Monday, March 26, 2007


Audio Arts : Recording Wind Instruments : Wind instrument contains some type of resonator (usually a tube), in which a column of air is set into vibration by the player blowing into (or over) a mouthpiece set at the end of the resonator. The pitch of the vibration is determined by the length of the tube and by manual modifications of the effective length of the vibrating column of air.
Microphone placement depends very much on where most of the sound comes from. Learning the basic charaterstics and dynamic range of the instrument will help you in making your decisions about the choice of the microphone and its placement."Condensor microphones with a cardiod pattern will normally give you satisfactory results"(1).However, play with your creative ideas until it sounds what you want..
Lecture Notes : Kym arrives at EMU with his tenor and baratone..We started with learning the sweat spots of the room, a general idea of the instrument and different microphone placements .It is quite interesting how different microphones produced different timbre. Combination sounds of Sm 57,Beta 56, Beta 52, U-89 gave interesting results.
However for this recording I invited Imm Cielens
..(Click his name to listen to the recording)

Microphones Used:
Sm58 - pointing at the bell ,nearly 1 metre away,
AKG 414 - lower in height and pointing towards the bottom holes
Beat 52 - Along side AKG, pointing the holes
U-87 - Room microphone, infront of him, at his ear level

Trombone Recording : I invited Kara to the play for me..(Click her name to hear the recording.)
Microphone Used :
Sm 56 - pointing the bell, about 1.5 metres away at an off axis angle
AKG 414 - pointing the bell, about 1.5 metres away, quite straighter( main microphone)
Beta 52 - pointing the bell, about 1.5 metres away at an off axis angle
U-87 : Room Microphone , at her ear level from the back

(1)Readings on My Uni.Music Technology(3)2007.
(2)Grice, David.2007.Tutorials on Audio Arts (3).20 March'07.University Of Adelaide.2007

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Audio Arts : Percussion Recording

Examples : Click on the desription to hear the recording.
All sound recordings copyright Shivna Kaun @ 2007

Mallets ,
Hot Rods ,
Sticks(1) ,
Sticks(2) ,

Getting a good sound from an acoustic dum kit has always been a challenge. I cant express how much a good sounding kit can contribute to a track.I believe one of the reasons for musicians using sequenced drum tracks is the lack of quality acheived from acoustic kit especially in a low budget or in home studios. Follow some of these measures and get most out of your beautiful drums.
To start with, make sure your skins are fairly new and are tuned accordingly.All the nuts are tight and are not in contact with any another drum as this will produce undesirable noise.There are various techniques which one can apply depending on style/genre/skill of the player.When recording a rock or metal band the focus lies on giving as much detail whereas a jazz player would like more acoustic properties of the space blended with the sound of his kit.The same applies to classical players or world musicians.

Close Miking: This is a very common practise for live situations in larger venues and is very often used in recording studios. Each drum of the kit is closely and separately miked giving you every possible detail.
Always follow the 2 finger rule I.e place the microphone nearly 2 fingers above the top skin.

Note : Always follow one standard order of patching the cables in the platchbay.Here is the orer that I like to follow
1- Kick , 2 - Snare Top, 3 - Snare bottom , 4 - High tom . 5 - MidTom . 6 - Low Tom , 7 - Hi Hats , 8 - Left Overheads . 9 - Right Overheads , 10 - Room Microphone.

Kick: Hole mounted, not touching; 15-20 cms from the skin.Applying correct padding is very important as this will contribute largely on the thickness and punch of your bassdrum.Make sure you pedal is not making any unnecesssary noise.
Microphone choice: Beta 52 is ideal choice, alternately you can use AKG's or Sen MD421 if thats not available.

Snare: Snare requires a mic that can handle very high SPL so a dynamic microphone is usually chosen. To avoid picking up the hi-hat in the snare mic, aim the null of the snare mic towards the hi-hat.We applied another microphone at the bottoom of the snare to capture the vibrations produced by bottom skin from the snares.This can give you interesting results as the gros notes would be more audible. But, remember the phasing issue caused by microphones facing each other.Inverting this track would correct it .A combination sound of both the microphones would give you a desirable result.
Microphone choice: Shure Sm57, 58 , Sen 825

Toms: Having individual microphones for both your toms will give you more flexibility,again, apply 2 finger rule.
Or you can use(depending on the genre of music) one microphone with a wider polar pattern between 1st and 2nd Tom, close to the head (approx 5-10cms depending on how it is sounding). Alternately one can use NT4, as it would give each mono channel for both the toms.
Have an individual microphone for your floor tom and apply similar techniques.
Microphone choice : Beta 57A, I applied Beta 52 to the low tom for a more thicker sound.

Overheads : Cymbals (ride, crash, splash, china, hi hats): The brilliance and high frequencies of cymbals are picked up best by a flat response condenser mic. Two condenser microphones panned hard left and right at a reasonable height above the toms.
Microphone choice: NT5, Newman K57i.

This would give the stereo image of the recording source. Also, a pair of microphones at a distance captures instrument timbres more accurately than close up mics. Close-miked instruments sometimes sound too bright, edgy, and detailed.This is what the player has to decide depending on the genre of music he is playing and the sound he is after.

Choice of Microphones: Omni, condenser with a large diaphragm about 1.5-3 meters from each other. Microphones like NT5's capture the high ends really well.Also you can use U87/89; AKG C414

Room Microphone : Always have a room microphone placed at the sweet sounding spot in the room.This will capture the reverbrations and the fullness of the room.. For away from the kit,listen to the room and place it ,where it sounds best. Newmans U87/89 are usually the best room microphones.

Panning the Drums : Panning will help you in projecting the correct image of the kit.Imagine the kit from the perspective of the listner and pan it accordingly. Remember , its the other way round of how the player will perceive it. For e.g. Hi tom is panned to approx 80 % right and Low toom approx 70% left.Whereas your overheads are panned hard left and right.Imagine the placements of each drum and pan it,as it exists in the physical world.

Drum kit is what drives the music together with the bass player.Spend as much possible time on getting just the right sound you are after.
Apply correct microphone placement techniques with "just" the right gain structure.
{Good Luck..!}

References :
(1)Grice, David.2007.Tutorials on Sound Engeneering (3).13 March'07.University Of Adelaide.
(2)Readings on My Uni.Music Technology(3)2007.

Creative Computing :
* Server Architecture,
* Open sound control ,
* Interconnected musical networks

Forum : David Harris and his orchestra : Quite a lot of fun actually ..

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Audio Arts :Multi Micing (2)

Recording in 5.1 Surround Sound
:The best known spaced-mic arrangement is probably the so-called 'Decca Tree' using three large-diaphragm
omnidirectional mics arranged at the ends of an inverted T, typically measuring roughly two metres across and 1.5 metres deep. However, there are many alternatives and variations including the Faulkner Array and binaural techniques such as the Jecklin Disc
*Faulkner Array belongs with the spaced array stereophonic recording systems, where only the time of arrival difference is involved in the distribution of phantom sources across the loudspeaker base-line.
*A Jecklin Disk is a sound-absorbing disk placed between two microphones to create an acoustic "shadow" from one microphone to the other. Always, a matching pair of omnidirectional microphones are used.

The Ambisonics approach is equivalent to the stereo coincident system, and a spaced surround array is the equivalent of the Decca Tree.

Reference :
(1)Grice, David.2007.Tutorials on Sound Engeneering (3).5 March'07.University Of Adelaide
(2)(3) Readings on My Uni.2007.
(3) ,12 March'07
(4) ,12 March'07

Friday, March 09, 2007

"Music of Spheres" -Adelaide Fringe 2007

"Music of the Spheres" - Live at the Adelaide Planetarium. 23,24 25 March'07 @ 7.30 pm , $23
'There is geometry in the humming of the strings.There is music in the spacings of the spheres.- Pythagoras (580-500 BC).

Lying back on comfortable chairs experience the heavens open before you in a breathtaking visual-musical performance. You will be immersed into the colour and sounds of the outer reaches of the universe. As you become enveloped into the 'Music of the Spheres. A performance that truly expresses the music of the spheres in the 21st Century, using actual real sounds and visuals from space

Proudly brought to you by :

Darren Curtis : Artistic director/Performer,
Bradley Pitt : Amateur astronomer,
Martin Lewicki : Planetarium presenter,
Vinny Bhagat; : Performer/Technical Support

Monday, March 05, 2007

Week 1

Creative Computing : Introduction to Super Collider :

Task of the week : "Create a function that takes two arguments - (1) pitch class and octave number - and produces the corresponding the MIDI note number. (2) Create a function that can convert the pitch class and octave number into its corresponding MIDI Note number and then into its corresponding frequency."

I am still working on writing the code for this..I can clearly understand what i have to do but writing that in supercollider is a bit difficult right now..,However I am not very far from it.. (2.40pm, 7march'o7)

Key concepts:

Pitch class : {Cn} = { C-2, C-1, C0, C1, C2, C3 ...}

var Pitch class = [ C-2, C-1, C0, C1, C2, C3, C4 , C5 , C6 , C7 , C8 ]

var midi note names = [ [ 0, 12 , 24 , 36 , 48 , 60 , 72 , 84 , 96 , 108 , 120 ]

pitch class = midi note name

var semitones = [0 , 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 ]

var note names = [C , C# , D , D# , E , F , F# , G , G# , A , A# , B ]

semitones = note names

A3 = 440 HZ, which is midi note no 69

var frequency = [ A0 , A1 , A2 , A3 , A4 , A5 , A6 ]= [55 , 110 , 220 440 , 880 , 1720 , 3520 , 7040 ]

I need an algorhythm to relate all these concepts .. I am thinking...!!

expr (440. * exp(.057762265 * ($f1 - 69.))); -- How do i put this algorhythm into supercollider ??
Audio Arts:
Sound Engineering (3) as this component is called aims to covers a wide range of topics..I am glad we have a list of areas we will be covering each week..To start of, wk 1 is about Multi Micing..

Why record Stereo ? "The principle of binaural recording is to replicate the way our ears capture sounds, and replay those sounds directly into the corresponding ears(1)."
It preserves depth, perspective, and hall ambience -- all when you use several closeup mics, panned into position..Further, a true stereo recording conveys
* the depth or distance of each instrument
* the distance of the ensemble from the listener (the perspective)
* the spatial sense of the acoustic environment--the ambience or hall reverberation.

Goals of stereo Micing : " Accurate localization", i.e. "the reproduced instruments should appear in the same relative locations as they were in the live performance".

Polar patterns : Get familair with all the polar patterns and their uses before learning the various stereo microphone techniques..

* Half-omnidirectional or hemispherical: Picks up equally over a 180 spherical angle.
{All of the following patterns are considered unidirectional because they pick up mainly in one direction.}

* Cardioid: “Heart-shaped” pattern that offers maximum rejection (null) at the rear of the microphone.
* Supercardioid: Has a narrower pickup pattern than cardioid, but also has some rear pickup. Note that there are two nulls of maximum sound rejection.

* Hypercardioid: Has a narrower pickup pattern than supercardioid, but also has more rear pickup than supercardioid. Note that there are two nulls.

* Bidirectional (figure-eight or cosine): Picks up mainly in two directions (in front of and behind the mic) and rejects sound from the sides.

Various Stereo Microphone Techniques :

* Spaced Pair :

* Coincidnt pair or XY/intensity streo method :

Method : 2 directional microphones mounted over top with diaphragms one above another,nearly touching,angled apart towards the left and right side of the recording source.."The greater the angle between microphones, and the narrower the polar pattern, the wider the stereo spread". (quotes taken from readings on my Uni )

* Mid side : click here to listen to the recording example
Location : EMU
Track : "Om Jai" using mid side technique

* Near Coincident pair

* Baffled Omni Pair

*******{Recordings coming very soon }

(2)Grice, David.2007.Tutorials on Sound Engeneering (3). 27 Feb'07.University Of Adelaide.
(3) Readings on My Uni.2007.
(4) 5 March'07

BAck to UNI - Final semester

The final semester for my study in Adelaide..
Doesn't feel like 3 years.. Time really flies.. I am really excited about things,esp visiting delhi, with a whole new experience, alot of memories and an everlasting love for my artNmusic.
Thanks to all the beautiful people responsible for this.

Here is the list of courses I am currently enrolled in..

*Music Technology 3
*Music in Context: Jazz 3
*Music in Context : Music since 1900( classical theory 3)
*Computer Science 1A

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Music & Narrative

Music and Narrative : The art of story telling through Music..

“Is not music the mysterious language of a distant realm of spirits, whose lovely sounds recho in our soul and awaken a higher, because more intensive life" ?

Click here to read my full paper for Foundation for Honours..