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Homework #4: "Homebrew"

In this assignment, you are to record some "everyday" sounds, process/transform/arrange them, creating a composition that, in Paul Lansky's words, "views the mundane, everyday noise of daily life through a personal musical filter."


Tools at your disposal

  • your homebrew microphone
  • something to record into (e.g., laptop/desktop)
  • ChucK
  • Audacity/Ardour (for intermediate + final recording/assembly)


Example of how to change snd file sample rate:

[cmn## lala] sox <inputfilename> -r 48000 <outputfilename>


What to do:

  • 0) spend some time planning things out in terms of the sounds you want to record, the transformations to perform, and how to put it all together.
    • As with everyday life, some things might not initially work out as planned/hoped: be resourceful (think MacGyver), and be willing to adapt.
  • 1) record a number of sounds around you
    • can be many different types of sounds, or many instances of a single type of sound (e.g., traffic)
    • at least one sound must be recorded using your "homebrew" microphone (the rest can with any mic, included your laptop mic)
    • note the origin of the sounds in your README
  • 2) process/transform/arrange/compose.
    • figure out what you want to do, experiment, try a lot of stuff, have fun
    • use TAPESTREA, ChucK, or a combination thereof to process/transform the sounds
    • the bulk of the arranging should be done in ChucK (within TAPESTREA or as standalone chuck), with potential intermediate editing and late-stage assembly in Audacity
    • if helpful, record and edit intermediate sound clips from TAPESTREA/ChucK in Audacity (via Jack)


As usual, turn in all files by putting them in your Library/Web/220a/ directory.

  • 1) hw4.wav should go into the 220a directory
  • 2) create a hw4/ directory, and put all the stuff below in there:
  • 3) all related source/sound files (.wav/.ck/.tap)
  • 4) a short README text (readme.txt) file that:
    • specifies instructions on running your programs
    • describes your process/adventure, and perhaps the ideas (technical/aesthetic) behind the composition
    • gives credit, if needed, for the sounds you are using
    • describe any difficulties you encountered in the process