The Kiwi Educators Second Life group had its first themed Sunday session yesterday introducing the group to some of the aspects of music in Second Life. After a quick meetup at the NMIT Garden of Learning and a round of the group to check audio capabilities were enabled we all teleported to the first location Robbie Dingo's.
Robbie has created a number of instruments for use in SL, most common being the elven drums which are seen all over the fantasy role playing sims, but also steel drum sets, guitars, pianos, drums etc. The group instruments each contain a number of looped sound-bytes which can be controlled by the individual user or by a central conductor and each byte transitions seamlessly to the next. Robbie also works in music experimentation and had on display his whisperbox which uses Chat to generate random sounds which are then fed back to the users through a six speaker system.
After 30 minutes or so there we TP'd to Arwenna's garden where she had set up a set of steel drums. The group let rip with those immediately having had their appetite whetted by playing around with the samples at Robbie's. With too many participants for the six drums the non-players decided to dance to the beat anyway using Arwenna's dance sequences (now there's a themed day in itself). One of the interesting possibilities in terms of these type of instruments (which use sound effects not streaming sound) is that the sound volume is based on the drum position and so the volumes from the different drums can be user influenced depending on the position of your camera. An interesting possibility for training in the areas of music mixing is my thought.
After a good session on the drums we headed off to the next venue, a live music event, put on specifically for the Relay for Life. These events involve the streaming of live performances into Second Life (a rock and blues group for our session) and many of the Educator's group enjoyed this uniquely Second Life experience for the first time. We all ended up dancing there well beyond the time set for the group session to end so the little extras Arwenna and I had planned will have to wait for another day. It was however a successful afternoon I believe and a good indicator that themed Sunday meets will occur more often in the future.
Aaron/SL: Isa Goodman