Categories
Publications

The Influences of Theatrical Sets on Acoustics

Zachery L’Italien
McKay Conant Hoover, Inc.
zlitalien@mchinc.com

ABSTRACT:
Successful and cohesive theatercraft must engage and accommodate the needs of multiple disciplines, not the least of which is carefully considered set design. The way that sound interacts with a set influences the life of the performance. This paper is an exploratory article aimed at encouraging the design team to consider how best to avoid often-repeated acoustical mis-steps and optimize set design elements to help ensure acoustical success for every production, especially in acoustic (unamplified) environments. The author will draw on his recollection of various performances, and commenting on the experiences of others regarding set shaping, reverberation, and performer blocking.

FULL PAPER:
The Influences of Theatrical Sets on Acoustics
Publication: USITT Current Practices and Research in Sound
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


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

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

Sound Design for Video Games: An Interdisciplinary Course for Computer Science and Art Students

Vincent Olivieri
Claire Trevor School of the Arts
University of California, Irvine
olivieri@uci.edu

Richert Wang
College of Engineering & College of Creative Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara
richert@ucsb.edu

ABSTRACT:
This paper describes our experience and observations in creating an experimental interdisciplinary course focusing on sound design and its implementation in computer games. This paper provides a model for others that may want to develop similar courses that focus on interdisciplinary collaboration in this genre. The course was targeted to motivated computer science and sound design / art students, and was not designed as an introduction to computer science. Rather, it was designed as a project course where students can apply topics in sound design by creating a video game within a diverse team, enabling a collaborative learning opportunity. Students applied both creative sound design principles and technical implementation using industry-standard tools such as QLab, Wwise, and Unity.

FULL PAPER:
Sound Design for Video Games: An Interdisciplinary Course for Computer Science and Art Students
Publication: Association for Computing Machinery, 2018 Proceedings
February, 2018

PRESENTATION:
The 49th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science EducationNew York, NY, USAFebruary, 2018 The 58th Annual

USITT Conference
Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
March 15, 2018


Categories
Publications

Experimental Audio Tours: Activating the Archive

Seth Warren-Crow with Heather Warren-Crow
Seth.Warren-Crow@ttu.edu

ABSTRACT:
Last June my collaborator Heather Warren-Crow and I completed an artist residency at The Museum of Performance + Design in San Francisco, CA where we launched an experimental audio tour called Earmark: Performance Alive that engages with the museum’s 3.5 million-item collection. I will discuss the challenges and successes of Earmark, its relation to other forms of headphone theatre, and argue that this format of an experimental audio tour provides rich terrain for theatre practitioners to interface with museum archives and the public. The experimental audio tour has the potential to create interesting pathways of community engagement with the arts and is conducive to initiating interest in historical as well as and new, interdisciplinary modes of performance.

FULL PAPER:
Experimental Audio Tours: Activating the Archive
Publication: USITT Current Practices and Research in Sound
March 15, 2018

PRESENTATION:
The 58th Annual USITT Conference
Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
March 15, 2018


Categories
Publications

Seven Steps to a Theatrical Sound System Design

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

ABSTRACT:
Texts exploring the discipline of sound system design are too often aimed at the advanced practitioner, detailing techniques that are logical and useful if the reader has already designed, installed, and operated many systems, but that are often over the head of inexperienced designers trying to learn the discipline. There is a gap in the literature, and this article presents a logical, orderly process for analyzing a production’s sound needs, selecting appropriate equipment, and creating an operating plan. By breaking the process down into manageable and clear tasks, this guide demystifies the essentials of theatrical sound system design.

FULL PAPER:
Seven Steps to a Theatrical Sound System Design
Publication: USITT Current Practices and Research in Sound
March 15, 2018

PRESENTATION:
The 58th Annual USITT Conference
Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
March 15, 2018


Categories
Publications

Alternative Methods for Cost Effective Diffusion

Zachery L’Italien
McKay Conant Hoover, Inc.
Westlake Village, CA,USA
zlitalien@mchinc.com

ABSTRACT:
Acoustic diffusion is a necessary element in the realm of room acoustics; with its high commercial cost, it can be hard for a sound designer to afford a sufficient amount to treat their personal studio. This paper addresses this situation for the DIY community to offer alternative methods to effectively and efficiently create diffusors with a much smaller overall cost.

The methods that are examined throughout this paper will revolve around the use of 3D printing, an increasingly more common mode of production in households, as well as the use of closed cell and spray foam to mold around/inside of the 3D printed diffusor segments. This paper will analyze the cost, time, and overall diffusive efficacy of the production methods mentioned.

FULL PAPER:
Alternative Methods for Cost Effective Diffusion
Publication: USITT Current Practices and Research in Sound
March 8, 2017

PRESENTATION:
The 57th Annual USITT Conference
St. Louis, MO, USA
March 8, 2017


Categories
Publications

To The People: Community Engagement With Multimedia Performing Arts Through Portability And Interactivity

Dr. Robin Cox and Dr. Benjamin Smith
Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis
robcox@iupui.edu

ABSTRACT:
Observations are drawn from numerous events of two portable and experiential community participation multi-media environments, Big Tent and Hourglass. These concepts, created and realized by the co-authors, focus upon broadening active public engagement with cross-disciplinary arts. Approaches to venue design and artistic content seek to diversify event location possibilities and encourage community involvement. Specific advantages are noted for both Hourglass, a community dance participation event of immersive live acoustic/electronic music and interactive video, and Big Tent, a portable large scale 360-degree sound and video performing arts venue for audience interactivity.

FULL PAPER:
To The People: Community Engagement With Multimedia Performing Arts Through Portability And Interactivity
Publication: USITT Current Practices and Research in Sound
March 8, 2017


Categories
Publications

A Methodology for Developing Descriptive SPL Standards in Theatre

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

ABSTRACT:
This paper defines a protocol and equipment requirements for measuring SPL during theatre shows in order to build a library of comparable data. This library of data will allow designers and consultants to better specify sound systems for theatrical usage, reducing over specifying equipment. Live concerts often have considerably higher SPL requirements than theatre but often form the SPL standards for specified equipment. In addition, a well-defined SPL understanding would allow better calibration of content creation studios to match performance venues as is the standard in cinema.

FULL PAPER:
A Methodology for Developing Descriptive SPL Standards in Theatre
Publication: USITT Current Practices and Research in Sound
March 8, 2017

PRESENTATION:
The 57th Annual USITT Conference
St. Louis, MO, USA
March 8, 2017