• AmbiFreeVerb 2—Development of a 3D ambisonic reverb with spatial warping and variable scattering

      Dring, Mark; Wiggins, Bruce; University of Derby (Audio Engineering Society, 2016-07-14)
      In this paper the development of a three dimensional Ambisonic reverb based on the open source FreeVerb algorithm will be presented and discussed. This model is then extended to include processing in over-specified A-format, rather than B-format, variable scattering between channels along with controls for warping the distribution of the reflections to implement a reverb that is able to react to the source position in a spatially coherent way with an acoustical analysis of its performance.
    • Making projects sing: a musical perspective of project management

      Wilson, Chris; Sivaraman, R; Brown, Michael; McCormack, Danny; Business Expert Press (Business Expert Press, 2016)
      This book explores project management (PM) from a musical perspective. Seeking ways of understanding PM in musical ways, distinctive approaches to the management of risk, experimentation, the conception and practice of teams, and the realization of imagination, are explored to highlight both the synergies and distinctions between musical practice and project management in the wider corporate and industrial sectors. The intention being to surface insights of value, capable of adaptation and practical application in a range of contexts, a series of conceptual models and thinking exercises are presented, each designed to structure a more musical approach to project management and capable of application at every scale of project management, and every possible project management environment. The contention of this book is that music provides an interesting context through which to consider project management practice, and therefore a unique opportunity to approach project management from both a different viewpoint and a different mindset. Music is a vibrant field of activity incorporating distinctive approaches to the development and maintenance of expertise, the transfer of knowledge, and the realization of remarkable cultural creativity. Synergies between musical practice and the wider project management profession are many and varied, and more musical approaches to project management may not only be possible, but may also be an engaging means of developing creativity in project outcomes.
    • Seeking best practice for education and training in the recording studio

      Vandemast-Bell, Paul; Werner, Duncan; Crossley, John; University of Derby (Audio Engineering Society, 2015-08-20)
      This paper reflects on the delivery of a module in recording studio practice. The module is intended to equip level 5 students with the necessary skills to undertake final year project work whilst introducing aspiring recording artists and music producers to a career in industry. These goals are compounded by the expectations of accreditation bodies that work in partnership with academic institutions to raise the standard of graduates entering into the business of music recording and production. Drawing on the authors’ educative experiences and observations the paper highlights the challenges posed by the tension between training and education, and investigates the potential for novel approaches to curriculum design.
    • GASP: Guitars with ambisonic spatial performance

      Werner, Duncan; Wiggins, Bruce; Lawson, Tom; Weightman, Tom; Callister, Joe; University of Derby: Creative Technologies Research Group (2015-06)
      ‘Guitars with Ambisonic Spatial Performance’ (GASP) is an ongoing project where our expertise in surround sound algorithmic research is combined with off-the-shelf hardware and bespoke software to create a spatial multichannel surround guitar performance system. This poster was funded through the ‘Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme’ (URSS) and presented at the University of Derby Buxton Campus 10th Annual Learning & Teaching conference on Wednesday 1st July 2015. The theme being ‘Students as Partners: Linking Teaching, Research and Enterprise’. The poster was also utilised as a contribution to the Creative Technologies Research Group (CTRG) ‘Sounds in Space’ symposium held at the University of Derby in June 2015, at which three pieces of multichannel guitar recordings were demonstrated.
    • Creativity and authenticity: perspectives of creative value, utility and quality

      Wilson, Chris; Brown, Michael; University of Derby (DAKAM - Eastern Mediterranean Academic Research Center, 2015)
      This paper is written from the perspective of creative practitioners in sound, music and the visual arts teaching in UK higher education. Primarily concerned with the understanding of creativity as a developmental capacity and identifiable and measurable process and outcome, what began initially as a focused discussion about the assessment of creative artefacts developed progressively into a more general analysis of creative value in terms of reception and developmental experience. Recognising the impact of new technologies and the changing conceptions of creative technique and craft, collaboration and origination, and diversification of attendant interpretive meanings inherent with new artistic forms, the study is an attempt to establish a position from which pedagogic practices can be honed and refined to meet the expectations and needs of contemporary practitioners and educational contexts. The objective in any educational experience and any process of artistic creation being to enrich and to effectively inform further development steps, value is therefore a highly diverse and granular commodity, measurable on many different scales, and capable of understanding in many different ways. This is a study of considerations and perspectives and ways of understanding and working with creative value and an attempt to develop a framework through which to base creative decisions as educators and practitioners. Creativity models tend to emphasise utility and originality as the key factors in determining creative value; the wider recognition and impact of the outcomes of creative endeavour preeminent in the interpretation and attribution of quality and significance. Whilst most evident and analytically objectifiable in the study of reception and in the analysis of outcomes, creative practices and processes nevertheless feature more prominently in the interpretation of value in some fields. Whilst the products of the creative practice of artists, musicians and writers retain the centre ground in the discourse of creativity, the authentication of creative endeavour is nevertheless closely connected to the narratives surrounding the inception and development of the work and the security of the connection established between the creative object and the creative originator; the intangible and entirely conceptual matter of attribution and provenance often proving more significant than physical artefact in substantiating at least commercial value in many cases. Investigating the potential for a meaningful definition of ‘authentic creativity’, notions of novelty, ignorance, forgery, fakery, reproduction and patterning, provide a basis for consideration of creativity both as an unstable concept and in parallel as a metaphor for the human condition. Considering the discourse of authenticity and aesthetics, this paper explores different perspectives of creativity as lived experience and positions analysis in the narratives of insight, imagination, and the romanticism of discovery and talent. Introducing an analysis of creativity through a series of conceptual models to illustrate key concepts and ideas, this essay presents a discussion rooted in a context of collapsing distinctions between the natural and the artificial, the authentic and the inauthentic, the original and the copy, and develops a tentative definition of authentic creativity and creative authenticity for wider consideration. That creativity matters in education and society is widely acknowledged and appreciated. This paper argues for a greater focus on the lived experience of creativity and the significance of determining value in terms of human experience over productivity.
    • Conformity, deformity and reformity

      Brown, Michael; Wilson, Chris; University of Derby (West East Institute, 2015)
      In any given field of artistic practice, practitioners position themselves—or find themselves positioned—according to interests and allegiances with specific movements, genres, and traditions. Selecting particular frameworks through which to approach the development of new ideas, patterns and expressions, balance is invariably maintained between the desire to contribute towards and connect with a particular set of domain conventions, whilst at the same time developing distinction and recognition as a creative individual. Creativity through the constraints of artistic domain, discipline and style provides a basis for consideration of notions of originality in the context of activity primarily associated with reconfiguration, manipulation and reorganisation of existing elements and ideas. Drawing from postmodern and post-structuralist perspectives in the analysis of modern hybrid art forms and the emergence of virtual creative environments, the transition from traditional artistic practice and notions of craft and creation, to creative spaces in which elements are manipulated, mutated, combined and distorted with often frivolous or subversive intent are considered. This paper presents an educational and musically focused perspective of the relationship between the individual and domain-based creative practice. Drawing primarily from musical and audio-visual examples with particular interest in creative disruption of pre-existing elements, creative strategies of appropriation and recycling are explored in the context of music composition and production. Conclusions focus on the interpretation of creativity as essentially a process of recombination and manipulation and highlight how the relationship between artist and field of practice creates unique creative spaces through which new ideas emerge.
    • Ambiguity, uncertainty and new realities: perspectives of creative value, utility and authenticity

      Wilson, Chris; Brown, Michael; University of Derby (KIE, Knowledge, Innovation & Enterprise, 2015)
      The concept of creativity is synonymous with the formulation of value judgements. Related primarily to the experience of new and unfamiliar ideas, creativity is a subject directly connected to conceptions of adjustment, re-calibration, measurement and evaluation. Albeit a subjective term open to considerable flexibility of interpretation, creativity has nevertheless become a capacity and commodity of notionally high social and economic value. Consequently, creativity has never been subject to greater scrutiny and judgement and understanding of creative value subject to greater discussion and evaluation. Exploring aspects of creativity associated with ambiguity and uncertainty through the discourse of authenticity and aesthetics, this chapter positions analysis in the narratives of insight and imagination, the romanticism of discovery and talent, and debates about the increasing virtualisation of creative practice and emerging prospect of artificial creativity. Investigating the potential for what might be described as authentic creativity, notions of forgery and fakery, serendipity, accidental discovery, and the dynamics of positive and negative creative conditions, provide a basis for focused consideration of the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of creative activity and the various ways these relate to the determination of value in the ‘what’ of creative outcomes. Exploring first the nature of creative value and closely related definitions of creativity, consideration is then given to the temporal and cultural dynamics of creative value judgements before focusing more specifically on contexts of creativity and areas of creative ambiguity. Introducing a series of illustrative case studies, discussion focuses on the parameters of creative value judgements to underpin a tentative definition of creative authenticity. Conclusions highlight a range of possible perspectives related to the subjective nature of creativity and definitions of creative value. Creativity and creative value can be determined simply according to the scale of impact on human well-being, progress, fulfilment, security, or other suitable value indicator, the quality of lived human experience, the intrinsic qualities of the object, artefact or activity, or combination of all three. Given the inherent diversity and instability of creation and reception contexts, the search for any form objective measure of creative value may be a fruitless one. However, it is in the very subjectivity of creative experience that creative authenticity is most visible.
    • Conformity, deformity and reformity

      Brown, Michael; Wilson, Chris; University of Derby (Knowledge, Innovation & Enterprise, 2015)
      In any given field of artistic practice, practitioners position themselves—or find themselves positioned—according to interests and allegiances with spe- cific movements, genres, and traditions. Selecting particular frameworks through which to approach the development of new ideas, patterns and ex- pressions, balance is invariably maintained between the desire to contribute towards and connect with a particular set of domain conventions, whilst at the same time developing distinction and recognition as a creative individual. Creativity through the constraints of artistic domain, discipline and style pro- vides a basis for consideration of notions of originality in the context of activ- ity primarily associated with reconfiguration, manipulation and reorganisation of existing elements and ideas. Drawing from postmodern and post- structuralist perspectives in the analysis of modern hybrid art forms and the emergence of virtual creative environments, the transition from traditional artistic practice and notions of craft and creation, to creative spaces in which elements are manipulated, mutated, combined and distorted with often frivo- lous or subversive intent are considered. This chapter presents an educational and musically focused perspective of the relationship between the individual and domain-based creative practice. Drawing primarily from musical and audio-visual examples with particular interest in creative disruption of pre-existing elements, creative strategies of appropriation and recycling are explored in the context of music composition and production. Conclusions focus on the interpretation of creativity as essen- tially a process of recombination and manipulation and highlight how the relationship between artist and field of practice creates unique creative spaces through which new ideas emerge.
    • Subjective evaluation of an emerging theory of low-frequency sound source localization in closed acoustic spaces

      Hill, Adam J.; Hawksford, Malcolm O. J.; University of Derby; University of Essex (Institute of Acoustics, 2014-10-15)
      An earlier reported theory of low-frequency sound-source localization within closed acoustic spaces proposed that virtual image acuity is strongly dependent on sufficient inter-arrival time between a direct sound and its first reflection. This current study aims to test the theory’s predictions by subjective experiment where participants are required to indicate perceived sound source direction, but without knowledge of loudspeaker location. Test signals of frequencies 40 Hz to 115 Hz take the form of either windowed sine or square waves. Results confirm broad agreement with theoretical expectations and support the conjecture, contrary to common expectation, that low-frequency sound localization within the context of closed acoustic spaces is possible, although strongly dependent on system configuration and size of a listening space.
    • The GASP Project

      Werner, Duncan; Uiversity of Derby, Creative Technologies Research Group (2014-06)
      Overview of GASP (Guitars with Ambisonic Spatial Production) presentation
    • Creative dynamics: artistic production as a model of creative interaction

      Brown, Michael; Wilson, Chris; University of Derby (Knowledge, Innovation & Enterprise, 2014)
      Defining creativity in musical terms and the extent to which theories of crea- tivity may reflect and inform creative practice within a UK university arts-based college is at the heart of this chapter. Creative thinking in music, particularly with reference to com- mercial application is where the investigation begins; models of collaborative interaction, which is a fundamental preoccupation for undergraduate popular music students, are re- viewed and evaluated highlighting the boundaries within which composers are required to work to attain commercial authenticity. Beyond this, the development of an applicable creativity toolkit is discussed which has the potential to challenge aesthetic sensibilities al- lowing students to transcend the boundaries of the familiar and explore domains less famil- iar. The chapter concludes by validating the benefits of collaborative creative activities par- ticularly with reference to multi-modal interaction and the role of technology.
    • Low-frequency sound source localization as a function of closed acoustic spaces

      Hill, Adam J.; Hawksford, Malcolm O. J.; University of Derby; University of Essex (Institute of Acoustics, 2013-11)
      Further development of an emerging generalized theory of low-frequency sound localization in closed listening spaces is presented that aims to resolve the ambiguities inherent in previous research. The approach takes a robust set of equations based on source/listener location, reverberation time and room dimensions and tests them against a set of evaluation procedures to explore image location against theoretical expectations. Phantom imaging is germane to the methodology and its match within the theoretical framework is investigated. Binaural recordings are used to inspect a range of closed environments for localization clues each with a range of source-listener placements. A complementary series of small-scale listening tests are included for perceptual validation.
    • A scientific approach to microphone placement for cymbals in live sound

      Harrison, Joshua J.; Hill, Adam J.; University of Derby (Institute of Acoustics, 2013-11)
      Current practice regarding overhead microphone placement on drum kits at live events is largely informed by personal experience and industry-standard practice, where there seems to be a lack of scientific evidence supporting these placements. This research addresses this by first recordings from points around different cymbals which are struck by three types of drumsticks. The measurements are processed in MATLAB to produce visual representations of the auditory data. The work puts forward evidence that cymbal radiation patterns are dependent on shape, size, profile and striking method while the attack and sustain are primarily dependent on cymbal weight. Ideal overhead microphone placement diagrams are generated based on these results to give live sound engineers a quick reference guide for best practice at live events.
    • Music to our ears: the effect of background music in higher education learning environments

      Hill, Adam J.; University of Derby (Audio Engineering Society, 2013-10)
      Learning and teaching practice is higher education has embraced various forms of technology over recent years directed at enhancing the learning experience. Background music is well-known to benefit learning in elementary schools, but has been largely ignored in higher education. There is evidence that background music is particularly beneficial for students with previous musical training which is important for educators on audio engineering or similar courses linked closely with music. This work aims to determine if there are merits to background music in higher education and to point towards future work required to give definitive proof.
    • Live event performer tracking for digital console automation using industry-standard wireless microphone systems

      Hill, Adam J.; Lane, Kit; Rosenthal, Adam P.; Gand, Gary; University of Derby; Gand Concert Sound (Audio Engineering Society, 2013-10)
      The ever-increasing popularity of digital consoles for audio and lighting at live events provides a greatly expanded set of possibilities regarding automation. This research works towards a solution for performer tracking using wireless microphone signals that operates within the existing infrastructure at professional events. Principles of navigation technology such as received signal strength (RSS), time difference of arrival (TDOA), angle of arrival (AOA) and frequency difference of arrival (FDOA) are investigated to determine their suitability and practicality for use in such applications. Analysis of potential systems indicates that performer tracking is feasible over the width and depth of a stage using only two antennas with a suitable configuration, but limitations of current technology restrict the practicality of such a system.
    • On the perceptual advantage of stereo subwoofer systems in live sound reinforcement

      Hill, Adam J.; Hawksford, Malcolm O. J.; University of Derby; University of Essex (Audio Engineering Society, 2013-10)
      Recent research into low-frequency sound-source localization confirms the lowest localizable frequency is a function of room dimensions, source/listener location and reverberant characteristics of the space. Larger spaces therefore facilitate accurate low-frequency localization and should gain benefit from broadband multichannel live-sound reproduction compared to the current trend of deriving an auxiliary mono signal for the subwoofers. This study explores whether the monophonic approach is a significant limit to perceptual quality and if stereo subwoofer systems can create a superior soundscape. The investigation combines binaural measurements and a series of listening tests to compare mono and stereo subwoofer systems when used within a typical left/right configuration.
    • Between possibilities and places: cognitive metaphor, creativity, art and education

      Brown, Michael; Wilson, Chris; University of Derby (KIE, 2013-09-10)
    • Extending realities: creativity, artistry and technology

      Wilson, Chris; Brown, Michael; University of Derby (KIE, 2013-09-10)
    • Rethinking live electronic music: a DJ perspective

      Vandemast-Bell, Paul; University of Derby (Routledge, 2013-06)
      The author critiques the conventional understanding of live electronic music through empirical research on his own DJ practice and investigates others working in the field. In reviewing the opinions of theorists and practitioners in both the live electronic music genre and DJ-ing he argues against the body/machine dialectic that has determined much of the thinking in the former. The author forms a notion of the DJ as a real-time composer working beyond traditional binary distinctions who brings the human body and machine into a mutual relationship. Through practice-led research he charts an investigation beginning in physical human gesture and culminating in digital machine repetition. He concludes that mechanical and digital repetition do not obscure human agency in the production of live works and that this concern is imaginary.
    • The business of invention: considering project management in the arts and industry

      Wilson, Chris; Brown, Michael; University of Derby (Knowledge, Innovation & Enterprise, 2013)
      Project management has well developed theoretical constructs and is becom- ing increasingly well established in core strategy beyond the industrial and corporate sec- tors from which it first emerged. With a concurrent increase in the significance of innova- tion, project managing for creativity is an area of research and enquiry of considerable sig- nificance. Notionally occupying polar opposite cultural positions in terms of perspectives and processes of creativity, project management in the arts is widely considered to vary significantly from corporate strategy and process. If business were to be more generally characterised by ‘organisation’ and discipline, the arts are more commonly celebrated for disorganisation, indiscipline, and the fundamental challenge to organisation itself. Consid- ering both the confluences and variations between established project management theory in business and practice in the arts, this text introduces theoretical constructs pertaining to creative processes and highlights areas for consideration in the understanding and further development of project management theory.