On Saturday, April 6th Capital University will be hosting it’s first annual Student Music Tech Workshop in conjunction with TI:ME and the AES Capital University Student Chapter. There will be a wide variety of lectures, presentations, and hands on workshops. Topics will include studio recording, live sound, sound for picture, Pro Tools HD, Max/MSP, Ableton Live, Logic Pro, iOS music apps, mastering, acoustics, and more.
Highlighting the event will be sessions by Grammy Award-winning producer and engineer Luke Wooten. Luke works at Station West in Nashville and will be giving a lecture on working in the industry, as well as an in-depth workshop on using Melodyne.
Daphne Oram (1925-2003) was a pioneering electronic musician and sound engineer at the famed BBC Radiophonic Workshop. At the BBC and after, Oram developed an incredible new kind of sound synthesis technology, called Oramics.
Not only is this one of the earliest forms of electronic sound synthesis, it is noteworthy for being audiovisual in nature – i.e. the composer draws onto a synchronised set of ten 35mm film strips which overlay a series of photo-electric cells, generating electrical charges to control amplitude, timbre, frequency, and duration. This system was a key part of early BBC Radiophonic Workshop practice. However, after Daphne left the BBC (in 1959), her research, including Oramics, continued in relative secrecy. “Oram was the first (and only?) woman to design and build an entirely new sound recording medium.” (Hutton, J. 2003. Daphne Oram: Innovator, Writer and Composer. Organised Sound 8(1): 49-56. Camb: CUP).
Earlier this year, PBS began producing original web video programs. My two favorite shows are Off Book and Idea Channel. Off Book explores cutting edge art. Season 1 is focused on the process, motivation and meaning of a new generation of artists. New episodes are posted every other Wednesday.
Idea Channel is a show that examines the connections between pop culture, technology and art. Host Mike Rugnetta posts new videos every other Wednesday.
PBS Digital Studios has also posted Auto-tune Remixes of Mr. Rogers and Bob Ross
Patrick Feaster, a sound historian at Indiana University, recreated an ~1889 Emile Berliner gramophone recording using a photograph of the album. Feaster found the photo of the album by chance, in a German magazine from 1890 stored at Bloomington’s Herman B Wells Library: “I was looking for a picture of the oldest known recording studio, to illustrate a discussion I was giving on my work with Thomas Edison’s recordings. I pulled it off the shelf and, while I had it open, I looked at the index and saw there was an article on the gramophone. I thought, ‘Oh, that’s a bonus’. So I flipped through and, lo and behold, there’s a paper print of the actual recording.”
Historians have found that the microscopic grooves on a bent metal ring, which was found in Thomas Edison’s laboratory, make up the tune of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ and mark the world’s first attempt at a talking doll and the dawn of America’s recording industry. Using advanced imaging technology they have recovered a 12 second sound recording of woman reciting a verse of the children’s song. They believe the tin ring was intended to be the key component of one of Thomas Edison’s talking dolls.
Historians think Edison hired the woman to make the recording less than two years before he unsuccessfully put the first talking doll on the market. ‘Based on the date of fall 1888, it is the oldest American-made recording of a woman’s voice that we can listen to today,’ said Patrick Feaster, a historian at Indiana University in Bloomington. Mr Feaster pored over historical documents and 19th-century newspaper reports to piece together the story behind the recording.
Edison hoped to mass-produce the toys, but the era’s rudimentary technology meant that to make 100 dolls, Edison would have to get artists to recite the lullaby 100 times. ‘They must have been hired and paid to do this,’ Mr Feaster said. ‘These were presumably the first professional recording artists.’ The small piece of ring-shaped tin bearing the woman’s voice never made it into a doll because wax records replaced metal ones by 1890, when Edison started selling his first talking dolls. Those fragile and easily broken toys were a market flop.