Room to Play Sound Design – Pt. 1

Ahoy!

So I want to do some follow ups on the Room To Play exhibit I had a hand in and briefly go over some of the concepts and sound design for what we eventually came up with. As a sneak peak, here’s a little loop with a few of the sounds that I’ll be discussing in the next few posts:

For more info on Room to Play and some looks into what we go up to in the workshops check out this blog post. This post is obviously from my own perspective, but a lot of other people’s work went into creating not only this exhibit but the others that went on display, so do check out who else was involved :).

But veering back on topic: the main concept for Room to Play was combining aspects of music and sound with “play” and “games”. As a sound designer in digital games you would think that a lot of the processes would be similar and easily carried over, but with Room to Play on the whole I wanted to look at the tactile side of things, how people interact with objects that generate sound and how they react to the sounds the objects made.

So with that in mind, one of the ideas for an installation was to use trampolines in some fashion.

Ya know, these things (made to look good by people with art skills!):

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After a few ideas (including bouncing musicians!) the basic concept the group came up with was what would happen if a sound played when someone jumped. But we took it one step further.

Team Trampoline had an plan. That plan involved Dance Dance Revolution. Well, the dancemats anyway.

Continue reading “Room to Play Sound Design – Pt. 1”

Room to Play!

Ahoy!

Recently I’ve been invited to take part in the Tinderbox Orchestra’s Room to Play programme, a collaborative effort between a mix of musicians, game developers, visual arts and other creative folk working to develop a series of interactive musical installations. It culminates in a showcase at the Hidden Door Festival on the 30th of May in Edinburgh.

You can read more about the project and the people involved here.

Oh, you can also get tickets for it here too.

So far we’ve been looking at a few different ways of interacting and playing with sound, and I wanted to share some videos from one of the nights from a few weeks ago. We were looking at sound generators and electronics, building basic synthesizers and what methods can be used to control and manipulate them. This is something I’ve been interested in for a while but not had the chance to jump into, so as you can imagine I was pretty keen!

Here’s one that involved a joystick to trigger a synth on and off, with a light sensitive capacitor controlling the pitch:

 

We also wired it through some basic delays and added a lot more light to the mix, which resulted in this:

 

Joysticks weren’t the only thing we used to trigger the synths, we also had buttons too! These acted in a similar fashion, serving as a basic gate or switch that opens or completes the circuit when pressed:

 

Switches and light sensitive capacitors weren’t the only things either. In this instance while the two metal parts (the copper tape and the spoon) separated the circuit is in complete. When a person touches both parts the circuit is complete, and a sound is generated. When the surface area touched is increase, the resistance that person provides drops and the pitch increases, giving a degree of playability. Physics is fun!

 

And those were only the things the group I was in worked on, others used servos and moving parts to generate sounds, or made collaborative synths! So it was a pretty interesting session :).

A later session went a bit deeper into using different types of triggers. This also happened:

 

So yeah, it’s been pretty interesting and the final results should be really cool. If you’re free on the 30th and in Edinburgh then please drop by!

 

Cheers!