Learning Goal: I’m working on a illustrations project and need support to help me learn.
For this assignment you will listen carefully to the world around you and record sounds.
You are expected to spend at least 4 hours on this project. This estimate includes time to: study reference materials, practice deep listening, record existing sounds, record sounds that you actively generate,
Demonstrate proficiency with basic sound recording, following best practices for clear, high quality results.
Practice “deep listening”.
Practice “foley” approaches to producing sounds.
Deep Listening (spend time listening, not just hearing)Pauline Oliveros states, “To hear is the physical means that enables perception, to listen is to give attention to what is perceived both acoustically and psychologically”
The Center for Deep Listening: About Deep Listening (Links to an external site.)”Deep Listening is exploring the relationships among any and all sounds whether natural or technological, intended or unintended, real, remembered or imaginary. Thought is included.”
Dempster, Oliveros, P., & Panaiotis. (1989). Deep listening. New Albion Records. Streaming audio (access limited to those affiliated with ASU) Links to an external site.
Listening ActivityFind a location where you can close your eyes and spend at least 15 minutes continuously listening.Bring a notebook or use a voice recorder to take notes.
Set a timer for 15 minutes (or more).
Close your eyes.
Tune in to all the sounds you hear.
Note what you are hearing. If you can’t identify the source, make a description of the sound.
Listen for echos or reverberations that inform your perception of the space.
Note these acoustic phenomena.
See how many sounds you can perceive at once.
Note any psychological responses that result from your listening experience.
Make a 2-5 minute audio recording of the space you inhabited for this exercise.
Listen back to this recording. Compare your experience of listening to the physical space to that of listening to your recording of the space.
Save your notes as a text file.
Record soundsFor most students, your phone will serve as your best mobile sound recording tool. If you have more specialized professional options, you can certainly use them, but most relatively contemporary phones have fairly good sound recording capabilities and are certainly adequate for this module.
To get the best quality out of your recording deviceGet as close to the sound source as is reasonable and and safe (this will give you more of the signal you want to record, with less background noise)
Use a wind screen (if there is any wind blowing over the microphone).A lightweight sock stretched over your microphone (phone) can make a big improvement
Isolate the sound source as much as possible.
Minimize reflections (unless this is a feature of the sound you are recording)If the sound source fits in your closet with you, record it there. The clothing will absorb reflections. Recording (your voice or other portable sound sources) under a table with blankets hanging over the sides is an excellent way to minimize unwanted reflections and block out other external sounds.
Listen to your recordings!Ideally you would “monitor” the recording in real time.
Listen as soon as possible so you can make adjustments and record again if needed.
Gather a diverse range of soundsRecord at least 20 unique sound sourcesYou are encouraged to make multiple recordings of the same sound source, but these only count as one sound source towards your requirement of 20 sounds.
Keep your recordings relatively brief (< 20 seconds).Some sounds might only last a fraction of a second, but record for a bit longer to capture any reverberations or echos.
If you make longer recordings, save a cropped version to upload.
Find a range of spectral qualitiesSpectral refers to the combination of frequencies that make up a sound. Most sounds have a mix of frequencies, but typically some frequency range dominates. We describe some sounds as "bassy" (lots of low frequency content), while others might be "tinny" (a thinner sound dominated by higher frequencies), or "glassy" (which can mean a lot of different things to different listeners). Just try to capture a range of sounds that have very different spectral qualities.
Find sounds with a range of temporal qualitiesSounds can be classified according to how they change over time.
Envelope: Attack, decay, sustain and release (Links to an external site.)
Envelopes are frequently applied to sounds for a variety of effects.Adobe Audition Help: Automating mixes with envelopes (Links to an external site.)
Record the ambient sounds of spaces (without specific subject or focal point)In film, these sounds are often referred to as "room tone" (whether inside or outside).
Record your voiceFor vocal recordings, it is especially important to minimize external sounds, minimize reflections (echos and reverberation), and have a good "signal to noise ratio". The easiest way to do this is to use the reflection minimizing techniques described above, place the microphone on a non-acoustically reflective surface so you don't make noise holding it, and keep the microphone close to your mouth.The more you practice speaking into a microphone, the more natural this will become. You might try telling a joke, describing where you are, or anything else you can think of to say, to help you relax and forget about the microphone, before you start trying to record a script or vocal performance.
Record sounds you generate yourself using "Foley" techniques.
Name all of your sound files with descriptive names (eg. chairFallingOnConcrete.aif)
Organize files recorded from common sound sources into folders to categorize them.For large collections, additional meta-data is often generated to classify sounds and make them searchable. (This is not necessary for this project.)
Produce a "zipped" archive file containing all of your recorded sounds. Name this file with your name (eg. laheyAudioRecordings.zip). You will submit this as part of the assignment deliverables.
Upload to this assignmentYour Zip file containing all your sound recordings.
Your written notes from your deep listening activity.
Upload to shared Google Drive Folder: MediaEditingF22OnlineSounds (Links to an external site.)Your original sound recording files (not the zip archive)Don't put files in folders (except in the case of multiple recordings of the same sound source).
Archive on your computer or personal storage spaceAny longer recordings that you cut down in duration to upload.