Project I Description

Musique Concrète-style Project

Create a musique concrète-style composition or soundscape (ca. 2-3 minutes). Use only recorded audio as your sound source … no synthesizers, please. Experiment with various programs that allow serious mangling of audio, especially those that approximate the traditional musique conrète style of analog tape manipulation — things like speed and direction change, small fragments, loops, etc.. A good starting point is Pierre’sPlayhouse, which is one of the modules contained on the “ProjectSynthPack” page of the E-A_MusicPrimer.  SoundHack is another option.  Logic, itself, also has considerable sound mangling resources.

You can use any full-featured, multi-channel digital audio program or workstation (DAW) to assemble your final mix. In the Lab you can use Logic, (but w/o using MIDI synthesizers and built-in loops!).  Other suitable options include Pro Tools, Cubase, Reaper, Ableton Live, Digital Performer, FruityLoops, and Studio One.  (Built-in sample players are fine, but please do not use any built-in software synthesizers for this project.)

Mini-Project 1 — a step-by-step approach

1. Import or record (field recording?) some short audio clips or sound bites of your own “non-musical” audio (≤ 20″/sound-bite) Note: There are plenty of royalty free sound effects you can download as well.
2. Assemble your audio clips into a collage or soundscape using your DAW of choice.
3. Make LOTS of edits (copy/cut/paste, reverse, gain changes, etc.) — But be careful to avoid “clicks”
4. Use several examples of speed change — slower, faster, and especially variable speed change.

Project Drafts

Each week you will export a draft of your project, due each Friday by 5PM. You will post it to the course blog under the correct category and explain what you have done and what you plan to do. Make sure to also explain in a few sentences how the reading informed your work for the week. Email me the link to your submission so I can give you a grade. On Tuesday of the following week, make sure you have listened to the drafts of your classmates and commented on them. This will not only help them, but help you to better explain the techniques and styles you are learning about.