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Page 375 ï~~The ICMC 92 CD Stack Russell Tincher Allen Strange Graduate Student Professor of Music Electro-Acoustic Music Program Electro-Acoustic Music Program San Jose State University San Jose State University email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Abstract Following production of a commemorative compact disc for the ICMC 92 Proceedings, the authors developed a HyperCard-based stack which acts as a remote controller for playback of the ICMC 92 CD when using a CD-ROM drive. The stack contains a wide variety of information regarding the compositions on the CD and also serves as an example of the flexibility of theHyperCard format both in development and use for music education applications. 1 Introduction One of the products of the 1992 International Computer Music Association Conference in San Jose, California is a commemorative compact disc of compositions and performances by established composers. This sixtyfour minute CD, ICMC 92, consists of seven selections, ranging from four minutes to almost twenty minutes in length. There are a wide variety of performance and compositional techniques, with some compositions consisting of combinations of traditional acoustic instruments and electronics, and others completely electronic. The computer-based applications document work in software synthesis, real-time DSP, digital concrete, MIDI technology and algorithmic composition. The diversity of style and performance methods encompassed in ICMC 92 motivated the authors to develop a means for further study of the collection for purposes of investigation and analysis in a pedagogic environment. Hypermedia is already being explored as a viable real-time performance media. Consequently, it would be fitting if the method of access and presentation was in the realm of modern information methodology. In the past two or three years the focus on multimedia has developed into one of the strongest marketing efforts in the history of the personal computer. The appeal to the consumer of using a computer interactively to listen to music, watch movies, and play games, coupled with the industry's glee at the prospect of selling billions of dollars worth of new hardware and software, have formed the perfect match for the prosperous, technologically aware public. In Silicon Valley, as in many places around the world, a stroll through any one of the many computer super-stores will quickly prove that multi-media is the product of the year. The authors, with an appreciation for the value of multi-media to education, developed a plan to produce a CD-ROM including, along with the audio information, scores, sound and MIDI files, technical information, and graphics for each of the compositions on the ICMC 92 CD. The advantages of limited run CDROMs custom tailored to individual teaching environments are obvious. Since the costs involved in production of CD-ROM are prohibitive, the authors researched the use of Claris' HyperCard software for the same product using the consumer standard CD (Red Book format) already in production. 2 Development Voyager's AudioStack software [Riggins, etal., 1992], a utility stack for the creation of CD-controlling HyperCard scripts, allowed the authors to identify specific parts of the CD with a very fine resolution down to the block (or 74th of a second). TheAudio-Event Maker module of the AudioStack is intuitive and flexible in creating buttons and controllers for specific audio portions of the CD. These buttons and controllers can be linked to scrolling text and graphics, and are immediately available for manipulation by the listener/ user. (See Figure 1) The technical knowledge required to develop such a stack is, at least initially, relatively minimal. A basic understanding of the authoring environment of HyperCard (scripting is rarely necessary) and a careful preliminary concept of the product is important. Changes are easily made in the development process and after the fact. After contacting all of the composers for any material that they might find pertinent to the project, the ICMC Proceedings 1993 375 4P.02
Page 376 ï~~FT i A C co mC 2. IHOW Check Euent option @ Di. lim lim: T.~DL~ OLÂ~Check tor0 ses beoe start/end OD isc Ti e TracT k. of_07_ 0 Tick1"Trw T 00:18 Tus k Alh - 0Chek frn oS fter stzt/end l1H: EVENT: mot SeeC LEoCX CNsl' STST Of EVEIET$J j]'Â~Jj ]Q Tr ack1__ DO of EVNT 57 j ]a 15 'I oLZI MAKE A BUTTONADTOENTLT EVNT1 CY jPTOVLIA PREl TRACK SCAN PAUSE PLAY SCAN NEXTTRACK EJuCT Index Track Seach ICear All Entuies New Event Event List FindlEvent Ti.,.. C...ti. 1'Llr rÂ~.." t..r.a r.._... n....r r-_.. a?11 Time Search Delete Event insert Event Button Card 0 s uuv IVaa u a+vww L vaa" ua vs a Y vi\a Y.Mawaa A+M Figure 1: Voyager's AudioEvent Maker authors developed a plan for the presentation that included many methods of interpretation and analysis of the material. In addition to scanned images of scores and photos, as well as computer-generated scores, the authors utilized other methods of study into the stack. These methods include frequency analysis in real-time, conversion of scores into MIDI-files for the listener/ user to manipulate and/or study, synthesizer patches that can be loaded directly into particular instrument or studied in an editor/librarian format, and text- and graphic-based information that is displayed in real time with the audio and allows the listener/user to stop and start the audio and attendant displayed information at will. The first edition of The ICMC 92 CD Stack includes, along with indices, production information, and sample student testing cards, the following information for corresponding compositions: Bruno Degazio - On Growth and Form Score (scrolling in real time), MIDI file generated from the score, text narrative and graphics regarding inspirational sources for composition. Mari Kimura - "U" The Cormorant Text narrative information, technical production information with pre- and post-production comparisons of original tape submission Eric Chasalow - This Way Out Scanned handwritten score (scrolling in real time), text description of piece in real time. Roberto Morales - Nahual II MIDI file, score generated from MIDI file, synthesizer patches in sysex format as well as graphic reproduction. Zack Settel - Hok Pwah Scanned score (scrolling in real time), technical information regarding instrument configuration and performance. Jean-Claude Risset - Echo (for John Pierce) Text narrative information, graphic representation of frequency analysis in real time. Jonty Harrison -... et ainsi de suite... Text description of piece in real time, technical information regarding production. 3 Further Implementation for Education If the prospect of a computer in every home and classroom becomes a reality, then multi-media projects such as The ICMC 92 CD Stack should become a common part of the music curriculum. The multitude of uses can be easily perceived, not just as a teaching tool, but as a process of evaluation. Students can easily learn how to create their own stacks and use such methods to explore other composers' works and demonstrate their own work to instructors. Just as many upper-level educational institutions are considering the acceptance of written student work on disc and even networks, the development of CD-controlling stacks such as these by instructors and students alike would have immediate benefit to all concerned. A pilot curriculum in any music program could utilize equipment that exists in most departments, or is easily attainable at reasonable prices. Most music departments or their affiliated colleges or universities have computer labs, and CD-ROM drives are commonly available under $500. Students and staff in such a program would be taught methods of authoring such stacks in a initial course that could be complete in ten hours of instruction. Mainstream music courses could then include "off the shelf' CDs (not CD-ROMs, but CDs that play in any consumer CD player), as part of the required materials, along with books, etc. Assignments could then be made for students to analyze music by creating accompanying cards with text information regarding particular audio sections. Creative instructors, given time to work with such a technology, could develop innovative uses for such stacks. TheVoyager company includes a section in their utility stack with a list of easily attainable ideas for this methodology including: 1. Creating a new stack that controls audio CDs 2. Scripting buttons that play an audio passage 3. Playing more than one passage from the same button 4. Pausing an audio passage 5. Highlighting the button for a passage that is playing 6. Checking whether there is a CD in the drive 7. Checking whether a specific CD is in the drive 8. Playing an audio passage on openCard or closeCard 4P.02 376 ICMC Proceedings 1993
Page 377 ï~~9. Making an active list of passages 10. Playing a sequence of passages 11. Clicking on musical notation to play a passage 12. Measure-by-measure highlighting of musical notation 13. Real-time display of disc information 14. Creating a sliding scale for a CD 15. Sequence controller 1: Pop-up controller 16. Sequence controller 2: Multi-function button 17. Making messages appear while a passage is playing 18. Playing a passage with a running commentary 19. Changing cards during audio passages 20. Linking cards to CD passages 21. Playing a passage in a loop 22. Controlling multiple players from the same stack 23. Combining HyperCard sounds with CD passages 24. Listing track titles 25. Ensuring that user-entered CD times are valid [Riggins, et al., 1992] These ideas do not include the possibilities for MIDI implementation within the HyperCard format that are fairly easy to include through Opcode'sMIDIplay stack and other related products. If an instructor wishes to utilize audio that is not available on a commercially attainable CD, single "oneoffs" and small runs of CDs can be easily produced using Sound Designer-type software and any of the manufacturers who will master DATS to CDs. The advantages of such a medium are obvious, and the usefulness of a minimal amount of extra hardware to control inexpensive and widely available compact discs should be attractive to anyone involved in music education. Creating a CD-ROM, with accompanying files and more memory-intensive aspects, such as Quicktime movies and color graphics is not an unattainable goal. At this point, however, this task is more in the realm of writing a book, requiring more extensive technical expertise and a larger budget than the proposed HyperCard format. The authors have also included a few sample cards in the stack that could serve as a template for student use in analysis of recorded works. These cards are easy to develop, and any instructor should be able to personalize them to his or her needs with a minimal degree of effort. 4 Conclusions Obviously, the axiom of "garbage in, garbage out" is most obvious in computer assisted work of any kind. Educational uses of these sort of HyperCard stacks will only be as good as the quality of the hard content included in the stacks, not just the flashy multi-media aspects. But common knowledge of methods for development of this type of media can only lead to more aids for effective teaching and a greater depth of understanding of music for the student. Note: Copies of the ICMC 92 CD are available from the ICMA. If you are interested in a copy of The ICMC 92 CD Stack, please contact the authors. References [Riggins, et al., 1992] Steve Riggins, Steven Whalen, and Simeon Leifer. Voyager CD AudioStack, Version 1.2. Voyager, 1992. 1CMC Proceedings 1993 377 4P.02