The blog posts of this section relate to the course MCT4021 Physical-Virtual Communication and Music. The aim of this course is to learn to operate and maintain the Portal, the audio-visual communication platform connecting the two campuses in Trondheim and Oslo. The Portal constitutes a laboratory for network based collaboration and communication.

  • Portal ideas

    Portal ideas

    Instead of starting up the M32 every day, recalling the correct preset, adjusting the faders, turning on the screens, turning on the speakers, opening LOLA, connecting to the other side, pulling your hair out because nothing will work... Imagine just pressing a button and it all just works.

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  • The B Team Wraps up the Portal

    The B Team Wraps up the Portal

    We made it out of the Portal, now what?

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  • Reflections on the christmas concert

    Reflections on the christmas concert

    Trondheim reflects on the christmas concert 2019

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  • Microphone Testing Results

    Microphone Testing Results

    We've spent a few days (in addition to the many miscellanous hours during class) reconfiguring the Portal and testing out new hardware and how it might improve the quality of our sound.

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  • Portal Flowchart

    Portal Flowchart

    The MCT portal has been subject to many configurations over the last couple of months. In this post, we explore how flowcharts may help us see a brighter tomorrow (we need as much light as we can get here).

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  • The importance of sound quality

    The importance of sound quality

    Reflections after several lectures with less sub-optimal sound quality

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  • UltraGrid


    Exploring an alternative audio and video network transmission software in the MCT portal.

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  • Could DSP it?

    Could DSP it?

    Is polarity the solution?

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  • An introduction to automix

    An introduction to automix

    At first glance, automix might look like your regular old expander or gate, but what makes automix special is that it does not only work on a channel to channel basis, but links all the channels in an automix group together and opens up the channel that has the strongest signal, while ducking the others.

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  • Experiencing Ambisonics Binaurally

    Experiencing Ambisonics Binaurally

    During the MCT2022 Physical-virtual communication course we have had two sessions where we explored multichannel and ambisonic decoding. The first session, on February 27th, was mainly about recording a four channel A-format stream with an Ambisonic 360 sound microphone. We converted the A-format mic signal into a full-sphere surround sound format which was then decoded to 8 loudspeakers layout we placed evenly across the portal space. We have used the AIIRADecoder from the free and open source IEM plug-in suite.

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  • Scenarios in the Trondheim Portal during the spring semester-2019

    Scenarios in the Trondheim Portal during the spring semester-2019

    We have had numerous scenarios set up in the portal in the period of January-May 2019. Each of the scenarios are unique and therefore serve specific functions. This blog presents four of such scenarios with a bit of discussions on the advantages and challenges with the set ups.

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  • Augmented Reality

    Augmented Reality

    In the final Portal workshop of this semester we were looking at Ambisonics as a potential way to create an augmented auditory space from the perspective of sound.

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  • Repairing scissors and preparing the portal for talks

    Repairing scissors and preparing the portal for talks

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  • Ambisonics!


    On 27 February 2019, we had a workshop on Ambisonics in the portal course. Anders Tveit gave us a lecture on how to encode and decode sound inputs from Lola, using the AIIRADecoder in Reaper.

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  • Documentation and recommendations from the latest Portal Jam

    Documentation and recommendations from the latest Portal Jam

    As the Portal is still in its infancy, pushing and exploring its technical possibilities is an ongoing process. We still encounter different issues while actually seeking a smooth and standardized setup of the signal routing and performance space. At the end it is about optimizing the telematic experience but not getting stucked in technicalities at the same time.

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  • How to stream content from the portal

    How to stream content from the portal

    In this blogpost, we will try to explain in more detail how these streams have been set up using OBS, Open Broadcaster Software and Youtube Live while being connected between Trondheim and Oslo. This can be of use for anyone looking to set up a co-located stream of a speaker or performance.

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  • Portal Jam 23 January 2019, Documentation from Oslo Team

    Portal Jam 23 January 2019, Documentation from Oslo Team

    On the 23 of January, we were testing out to jam together through the Portal.

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  • Christmas jazz concert between Trondheim and Oslo

    Christmas jazz concert between Trondheim and Oslo

    A short trailer from the multi-cam set up, in Oslo. For now, it will have to do with the sound from the GoPro camera mounted on the keyboard.

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  • A-team - Getting the portal up and running...again

    A-team - Getting the portal up and running...again

    Final week before christmas. After months of experimentation with microphones, lectures with _TICO_, workshops with _Zoom_, jams with _LOLA_ and routing on the _Midas_ mixer - the portal is in disarray.

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  • Mutual Concert Between Oslo and Trondheim - Personal Reflections

    Mutual Concert Between Oslo and Trondheim - Personal Reflections

    The mutual concert between Oslo and Trondheim at the schools on November 27th, and it’s successful end result represents the end of a long process which we were trained in the many aspects of playing together over the portal. We have learned about sound and acoustics, about amplification and mixing, video, audio, and network systems, cognition, perception, and last and not least, team work. I feel that the team worked very well and pulled through considering all the technical difficulties. In a way, I feel we all took part in a small historical event, where two groups of high-school students, in two separate locations, managed to play together.

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  • Group B, LoLa multichannel audio

    Group B, LoLa multichannel audio

    The objective this week was very clear from the start, we had to set up multichannel audio for LoLa. There was just one problem: our great LoLa supervisor, Anders, was sick, and we were left to figure out things on our own. This was of course a great challenge, but we like challenges. It might take a little more time, but it's another experience when you are forced to try and fail on your own. Often you also learn much more when you're not being fed all the answers from an expert.

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  • A-team - week 44

    A-team - week 44

    It is very important and professional to keep the signal chain (physically) clear and cabling clean and tidy. We thus decided to tidy up the portal, making it easier for everybody to see the signalchain and able to troubleshoot. Epecially in the way that MCT students are supposed to work together (in 3 teams, in charge of modification and doing the portal job, in order, every week). This will also help a lot if we are to modify or move the components in the future; otherwise it would be very hard to follow what is what.

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  • Group B, Short cables and LoLa

    Group B, Short cables and LoLa

    A few weeks ago we worked on setting up LoLa in the portal. This blogpost got a bit delayed, but we are back!

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  • A two week wrap-up of Group C

    A two week wrap-up of Group C

    We've learned a lot in those two weeks. But due to our tight schedule with a big workload there was hardly any time left to improve on our teach/study environment in the portal. In Trondheim we got a handover from group B on how to deal with LOLA. Our task was then to reinstall the LOLA system, but with some important extra package that was missing.

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  • Group D: LATE POST 'Jamming in the Portal'

    Group D: LATE POST 'Jamming in the Portal'

    We were responsible for the portal during week 39 (Sep 24th-28th).This was the week we decided to explore playing music over the portal between the two campuses (UiO-NTNU) through TICO.The need for experimenting with playing music online came from both students and teachers. Many of us were eager to share the things we like to do the most (playing music). Also, there was a need to play music together for demonstration during 'Music Cognition' course. During the first jam on Tuesday the 25th, we played ‘Fly me to the moon’, a random blues number and ‘Wonderful Tonight’. During the music cognition jam, we experienced more difficulties with hearing oneself and hearing each other. Perhaps the best solution might be using headphone during those sessions.The connection itself regarding latency was not such a problem, although we did feel like we are slowing down at times.

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  • Group A - Setting up for a joint group presentation

    Group A - Setting up for a joint group presentation

    Our portal has been suffering from both audial and visual issues since the beginning of the MCT program. We solve one problem and the next is just waiting in line to show itself. NOW, we all had an exam just around the corner, an exam where we were going to hold a presentation in the portal across campuses. The importance of a working portal now felt very crucial With this in mind we started working on visibility, audibility and reliability.

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  • M.A.D.E - setting up Tico

    M.A.D.E - setting up Tico

    The number one priority this week was to get Tico up and running. The previous week, all lectures and communication between the two campuses had been through Zoom, and quite a lot of time had been consumed by solving technical problems and issues regarding the Zoom connection.

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  • A-team - first week

    A-team - first week

    The first week at The Portal was interesting. Most of the equipment was not ready for use, and the TICO system network card crashed two days before opening ceremony. Our group, Jørgen, Espen, Sam and Juno, started working on Monday 27. August, and tried to set up the Polycom system as a backup for the week in the Portal.

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