This week marks the halfway point for the semester. It’s a mildly frightening prospect to know that there’s only a couple of months before I need to produce a finished piece.
Presenting where my project is at was a little difficult, because unlike most of the other works being shown in class, mine will not necessarily be linear. Until I start working with dancers, I’m still unsure how much of my composition will be structured and how much will be triggered by the movement of the performers. And so, the sound piece I played the class had a fairly arbitrary structure to it – simply for the sake of presentation.
It builds on the loop I had made earlier, and each segment of the piece is triggered by movement of the Wii remote (and hence, it’s a little jumpy)…
Once again, for the trainspotters: rain, drumstick hits and the crumple of the accordion bellows join the previous recorded sounds in this project.
Bouncing all the sounds into usable loops in Ableton was a process that became far more time consuming than I imagined. Because my working project consists of Rewiring Pro Tools and Ableton, and spreading effects between both programs, I had to: record each element to disk in Pro Tools; bounce it down and; then prepare it as a loop in Ableton. At least this experience has made me wary of keeping some extra time up my sleeve before the project due date.
My biggest worry for this project looks like it is now sorted: the dancers. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to a working dance instructor and had a meeting with him this week. I’ll go into more detail about his work in the future, but for now, he sounds very interested in my geeky world of bringing together dance and technology and will be arranging for a few dancers to begin collaborating with me next week. I can’t express how much of a relief this is – now I can really get moving on the business end of the project.
What I already know will be a mapping issue with the dancers, is narrowing down incoming Wii remote data to something usable.
For triggering at least, MIDI CC hasn’t been too successful for me Ableton, leaving me with just MIDI notes to work with. This means that if I want to trigger a new scene in Ableton, the change will happen once the input reaches a certain point (with OSCulator mapping data from 0.0 to 1.0, this is usually 0.5). Any jump in data – which is very common with sensitive Wii remotes – will cause a scene change, perhaps when it’s not wanted.
I will persist with this method of mapping for the time being, but if I find that it doesn’t work once I’m using dancers, I may have to try a timeline based approach, where events can only take place within a pre-determined period.