Archive for the ‘soundtracks’ Category

Soundscapes and HTML

May 2, 2011

A few tips on creating the Audio Embedding Code for your Soundscape:

– Create an audio folder on your server with fugu / fetch etc, and upload your mp3 into it, note URL of audio.
– Test this in the browser : eg If correct, this should play your sound.

– Insert audio URL into PageOt to generate code, (note – make height=0, so you get a controller without a blank video window) Insert this code into a HTML page made in PageSpinner, include links for any sourced material.) Width can be adjusted to make the controller suit the width of page design elements. Clicking controller on/off will have it display or not, and loop and volume allow further controls. Press ‘code and options’, paste this into a HTML page, upload – and bingo!

[ Or try this web based option for generating embedding CODE. ]

What to do with your soundscapes?
Aside from publishing within your final project – where else can you publish them, and what else can you publish them with? ( Eg text, images, links to your project / music / blog etc ) And what are useful tags to use when publishing them?

Soundcloud is obviously an option, but there are also several dedicated soundscape related websites:
eg Freesound (which hosts creative commons samples),, and


Week 8 Remixing and Copyright

April 18, 2011

The essays are due on May 4th, so we’re going to start this week with 2 x Essay related tasks, via Ed:

In-class task: in groups of two or three, brainstorm some ideas for the essay. Think about the different technologies that can be focused on, the different practices that can be discussed, the impacts these have had on the music industry, any recent controversies over copyright and intellectual property, etc.

In-class task: write a quick blog post which outlines the structure of your essay, mentioning any supporting evidence.


Ed has also compiled a list of useful resources and theories related to the topics of remix, copyright and authorship, that we’ll be exploring this week. Please read in it’s entirety, taking special note of basic definitions you need to understand, useful reference sites for accessing at times of need, and the RMIT policy for copyright issues online (including your blog) – how well you read, and adhere to this, will affect your assessment.

Remixing brings a couple of interesting questions to the table, one involving law and the other, artistic integrity.

The law argues if you do not have the right to copy a portion of music, no use of this music is authorised without permission (and often payment) to the original copyright holder. In practical terms, legal action tends to be threatened or enforced only when money is involved ( ie songs or song portions used in some commercial context, earning payments). This means a chart topping act is much more likely to be sued than a small band without any releases or a significant bank account. Garage productions aside however, if gainfully employed by a media organisation, if producing a soundtrack for a film being submitted to a film festival, or if publishing material online within a hosted environment ( eg youtube), then the doors are open for legal threats – and you need to be aware of your legal responsibilities. Ed’s post covers that ground well.

Issues of Authorship and artistic integrity?

“Music has always been a craft of borrowing. In traditional, or folk, music, melodies and lyrics were handed down from generation to generation. At every stage, musicians would change the tune or substitute words at will, adapting songs to their own situations.”

The above quote is from the liner notes of the Illegal Audio Art compilation CD (Offered as a free download as part of,  a website created for an exhibition ‘Freedom of Expression in the Corporate Age’, highlighting several key controversial copyright cases of recent decades. Also relevant, with a very similar URL, – home to a variety of sample based music, including Girl Talk.)

Cultural arguments about remixing, as mentioned above, and as touched on in this week’s reading, suggest that existing art and media are raw materials for an artist to create from. What is important, from such a perspective – is not whether you have sampled, but what you are doing with it. Have you added value to an existing work, or are you merely riding on the easy recognition of a very familiar sample? Also of more interest within the cultural realm, are the changing notions of authorship that remixing brings to attention. What does remixing, and newer technologies which facilitate remixing, mean culturally? See Roland Barthes’ notion of the ‘death of the author’, or Walter Benjamin’s The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction as key theoretical reference points.

Trying to find a middle ground between legal and cultural arguments, lead Lawrence Lessig to found Creative Commons, and he has several free (and very influential) books available at his site for download, which flesh out his arguments in great detail, and are potentially useful for your essay. See also Creative Commons Australia.

Assorted Remix And Copyright Links:

Copyright related controversy about Soundcloud, which has developed it’s popularity on the backbone of hosting DJ mixes. Further discussion by Wayne + Wax, citing remixes of James Blake as a case study. – assorted writings about remixing.

Soundscape remixing? RJDJ – interactive applications for smart phones, that incorporate and remix any sounds from the microphone in real-time, and (sometimes musical..) create ‘sonic experiences’. RJDJ is built using Pure Data, and the team created a special version for the movie Inception, that ‘transforms the world around you into a dreamworld. It uses augmented sound to induce dreams through the headset of your iPhone and iPod Touch. It will change your perception of reality.’ – a collection of separated studio tracks for easy remixing. Found via cory_arcangel.

Also on the copyright front – thanks to for drawing attention to the article ‘IIA Fastracks Industry Copyright Code – an ISP lead intiative to limit the liability of ISP’s for copyright infringements made by users. “”Market failure remains a core contributor to the infringement problem. If users have access to more and better content, when, where and in the form they choose to consume it, and at a realistic price, we’re quite confident the motivation for infringement will decline”.

Below, the Kopimi logo, ( ‘copy-me’), which advocates use if ‘you want to be copied‘, a reflection of the idea that ‘only obscurity is worse for a creative than piracy‘.

Presentations in Week 6 and Project Development

March 28, 2011

Ed has written up a very useful guide for the Presentations which happen next week.

Why are we doing these presentations? They help emphasise a few project management skills – time management and communication.

–  By Week 6, it’s important that your ideas are refined and that you’ve budgeted enough remaining time in the semester to produce and refine your project.

– Being able to clearly describe your project to peers and potential audiences, increases the possibility of meaningful feedback, collaboration, further interest in your project and importantly – it helps focus your own ideas about the project’s development and priorities.

You have a small amount of time to do your presentation – so prioritise the delivery of your ideas. What is most important and interesting about your project? Why would anyone be curious or excited to explore your project? Being mindful of these questions will help shape your project in worthwhile directions. With a good project underway, part of the challenge for anyone in a creative industry is framing their project in a way that will attract interest and attention. The old advertising phrase – ‘Sell the sizzle, not the sausage’ – suggests that selling sausages can be done more easily by selling people on the idea of an enjoyable BBQ, or the memorable sensations surrounding it, rather than the product itself. In what ways might web viewers be lured deeper into your web project? In what ways might next week’s presentation audience be lured into your project?

Ongoing Project Development

1. Clarifying and refining project idea. (Is it feasibly scaled? Is it framed well?)

2. Storyboarding and mapping out your overall site plan.

3. Developing media assets:

– Write any needed portions of text

– Create any needed photographs, graphics, navigation buttons, background images etc

Create necessary Time Lapse video. A time lapse video is a series of images / frames / photographs taken over a long period of time. We will delve into the technical specifics of creating this video later, at this stage your idea matters most. What is it that you wish to document with the passing of time? ( A journey to a destination? Movement of people, objects, clouds?) Think about what will work well with this special effect, and think about how it can relate to and enrich your project. What would be an ideal setting and composition? Learn from the network: research timelapse videos and techniques within vimeo. How many photographs will you need to produce a 1 minute time lapse video? What size and format should they be?

Create necessary 1 minute Soundscape from Melbourne. What is an appropriate / interesting / provocative / evocative soundscape that would add richness and depth to your web project? Where do you need to record this? What will be the web context of this soundscape, and it’s relationship with onscreen imagery?

4. Building website with all of the above, and testing, refining, getting feedback, testing, refining.

Interesting Web Project Case Studies

March 22, 2011

Below are a range of online projects that might generate some ideas for your projects – or perhaps some questions, some challenges to consider. Many of these are quite advanced projects, the result of many more hours effort than we have available this semester. There is still much we can learn from them though. When browsing these projects, ask yourself about the techniques they use. Which of these techniques might be suitable for your project? Which of these techniques demonstrate, and take advantage of, the web’s affordances? What can you learn from each of these projects, about how to better make your project more ‘web native’, and less like a linear, print based project? What can you learn from each of these projects about how to create a more engaging and compelling project, that draws the viewer/ reader / listener into the world of your making? What new creative problems do these projects suggest about your project?

Interesting use of navigation, non-linear design?
Wax Or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees is the first independent feature film to have been edited on a digital non-linear system. It is also the first film to have been re-formatted as hypertext and posted on the internet.

Media Relationships?
Example projects that feature interesting relationships between image and text? ( Online comics are often innovators here.. See also, Scott McCloud’s discussion of image and text relationships.) Image and sound? 10 tips for effective web sound design. Gamers have long been thinking about non-linear uses for sound and issues that arise. Some of these game desig thoughts about interactive audio might be useful in thinking through how sound could work on your website.

Collaborations and crowdsourcing?
Projects built by engaging with an audience / promoting during development / aggregating content?

Star Wars Uncut – Features a constantly changing version of a the film, constructed with 15 second clips made by anybody, with the highest voted clips at any time, being included in the current playing version. See the CNN profile about the project creators
White Glove Tracking – volunteers isolated Michael Jackson’s white glove in all 10,060 frames of a video clip, so that this data could be used by anyone to create remixes or special effects.
Webcam Sour project – “The cast were chosen from Sour’s international fan base and filmed entirely via webcams.”
Where is Gary? Using social media and the audience to track down a scammer, and build a documentary around this.

Episode Based Productions
Taking advantage of subscription based technologies and social media to develop projects and build audiences over time…
Hometown Baghdad
The XKCD comic ( now a book, like many webcomics that’ve gained popularity )
Rocketboom ( daily 3 minute video news )
Ze Frank a whole range of ideas and projects, many collaborative.
thejuicemedia Satire and hiphop meets current affairs in the Melbourne based ‘Rap News’.
Ask A Ninja

And Bringing it Back to Basics
We’ll be exploring some more project management and multimedia storyboarding ideas next week, along with our next dive into HTML (bring along some sample text and images for use). Below is some useful reading in regards to framing and designing your project.

Tips on building portfolio sites, “Your site is a frame: A frame exists to hold its art. It should compliment your work, but never overshadow it. Think of your portfolio site as a frame for your work. Keep it clean and easy to navigate. Don’t let your site get in the way of letting me see what I really came for.”

Advice for designing your website layout.

Feedback on Soundscape Assignments

September 27, 2010

Everyone should’ve received email feedback about soundscape assignments by now (if you haven’t email me asap). Soundscape productions veered from competent at a minimum, through to lushly detailed, and were in general, technically satisfying. The soundscapes that provided a more stimulating and engaging minute of listening, tended to have accompanying essays which reflected some level of research into ideas around soundscapes – not just how they can be recorded, but investigations about composition, choreography, dynamics over time, the psychology of listening and more.

Interesting Soundscapes:
Lake Learmonth – for good use of panning, mixing, sense of space.
Isle of Wight Hotel – interesting use of voice..
Au Go Go records – good sense of spatial exploration over time.
Beach House – Nice transitions, and nice use of text overlay on photo to give personality to a space..
The Pump Shed – subtle use of music to enhance and amplify a mood.

Interesting Essays:
A local pool… – referencing the idea of ‘keynotes’ and ‘sound signals’…
Lake Learmonth – how recorded spaces colour the final sound.
The Pump Shed – including interviews, and an attempt to reflect on broader meanings.

For the Final Video Project then..
This is 50% of your semester’s mark, so please re-read the course document ( many people didn’t cover the basic requirements of the assignment / brief). That will be broken down like this:

25/50 = Essay ( Evidence of theory research, bibliography )

12.5/50= Video ( Editing, composition ideas, appropriate visualisation of theme, audiovisual relationships)

12.5/50= Web context ( ie the wordpress ‘page’, use of image, text, links, separate pages, to create context and depth.)

Sonic Histories

September 21, 2010

What do Lost Places sound like? Via @bldgblog on twitter, found this interesting article about ALEXIS MADRIGAL going on a quest to find the first soundscape. Aside from being a pretty interesting exploration in itself, the article also mentions Audioboo, ‘a simple service that lets you geolocate and upload recordings from a smartphone, are enabling whole nations to be enlisted as distributed recorders’, noting there are ‘active soundmapping projects in SeoulBarcelonaNew YorkMadridVancouverTorontoBerlinNew Orleans‘.

“We have to go back to the actual physical recording technologies used to understand why we couldn’t record cities… We will never know what New York, Los Angeles, or any other city sounded like before the automobile hit the streets and electricity was commonplace.”

And while we’re in a map headspace – want to add your Lost Place to Google Maps? Youtube instructions here, thanks to Anna.

Soundscape Submissions This Week ( Updated )

August 23, 2010

A few people have asked about the soundscape submission this week, so let’s break it down into point form. Here’s what you need to submit:

Email your tutor the URL of a blog post ( ie – not just )

Within this blog post, there should be an embedded soundscape, using the soundcloud player. ( How to embed the soundcloud player in wordpress ) This means you need to upload your soundscape to soundcloud. Remember to specify your work as creative commons licence when uploading to Soundcloud. ( See the Soundcloud CC search engine and other CC news ). You should also use at least 3 tags to describe your soundscape, when uploading to soundcloud.

[[ Update: Soundcloud seems to be undergoing some issues this week. If experiencing upload issues, they have some recommendations to try, such as their desktop based uploaders (Note: software can be installed on the RMIT machines, if you install it on the desktop… students don’t have admin permission to install software within the applications folder). And for what it’s worth – I just uploaded a track successfully from home, using their cloudpost app. ]]

List the authors of any Creative Commons sounds used – at your POOL, soundcloud and blog posts. This honours the ‘attribution’ aspect of the CC licence. Ideally you should also link back to where those sounds were found.

Your blog post should contain a link to the POOL page where your soundscape is uploaded. The POOL page for your soundscape should include some explanatory text, and a photo or graphic, and your soundscape should be submitted to both the Lost Places and the RMIT_Music_Industry_DesignStudio2010 groups. You should also include at least 3 tags that describe your soundscape. ( The POOL help page for uploading)

And finally, your blog post should contain a link to your 1000 word essay ( which can be published as a separate blog page ). ( Explore the library for books on essay writing help, or try these online tutorials for sharpening your essay. RMIT Referencing Guides. refresher? )

– At the bottom of your email, paste in the text from this Statement of authorship form, which states you are not plagiarising, or breaking copyright.

CINESONIKA: Soundtracks!

May 12, 2010

Relevant to this week’s discussions… Via Networked Experience:

Call for entries
Deadline: 1 September 2010

The First International Film and Video Festival of Innovative Sound Design

Nov. 12th-21st, 2010 – Vancouver/Canada

The theme of this international film and video festival is to celebrate the soundtrack. Usually in cinema festivals there is a fixation on movie stars, or captivating imagery, or the literary qualities of screenplays, or the abstract concepts of film theory. Sound tends to be relatively unvalorized in moving-image making. The intent of the festival is to give attention to innovative work in the creation of film and video soundtracks, and to give due credit to the importance of audio in audiovisual media.

This first annual festival will showcase international works of film and video with fascinating soundtracks, idiosyncratic sound design, eclectic scoring and innovative approaches to the sound-image relationship.

Submission Deadline: September 1st, 2010
For more information, including Submission details, please visit
Contact Details:

Week 5 : Task About Sound + Film

April 12, 2010

Read one of the following articles about the relationship between film and sound and list 3 ideas they generate, for how you might treat sound design for a website. ( This doesn’t necessarily have to be about your current project. ) List 3 principles / ideas to consider when marrying image and sound, and where possible extrapolate on what this might mean for web design. Write this up as a blog post including links to the articles referenced.

Randy Thoms – Designing for Sound
”  What I propose is that the way for a filmmaker to take advantage of sound is not simply to make it possible to record good sound on the set, or simply to hire a talented sound designer/composer to fabricate sounds, but rather to design the film with sound in mind, to allow sound’s contributions to influence creative decisions in the other crafts.”

Sounds of Illusions, sounds of moving images by Sven E Carlsson.

Theory of the Film: Sound by Bela Balazs.

An Introduction to Film Sound by Jane Knowles Marshall :
“Though we might think of film as an essentially visual experience, we really cannot afford to underestimate the importance of film sound. A meaningful sound track is often as complicated as the image on the screen. The entire sound track is comprised of three essential ingredients: the human voice, sound effects and music”

Or anything by Walter Murch, because he’s Walter Murch.