Eclectic I

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Tech Journal Semester 2 week 6


Tyrell Blackburn

Tyrell presented an array of compositions which he created for two different games under the employment of a games company. All of the compositions were sequenced and composed using Cubase.

The first track presented was ironically the last project he worked on with the games company. It was a children’s game based on economy. It had a very boppy Jazz feel to it although like with a lot of game music it had the potential to get annoying after hearing looped for a long time. But the way in which he varied the main theme with different voicing and arrangement came across as a good attempt to overcome this problem.

The second piece he presented was actually the first piece he wrote for the games company for an RPG action adventure games. I really enjoyed the use of 'war like' drums in this piece.

The third piece was for the same game. It made use of a very well written piano piece which included the use of various strings. The way it was written made it feel as though it was light hearted yet there was a grave seriousness underpinning it which I felt was highly effective.

The final piece was again for the same game and was experimentation in having the music being adaptive to the action of the game. By using basic harmonic structure and having the musical themes introduced being reflective of what was occurring in the game. I.e. a particular theme for when it starts to rain. I thought this was a very clever idea but being unable to see it implemented within the game it was difficult to know if it was necessarily successful idea.

Poppi Doser
Poppi presented a series of short excerpts of from various films she has created (audio and visual.)She described the music as being influenced from her studies in the Adelaide tech course and being stylistically electro acoustic music that made use of found sounds. In particular was the use of spoken word from various women she had interviewed on particular subjects in which she feels strongly about.

The first excerpt was from a film entitled "19 Parallels" The music for the film, which comprised of found sounds including recordings of her voice and an interview used within a Max MSP patch. The way in which the music accompanied visual element of the child acrobatics was highly effective. It seemed to encapsulate a child like innocence and wonder fitting to the incredible feats the children being filmed were able to accomplish.

The second film was quite intriguing but because it was just a short excerpt it was difficult to grasp as I would have like to have seen all of it and "seen the story unfold." The same goes with the audio element as it sounded like a piece that could have stood apart from the film had I the chance to hear it in its entirety.

The third piece was poppi's first experiment in rap. I have heard it before, but I am un-sure as to whether or not she has changed it from when I last heard it. It sounds as though she has made quite a lot of improvements upon it since I last heard it, it some how sounds fuller and more textured.

The final piece "I find out as I go along" of her DVD release "autumnal ephemeral" I own a CD of the music so from having had several listens to it my opinion is that it is music that has grown on me over time. I remember enjoying it when I first heard it but not to a great extent. But as I have listened to it over time I have appreciated it more. The whole collection of music has a sound scape quality that is quite complimentary of deep thought.

Josh Schulz

Josh's untitled music concrete piece set out with one intention. To make everything sound metallic. He succeeded. Aesthetically the piece was interesting and I would actually like to hear some of the sounds used in a more contemporary and context to exploit there qualities in a different way.

Albert Webster

Albert played a recording which he engineered of a Jazz trio at Uni. The Bass sounded fantastic with an effective prominence in the mix without being overbearing. The guitar sounded cool. The saxophone sounded a bit 'airy.' It did improve as the song progressed. In comparison to Tim's Jazz recording presentation it seemed to have the same sort of problems and I wonder whether sax is just a difficult instrument to record?


Today's Improv session seemed to encounter more problems. The first 5 minutes felt really good and there seemed to be a great environment but after that it felt that we were not working together as a group and that it was almost a fight for space. Oh well if at first you don't succeed try try again.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Audio Arts Week 5

I have attempted to create a piano sound using subtractive synthesis techniques using Reason's Subtractor 1. Although I struggled to get the bass notes to sound how they should, the high notes sound pretty good.

click here to here it how it sounds.
Subtractive Sythesis

And upon the request of my fellow students I am now using a new code which does not embedd the file and rape everyones internet quota.

Tech Journal Semester 2 Week 5


Tim Gabbusch

Tim's musique concrete piece presented to the forum was composed using recordings of found sounds that were mostly derivate of water sources, and recordings of synthesised sounds created using various analogue synthesisers. He then employed various tape techniques to reassemble the sounds as is typical of musique concrete. It was really enjoyable to hear what a student who was fortunate enough to use tape came up with, as it is something that I feel a little disappointed about missing out on. I really liked the extra texture of sound Tim was able to achieve by using the analogue synthesisers also.

The second piece presented by Tim was a recording of a Jazz band that he did. I liked the way he mixed it. Somehow it seemed to have the stylistic traits of listening to a good vinyl recording, with a nice 'warm' sound, but without any artefacts associated with the medium. Tim felt that the Saxophone was an element of the recording that could have benefited from some more experience on his behalf, which at the time of the recording he didn't have.

Jacob Morris

Jacob's musique concrete piece "New Surroundings" employed the use of a narrative to direct the use of sounds. I really enjoyed this story telling approach and I think that it made the piece a lot more involving instead of being abstract and alienated from the audience as a lot of musique concrete seems to be. (The alienated sound of musique concrete is actually something we began discussing in Mark Carroll’s "Perspectives in music technology history" class.)

Ben Probert

'Vocalacov', the name reflects the attitude of the piece Ben presented perfectly - very tongue in cheek, yet serious at the same time. The tongue in cheek element being Bens approach of taking whatever strange sounds he can make with his voice and using them to compose in a style of music which was taken very seriously by it's major contemporaries. The style of which was Musique Concrete. The serious element comes into it when looking at Ben's very adept and skillfull manipulation of the sounds and the arrangement of them. Something I'm sure even Pierre Henry could appreciate.

Next was a piece of music Ben wrote within the program 'Live.' Although it had elements of a basic techno piece, the sudden changes of style and mood kept it vaguely interesting. (It is important to note that I do like techno, but only if it's well made techno.)

And to finish of Ben's re'-mix of the Nine Inch Nails song "The Hand That Feeds" entitled "The bitch slap that feeds." was source of much amusement (at least to those who got the humour of it.) I think it will be the next big pop hit. :P

William Revill

"Neurotic Turbulence" was William's Musique Concrete piece, which I feel, could be best described as a Static wall of sound. (I mean this in a positive sense.) I think the fact that William approached this as a Sound Design exercise really enforced the use of sound in an intelligent way. I could picture myself in an unfolding scene of a dark and dirty part of a city.


I think some very positive progress was made today in our improvisation. Seb and I just jumped into the deep end and started making some noise, and other members of the group quickly followed suit with an array of different software applications they had made while Tyrell jumped upon the Juno 6 and accompanied my analogue synth frenzy.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

CC - Week 4 - Performance Sequencing

Being that I am allready very familiar with arrangement windows from my experience with 'Cubase" and 'Pro Tools' It was quite easy for me to approach this weeks excercise. There were some cool features in Live that were fun to utilise, but I think I am much more comfortable using Pro Tools and Cubase. I would much rather just utilize some of the plugins and features of Live within either/both of these other programs.

music made with Live

CC - Week 3 - Performance Sequencing

Using the program 'Live' sequencing on the fly was an interesting learning curve. I am much more familiar and comfortable using arrangement windows to create a piece of music progressively till I have a final result which I am happy with or as is mostly the case, it is due to submit. I recorded what I was doing on the fly. as I spent about 20minutes making music on the fly, I have only submitted the last 8 minutes worth of audio.

Being that I hate using pre-made sample loops, as I feel they are too easy and 'pre packaged,' I have only used samples I have collected and manipulated.

I am describing it as an avante gaurde piece. Why? because Avante Guard generally means it is either new and revolutionary and thus brilliant, or the composer is trying to cover up the fact that its a load of S**T . I'll let you decide which one this is. :P

Music made on the fly with Live

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tech Journal Semester 2 Week 4 Submission


Henry Reed

Henry played a piece entitled 'Lucky' which was written in dedication to his grandfather. "'Lucky' Jack Reed worked for Eastman Kodak before becoming an aerial photographer in World War 2. He was shot down over the Pacific, but survived and was eventually rescued.#1"

Henry used SuperCollider3 to create a "pastiche of synthesised sounds and variable rate samples.#1" The samples used had a very direct relationship to the story of his grandfather. From the sound of a photo being taken to the distant rumble of machine gun noise. This 'telling of a story' through the music created a brilliant aesthetic. I could see a movie of the events unfolding in my head as the music progressed.

I think I would of still found the piece enjoyable without the story, but the story put the sounds in context that greatly enhanced the accessibility.

I also enjoyed the fact that due to what Henry described as 'controlled randomness,' different versions of the piece can be created every time the program runs through.

Mathew Mazzone

Mathew presented 3 pieces to the assembled forum.

The first piece was written for a 'running scene' of a video game. He used the program Logic exclusively for this piece. Various synth sounds were used to create the mood, including a very nice sounding piano melody. While some very clever sound manipulations which made the sound of rain and various other environmental sounds which created a brilliant atmosphere to the piece.

The second piece was written using sample loops and the occasional sound from Reason within the program Live.

And the 3rd piece was written with Pro Tools and Reason. I would describe it as an ambient drum and bass piece that utilized the vocal styling of a female Jazz voice student. Matt commented that he would of liked to have done more with the vocals, but was only able to get one quick take to use in the piece, which is a shame. I can see a lot of potential for the piece to have a much more prominent vocal element.

Daniel Mutagh

Daniel played a piece that was Co written with his other band member in the band "Enemy Of?" It was a heavy metal piece in which the band used an electronic drum kit that Daniel fed into the program "Drum Kit from Hell Superior." He then edited the sound to fix the timing etc. The piece was incredibly well mixed with a very 'clean' sound. This resulted in a very high definition sound. The faults however as commented on by Sonia, there was a distinct lack of 'bottom end.' Daniel accredited this to two things. 1. The overall mix needed to be fixed and 2. He was still learning to get the right sound from the drum program being used.


In today's improvisation session we started to get into making music. Well attempted to. It is still in its beginning stages, and we were all doing our own thing to a fair degree, but I don't see this is a negative. I more see it as figuring out how each of us wants to approach this before we come together. I really enjoyed playing with the Jupiter 4 and working in conjunction with seb manipulating the sounds on his laptop. I have suggested the idea for next week that he writes a patch to create a rhythmic sample loop of the sounds we make so that there is a basis for the other members to work with. A 'bottom layer' for the rest of the group to add there individual layers too, creating a sonic texture of sounds. Seb likes the idea, as does tyrell but I am yet to speak with the rest of the group to hear what they think of the idea. Overall I'm very excited. :)

#1 Henry Reed. "Lucky, Henry Reeds Technology Forum Presentation Lecture notes." presented at University of Adelaide, 17 August 2006.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Tech Journal semester 2 week3


Adrian Ried

"Horses' was a piece Adrian had composed using Supercollider. He described it as an ambient piece that could be divided into 4 sound layers. One sound was used as the basis for the piece with each of the other sounds progressively being added or subtracted throughout the piece.

I liked the sounds which he used within this piece but felt the piece could of been expanded upon greatly. It was still enjoyable to listen to though.

Dragos Nastasie

'Induced' was written entirely on the program Reason 2.0. "I am not a fan of atonality of serialism, so I am not going to present the work I did for Uni last semester because it's not what I think music should be.*1" Instead this piece was a minimalist inspired techno song which followed the theme of a person in the illegal drug world. It is a musical narrative on the drug lifestyle. The middle section of the piece portrays a near death experience. I thought the piece was quite enjoyable and I think its accessibility can be greatly accredited to the fact that he does not use pre-made loops within his compositions

David Dowling

Rather than presenting a work of his own, David opted to present a recording of a band he had mixed and mastered for Audio Arts. It was quite well mixed although (as picked up by Marcos) there was a phasing effect on the vocals. David explained this to be due to the fact that he used the area microphone and a vocal overdub in the mix, so the two vocal takes are present at the same time.

Vinny Baghat

Finishing the forum presentations with a improvisational piece based on an Indian Rag -Raag Yaman. He created a drone using ‘Reason’ which was characteristic of a Tampura and then played piano over the top. It was based on the C# major scale. To hear Indian styled music on a traditionally western instrument was quite unique and enjoyable. The mood of the piece was constantly evolving and changing which is definitely something I'm not used to with typical western music. I would have expected sudden changes to feel abrupt, but something in the style made the changes still feel "smooth' despite there suddenness.


I was eager to start making music strait away, but had to realise that more discussion was needed upon how my group was to approach this improvisational piece. I am used to improvising in a band situation where it is simply a matter of picking up your chosen instrument and going for it. But due to the choice of using various technology applications within in our improvisations I soon learnt that a degree of planning in regards to equipment and software is necessary.

*1 Dragos Nastasie "Induced a piece by Dragos Nastasie" Lecture presented at University of Adelaide 10 August 2006.

CC2 - Week 2 - Cubase Sound Track

Whoops I thought I'd uploaded this already. This is my creative computing sound track to the video. Very ominous!


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Tech Journal Semester 2 week 2 submission


I had to present a work I had composed to the assembled students and staff at forum today. I chose to present my music concrete piece from last semester. Although I am not overly proud of the piece, I had little else to present. I would of enjoyed the opportunity to have had a bit more time so I could do some more work on the piece and make it more aesthetically interesting. Although the majority of those assembled seemed rather neutral towards the piece, gauging from the questions I received I feel as though a couple of students appreciated my approach to the piece. Stephen Whittington's comment about some later Pierre Schaeffer Pieces being very similar to mine has sparked my interest and I shall attempt to listen to them in the near future.

John Delany was the other Student who had to present to the assembled forum. He also presented his music concrete piece. Layering what John described as "Harmonic singing of sorts" done by Benjamin Probert and Patric McCartney, John implemented common tape techniques and gradually increased the 'wetness' of the mix to a great sonic effect. The sudden ending with a sharp decay into a 'dry' sound was very powerful in it's effect. Waking the listener from an almost trance like state which the piece seemed to induce.


Following a brief discussion upon what we view improvisation to be, the forum class was assembled into groups in which we are expected to develop our improvisational skills upon any mediums for a live improvisation at the end of the semester. I am really looking forward to this. From our discussion as a group we are taking the view that to really challenge ourselves we are not going to use our native instruments. So for me I will refrain from playing guitar. I think this is a great idea although I may have my guitar on hand just in case I feel compelled to use it. I like the idea of having the freedom to jump onto whatever instrument/device I feel compelled to use in the moment.

In my opinion Improvisation is the process of creating at the very moment you are creating. Although it may be difficult to escape some performed ideas, techniques etc which shape how you create, the further you can move away from these things, the more free and 'true' your improvisation becomes. This is the reason that I feel improvising on an instrument or device that you are less familiar with is a good idea. At the same time, it's our proficiency at an instrument that gives us the ability to use the instrument to create the most aesthetically pleasing result. In this regards a balance is necessary. Yet as stated this proficiency can act as restraints for discovering something new which could potentially be better then anything an 'expert' could have done. Hence my desire to be free to 'jump' between different instruments.