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Scott Mc Laughlin - Composer

Resonances: Impulse responses of glass bowls

This forms part of a larger project of compositional research that treats instruments as resonant spaces, using different foces to activate and sculpt the natural resonant frequencies of that space and an exploration of its harmony. See also the collection of pieces called There are neither wholes nor parts.

11-03-12: I travelled down to Oxford University for a day of recording and informal discussion around Shelley James' resonant glassworks. The meeting arose out of seeing Shelley's work presented at the SPEEC forum back in January where she was working with composer Christopher Garrard on pieces exploring the resonance of her glass bowls. For my part, I was interested in capturing the resonance of the different bowls as impulse responses (IRs), to create convolution reverbs from the sound of the bowls as resonant spaces.

Special thanks to Alex Harker for his impulse-reponse capture patch (MaxMSP) currently being developed as part of the excellent HISStools package (not yet available online but see here for an interview about it).

Here are photos of the bowls and the mic setup, and example audio files where the IR is applied to the classic 'amen break' sample. In the future I'll to have some examples of instruments played into the IRs to explore the harmonic space.

I wasn't completely satisfied with the IRs that I got on the day, so I hope to go back and re-record them, but if anyone is interested here's the zip of the IRs taken on 11/03/12. Each bowl has four files, one for each capture microphone, finlenames ending in:
'1' and '2' are DPA4011 cardiod stereo pair, left and right.
'3' is a DPA4006 omnidirectional.
'4' is a schoeps contact microphone (I have misplaced the model no., but can find out if you really want to know).

bowl 2 side
Bowl 2 from side
bowl 4 close-up
Bowl 4 close-up
bowl 5 close-up
Bowl 5 close-up