Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Video Hardware/Software Response

I had a very good experience with my olympus digital camera.  It was very easy to use and I was able to upload everything without any problem.  I have used better cameras in the past but there wasn't that much difference.  In an ideal world, my camera of choice would function pretty much the same way as the olympus.  I like things to be simple and straight forward.  However my camera would have a much better and sharper image quality.

I actually used two different video-editing softwares; Vegas 8 and iMovie.  I had used Vegas throughout high school and I purchased Vegas 8 last year and I have become very familiar with it.  However that was on my computer at home which is a PC and it doesn't work on my Mac that I have for school.  So I was forced to work with iMovie.  But for some of the things I wanted to do I chose to edit on Vegas because I knew exactly how to use it and there wouldn't be any problems.  I only used Vegas for two of my videos.  The others were edited on iMovie.  I imagine I will use both editing softwares in the future.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Reading Response 2

The article I chose is A Manifesto for a New Walking Culture: "dealing with the city" by Wrights and Sites.  I chose this article because I liked how it was set up and written.  The essay talks about how one should walk around the city how they should forget everything like the weather that may be going on around them and just walk.  I always try to do this as a media artist.  On my first drift walk, it was pouring rain but I didn't let that get in my way.  I will continue to do this throughout my career.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ten Questions

  1. Are there any sounds I missed by not walking through any allies?

  2. Does the Fox River sound differently when it isn't raining?

  3. Would the sounds be different had I gone during the week?

  4. Are there sights I missed because I was listening?

  5. Is there a place that doesn't pick up any traffic noise?

  6. Will I capture more sounds when I'm still or walking?

  7. Are there any naturally made landmarks in the area?

  8. Is there any street art in the area?

  9. Are there any cool looking buildings on the other side of Bryant Bridge?

  10. Is there a shop around town that has a different sound?

Drift Assessment

Initially when I thought of going on my drift walk, I thought it would be a good experience walking around town just listening. But on the day that I had planned on going on my walk, I was disappointed with the rainy weather and the fact that I was really sick. However, when I got to my starting point at Bryant Bridge where I recorded the Fox River, it looked like things would be okay. Listening to the water's flow increase and decrease with the rain and walking around collecting multiple sounds got me relaxed and peaceful. I didn't expect to hear the sounds that I did walking around that day. I thought the sound of the rain would get in the way and ruin potential sound clips but it actually made them even better. I also expected collecting sounds would have been harder than it was. But there were so many different noises out there that it was surprisingly easy. The fact that it was easy than I thought allowed me to enjoy what I was doing which I wasn't really expecting. Out of the whole experience, I would have to say the best part was walking around with my mom. There are a lot of creepers in the part of town I walked in and she didn't want me to go alone. That and the fact that it was raining and I was sick, she came along with me to hold the umbrella. Even though we didn't talk on our trip, it was nice to be able to share the experience with her and see that she was so willing to help me with something that maybe she didn't quite understand.

Audio Hardware/Software Response

Much to my surprise, I really enjoyed making the microphones in class. I am normally a very hands on person and I like making things on my own but I didn't expect to enjoy the process. I felt very accomplished knowing that I myself with no outside help made my own microphone that I would be using to capture sound for my blog. My rig worked very well for my drift walk. I used only the materials we were given in class, I didn't add anything on to it. After listening to the sounds I had recorded, I noticed the quality was a lot better than I had anticipated. There wasn't too much wind noise and I captured a lot of cool sound. While I liked the whole experience with building my own microphone and using it to capture my own sound, I don't think I will use this method in the future. Ideally I will be able to buy a respectable microphone that will last a long time and capture what I need it to.

Overall I had a good experience with the MiniDisc recorder. I can't recall a situation where I had a problem with it. I came from a high school that had its own video production studio and some pretty decent equipment. I would have to say the equipment I used in high school was better quality than that of the MiniDisc recorder. In the future I hope to be able to use a higher end audio recorder; maybe something that can't be accidentally thrown into Lake Michigan.

For this particular project, I chose to work with Audacity. I have worked with the program before cutting music and making mixes for a cheerleading team I coached and I found it very easy to work with. I will definitely use Audacity for future projects.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Reading Response

The article I chose for this response was "On A Clear Day I Can Hear Forever" by Gary Ferrington.  I chose this article because I really liked the detail he used to describe the different sounds he hears on a daily basis in his city.  While he can handle all the noise, he still appreciates the quiet times.
Ferrington writes that he is not "displeased with the sounds of [his] city" but that he enjoys the sounds that others may not get to hear.  These aren't just sounds to him that he's hearing.  Ferrington describes them in a way that says they mean something to him.  He appreciates every sound he hears and every sound he doesn't.  He has listened to the sounds of his city for so many years he knows the schedule of the city noise and the quietness.  But even though he may not mind the city sounds, Ferrington still enjoys the quiet times and it's times like these that he "can hear forever".
I believe that as a media artist I try to appreciate every noise that is around me.  Whether it's the sounds of a big city like Milwaukee or the sounds of my small neighborhood in the town of Genesee.   I really like sounds and I enjoy noise but it's always nice to have peace and quiet every once in a while.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Soundwalk Response

Were you able to find places and spaces where you could really listen?

Yes the woods was a very good area that we could listen to the noises around us.

Was it possible to move without making a sound?

I don't think it really was possible to move without making a sound. I tried to a couple times but was unsuccessful.

What happened when you plugged your ears, and then unplugged them?

With my ears plugged, I wasn't able to hear as much as I did when they were unplugged. Sounds weren't as clear with my hands over my ears. I think there was also a difference with my eyes opened and closed. When I was simply plugging my ears I found myself looking for sounds around me; I wasn't really listening for them. But with my eyes closed and ears unplugged I was forced to listen for different things because I couldn't see them with my eyes. Out of all the sounds though, I could hear the airplanes flying overhead quite clear with my ears plugged and unplugged. When I uncovered my ears, everything became clear. I could hear more sounds around me.

In your sound log exercise, what types of sounds were you able to hear? List them.






-Power Tool

-An object brushing against tree bark

-Someone talking on a radio

-People screaming

Were you able to differentiate between sounds that had a recognizable source and those sounds you could not place?

Yes I believe I was able to differentiate between sounds that had a recognizable source and those sounds I could not place.

Human sounds? Mechanical sounds? Natural sounds?

I heard all three of these sounds but I believe I heard more of the human/mechanical sounds than natural ones.

Were you able to detect subtleties in the everpresent drone?

I had a hard time really concentrating on the subtle noises. I heard noises that were hard to miss by the human ear.

Extremely close sounds? Sounds coming from very far away?

I heard a few sound that were extremely close. I was sitting on a log in the woods and right behind me there were leaves on the ground and when the wind blew, the leaves rustled with it. There were more sounds that came from far away for example the many airplanes that flew over us. There were cars and trucks on the road as well and a power tool that continually went off that was farther away.

What kinds of wind effects were you able to detect (for example, the leaves of trees don't make sounds until they are activated by the wind)?

The main wind effect that I was able to detect was the leaves on the trees moving in the wind. What I thought was cool was that it wasn't just a constant flow of wind. It was more like gusts of wind that came and went. It would start off weak but then grew and grew until it died off to nothing.

Were you able to intervene in the urban landscape and create your own sounds by knocking on a resonant piece of metal, activating wind chimes, etc.?

The only thing that I can think of that intervened in the landscape was my shoes walking across the stone path in and out of the woods.

Do you feel you have a new understanding or appreciation of the sounds of our contemporary landscape/cityscape?

I do think I have a new understanding and appreciation of the sounds of our contemporary landscape/cityscape. For the past few weeks I have been stuck inside my dorm room with no real connection to the outside world. I think this soundwalk helped me to appreciate the sounds of my new surroundings and I hope to be able to really get familiar with them now.

How do you think your soundwalk experience will affect your practice as a media artist, if at all?

I think my soundwalk experience will really get me to listen. I enjoy working with sound and this really experience only heightend that. I hope to listen more intently with my ears rather than just seeing with my eyes.