GEMdays Diffusion Workshop

Posted on February 2, 2009 by Shay

diffusion_workshop, originally uploaded by Iman.

I went to a workshop in the School of Music on Sunday 1st of Feb, Mathew wasnt well so Pierre Alexandre Tremblay ran the workshop.

It was certainly very interesting and nice to be around some music technology students for a short part of the day. Basically the Phipps concert hall pictured above had over 20+ assorted speakers, including some fancy 360 degree ones, and a console which allowed you to control each of these. The idea was to ‘multiply the inner space of the music’ and ‘open the piece up’. A short segment of music was to be performed through altering the knobs on the diffusion console. Although it sounds like jargonese, it made a lot of sense in the space.

The basic sound was a bit plain coming through the two speakers at the front, it was a bit distant and certainly not all enveloping.. it was hard to pick up the nuances of each sound, within the piece.
As you increased the levels on the other speakers you could hear a bit more and all the while it felt like it was a form of performance and it was very easy to see how the experience of a piece could change so dramatically simply by lowering or raising levels on the speakers at the front or rear, or starting a section of the music with bass up, and lowering it later or vice versa.

DSC03934, originally uploaded by Iman.

I had an interesting conversation with a student doing an MA in the school who wants to be a classical recording studio technician, I am genuinely very interested in hearing the aspirations and career paths of music students. It was a real shame I had to go off early to do teaching admin stuff. I ran back home before it started snowing properly. Its been snowing since.

I found an article by Jonty Harrison describing diffusion and the Beast system.