November 15, 2014

10.00 am. Having returned from my foray to the Farmers’ Market, I drew together audio equipment and prepared to respond to the noise sample that my colleague had sent me recently. Initially, I endured a rather frustrating several hours trying to resolve an input/output routing ‘issue’ (read ‘problem of the intractable kind’, ‘headache’, ‘mess’, etc.) involving my Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) and audio-digital interface (A/DI). It all sounds a little abstruse when described like that. Put simply, I wanted the playback from one track to exit the DAW via the A/DI, and to return again through the A/DI to be re-recorded on the DAW as another track. (To the uninitiated, the meaning of that iteration of the ‘issue’ is almost as impenetrable and the first. This is unabashed ‘geek speak’.) :

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By 12.30 pm, I’d successfully established the route, only to discover that the output signal (when passed through external effectors) squealed and wailed mockingly on its return, but only when monitored through the speakers. (At least you know where you are with a brush, tube of paint, and a support.)

1.30 pm. I wanted to explore the potential of the sample without recourse to digital modulation or effects, if possible (or, at least, to begin). This will be an exercise in acousto-analogue processing. An amplifier (through which the sample was played) and a recording device and microphone were set up in various contexts inside and outside of the house, in order to re-record the sample along with the natural ambiance of the setting:

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The sets ups were as follows:

  • amplifier and recorder both in an undecorated and unfurnished bedroom
  • amplifier at the top of the first flight of stairs, recorder and microphone at the bottom
  • amplifier at the top of the a 3-storey stairwell, recorder and microphone at the bottom
  • amplifier in the bathroom with the door closed, recorder and microphone outside
  • amplifier in the kitchen with the door closed, recorder and microphone outside
  • amplifier in the house with the door open, recorder and microphone in the garden
  • amplifier, recorder and microphone in the garden (middle distance)
  • amplifier, recorder and microphone in the garden (far distance)

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On playback (and without prior cognizance of the set ups), it’s impossible to guess the conditions under which the sample was recorded. With the exception of the exterior capture, that is: the presence of birdsong and the distant shouts and hollers of rugby players at the Vicarage Fields in the distance are superimposed upon the sample’s sound. Tomorrow, I want to record the sample through tinny, tiny speakers.

4.30 pm. Automated drawing in honour of the Rosetta mission:

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5.00 pm. Closure. 6.20 pm. Practice Session 1. 7.30 pm. An evening with the family.

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