Assignment 2: Part 1 (due 9/16); Part 2 (due 9/23)

Our next assignment, in two parts, will be with us for the next two weeks.

Part 1, due next Thursday Sept. 16th, is the construction of a soundfile library, a collection of individual sounds for use in a musique concrète “study” piece due the following week, Thursday Sept. 23rd.

Part 1: due next Thursday Sept. 16th

1. With the in-studio recording techniques and microphones discussed so far (more to come!) and/or with the handheld recorders available at the Cox Music Library reservation desk, record and edit together a small “sound file library”, a collection of individual sounds suitable for use as samples in a short piece or “study” (see #3 below). You may use whatever resources you like: instruments, objects, voices, etc. Please look toward creating around 15-20 individual sound files. Organize your sounds into meaningful categories with folders and subfolders (for example: pitched,  unpitched, long, short, ambient, percussive, etc). Think of the library as something you might even share with others, wanting them to be able to navigate and use your sounds. See my own sound file library (sflib) for examples.

2. Using one or more of the collected sound files created in #1, generate a series of manipulated (stretched, reversed, pitch shifted, etc) sounds. Look toward creating another 10-15 of these in addition to your #1 samples. These might be variants of each of the files above, or a series of variants of a small number from #1, even of one individual sound file.

In addition to the sounds themselves, please provide a written documentation of each sound including 1) sound description, 2) what mic or mics  captured, 3) where the sound was captured, and 4) a brief description of circumstances of recording, which may include a note about your recording process. As yourself what information might be needed to recreate the recording.

An example entry:

Jingling carkeys, SM58 microphone, in-studio, mic placed 2-inches from source and directly on-axis.

I will discuss several ways of manipulating sounds in class next Tuesday, but you are free to begin exploring Audacity a bit further on your own. I also recommend downloading Spear (a free “spectral editor), which will also be with us in the weeks ahead.

You should turn in a ZIP-ed archive containing a folder (and any organizing subfolders) of the sounds made in #1, and 2.

Submit assignment #2 sound file library for the 1pm section

Submit assignment #2 sound file library for the 2:45pm section

Part 2: due Thursday Sept. 23rd

3. Using sounds you created in #1 and #2 in addition to samples from CEMC’s own sound file library (studio “Sound disk” –> sflib), create a short “mix” or “etude/study”, following our discussion of Pierre Schaeffer’s and Pierre Henry’s musique concrète. This little “piece” can and should be short, around 30 sec – 1 minute. We will be using Abelton Live.

The result to be handed in will be a WAV of AIFF audio mixdown of you piece, exported from Abelton Live, as well as the Abelton Live project used to create the piece. Again, ZIP these contents for easy upload to the website.

Note that you need not use all or even most of the sounds from your library when constructing your Part 2 mix. In some cases, you may even use one or two, depending on your idea and methods of manipulation.

Submit assignment #2 etude for the 1pm section

Submit assignment #2 etude for the 2:45pm section

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