Wednesday, May 25, 2005

You made me smile today, you spoke with many voices

The last couple of weeks – like much of the rest of this academic year – have been odd. We presented our group work project to our tutors last Tuesday (having set it all up in a studio and created the presentation the day before), then presented the same work in slightly less detail to the general public and people from industry on Wednesday and Thursday.

I was quite amazed by the amount of interest it generated: tutors at the university must have known what we were doing – we had told them as we went along. Perhaps they hadn’t expected it to actually work given some of the problems we were having creating reverbs towards the end of the project. It essentially was a collection of ambiences (I’m getting flashbacks to the presentation just typing this) for various locations with matching reverbs in surround-sound, so that it would be possible to not only fake a background setting but to place other sounds in that setting. We had the Apple Mac to play back the background ambience recordings and process the reverb in real time; so you shout into the microphone with the sound of a rugby crowd (Odsal stadium) and it sounds as if your voice is coming out of the PA system at the actual rugby stadium.

We thought that it sounded pretty good, and were quite confident about it in the first presentation which we actually get marks for. On the first day of the end-of-year show we had quite a few other tutors come to see it, then the head of school, then the Dean, the Vice Chancellor and his wife, and then they started bringing people from industry down to the studio specifically to see it. There is a company that may or may not offer us money to develop our idea, and it’s a relatively big one so I’m not going to tempt fate by mentioning it here. It may not happen, but the money would be nice. We gave them a demonstration DVD to take away with them.

As of last Friday I am finished at university; done, finito, see-ya-later-an’-tha’. So now I’m sharpening the CV and trying to get a job. Actually what I am doing is my laundry, tightening the handles of the pots and pans (how do they get loose exactly?), tidying my bedroom, putting all my bits of paper into a big box, and rendering audio out of Reason into Pro Tools to send to a friend whom I’m working on some songs with. Then I’ll get a job.

Coming up, a short trip down to Bath and Birmingham this weekend to see people whom I used to work with on placement (I’m hoping they are going to be there as it’s a holiday weekend), and staying overnight with my friend Jonathan with whom I went to school back in the day. The day itself was a Thursday, I believe.

Karla leaves next week for Ghana to work for 4 weeks, then returns to the UK and hurriedly moves out of here (in 12 hours, because she arrives back on the day we have to have left by – I think she may send someone to pack in her absence) then she has a month or so at home before she goes to Japan for a year to teach. It’ll be odd without her here – especially for the last month – but it’s great that she has sorted something out to do for the summer and next year. I’m quite impressed with some of the things she has talked about doing in terms of actually helping people and being ethical rather than simply going into the holiday-rep end of tourism.

Malek is staying in Leeds for a further year to make some money and relax a bit, then he will likely head to a larger city after that.

Beyond going home to Scotland or a while, then going somewhere else, I am still undecided. I do need to have money coming in though, so that is my next project.


Douglas said...

Sounds good (the 'industry' interest that is) I hope something comes of it.

Pot and Pan handles (also my grill pan handle) are loosened at night by magical forces in order for you to have something to use your screwdrivers on.

Matthew Cochrane said...

That'll be the same magical force that loosens cupboard door hinges? And those bits in door ways that hold down the carpet?