Summary of work – Submission 2 – Claudio

Social media sounds library

I have created a sound library of all the music, notifications and icon sounds we come across in our daily lives and sorted them by positive, negative, reassuring or intimidating characteristics

Question 3

With this question my goal was to make the audience feel uncomfortable through personal attacks; this was achieved by using recorded samples of people making mean comments in different languages to highlight the fact that it is a worldwide phenomenon which the internet has exposed us to. These samples have been heavily distorted and their bit rate drastically reduced to fit into low-res, vintage aesthetic the group had in mind.

All these different voices blend in with electrical interferences, which are used to convey a malfunction in the device, almost as it was being hacked and our harshest critics have taken control of it.

A third layer comprises an FM synth bass pad which mixes with some radio interferences that I recorded with a pick up coil microphone; these samples have then been pitched and time stretched to create a dark atmosphere.

Question 5

The inspiration for this design came from the keygen music that hackers employ in the interfaces they design to make users install illegal versions of different softwares. Team R2R, for instance, made tracker music popular by using it in their pirate versions of music production softwares which are downloaded by million of users every year.

Here is an example: www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJk1GVMzpLQ

With this question my goal was to play on that idea and incorporate all the icon sounds from different social media platforms. Unfortunately due to the limited time at my disposal, I could not get acquainted with 8 bit tracking softwares enough to be comfortable designing all of the different sounds on that alone; for this reason I chose to use a traditional DAW and try to replicate the sonic qualities of legendary sound chips like the SID, used on the Commodore 64 by using bit reduction distortion and filtering

The sound design aims at overwhelming the audience with anxiety, making them feel to be in a race against the clock as they try to get rid of these annoying pop-up windows. The music grows in intensity as time passes, almost like a ticking bomb ready to blow up at anytime.

Question 6

The third sound design came from the idea of how ratings system change the way we interact with others and make decisions on what products and services we purchase. The sound design opens with an Instagram filter sample, whose dramatic sound is often used in the Instagram stories to express surprise or shame towards other people; in doing so the audience immediately receives a warning, which will be mirrored later on by the voice of an announcer; a vocal sample from the airport scene of the Black Mirror episode called “Nosedive” from which the group took inspiration from.All these elements are accompanied by similar radio interferences as question 3, which have been stretched and pitched down by using a granular sampler built in Pure Data.

Additional work

Some additional sound design works we ended up not using.

Exhibition

The exhibition week presented the most challenges as the team had to suddenly change plans.Instead of running the software from a single computer we were forced to use six, drastically changing the configuration of the setup; we decided to hook all the computers up to a twelve channels mixer in order to route all the individual channels to the two pairs of speakers.I took care of all the connections, set up the levels and made the required adjustments for the different needs of each question. The background soundscapes kept playing throughout the exhibition from the speakers in the back in order to give continuity and a sense of enclosure.

Thoughts on exhibition

The sound was criticised by some for being too low but, I will argue, this was a consequence of what the rules for the venue were, especially since many other groups were competing to be heard in that same space; in addition, not having any introductory part, vital to set the tone of the experience, as I suggested in my last blog post, probably caused the exhibition to lack direction in regards to the topics and issues we wanted to address, at least at the beginning.

Thoughts on social media vs personality

In my experience social media doesn’t really affect my personality, more than anything, it just gives people a platform to show it; everyone obviously tries to hide their flaws and only  highlight their qualities but It’s all part of the reason why all these apps were made this way. We tend to forget that money is the driving force behind the social media model but artists who share their work on these platform have lots of opportunities to connect with people and present them their work. The importance of appearance to create engagement and other intrinsic constraints  are some of the issues artists have to deal with when using those platforms. I personally think social media has a very deep effect on life of creatives; artists who are trying to self promote their work on networks like Instagram or Youtube are deeply affected in their creative processes by the thought of having to make their works conform to the requirements of the same platforms. Songs with minutes long intros or blurred videos are not going to have the same level of engagement so the brain has to take into consideration all these factors during the actual creation process. All in all, the good outweighs the bad and ,in my opinion, the general public should differentiate the way they use social media from celebrities or people who make a business model out of their persona.

References

NEST HQ PRESENTS THE BEST OF KEYGEN MUSIC [CRACKED BY T34M FANXFIC], Nest Hq, 2016.

Nosedive, Black mirror, Joe Wright, 2016.

Black Mirror S0301 Airport scene, Youtube, 2017, link

 

Sound Team – summary of work

In the first weeks, the sound team discussed what the initial aesthetics of the project would be. Since we did not have anything concrete, we started by creating drafts of soundscapes and drones we could use as background in the different sections of our personality test. At some point, we decided the personality test should have different outcomes, each with its own sonic qualities linked to the different traits of personalities. During this phase Tristan and I, composed a library of musical ideas to express the peculiarities of the personality types; diplomats, sentinels, analysts, and explorers. Unfortunately, these ideas and designs ended up not being used in the final project as the team took a different path from the initial one.

After submission 1 and as soon as the visual team provided visuals and images, we decided to design sounds specifically for them, even though we did not know exactly what form the project would take. As they developed more visual material we decided to design sounds for every single Processing patch to combine all these different sections into a cohesive experience. Each question had its own challenges and needed different sonic ideas to make it stand out.

Claudio started building a sound library of all the music, notifications and icon sounds we come across in our daily lives and sorted them by positive, negative, reassuring or intimidating characteristics. While Tristan and Adam worked on background drones and provided sounds for question one, two and four, Claudio took care of three, five and six.

1: Facebook is sending your personal information to someone else! Do you want to stop this? (online privacy)

A. positive Adam

B. negative Tristan

2: If there are two photos for you to select and post on Instagram, do you select the happy, energetic photo or the calm, relaxed photo? (sharing personal routine)

A. positive Tristan

B. negative Adam

3: Would you say the same negative comment you post online to someone’s face? Claudio

4: If you could use technology to cut someone from your life would you? Adam

5: If you don’t set up a firewall to block unwanted advertisements, this is what will happen. (pop-up ads) Claudio

6: Do you rate people’s life, appearance, jobs, opinions by the content they post online? Claudio

Background drone soundscapes:

Main Drone: Tristan

Secondary Drone: Tristan

Additional work

  1. Social media sounds library: Claudio

  2. Adam’s early videos.

  3. Music ideas for personality types:

Exhibition Setup:

2 x 8040 Genelec

2 x 8010 Genelec

Mackie 1642 VLZ4 Mixer

10 ¼ inch Jacks to Jack/ RCA

3 webcams

Sonic script for the q&a

S – Opening theme

Introduction part narrated by an overly processed and unrecognisable voice which is going to set the stage for the q&a. Script still to be defined.

Question 1: Facebook is sending your personal information to someone else! Do you want to stop this? (online privacy)

S – Yes or No/ No2?

S – Follows Tristan/Adam sound designs for opening and closing tap

Question 2: If there are two photos for you to select and post on Instagram, do you select the happy, energetic photo or the calm, relaxed photo? (sharing personal routine)

S – Tristan/Adam sound design

Question 3: Press this button to leave negative comments on the YouTube channel of the person that you loath.  (cyber violence)

EDIT; Would you say the same negative comment you post online to someone’s face?

Sound 

Question 4: If there are people that you really do not want to see again, block them! (Block face and speech)

EDIT , if you could use technology to cut someone from your life would you?

S – Adam sound design/ live voice recording with heavy processing and delays.

Question 5: If you don’t set up a firewall to block unwanted advertisements, this is what will happen. (pop-up ads)

Sound

Question 6: Press this button and you will enter a world where everyone gets rated by others. (Rate people)

EDIT: do you rate people’s life, appearance, jobs, opinions by the content they post online?

Sound

 

APPROACH

Due to the short time at our disposal the initial idea of using MilkyTracker had been ditched, instead I’ve used a traditional Daw and kept in consideration the functional characteristics of the software.

Sound concepts – Claudio

Online Room

Technology, sci-fi movie, game based, the user is the character in the game and the decisions they make will take them to different parts of the game.

The sound is going to reflect the low poly aesthetics of the visuals.In order to achieve this goal, all the sounds will be processed through ring modulators and have their bit rate reduced to simulate the properties of old game consoles. I have researched different softwares that could help me achieve that apart from ordinary plugins and effects that I normally use. Milkytracker is a DAW created to compose “chiptune” songs.This software could be used to compose some of the soundscapes of the game and musical sequences that will be used to convey emotions and produce different reactions.The built-in sampler feature will also allow to process all of the sounds produced and give them a sonic character.

Here’s an example:

I have already created a library of “icon” sounds, composed of all of the notification sounds that we are constantly fed and that produce a reaction from us, call for our attention or warn us; in addition, the last four in the library, are those sounds that we can hear in the filter sections of Instagram’ stories feature, which always have a definite sub communication factor to them and are often used for social shaming or they’re attached to a particular social behaviour.The spring sound and the edm music are usually used when someone acts a fool or does something silly, the brass hits are used for shocking reactions and the motive in “Untilted 19” for appreciation and comfort. At the moment I have yet to come up with an idea on how to give Google a sound.

 

In addition to those, I will record sounds of electrical interferences by using pick-up coils to produce sounds and glitches to show a dangerous and unpredictable side of the same technology and help bring the soundscapes to life during the emotional climaxing sections of the story.

The overall sound should feel deep and surreal to pair up with the rollercoaster ride like narrative dynamics of the story.

Offline Room

In the Offline room the attention should be directed more towards the real world objects. Sound should be used to trigger different reactions in the user; trigger reactions by making unexpected sounds or to give a feedback on the users’ choices.I can see some of the ringtone sounds being used to create some really disturbing long drones if negative needs to be conveyed.