Posted by on Nov 27, 2009 in audio, blog, history, site history, tools | No Comments

[Note: This blog entry is a port of our original wiki gongMob! methods article for reference. Our wiki space is being retired.]

A gongMob is a group action aimed at playing and recording a target megastructure live and en masse. Coordination is more critical and far more complex than in an assay. Planning can be done wiki fashion through the site.

It probably helps to assign participants to a number of roles well in advance so each can practice and develop their own approach:

  • Chronologist: The Chronologist ensures that digital timestamps are aligned in hardware/software, both pre- and post-production. Recorders are synchronized before the start of an action so digital timestamps can be used to align samples in post-production. The chronologist ensures each participant’s recording device is synchronized. This is probably easiest if done at a meet point before recorders take their positions.
  • Conductor: A Conductor is appointed to signal beats in the overall action. The actual recordings need to start as close to the same time as possible. This is probably most easily signaled by some visual cue. A camera flash is too unpredictable, unless it comes from an agreed-upon location. Audible cues such as gunshots attract attention and could negatively affect the recordings.
  • Recorder: Recorders are the main participants. Documentary audio recorders capture the samples at each station. They share responsibility for synchronizing their own gear and delivering captured samples.
  • Archivist: The Archivist chooses the methods for capturing as much of the recorded data as possible in the most pragmatic and efficient way. Direct uploads to the site are possible but there are likely to be issues. A second meet point after the event could get all materials downloaded onto a hard drive in minimal time.
  • Edit crew: The crew handles post-production assembly of samples into a catalog or other medium for posting. There will doubtless be format and file conversion issues. Noisy captures may be sufficiently interesting or it may be desirable to apply some simple filtering and normalize the volume levels. This production work should be done and samples reviewed before the public posting.

Unlike the assays, which can be followed up at leisure, output from a mob action is best posted immediately while interest levels (such as they are) are highest. Much of the supporting documentary evidence such as videos and photographs can be submitted by the public after the event.