Session 2

Presenters: Stuart James

10:00am: Stuart James Framing the Shot: a reflection over a decade of Recording Live Instruments and Electronics

This article is a reflection over a decade of recording methods explored during the production of twelve albums of live electroacoustic music, that is involving mixed acoustic instruments and electronics. The article focuses largely on the complexities of signal flow associated with live electroacoustic music, and the relationship of the commercial recording studio with the ecosystem of the live electroacoustic system. Various recording strategies are proposed depending on the associated “liveness” required in the realization of the work. Several scenarios are proposed that put into question whether the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) in the studio environment serves as a recorder, an insert, a distribution hub or splitter, or a receiver. Contemporaneous scenarios, such as Internet-based multitrack recording and telematic performance are discussed, and the article proposes how alternative strategies of signal flow are required for live electroacoustic music, and how audio-over-IP technologies such as Dante allow for a simplification of the physical footprint associated with “cable spaghetti.”

The article does include a discussion of industry standard microphone methods including the Decca tree, blumlein, ambisonic, binaural, coincident, non-coincident, and spaced arrays. Alternative scenarios are discussed including inductor and piezo sensors, live audio feedback, sympathetic resonance using transducers, both analog and digital live interactive electronics, spatialisation, and polytempo click-tracks.

With some additional middleware, it is possible to synchronise the DAW session with the Decibel ScorePlayer, an application used to display animated musical scores. This synchronisation allows scores to be used as an integrated tool throughout the editing process. Scoreplayer scores rendered as video can also be synchronized in the DAW allowing for precise editing of note onsets and offsets when required.