Found sound: hw1

Collect several sounds from your environment and turn in 1) a montage using them together and 2) the collection itself as a series of isolated clips.


Using your microphone or hydrophone connected to a laptop or handheld recorder, run either audacity or an equivalent sound recording app. Set your record audio quality to mono, 48000 Hz., 16-bit (uncompressed, .wav format). You'll want to verify that you are getting good audio levels from your mic and that when you save a file you can open it in audacity for editing and see full-scale signal (but not clipping).


Three different temporal groups of sounds, three timbres in each group:

  1. temporal long, the length of time it takes any sound to fade into a memory of itself

  2. temporal medium, length of one breath, word, beat of the heart or stride

  3. temporal short, the shortest length that still has an identifiable (singable) pitch or sense of its excitation

  1. timbre simple, pitched and pure

  2. timbre complex, still pitched but either very bright or multiple pitches

  3. timbre rough, no pitch, but with a clear sense of what excites the sound

When recording, try to preserve the difference between loud sounds you've chosen and soft ones. This is tricky. Loud sounds should be right to the maximum recording level without clipping and soft ones should be still significantly above the background noise of the recording setup. But when you play them back at the same playback level they should sound relatively louder or softer. Play with both mic position and record level to get it to work. Label your recordings following this table:
















e.g., to finally achieve a file called ls.wav you may need to use preliminary version numbers like ls1.wav while you are collecting.


Using audacity, create a montage according to your taste that uses all 9 sounds and takes advantage of layering, repeating, etc. Feel free to explore audacity's effects and to expand the final result to stereo. Make the duration somewhere between 30 seconds and 1 minute. Next, create a mono file which is the sequence of all 9 sounds separated by a short silence. Append that file to the end of your montage (if turning in a stereo file, it's fine if your sequence becomes converts from mono to stereo).

Audacity tutorial

Turn in

Create a new directory in your web directory using these commands (in a terminal window):

cd Library/Web
mkdir 220a

Name a copy of your file


and it will automatically show up in the homework factory. These are world readable files and will be available to the Douglas / Morrison project.