This is an unusual blog entry, in that the three topics in the title, death metal, green dance music, and Olympic sound design, have very little in common. But they are all activities that the team here have been involved with recently, outside of our normal research, which are worth mentioning.
Angeliki Mourgela, whose work has been described in previous blog entries on hearing loss simulation and online listening tests is also a sound engineer and death metal musician. Her band, Unmother, has just released an album, and you can check it out on Bandcamp.
Eva Fineberg is a Masters student doing a project on improved thunder simulation, building on some work we did which showed that none of the existing thunder synthesis models were very good. Eva is one of the leaders of Berlin’s Clean Scene, a collective of industry professionals focused on making dance music greener. They have been investigating the environmental impacts of touring. They recently released a report, Last Night a DJ Took a Flight: Exploring the carbon footprint of touring DJs and looking towards alternative futures within the dance music industry, that found rather stunning environmental impact from touring DJs. But it also went further and gave many recommendations to reduce this impact. Its good to see initiatives like this in the music industry that bring research and action together.
Finally, I was asked to write an article for The Conversation about sound design in the Olympics. A quick search showed that there were quite a few pieces written about this, but they all focused on the artificial crowd noise. Thats of course the big story, but I managed to find a different angle. Looking back, the modern Olympics that perhaps most revolutionised sound design in the past was… the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. The technical aspects of the sound engineering involved were published in the July 1965 issue of the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society. So there’s a good story there on innovation in sound design, from Tokyo to Tokyo. The article, 3,600 microphones and counting: how the sound of the Olympics is created, was just published the moment I started writing this blog entry.