Our two weeks of creative collaboration in Malaysia came to an end with an exhibition at the e-gallery on Friday. Two weeks of hard work built up to this final day. For the first half of the day we finished the setup of our installation and made sure things would run smoothly. The other portion of the day was dedicated to welcoming visitors and guiding them through our work.
I encountered some challenges while preparing for the final part of the project. The night before, I realised that Ableton Live session tracks are different to each other and that I cannot stack a MIDI instrument session underneath another session in an Audio track. They are different and will certainly not retain their attributes as well as the composed melodies and beats. I figured out that running them as loops on audio tracks surely works better in this case.
When I got to the e-gallery on Friday, I organised my tracks and exported them as individual tracks. However, the grouped tracks that I created for the rain, ambience and Melbourne sounds exported as blank audio files. It took me a few minutes to understand the issue and applied concepts and knowledge acquired from my sound specialisation classes at RMIT. The solution was very easy. Most DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) uses the “send” feature, which allows you to route a track to another one for more processing. By using this technique, I routed each group onto individual ones where they were recorded live as WAV files. The next part of the live audio setup was then very easy to tackle. I created another project file on Ableton which was just for audience interaction.
The next part for me was to continue my setup on Resolume Arena, where all the video footage and visuals were put together. This process was smooth. Yet, I encountered a bit of confusion with the number of visuals we had. We organised them as channels and triggered them as one collection of visuals each by the press of one single button. Our lecturer came to test our setup and suggested that we remove the cue delay that I placed on the visuals so it feels more responsive.
Below is a video showing Harith itneracting with the audio and visuals.
In the afternoon, some visitors came in the afternoon and tried our work and left very positive feedback. Takashi Aiman joined in and had a play with the MIDI keyboard. He congratulated us for the effort and resilience we poured into the project. Only a few days to learn and work with two new software applications is definitely one of our achievements. All the hard work during the past two weeks led us to new possibilities.
Reflecting about the two weeks spent in Malaysia, I find it an amazing opportunity for students, specially in the creative industry. Collaboration is key to our work as design practitioners. I had experience as a freelance print designer before getting back to studies and I must admit that even in those times I collaborated with many people; clients, stake holders or even the staff sending me an email. Collaboration extends our vision and the approaches we take towards creating solutions.
It was an immersive experience which allowed us to explore possibilities/ideas/concepts with more creative freedom and using limited equipment. We also learnt to appreciate what we have back in Australia, in terms of our infrastructures and facilities at RMIT. The exposure to another culture is for sure enriching. We learnt a few words, tasted great food, discovered historic places and above all, created new connection. There is so much we will be taking home after this very short trip. I am looking forward to more cross cultural and collaborative opportunities ahead.