- On 14 mai 2012
I will present a paper on my last piece of software EAnalysis during the next EMS 2012 (Electroacoustic Music Studies Network) at Stockholm on June 12.
More informations: http://www.ems-network.org/ems12/
Here is my abstract
Electroacoustic music practices are changing so rapidly that defining the field is a real challenge. Thus, acousmatic music, soundscape, glitch, mixed music, interactive music, algorithmic music, audiovisual improvisation, electronica, sound installation or music created using hacked machines, all of these artistic experiences belong to the same field. This musical field being very new and extremely mobile, the researcher has to analyse it differently from instrumental music. Indeed, the lack of support, the complexity of sound material, the use of internal and external spaces, the close link between tools and musical results, the role of place in the creative process, the blurred border between sound and music, the mix with other forms of art are altering musicology in depth. These changes require not only new theories, but also new tools for analysis.
The development of EAnalysis is part of the research project entitled ‘New multimedia tools for electroacoustic music analysis’ at the MTI Research Centre of De Montfort University (Leicester, UK). This piece of software aims at experimenting new types of graphic representations and new analytical methods with an intuitive interface and adapted tools for analysis purposes. The release version will be available at the end of 2013. This piece of software runs on Macintosh OS10.6 or later and a beta version has been available since April 2012 (http://eanalysis.pierrecouprie.fr).
For several years, my research work has been centered on the use of musical representations for musical analysis. In several conferences, I have presented new modes of representation to go beyond the traditional time-‐frequency view. The time-‐ frequency view is very useful to edit the various graphic shapes or to synchronise the analytical objects on a timeline. But, if the researcher wants to demonstrate complex analysis with different analytical parameters or parameters in different layers, this type of view is very limited. EAnalysis offers various possibilities the researcher can choose from so as to meet his research objective. He can thus select the most adapted types of view for his analytical strategies. He can for instance use a traditional type of view and create iconic representations or complex symbolic representations with many analytical parameters in one or several views. Moreover, EAnalysis provides tools for analysis adapted to different types of audience: specialists, musicians, teachers, children, etc.
My work in the field of graphic representations of electroacoustic music has enabled me to experiment different software (Acousmographe, Audiosculpt, Adobe Illustrator, etc.).
Each one is very effective with regard to the purpose it was developed for, but turns out to be limited when I want to work in different ways or when I want to have the best features of 2 software at the same time. Hence the second objective of EAnalysis: fewer tools but tools that are developed to be useful for the analyst. Of course this piece software cannot be considered as panacea but it will propose new tools to work with drawing and analysis.
Traditional software propose various drawing tools and sometimes some shapes that refer to analytical units but they do not offer any help to use them. The people who analyse electroacoustic music are varied. They may be musicians who want to create an analysis of mixed music interpretation, specialists of electroacoustic music who want to create their own analytical method, students who use such software to learn how music is organised or structured, or teachers who want to use them to work on listening with their students. These different types of people need intuitive software to work in different ways.
Based on that, I imagined a new piece of software that can be used in different ways. Here are some of its features:
- You can work with different types of views: time/frequency, animation (e.g. to represent motions in space, installations, or soundwalk), map of sounds/representations (e.g. to create a mind map with sounds, or a paradigmatic table), image view (to show score of mixed music or any image), chart view (to represent the variation of some parameters from various data).
- You can analyse one or several audio or video files in each project, thus allowing multitracks works or comparative analysis.
- You have at your disposal all the drawing tools that you need to create representations or to modify all shapes without having to redraw your whole representation.
- You have access to 4 work modes: “normal mode” to add graphic shapes like in any other software or analytical events, “text mode” to annotate while listening to music, “drawing mode” to use a graphic tablet or an interactive whiteboard to draw your ideas, and “play mode” to use during a presentation of your analysis with interactive events.
- You can add graphic events or analytic events. Graphic events are very common shapes like text, rectangle, ellipse, line, polygon, etc. Analytic events are graphic events with analytic parameters to analyse music with different methods like sound objects, spectromorphologies, functions, temporal semiotic units, etc. Each analytic event contains a help file (text, sound examples, web page) to guide your analyse work.
- You can attach analytic parameters to any event to analyse specific criteria like gain, gait, morphology, space position or motion, etc. Analytic parameters can modify the representation like with a style sheet. This system allows the user to try various types of representations.
- The release version will contain an expert system to guide the user through the various types of analytic events.
- You can edit your own analytic events and share them with other users.
- Of course, you can export your work in different formats: image, PDF, movie with one or several views, text file, XML file. You also can export in EAnalysis format without audio/video files and sonogram images if you do not own the rights of the media.
- Links to other software like Audiosculpt, Acousmographe, or Sonic Visualiser are also planned.
These features will be progressively added to EAnalysis during the development.
This presentation will account for the use of EAnalysis in analytical projects with various levels of complexity for different genres of electroacoustic music: acousmatic, audiovisual performance, soundwalk, etc.