Assignment 0: Listening in the basement of my parents’ house by Brian Chu

I’m sitting in the basement of the house I grew up in. This is where my office space is; I do all my work from a table with my computer on it where I’m surrounded by instruments. It’s generally pretty quiet down here as not much noise from outside the house can be heard from where I am, and it’s a quiet suburban neighborhood. But if I pay really close attention, behind me I can hear the aery hum of the space heater I’ve turned. From the walls, I hear the vibrations of the TV upstairs- my parents like to always have the news on, no matter how depressing it gets. Every so often, I can also hear water slosh down the plumbing from upstairs and a mysterious creak from an unknown source in the ceiling. It’s a quiet house between the three of us, but it’s these familiar sounds that make it home.

Assignment 0 by Matthew Guo

The combination of 3℉ weather and plenty of snow resulted in a very silent night outside my apartment, but also helped the subtle sounds become more clear. I heard the faint hum of the streetlights, as well as a louder hum that sounded like a generator coming from a nearby house. Faint voices from other houses were also heard, but I couldn’t make out what they were saying. A white Jeep passed by me as I was taking notes, the sound of its tires running over patches of snow even from a far distance overpowered all other noises around me.

Assignment 0 by Rae Chen


A sunny afternoon, I’m sitting on my bed and facing the window. It is really loud here. On my left ear, I hear my mom washing dishes in the kitchen from the door, the sound of tap water, the clean collision sounds of dishes, then my mom’s phone rings and she stops the water and dishes and starts to talk. Then on my right ear, the sound of the computer fan has been annoyed me since this early morning. It’s a consistent white noise sound, and because of how consistent it is, even if it is quite quiet, my right ear starts to hurt. Then there are sounds coming from the outside of the window. The window is fully closed, but it doesn’t block the noises at all. I live in the 10th floor, I can hear planes flying by on top from left to right in every 2 to 10 minutes, sometimes there would be pitches that I can recognize; I also hear beeping from cars, someone yelling on the street, then the alarm sounds from fire trucks. At the end I have to change my sitting position because the computer fan sound on the right hurt my right hear and starts to give me an headache. I turn to face the computer now and my right ear feels a great relief.  A long-time consistent sound is better to stay in the center so that both ears get balanced “listening loads”.

Listening in Willard-Straight (Assignment 0)

To my left, muffled by the wall, the clock tower chimes the 45-minute sound. A passing truck sounds like wind at first, as if the wind were about to blow down the building. Inside, a lush array of thrums fill the reverberant space: a deep rumble, something between “ooh” and “aah,” and a gritty hissing whose stereo image widens significantly as I turn my head to the left. My typing clicks in inconsistent bursts; my computer’s feet click as I reposition it; my mask crinkles as I breathe. Every fifteen seconds or so, someone enters the main WSH door, making distant footstep sounds and a harsh but distant impact as the door closes. The road sounds return as cars pass by, seeming to be at my right and then wrapping behind me. Less often than the door sounds, the building creaks of its own accord. These sounds come from random places in the room. An elevator-like beep also enters the room from the far door. Another person walks in, and the clock tower chimes eleven o’clock. My phone, too, vibrates and rings a xylophone sound: I have a class in 20 minutes.

Assignment 0 by Amy Wang

I’m sitting in my room late at night and hear the constant thrum of my little desk fan. Its little whirring fills the whole room, which usually helps me sleep, but it never manages to mask the sounds of neighbors talking through the walls. I’m fairly sure it’s a male voice, and it’s somewhere above me. The words are completely indistinguishable, and they have an echoey quality to them, as if they’re coming from some far off place. Suddenly, there’s a slight rumbling as a drawer slides out of a dresser; I can’t pinpoint where it’s coming from, since it’s just as disembodied as the voice, which at this point seems to constantly change position. At one moment, I can hear it most clearly from my left ear, and the next moment, my right. There’s a slight thud of something being placed on the floor somewhere (presumably above me still), and the voice falls silent.

1421 Final Concert!

Abby Kanders studio 1
Nate McDonald own
Paul Casavant studio 2
Sam Marks studio 1
Aidan Hobler own
James Peabody studio 2
Zachary Bellido own
Cameron Cannara own
Curtis Raymond III studio 1
Rose Zhou own
Alex Peng studio 2
Yumi Romano own
Gregory Perez studio 1
Frank Zhang own
Maya Behl studio 2
Boyang Ding own
Eitan Wolf and Robby Huang own
Benjamin Cooke studio 2
Sam Faulkner own
shanyah mitchell studio 1
Helen Wang own
Nathaniel Watson studio 2
Luis Enriquez, Faris Aziz own
Sunwook Kim studio 1

Sound check times, December 9th 2021

Sound check times are listed below. If you cannot make your time slot, please let us know ASAP.

9:45 Nate McDonald
10:00 Luis Enriquez and Faris Aziz
10:20 Sam Faulkner
10:30 Paul Casavant
10:40 Eitan Wolf and Robby Huang
11:00 Aidan Hobler
11:10 Maya Behl
11:20 Benjamin Cooke
11:30 James Peabody
11:40 Abby Kanders
11:50 Cameron Cannara
12:00 BREAK
12:10 Shanyah Mitchell
12:20 Frank Zhang
12:30 Break
12:40 Curtis Raymond III
12:50 Xulian Romano
1:00 Boyang Ding
1:10 Sunwook Kim
1:20 Sam Marks
1:30 Gregory Perez
1:40 Alex Peng
1:50 Sunwook Kim
2:00 Zachary Bellido
2:10 Rose Zhou
2:20 Nathaniel Watson

Sounds of Blade Runner

Since it came up in our sections on Thursday, here is a page on re-creating/synthesizing the sounds of the original film Blade Runner (score, performance, and production by on various hardware and software synths. I invite you to try your hand with Ableton Operator!

Delay materials

Attached are the materials from class today for building a delay patch using PD, including:

1. A patch collecting and explaining all objects needed for your own patch

2. A working “classical” feedback/multi-tap delay, just as an example. Note the use of “wireless” send/receive between the graphical objects at the top and the working “guts” of the patch below.

Download Delay Materials >

The Max for Live object we spoke about, by analog, is the “Tapped delay” found in “Max for Live –> Max for Live Effects” in the Ableton left sidebar where all of the other effects are.

A series of initial tutorials for using Max for Live can be found here.

See Episode #3 for building simple delay, very similar to the one we made together today.


Arduino lab materials

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