December 9, 2013
In the recent days Bitsphere did some hardware assembling due to the great open source work of Marco Donnarumma called x-th sense. An open hardware project which aims to amplify muscle sounds. The local hardware distributor here in Switzerland offered all the pieces need for the assembly except the “protokit” mentioned in the xth-sense documentation and the sensor is build in less than an afternoon by a newbee to hardware assembling for the on-line documentation is really detailed.
Bitsphere replaced the protokit with a “Hammond Manufactoring 1593KBK Handheld Box”, sawed a piece out of an epoxy fibre-glass labor card (the RE523-LF by Roth Elektronik) which fits in the box and screwed it into the box. That is about the pieces the original kit consists of.
To get the software running was the harder part. It was not that easy to get the required version of puredata extended. Finally it turned out there is a repository for the beta builds with the required versions. Then the directory names mentioned in the x-th sense how-to have to be created on the local disk the very same.
For those interested in readings about body sounds you find an article about biomusic in the Journal of Sonic Studies.
October 21, 2013
Here are some news from the soundmap project which Bitsphere promised to keep you up to date with: Things are going on. The initial idea of recording some nice sounds and put them on a map let to some difficulties and interesting insights.
it turned out field recording is not plug and play. There are some issues a newbie is not aware and gets to learn:
- Get good equipment as soon as possible. If not the precious time you spent is lost apart from some research value.
- Car noises are ubiquitous: Best time to do recordings of environmental sound in a township seems to be at night when you may have the chance of not getting disturbed by cars.
- There are good news: If ever you start doing field recording and even if it is on a very basic level your listening abilities will grow and your mind will get insights in different qualities of noises like:
- There are a lot of sounds around which may be called dynamic: building sites, cries, car breaks, thunder. This sounds enrich the soundscape but are only of partial interest for soundmapping since even when put on a map they may not be found again.
- On the other hand there are dynamic sounds which appear and reappear regularly, typically church bells or trains passing in a regular interval.
- Finally there are more static sounds which may be put on a map for they are long-lasting or eternal: Waves on the seaside, highways, rivers, echoes and many more. This sounds are what seems most valuable in soundmapping where people are invited to do soundwalks with a map constructed in another time.
Considering this it seems easier to go on by defining interesting sounds on a map and record them afterwards with a proper equipment which has to be evaluated, set up, tested and properly handled. The main work is about finding the right sounds by walking with aware ears. Once they are mapped there are several ways to transmit the places to an audience: Handling over a copy of the map, publish it on google maps, mark the places as audibly interesting or even make recordings and put them on a disk. If you know any others please let me know in the comment section!
September 2, 2013
As mentioned earlier this year Bitsphere participated again at the Oneminute contest in Aarau, Switzerland. Sad enough the programming had to be done in rather difficult personal circumstances so it is way not the best video and the jurors in Aarau shared this opinion by screening it off the contest. To see it olympic: there is a video 2012 and it was screened at all:
Last years video was selected by theoneminutes.org for a screening in various museums in Benelux countries. It was part of a series of videos referencing to “rhytm” which was screened during August in unexpected places in some known houses. For those who have not seen the video yet here you find it again:
July 29, 2013
Bitsphere is proud to announce a new collection of ring tones at soundcloud and bandcamp. The ring tones deal with a theme widely known: the ancient Muses. The plan goes to upload one ring tone every two weeks. Todays theme is Klio.
To listen and download go to http://bitsphere.bandcamp.com/track/klio.
As ever you are very welcome to leave a comment!
June 17, 2013
As announced in January Bitsphere created another oneminute video. Other than planned earlier this year it is not an augmented reality video but a study of a QR code acting as a sequencer and visuals related to this topic. Lack of evidence in the earlier concept led to this change of concept. Sonification of a QR code was on Bitsphere’s wish list for a long time. As usual the video will be posted on the youtube channel as soon as the oneminute festival in Aarau is over.
In the meanwhile Bitsphere is very proud that the Amsterdam oneminute foundation accepted last year’s video for occasional use in various contexts. So far no screening seems planned but you will be kept up to date when this changes.
Furthermore there is an uploaded example of a QR sonification on soundcloud. The root is the micro QR code in the post header image you find at the top left of this post. Thoughts on QR codes you may find here on this blog. As usual you are invited to leave a comment in the comment section!
May 13, 2013
I would like to add a new listening post to the others filed in the category listening. The exercise is simple but it may enhance your ability to distinguish different sounds. It is inspired by John Cages Imaginary Landscape 4.
To start you will have to organize two or more sources of broadcast or playback-media. Best is playback so when in doubt you may reset your setting.
The exercise asks you to play all the sources you gathered at the same time and and while listening take notes on a sheet on what you hear either in quality of sounds or in musical terms. That is all you have got to do.
The longer you do it the more you will be aware of your inner ability to “mute” one sound and focus on the other and to strengthen your force not to do so.
If you have comments on the exercise or own exercises to propose please use the section below this post!
April 8, 2013
Non deterministic art has been around quite a while. In the recent decades it started to break out from modern art museums via computer games while inserting itself into business under the name gamification. Rule based art has many forms of appearance. Be it a painting which is made of several pieces which can be moved by the spectator or an installations which depends on various influences like the sound of this windharp embedded in a natural environment. In this post Bitsphere likes to share some insights into the basics of rule based music creation.
Rules and interconnections
Out of very few rules are generally a lot of possible combinations arising. Imagine the action of driving a car: There are few possibilities: left – right – forward – backward – fast – slow. By applying these rules you may reach more places than you would have time to in a lifetime.
If the driver lined up all his decisions by this rules to describe his way from home to the grocery store it would go like: forward 10m – right 90° – forward 500m – right 75° – forward 400m – left 100° – forward 45m. It is clear that only one alteration in the description led to another outcome (the car stops at the gas station for example) and if altering two or more decisions led to a completely other outcome (the car ends up in a holiday resort abroad).
What we also may keep in mind is that there might be other ways to get to the grocery store. Which says that another application of the rules leads to the same outcome.
Example of rule based music construction
To give you a short example of how to work with rules here is a sample piece of music which is based on two rules:
- In each bar the note is shifted up by a third in the diatonic scale (and transposed to a certain range) g – h – d – f – a – c – e – g
- The rhythm in each bar corresponds to a digital number 000001, 00000010, 000000011, 00000100, etc. If there appears a 1 in the number there is sound and if not there is none.
That is how the first eight bars look like in classical score:
This is how it sounds like:
If you have anything to say about ruled based art and music – may it be a link to a resource or your personal opinion – drop me a line!