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Fall Semester, 2007
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click! Kramer Sharp from Sound Design: Studio


CHALLENGE: The Use of Metaphor in Sound. Create a sound design representative of visual art.

STATEMENT: For the third project, we need to represent a piece of artwork using sounds.  For my project, I am choosing a panorama time-lapse picture of the sun.  The picture was taken in intervals of the sun and the beginning is probably taken around 10 am and the last photo around 8 am the next day. 

The beginning of my piece will start with a fairly fast tempo representing the dawn of a new day.  As the sun rises, it provides more light, energy, and warmth to our planet, and therefore as the piece progress it will have a faster pace.  My song will also have more lighthearted material representing the warmth the sun provides midday.  As the sun begins to set, the planet begins to slow down, as will my piece.  The loops will become darker representing the sunset.  Because my image does not end at sunset but rather ends with a new day, my song will briefly pause with a low tone playing in the background to represent sleep, and then use some of the previous loops to represent a new day.

Most of my material will come from loops created in GarageBand.  I do hope to incorporate some sound effects that would go along with certain times of the day.  To represent dawn, possible having a faint baby crying, which represents both waking up in the morning, which happens at dawn, and the birth of a child, which is symbolic of a new day.  For the middle of the day possible have faint unintelligible chatter representing the people hustling and bustling during the day.  For evening, maybe have the sound of a crackling fire.

SOURCE MATERIAL: Various sound effect compact discs and GarageBand..


click! James Norton from Sound Design: Studio


CHALLENGE: An Audio Environment: Students will recreate the sound of a realistic environment.

STATEMENT: The goal of this project is to create an environment out of sound. My goal in this project is to create the environment of the inside of a can of Coca Cola as if you were to be inside the can itself listening to the last couple sips that are left fizz and pop. As you have said, I predict this project to either be very easy or very difficult. My hope is that if it turns out to be very difficult that I will be able to work through said difficulties to create a realistic recreation of this tiny environment that exists unnoticed like so many others around us.

I know exactly what I want the final project to sound like: a can of Coke. And I recognize that I will have to make whatever sounds I find into the various pops and fizzes and tinking sounds that would be heard inside of a can. I know that to achieve many of these sounds, I will have to distort other sounds and generally remove all bass. This should be the simple part. Now, what is going to elude me is what sounds I will have to use as a foundation in order to create through distortion and equalization etc the desired sounds I need for my project. I believe it will be a mix of  the media I find in the sound library provided as well as a lot of sounds that I myself will venture out to create and record. I am looking forward to trying to work out the reverb of a can of Coke as well as sustain of any sound that could come from inside the can. Also, specifically I’m interested in seeing if I will be able to record something like a bubble bursting in a pot and extracting the higher octaves that are behind the base note, for I believe that the sound of one of the tiny bubbles in a can of soda may be recreated using these higher octaves. If this is successful then I believe I could do the same thing with trashcans and a stick: bang on the trashcan and record the attack and the sustain and then extract the higher hertz from the sound. I believe these two effects will be possible because I believe that the envelopes for the large bubble and the tiny bubble will be almost identical as well as the envelopes for the large can versus the small can. Anyways, below is a list of sound effects I believe I will need to gather:


-the sound of a trashcan being hit with a stick (many types of trashcans and cans in general)
-the sound of a bubble bursting (and many bubbles bursting)
-the sound of someone slowly crinkling a can
-the sound of rain on a tin roof
-the sound of static
-the rapping of someone’s fingers on a can
-the sound of as droplet of water (and numerous droplets)

SOURCE MATERIAL: Various sound effect compact discs and recordings.


click! Kramer Sharp from Sound Design: Studio


CHALLENGE: An Audio Environment: Students will recreate the sound of a realistic environment.

STATEMENT: The assignment for this project is to create a realistic sound environment from scratch by combining different sound clips together.  The sound clips will come from the drama server as well as websites.  For this project, I plan to create an alien invasion environment where humans are battling aliens. 

For this project, I will have to use reverb to make some sounds seem further away than other sounds.  I will probably also have to use equalizers as well as use the pan knobs to create a surround sound effect.  The challenge for this project will be creating an environment that has sounds coming from different distances. 

For this project, I will need sounds of explosions and guns shooting.  I will also have to find audio clips of soldiers shouting commands or record the sounds myself.  I will also need sound clips of artillery fire as well as sounds of UFOs landing.  For the UFO sounds, if I cannot find one, I might be able to use a sound of an airplane and use some filters on it.  I also need sounds of alien weapons being fired (maybe lasers).  I will also need sounds human aircraft (maybe jets or helicopters).  I would like to incorporate sounds from videos I have played (mainly Half Life).  I think I would be able to get some quality audio clips featuring alien guns and clips that sound like soldiers communicating between one another

SOURCE MATERIAL: Various sound effect compact discs and recordings.


click! Teresa Wood from Sound Design: Studio


CHALLENGE: An Audio Environment: Students will recreate the sound of a realistic environment.

STATEMENT: For project two, I’d like to recreate the environment of a peaceful evening on the beach, listening to the radio. I came up with this idea mainly based around a certain effect I want to use in it, which came out of one of my English classes. We were discussing T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land in relation to his influence on a Caribbean poet Kamau Brathwaite, and we listened to a clip of Eliot reading the last section of his poem. Brathwaite would listen to Eliot read his poetry on the radio all the time, and this inspired him to write his own poetry. Out of all of this, I thought it would be interesting to have an environment where Eliot was reading his poetry (over the radio) in a more modern context.

The sound of Eliot reading his poetry has a very soothing feel to it, even though The Waste Land has many apocalyptic themes, so I would like to combine that with the repetitive and calming effect of a quiet beach. I like the idea of hearing someone walk out onto the beach, sit down, turn on the radio and then go through the a few channels before finally settling on Eliot’s poetry reading. I think adding this type of soundtrack to the poetry will give it either a haunting or relaxed effect, and I’ll have to wait to hear how it sounds before deciding what I want to emphasize.

The certain sounds I’ll need include sand crunching under someone’s footsteps, the waves rolling in and out, general radio static, some other radio station options for music and then the Eliot reading. I could also add some extra effects, like a light wind or background noise of a car driving by or a few people walking past -- there are numerous options I can decide from once I hear the main effect of the beach and radio together, and then figure out what needs adding to make this more realistic and believable (and what will also underscore the poetry the best).

SOURCE MATERIAL: Various sound effect compact discs and recordings.


Spring Semester, 2007
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click Konstantin Brazhnik from Sound Design: Studio


CHALLENGE: The Use of Metaphor in Sound. Create a sound design representative of visual art.

STATEMENT: Richard Hamilton's collage painting, Just What Is It That Makes Today's Home So Different, So Appealing?, refers to a modern sex-obsessed, consumer-driver, ADHD population.  The collage form takes on its inherent nature to have little or no proper perspective and, hence, an unclear orientation of the viewer's position relative to the painting's subjects.  I chose this image because of its remaining pertinence to society today and because it will allow me to gather a wide array of modern sounds and collage them into a an obscure and disconcerting environment that reflects the commercial culture that we are constantly engaged in the second we wake up.

The track will open with quiet night noises and a person snoring.  Suddenly a radio alarm clock will go off, instantly bombarding the sleeping mind with advertisements of something along the lines of “Ham-Flavored Condoms”.  The radio advertisements will last about 10 seconds and then switch to something new.  Over the course of the entire track, the radio will have gone through about 12 different products, each with its own cheesy tagline.  The track will progress with more and more sources of media and advertising jumping in like duets and quartets.  A TV will be turned on and the channels flipped, but each channel will only have ecstatic moaning on it.  Throughout the track, the outside world will slowly seep in more and more.  Cars will be honking, paper boys will be yelling, trucks with obnoxious speakers will be spitting propaganda amidst yet more advertisements.  All of this will build up until in the end it is virtually impossible to listen to any one advertisement and each one you hear seems to contradict the one preceding it.

I will need to do a lot of recordings for this project of cheesy taglines that play on the radio.  The project will consist of me mixing many voices together until in the end they all seem to blend together into noise.  I will have to design a couple background sounds for the commercials, but since the commercials will all be about 10 seconds long, each one shouldn't take that long; each will probably be only a couple riffs long.  I will have to also find some “erotic” sound effects for the television.  I like the idea of the TV emitting no words, just noise.  The rest of the sounds will be easy to find among our own library.

SOURCE MATERIAL: Various sound effect compact discs and recording.


click Nick Butler from Sound Design: Studio


CHALLENGE: The Use of Metaphor in Sound. Create a sound design representative of visual art.

STATEMENT: Goal – The visual art that I picked for this project is a picture I took while I learned how to snowboard in Vermont.  It was possibly one of the best weeks of my life even though the temperature was on average less than 10 degrees with record lows of -17 on top of the mountain peak.  So what I think my goal for this project is to describe what moods I feel from the memories of that week in sounds.  Also I want to try to use the colors and the snow and mountains to create brisk cold sounds, or whatever sounds you might imagine if you were on spring break at high elevations.

Plan – My plan of attack is going to be create a project that totally describes how my spring break was.  First it was a little boring and tiring because we had to drive 7.5 hours, and I want to show the shift from going from 65 degrees to 15.  So that would make a slower intro, then I want to come to a part in the project that just sounds clumsy, because on my first day I crashed and burned so many times, including running into a tree.  The second day was the coldest, and that was also the night we started going out to the local night clubs, so I can speed it up and put in some dance music that you might hear at a resort area.  The final night was just a wild adventure which is hard to remember, so I want to have some pounding mission music.  Then the drive home happened and we were stuck in Boston traffic forever because we took a detour and I must explain that.

Effects and content – To describe the mountain I really want to include the sounds of wind and possibly a snowstorm.  Then to give the presence of people I need to have people playing around, maybe kids stomping in snow.  Then I want to have the sounds of a bar and some live acoustic music for one of the nights we went out, and then some crazy club sounds and all the sounds that make you think of just a big party.  I will need the sounds of traffic or car gears.  And I will definitely want the sound of someone falling off a ladder or down some stairs, or just a plummeting downward sound in general.

SOURCE MATERIAL: Various sound effect compact discs, Garage Band composition.


click Charles Goodwin from Sound Design: Studio


CHALLENGE: The Use of Metaphor in Sound. Create a sound design representative of visual art.

STATEMENT: The picture is an animated Ferrari that is flying by at high speed.  The car itself is not really remarkable, but I like the colors and the animated effect of speed.  My primary material will probably be from GarageBand.  I will definitely need to utilize some of the drum loops from that program.  I want to write a fast paced rock song to use to fill the majority of the space.  The MIDI recording process will probably not be adequate for recording stringed instruments at the pace I have in mind (and I’m a pretty abysmal piano player), so I would like to record those using real instruments.  It would also give me a chance to get some experience doing live recordings and mixing these. 
 
Along with the music, I’ll use samples of car engines revving, drag race countdowns, squealing tires and other car noises.  To spice up the music, I also want to find some memorable quotes about cars, racing, speed, etc and mix those in for effect.  This will be a type of voice over that I could do myself or find on the web.
I’m excited about trying to blend the car sounds (especially the motor) seamlessly with the distorted guitars and using the guitars to complement and express the raw mechanical power of the car using computer generated mechanical effects and distortion.

SOURCE MATERIAL: Various sound effect compact discs, Garage Band composition.

click Britnee Millner from Sound Design: Studio


CHALLENGE: The Use of Metaphor in Sound. Create a sound design representative of visual art.

STATEMENT: The assignment for our third project is to pick out a piece of artwork and recreate that same effect using sound. For my project, I am choosing to work with the picture in black and white with a red color over it. In order to achieve the same effect of the picture, it will require music to fit it with some occasional sound effects.

When I first saw the picture, I could automatically picture sounds that could represent it perfectly. I can hear children laughing and not a sad song but just one of a hardship in life. I see a man who has a story to tell with many to listen and with the effects that I plan to utilize, such as children laughing, slight gust of wind, and if I can find maybe even an old slave chant, I plan to recreate it. I am hoping that I am able to create a song on my own to establish what I see in this piece of art.

With the outspokenness of this piece of art, I do intend to retain it. The hardships of this man should be portrayed through this project. The only work that will need to be done in recreating this art work is sound effects and music.

SOURCE MATERIAL: Various sound effect compact discs, Garage Band composition.


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Last Modified:
February 24, 2009