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  • Sound Design Installation

    Posted on July 5th, 2017 Jeremiah Joel Cheah No comments

    THE BUTTON BEEP

     

    “Today all sounds belong to a continuous field of possibilities lying within the comprehensive dominion of music. Behold the new orchestra: the sonic universe! And the musicians: anyone and anything that sounds!”   – R. Murray Schafer

    The elevators are part of our weekday routine. It is safe to say that most people do not pay as much attention to the sounds you hear while you go up to the 9th floor from the ground. Our minds are usually in another place, thinking about university-related work or even the plans we have after our classes.

    This sound installation aims to highlight the buttons you hear in the university elevators. A unique feature the buttons have is that they are tuned and pitched differently. The sound installation was created with the vision of transforming a sound one would deem as irritating noise, into a harmonious blend. Accompanied by the ambience of the rumbling elevator, the button sounds activate from various positions in the room. The main idea is to listen to each button tone with as much detail as possible in the short timeframe it sounds.

    With this installation, I hope to leave you with the idea that anything can be compositional in the sonic universe. As R. Murray Schafer has said, the new musicians of the sonic space are anyone and anything that sounds!

    ***

    The sound installation went just as planned, with the major hiccup being the elevator drone file not being prepared beforehand.

    The hard panning  used on the track for the M-Audio speakers was effective in utilising the separate corners of the room. With the unique placement of speakers on the floor as suggested by Professor Matthew, each button beep was able to blend in together with the rest of the elements in the room.

    The overhead section could have been slightly better in terms of mixing. I felt that I should have taken advantage of the subpar quality of the speakers by incorporating a different type of beep sound to highlight the higher frequencies.

    The elevator drone sound could have been louder. In hindsight I did not prepare for the elevator drone file to play back from my phone, thus the quality was not as good as when testing was done on an iPad and another phone of better quality.

    The dwarf speaker produced exactly what I wanted it to sound, a strong button beep sound that is slightly muffled by the hard wood it is placed on.

    Overall, this sound installation project was a very good learning experience for me. Working with a space is definitely much more interesting as each space is different every time. This means decision making is a very unique process during the mixing. There are many things I could have improved but nevertheless I am happy to have been able to carry out this project.