(sonicArts) multitrack concrete music, 2014

this assignment document is also available on the course site on Blackboard

due 11/4, at the beginning of class


Building on your knowledge of sample processing learned in your two-track collage, and DAW experience from your negative space project, create a two-minute work of concrete music using classic musique concrète techniques and granular synthesis. You may use sounds from your 2-track collage, your soundwalk, your negative space project, sounds from online libraries, sample CDs in Bracken (Education Resources Desk), and/or other recorded sounds of your own choosing.

Use an audio editor (Audition or Audacity) and Cecilia to process your samples, and use Logic Pro to assemble your piece. You may use any plugins in Audition or Audacity that you have used before (such as EQ, normalization, amplitude gain change, brick wall limiting), plus delay and reverb plugins in Digital Performer. You may also use limiter and EQ plugins in DP.

Like your 2-track collage, work in a gestural style, where development and variation of source material is of primary importance. Use Logic Pro 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. Almost anything that works moment to moment will work for two minutes. You are expected to take advantage of the multi-track capabilities of Logic Pro to create layers of activity. It is also expected that each layer of activity will be comprised of multiple tracks. 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.

Your project should use a 44.1 kHz sampling rate, and 24-bit resolution.


  • Length must be at least two minutes. Try not to go much longer than two minutes. Bloat will not help your grade.
  • Use at least three different sound source types, i.e., three different sounds of dishes breaking is one sound type (breaking dishes). You would still need two other types of sounds. Feel free to use more sound types, but remember that development of your sounds through processing is a significant goal of the project, and a significant portion of your grade.
  • 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 Audition/Cecilia-processed files in subfolders of your Logic Pro folder for backup purposes. Any audio file you use in Logic will be imported to the audio files folder of your project, as long as you set your project settings correctly.
  • The finished project should be primarily gesture-based (Some repeated patterns are ok, especially repeated gestures with variations, but don’t use Logic loops set to repeat 50 times.
  • Title your work.

 grading criteria

  1. Creativity in manipulating your sound material, particularly with regard to creating gestures and motives, and using multiple tracks to create interesting gestures and textures. (40 pts)
  2. Diversity of sound material, and required number of sound sources. (5)
  3. Use of Logic Pro to automate mix parameters (Pan, Level, and plugin parameters). (20)
  4. Meeting the required length (2 minutes; definitely not shorter; probably not much longer). (10)
  5. Overall sound quality (15), 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).

100 points total

turn-in procedure

  • Name your Logic Pro project folder with your name and “MultitrackConcrete.” (kothmanMultitrackConcrete)
  • Your project folder should also contain any Audition/Audacity/Cecilia (A/A/C) files you created (including original source material). Using sub-folders is highly recommended. These subfolders for source and A/A/C-processed files can be at the level below your project folder.
  • You can turn in your project folder to me via flash drive, external hard drive, iLocker, or Dropbox. There is a good chance your project will be too large for Blackboard, and downloading from Bb takes too much time. If you use iLocker or Dropbox, compress your project folder, upload it, and email me the link to download it.
  • Your project folder must contain a mixed (bounced) stereo master, at the same directory level as your Logic Pro data file.



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