2 episodes

Is technology improving live music? Dr Andrew Robertson, a Research Fellow at Queen Mary University London looks at a variety of issues affecting live music including how technology might be used creatively in musical performance. The 2 video tracks in this collection provide an insight into synchronisation in live performance and how technology responds to live musicians as they play. Further information can be found at the Ri Channel: richannel.org/collections/2012/components.This film is part of a project funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering to develop the on camera communication skills of engineers across the UK.

Components Queen Mary University of London

    • Technology

Is technology improving live music? Dr Andrew Robertson, a Research Fellow at Queen Mary University London looks at a variety of issues affecting live music including how technology might be used creatively in musical performance. The 2 video tracks in this collection provide an insight into synchronisation in live performance and how technology responds to live musicians as they play. Further information can be found at the Ri Channel: richannel.org/collections/2012/components.This film is part of a project funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering to develop the on camera communication skills of engineers across the UK.

    • video
    Synchronisation

    Synchronisation

    Human beings naturally keep time to the rhythms of music and, just as orchestras have a conductor, live bands also need to stay in time.Traditionally a drummer listens to a 'click-track' to set the pace of a band's tempo. However, Andrew Robertson, a Sound Engineer at Queen Mary University London, has been trying to unshackle a drummer from rigidly following a set beat by engineering software that can instead monitor and follow the drummer.With his software a band can trigger computer controlled samples and effects that are timed accurately to a drummers tempo. Placing tempo control in the hands (or sticks) of a drummer in this way allows them to slow things down or speed things up, as and when they choose.In theory, this produces more fluid and expressive performances -- and, ultimately, more interesting music. But how successful is this system at moderating tempo? And could a real drummer tell the difference between a tempo matched by a human or by the machine.

    • 6 min
    • video
    User Testing

    User Testing

    Rather than the performer following exactly a pre-defined "click track" the system allows computer controlled samples and effects to be timed according to the drummers own pace. Via a process called "time-stretching" the software is then able to speed up or slow down sound samples without altering their actual pitch.In his second Components film, Andrew puts his software to the test at Queen Mary University London with a professional drummer and explains how the technology might be used creatively in musical performance

    • 5 min

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