- Platons has been the first guest of the residency, how did it go?
PB: I had two main topics to work on. First, the aesthetics of material created for the ambisonic setups - how and where to listen to this material, to make a difference for the listener. Second, the work with a modular system. Erica Synths built a new module - the Black Joystick2. That allowed for an idea to stem on how to master the ambisonic setup, how to work with an input and an analogue signal. I worked on understanding how to connect the set up, creating patch notes and documentation. For example, to apply guitar signal to a modular synthesizer that has two of the Black Joystick2 modules and make a recording for the ambisonics. The goal was to push the sound from 2D to 3D but instead of using a MIDI controller, achieving that with an analogue signal. And it was done.
The custom made Erica Synths system is a rather suitable instrument for live ambisonic mastering. A particular benefit of this modular system is that mastering is performed by values of an analog signal.
There were many possibilities of patching with the joysticks. I would like to emphasize the two most optimal:
- First – one joystick controls the whole sphere, while the second joystick manipulates FX.
- Second – one joystick controls the lower layer of the ambisonic sphere, while the second one controls upper layers, which in turn are patched through the Black Stereo Delay module. In conclusion, this system broadens the possibilities of performing live in ambisonic setups. It allows connecting different hardware instruments, interesting modular or standalone systems. It is good for jamming in a group or for creating new compositions.
The sonic material now has not only the rhythm and sounds with definite pitch (melodies), but also the spatial dimension to it.
KP: We had the first few experiments and it was indeed a success!
PB: This time we focused on the research and figuring out the specifics of how this set up works. We used both DAW and analogue synthesizers… The technical question of connection and set up was big enough to focus on. Before any specific material is created we must understand how to present it. Currently the playback can only take place in the DDA studio in Liepāja.
- Maybe you can explain what is the biggest difference between experiencing sound in stereo and ambisonic setups for the listener?
PB: Musically it is very simple, if you listen to music in ambisonic environments, you become more developed, educated and more prepared for life in the modern times. But technically it's much closer to the experience one has while being in nature. All the sounds we experience are based in 3D environments. One could say that listening in stereo we only hear one dimension. That's not perfect. Generation after generation we reduce the capabilities of our brain. We need to go back to nature and what I mean by that is creating contemporary sound environments in 3D using the technology we have.