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OTHER PROJECTS

Video Game Sound Design

While at UNC School of the Arts, I took a class where we collaborated with computer science students at NC State to create sounds for a video game that they spent the semester creating. This playthrough is a result of that collaboration. I created the sound effects and music heard in the clip, and then would give the files to the development team to program into Unity. The spreadsheet included below is what we used to keep track of all the files we needed, what version we were on, and which ones I had recently uploaded. NC State team members were Samy Bencherif, Ben Kimbrough, and Quentin Davidson. I was assisted by Nicholas Benik and Sam Lemme.

Broken Night Playthrough

Broken Night Playthrough

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Q-SYS and Tascam Backup playback system

For most dance shows, everything stops when you lose playback, so it has become standard practice at UNCSA to incorporate a playback system separate from the standard QLab computer to make sure that the show can continue. This is typically achieved with a playback device, such as a Tascam SS-CDR250N, where you physically press a play button at the same time you hit go in QLab. To make things interesting, I utilized the Telnet protocols built into the Tascam to automate this process. Since Telnet wasn't installed on our school computers, I sent an OSC message to QLab running on my own laptop, which would then trigger an applescript that would send the Telnet command through a terminal session to play or cue up (or in an emergency, stop) the next track on the Tascam. 

And because if something is worth doing, it's worth over doing, I used the Q-SYS 110f core that was handling the mid-side processing on our system as a second backup. I wrote a LUA script that would receive a UDP string, and then parse it out for track information (to load the proper file), control playback, or mute/unmute speakers in an automated pre show soundcheck. 

The paperwork is an excerpt from the whole package, showing how everything was networked together (as well as the block diagram for the system). 

Tech table setup
Tech table setup

The iMac was screen sharing our QLab session in the booth, my computer was running Q-SYS designer, and the iPad let us control the mixing console.

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System in the shop
System in the shop

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System in the booth
System in the booth

The iPad was now running Q-SYS control, that let me run a UCI on my iPad to monitor the Q-SYS core (which is on the bottom right of the photo).

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Tech table setup
Tech table setup

The iMac was screen sharing our QLab session in the booth, my computer was running Q-SYS designer, and the iPad let us control the mixing console.

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MIDI Control

While at BYU, I had the opportunity to incorporate MIDI control through contact closures into a few of the shows that I worked on. One of the biggest was in our production of The Mousetrap, where I hid (among other things) magnetic reed switches in windows so that actors coming in and out would trigger wind and storm sounds in a speaker behind the window. I also took an old radio and re purposed its controls in such a way that the actors could turn the radio on and then change its volume.  

The other show I did something similar for was on Little Shop of Horrors. The director really wanted the actor portraying the Dentist to have a drill he could use as an intimidation tactic while performing on stage, and since we couldn't use a real drill, I got creative. I secured a wire inside the trigger that would close a circuit and start a loop of a drill sound from a speaker just off stage of the him. When he released the trigger, the open circuit would play a drill winding down sound (and simultaneously end the loop).

Both systems were terminated with 1/4" TS connectors that were plugged into a MIDI Solutions F8 footswitch controller, which converted the contact closures into a MIDI signal that was fed into our QLab computer.

Mousetrap MIDI 1
Mousetrap MIDI 1

One of the existing pieces of the radio I repurposed.

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Mousetrap MIDI 2
Mousetrap MIDI 2

The radio's power switch that I used to turn my radio cues on and off.

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LSH Drill Intimidation
LSH Drill Intimidation

The drill in action. Photo by Michael Handley.

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Mousetrap MIDI 1
Mousetrap MIDI 1

One of the existing pieces of the radio I repurposed.

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