My name is Matt Glenn. I am a student of music technlogy and sound engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Outside of class (and sometimes during) I do a ton of thinking about music and audio engineering. This blog is a my attempt at organizing my mental maelstrom.

Matt Glenn

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Little Recorders, Big Guns

Last week I had the chance to visit the LA Gun Club. I'm not a shooter, but I snapped up the opportunity to get some recordings after my first attempt in Michigan 2 years ago. I only had 2 small field recorders, but I hit record and put them in various places along the range — and knocked on wood that their capsules could handle the barrage of sound at high decibels.

The results were not too shabby! Here's a sample form my soundcloud:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Overnight Recording in the [Spooky] Claire Trevor Theater

The largest theater space on the UCI campus is the Claire Trevor Theater, a proscenium space with a full orchestra pit and approximately 300 seats. I had the pleasure of spending a good many hours there, including four all-night designfests, during tech for The Merchant of Venice. Amidst my near-hallucinatory exhaustion, I became very aware that the CTT comes to life at night—at least sonically. One notable “feature”, which actually plagued a couple of the dress rehearsals, is the air pressure difference between the inside of the theater and the outdoors, which becomes noticeable when the correct combination of entrance doors are left open. If you’ve seen David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie and noticed the use of wind whistling through open doors then you are familiar with this effect. 

So I got to thinking that someone ought to record Claire’s diverse sound palette and expansive reverberant space. I got my trusty Sound Devices 702 and a couple of mics and headed in at 11:30 PM on one night. I recorded everything I could get my hands on for about 3 hours: the enormous loading bay door, the incredible booming bass of the concrete stairwell to the catwalks, a chainlink fence of a gear cage, and all sorts of activity in the catwalks including footsteps and various bangs. I was unfortunately unable to capture the air pressure difference sound as I could not duplicate it — I was pretty tired by 2:30AM. Next time!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Capturing the Sound of the Big House

Here's an old post that I never published. I thought I would dust it off...

From Blogger Pictures

The big house is, as I found out, the 3rd largest [non-race-track] stadium in the world. The game vs. UMass this yea was the 225th game in a row where attendance had exceeded 100,000 people, according to the announcer (a man named Carl Grapentine, with whom I have actually worked to record the introductory voiceover for the fall 2009 Men's Glee Club concert).

In addition to watching the action, I thought the UMass game would provide an excellent opportunity to capture the undescribable energy of the big house crowd. The recording happened back in September, of course, but just today I sat down with the files and slapped together a little montage that evokes fond memories from Big House football games. Due to the desire to be inconspicuous, I had only my Microtrack with me (which has since been replaced by a Sony PCM-D50 after kicking the bucket). Still, the "talent" trumps the technology, and the clip gives a good taste of the energy (and volume) at a Michigan football game.

Sounds of the Big House by mattglenn

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Album Release

The Jazz quartet recording that I began working on this past summer has just been released. Check out the bandcamp site for two of the track, and support the musicians if you like the music by buying the album!

The Glenn Tucker, the keyboard player, approached me a year ago this month in our business of music class and asked me to mix their album. The quartet expected to record this album with a single mic in their basement, but I'm very glad that they decided to take their incredible talent to BIG SKY RECORDING STUDIOS instead. It's been a pleasure to mix, congrats to everyone involved!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Few Works to Show


Danced by AMBER KAO
Edited by MATT GLENN
Music: "The Mark Has Been Made" by Nine Inch Nails

A project for Screen Arts and Cultures 404: Screen Dance
University of Michigan School of Literature, Science and the Arts

Composed, Performed and Produced by Kevin Dekimpe
Shot and Edited by Liann Kaye
Music mixed by Kevin DeKimpe
Opening scene sound design and music mastering by MATT GLENN

Leaving My Blog Coma

I must hand it to the demographic of working people/students who are able to maintain consistent blogging habits. When the assignments add up and projects become obsessions, I know I have far less than the obligatory mental stamina for updating Sound Statements. This past week, though, I was accepted to the Masters of Fine Arts Sound Design for Theater program at the University of California, Irvine. I figured it was time.

My interview visit to Irvine was quite momentary in the scheme of things: I flew out on a Monday afternoon and left Tuesday afternoon, giving me a total of about 6 hours of daytime on campus. In that time, though, I was wowed by the energy of the people and the resources at their hands. Here's a picture of their sound studio:

Mike Hooker and Vinnie Olivieri are the two ringleaders of the department. Professor Hooker has a notable background in sound design for themed entertainment, having worked with Disneyland among others. Professor Olivieri has composed and designed sound for many regional theatre projects, and headed to New York recently to finish his first broadway design for a play called High . The two bring contrasting, but complimentary backgrounds to the program, and both seem to have a lot of professorial energy. Although the program centers around theatrical sound design, I am focusing on building the core skills to be able to sound design any project across any medium. Having both Profs. Hooker and Olivieri will help to keep my design palate diverse.

I also had my spring break two weeks ago, which I decided to spend on the east coast. My tour took me from Bethesda, to Boston, to New Haven and to Manhatten, and I had my dad's Zoom H2 recorder with me at all times. Funnily enough, a lot of the sounds I wound up gathering were train sounds —— between Amtrak, the T in Boston, the NYC subway and the DC metro I had a lot to work with. I also captured a plethora of interesting sounds from my childhood home in Bethesda, from obscenely creaky doors to washing machine foley. Here is a quick mix I did of a few goodies:

DC Sounds by mattglenn

Guerilla Filmmaking

This past saturday, myself, my five group members, and five other actors took over a backstreet behind an administration building in order to film a high-action short for our compositing class. The premise is simple: there is a glowing orb at one end of the street, and a group of people (including the male protagonist) are attempted to nab it. The catch is that the orb has a defense mechanism, a pulse it sends out that freezes the pursuers in mid-stride.

To achieve the desired effects (freezing the characters, placing the orb in the space, stabilizing the shots) we will use motion tracking, masking, and layering techniques. The film was shot on a Canon 60D DSLR camera, at 1080p 24fps. The soundscape will provide opportunities to design standard sounds like footsteps and car sounds, but also to create sounds for the orb and the orb's pulse, and to make a musical score that keeps up the excitement.

Here are a few photos from the shoot: