3 DEAF MICE music game with Sonic Treasure Hunts and Audio Puzzles (part 1)

3DM KS head130225-2 copyOrigin of the game idea

3 Deaf Mice audio game is my current passion and exploration into new territory. I love the idea of having fun with sound. After teaching for many years material based on my book “Sound Design”, I’m reconfiguring a lot of my classroom exercises and expanding them into total immersion with this perceptual and musical challenge. The player is going to get a whole curriculum of sound design in a playful interactive environment with story and characters, that offers the pleasure of hearing in an expansive new way, and eventually including contests and sharing with the community.

Sound Design book cover sm3Game Structure

The game centers around the rock band 3 Deaf Mice, who blasted their ears with too much loud music and now need help from the player to find, transform and mix their next hit song. There are 10 verses to the song, each discovered in one of the game levels, and 10 audio tracks, 3 vocals, 3 instrumentals and 4 sound effects. With each successful level accomplished, one more verse and one more track is unlocked. When all 10 tracks and 10 verses are unlocked, then the player can remix the whole song by moving around the blocks of music. More details of game play are on the Kickstarter page.
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Duet Under Bridge

This piece was shot under a railroad bridge that I ride under during my commute. While trains are going over the bridge a nice rumbling, screechy ambience envelopes the space. On this occasion, a few weeks ago, melting icicles were dripping onto the sidewalk adding a chaotic rhythm to the soundscape. Rather than producing a drone to mimic the ambience I used noise, LFO pitch sweeps, and sample-and-hold on the Monotribe to contrast the reverberated railroad rumbling, and screeching.

NOTE: This is a binaural recording mixed with a monophonic, analog, synthesizer performance. Please use circumaural headphones to experience the binaural effect.

Duet for Synthesizer and Spin Cycle

Here’s a recent addition to my series of duets for synthesizers and environments. Once again I have used the cleaners as a setting, but this time focusing on the spin cycle and using the binaural head with a fixed camera. The accelerating oscillations of the spin cycle are really fun to mimic with the Korg Monotribe. The dual speed setting on the LFO goes a long way. Pushing the speed up into the audio range one can create cross mod or FM like textures. This piece will be shown, along with similar work, at my MFA thesis exhibition next month.

NOTE: This is a binaural recording mixed with a monophonic, analog, synthesizer performance. Please use circumaural headphones to experience the binaural effect.

Duet for Synthesizer and Rail Cars

Here’s another piece in my series of subversive duets with indeterminate events. This piece will be shown, along with similar work, at my MFA thesis exhibition next month. NOTE: This is a binaural recording mixed with a monophonic, analog, synthesizer performance. Please use circumaural headphones to experience the binaural effect.

Vortex by Ostraka

The true test of a new instrument is whether you can integrate it into your workflow and use it to produce satisfactory work. This I wasn’t so sure about after my first few hours of working with the Yamaha FS1R. The factory performance patches on the FS1R are all overloaded with effects and glitzed out to impress the ears of musicians from 1998. Despite the frustrating characteristics of the instrument’s patches, I had faith that the complexity of its FM architecture coupled with its formant shaping features made it something worth trying to tame. To produce Vortex I created the formant lead sound from the ground up, made a nice, wide stereo bass patch using a couple of DX voices, and adjusted a melody patch to my taste. The percussion and arpeggios were programmed and played on the DSI Tempest.

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