Hums & Alerts

06/10/2017

I was pleased to round off the summer with a performance at the 2017 Bristol Hum on the Sunday afternoon.

The 2016 Hum was my very first live solo performance using my Pure Data tool set, and it felt good to bookmark the year by playing for the festival again.

I was very pleased with how the performance went, especially as a measure of how I have developed over the year –  both in terms of the tools I have built, and my approach to performance.

I feel I have matured as a performer and improviser in this year, which is good, considering that was one of the aims of the ‘going solo’ project.

I’m working on tidying up the recording of the performance at the moment and hope to upload that soon.

The performance was also an opportunity to test out the Arduino controller I have been developing. This also worked well for me and I feel enthusiastic about developing the project further in to a fully functioning MIDI interface.

A brief write-up discussing the controller can be found on my Arduino Controller Padlet, along with other resources relating to the project.

I’ve also been working these last few weeks on a project designing ringtones and notification sounds for smart phones.

This is in response to an open call for sounds from Purism – a project working to build a fully Free smart phone running GNU+Linux.

Designing sound for smart phones is hard! Or at least I found it to be much harder than I thought it might be.

The thing I found to be particularly challenging and frustrating was designing ringtones that would sound good when played through the smart phone speaker, and not just through a pair of headphones or regular speaker. (short notifications seemed much easier)

I had to spend a lot of time exporting sounds from Ardour, copying them to the phone, listening to how they sounded,  fiddling with EQ settings in Ardour, and doing the whole thing again.

I even spent time analysing spectrograms of existing ringtones to try and figure out where I was going wrong.

But in the end I did manage to get some sounds that I’m pretty pleased with – I’m certainly using them as alerts and ringtones on my smart phone anyway – you can download them for yourself from here.

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