Presentation week

We have been thinking ahead because we do not want to be thinking about loads of things last minute. Yesterday we booked out equipment that will be useful to us during our presentation. This is what we will have:

Rechargeable Battery pack – 28/03/2014 12:00 and 01/04/2014 6:00pm

Projector: Pico PK301 Optima – 28/03/2014 12:00 and 01/04/2014 6:00pm

Field Recorder: ZOOM H4N – 28/03/2014 09:00 and 01/04/2014 6:00pm

Laptop Stands K&M 01 – 31/03/2014 12:00 and 01/04/2014 6:00pm

Sound Card: FireFace UC #03 – 31/03/2014 09:00 and 01/04/2014 6:00pm

ZOOM Q3 located – 31/03/2014 09:00 and 01/04/2014 6:00pm

Vanessa

Proposal – Submission 1

Innocent Railway Path – Initial Inspiration

At the beginning of our initial group meetings, we discussed a number of potential locations for our installation. As these discussions went on Nick found a previous art installation based in a former railway tunnel turned cycle path. This provided inspiration for our final installation.

The inspiration in question came from the following art installation in a Derbyshire cycle path tunnel where speakers were set up along the length of the tunnel and railway heritage sounds, along with local natural sounds, play as a sequence through each speaker, with a small delay in which the natural reverb of the tunnel can do it’s wonder.

This led us to the decision to use the innocent railway tunnel in Edinburgh as our location for the sound installation.

The initial idea was to have speakers set up along the length of the tunnel, and once a cyclist rides through a trigger at the entrance of the tunnel, a sound will play sequentially through each speaker (or each speaker is triggered individually by the cyclist). Each speaker could be rigged to a different effect thus creating a new sound experience at each speaker. The original sound could even be looped so each sound from each speaker features characteristics from the previous one.

The cycle path offers a lot of scope in which to play with looping and reverberation and also bring in a visual element projected onto the tunnel walls.

 

Innocent Railway

Nick managed to find the innocent railway cycle path on the 8th February and took some pictures and videos to capture the atmosphere of the location. The innocent railway is a former railway tunnel turned cycle path and is one of the locations we are considering to use for our project.

The sounds in there were very interesting, the reverb is quite varied, from very minimal at the entrance (for obvious reasons) with the length of the echo increasing as you venture deeper into the tunnel.

There are cracks where rain water can enter the tunnel’s roof which adds to the palette of natural sounds.

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Augmented Realities

On the 20th February Yao and Vanessa were discussing possible visual aspects to our project.  They talked about getting projectors and projecting an image on to the walls of the tunnel.  Because our theme is trains, the history of trains, and what the tunnel used to be, we thought that we could possibly get a projection of trains looking as though they are coming through into the tunnel.  The idea of having a visual that the participant could interact with really sparked our interest. So we researched augmented realities. One of the ones that we really liked was called Layar. It is a cell phone application that allows individuals and developers to create a augmented reality.  It can be used for projects and advertisement.

We will incorporate this into our DMSP project.  This method requires that the audience download the free Layar application.

Layar-Logo

Tunnel

Also on the 20th February we all went to the tunnel to get some sounds. We booked out equipment:

 

  • Field Recorder: Sound Devices 744
  • Mic: Neumann KM184 pair
  • Mic stand
  • Rode Blimp

 

We got some substantial recordings. Once inside the tunnel you can hear that there is a good amount reverb.  We got the sounds of crows, cars, people walking, dripping water, and bikes riding past.

SAMSUNG

History of the Innocent Railway Path

Following our excursion to our installation location on the 20th February, we discussed the possibility of showcasing the chronological history of the transportation used in the tunnel and incorporating that into the visual and aural aspects of the project. We may broaden this out to include transportation in Edinburgh as a whole, from walking, to horse and carriage, to steam train, to car, to the new tram system, and everything in between.

It is interesting to note that the innocent railway tunnel was the first railway tunnel to be built in the United Kingdom. Built in 1831, the tunnel replaced the old method of having the train car pulled by horse and stationary steam engines. The pathway’s name derives from it’s impeccable safety record, as it caused no fatalities during a time where accidents on steam engines were commonplace.

The tunnel was re-opened as a cycle path after it’s closure in 1968.

I think it is important to put the history of the tunnel into context as our overriding concept centres around the history of transport in Edinburgh. Given the change of the innocent railway tunnel over time in terms of it’s modes of transportation, it reflects the change that the city of Edinburgh –or any large city- encounters as new technologies emerge and modes of transport are made obsolete. However, some methods of transport that have been discarded in the past can make a reappearance, for example the new tram system in the city centre, which will play a part of the narrative of our installation.

St.Leonards Tunnel

 

Proposal

February 23rd, 2014

So we’ve been thinking quite a bit about possible ways of incorporating the historical aspect of our chosen location, sound, visuals and audience participation (or at least influence). With this in mind Richard proposed the following idea which he thought would be fun to do and hopefully engaging and interesting for the viewers/listeners.

See the below diagram which outlines a basic layout for the installation.  The idea being that a cyclist riding over the trigger will begin the playback of sounds and images that pan along the speakers and wall giving a sense of spatialisation. In order for this to work well we’ll need as high a volume of cyclists/walkers as possible so will need to return to the tunnel and do some data gathering to find out what time of day is the busiest. A Max/MSP patch will provide the base for playing the audio and video back at the correct time when triggered. This again will require some data gathering of average speeds of cyclists and walkers and average distances etc.

projectidea_zps74e4696c

The idea is that we have 3 individual historical themes to the project, starting with the earliest incarnation of the tunnel and modes of transport used such as a horse and cart, agricultural sounds, coal mines etc. We would then move onto the steam engine era of the tunnel and finally end with the new age locomotion.

Now, in terms of technology and equipment, we could have a single incarnation of the above images layout and simply change and update the sounds/projections being played to depict the historical journey or alternatively we could have 3 separate instances of images layout spread out throughout the tunnel. This way would be better, but understand that it would require a lot more tech/speakers and therefore may be more difficult to implement.

 

Post-Production Sound Manipulation

When we ventured to our location on the 20th February we took a number of recordings of the many interesting sounds found inside the tunnel. Such noises included the dripping of the leaking rain water, the sound of rocks hitting the ground and footsteps. Nick took the sounds of water dripping and manipulated them in order to recreate the sound of a train running along the tracks. This is done in order to take the sounds from the location that exist in the present and change the context of the recording to create something from the past, adding to the historical context of the project.

To give the original sounds new meaning, Nick took the audio clips that we recorded last week, imported them into Logic as a new audio track and connected the track to a delay auxiliary channel. He tampered with the delay settings until it was rhythmic enough to sound consistent and give the impression of the sound of the train’s wheels moving across the tracks. He experimented with reverb although this is purely for demonstration purposes, as the venue possesses a superb natural reverb in which to play with.

Initial Ideas About Visual Effects

This is a video clip about our collecting the sounds of a gun (which is not a real gun…) shots last week…

This scrawl on the wall in the tunnel reminds Yao of using it as part of the animation images.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 14.57.44

We can just use the location of the this scrawl as the screen that receives the images from the projector. Overlying the original scrawl with hand-drawing pictures, we will be able to get the final images. Then those images are complied to get the final animation. But one challenge is that it requires us to measure the real scale of the scrawl so that we can adjust the proportion of each elements in the animation to make everything compatible. This may be a sophisticated job.

Therefore, Yao came up with another idea – choose somewhere else in the tunnel as the screen and use this whole image as the first frame of the animation after adjusting its scale to the actual scale. For example, after adjusting the scale, the bricks would look exactly the same as real ones in terms of dimension so new drawings and scrawl can be seen as drawn on the wall. With this, we will be able to make this first scrawl transform into other elements, such as horse or train, through different animation techniques.

Through further discussion, the content of the animation was almost settled. Here’s the rough sketch of it,

drafts

Projector

On the 27th February Yao and Vanessa checked out the projector and did some testings with it. The projector that was checked out was the 3M MP180 Pocket Projector.  In the sound lab they tested it on the projector screen. It didn’t’t focus very well, but they were able to get a very large image. 80 inches is the largest image they got without affecting the image quality.

SAMSUNG

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That picture is the quality of what thry got. The projector also has speakers built in and also has the option to plug in your own sound system.  There is a USB jack. That can be used to import pictures and files directly from your device.  There is also a mircoSD card slot.  The device its self has 4GB of memory

The projector plugs into a direct power source and also has a battery power of 2 hours.  Two hours doesn’t seem to long, but considering the nature of our project that should be the perfect amount of time.

The one major issue Vanessa had with the projector is the rubbish tripod. It is useless so we would have to prop the projector up some how during our installation or borrow one from Kevin and Fiona.

 

 

Real-Time Sound Manipulation

One aspect of the project we will entertain is the real-time manipulation of the natural sounds found in the tunnel, such as the water dripping and heavily reverberated footsteps. Using Ableton Live and an Akai MPD24 we will record natural sounds found in the tunnel and in real-time, insert effects on top to create a new sound. Said new sounds will be altered to mimic the sounds of steam trains, horse and carriages and the modern tram system. This can be achieved through the use of rhythmical delay, phasing and pitch shifting, as demonstrated with the delayed water droplets earlier to create the sound of a train running along the tracks. The previous demonstration was treated at a studio after we had recorded them earlier in the day, however we will also utilise the MPD24 that is hooked up to Ableton Live on a laptop computer to experiment with the sounds on the spot so that it evolves along with the narrative told by the visual element of the installation, and recreate the sound of the transportation evident in the visuals. Using this equipment will have no effect on the budget as we will either use our own laptops or book one out from the studio manager’s office along with the Akai MPD24.

DMSP Ableton 1

Below are some more media files of the water dripping. There is delay added to these.

Incorporating the users of the tunnel into the presentation of the installation.

The the beginning of the piece is triggered by a cyclist or walker stepping on an object which will generate a sound that’s then picked up by a piezo microphone and starts a Max/MSP patch which governs the audio samples used, their panning along the speakers and any effects that may occur.  The speaker system will consist of vibration transducer speakers that Richard will make himself to a similar design as seen in the following video:

These speakers will be contained in a plywood box that should aid the perceived audio level and provide omni-directional sound output. The speakers will be powered in pairs by miniature power amplifiers of this type:

www.miniinthebox.com/tda7297-audio-amplifier-board-amplifier-2x15w-with-wima-capacitor_p626914.html?currency=GBP&litb_from=paid_adwords_shopping&gclid=CL7dqa7f77wCFe3ItAod6xEATA

Audio will be fed into these speakers via RME Fireface UC making use of the individual 6 output channels so that full control of over panning and audio source can be controlled in via the max patch.

In the initial proposal, the idea was to have 3 instances of this setup each running individual sets of sounds, however restrictions on power mean that its more like that only one instance of the installation will be created, with the possibility of more, should a more substantial power source be found.

Projector

Today Yao Yao and I checked out the projector and did some testings with it. The projector that we checked out was the 3M MP180 Pocket Projector.  In the sound lab we tested it on the projector screen. It doesn’t focus very well, but we were able to get a very large image. 80 inches is the largest image we can get without affecting the image quality.

SAMSUNG

 

That picture is the quality of what we got. The projector also has speakers built in. Also has the option to plug in your own sound system.  There is a USB jack. That can be used to import pictures and files directly from your device.  There is also a mircoSD card slot.  The device its self has 4GB of memory

The projector plugs into a direct power source and also has a battery power of 2 hours.  Two hours doesn’t seem to long, but considering the nature of our project that should be the perfect amount of time.

The one major issue I have with the projector is the rubbish tripod. It i useless so we would have to prop the projector up some how during our installation or borrow one from Kev and Fiona.

 

Vanessa Garber

SAMSUNG

initial ideas about visual effects

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjKwzokLeuA

This is a video clip about our collecting the sounds of gun (which is not a real gun…) shots last week…

Well, I prefer to talk more about visual aspects. This scrawl on the wall in the tunnel remains me of using it as part of the animation images.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 14.57.44

We can just use the location of the this scrawl as the screen that receives the images from the projector. Overlying the original scrawl with hand-drawing pictures, we will be able to get the final images. Then those images are complied to get the final animation. But one challenge is that it requires us to measure the real scale of the scrawl so that we can adjust the proportion of each elements in the animation to make everything compatible. This may be a sophisticated job.

Therefore, I came up with another idea – choose somewhere else in the tunnel as the screen and use this whole image as the first frame of the animation after adjusting its scale to the actual scale. For example, after adjusting the scale, the bricks would look exactly the same as real ones in terms of dimension so new drawings and scrawl can be seen as drawn on the wall. With this, we will be able to make this first scrawl transform into other elements, such as horse or train, through different animation techniques.

My start point is to combine our design with the real context. These initial ideas (overlying or transforming) need to be further discussed : )

 

Train Delay

When we ventured to our location last week we took a number of recordings of the many interesting sounds found inside the tunnel. Such noises included the dripping of the leaking rain water, the sound of rocks hitting the ground and footsteps. I have taken the sounds of water dripping and manipulated them in order to recreate the sound of a train running along the tracks. This is done in order to take the sounds from the location that exist in the present and change the context of the recording to create something from the past, adding to the historical context of the project.

To give the original sounds new meaning, I took the audio clips we recorded last week, imported them into Logic as a new audio track and connected the track to a delay auxiliary channel. I tampered with the delay settings until it was rhythmic enough to sound consistent and give the impression of the sound of the train’s wheels moving across the tracks. I experimented with reverb although this is purely for demonstration purposes, as the venue possesses a superb natural reverb in which to play with.

proposal

Image

So I’ve been thinking quite a bit about possible ways of incorporating the historical aspect of our chosen location, sound, visuals and audience participation (or at least influence). With this in mind I propose the following Idea which I think would be fun to do and hopefully engaging and interesting for the viewers/listeners.

See the below diagram which outlines a basic layout for the installation.  The idea being that a cyclist riding over the trigger will begin the playback of sounds and images that pan along the speakers and wall giving a sense of spatialisation. In order for this to work well we’ll need as high a volume of cyclists/walkers as possible so will need to return to the tunnel and do some data gathering to find out what time of day is the busiest. A Max/MSP patch will provide the base for playing the audio and video back at the correct time when triggered. This again will require some data gathering of average speeds of cyclists and walkers and average distances etc. The idea is that we have 3 individual historical themes to the project, starting with the earliest incarnation of the tunnel and modes of transport used such as a horse and cart, agricultural sounds, coal mines etc. We would then move onto the steam engine era of the tunnel and finally end with the new age locomotion.

Now, in terms of technology and equipment, we could have a single incarnation of the above images layout and simply change and update the sounds/projections being played to depict the historical journey or alternatively we could have 3 separate instances of images layout spread out throughout the tunnel.  I personally think this way would be better, but understand that it would require a lot more tech/speakers and therefore may be more difficult to implement.

History of the Innocent Railway Path

Following our excursion to our installation location yesterday, we discussed the possibility of showcasing the chronological history of the transportation used in the tunnel and incorporating that into the visual and aural aspects of the project. We may broaden this out to include transportation in Edinburgh as a whole, from walking, to horse and carriage, to steam train, to car, to the new tram system, and everything in between.

It is interesting to note that the innocent railway tunnel was the first railway tunnel to be built in the United Kingdom. Built in 1831, the tunnel replaced the old method of having the train car pulled by horse and stationary steam engines. The pathway’s name derives from it’s impeccable safety record, as it caused no fatalities during a time where accidents on steam engines were commonplace.

The tunnel was re-opened as a cycle path after it’s closure in 1968.

 

Sources:

www.edinburghguide.com/book/transport/cycling/innocentrailwaypath#history

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edinburgh_and_Dalkeith_RailwaySt.Leonards Tunnel

Tunnel Feb 19th, 2014

Yesterday we all went to the tunnel to get some sounds. We booked out equipment:

  1. Field Recorder: Sound Devices 744
  2. Mic: Neumann KM184 pair
  3. Mic stand
  4. Rode Blimp

We got some substantial recordings. Once inside the tunnel you can hear that there is a good amount reverb.  We got the sounds of crows, cars, people walking, dripping water, and bikes riding past.

 P1020884

Vanessa Garber