Cleo – Interesting sounds

This first sound is taken from the track “To Go Home” from Foxes in Fiction’s album Swung from The Branches.


The second one is William Basinski’s Disintegrated Loops 1.1. This was recorded from old tape loops which had degraded in quality. I am leaving an one-hour long Youtube video here. It’s the same short loop throughout the whole thing but at the same time you are sort of listening to the tape slowly crumbling.


The third one is Dorit Chrysler playing a theremin (Moog Etherwave Pro) at the beginning of an original composition. If you are interested, the full video can be found here.

GDB – Interesting Sound

I found 2 pieces of audio that I found interesting for very different reasons, so I decided to include both of them despite  given instructions. Apologies.

Son House – Grinnin’ in Your Face

Son House was a seminal delta blues musician, who served as a significant influence on later, more famous blues musicians such as Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson.

I think Grinnin’ in your Face is interesting because it’s both extremely minimalistic and emotional, composed of only Son’s singing and clapping.

Blank Cassette Tapes

I’ve noticed that the sound produced by a blank cassette being played is in fact much more complex than mere white noise. In roughly-produced tapes, the blank spaces are often quite complex, as the ambient beginnings and ending of different audio tracks change it.

More generally, one common feature of these types of sounds is that  they have a rhythm that is easy to miss entirely. I assume it’s a mechanical artifact.

The example given isn’t the best, but it serves well enough.

Dealing with technical issues

Are you experiencing technical issues in the Media Lab?  Please follow these steps:

1.  Google it.  Chances are you are not the only person who has ever encountered this issue.  Do a google search using the keywords that describe what you are attempting to do.  For example, if you can’t figure out how to reverse a sound using Ableton Live, do a google search for “Ableton live reverse audio.”  Chances are high that you will find a clear explanation of how to do it – maybe even a demonstration video on Youtube.

2.  Read the forums.  Many of the technologies we will be using have highly active online forums where community members solve problems together.  Searching the forums can sometimes produce more useful results than a general google search of the entire interweb.  If a search of the forum doesn’t get the answers you want, try creating a new post in the forum to ask your question.  Don’t forget to observe proper forum etiquette.  There are many highly experienced professionals on the forums who would be happy to help and you can sometimes get a response within minutes.

3.  Read the manual.  There are downloadable manuals for all of the technologies we will use in the course.  Download the latest manual and read through it.  Much of the software we are using also includes “lessons” or “tutorials” that demonstrate basic techniques.  If is essential to explore these resources before diving in the deep end.  Once you build up basic skills solving more complex problems will be much easier.

4.  If you are still stuck you may email your instructor. Please use this as a last course of action.

Media Lab Policies

• To use the Media Lab outside of class time you must make a reservation using the online reservation system.

• No food or beverages are permitted in the lab.  Closed water bottles are OK.

• If you are the last person leaving the Media Lab you must perform the following shut-down procedure, to protect our equipment:

  1. Shut down the X32 digital mixing console.  The power switch is on the back of the unit, on the right.  (The loudspeakers in the room may be left on as long as the mixing console is turned off).
  2. Make sure both video projectors are turned off.  When the projectors are off you will see a red light on the front of them.  When they are on you will see a green light on the front of them.
  3. Put the Mac Pro computer to sleep.
  4. Turn off any lighting equipment
  5. Return props and furniture to proper storage areas
  6. Make sure the doors to the Media Lab are fully closed and locked when you exit the room.

• When you are using the Media Lab outside of class time you are responsible for the equipment in the room.  Damage resulting from careless behavior will result in your Student Account being charged for the cost of repairs.  If you allow visitors in to the Media Lab you will be responsible for their behavior as well.