November 26, 2007


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October 1, 2007

Project 1 : Sound Map!

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Urban Market Walk

Framers market urban stroll

On Thursdays in down town Minneapolis, the streets are full of people. The farmers market sets up shop all along the Nicollet Mall. This event draws a diverse group of individuals to the produce tents. People of various social-economical backgrounds congregate to the small tents, which seem to be spilling over with fresh produce.
I thought this would be an interesting contrast with regards to the urban environment in which we live, the notion of buying produce directly from the farmers, the economical differences between those who are buying and those who are panhandling. The streets are rich with the sounds languages and music. You can hear the different cultures that are all around us as foreign languages dance about the ears to the tune of the street musicians.
The market is truly an allegory of the global village in which we live, enriching us with the diversity of society.
The effects I used were; amplification, repeat, echo, and speed. I wanted to capture the true richness of a crowd, so I tried not to over do it with effects.

Studying at Starbucks

I choose to do my project at Starbucks because I like to go there to do there sometimes and have a blended coffee while I study. I usually think of it as a nice and quiet place, but I was surprised at how much I normally tone out. I wanted to make this a linear experience but I found it really hard. While I was recording I notice that there was music playing in Starbucks, but I didn’t give it much thought until I got to the editing part. A lot of the sounds I wanted to use had different background music to it. I had to use different tracks for some of the sounds, and used a separate track for the background song I choose. I used panning on some of the sounds, echo, reverse, amplify other sounds I wanted to emphasis, fade in and out and I normalize everything at the end. This project was harder and took a lot longer than I thought it would.

4th Quarter in the Metrodome

The metrodome is currently home to multiple events, and is a perpetual dynamic environment. I decided to use the site during a Gopher football game to capture the environment during one of it's rowdiest moments. In the metrodome I did not discover anything unexpected, as I have visited the site several times and, depending on who the opposing team is, the site for Gopher football doesn't differ that much from game to game. For me, football doesn't completely capture my attention but I find it fun to participate in the songs and cheers. For this reason, I organized my sounds as a football game between the cheerleaders and the band, with silence where chants and songs usually are, and noise where silence usually is. The main effects I used were intended to make it sound like a play was being made, so the sounds were changed in their amplitude, speed, tempo, bass, and I also worked often with the fading in and out features, as well as overlapping sound to indicate moments when the opposing team intercepted the ball or interupted a play. After reviewing the rules of Football, the process came naturally and was a lot of fun once I developed my concept further.

First Sound Piece

I chose to record sounds while going on a walk around Lake Harriet. I decided on that location because I've always found that particular lake to be the most relaxing and enjoyable to walk around. I picked a pretty windy day to go out and record sounds so there was a lot of material I couldn't use. I also didn't expect to hear the song 'Baby Love' at the end of my excursion. I organized my sounds in the order of which I walked. That part was rather easy for me. The most challenging part was finding clips that were easy enough to hear through all the wind. I used a lot of the fade in/fade out effect. I like this effect because it makes everything flow better. I also amplified a couple parts, for example, I made the clip with the crickets louder. The process of this project was very stressful for me because I was having technical difficulties for about a day. When I figured that part out it went alright. Editing takes forever! It was a good experience but I'm glad it's over.

From The Car To The Mall And Back Again

For my sound mapping project, I chose to record a trip from my car in the parking lot of the Southdale mall, into and around the inside of the mall itself, and back out to my car again. I chose this particular location because I thought it would be interesting to chronicle the different kinds of sparse ambiance of the outside with the bustling varied sounds of the mall, and show the round trip from the car to the mall and back again. Nothing too unexpected was came across. I organized the sounds by cutting out a lot of the more boring empty spaces, and filling up the five minute piece by connecting the more dynamic sounds together. I also used some panning effects, and drenched the mall atmosphere with heavy reverb, to add to the immenseness of the sound, contrasted with the open air of the outside area. Overall, I thought the process of putting the project together went pretty well. It was hard at times to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with the sounds, but after I got into it it got easier. Overall, it was pretty fun and I think it turned out pretty well.

September 28, 2007

A book review

0afundament.jpgThere's a nice review of The Fundamentals of Sonic Art and Sound Design, by Tony Gibbs over at WMMNA. If you have an interest in sound art, you might look into this book.

How to submit Project 1

Here's a recap of how I want you to submit your first project.

  1. Export your finished audio piece as a "WAV" file.
  2. Upload it to Mediamill. If you don't remember how to do this, take a look here.
  3. Once you upload it, include the following items in your your description:
    • Title: Pick a meaningful title for your piece (i.e. NOT "proj1" or "alsdkjaljkd").
    • Credits: Full Name, < UofM Email Address > (i.e. Jane Doe,
    • Description: [1601-001, Fall 2007][Project #1][Sound]
    • Credits: Give credit where credit is due.
    • Copyright Info: Consider licensing your piece with Creative Commons. More information here can be found at the Creative Commons website
    • Make sure you check "Accessible to the public?"
  4. After you input the meta-data, create a "Flash Audio, 128kbps" derivative.
  5. After the derivative is created, share it with me by clicking on the share icon. Just enter my username bakercp in the share box (more help here).
  6. Please write a short blog entry (~200 words) reflecting upon your first piece. This process is intended to help you gather your thoughts before the critique on Monday. Your reflection should address questions like:
    • Why did you choose your site?
    • Did you discover anything unexpected?
    • How did you organize your sounds? Why did you do it that way?
    • What kinds of effects did you use? Why?
    • Reflect upon the process: did it come naturally? Was it difficult, fun, enlightening, horrible?
  7. Consider drafting your response in a normal text editing program like Microsoft Word. Remember, this is a college-quality writing and should be grammar and spelling-error free and readable.
  8. At the top of your blog entry, embed the flash sound file you created in step 4 above (recall how you did it with your wordless stories assignment).
  9. Make sure you categorize your with your name and "#1 Sound Mapping" under the "Done" section.
  10. This all needs to be completed before the start of class on Monday at 9:05am.

Please disregard the mapping instructions I gave you on last Wednesday. We will "map" the pieces on Monday before the critiques.

September 23, 2007

Class Notes

Demo Links
Art Checkout Website
Audacity Tutorials
MiniDisk to Audacity

Spatialization Examples
Binaural (remember to wear headphones)

27-May-2003, By Christopher Baker (more info here)

The Quiet American : A collection of binaural recordings from all over the world.

Make your own binaural microphone.

September 17, 2007

Class Notes

Here are some artist links from class
Luigi Russolo
Hugo Ball
John Cage

In Space, Mapping etc.
Sound Bike
Janet Cardiff
R. Murry Schaffer, World Soundscape Project
New York Sound Walk
Audio Bus
Sound Map
Sound Seeker
Tactical Sound Garden

September 12, 2007

Construction Crash

Poisoning A Man

city streets/workplace noise

Sunday Drive

Bad guy gets clocked!

MIxie mixter

Audio Test : Testing 1 - 2 - 3

September 5, 2007

Mobile Microphone Network

For your first experiment, we will be thinking about the role of of the mobile phone in society and attempting to invert its normal use.

So, here's what I want you to do.

Before next class period (10 September), make 6 short sound recordings (between 10 and 30 seconds) of sound-making objects, events, or happenings that you encounter in your everyday life. What do you hear when you are walking around campus, at home, in your car, on your bike, etc? These recordings can be made in public or private spaces, and may include spoken word, found sound or a sonic performance of some kind.

When you want to make a recording, call 612.501.2598 and simply leave a message. You may need to point your phone at your subject. Think of it as using your mobile phone as a mobile microphone.

Remember that the microphone on a cell phone is not a "high-fidelity" microphone. So make sure the sound isn't too quiet. If you want to test this, just call a friend, make the sound and ask the other person if they can hear it.

If you do not have a cell phone, talk to me and I'll show you how to use the the digital audio recorders available in checkout.

We will use these audio clips in class next week.