Re: questions on processing in soundscapes

Subject: Re: questions on processing in soundscapes
From: kathy kennedy (
Date: Mon Nov 14 2005 - 17:04:26 EST

Hi Kenneth and hopefully Phil.
I've wanted to download this paper for a while, but it seems that the
link doesn't work.

On Nov 14, 2005, at 9:55 AM, Kenneth Newby wrote:

> Hi Sylvia,
> You might want to have a look at Phil Thomson's MFA thesis: Machine
> Languages and the Digitization of the Social. In that paper Phil
> gives a nice overview of the processing techniques that are
> effective in preserving context in soundscape materials... things
> like time-stretching/contraction, auto-convolution and filtering.
> Kenneth.
> On 13-Nov-05, at 8:43 PM, wrote:
>> I'm writing a paper for an "electroacoustic soundscape
>> composition" course
>> here at SFU, and I thought list members might have some
>> interesting insights
>> on my project. Would you all mind answering a couple of questions?
>> A little pre-information: At my first introduction to soundscape
>> composition, I was under the impression that a soundscape piece
>> was just a
>> recording of an environmental soundscape. I imagined it to have no
>> processing other than maybe equalization to offset microphone
>> interference/distortion, a little normalizing, fade in, fade out,
>> and maybe
>> some areal diffusion. As I learned more about it, I discovered
>> "soundscape"
>> compositions that create a fictional soundscape, such as Barry
>> Truax's
>> Island, where sounds are taken out of their original context and
>> placed in a
>> different one. Additionally, there are soundscapes that include
>> quite a bit
>> of processing (maybe to better expose the musicality of the
>> environment),
>> like the deep thumping sound in Hildegard Westerkamp's Beneath the
>> Forest
>> Floor. In this soundscape course we also discussed text-based
>> compositions,
>> because we considered text to be a "context".
>> So the questions:
>> Do you think there is a difference between soundscape composition and
>> context-based pieces?
>> What is the effective use of processing in context-based/soundscape
>> compositions? Any specific examples?
>> What might be ineffective use of processing in context-based/
>> soundscape
>> compositions? Any specific examples?
>> Is there any type or amount of processing that would make you say
>> "that
>> composition is not (or is no longer) soundscape/context-based"?
>> How would you consider the use of microphone to be processing, in
>> terms of
>> affecting the behavior of whatever you are observing, or in terms of
>> types/placement of mics affecting the sound?
>> Do you have any principles of soundscape composition of your own?
>> Thank you very much; I appreciate your time-
>> Sylvia DeTar

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