Last night our exhibition at Signal opened, and Oh Boi it was a good evening. There were no technical issues, and there was quite an impressive audience turn out:
I mainly spent the evening taking photos of the event, both the surroundings and the crowd which we gathered. I uploaded these photos to Facebook and can be seen here if you are my friend. If not, have no fear here are a few:
Overall it was quite a successful evening: However…
Finally, I would like to convey my thanks to Robbie Rowlands, who selflessly accompanied us throughout this project. The thing which stood out to me was the way in which he treated us as equals. He never looked down on us, yet managed to push us to the boundaries of our capacity. For this I wish to thank him and hope that he continues to… well… Just be Robbie.
This evening we finally saw it all come together, we all gathered at Signal for the first test run. At this point my job on the tech team was basically finished, other than looking out for hiccups in the final video there was nothing more I could do. Instead I sat back and said… “Ahhhh, Wonderf- Wait. Why isnt that screen working!”
Luckily for me, that was not my problem, and the Signal Techs soon sorted out the issue and our work looked great!
A few people commented that their sequences were too bright and requested that the exposure be brought down. Additionally, the black spaces between each clip will be removed. This is something Dusty and I will have to do tomorrow… For now… Night Night and good work.
Update – 28th of October
Dusty went ahead with Rob and adjusted all the exposures and removed the blanks… Looks like I got out of that one!
Yes, I know the title of this post makes me sound like a programmer, but no, Im not a programmer.
Today I met up with Dusty as part of the tech team to work on the final video export which will be handed over to Signal. This wa s a process that took much longer than expected. Thinking it would take 30mins to half an hour, we ended up spending about 3 hours working on the edit. We had to gather peoples footage from google drive and a hard drive, put it into a centralized location and then cut it into segments. After tediously splitting the clips into part 1,2,3 and 4; Dusty made me name them so that we would not forget whos they were and where they went. I complained bitterly about this but ended up thanking her later when it got confusing. Then we placed all the clips together paying close attention to the common themes, colours and visual styles. Ensuring that everybody’s work was spaced evenly throughout the presentation and that there was nothing missing. Finally we had a very near complete composition bar only a few straggling clips. The total thing came down to about 12 minutes when edited together.
Later on we added blank clips in between everything so that there was a pause. These were later removed once Robbie was consulted.
Without knowing exactly what the final sound piece would sound like, today I ventured out to sample some sounds. In order to do this I borrowed a directional shotgun mic and plugged it into my Zoom H4n. After some awkward standing around in the rain and looking like a fool, i managed to record some samples of pedestrian signals ticking. I then put them onto the computer in the editing suite and considered the way in which i wanted them mixed. I quickly realised that I would need the entire sound, from the slow ‘waiting’ sound, to the more rapid ‘crossing’ sound. This meant that I had to once again go out to record. I stood on the corner of Lygon street with my microphone pointing at the pedestrian signal when a man passing by in the car yelled out something which got me thinking: “SICK DUBSTEP BRO”. Good idea.
In the final version of the sound which can be found here, I did actually end up putting a dubstep-esque ‘drop’. It builds up with the sound of a motorcycle going past and then the signals go into rapid ticks. The sounds start on the furthest right and left channels and they build up until eventually they both ‘drop’ onto the middle channel. The idea of this was to utilize the whole sound walk. and create an overall more sensational listening experience.
Although the sound does not at all link with my obsession on windows, it is true that the often overlooked ticking of a pedestrian signal is a very private experience. Thus, i think it will link nicely with the idea of intimacy.
After providing my classmates with very specific guidelines on how to export their footage, I realized that there was in fact a better option available. Originally having them export in an mpeg4 codec the clips were not as good quality as they could have been. However, when I checked with a newer version of Premiere Pro, it became apparent that the Apple Pro Res codec would be much more appropriate.
Here are the new guidelines and the comparison on quality difference:
Facebook did degrade the quality of this image, so difference is not as drastic as this photo makes it seem. Anyway, I left it open as an option, the original clips quality was still appropriate for Signal.
Today I pulled a long haul in the edit suites, a place I have started to call my home. I basically live there now.
Ive adjusted some of the timing in “windows” and also changed the colour of the background to a more warm orange tone. The reflection of the cityscape has also been exaggerated as it was getting lost in the darkness of the blinds. Here is the most up to date version:
After going to class today and presenting my work I received the feedback that my planned sound was “dinky”. It seems that the quantised piano arpeggio comes off as too constructed. Robbie requested that instead i used sounds which i myself have recorded. I did a test by using a custom synth to sample sounds in place of the piano notes. However this also sounded quite constructed and i was encouraged to reconsider. Eventually i decided to use the sounds of traffic signals. A few weeks ago i was walking through the city at night and i reached an intersection that had no traffic but had 10 different crossing signs. As i stood there i was able to hear them all ticking independently, noticing that they all had different timbres and frequencies. I found this quite fascinating.
I still wanted to use the sounds to build a chord as I want to utilise all 3 channels on the Signal Soundwalk. My basic idea will be that the sounds start of seperate and then all come in together at the end of the piece.