Interview with a LIPM researcher

An interview with Javier Leichman, researcher and systems administrator at LIPM. March 1997.

JR: What are the computer resources here in LIPM?

JL: LIPM has 3 systems in use. 1 NeXT network running all the software provided by CCRMA and IRCAM, 2 Macintoshes, an older machine that runs some MIDI sequencers and MAX, and the other which has the IRCAM phase vocoder and Digidesign software.

JR: What type of software do the composers prefer?

JL: Lately they are working more with processing software/computers than with software for synthesis. For synthesis, they're used to using synthesizers and other MIDI apparatus more than anything else. Something that is also used frequently in recent times is the IRCAM phase vocoder software and AudioSculpt. C-Music, the software developed in San Diego, is also used, and used less, is CLM.

JR: What type of analog equipment is here?

JL: We have, not in use--though it could be because it's in good condition, synthesizers made here. We have 3 models of Arp. There used to be a big analog lab here that had all the possible analog processes...ring modulation, and filters of all kinds. But it's gone now, it was very big and took up alot of space and now it's in a museum. It was more or less from the same time as the Geronimo. What we do have though is a functional 16 track recorder and another with 24 tracks, both from the analog era.

JR: In general, how are recordings produced in LIPM?

JL: That question can be divided in two. If it's a recording with instrumentalists, it can't be made here in LIPM. We have to contract private studios for that. If they are solely digital, it depends of the instrument you've used. For many years, a mixer was used to convert sound and store it in a multitrack. But lately we are using computers directly o with software like RT, for NeXT, or Tech2 for Macintosh.

JR: In your opinion, what does the lab need to grow in the future?

JL: Facilities, o rather, it's a construction issue of how everything is located in the studios. We have problems in the arrangement of the studios. Because machines--there's enough, if we could have more that would be wonderful, but in that sense it's not so much the restriction with the machines as with not having a good appropriate place to work. Fundamentally it is an issue of space.

JR: Are there researchers that need more resources than what LIPM can provide?

JL: In general, what is lacking is that we can't have people here who work without having another occupation. People come in their free time...they finish work at their job and come to the lab or, they come on the weekends. Perhaps it would help to be able to give a small salary so that its possible to leave an activity and dedicate oneself more to research and creation.

JR: What are the resources and access to the Internet here?

JL: You saw for yourself! In general in Argentina there are many problems because we have a telephone system somewhat outdated...the lines aren't fiber optic and that delays immediately the access. But we are prepared to be able to work: we have modems with good velocity, big machines and an Internet provider. It's just that, in general, what we have (concerning music, if it's big--in megabytes) makes it difficult to download such items.