After a while I needed to switch from computers to totally physical music instrument and the Australian didjeridoo came as a natural choice for me. If you look at this instrument, it’s basically an incredible breath controlled synthesizer – playing it is also very addictive!

That was the first time I came to Australia, to see it for myself. My trip to Arnhem Land is another story on its own, but I came full circle few years ago when I started thinking about blending the MAX/MSP environment with my acoustic playing. I got into live electronic music, got inspired by multichannel setups and also had the idea to develop new instruments using porcelain material. From there it’s only a little step from contemplating multichannel installations and using porcelain in the process.

How long will you be at The Edge and what will you be doing?

The Sound Residency with The Edge gives me an incredible six months to work on the installation proposal. It’s pretty much a dream coming true! I have always wanted to be part of such a crazy and creative space with arty and hi-tech flavor. My residency proposal involves sound installation working with set of porcelain design speakers and real-time data sonification patch in MAX/MSP. It’s called Sound Extrusions and it’s basically about creating organic and living sonic element within the realm of the Edge community through visually appealing porcelain installation.

What was your role before you came to The Edge? And before that? And before that?

I’ve always done the things which inspired me, be it five months of private research into yidaki in Arnhem Land or exploring surfing in Central America. I have sound programing and CGI background – there was also a pretty cool job I had in Prague some time ago, that was being part of a digitalization team of Prague’s 18th century paper Langweil model. Another cool job? Probably watching out for satellites, while doing conservation job around North East Arnhem Land! Besides that I’m part of Griffith University as an PhD exchange student here in Brisbane at the moment, in a multimedia collaboration with FAMU (Film School in Prague).

In my spare time I like to… go surfing or cassowary tracking in Northern Queensland. I wouldn’t dare to bother those birds, no worries!

My favourite food is…European style fried potato pancakes, avocados – or sushi with lots of wasabi, of course! I made up new special dish lately: french crapes with avocado and honey (that’s a Brazilian influence, I heard about mixing avos with sugar so I had to give it a go!)

If you were to give me $10 I would spend it on… CD from a street musician… or some unknown tropical fruit from the West End markets!

If you were to give me $1000 I would spend it on… Probably on a sailboat trip to the Pacific islands, while recording the trip on underwater mics… 🙂