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Soundscape Renderer

2014-02-01

Mozart_full_muted_binaural

SSR in binaural mode

 

Mozart_full_muted_wfs

SSR in wave field synthesis mode

 

The SoundScape Renderer is a tool for real-time spatial audio reproduction providing a variety of rendering algorithms, e.g. Wave Field Synthesis, Higher-Order Ambisonics and binaural techniques. The SSR is currently available for Linux and Mac OS X and has been released as open source software under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

Noise reduction planning

2014-01-24

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Prognoses of estimated noise zones surrounding the airport in 2020. Red zone indicates 50 dB Lden or more, and the black line indicates 40 dB Lden or more. The two westbound fingers stretching out over Sotra are clear indicators of expected growth in noise from helicopter traffic to and from the oil rigs in the North Sea.

 

The Municipality of Bergen has recently launched a plan for noise reduction. Noise propagation from the main infrastructure noise sources (airport, railways, light rail, roads and the harbor) are identified, and an action plan has been prepared with the aim of reducing noise pollution. The plan is currently open for comments.

In somewhat related news the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a Draft Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammals currently open for comments.

This document provides guidance for assessing the effects of anthropogenic (man-made) sound on marine mammal species. Specifically, it identifies the received levels, or thresholds, above which individual marine mammals are predicted to experience changes in their hearing sensitivity (either temporary or permanent) for all underwater anthropogenic sound sources. This guidance is intended to be used by analysts and managers and other relevant user groups and stakeholders, when seeking to determine whether and how their activities are expected to result in particular types of impacts to marine mammals via acoustic exposure.

Artist-in-residence at Marine Night Campaign

2014-01-15

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For the next two weeks I’ve been invited to be artist-in-residence at the Marine Night campaign of the Mare Incognito Arctic marine biology research project. I’ll be spending 5 nights on FF Helmar Hansen, and then another week in Ny-Ålesund, finishing with a few nights in Longyearbyen.

I do not join the campaign with any pre-defined research questions or ideas for artistic projects. Instead I will start out with a set of working methods and a curious mind that, quoting one of Brian Eno’s oblique strategies, can be summoned as “once the search has begun, something will be found”.

I expect to spend a fair amount of time doing field recordings. In recent years I have done field recordings on a regular basis, most often using a surround (ambisonic) microphone to capture the sound of outdoor spaces. These recordings can be reproduced as 3D surround sound. Contrary to most music recording techniques, ambisonic recordings put an equal emphasis on sounds originating from any and all directions, with no filtering of “unwanted” sound from “unwanted” directions. I like this holistic and non-discriminating quality, and find the recordings interesting for their abilities to capture a sense of place, as opposed to recordings of select sounds disassociated from their surroundings.

During the campaign I hope to be able to do recordings of various outdoor environments (nature as well as inhabited places), as well as indoor places and their activities. Additional recordings using contact microphones capturing vibrations at various surfaces, as well as video recordings, will complement surround recordings. Elin Øyen Vister has been kind to lend me hydrophones and a Telinga parabol mic, and I’ll be experimenting with them as well.

During the campaign I also hope to be able to engage with the other participants, and learn more about their research. On a personal level the campaign offers possibilities for connecting strands of my various educations (I studied polar oceonography before I started studing music composition) in a way that I have not done before, and additionally I believe that a deeper engaging with and understanding of the places we will visit can not be done only by audio alone, but also need to encompass the research-related (and ultimately political) questions that the various research strands of the campaign address.

During this period I expect to be mostly offline, and with no phone connection. I’ll catch up on mails when I’m back home by the end of the mknth.

Getting *.reapeaks files out of the way

2013-12-29

For the past few years Reaper has been my favourite DAW program, due to its superior support for surround sound processing. One minor gripe with the program has been that any folder with sound files gets flooded with *.reapeaks files. These files are used for fast display of sound file waveforms, but I find that their presence a bit of a distraction when navigating folders for sound files.

Thanks to this thread I found a way to resolve this. In the General/Paths pane of Reaper preferences I first set an alternative location for *.reapeks files. I chose to create a new folder for this, located at ~/Music/Reaper/Reapeak-files:

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The next step was to ensure that this path is actually being used. That is done in the Media pane of the preferences:

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Over time reapea files will accumulate in this folder. As I am constantly battling to keep some free space at the main internal hard drive of my laptop, I used Automator to create a folder action that will look for *.reapeaks files in this folder, and delete them if they are more than 30 days old:

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The benefit of all of this is that for projects that I’m currently working on, the reapeaks files will probably already exists, and if not, Reaper doesn’t take long to recreate them, in particular as the internal disk is a pretty fast SSD disk.

The Automator folder action can be downloaded here. If you want to use it, you’ll need to unzip and adapt it to your folder structure in Automator, and make sure that it ends up in the “~/Library/Workflows/Applications/Folder Actions” folder.

Moviestar at the Meteor Festival

2013-11-13

Moviestar

The interactive installation Moviestar by Marieke Verbiesen & co was presented at the recent Meteor festival in Bergen. In the installation Max, Jitter and Jamoma is used for live interactive video processing, making use of chromakeying and blob tracking.

Moviestar v2 Work in progress – Premiere METEOR Festival 2013 from marieke v on Vimeo.

Moviestar is an interactive installation that combines old and new media to create a reallife moving filmset. Classic film, animation, robotics, sound and motion tracking is utilised to simulate a movie scene where visitors play the main role. They will find themselves on a filmset surrounded by cameras, lights and a green screen studio, projected into a world that consists of monsters, UFO´s and other slightly surreal events that are controlled by the visitors movements in front of the camera.

The installation is a tribute to the young history of Special Visual Effects, that since the existince of film has experienced a fast moving evolution. Special effect technologies opened up oppertunities explored by filmmakers in order to produce imaginative movies by putting together diffrent filmed scenes; blending real actor recordings with stopmotion animations and prerecorded material. Filmmakers were able to create characters and filmsets using clay, wood and gardenutilities for their imaginative movieplots. Allthough films using these technologies looked far from realistic, they graduately gained acceptance by the public, and changed the way we looked at film forever.

A lot more info on this installation can be found at the official Moviestar website.

Moviestar was co-produced by BIT-Teatergarasjen and BEK, and supported by the Norwegian Art Council, Nordic Film Institute and The Municipality of Bergen.

 
 
 

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