Learning Agreement (Specialist Project)

Learning Agreement

 

Name: Andrew Everington

 

Course: Digital Media Production                                                     Level: 6

Unit: Specialist Project

Reference number: DMP650

Credit points: 40

Study hours: 400

Tutor(s): Phil Beards, Mark Sheldon

 

Synopsis of study

For my Specialist Project I plan on further developing my skills in music production by composing 3 original tracks and playing them as part of a binaural, audio visual experience that focuses on audio reactive lighting and projections.

I will export the individual audio channels from my produced music into Adobe Audition and mix them into 5.1 stereo formats to achieve a binaural, surround sound experience. For this to be effective I will have to play the finalized music through a variety of different speakers, at different positions and heights within a space to get 360 degree audio coverage around a listener.

I plan to use both modern and older forms of visuals for my experience. I’ve looked into ‘liquid light shows’ a form of visual art used a lot in the 60’s and 70’s by bands such as Pink Floyd. Liquid Light Shows use colored oils, water and alcohol between two glass slides to make psychedelic patterns that move freely when warmed under the light of a projector. I plan to use this technique alongside audio reactive L.E.D. lights that I will run through a DMX controller and the Mad Light program which will allow me to manipulate the colours and intensity of the lights. I will program the lights to react to the higher frequencies in the music that I’ve composed. This is achievable through the Modul8 software. For this to be effective I will have to program modul8 to react to the audio through an internal input. This will prevent the lights reacting to outside noise such as people talking, something I noticed during preliminary tests.

 

Aims

A1.

To confirm and develop your systematic understanding of key aspects of digital media, previously acquired in Level 5.

A2.

To encourage the acquisition of detailed knowledge, some of which is at or informed by the forefront of developments within the subject including aspects of current research, or

equivalent scholarship.

A3.

To develop your critical awareness and understanding of historical, contemporary and

personal practice within the broad context of the field.

A4.

To increase your confidence and develop personal presentation skills.

A5.

To consolidate awareness and knowledge of financial, business and legal matters relevant to your future.

Learning outcomes:

LO1.

That you have transferred your systematic understanding of key aspects of digital media, previously acquired in Level 5.

LO2.

The acquisition of detailed knowledge, some of which is at or informed by the forefront

of developments within the subject including aspects of current research, or equivalent scholarship.

LO3.

Through written work demonstrate that you developed your critical awareness and

understanding of historical, contemporary and personal practice within the broad context of the field.

LO4.

Present yourself and your skills effectively.

LO5.

Demonstrate your awareness of knowledge of financial, business and

legal matters relevant to your future.

Assessment Requirements

1 – To be assessed on the ability to create an immersive environment that reflects the mood and tempo of original self produced music.

2 – To understand various aspects of music theory.

3 – To create a binaural audio experience utilizing different types of speakers and considering where they would be most effective.

4 – To understand functions of Adobe Audition when considering a surround sound experience.

5 – To successfully create an audio visual experience that incorporates a mixture of new and old technologies in an effective and immersive way.

Assessment Criteria

Evidence of knowledge concerned with contemporary practice acquired from Level 5 and applied and developed to a higher level. (LO1)

Evidence of research within the contexts of production. (LO2)

Written work demonstrates relevance of research and relationship of theory to practice. (LO3)

Demonstrated through presentation of the finished project work. (LO4)

Demonstrated through presentation of weblog/development of ideas and written evaluation. (LO5)

 

References

Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller | FOREST (for a thousand years…) | 2012. 2014. Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller | FOREST (for a thousand years…) | 2012. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.cardiffmiller.com/artworks/inst/forest.html. [Accessed 17 October 2014].

Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller | Storm Room | 2009. 2014. Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller | Storm Room | 2009. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.cardiffmiller.com/artworks/inst/storm_room.html. [Accessed 17 October 2014].

What is binaural audio? | Kall Binaural Audio. 2014. What is binaural audio? | Kall Binaural Audio. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.kallbinauralaudio.com/what-is-binaural-audio/. [Accessed 17 October 2014].

Untitled Document. 2014. Untitled Document. [ONLINE] Available at: http://people.virginia.edu/~rlk3p/classes/usem180/showcase/psychedelic97/psychedelic97liquid.htm. [Accessed 17 October 2014].

 

Action plan/time plan

40 Hours finalizing details of my project idea

100 Hours spent at university talking to lecturers and having tutorials.

60 hours private research into artists I’m inspired by, liquid light shows, L.E.D’s music production, Binaural audio and Colour theory.

40 hours gaining materials to use in my project such as overhead projectors, Perspex sheets, oils and food colouring.

80 Hours practice with technologies such as LED’s and Liquid Light Shows and Adobe Audition and the Behringer box.

40 Hours spent mixing down my final track in Adobe Audition and the 5.1 Surround Sound format.

40 Hours spent setting up final installation prototype (placement of speakers, projector considering health and safety)

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360 Rekt. (Specialist Project)

Yesterday I put my serious face on and fired Audition up. I feel like I’ve learnt a lot in the space of a few hours which feels great.

This is one view of my set up.

This is one view of my set up.

And here is the other. In short I had to connect up a total of 5 speakers to the Behringer box and place them around myself to create a workstation where I can simulate the surround sound experience I want.

And here is the other. In short I had to connect up a total of 5 speakers to the Behringer box and place them around myself to create a workstation where I can simulate the surround sound experience I want.

At first setting the Behringer box up with these 5 speakers involved a lot of trial and error. For example it took a while for me to figure out how to find the correct audio channels in audition to route audio through certain speakers.

When I worked out how to do that I started to dedicate individual audio tracks to certain speakers. I routed the punchy kicks and 808’s through the large 400W Behringer on the floor as it is the most powerfull of the speakers at my disposal and can generate some nice bass frequencies. I’ve got the main synth sounds (Texture) running through Phil’s two PreSonus and have then panning from the left to the right throughout the tune.

This photo shows How I've panned the texture between the two speakers. The jagged white line controls the left and right channels in the PreSonus speakers.The peaks of the white spikes show the extent of panning and the diagonal lines control how sharp the fade is from right to left.

This photo shows How I’ve panned the texture between the two speakers. The jagged white line controls the left and right channels in the PreSonus speakers.The peaks of the white spikes show the extent of panning and the diagonal lines control how sharp the fade is from right to left.

As well as panning the texture I set up two small M Audio speakers behind the listener one in a right and left corner. Through these speakers I routed some more atmospheric percussion which darts from left too right as well as some additional instruments in my tune (Middle Eastern guitar) This was a bit trickier to pan from one speaker too the other. This was because the two M Audio speakers ran through different outputs. If I were to simply use the pan function It would pan from oneside of a single speaker to the other instead of darting between the two.

To counter this I had to duplicate the instrument and atmospheric drum tracks and simulate a panning function by dropping the audio totally thrugh one speaker and bringing it up in the duplicate channel.

So this photo shows what I explained above. The green and white tracks are duplicates of eachother. the jagged bar controlls gain (volume)

So this photo shows what I explained above. The green and white tracks are duplicates of eachother. the jagged bar controlls gain (volume)

Displaying my work (Specialist Project)

This is something I’m still a bit unsure about. I drew up some early plans.

This is my first initial plan however I did not think about where a potential audience could watch it without blocking the projected images.

This is my first initial plan however I did not think about where a potential audience could watch it without blocking the projected images.

I then came up with this using LED's on the floor to create a viweing area for a potential audience.

I then came up with this using LED’s on the floor to create a viweing area for a potential audience.

I definately need to think more about how to present this. I’m getting frustrated because I cant think up a way that I like.

More Tests (Specialist Project)

Here are some more tests I did at uni that uses some of the new colours I have. I think It would be really effective to have some sort of sub woofer close enough to the projector to move the liquids on the top. However what I’ve noticed with my overhead is that even if I tap the perspex over the light box, the whole unit wobbles a bit making the entire projected image move instead of the oils. So a possibility is that the entire unit will move because of the low frequency vibrations the sub will produce. It could even make an noticable rattling noise which would not be ideal at all.