Thursday, 1 March 2007

AA1 - Week 1 - Studio Analysis

This week we have been made aware, whilst not officially and totally introduced, of the resources available through the Electronic Music Unit.
Not least is the EMU website which gave me personally a much more in depth list of products :) and of which i've liberally linked to and used some images.

It looks like the standard eductional style setup. Limited live recording facilities where individuals or small groups could work on the recording of whatever it is they wish to record, and loads of computers where post-production and MIDI work can be acheived with the use of headphones in a space economy.

studio 1 + 2 are setup for recording of anything from accoustic percussion (eg triangle) to your standard rock/electronic act with drums to DJ's, and with the special dead room for sound isolation for extra special moments
(see picture above for a tasteful shot of the mixing desk).

These i think are most definitely critical resources, with the potential of much quality recordings and mixdowns, although I am yet to experience how the EMU space will work in practice with access from both sides of the building, and it acting like a thoroughfare whilst we were in a lecture/seminar/workshop/forum. The presence of outboard gear, studio monitors, the dead room and a big patchbay make me feel happy and excited to get in there. From past experience, the difference between a pair of headphones, a computer and a little mixing desk versus a well setup studio with a desk the size of a small boat makes it extremely gratifying to use.

Studio 5 is setup for "MIDI synthesisers, analogue synthesisers, and other interactive control devices" [1], on the internet at least it looks like any number of bedroom setups i've seen, although with a rather more spacious setting. This spaciousness no doubt gives a lot of opportunity for combining other live instruments for potential live ensemble recordings. And sadly I managed to hype myself up with this by having it described by Stephen Whittington as the "analog" studio [2], imagining some rather cool vintage stuff with leads hanging akimbo I was disappointed to come across a picture of this studio featuring stuff from a more recent vintage (ie it looks
suspiciously digital) :( Still more hardware = more fun !!

To go with these studios are the microphones (very exciting - a good microphone is better than a roast chicken to a vegetarian !!), accompanying leads, DI's, and also portable DAT machines !! (Anything portable = very exciting). They seem to be the stand alone studios, and these are accompanied by rooms full of computers (and more computers = more fun as well !! ). I assume all these computers are for the tedious job of mixing and sequencing and other such jobs where speakers are not mandatory. For me at least the problem here will be obtaining a more comfortable set of headphones to reduce ear soreness - and I am quite curious as to how working in a potential room full of people will turn out.

There are also two rooms which sound interesting but i'm not sure of their uses and if I might avail myself somewhat :) These being the keyboard lab, a room chock full of digital pianos, and again a slight laugh on my part - what appears to be ancient Yamaha floppy based MIDI recording devices (I once being the proud owner of a Yamaha RX-7 drum machine, circa 1987, which gave me much pleasure and sonic excitement ).
look for the yamaha box :)
This room, according to the EMU website, "is used for both keyboard tuition and music theory training." [3] Where this leaves me and the potential of the odd tingle on such is yet to be explored.

The other room being the Media Lab, chock full of computers chock full of web development software (not that i know how to use much of it). I think here the problem is too much potential in learning and not enough enrolment. I have to assume from the website and through a brief discussion with Christain, that at this point there is nothing in there for me. This at least I think covers the EMU section. Apart from these there are also the rehearsal rooms featuring real pianos !! A much looked for and enjoyed instrument - these i assume can be booked out by myself for random tinklings, recordings and composition experiments. And also the Elder Music Library, a lot of potential to explore in the recorded music, scores, books, magazines and all the rest i may have skipped. I have yet to visit the Barr Smith Library where there also apparently is goodness to be found.

(28 February 2007)

[2] Whittingon, Stephen. Converstion during informal tour of facilities (22 February 2007)

[3] (28 February 2007)

All pictures and general information from EMU website,

1 comment:

Ben said...

Sup. If you don't want words crunching up next to a picture, go into the 'Edit HTML' tag when posting an entry, find the picture HTML code (usually where the picture is situated in the blog) and where it says style="float:left; change 'float' to 'solid'.

Regarding the 'thoroughfare', most people heed the recording light's ominous glare, however I have had people interrupt before.

And if you want piano, the Steinway Grand in the Recording Space is all the piano you'll ever need. Ahh, the nights of sleeping in Studio 1, playing the Stein at 3am in pitch black...