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Publications

Transforming the Creative Practices of Composers and Sound Designers with VirDAW, the Virtual Reality Digital Audio Workstation

Theresa Jean Tanenbaum and Vincent Olivieri
University of California Irvine
Irvine, CA, USA
ttanen@uci.edu
olivieri@uci.edu

ABSTRACT:
The Virtual Reality Digital Audio Workstation, or VirDAW, is a research project with the ultimate goal of developing a fully-functional Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) for the Virtual Reality (VR) environment. This paper outlines the early stages and current status of the production of the project, including preliminary conceptual research, initial software development, conceptual reassessment, and current prototyping targets. It also identifies key goals for the next few phases of the research.  

FULL PAPER:
Transforming the Creative Practices of Composers and Sound Designers with VirDAW, the Virtual Reality Digital Audio Workstation
Publication: USITT Current Practices and Research in Sound
April 16, 2020

PRESENTATION:
The 59th Annual USITT Conference (Remote Session)
“Forum@Four” USITT Webinar Series
April 16, 2020


Categories
Publications

Sounds from a Dream Place: Selective Listening and Its Implications for Sound Design

Abra Clawson
Freelance Sound Designer/Engineer
abraclawson@gmail.com

ABSTRACT:
This project explores the ways sound simultaneously amplifies and silences contemporary issues surrounding politics, religion, and tourism in Kagbeni, Nepal. In this project, I curated a series of four compositions along with written analysis, bringing attention to how sound claims space and reshapes communities based on anthropological observations of listening practices in Kagbeni. These compositions draw attention to how different listening practices impact perceptions of a place or community, specifically Kagbeni. This project hopes to shed light on the consequences of selective listening, and how analysis of listening practices can inform sound design. Based on this work, I provide generative questions to consider when creating a design, which take into consideration forms of friction between people that push us forward.

Compositions can be heard here: https://blog.uvm.edu/aclawson-thesis/sound-library/

FULL PAPER:
Sounds from a Dream Place: Selective Listening and Its Implications for Sound Design
Publication: USITT Current Practices and Research in Sound
April 16, 2020

PRESENTATION:
The 60th Annual USITT Conference
“Forum@Four” USITT Webinar Series
April 16, 2020


Categories
Publications

The Inclusion of Bone-Conduction Headphones in Theatre and Sound Design

Kelly Murphey
Texas Tech University 
School of Theatre & Dance
krmurphey@icloud.com

ABSTRACT:
This paper is an extension of ongoing research into bone conduction headphones and binaural recordings as used in theatrical settings. The objective of the research is to quantify and qualify the uses of bone conduction headphones in theatrical applications as an approach to theatre and sound design innovation. This will be achieved through a discussion of the background of bone- conduction technology, its current mainstream uses, and a presentation of current areas of theatre and sound design where application of bone-conduction technology can increase safety and present new possibilities in the realm of performance.

FULL PAPER:
The Inclusion of Bone-Conduction Headphones in Theatre and Sound Design
Publication: USITT Current Practices and Research in Sound
April 16, 2020

PRESENTATION:
The 60th Annual USITT Conference
“Forum@Four” USITT Webinar Series
April 16, 2020


Categories
Publications

Affordable Sound Field Panning in Theatre

Christopher Plummer
Department of Visual & Performing Arts
Michigan Technological University
Houghton, MI
cplummer@mtu.edu

ABSTRACT:
This paper will evaluate an affordable software that allows theatre designers to work in a virtual 3D space, a sound field, instead of worrying about setting volumes on individual loudspeakers. We will evaluate the software in our production of Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice in a black box theatre with 20-30 loudspeakers above, below and around the audience. Through this production we will evaluate the transparency of actors’ reinforced voices statically positioned in the system as well as static and moving sound effects and ambisonic ambiances played back in Q-Lab.

FULL PAPER:
Affordable Sound Field Panning in Theatre
Publication: USITT Current Practices and Research in Sound
April 16, 2020


Categories
Publications

The Artistic Concept of Abstraction as Applied to Theatrical Sound Design

David E. Smith
Founding Director of the Theatre Sound Design Program
School of Design & Production
University of North Carolina School of the Arts
Winston-Salem, NC
smithd@uncsa.edu

ABSTRACT:
The paper seeks to uncover the conceptual process of abstraction and apply it to theatre sound design. The Author first examines the process of abstraction undertaken by Piet Mondrian in the world of fine art. Then it reveals how the concept was practiced in the scenic design by Jo Mielziner in the 1955 production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams. Next the Author proposes a new conceptual framework for abstraction specifically for use in theatre design highlighting examples from sound design. Lastly the paper presents an example of how this new conceptual process of abstraction was implemented by the author in the sound design for a production of The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams.

FULL PAPER:
The Artistic Concept of Abstraction as Applied to Theatrical Sound Design
Publication: USITT Current Practices and Research in Sound
April 16, 2020


Categories
Publications

Self/Scape: An Exploration of Belonging and Wayfaring

Miguel Angel Paredes
Fullerton College & University of Cape Town
Los Angeles, CA
miguelparedes413@gmail.com

ABSTRACT:
Self/Scape is a theatrical autoethnographic sonic exploration of searching, belonging, and meditating the socio-cultural conditions and the lived experiences of a globalized Latino in a moment of anti-immigrant sentiment around the world. Following the framework of Practice as Research (PaR), this piece is the culmination of Miguel’s research at University of Cape Town in which a theatrical production is transformed into a curated space that is made to coexist with(in) a digital soundscape. This piece has been created to be experienced through the use of headphones and QR codes. Each QR code will be specifically placed in relation to the content of the code which documents the journey of self-discovery through a multitude of global spaces, especially in Los Angeles, Massachusetts, and Cape Town.

FULL PAPER:
Self/Scape: An Exploration of Belonging and Wayfaring
Publication: USITT Current Practices and Research in Sound
April 16, 2020


Categories
Publications

Creating MIDI Instruments for use in Theatre Sound Design

Stewart Blackwood
Sound Design MFA Candidate 
University of California San Diego
blackwoodsounddesign@gmail.com

ABSTRACT:
A sound designer’s job is to craft an aural landscape that feels organic to the world of the production. There are many different tactics and avenues to explore while doing this, but one way to encourage this feeling is to create show-specific MIDI instruments. This paper explores the process of making these instruments and examines three productions that I have designed as case studies for possible applications. While these instruments are not applicable to all productions, creating them can provide improvements in collaboration, improvisation, and performance.

FULL PAPER:
Creating MIDI Instruments for use in Theatre Sound Design
Publication: USITT Current Practices and Research in Sound
April 16, 2020


Categories
Publications

Aesthetic Bandwidth

David E. Smith
Founding Director of the Theatre Sound Design Program
School of Design & Production
University of North Carolina School of the Arts
Winston-Salem, NC
smithd@uncsa.edu

ABSTRACT:
Designing to engage an audience in time-based art requires an additional set of tools than those that are traditionally used for objects and paintings etc. Aesthetic Bandwidth is one of these additional tools that I have developed as a professional sound designer to help me design sound for theatre. Since we can usually only ‘see’ what we are looking for, this paper opens our eyes to the concept of Aesthetic Bandwidth and how it can be used to help design sound cues to fit into all time-based arts.

FULL PAPER:
Aesthetic Bandwidth
Publication: USITT Current Practices and Research in Sound
March 21, 2019

PRESENTATION:
The 59th Annual USITT Conference
Louisville, KY, USA
March 21, 2019


Categories
Publications

Noise Floor: Merging Theatrical and Themed Entertainment Design to Create an Immersive, Interactive Multimedia Gallery Exhibit (On the Cheap!)

Josh Loar
Professor of Practice-Sound Design
Michigan Technological University
jloar@mtu.edu

ABSTRACT:
The worlds of gallery art, theatrical design, and themed entertainment design are often thought of as distinct practices that do not overlap. However, as a professional who has worked in all of these fields, I see them as points on a continuum, and feel that experiences in one can inform work in another. In 2016, I set out to create an immersive, interactive, multimedia gallery installation that drew from my work in all of these fields, both to demonstrate that they are not as separate as sometimes imagined, and to create a project that would (however temporarily) shatter the barriers between art and audience.

FULL PAPER:
Noise Floor: Merging Theatrical and Themed Entertainment Design to Create an Immersive, Interactive Multimedia Gallery Exhibit (On the Cheap!)
Publication: USITT Current Practices and Research in Sound
March 21, 2019

PRESENTATION:
The 59th Annual USITT Conference
Louisville, KY, USA
March 21, 2019


Categories
Publications

FMOD, an Audio Engine for Video Games, Adapted for Theater

Stephen Swift

ABSTRACT:
FMOD is an audio integration tool for video games. It is used to build, process, mix, and route game controlled sound events. Since video games need to be able to react to player choices, FMOD is designed to make it easy to modify audio parameters in real-time. Although it is designed for video game production, it can be adapted for use in theatrical playback and offers many unique capabilities not currently widely employed in theater. This case study will examine how the FMOD audio engine was used to create a responsive score and sound design for the production of Wood Boy Dog Fish.

FULL PAPER:
FMOD, an Audio Engine for Video Games, Adapted for Theater
Publication: USITT Current Practices and Research in Sound
March 21, 2019

PRESENTATION:
The 59th Annual USITT Conference
Louisville, KY, USA
March 21, 2019