Listen here to a short excerpt of our noise jam today, EVERYBODY present in the (extended virtual) room was contributing.

Noise jam excerpt

Diverse mobile phone selection, cheap ear plugs, 9Volt batteries, a lot of coffee, 7 rules of hacking, chocolate cream and much more: MCT students are getting ready for the mini-hackathon.

To wrap it up, the first workshop day on ‘physical computing’ surprised us in many ways. Exposed to new tools in webtechnology we were able to create a little jamsession.
Some of the tools were familiar, some of them less. To start with the hardest challenge, around 2 or 3 out of 14 students had hands-on experiences in programming from before. Before we got introduced by code templates to set up a sampler, there were moments of frustration and irritation. This is probably unavoidable when learning new skills. Lerning by doing is the motto. Fortunately, we were able to establish a collaborative approach to learning that everyone could keep up with, regardless of background.

Hacking, sound walks..?

For sound generation we made use of the sound walk methodology. It is a possibility to use man made sound objects from the urban sound scape (in oposition to nature related sound scape) and put them in a different context. Back in school it could be refered to ‘hacking’ in the sense as it describes the practice the way to use sound-related technology in new and unexpected forms that do not only create sound but knowledge.

Proofing sound potentials

Working with mini Amps and reversed ear plugs not only opened up the ears, but also the eyes. Everything along the way got tested. In Oslo it was the copy machine as well as a magnetic card reader and a alarm box above the studio room. Dropping headphones on desk repeatedly while introducing distortion in the channel produced a strange and rhythimcal effect. Using the distortion as a filter while blowing into the headphones produced a sweeping effect. Tinkering and tapping on the headphones while using both distortion and tone as a filter produced several sweeping sounds. Fixating the mic on a note stand and using a violin bow produced some sustained sounds. There seems an endless world to explore and to work with.