Week 5: Audio

Understanding Audio. Audacity, audio frequencies and sampling rates, formats, compression.

Norman McLaren Pen Poin Percussion // link: History of Magnetic recording – BBC // Musique concrète #1 #2 Concrete // Theremin / Schaeffer Chemin de Fer 48 Psyché Rock / Stockhausen  / John Cage / XenakisScoreLight / Moog / Gershon Kingsley – Pop Corn • Anarchic System / Kraftwerk Robots 74 / { POST MODERN CRISIS Gloria Jones – Soft Cell – Levi’s / ABBA • Erasure / Donna Summer • Bronski Beat #2 }  Disco Patrick Hdez • Felix DHCat • Sylvester // House Frankie Knuckles • Bomb The Bass •S-Express • Ecstasy Club // New House – Nu Disco:  Hercules and Love Affair #1  #2  • The 2 Bears • Moloko • Modjo •  Jax Jones // Industrial 75 Einstürzende Neubauten • Front 242 #2 Fad Gadget / Joy Division #2 #3 • New Order (Philippe Decouflé) #2Eurhythmics • Smiths • J&M Chain • Stone Roses • Massive Attack • EBTG #2 • Stereolab #2 / Chemical Brothers / Daft Punk / Ladytron #2 #3 / Underworld / Faithless • Robert Miles • Delerium • Gorecki /// Electro Miss Kittin • Felix Da Housecat • Crystal Castles #2 • Yelle   // Vocaloid Miku Hatsune #2

For fun:

Databending images as sound:


All Assignments due Tuesday 8/13 by midnight

Download and use AUDACITY to create sound effects and loops that you will use to create a soundscape; this sound should inhabit, or become, an environment. Avoid creating what could be considered conventional music. The sound project should generate a sense of space (Is it expansive? Small? What kinds of sounds inhabit that space? etc.) Clips and audio used will be sound that you record from the environment around you (no appropriation). Once finished, create a SoundCloud account and upload your audio file there.


  • Construct a sound piece using the language of sound create a sense of space and embodiment. Students will apply sound files (**not music**) to a timeline to generate this effect.
  • Experiment with how to use both mono and stereo speakers, switching from one to another: panning.
  • Be able to change pitch, tempo, and speed.
  • Add, cut, copy, overlap, and move sound files on a timeline.
  • Apply and affectively explore concepts of foreground, background, contour, rhythm, silence, density, space and volume.
  • Learn when you use a particular audio format and understand audio compression.

project specifications:

  • Check out and us the Zoom H2 from the cage (must use your own SD memory card) to record audio out in the “wild”
  • Create a soundscape using your own audio recordings that you can record, compile, and edit using Audacity
  • Must be between 1 and 2 minutes.
  • Upload to SoundCloud
  • Process work and final sound piece uploaded to your blog

Student Examples


Zoom H2 Operation Manual
Audacity Basic Audio Editing
Audacity Complete Tutorial Guide for beginners