open-audio is a fortnightly meeting at polytechnic, newcastle upon tyne, focusing on the use of open source, interactive software.

The group is intended to provide support for artists looking to use sound and interactive technologies in their work. The first few sessions will focus specifically on sound but due to the nature of the tools being used (SuperCollider, Pure Data, Arduino, maybe even Max/etc.etc.) there's no reason why this shouldn't quickly adapt to include the use of video, graphics and so on.

The sessions will combine tutorials/introductions to specific topics or software packages with workshops. people are encouraged to bring their own projects and problems in to get help, or just to work in a friendly, sociable space.

This will be a place for beginners to learn some new skills and for more experienced users to share their knowledge and benefit from a supportive community of actual people. The idea is to offer not only technical support but also a forum in which you can get feedback on your work, find collaborators and so.

Computers are provided by polytechnic and will be running ubuntu Linux. Laptop users are also welcome.

Absolute beginners are welcomed with open arms and a warm smile.

the sessions are currently held on alternate thursday evenings from 18:00 - 20:00. There will occasionally also be longer sessions lasting a day or an afternoon held at weekends. the sessions started on the 6th November 2006, but new comers are welcome to join the group at any time throughout the year, so if you're interested get in touch.

If you would like to attend these sessions please either join the open-audio mailing list here or email will at willschrimshaw net.

where is polytechnic?

polytechnic is located at the back of the Star and Shadow cinema (formerly Tyne Tees TV) on Coquet Street.
The lovely Star and Shadow complex is at the top of stepney bank, opposite the tanners, which is out towards byker.
here is a map

some links

these are some of the tools we'll be making use of in the sessions.
they all work on Linux, OSX and Windows and are open source, meaning that they are free free free.

Audacity - easy to use wave editor
SuperCollider - text based programming environment for audio
PureData - graphical programming environment for audio and visuals
Arduino - serial device and software for physical computing or hardware design.

if you're just starting to play around with Linux there is a wealth of useful information to be found in the Streaming Suitcase. It has tutorials on running linux, downloading, compiling and installing software.
It gives step by step instructions and assumes no prior knowledge. Much of this information is also useful if you're an osx user due to unix-linux similarities. There is also an intro to PureData.

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