(sonicArts) project: two-track collage

Two-track collage, concrete music
Due: September 20, 2012

Project Description

Create a concrete music composition using three to five recorded sound sources, lasting at least 1 minute. Your tools will be Peak (and/or Audacity), and classic concrete music editing procedures such as cut/copy/paste, gain change, speed change, change of direction, and equalization. All of your editing will be within a stereo audio editor, without the use of vertical layering of sounds. Your focus will be on the processing of audio, and the horizontal arrangement of such audio in sonically interesting way.

Your sound sources should have some variety of sound and gesture. Some should be short (less than 2 seconds in duration); some should be long (2 to 30 seconds in duration). You may (and should try to) use some sounds from your soundwalk. Other sounds can come from sound effects from CD, downloadable audio from freesound.org, and/or other sounds you record.


All of your editing will take place within a stereo audio editor (Peak or Audacity). You will not use a multi-track DAW or other multi-track recording/editing software. Your are restricted to the following processes:

  • cut/copy/paste
  • gain change (as an envelope, or overall)
  • playback speed change (without maintaining pitch – speed change should create a pitch change)
  • change of direction (reverse)
  • equalization
All of the above processes are equivalent to specific analog tape processes used in early concrete music.

You will be graded on (60 points total):

  • The creativity of your final project. Are the sounds processed and used in interesting ways? Does it seem like you explored the sonic potential of your sound sources? (35 pts)
  • The technical proficiency of your final project. There should be no clicks and no distorted amplitudes. (12 pts)
  • Meeting the requirement of the number of sound sources. (5 pts)
  • Meeting the duration requirement. (8 pts)


The objective of the project is to explore the creative possibilities of sounds, to learn proficiency in basic audio editing, and to learn the basic techniques of concrete music.


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