BLOG (March 2006 - March 2009)


January 27, 2008

Welcome to Graffiti Research Lab via Arduino

I finally got around to properly using my Arduino interface this morning, instead of using it as a token ornament of curiosity.

Lots of LED fun when I should have been writing a thesis.

January 23, 2008

Putting the 'midget' through its paces/Sumi (2)

The midget:

In a previous post I mentioned how I was developing some devices for installation purposes, in this case a micro stereo amplifier. I have since dubbed my little creation the 'midget' due to its small size and amazing carnival-size feats of power. A bit un-PC, but its not the first time a technological device has been given a rather suspect name - Big Muff anyone?

I decided to test the midget out on an installation idea in the works, you may notice that the ink rocks featured in an earlier post. In the images below I'm using the ink rocks to apply pressure to contact mics which are sitting on cardboard resonators (with card supports attached to the underside to create a small pocket of air.)

The complete set-up with the midget, ink rocks, piezos (hidden) and an audio source from my laptop (out of view.)

View of piezo sitting on the cardboard resonator.

View of underside of the cardboard resonator with supports.


Which leads onto the development of a second Sumi installation. Still in its conceptual infancy but interesting in terms of visual material and incorporation of audio, this Sumi is smaller in scale and uses the ink rocks which I've been using for a while. The additional visual material of exagerrated rivers and pools of ink were created simply with black textas, then photocopied and photocopied again to an overhead transparency (see bottom image.) It's still being prototyped at present, and there's a lack of audio/video documentation for an obvious reason; it's not very good yet. However, I'm very pleased with the aesthetic results thus far, and this is shaping up to be an ideal submission for an exhibition in the future.

Complete set-up for Sumi (2), [prototype].

Bargain aquisition

EMU garage sale!

A 27-band graphic eq for $10!

January 22, 2008

Audio file link

I've put up a page of audio downloads:

This page will later be incorporated into the main website when its finished.

Developing little devices

Taking a bit of a leaf out of Seb Tomczak's book, I've started making some little devices which should help me develop my installation work for the masters project. The example below is a simple piece of deviation - turning a faithful micro mp3 amplifier/speaker combo into a reliable stereo amp for installation purposes. I thought about building one from scratch, but decided that a bit of destructiveness would be more fun.

Taking the cover off to get at the circuit board.

Taking the board out of the casing, de/re-soldering wires, etc.

Adding some RCA adaptors and fitting it back to some of the casing.

Works perfectly fine, it's amazing that such a cheap piece of hardware ($25) has such good audio quality and strong signal boost. What is particulary handy about this model is having the option of both battery power (4 x AAA) and +6V adaptor power.

January 18, 2008

Research updates - tea break

Work continues on drafts of the first two thesis chapters, though I'm taking a couple of days off this weekend to visit my hometown of Normanville with my partner Lauren.

The first chapter on Listening is shaping up nicely with references to Rolf Julius, Felix Hess and Toshiya Tsunoda. I've been recently absorbing some of Tsunoda's field recordings, you can find a small post on him at the research blog here:

January 09, 2008

Simple processes

I've been exploring simple process methodologies for a while now. Plogue Bidule's a very useful program for quickly implementing ideas - that is as long as you keep it simple in my case :).

Anyhow, I put together a patch that uses a looping sample of a scratched guitar string and performs a simple process of repetition, articulation and redistribution.

The repetition [figure A] is performed by a series of 4 Tap Delay, frequency bands are articulated [figure A] using All Pass Filter, custom VCF and pitch shift. The redistribution [figure B] is simply a process of routing the signal to an effect, then sending two outputs - one to the first input of the mixer, the other to another effect, the output of which goes to the second input of the mixer. And so forth.

Figure A

Figure B

The sonic result is probably more interesting when one considers the process which is in operation. It allows a kind of determinant indeterminacy (for the lack of a better term), in that key parameters such as material and settings are determined by the user, though as there are so many different parameters in operation - such as multiple delays - the unfolding process can be unpredictable at times, especially when filters with very low resonance thresholds come into play. In the case of the recording below, the only user intervention consists of changing the grain value of the looped sample.

Excerpts [3:03, 3.3 MB]

It's a rudimentary exercise in many ways, but something that illustrates the efficiency and sonic complexity of using simple processes in consort with each other.

January 08, 2008

Exploration of purpose and form

Over the past week I've been playing around with various way to present and formailse ideas which revolve around the fusion of visual and sound aesthetics. The following examples are ideas that have been largely influenced by the work of sound artists Felix Hess, Rolf julius and Robin Minard.

Music for a stone: an ink stone weighing down a piezo transducer with cardboard resonator.

This is essentially an idea I've borrowed in part from sound artist Felix Hess where he uses a stone to weigh down a piezo transducer on a thin cardboard or balsa wood resonator. The contact between the transducer and resonator causes a signal to be amplified. By elevativing the resonator with a matchstick - creating a tiny pocket of air - this causes the signal to be amplified a bit more. I've had some inky stones lying about for a month or so, and I thought it would be interesting to incorporate this into Hess' idea as it adds another element of detail.

Music for a garden: position loudspeakers in a plum tree

This is relatively self-explanetory I suppose in that it is a cute sound sculpture for a garden environment, in this case my backyard. Rolf Julius' work in this field examines the relationship between constructed sound objects and natural surrounding sound objects, in many cases the constructed sounds mimic the natural sounds so they are barely perceptible from each other. A lopsided plum tree seemed liked an appropriate and visually attractive place to position some baby loudspeakers.

Music for a room: loudspeakers attached to a door

This serves a similar functional purpose to that of Music for a garden. Borrowing from Robin Minard's aesthetic of sound to condition and articulate spaces, I played a recent piece Music For Tidy Spaces at a low volume to explore this idea. The loudspeaker arrangement on the door also mirrors Minard's work strongly.

I've also posted this entry at the research blog.

January 07, 2008


I have posted some 'song-writery' demoes for brave ears at The Soniferous Amphx blog.

January 04, 2008

Research: Thesis is go

I took a break from all things research over the past couple weeks, instead writing music for loved ones in the interim. It was a very theraputic and healthy descision as now I feel primed enough to write the thesis and have a draft done by mid year before I jettison of to Europe for a month. I'm working and intellectualising like a blue blooded 26 year old Eno (what?!?) ... in other words being a reclusive knowitall, though not going bald (yet).  

I'm currently working on an introductory section and the first chapter.

January 02, 2008

New Year > Vanity complex comes to the fore

With a new year comes new looks for the Soniferous Garden's sister blogs. The cooking blog recieved some green highlights and a nip/tuck, the research blog received a straightening and 14 new porcelien veneers whilst the journal blog received some re-imaging and a complete body overhaul.

OMG! I can't believe it's them!!

intrepid visitors since 25/1/08