Week 1. Lecture/Workshop: Field Recording – Basics and Extended Techniques.
We will review our understanding of digital audio recorders and look at file formats and other settings. Mono and stereo techniques using built-in microphones and external mics will be discussed along with more esoteric options such as binaural in-ear mics, hydrophones (underwater), contact mics (surfaces), coil mics (electromagnetic content) and ultrasound detectors. We will also explore extended techniques using micro-condensers, multi-channel recording, mid/sides stereo, boundary layer and lavalier microphones. This will be a practical recording session on campus.
Week 2 - DIY Workshop: Make your own Contact Microphones + Preparation for Field Trip.
Contact microphones are low cost items that are easy to make. They are good for capturing noises from inside objects such as machines, water tanks and wire fences. Home made contact mics can be installed in sound sculptures and used in performance. This session will also introduce you to the tools and basic processes of soldering. We will continue to practice recording on campus and discuss the forthcoming field trip.
Week 3. Saturday Field Trip 12-4pm
Starting at the Greenwich foot tunnel we will progress to Island Gardens and then onward to our final destination, Canary Wharf. You will be provided with a range of specialist field recording equipment and you can bring along your own if you wish.
Week 4 - Field trip De-brief, Group Listening to Recordings + Composing in the Studio.
In this fun and interesting session we get to hear what you chose to record and how. These sessions always reveal some remarkable content. At the end of the session we will transfer recordings onto the studio’s computers for use in your composition. Recordings will also be made available for download so you can explore them on your own as well.
Week 5 - Lecture/Workshop: Sound Making – Recording Objects (including acoustic instruments), Voiceovers, Dialogue and Performing Foley.
We will use the Electronic Music Studio to look at specialist microphones and techniques for recording acoustic instruments and sound making objects. We will makes our own sound effects using analogue techniques and generate sound content for a short film. We will use a range of microphones to record the human voice.
Week 6 - Lecture/Lab – Basic Principles, Compression, EQ and Reverb + Composing with Sound in the Studio.
In this session we will refresh our understanding of the basic elements of working with a digital audio workstation (DAW): session formats, sound file imports, making and editing tracks, track fades, using compression, EQ and reverb plug-ins and automation. Pro Tools will be used for demonstration purposes and will be available for you to use on the computers in the Electronic Music Studios. You can also use your own laptops/software if you wish. You may choose to work individually or in groups.
Week 7- Lecture/Lab – Further Effects, Plug-ins and Composition Strategies + Composing with Sound in the Studio.
We will review a range of plug-ins that can be used to modify field recordings for sonic and creative effect. A number of sound art and documentary practices will be used to give examples of compositional strategies and participant are invited (but not required) to deliver short presentations about their own work with sound and receive group feedback. We will continue working on our compositions.
Week 8 - Lecture/Workshop – Processing Sound + Organising Sound and Building Sound Libraries + Composing in the Studio.
We will explore the sound-shaping potential of stand-alone software applications such as Spear, AudioSculp and soundhack. Isotope RX will be used to demonstrate ways of ‘cleaning up’ and manipulating audio recordings. We will also investigate ways of archiving sound and creating personal libraries for easy access and use.
Week 9 - Lecture/Workshop – Introduction to Multi-channel Formats + Installation Sound + Composing in the Studio.
In this session we will explore 5.1 and 8.1 surround sound through both listening to examples and getting hands on experience with Pro Tools HD and Logic Pro X at the Electronic Music Studio.
Week 10 - Lecture/Lab – Composing in the Studio - Completion of Work + Group Listening and Feedback.
In this final session you will have time to complete your individual or group compositions and we will address basic mastering concepts and approached for creating finished work. The second half of the session will focus of playing and discussion your work – this can be finished pieces or work in progress.