Soundworks

Due by End of the Course

Option 1: Based on our sound activity yesterday, curate and collect interesting (pleasant, unpleasant, musical, non-musical) sounds

  • listen: ambient sounds (in the environment) (inside/outside your house) … also, listen for “stories” (what do sounds tell us about our constructed/natural environments)?
  • make noise: interact with any object(s) and materials to create interesting sounds and/or ‘musical’ sounds / sonic textures… 
  • consider collecting a spectrum or sound range (low, bass sounds – mid-range tones – higher end tones/frequencies) as well as possible rhythmic patterns (e.g, a washing machine), as well as sounds with sharp “attacks” (e.g., a drill) as well as sounds with long “decays” (resonating sounds / materials).
  • if you have an(y) traditional instrument(s) in your environment, considering integrating sounds curated from these tools as well. Toys are fun too.
  • consider making an instrument (using anything that resonates – from strings to sheet metal) * take safety precautions with sharp objects, etc.

Once you have collected a number of sounds (using Voice Memo or other media), ‘drag’ your files into Garageband (Mac) or (Audacity) PC or (for a challenge) Ableton Live Free Version. Arrange and ‘produce’ your soundwork in a way that you are happy with. Consider production features like “reverb”, “EQ”, volume controls, etc, or experiment with any other features of the tools. As you play with your sounds, arrange, layer, etc, see what kinds of interesting patterns or relations emerge as you listen and interact with your sound elements.

Create “mix down” a soundwork you are happy with, save as a WAV file, and upload to Soundcloud (Free) to share you link.

Here is the piece below I recorded from yesterday.

Option 2: (Re)Acquaint Yourself with an Instrument(s) in your Living Space (And Make a Sounwork)

Is there a piano or keyboard in the corner? Have a trumpet, flute or oboe from band – or a stringed instrument in your living space? Does a family member have an instrument that you always wanted to play but dared not? Take this opportunity to interact with the tool (or start where you left off) to generate interesting and/or musical sounds (and ultimately record clips to voice memo or any other media).

Collect a set of interesting recordings (from single sounds or minimalist sequences “phrases” of sound [or more complex compositions] and then import into or ‘drag’ your files into Garageband (Mac) or (Audacity) PC or (for a challenge) Ableton Live Free Version. Arrange and ‘produce’ your soundwork in a way that you are happy with. Consider production tools like “reverb”, “EQ” (filtering tool), volume controls, etc, or experiment with any other features of the tools. As you play with your sounds, see what kinds of interesting patterns or layers emerge as you listen and interact with your work.

Feel free to integrate found/curate nosies and ambient sounds into your mix. Create (“mix down”) a soundwork you are happy with, save as a WAV file, and upload to Soundcloud (Free) to share you link.

Tip: If you feel you have a sound you are not happy with, or you want to tweak, all good: add effects! reverb, delay (echo) or other microphone and amp effects until it sounds so “weird” it begins to sound good. I do this a lot.

Option 3: VCV Rack Challenge: Create a “Patch”

Interested in exploring the world of modular synthesis and “modular thinking”? Then download VCV Rack and start messing around. Expectations are minimal for this: Get your rack working and make noise. Document your soundwork.

Here is Heid’s Tutorial From Last Night.

For Inspiration you can check out some beautiful ambient pieces on Youtube:

Here is a more rhythmic beat-driven “patch”.