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Intro to Audio

Texts to have read:

  • Your own commit history; the shared guidelines in the Google doc; and any tutorials needed to finish your visual project

Work to have done:

  • Complete and push to GitHub a final copy of your visual unit project – including a prose reflection.

Share reflections and insights from image unit

Congratulations on finishing! (At least for now; you can still revise through the final portfolio.) I've seen a lot of great projects around this room, and a lot of progress in terms of comfort with this kind of composing.

Before we move beyond the still image, I want to ask:

  • what can this format do well?
  • what are its limitations?

Press play

What if we asked the same questions about audio? (For now, let's leave out moving images and focus on sound.) How do you expect your answers will differ?

The audio unit project

Click here for text version
Click here for audio credits

In this unit, you’ll revise a piece of writing that you’ve already completed, transforming it by casting it as sound. In the process, you’ll learn more about the digital tools available to you as a multimodal composer; you’ll discover resources and archives of materials to layer over and under the human voice, and you’ll reflect on the affordances of using the aural and gestural modes in conjunction with the linguistic.

Touring Audacity

I'll just show you the project file for what I just played; then you can play around on your own, using your headphones.

Try recording audio from this room, or importing an audio file you find through CCMixter, Jamendo, SoundCloud, or Freesound. (You can access the first three through; descriptions of all are on the resources page.)

After a while, we'll discuss:

  • What does the tool make easy? hard?
  • What are the visuals trying to emphasize? What did you want to find, but found hard to locate instead?
  • What's the same and what's different about this UI vs. GIMP?

EXT: Studio

Use any remaining time to experiment, think about sounds you might use, or get a head start on the homework.

For Next Time

  • Administrative:
    • Office hours are "back" to normal, which is to say Wednesdays 2-4.
    • You may want to install Git Large File Storage (Git-LFS). Just follow the command-line instructions at, noting that their "Step 2" should take place in the folder where you're tracking your files.
  • Inputs
  • Outputs
    • Write a brief reflection on the WordPress site, and put it in the Reflections category: what do you notice in putting these texts together? what does that make you wonder?
    • Begin thinking about what piece you might have that could benefit from translation to audio.
    • Bring a couple of options to talk through with your groupmates