IxD and Assistive Technology

Sound Media 2 – Week 02

Sound Media 2 – Week 02

Classwork

I’ve never actually seen a Pro Tools HD rig in the flesh until this week. I’ve heard the stories – the wonder and awe with which people gaze at this amazing piece of machinery. It’s something that we commoners can only dream of: being able to spend enough money that Digidesign actually gives a damn about us.

Only a Pro Tools HD owner can look this smug

So for the next few months at least, I will be living that dream. At COFA, we have two dedicated rooms for Pro Tools rigs: one with a 003 mixer and the other being the aforementioned HD (God) room. These spaces are quite literally under lock and key until you hit Sound Media 2, so it was a bit of thrill to be taken on the tour.

What is equally exciting is that the HD studio also has a dedicated recording space attached to it. I will finally have the opportunity to record some sound in a proper environment (more proper than my bedroom anyway). Finally, this studio has a 5.1 surround sound setup, where I will be able to test multi-channel panning for my project – it’s shaping up to be a great semester!

Research

This week we were required to put together a project plan, outlining the concept for our final work in the subject. If you’re really bored with your own life, you can check out my proposal here, but I thought I’d just run through the main points in this post:

  • Multimedia performance work (also my Multimedia Authoring final project)
  • Uses dance to trigger light (DMX) and sound (MIDI)
  • Ideally, I would like to work with Aboriginal dancers, and create a work in which all elements refer back to the natural world
  • Technology is complimentary and as transparent as possible – it is not the focus

So, the way I hope to achieve this will be to use Wii remotes (likely removed from their shell) to capture the movement of the dancers. This data will be sent to OSCulator, which will act as a router: sending MIDI information to Ableton Live (triggering sound) and OSC data to Processing (triggering light. This will be the focus of Multimedia Authoring).

I’ve spent a little more time this week playing with the Wii remotes connected to Ableton, and it couldn’t really be simpler. Having both gestural movements create data, as well as triggers (buttons) sending information, the Wii remotes actually work quite well within the Ableton environment. For instance, a tilt of the controller can change the pitch of a note that I’m triggering with another controller. At this stage, it still feels like a lot of fun and games really.



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