SOUND ENVIRONMENT

For the second assignment of the Making Networked Culture, we were to get into a group of three to five, and re-create a sound environment through individual recording; I formed a group with Justin and Delon, and that we decided to recreate a Night Club environment. The role were assigned with Justin did the music, Delon did the door, I did the voice of the bouncer and we all co-operated on recording the crowd. Originally there was meant a small conversation recorded, but I felt that this would only complicate matters, and that simplicity was the best move for this assignment.

I used the audio-editing program Audacity to edit my recordings and manipulate it to resemble the sound environment. I originally recorded the bouncer at university in various locations, but the problem was that the background noise would often be louder than my voice. After hearing this in Audacity, I decided to record it at home, using my bathroom as my make-shift recording area. I tried various conversational pieces that a bouncer might use, to give more choices to use from. Once I finished recording, I went on Audacity to edit the audio. First, I removed the noise using the the noise removal tool, then I proceeded to utilise the Amplify tool to increase the volume of my voice. Afterwards I experimented with the levels of the bass and treble, to which a considerable amount of bass was decreased, and finally I used the Normalizer tool to increase the noises a slight bit, to make a more natural sound to the audio.

When we presented our unfinished piece in the computer lab for feedback on Wednesday, Hugh told us that our main problem was that the door and the bouncer didn’t feel a part of the spacial environment and that we needed to further edit our sounds to closely be effective in that space. Later that day, I took Hugh’s advice of experimenting with the reverb time to make the audio more in tune with an outdoor feel to it. So back on Audacity, I used the GVerb effect by which I placed all the effects back to a default sound in order to begin my experiment. I mainly focused on the Reverb time, Dry signal level and Tail level to give a light echo to my voice, which only lowered the volume which was effective for the sound of someone who voice was drowned by the loud music; Roomsize was only leveled if the others didn’t sound aligned perfectly. Finally to finish, I again used the Amplify effect to decrease the volume of my voice to further enhance the lowered voice, drowned in a pool of loud noises.

I uploaded my audio onto Soundcloud, and linked it to Delon to further edit. He later sent me the final product, and I am actually surprised at how well our sound environment turned out. While there could be improvements on the work, I think for what the final product was, I am happy with the result; I particularity liked how Delon soften the second part of the bouncer’s conversations to further enhance the realism of the audio once the door is opened to the loud music.

Advertisements
Standard

020414 (Tutorial Five)

For this tutorial, Hugh gave us our group assignments of manipulating sounds in order to create a sound environment. Hugh gave the ability to choose our own groups of 2-4 people, as he cited that we were old enough and within our fifth week to decide who we want to be in our group. I was formed into a group of three, and this was where the group assignment feel apart.

While I won’t say who, let’s just say that me and a member of our group have a mutual dislike for each other, though we were willing to put aside our differences to achieve our goal. I reluctantly decided to go the majority on their choice of recreating a sound environment of a nightclub; I wanted to do something more geared towards a sound environment of an empty and mysterious setting that would appear in movies, but two reasons made me agree with the group. One was that Hugh wanted to get the assignments done by the following week, which didn’t give us reasonable prep time to recreate an authentic sound environment, while the second reason was that judging by the group’s reactions towards my initial lack of interest towards the chosen sound environment, I decided to go along for the sake of getting the job done.

We had trouble attempting to brainstorm three distinctive sounds that we could recreate, and we had Hugh to help us out, by watching a Chemical Brothers music video which depicted a nightclub for ideas. We chose to do something similar to a nightclub, in which we would create someone entering a nightclub. Our problems grew bigger over me and my other member’s disagreements over how the sound recording should go. They seem reluctant to record the sound of conversation on how I felt it should be done, and also on how accurate I was. He began to micro-manage us, and even took the role of the other member’s job, which weaken and gave us two minimal jobs to recreate a door opening, and a bouncer at the club.

This assignment showed that I had to allow to let my personal feelings stand aside of assignments, but that shouldn’t mean that any ideas I have towards it should be argued over. I bonded with the other member of the group and found how we both had similar approaches and that if possible, we could achieve more with the sound environment, had I let my personal feelings remain doormat for the time-being.

Standard

010414 (Lecture Five)

I arrived to the lecture 15 minutes late, and no idea how to make up for the fact that I shut the door with force. But on an academic point, I was able to pick up easily on what Hugh was discussing during the lecture: the history of sound networks.

From what I’ve gathered, when the first Morse code between 1870 – 1880s ,was sent from Britain to the United States, the first ever message was “Hello”. This was a major breakthrough in not only networked communication, but also international relations. Before the creation of the Morse code, the only way of communication was through written letters, which would take up to months to be delivered to the recipient; the invention of the Morse code meant that communication had advanced by the sheer use of copper wires in the bottom of the ocean. However the American’s response was rather long, and because of the sheer manpower to send the message across, the wire broke. The improvement on the Morse code messaging meant that message could be sent at a rather rapid pace, and is still a form of communication in the military, particularity during wartimes. By international relations, the first Morse code from Britain to America was a major step in mending the relationship between the two nations, as their relationship was strained by the American War of Independence, and further strained by the War of 1812 and Britain’s support of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War.

The telephone was technically invented by Antonio Meucci in 1854, but Alexander Graham Bell patent it in 1976 which by law made him the inventor of the modern day telephone. This was a further advancement of communication, as now rather than send message through code, the message could be send through a electromagnetic transmission of vocal sound by electric current; the concept of receiving message through a speaker and receiving the recipient’s response with little to no delay by an earphone was an extraordinary leap in communication.

Because of the need for electric current to utilise the phone communcations, wires are placed underneath the sea, connecting networks to different countries (Australia has 10); Hugh told a story of how during the early 2000s, a submarine accidentally destroyed one of the wires, which affected most of the communication blackout including his workplace.

End of lecture.

Standard

270314 (Tutorial Four)

Because of the protest the previous day, the tutorial for this subject was moved to either the following days of Thursday and Friday. Adding to this difficulty was that the computer lab was booked for the afternoon, so instead the class took place in the recording studio within the same building.

I came to the class late, so I had a quick introduction to what the make-shift tutorial was about; because the following assignment was to recreate sound environment, the tutorial would split the class into two groups and create a scenario with dialogue in the sound recording studio. We would have to learn to be Foley artists and recreate sounds to create a believable scenario. The first group’s rather mediocre performance led my group to examine their flaws, and what we could be able to do to perfect it.

My group’s performance in the studio was without arrogant, in superior terms to our predecessors. While our foley works was flawed and could be improved, our creativity and teamwork was the central factor to our minor success. The sound environment didn’t work out as well as we hope to achieved, but we were able to come up ideas of how perfect it and alternatives to what could be intended. Our main focus was towards the acting and the believability of the scene, rather than the environment which could be taken both ways. My main role in the group, was rather that close to a director. I was the one who was coming up with most of the ideas and directing the others on their jobs; that isn’t to say that it wasn’t a collaborative process. In fact, I would say that I had a rather minor job, compared to the others, and I wished I could have been more involved more in the final piece, as they had wanted me to play the piano, with limited success; I did however provide the scream at the beginning, and I wished we went with the more surreal and bizarre ideas we had.

Overall, while this proved to me that I wasn’t really much interested in sound, I’ve enjoyed it enough to want to develop my skills in the art of sound manipulation.  I hoped that this would have been a good warm-up for my next assignment on re-creating sound environment.

(The reason why a blog for that week’s lecture wasn’t written was that I had arrived to the lecture late, and that to be frank, I was slightly hungover from the day before. Several apologies)

Standard