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Symposium on Soundscapes and Immersive Sound

2019-09-05

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Next week I am looking forward to participate in the 3rd International Conference on Music and Sound Design in Film & New Media.

The symposium will focus on Soundscapes and Immersive Sound, and takes place at Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.

Here is the abstract for my presentation:

 

Clouds, Fog, Shimmer – Creative Shaping Of Sound Fields In Ambisonics

Authoring of ambisonics sound fields often seem to be based on a conceptual approach that resembles object-based spatialisation. Object-based spatial scenes in, for instance, Dolby Atmos combine sound sources with meta-information that describe spatial positioning. In the ambisonics authoring workflow, it is common to encode sources (often mono- or stereo-) in a straightforward way that ensures that they arrive from the desired direction. Prime examples of this approach are encoding plugins with graphical user interfaces that display the accompanying 360° video so that the sound designer can glue sound objects onto their visual counterparts.

The Ambisonic Toolkit (ATK) offers a set of tools for working with ambisonics. In addition to a number of encoders and decoders, the ATK offers possibilities for transforming sound fields. The model of the ATK is a sound-field sound-image model rather than a sound-object sound-scene model. In addressing the holistic problem of creatively controlling a complete sound field, ATK allows and encourages the composer to think beyond the placement of sounds in a sound-space and instead attend to the impression and image of a sound field. This is viewed to be the idiomatic approach for working with Ambisonic technique, leveraging the model the technology presents. This presentation moves beyond planewave encoders to illustrate how more complex sound fields and textures can be synthesised, encoded and processed.

Ambisonic encoders and transforms are combined with other common processing techniques such as delay, reverb, distortion, granulation, compression and feedback to create spatial sonic objects that can be described as fields, textures, clouds, dust, fog or shimmer. Most examples are processed in first order using Reaper and ATK, but additional examples illustrate how this can be combined with processing in parallel environments such as Cycling’74 Max and how these techniques can be extended to third order ambisonics.

THE ATMOSPHERICS 9 (A Blue Million Miles)

2019-08-20

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Trondheim Electronic Arts Centre
August 23 – September 29 2019

The Atmospherics is one of the ongoing collaborative projects of Trond Lossius and Jeremy Welsh. Through field recordings they capture unique qualities from different natural landscapes and urban areas. The recorded audio and video material is then filtered, edited, modified and mixed to highlight some characters or to mute others. The intention is not to document the sites, but rather to build a database of audiovisual material that is combined in different ways in their installations, where each assembly becomes a “temporary place”, constructed of impulses from different geographical areas.

Since 2014, the project has moved from Bergen, Trondheim, Arendal, Førde, Utne and Campania, Italy, where it has been presented in various installations with multi-screen video and multi-channel audio. An earlier version was presented at Heimdal Kunstforening in 2016, and the last version, #8, was conveyed at Gallery Entrée in Bergen early 2019.

Lossius and Welsh have collaborated in various situations and combinations since 2004. Together with the painter Jon Arne Mogstad, in the group LMW, they produced a series of experimental installations that combined sound, digital images and painting. Lossius and Welsh were also leading the artistic research project “Re: place” at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design in 2012-2013.

The Atmospherics 9 (A Blue Million Miles) is a customised remix from material from the whole project so far, and consist of projected and screened video together with a four channel sound installation.

The Atmospherics series is supported by Arts Council Norway, Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond, Trondheim municipality, Bergen municipality and BEK – Bergen center for electronic arts.

Sound Design for Whale Hall at Natural History Museum

2019-08-18

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The Nature Historic Museum in Bergen is the first and oldest building of the University of Bergen. It is a landmark in the city and is itself preserved as a historic building. This includes several of the exhibitions, not least the majestic Whale Hall. Several smaller and eleven large whale skeletons are mounted in the ceiling, including a 24 meter blue whale.

The museum is currently closed and undergoing restorations. Bjarne Kvinnsland, David Rothenberg and myself have been invited to work on a super-exciting project. A 24 channel sound installation will be part of the permanent exhibition in the Whale Hall. The speakers are custom built at SEAS in Moss to fit the historic building. The development has required close dialogue with the Directorate for Cultural Heritage.

Bjarne, David and me are responsible for the sound design, and our work has been ongoing for more than a year. It draws on Davids vast knowledge of whale song and communication and his massive collection of whale recordings. Many recordings are his own. Others originate from researchers and nature preservists from around the globe. In addition David and Bjarne have been on several expeditions to record more material.

We all share responsibility for composition and sound design. I have the main responsibility for programming and spatialisation. The speaker layout defies the standard sweet-spot approaches. So, last winter I developed an alternative solution, using triangulation. It serves similar needs to the DBAP algorithm, but offers more distinct spatial localisation. That has served us well.

I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this project. It is a privelege to work in such a space. We are not pernitted to share photos until the opening, so this post will have to make do with one from the park. The museum reopens October 14. I can’t wait!

Zotero reference manager

2019-07-12

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https://www.zotero.org

Zotero is a free and open source reference and bibliography manager, and seems a compelling alternative to BibDesk (support for Word) and EndNote (expensive).

2D Delaunay spatialisation in Max (finished)

2019-03-09

2D Delaunay spatialisation in Max (finished) from Trond Lossius on Vimeo.

Here is an updated video demonstrating the 2D Delaunay triangulation approach to spatialisation for arbitrary speaker layouts.

I have continued development and now consider it done. The new addition over the last week is to track the convex hull. If source position moves outside the convex hull (the area covered by loudspeakers) only the two speakers at the nearest edge are used, and volume will roll off with increasing distance.

I’ll wrap this up as a package, so that it can be shared.

 
 
 

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