Field Recording and the Soundscape


9 weeks

Day and time:

Thursdays, 7-9pm


Next course: Date to be confirmed

Course overview

Related subjects

Sound Engineering

Department Music

Sherry Ostapovitch


Richard Hoggart Building, Room 150

This course is suitable for those new to phonography and for those who want to improve the quality of their recordings.  Beneficial for artists working with sound and those who are ready to invest in more professional equipment.

We will listen for inspiration in the current and historical contexts of phonography.  Over the length of the course you will gain  an understanding of 'site' encompassing space, place and location as well as other intersectiions such as time and the socio-political.
Who should take this course?

This course is ideal for complete newcomers to phonography, those who have some experience of phonography but want to improve the quality of their recordings or for artists who want to learn how to incorporate sound into their work for videos or installations.

What will I study on this course?

This course is both practical and technical. We'll spend time outside, listening to and considering our surroundings.  You will learn how to make high fidelity recordings using a variety of mic'ing techniques; there will be demonstrations and workshops using portable recorders, pre-amps and external microphones.

This course is also a great opportunity to learn about software and audio editing techniques.  Enhance your recorded work using editing and EQ.

Previous course breakdown:

Week 1 - Lecture – Listening, Context and History of the Soundscape
Week 2 - Lecture / Soundwalk – Listening, Context and History of the Soundscape con’t + Soundwalk
Week 3 - Lecture / Workshop – ‘Site’ - Space, Place, Location + Recording Equipment Workshop
Week 4 - Lecture / Seminar – microsounds and recording Seminar plus Field Trip on Sunday 14 May from 12-4pm
Week 5 - Lecture – Soundscape and the socio-political + Composing Soundscapes
Week 6 – Lecture / Lab – Composing Soundscapes con’t + Software Intro
Week 7 - Lecture / Lab – Composing and Software con’t
Week 8 - Lecture / Lab – EQ, effects and processing sound
Week 9 - Lecture / EMS lab – Presenting Work and Feedback

What will I learn on this course?

Participants on this course can expect to:

  • Gain an understanding of the history and current practices of the soundscape, listening and related terminology.
  • Develop an awareness of relevant audio and microphone techniques.
  • Understand advantages / disadvantages and usage of specific models of portable recorders and pre-amplifiers.
  • Use software to create and arrange soundscape compositions and effect and process sounds.

Who will be teaching this course?

Sherry Ostapovitch is a sound artist whose work incorporates field recordings, unconventional guitar techniques, multi-channel sound installations, and intuitive compositions.  In a society that prioritises the visual over other senses, Sherry’s work encourages people to open their ears to their surroundings and to the ‘music’ that is everywhere.  Her recent work includes composing for Kaffe Matthews’ Sonic Bikes; Elephant Endangered: an 8-channel soundscape composition; and Still, a visual and sonic document of living on the canals of London in a narrowboat.

Sherry has worked as a studio and live sound engineer for the last 15 years, working with artists across many genres.  She has taught a module in Sound Art at Nottingham Trent University and currently teaches Music Technology at Morley College.  In 2014 she was awarded a distinction for her Masters in Music from Goldsmiths University in Studio Composition.

What can I do after taking this course?

Students will gain theoretical, practical and conceptual knowledge in phonography and soundscape composition that can be used in an aesthetic, documentary or political context.  These skills can be transferred broadly across Sound Art practice and fine art.  They can be used in radio or film and applied to location recording for films or post-production sound.  These skills can be used in documenting oral histories, building sound libraries, creating sound walks and more. 

Further Study?

MMus – Sonic Arts + various masters programs across the country

Goldsmiths delivers one course in Phonography at the undergraduate level and touches on it briefly in two modules at Masters levels.  The Unit for Sound Practice Research based at Goldsmiths has as one of its concerns ‘Phonography, soundscape studies and field recording’ The students on my course will utilise Goldsmiths’ multi-channel Electronic Music Studios in realising multi-channel compositions which are unique and unparalleled throughout the majority of London’s educational institutions.

How to Apply

Please click on the date of the course you’d like to attend below. You’ll be taken to Eventbrite, which is our booking system:






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