(sonicArts) negative space multi-track project

Negative Space Multi-Track Project (Due 10/11, at the start of class)

Wikipedia defines negative space “as the space around and between the subject(s) of an image. Negative space may be most evident when the space around a subject, and not the subject itself, forms an interesting or artistically relevant shape, and such space is occasionally used to artistic effect as the “real” subject of an image. The use of negative space is a key element of artistic composition.”

Project Description

Create a one minute project comprised entirely of background noise, modeled on the piece “Silences Normalized from the Complete Organ Works of Olivier Messiaen (part 1), by Christopher DeLaurenti at http://soundcloud.com/delaurenti/silences-normalized .

You will use Pro Tools and its multi-track mixing capabilities to combine background sounds from your soundwalk, other sound sources that you can find online, and “silences” from recordings. You should normalize the amplitude of these negative sounds to –0.1 dB, and then use the normalized files to layer and mix the final project. The final project should not be any one file, or substantial part of one file, but rather a construction of many files melded into a single abstract negative sound mass.

This is a small project designed to introduce the concepts of multi-track mixing in a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) – specifically, Pro Tools. You will be graded on your faithfulness to the spirit of the project, using background sounds without substantial audio events as the basis of your composition. Your project may avoid major contrasts through cross-fading of files, or you may exploit the differences in noise to create more sudden changes. Your project will make use of mix automation (volume level and panning), and the shortening/creation of clips from your normalized source files.

Turn-In Procedure

Turn in your entire Pro Tools project folder (compressed/zipped), containing your original background noise segments already normalized that you brought into your project, your Pro Tools data file, and everything else that I need to open and listen to your project. You will also include in your Pro Tools folder a “bounced” mix down of your project as a single stereo audio file. Your project should use a 44.1 kHz sampling rate and 16-bit resolution. Name your project folder with your last name as part of your project title.

Grading criteria:

  • Following the turn-in procedure
  • Using multiple background noise files, normalized properly
  • Proper use of mix automation (volume and panning)
  • Use of good editing techniques
  • Avoidance of audio clicks, level distortion, and other audio errors
  • Use of a master fader track


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