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OHM 2011 is coming!

March 6, 2011

First, this year’s OHM Festival of art, music, and new media will be hosted in the Berendo Building! The plan is to have a kind of circus, with art on the hallway walls, music in the orchestra room, video looped in the video lab, sound art installations in nooks and crannies, and film in the choir room.

During the week of April 18th, classes will be invited to walk the exhibition during the day. On the evening of the 19th, we plan to have an open house style exhibition in Berendo. I am especially excited to have parents see the work of all of our art students and hear the music classes sing and play.

Over the past week in class, we have been refining our Audacity skills and cutting loops. My students have been generally getting progressively faster at creating the material. I have stumbled upon something that may fall under the law of unintended consequences, however. Because multiple students use the same computers over different classes, some students are stealing other classes loops and uploading them to Soundcloud as their own. I may have to require that everyone save their loops on their own media. When I get administrator privileges for the lab, I can batch erase the computers daily.

An immediate problem I see with this is that students may only have one backup of their work. They could back up to the cloud, I suppose, but with slow upload speeds, it may not be a practical solution. I will have to experiment with this. until then, I need to be extra vigilant on their behalf.

My student have created Soundcloud accounts to upload their finished loops. This is a wonderful service! They get to store 2 hours of soundfiles in the cloud for free. The site provides an mp3 preview player, either as a single track, or a jukebox. You can download them, or play them online.

The accounts also have a social networking aspect to them. We will all link our accounts together so we can share tracks. I will use it as an opportunity to teach about Creative Commons Licensing as well as how to attribute work.

An easy test for a cheater will be to have them create a loop right in front of me- from start to finish. This first time a student makes a loop, it seems to take somewhere around 20 minutes because of their unfamiliarity with the software and especially the counting of beats. The overall workflow between recording, using the editor, and properly placing metatags in the Apple Loop Utility is a bit complicated.

By the end of this portion of the assignment, they should have created and uploaded 25 loops. After 25-times through the process, they should be fairly expert at creating- at least understanding the workflow. Any student who hasn’t gone through the process all 25-times will not be able to produce a loop on the spot.

Get ready!


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