Sound Array!

Sound Array

Finally I’ve been able to get into the Dance Studio and try out the Sound Array system!

First I had a induction to how it all works and using Ableton. I have used Ableton once before but have never used it within my work. I found that it is relatively simple to use but what I really needed to do to was to see what the software and sound array was capable of. The best way for me to do that was to just play and experiment with it. So that is what I spent the whole day doing.

Even though I am recording all the sound for the film short binaurally, for this I can just use mono tracks so I started off by using mono recordings from the song I am singing in the abandoned stable in Chepstow that I recorded in the studio. After I inputted all the vocal tracks (the main vocals and the harmonies) I was able to spatially place them around the room. The sound is really quite surreal when, for example, you automate it to travel in a circle around the room it really feels like something is traveling around you. I did also try using the binaural recordings which kind of worked when you put the track panned slightly left and then another track of the same recording panned slightly right. It was really quite surreal.

After playing about with it for a bit, I went through my installation idea with one of the technicians. I had to make sure it was possible before going for the re-shoot next week.

My idea is that I will have 4 hanging screens (Kingsize sheets that are hung from the ceiling) in a square formation (for the moment – I didn’t like it when I put it up last time as I felt it was too obvious but I think that as my idea has changed a bit then I should start again by looking at it in a square structure and go from there). On each screen there will be a still image but it will be one long shot so there will be movement within the image itself of the grass, subtle movements in colour and light/shade because of the sun.. etc.. You wont notice it is a moving still image until you spot the movement. The idea is that I will start singing in one frame/screen then I will move from one screen to another and sound will follow me with my movement. The viewer than can then walk around and follow or simply listen. The one thing I don’t like about the square formation is that the viewer will tend to linger in the center – I want to get away from this sort of layout so that people will move about and catch their shadows in the projections. This is why I am thinking of having things on the floor, i.e. tarpaulin, so that people movements will become part of the soundtrack to the installation – they become part of the sound and the voice of the space just my movement and vocals become part of the building within the space.

I love the sound array system and I think it is an incredible piece of equipment and software to use.  It seems that my idea should be do-able once I have got all the footage together. This means that I can get on with filming next week then bring everything in the following week for my final performance for the Live module before we break up for Easter. I am very excited to get everything working for the final performance on the 23rd of May. Now that I see the installation becoming a physically real thing and everything is coming together, once I’ve got all the footage filmed had a run through of the installation in a couple of weeks I will start promoting it as a sound art installation and exhibition.

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