Music 214: Musical Applications of CNMAT Technologies

1 Credit, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory
Instructor: Michael Zbyszynski
Tuesday and Thursday (13, 15, 20, and 22 March 2007)
4pm to 7pm

This year's "Introduction to CNMAT Technologies" will cover practical issues of long-running, and possibly interactive, sound installations with computer generated sound.

Assignment: See and hear the Bruce Nauman exhibit, A Rose Has No Teeth, at the Berkeley Art Museum. It will be up until 15 April 2007.

*Software Examples from the Class can be found Here.*

Lecture #1: Tuesday, 13 March

Reliability and Physical Installation

What is a Sound Installation, and how is it different from a concert piece? What does it mean to be site-specific?

LISTEN EDGEMAR: The setup. An overview of the (ongoing) process of installing and maintaining an installation in a landmark building.

Programming and Hardware solutions for reliability: – prevent crashes as much as possible – recover after crashes – log events (why did it crash?) – enable remote updates and debugging


Lecture #2: Thursday, 15 March

Spatialization and sound design as a sculptural element

Sound installations are inherently "sculptural". Special attention placed on spatialization and sound diffusion is very important. Furthermore, the noise and acoustics outdoor and/or public environtments offer new challenges to designers used to working in a concert hall.

  • Campion's Metronome: Parabolic loudspeakers
  • LISTEN EDGEMAR: Mirroring the archetecture
  • Sound in a noisy environment
  • Using your sound installation to mitigate a noisy environment.
  • Case Study: Dealing with Natural Reverb
    Bruce Naumann - Raw Materials
  • Durability of speakers outdoors
  • Hifi vs lofi
  • Non-standard loudspeakers:
    NXT Speakers
    Parabolic Speaker (short) PArabolic Speaker (long)
  • Vector Panning with VBAP
  • localization beyond amplitude panning
  • Special issues for sound outdoors


Lecture #3: Tuesday, 20 March

Using OSC as inter-application and inter-device plumbing.

* The demo page for flash and flosc, with downloadable software, is here *

This includes Max/MSP/Jitter, Flash, Processing, SuperCollider, and Matlab on the application side, and the Make Controller Kit, the CUI board, Windows and Macintosh Multimedia computers on the device side (possibly also DMX and lighting).


Lecture #4: Tuesday, 22 March

Composing for the long run

  • Interactivity: "I want my art piece to do its art thing when the visitor does their thing."
  • Phenominological issues of site specific, long running works, as opposed to concert pieces.
  • Using external data as a generator. (eg Tides, Weather, Astrology)
  • Thinking about different attention spans
  • How is an installation different than a concert piece (take 2)?
  • Hybrids: Installation/Instrument, Installation/Dance Environment...


20 March 2007, Michael Zbyszynski