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INDUSTRY NEWS INSTALLATION Focusrite Powers the Sound of Kings

A sound art installation designed to represent the regeneration of Kings Cross using submitted field recordings was tested at Red Bull Studios, powered by Focusrite RedNet, and recently made its debut in London. Jory MacKay chats to NUIK collective members Benji Fox and Alastair McNeill Brown about the Sound of Kings project.

Tell me a bit about the background of the project. How did the idea come about?

Each of the members of NUIK collective have varying careers. I recall talking about wanting to do more multichannel speaker installations when the venue approached us to develop an idea for Kings Cross.

How was the response from the public? Did you get a good amount of field recordings?

We didn’t have any budget at all so we were very nervous about getting submissions, but word started to float around and we had an incredible response from the general public (on their phones), local documenters, enthusiasts, and professionals.

Were there any submitted recordings that were strange or that stood out?

Tere was quite a range of different stuff, including traffic, trains, and people. Tere were some phone recordings that were really interesting due to either the quality of the hardware microphones or some weird software compression.

What was the mix process like and where did it take place?

We set up the speakers and amps that we had collected at the London Red Bull Studios. Tis was the first time that we used the Focusrite RedNet 2 Ethernet audio interface too. We had no idea whether a load of old hi-fi equipment would create the effect we had imagined. Tere was quite a bit of calibration and we had composed some small compositions over 16 tracks to test the system. After the first play through we were all smiling and after creating some panning systems in Ableton Live to be able to pan over 16 channels we discovered that a single sound moving around the speakers was really quite special.

It was also apparent how good the RedNet 2 system sounded, when you’re dealing with such an array of random equipment it was really important that the central source was of a high quality.

Last, what’s next for the NUIK collective?

We are currently designing a collaborative installation to premiere at this years Green Man festival as well as developing a few exciting online things, so keep an eye on our website!

June 2014 13

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