(sonicArts) final project

Final Project – Due at Final Exam Time (12/11, 9:45 am for Section 1; 12/14, 9:45 am for Section 2)


Your final project adds granular synthesis to your repertoire of audio processing routines. You will create a 2.5-minute work of concrete music that uses recorded sounds from any source, processed with granular synthesis, spectral processing, and other common editing techniques. Your final project will be assembled in Pro Tools. You may use any standard plugins (EQ, filter, delay and reverb). In addition to the classic concrete music techniques and spectral processing, you must use granular synthesis to process your audio samples..

Once again, work in a gestural style, where development and variation of source material is of primary importance. Use Pro Tools like a tape deck, using “clock” time as your ruler, not metrical time.

For pieces of this length, form still doesn’t really need to be much of a concern. You can work in a variation style (theme and variation or continuous), ABA’, arch, or something else. You are expected to take advantage of the multitrack capabilities of Pro Tools to create layers of activity. It is also expected that each layer of activity will be comprised of multiple tracks. As before, slow moving background material (derived from the same source material used for quicker gestures at any given point) can help to define a section as much as fast-moving foreground gestures. Also consider that time expansion (stretching) by its very nature will create sounds with slow attacks and fades. Use unstretched sounds or modify the amplitude envelopes of stretched sounds to counter the prevailing fade aesthetic.


  • Length must be at least two minutes and thirty seconds (2:30).
  • Use at three different sound source types. Remember that many processed versions or recordings of the same or similar sound is one sound type.
  • Build gestures and layers from multiple sound clips in multiple tracks. Although there is no minimum required number of tracks, textures in the range of six to ten tracks will be likely.
  • Keep your files organized! Keep copies of original and processed files in subfolders of your Pro Tools folder for backup purposes. Pro Tools audio files will be imported to the audio files folder of your project.
  • The finished project should be primarily gesture-based (Some repeated patterns are ok, especially repeated gestures with variations, but don’t use Pro Tools loops set to repeat 50 times.
  • Title your work.

Grading Criteria (120 points total)

  1. Creativity in manipulating your sound material, particularly with regard to creating gestures and motives, using granular synthesis and spectral processing in creative ways, and using multiple tracks to create interesting gestures and textures. (60 pts)
  2. Diversity of sound material, and required number of sound sources. (5)
  3. Use of Pro Tools to automate mix parameters (Pan, Level, and plugin parameters). (15)
  4. Meeting the required length (2:30; definitely not shorter; probably not much longer). (10)
  5. Overall sound quality (20), which includes:
    – proper amplitude levels (no clipping, maximize peak signal to noise ratio)
    – quality of edits (no pops or clicks!!!!)
    – no distortion or over-amplitude samples
  6. Organization of files. (5)
  7. Following the turn-in procedure. (5)

Turn-In Procedure

  • Name your Pro Tools project folder with your name and “Project3.” (kothmanProject2)
  • Your project folder should also contain any Audacity/SoundHack/Cecilia (A/S/C) files you created (including original source material). Using sub-folders is highly recommended. These subfolders for source and A/S/C-processed files can be at the level below yourname3 project folder.
  • You can turn in your project folder to me via flash drive, external hard drive, or iLocker. If you use iLocker, compress your project folder, upload it to iLocker, and email me the link to download it.
  • Your project folder must contain a mixed (bounced) stereo master file, at the same directory level as your Pro Tools data file.


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