Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Audio Arts IIIB – Major Project, Semester 2, 2008: Film Sound

As most of you have endeavored to squish your movie down to a civilised file size, I have taken it upon myself to do the same – thanks to some video compression tutoring from the multi-skilled J. Delany. Most of the changes made to this cut have been subtle, such as fine tuning footstep alignment and volume levels. I conceded backing off the sound of running water from the “looking out the window” scene and replaced it with something of a more chilling ambient variety. EQ was applied to various sounds that were a little too stark on their own, and delay was added in the final scene for ‘terror’ enhancing colouration.

As is always the case with such a project, there were things I would change in hindsight, but I think given the timeframe and objectives of the task it has been a success.

Click here to download the movie clip (7.04 MB)


Harrald, Luke. “Audio Arts IIIB – Major Project, Semester 2, 2008: Film Sound.” Project undertaken at the Electronic Music Unit, Elder Conservatorium, University of Adelaide, from the 28th of July to the 20th of November 2008.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Creative Computing IIIB – Major Project – Semester 2, 2008

The performance interface...

ELP-V-Q/Q/Q--Breaker is the culmination of three years dedication to learning the finer points of electronic music making. It is a merging of my pre-2006 aesthetic background and that of my accelerating interest in code based sound/music programming. There are elements of controlled random functionality, sporadic real-time sample cutting and reconfiguration, ambient synthesiser harmony derived from real time key tracking of an acoustic instrument, and heavy rock guitar playing. Musical genres explored in the piece range from experimental electro acoustic to progressive rock to dance and heavy metal. It gets a little chaotic when these are all present at the same time – in a good way.

There was a lot of programming time involved with creating such a piece, as I kept vying for greater control over certain parameters and the overall structural development. A considerable amount of time was spent determining the most suitable environment to capture a recording of the piece. As the code increased, and pressure on my struggling G4 became too great, it was no longer possible to perform in the home studio. An attempt to capture the work in EMU’s studio 1 failed due to Pro-Tools’ system-hogging behavior corrupting the environment and crashing the computer at 70% completion.
The solution: Audio Lab and two computers – one for recording and one for SC.


Click here to link to online folder containing the SC code, all documentation, and an MP3 file of the performance.


Haines, Christian. “Creative Computing IIIB – Major Project – Semester 2, 2008.” Project undertaken at the Electronic Music Unit, Elder Conservatorium, University of Adelaide, 1st of October to the 20th November 2008.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Perspectives in Music Technology III-B, Semester 2, 2008: Research Project

G-MOOM's spectacular interface...

This is the beta version of my MIDI file manipulation software G-MOOM (Getting More Out Of MIDI) along with its accompanying research documentation. While the program exhibits a relatively simplistic approach to improvising ‘between the notes’, the aspects of its functionality that I wanted to incorporate to this point are working successfully. I have included an audio (MP3) file in the online .zip folder, which highlights the three most musically plausible methods of adjustment that the program presently accomplishes, namely the insertion of chromatic, repeating and scale-tone passing notes. Other areas need more work, such as chord tone passing notes, scale and arpeggio runs and phrasing structure.

This was very much an exercise in logic that I believe will serve me well in future both as a programmer and a conventional musician. I have a new level of appreciation for the difficulties associated with creating artificial intelligence, and the spectacular real-time processing capabilities of the humble human. It often takes much code to emulate the simplest of human behavioural concepts concerning music. I look forward to expanding my research in the area for as long as possible.

Click here
to link to online folder containing a .zip archive of all code, audio and documentation.


Haines, Christian. “Perspectives in Music Technology III-B, Semester 2, 2008: Research Project.” Project undertaken and supervised at the Electronic Music Unit, University of Adelaide, from 31st of July to 13th of November, 2008.


Monday, November 03, 2008

Forum - Week 12 – Semester 2, 2008: “Squawk Box IIIB”

Pants are so mainstream...

For my own benefit, to enhance my personal understanding and
feelings toward certain aspects of music and art in general,
I have lifted some audio snaps of this forum's engaging
discussion with a view to clarifying my thoughts on what was

Stephen Whittington on the problem of choice:

1.Audio Here.

My written response:
Hmm, if the ‘cherished thing’ is pure Serialism or Music
Concrete, the limited time on earth aspect tells me to let
go now.

A 1st year student offers their opinion:

2.Audio here.

Stephen W. responds:

3.Audio here.

Stephen W. on learning things in their ‘pure’ form:

4.Audio here.

My written response:
I find it quite absurd that an analogy is drawn between the
reasons for learning a Bach fugue, which has been proven to
develop student’s piano technique and an understanding of
melodic polyphony over centuries, and learning Music
Concrete or Serialism in their pure form. If I’m to take
Stephen literally, I can’t be a competent composer unless I
understand these areas. My main problem with both Serialism
and Music Concrete is the complete lack of emotional
response I feel when listening to apparently ‘important’
purist works from either genre.

In countless other styles of music that I don’t particularly
like (such as Bach fugues), I can often find instrumental or
emotional material to connect with on some level, but rarely
does it happen with these two esoteric styles. I don’t feel
this is part of my ‘pre-conditioning’ from society. I
didn’t like the same eighties pop drivel that others did
during primary school. From around the age of eight I’ve
had an individual agenda for why I listen to a particular
style of music. I don’t deny my scope is narrow, but as
Stephen said earlier “There is only a limited amount of
time”, so why fill it with academic material that you feel
you should ‘get’ just because other academics do? I’ve been
trying to ‘get’ it for three years now and either it’s being
presented in the wrong way or, shock horror, it’s an
individual thing, and the emotional responses it solicits
from one person are not possible to extract from another –
despite the educated awareness of all involved.

David Harris on the reduction of one on one training for
composers at UNI:

5.Audio here.

Stephen on why one should write a piece of Music Concrete
and understand processes for creative outcomes in depth:

6.Audio here.

My written response:
I don’t feel I’ve gained an in-depth understanding of Music
Concrete and the motivation for composition in the style
just from ‘doing a piece’. If we were given sufficient
tuition from a compositional perspective (something along
the lines of the 33 hours one on one that David H. mentioned
was the case for composition students at Flinders St School
of Music would do nicely) then maybe I would understand the
process in-depth and have that knowledge to take with me in
life and apply to whatever I want to do.

My question regarding the format of Major projects and why
they cling to forced composition in the purist forms of
Music Concrete and Electro Acoustic music:

7.Audio here.

D. Harris responds and criticizes my subjective views:

8.Audio here.

I respond and criticize D. Harris’s subjective views:

9.Audio here.

D. Harris responds again with a Johannes Sistermannsian
angle on why we should never decide to ‘like or dislike’

10.Audio here.

My response in which I direct the conversation back to
compositional project structure:

11.Audio here.

D. Harris responds with a pro-serial rant pointing out the
restrictions of a tonal system by comparison:

12.Audio here.

My written response:

It is my right as an individual to ‘like’ or ‘dislike’
anything, and it is not always something I can control.
There is a deep flaw in the way D. Harris has worded his
expression in that he states it is pointless to choose to
like or dislike things. What makes you think that there is
any ‘choice’ involved at all? Choosing to like or dislike
things is the pastime of superficial people, who choose to
like something because it’s liked by a crowd they want to
hang with – what they are actually doing, is pretending to
like something that they probably feel neutral about or
maybe even don’t like at all. I don’t like pure Serial and
Concrete music because, as I’ve already stated, none of the
repertoire presented to me from either does anything for me.
This is not my choice, it is a failing of the art to offer
anything of musical substance to the individual that is I,
and I’ve given it all the chances it deserves as far as I’m

The tonal system may be restrictive, but it continues to
produce great music to my ears. The Serial or Concrete
systems may be wide open, but they just don’t do it for me –
and it’s not me, it’s them.

Stephen W. attempts to point out the virtues of learning
something in its purest form:

13.Audio here.

I ask if it is yet determinable what the necessary basics
for mastery of Music Concrete even are. Stephen responds
followed by Peter questioning our ability to judge Music
Concrete effectively:

14.Audio here.

Stephen offers an incomplete response:

15.Audio here.

Stephen wraps up with a rant about what he would like from
student projects in general:

16.Audio here.

My written response:
If exciting, interesting and moving works of art are what
you crave then relax the genre specific directive associated
with student major projects. If a student enrolls in this
course who loves to make dance music first and foremost, let
them embrace what you’re teaching by incorporating it into
their own style. Don’t crush their soul with the weight of
academic scripture that decrees all must suffer at the hands
of Stockhausen, Schoenberg and Cage before they can be
permitted their own voice. Whether you believe it or not,
this is the effect that such directives have on many
students. I was really looking forward to engaging with and
applying technology and music theory of all kinds to my own
compositional directions as part of this course. Instead, I
find myself with an esoteric and largely useless collection
of works that are the product of being forced to work within
restrictive boundaries. If we did indeed have our 33 hours
per year of one to one tuition in compositional style, with
direct relevance to what would be expected in the major
project for a given semester, this may have been a very
different story. However, as this is never likely to be the
case, I suggest again that the major project specifications
are adjusted, so that future students may walk away with a
greater level of creative satisfaction and a folio of works
that may better serve their style as composers/performers.
I don’t intend for this blog to be a negative response to my
entire degree in any way, as it has been a largely positive
experience. I just feel that music is too subjective in
general for a course to cling to so many perceived
constants. Perhaps a TAFE based approach to marking
assignments on technological competence would be more
appropriate, removing subjectivity from the process
altogether. I guess the moral of this blog is to think
about how concepts are presented to students, before
determining expectations regarding what they should achieve
with them.


Whittington, Stephen. "Forum - Week 12 – Semester 2, 2008: Squawk Box IIIB.” Workshop presented at EMU Space, level 5 Schultz building, University of Adelaide, 30th of October 2008.