3 DEAF MICE – sound and story in a game – Part 2

3DeafMice-Ratatat-evolution copy 3DeafMice-Shred-evolution copy3DeafMice-Woofer-evolution copy

Why mice and what’s behind their listening, sound and music

3 Deaf Mice started with the idea of the nursery rhyme 3 Blind Mice adapted as the three deaf musical mice, but having to deal with the difficulties of hearing loss from listening to loud music too long, and I thought that would make a cool sound game. It sets up the challenge for the player to improve their own hearing so they can help the mice create the song.  And once that happens, it opens the door for a whole bunch of fun audio challenges and creativity. We’ve already got six more songs written around the lives of these three mice, all to do with sound and music creation, while also dealing with the rodents’ real world issues of finding food and avoiding getting caught as prey. Like mice, we humans can relate to these basic survival needs, and it certainly will add motivation to the game play. Lots of drama!
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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.

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