ICAT Day 2020 – Binaural Music from Students at Virginia Tech

Author: Aline de Souza
Title: Birds and Trees
Download and listen to the binaural recording here.
Program notes: In this piece I wanted to tell a story in which the wind is speaking to a child who is fascinated by nature.
Process: To make this piece, I thought about what would be the things that the wind would tell me? So I went outside for field recordings, with questions: what to listen? Where to look at? I recorded bird and wind sounds.
Back to my studio space at home, I thought about these questions too, but with imagination to listen to the wind, thinking about what she would tell me. I started plucking chords in the harp and thinking about which sounds the wind would inspire.
I recorded these sounds, as well as voice for the narration text and voice for the wind singing windily. I processed the harp sounds with granular synthesis and the voice sounds with reverb. Later I applied the room encoder for spatialization, simulating the movement of these sounds around a room with ambisonics.
Author: Jaden delaConcepcion
Title: Media Day Cycle
Download and listen to the binaural recording here.
Program Notes: For my Final Project I am creating a 3rd order immersive soundscape pertaining to the sounds you would hear in the summer over the course of a 24 hours day outside. My project will be composed all in reaper and as of right now I only have a fixed media portion done to help cover any sounds that would leave silence in the piece. Due to quarantine I have been unable to go out and record my samples and gotten them from freesound.org. I then put them through ocenaudio where I have been processing the sounds to how I want them to be perceived. In my reaper project I am also using the IEM along with the Facebook 360.
Author: Rachel Hachem
Title: Ceti System
Download and listen to the binaural recording here.
Program Notes: For this project, I wanted to sonify data from the Tau Ceti solar system, which is a system that has been of great interest to NASA and the science fiction world since its discovery. I took the mass, orbital period, and eccentricity of the four Tau Ceti planets and plugged them into a simple instrument I programmed in SuperCollider, which output varying sine waves and crackles based on the parameters of each planet. I then took those mono sounds into Reaper, where I used automation to give the impression that the listener is passing by each planet, before seeing them all at once!
Author: Gabriel Eduardo Salazar
Title: gRainy Day
Download and listen to the binaural recording here.
Program Notes:  It is a piece that merges my bass playing with the processing of samples to the point that I could use the same instrument to have percussion through granular synthesis, and the dynamics of playing a physical instrument. It applies knowledge of Supercollider to the processing and the spatializing is done via IEM plugins with Room Encoders and Multi Encoders for the different parts and automation so that you can hear the movement.
Author: Disha Sardana
Title: Eclipse Data Sonification
Download and listen to the binaural recording here.
Program notes: In this piece, I have attempted to sonify the path of the total solar eclipse that occurred on August 21, 2017.
Process: The motivation behind this piece is to study how natural phenomena can be sonified and understood through sound and spatialization techniques. I procured the eclipse path coordinates from the NASA website and read this data into MAX/MSP using a ‘coll’ object.In MAX/MSP, I used 3rd order ambisonics and provided the longitude and latitude coordinates in the eclipse path as azimuth and elevation for the ambisonics-encoder. I used a sound file mimicking the calling of a bird, as when the sun sets, or how this particular eclipse happened during day time, birds start calling and crickets chirping eerily when that happens. As the eclipse is moving in time from one location to another, so would the sound of the bird move in the same manner. Additionally, since this data belongs to the U.S. sector only, and ambisonics encoding spatializes sound in a 360-degree environment; to exaggerate the spatialization effect, I scaled the data coordinates such that azimuth angles lie between 0 to 180 (in the front), and elevation angles lie between 0 to 15, like stretching a map of U.S. in front. I finally decoded the 16 channel ambisonics-encoded sound file in Reaper using the BinauralDecoder(IEM) plugin.
Watch a video of the Expo here.