(compMus1) Collecting Sounds

You will need sound files for your concrete music project. There are a number of places you can look for free, prerecorded sounds to use.

On the Macs you should find an iLife Sound Effects folder. The easiest way to find it is to choose the local hard disk and search for “iLife Effects”.


Online, the best place to look is at the Freesound project (freesound.org). Create a user account so that you can download sounds and keep track of your downloads. You can browse random sounds, or search by description for sounds you want.

Bracken Library has sound effect libraries on audio CDs. Go to the Education Reserves desk and ask for the sound effects catalogs. You can look for sounds by types, and the catalogs will tell you what CDs to check out.

For your first project you will only need three to five sounds. If you use too many sounds you probably won’t develop them enough. Try to find a couple of sounds that “do something interesting.” In other words, sounds that change over time in interesting ways. Look for at least one sound that is more steady-state. This combination of sound types will give you interesting material to develop for musical gestures, as well as for developing sustained backgrounds.


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