Thursday, June 7, 2007

The generation of sound

"A metal quartet"

New festival of electroacoustic music at Fylkingen yesterday. One of the highlights was a piece featuring four metal plates put in motion by modified loudspeakers. Their vibrations was picked up contact microphones and then processed in Max/Msp before being converted to acoustic vibrations again through a surround sound system. Good vibrations!

A different piece had a similar setup, but with two violins instead as the source. AM radios hacked into musical instruments/sound generators was also observed there...

"AM radio reincarnated"



LS said...

Those plates seems ot be like playing on saws, but electrified... right?

O.K. said...

Almost, the modified loudspeakers (silent actually, they connect mechanically to the plates) feeds them with sounds and impulses. The plates adds resonance and reverberation to those sounds. The end result is very depending on what you send in, and the computer processing of the sum of course.

Big plates was a popular method to create artificial reverb in recording studios a few decades ago. They used the same principle as these with a driver and a contact microphone. They were very expensive, I believe a good one was almost $10000 in the 80s. And then digital signal processors came, killing them more or less delivering reverb at a fraction of the cost.

O.K. said...

By the way, the modified AM radios gives the expression "Tune in the radio" a new dimension.