ARTS 2020: Computer Music

Arts Department, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Monday/Thursday, 10:00-11:50pm, West Hall 118

Instructor: Rob Hamilton, West Hall 114

e: hamilr4 [at] rpi [dot] edu



Assignment #1: Found-Sound Coposition / Soundscape / Radio Play

Assigned 9/12, Due 9/26

Compose a sonic sketch within Audacity, Pro Tools or your DAW of choice using as source material the audio samples you or any of your classmates recorded during class. This sketch should display your ability to edit and manipulate sound files, as well as organize multiple sonic sources into a cohesive composition.

This sonic sketch should be approximately 4-6 minutes in length.

Along with the sonic sketch, please submit a visual "reference score" for your work: a .pdf document displaying visually the organizational structures with which you created your sketch. This visual score should be analagous to a written musical score, acting as a depiction of your work's structure and intention as the work unfolds in time.

Your submission for the assignment will consist of the following files to be uploaded to your folder on the class share drive (\\\classes\ARTS-2020\), into a folder named "Assignment 1":

  1. A program-note for your sketch, including a title and description of your work (suitable for a concert's program).
  2. A Stereo Mix of your sketch (44.1 or 48kHz, 16 or 24 bit) uploaded to the class share.
  3. Your full Audacity, Pro Tools or DAW project on the class share.
  4. A list of the samples used in your work, including their source, file-name and proper attribution for the creator(s) of the sample.

Please consider making use of the techniques we learned in class such as fading your files in and out, panning and volume automations. Feel free to experiment with effects on your samples or channel inserts, compression, limiting, denoising and normalization.

Things to keep in mind: This sketch can take multiple forms depending on your interest. Possibilities include an exploration of ALL the sounds you previously recorded or an in-depth study of one particular sound file or source. Your work can be atmospheric, like a soundscape, with the intention of depicting a specific place and time. Your work can be more "musical" in nature, using your recorded sound sources as instruments within a composed structure. Or a narrative element recorded in the studio can be incorporated, using a voice to shape your project into something resembling a "Radio Play".