1. Notes: 1 / 4 years ago 
  2. Notes: 2 / 4 years ago 

    Geek + Art = ?

    Last Wednesday’s meeting was most excellent! Nathan ran tings in every sense of the phrase, bringing along his guitar, laptop of course, a (Korg?) synth that he was using as a MIDI controller, and an M-Audio sound card demoing the offboard sound processing that’s so important in what we do. We hooked these up via 1/8th to my studio monitors (certainly not the best choice for hi-fi signal routing but we forgot the RCAs, ironic considering our attention to detail in general.) The team got to sit back and flow as we had the laptop mirrored on an overhead projector.

    And from there Nathan ran us through a cool 25 minute journey through his life progression with different sequencers, focusing mostly on Reason. This was pretty eye-opening to most everyone, as most of us tend to be either into the Live or Logic philosophy (not mutually exclusively, of course.) We all had a big laugh at the GUI for the rackmount hardware semi-modular vibe that Reason brought to the table (the 1/4ths even have pseudo-physics processing!!). (hint hint wink wink NI/Cycling ‘74…as for you, PD, well, one step at a time, yeah?) 

    So, continuing/establishing a MuTech tradition, here’s our bulletpoint of important themes discussed/thoughts released into the noosphere during both the presentation and discussion:

    • The Nathan Analog Special!! - My weekly favorite. Nathan has such a dedication to sound that he’s developed his own aesthetic and process for using out-of-the-box audio processing (way, way, way out-of-the-box for 2010, some chip-heads might snark close-mindedly). Nathan fuses DSP algorithms and natural analog compression/harmonic fingerprinting through recording digitally, line-outing to a tape machine, manipulating the device, and then flowing the sound back into a sequencer environment and its internal digital algorithms (not to mention sound card/operating system level IO). Thus, the finished product results in a signature layering of properties, very subtle, but incredibly profound in terms of the scalpel of sound manipulation/signal processing necessary for high/next-level pro production that we’re incubating here. 
    • Sequencer philosophy: traditional multitracking vs sequencers as music shapers//i.e. treating sequencers as their own new musical tool and soul versus as an adaption of multitrack recording— a little evolution vs revolution, perhaps. 
    • MIDI and OSC: huge philosophical parallel, practically part of the same thread of discussion— open paradigm or closed industry standard? dynamic vs static? what do the people really want/need anyway? As was quipped on the VCCM listserve a few weeks ago, Line6’s “MIDI Mobilizer” (quotes deliberate) certainly represents the pairing of two giants and MIDI’s perpetuation.
    • Sidechain compression!— So overlooked! We went from the hackneyed tech bass sound which represents quite an extreme use of compressor sidechaining to applying the compressor subtly to remove harmonic overtones and sharpen the attack of the kick, if that’s the situation. While audio compression in general is such a huge and partisan debate, its use permeates production. I got a feva, and the only prescription is more kick! (via sidechaining)   
    • Ground-up sound synthesis VS using the recorded as sound putty: Naturally, as a skilled guitarist, Nathan opened up a few demo projects wherein he had augmented his guitar through heavy (and I don’t use that in the derogatory sense at all) effects and processing along with other tracks midi-sequenced synths and samplers. We explored the relative advantages and disadvantages of both. 
    • Samplers: From post-wavetable synthesis to the MPC to Yamaha Pianos, this oft-quoted, hideously misunderstood Swiss army knife of audio philosophy is everywhere. While this meeting we certainly stayed more focused on the mainstream MPC thread of the discussion, I know this is going to come up like mad in the future. Bring it! 

    Additionally, all were super jazzed to have a bunch of new people along for the wonder and excitement of our collective. Dr. Burtner, our Music Dept sponsor and general jack(matt)-of-all-trades go-to man, sent out my digital flyer to the listserve which stoked a few individuals’ interest and sent the e-mails flying to my inbox.

    And you know I’ve gotta peace with a quote from my main man Igor S., “Harpists spend 90 percent of their lives tuning their harps and 10 percent playing out of tune.”

    Harpists 2.0? 


  3. Notes: 1 / 4 years ago 

    Last Week’s Seminar— Digital DJing

    Last week MuTech had its first seminar: Digital DJing. Great turnout of a good core group of individuals very dedicated to the art. 

    Among the topics discussed were: 

    • TT/Mixer Anatomy
    • Software interfaces
    • Serato VS Traktor
    • Beatgrids/Quantization 
    • Harmonic mixing
    • Ableton’s The Bridge 

    And what was great was that by the end we were delving into compression and some pretty next level ideas about how to adapt Ableton in ways that none of us had ever seen/or read about. 

    All in all, a very excellent gathering and a sweet model for the future! 

    In other news, this week I was having a brainstorm session with Professor Burtner and he invited us to use the VCCM (Virginia Center for Computer Music// a neat room with some next level toys and equipment) to host weekly MuTech meetings.

    Huzzah! 

    Alex 

  4. Notes: 1 / 4 years ago 

    Hello World!

    MuTech is a new student organization at the University of Virginia founded by Alex Wallace in March 2010. The club applied for and achieved official UVa CIO status on March 26. 

    While we focus on music technology and it the broader artistic and technical world, we embrace multimedia and polystylism- all are welcome to join!

    Our organization takes a collectivist approach to sharing our knowledge and resources related to music technology and beyond. 

    Here, everyone is a learner and everyone is a teacher.

    In addition to frequent open educational seminars with specific starter topics run by our members (which are designed to bloom into sessions that transcend their initial theme with contributions from everyone), MuTech sponsors events such as benefit concerts put on from start to finish by the members (lights, sound reinforcement, etc…) and provides a platform for research projects.

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