Sound Hunting: Nathan Hurst of wired.com accompanies Benny Burtt, an assistant sound effects editor from Skywalker Sound, on a sound-hunting expedition:
“You guys ready?” says Burtt, then waits for the echoes to die. He fires the gun, with a pop and a spark.
The pistol gives off a “full frequency event” — that is, the sound covers the full range of audible frequencies, giving a complete impulse response. Back at Skywalker, the editors will use Altiverb to digitally remove the sound of the shot.
“Then we can run whatever sound we want through that program, and it’ll sound like we’re in here,” says Langfelder.
Each microphone they have, called mid-side mics, houses two units — a front facing element to capture the event, and a figure-eight shaped one that records stereo. Because the sounds reaching the side mic have bounced off the surroundings, they helps give a sense of ambient space, says Burtt. Together, they allow the sound engineers to adjust the width of the sound, making it project a sense of space. The microphones Skywalker brought all cost around $2,000 each, and, paired with $4,500, 24-bit recorders, capture sound at 192 kilohertz, around five to six times the quality of a CD.
The article is peculiar in the absence of a mention of Benny’s father, legendary sound designer Ben Burtt, but it does a great job of walking through the process of sourcing sounds, especially for something as expansive as recording the sonic essence of a particular place. Three sound examples are embedded in the article (wired.com).
Source Material: Judging by a photo used to promote the second, forthcoming episode (July 25) in Daniela Cascella and Salomé Voegelin‘s “voyages into listening and writing” podcast, Ora, it will include writings by HP Lovecraft and Pauline Oliveros, and music from the trio of Taku Sugimoto, Burkhard Stangl, and Christof Kurzmann, among other topics:
Persistent Memory: The iOS app Heard (apple.com) records continuously into a buffer, allowing you to retroactively determine you want to preserve something (image and information via addictivetips.com).
Data Floodlights: Footage of Ryoji Ikeda’s masterful “test pattern [nº5],” which was on display from June 8 through July 1 of this year at Carriageworks carriageworks.com.au in Sydney, Australia:
Flickr-tronica: The photo below of Brian Eno introduced me to the Flickr stream of Oz Villanueva, who is a prolific professional photographer of, among other things, live performances. Amid his massive trove are great shots of Markus Popp (aka Oval), Lisa Gerrard, Alva Noto, and Deadbeat
Code Blog: Diary of a coding intern at bandcamp: bandcampintern.wordpress.com
Bambaataa Arch-live: The “live archiving” of Afrika Bambaataa’s record collection: blouinartinfo.com
Estranged Love: Matmos covers Bow Wow Wow covering the Strangeloves’ “I Want Candy,” rewriting it about NSA leaker Edward Snowden; streaming video at avclub.com.
Music for Cyphers: Computer-music event at Bletchley Park’s National Museum of Computing the last weekend of July: tnmoc.org.
Listening at MoMA: The webpage for the forthcoming Soundings: A Contemporary Score exhibit has gone live: moma.org; it runs from August 10 through November 3, 2013.