A multi-disciplinary designer’s journey in field recording, sound design, sound effects, and music.

Indian Summer

Posted: May 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: music

No sound effects or field recordings this time, instead…a short sample of music, improvised on a sweltering fall day that inspired the track’s name.

This piece is entirely played on the guitar, obviously run through effects in places and totally unprocessed in others. Some of the many guitar tracks were also prepared with magnets on the strings, pennies stuck in the fretboard, and I think an elastic band.

You don’t have to ask: Yes, I listen to Klimek and Fennesz. :-)


[Epiphone "Les Paul"-clone guitar into MOTU 828mkII interface, recorded and processed in Apple Logic Pro]

Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Stupid Lav Tricks: A Robotic Primer

Posted: May 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: found sound objects, gear
Roomba

To paraphrase Ned Flanders, "That set my beatbox all the way up to Roomba!"

Lavalier microphones (“lavs”) are used with wireless transmitters and receivers all the time in the world of film and video production because, well, actors move. Sometimes it’s the best way to mic someone if you can’t keep up with their movement or a boom can’t get close enough, as with a wide shot. They’re not usually the first choice for miking talent, but they’re a common one and a good tool for certain conditions.

Wireless lavs are also handy in sound design for the same reason: Some things move. When they move, you need to pan your mic with it, or accept off-axis sound falloff, or be trying to get a Doppler effect. If you want your mic point-of-view to stay on something moving, and a cable’s going to get in the way, then a wireless mic system is just the ticket.

But, as with everything, there are some caveats.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

David Sonnenschein Webinar: May 21

Posted: May 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: news, theory

As announced a few days ago on Designing SoundDavid Sonnenschein, author of  Sound Design: The Expressive Power of Music, Voice and Sound Effects in Cinema, will be hosting a live webinar entitled “Psychoacoustic Tools for Creativity,” May 21 from 9-11am Pacific Daylight Time. It’s open to students, professionals, and hobbyists of all stripes.

David Sonnenschein

David Sonnenschein

Last month, an international group of eight members the online sound community (myself included) attended a “beta test” webinar with Sonnenschein, and it was excellent. The format will be about half lecture and half discussion of attendees’ work, submitted beforehand. I think that the opportunity to learn more about how the human brain interprets audio is essential learning for anyone involved in music or sound, just as the study of visual perception is paramount to visual and interaction design. This class will focus on taking theory and making it practical in one’s work.

Here’s David’s own description of this webinar.

SEMINAR TOPIC:  PSYCHOACOUSTIC TOOLS FOR CREATIVITY

Do you desire to produce really effective soundtracks that reach your audience through neurobiological resonance, tapping into how they subconsciously perceive the world through sound?  Would you like more access to your own brain power for finding innovative approaches and solutions?  Every professional sound designer can benefit from understanding and experiencing the science of sonic storytelling. In this seminar we will explore the neurobiology and psychology of hearing and how these underlying principles can support creative sound design.

WHAT WE’LL DO

In the second half of each unique 2-hour seminar, David will screen, analyze and discuss video clips pre-selected from submissions by the participants (max. 5 min., 100mb file size). If you have something ready or a work-in-progress, send info on the genre, length and any particular area of sound that you’d like to discuss, to dsonn22@gmail.com.

It’s a steal, too: You get access to one of the best minds on sound design for US$40. It’s limited to 25 people, so definitely sign up soon. If you’re active on socialsounddesign.com (see my earlier post about this awesome community), you’ll probably recognize a lot of peeps in the class.

To paraphrase our state’s governor in Predator: DOOO EET! GET TO DA CHOPPAH!

| 1 Comment »

Magnet + Hydrophone

Posted: May 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: found sound objects, gear, sound design, video/motion

Magnet + Hydrophone from Noise Jockey on Vimeo. [Did you miss my first video?]

It is what is says, people! ;-) I ducked out some handling noise, but for the most part the audio is unaltered. Enjoy.

Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Who are you?

Posted: May 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: news

According to Google Analytics

  1. You spend an average of 3 minutes on NoiseJockey.net. This suggests you actually listen to the sounds. :-)
  2. 60% of you are directed here from other sites; of that, over 20% of you are arriving from DesigningSound.org.( I thank everyone who runs sites in this increasingly vibrant sound recording/design community who read and support Noise Jockey! You rock!)
  3. 60% of you use MacOS, and 35% of you use some flavor of Windows. I’m gonna assume the 2% of you who visit Noise Jockey on the iPod, iPhone, or iPad are lamenting Apple’s refusal to support Flash.
  4. 42% of you use Firefox, 36% of you use Safari, and and less than 7% of you use Internet Explorer. There’s a word for that: Progress.
  5. Almost half of you use laptops to view this site, but at least a quarter of you have big-ass monitors, too.
  6. Noise Jockey’s visitors are quite international. A hearty “merci beaucoup” goes out to the 10% of you that parlez Français, possibly visiting from SoundDesigners.org. (A personal thanks to Benoit is appropriate here, and apologies for not having taken French since middle school!)
  7. You made post that you found most annoying also the most-viewed/heard. (Thanks to David Hobby at Strobist.com for the pick-up).
  8. You commented the most on the first video I released. More to come…

Numbers only tell so much. How many of you are female vs. male? How many of you are professionals vs. hobbyists? What else do you do for fun? That’s what’s most meaningful, and the statistics above only paint part of the picture.

If you want to share more, do so in the comments below. But more importantly, visit each other’s sites and blogs. Join an online sound community. (Some of my favorite blogs and communities are listed in the “Aural Linkage” sidebar.) Record something and start your own blog!

Or, at the very least, just listen. To where you are, every day. Your life will be richer for it.

Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Project MoMA: West Coast

Posted: May 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: field recording

[Today's post is a cross-country collaboration of field recordists, myself  (Mr. Noise Jockey) and Michael Raphael of Sepulchra.com. We're simultaneously posting recordings from our respective museums of modern art. I visited SFMOMA in San Francisco, and Michael visited the MoMA in New York City. Please read both posts to compare and contrast the recordings and our observations.]

SFMOMA

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art was pretty dead when I got there. The bright, sunny day drove most people outside, and it was a bit early in the day. What I recorded, therefore, was as much the sound of the building as the people within it.

SFMOMA is built around a 6-story-tall cylindrical atrium. topped by a suspended interior footbridge. I recorded on each landing of each floor, all the way up to the bridge. I also recorded in a few galleries with varying amounts of people in them. The reverb was astounding, with long decays and high-frequency absorption that made any sound almost a drone. With light attendance, the building channels sound in such a way as to render it calming and enveloping.

Museums tend to be genuflective, introspective places. They have a reputation as being places to whisper, hold your chin and nod as you look upon the works. With this in mind, I found that SFMOMA’s art galleries and its public spaces have related but different acoustic properties.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »