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17 June 2011
How does your room ‘sound’? New app can help!
The creator of the ‘Twinthesiser’ – the unique web-based software which turns posts made on Twitter into real sounds – will present his latest project as part of the 2011 Festival of Design and Innovation at Bournemouth University.
Sam Harman, who is just completing his BSc (Hons) in Music and Audio Technology, will demonstrate his new iPhone application as part of the Festival which opens for a private view on Thursday, 23 June before opening to the general public on Friday, 24 June.
Sam’s iPhone Impulse Response Application is designed to capture the acoustical characteristics of a room, (otherwise known as an impulse response) which can then be duplicated through a computer. “It’s really designed for musicians, audio technicians or acousticians but the application makes it easy for anyone to use,” Sam enthuses. “Previously it’s required a lot of microphones, cables, laptops, etc but now you can just do it all on your iPhone and then plug-in to your computer and use the data collected by the application to make any audio on your computer sound like it was being performed or recorded within the room or environment that you’ve captured.”
Earlier this year, Sam introduced the world to his ‘Twinthesiser’ which he designed to “explore the ‘sound’ of twitter, in an attempt to sonify the human randomness being generated on the service.”
Through the ‘Twinthesis’ software, Sam has assigned each character its own distinctive tone. The software then accesses a Twitter feed every 30 seconds or so, selecting the top 20 tweets at random and repeats it to produce a kind of rhythm or ‘symphony’ of high pitched bleeps and deeper humming sounds.
“The Twinthesisier can then go through the tweets a character at a time to produce a sort of melody,” says Sam. “In time I hope we could get to the stage where it could pull data off Twitter at more than 100 times every second and this would produce a sort of global symphony.”
“Theoretically the application could be configured to draw data from Facebook or Twitter or from any other source of random data,” Sam continues. “You could also apply the engine to groups of people so you could take the tweets from one country and compare them with the sound of tweets from another country.
“It could become a sort of worldwide controllable instrument, which I think is really cool,” Sam concludes. “There are limitless things you can do.”
“Sam’s work on Twinthesis along with the audio application he developed for the iPhone is a perfect example of the brilliant work that our students in Music and Audio Technology are able to deliver,” says Dr Alain Renaud (title). “His work, along with other students, blends creativity and complex technologies, to ultimately deliver products that have a commercial potential in the field of Creative Technologies.”
BU’s BSc (Hons) in Music and Audio Technology gives students an opportunity to apply electronic and computer technologies to create contemporary music and audio. Students from the degree will join other emerging designers and innovators from BU’s School of Design, Engineering & Computing to display and demonstrate their creations at the 2011 Festival of Design & Innovation.
Open free to the general public from Friday, 24 June to Monday, 27 June on the University’s Talbot Campus, the 19th annual Festival – sponsored by B&Q, the UK’s leading home improvement retailer – will showcase over 170 designs and prototypes created by talented final year students completing undergraduate degrees in Product Design, Industrial Design, Design Engineering, Fashion & Textiles
(from BU’s partner institution, Wiltshire College, Salisbury), Interior Design, Computer Aided Product Design, Sustainable Graphics & Packaging (from BU’s partner institution, University College Yeovil) and Music and Audio Technology.
Further information on the 2011 Festival of Design and Innovation at BU – including opening times, exhibits and travel directions – are available on the Festival website: www.festival.bournemouth.ac.uk
Further information about the Twinthesis programme can be found at Sam Harman’s website – http://samharman.com/2011/03/twinthesis-twitter-powered-synthesis/
To hear the Twinthesiser ‘in action, please visit – http://soundcloud.com/theharmonizer/twinthesis