I enjoyed reading Andy Farnell’s excellent Designing Sound book a few years ago. While working through the Practical Series examples he provides, I decided they would be more useful for me as Max patches. When it comes to coding and algorithms, I also know that I learn better by going slowly and working step-by-step, so I decided to port the patches from Pd to Max.
Some of these patches require gen~, particularly to realize the rzero and rpole filters.
Filter topologies differ between the programs. My goal was to get something working in Max, not necessarily to exactly match Parnell’s Pd patch. Therefore, some patches could benefit from a close comparison with the Pd version and from tuning by ear.
Not everything initializes properly. Consult the text for reasonable starting values, or experiment to find your own.
The land and sky of Mt. Washington, New Hampshire form a frame for a meteorologist as she goes about the solitary and steadfast work of measuring and recording the weather. Inspired by the Nathaniel Hawthorne story “The Great Carbuncle,” this film features the extreme and varying beauty of the windiest mountain in the world.
Shot on 16mm film over the course of a year, “The Observers” is based on the actual work of the crew of the Mount Washington Weather Observatory — one of the oldest weather stations in North America where staff members have taken hourly readings of the wind speed, visibility, barometric pressure, and temperature since May 1932. In 1934, the staff measured a wind gust of 231 mph, which remains a world record for a surface station.
I’ve been privileged to be part of the production of “The Observers” along with Jesse Cain, Dani Leventhal, and Katya Gorker. I posted here, here, here and here about our experiences shooting at the top of beautiful Mt. Washington, NH. Since then I’ve composed music for the film, assisted Jackie with recording foley and worked on sound design. This has been a great project!
“The Observers” screened on the closing night of the Crossroads Festival in San Francisco, and will be shown again in early June at the Chicago Underground Film Festival. I’ll post details when I get them.
A foggy day with visibility down to 1/16th of a mile. The observatory reported zero hours of sunshine for the day. Perfect conditions for rime ice. We could hardly step outside without it accumulating on our clothes and, of course, our gear.
My recording bag covered in rime ice. My headphones were unscathed since I wore them under my balaclava (and hat (and parka hood)).
I brought out my contact mics to record the sound of rime accumulating on them. The best spot I found was attaching them to the windward side of a wooden sign post. Here’s an excerpt:
Listening to the entire recording one can clearly hear the frequency of the resonant ping sounds increase as more ice accumulates. I suspect the ice accumulation reduces the surface area of the contact mic or otherwise stiffens the transducer–in a manner similar to a drummer increasing the pressure on a drum head and thus causing the pitch to rise.
Here’s a recording of an ice-covered chain squeaking in the wind. The squeak is less metallic than I expected, sounding more like rubbing ice cubes together.
Here’s a photo of the chain (taken on another, much sunnier day). Yes, this chain appears to be preventing the building from blowing off the mountain. The story I heard is that the chains were an important part of the original building. When they rebuilt the structure, chains were included as an historical and decorative element. There were times when I could have used a chain or two to prevent me from blowing away.
Jackie and I covered in rime ice after our contact mic recording expedition.