Courses in Acoustic Communication
CMNS 358-4 : SOUND RECORDING: THEORY AND DESIGN
Instructor: Barry Truax, K-9676 CC, 778-782-4261, email: firstname.lastname@example.orgWebsite: http://www.sfu.ca/~truax & www.sfu.ca/sonic-studio/
Seminar: Tuesday, 12:30 - 3:20 pm, K-7657.
Lab: Thursday, 1:30 - 3:20 pm, K-7657.
Texts: CMNS 358 Studio Notes; Equipment Notes (online at http://www.sfu.ca/sonic-studio/studionotes)B. Truax, ed., Handbook for Acoustic Ecology, CD-ROM edition, Cambridge Street Publishing, 1999.
included in B. Truax, Acoustic Communication, Ablex, 2001. (QC 225.15 T78)
and online at http://www.sfu.ca/sonic-studio/handbook/index.html
R. Runstein & D.Huber, Modern Recording Techniques. Indianapolis: Sams, 1995 (TK 7881.6 H85 1995), chapters 5, 6, 10, 11; 6th edition, Focal Press, 2005 (TK 7881.4 H783 2005).
D. Thompson, Understanding Audio, Berklee Press, 2005 (TK 7881.4 T49 2005).
References: L. Landy, Understanding the Art of Sound Organization, MIT Press, 2007. (ML 1380 L28 2007)
S. Alten, Audio in Media, Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1990. (TK 7881.4 A46 1990)
T. Zaza, Mechanics of Sound Recording, Prentice Hall, 1991. (TK 7881.4 Z39 1991)
T. Zaza, Audio Design (Sound Recording Techniques for Film & Video), Prentice Hall, 1991. (TK 7871.4 Z39)
Contemporary Music Review (ML 197, C752) vol. 15(1-2), A Poetry of Reality.
Recommended Listening:Glenn Gould, The Solitude Trilogy, CBC Records CDs (ML 417 G69 A345)
Consult the Fine Arts room in the Library for other works, e.g. soundscape compositions.
Grading: Your grade will be based solely on the studio projects you complete (see page 3 for more details). These will consist of:(1) An introductory one-week exercise (voice modification);
(2) Two assigned studio exercises (to be completed during the first half of the semester);
(3) One major audio project (to be completed during the second half of the semester).
Deadlines: Projects 1 and 2 are due week 8. Project 3 is due one week after the last class.
Projects 1 and 2 will be weighted equally with Project 3 and are each worth 40% of the final grade. The mid-term quiz on terminology is worth 20% of the final grade.
The School expects that the grades awarded in this course will bear some reasonable relation to established university-wide practices to both levels and distribution of grades. In addition, the School will also follow Policy T10.02 with respect to "Intellectual Honesty," and "Academic Discipline" (see the current Calendar, General Regulations Section).
Lab Topics and Readings:
Although the pacing of topics will have some flexibility in the lab, the following reading assignments in the first column should be done for the date shown. And because descriptions of techniques and equipment often make a lot more sense after they've been demonstrated, it is recommended that you read the relevant sections of the Studio Notes in particular for a second time after the lab session. Note that Equipment Notes (copies of equipment and software manuals) are available in the online studio notes folder and each Mac, including:
O2R 96 Digital Mixer & Command8
Peak Pro 6 / Audition 5.5
Pro Tools Reference Guide
Documentation (VST Classic & ST)
Sound Hack (and Delay Trio, Spectral Shapers)
Convolution (www.sfu.ca/~truax/conv.html) & Convolution Techniques.pdf; Phasing.pdf
Date Studio Notes (SN)
Mixer Overview (SN 4-5)
Peak & Audition (SN 6-8)
Filtering (SN 12-15)
GRM Tools (Bandpass)
Multi-track setup (SN 9)
GRM Tools (Equalizer)
Parametric Equalization (SN 16-17)
Ring Modulation (SN 18)
GRM Tools (Reson, Freq Shift)
Reverberation (SN 29-30)
Tape Delay Transformations (SN 19-28)
Phasing (SN 39-41)
GRM Tools (Delay, Comb Filter); SoundHack (Delay)
Digital Delay Unit (SN 31-33)
Dynamic Range & Envelope Control (SN 42-50)
Command 8 Interface (SN 51-65)
MacPod granulation software
GRM Tools (Shuffle); SoundHack (Bubbler)
TiMax2 Matrix Mixer (SN 34)
continued from week 10
SoundHack (Spectral Shaping); GRM Tools (Contrast)
Note: All of the Texts and References listed on page 1 contain useful additional information and background to supplement these readings.
EXERCISES AND PROJECTS
Tape: Projects should be handed in on audio CD, clearly identified on the cover, with individual tracks listed. Multi-channel works will be recorded in ProTools (right-hand Mac).
(1) Record a short segment of voice reading (several takes may be needed). Using small speed variations and equalization, record three variations of the voice. Include your original recording.
(2) Materials for the following exercises: Studio record a short segment of voice or other vocal material and studio record a sound object. Alternatively, two sound objects may be recorded if suitably differentiated. In all cases the quality must be excellent.(A) Exercise in multi-track mixing: Using speed changes (transposition and variable speed), bandpass filtering, equalization (1/3 octave, parametric), loops and reversal, editing, ring modulation and delay based effects, create a multi-track mix of variants of your given sound(s) with live performance of each track which may later be modified in level with the Command 8. An 8-track ProTools session is suggested. Mix these together in the stereophonic format into a short exercise (2 to 3 minutes).
The emphasis in this exercise is not only on sound design, but on using real-time performance and performance gestures to make the individual tracks of your session interact. In your documentation, identify the PT session used.
(B) Compositional Project: a 5-6 minute composition in stereo format. It may be an extension of Project 2A, or entirely independent.
(3) Final Project: This is a 6-week project of your own design, and may use field recorded or studio recorded material, or copies of material in the W.S.P. Environmental Tape Library. The piece may be in any of the standard audio medium genres: Aural History, Documentary, Drama, Text-Sound, Soundscape Composition, Abstract Sound Composition, or combinations thereof. Most of these will be discussed in class and illustrated (see also recommended listening). The project should be discussed with the instructor before it is begun in terms of resources needed, format, length, etc. You will use ProTools and/or the digital multi-track tape recorder for this project in either the stereo or 8-channel formats. Duration of the project depends on which genre is chosen, but normally this project will be in the 6 - 10 minute range
The following list of terms are those in the Handbook for Acoustic Ecology (book or CD-ROM) with which you should be familiar by mid-term. At this course level you are expected to be knowledgeable about the details of these terms and their precise usage, as well as their general meaning and inter-relationship. Many of these terms will be used and illustrated during the tutorial periods; others which you would like to have discussed should be brought up in tutorial. You are also responsible for the terminology in the Studio Notes.
ELECTROACOUSTIC AND TAPE STUDIO TERMSA) Basic terms:
Audio Signal Electroacoustic
B) Recording media, their characteristics and problems:
Magnetic Tape Magnetic Wire Phonograph Gramophone Graphophone Bulk Eraser Channel Crosstalk Cue Dropout Dubbing Emulsion Flutter Montage Print-through Separation Splice Tape Loop Wow Tempophone
C) Transducers, microphones, loudspeakers and their characteristics:
Transducer Microphone Loudspeaker Binaural Recording Kunstkopf Baffle Enclosure Tweeter Woofer Diaphragm Directivity Parabolic Reflector Spill Wind Screen -
D) Spatial dimensions:
Stereophonic Monophonic Quadraphonic - Diffusion Pan Reverberation Azimuth
E) Intensity level, measurement and control:
Amplification Amplifier Attenuation Attenuator Gain Dynamic Range Decibel Compression Limiter VU Meter Zero Level VU -
F) Spectrum, and the time domain:
Frequency Frequency Response Spectrum Bass Treble Filter Centre Frequency Band Bandwidth Equalization Waveform Sine Wave Sawtooth Wave Square Wave Triangle Wave White Noise Pulse - Presence -
G) Signal quality, criteria and distortions:
Signal-to-Noise Ratio Fidelity Hi-fi Lo-fi Distortion Schizophonia Peak Clipping Rectification Flat Alternating Current Direct Current Hum
Mix Montage Fade Cross-fade Potentiometer Fader Pan Linear
I) Modulation as a signal processing technique:
Modulation Carrier Modulated Carrier Sideband Amplitude Modulation Frequency Modulation Modulation Depth Demodulation
J) Processing using time delays:
Echo (tape) Feedback (tape) Phasing Comb Filter Acoustic Feedback Choral Effect
K) Electronic display and synthesis:
Oscilloscope Level Recorder Sound Analyser Sound Synthesizer Sound Synthesis Generator Oscillator Switch
L) Compositional approaches:
Oral History Tape Music Musique Concrète Electronic Music Tape Recorder Tape Recording Digital Recording Sound Synthesis Sound Effect Sound Object Sound Event Granular Synthesis