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|This lesson is part of the Fundamentals of Sound & Music module.|
- Students will be familiar with the fundamental aspects of various types of recording media, including wax/vinyl, magnetic tape, optical, and digital media.
- Students will understand strengths and limitations of various recording methods/media.
- Student will be familiar with the general features of microphones & speakers and how they transduce sound.
- Student will understand the difference between analog and digital methods of recording (including "sampling rate")
- Student will be familiar with various methods and techniques of digital audio compression and file types.
- Student will be able to critically assess recordings as a type of musical trace or sound representation.
- Student learn various ways that recordings, and thus all elements of sound, can be edited or manipulated.
- Elsea, UCSC Electronic Studios:
- Music Technology Musician:
- Wolfe, Physclips: How Loudspeakers work.
- “Reflections on the MP3 Format: Interview with Jonathan Sterne,” Geert Lovink, Computational Culture #4 (November 2014)
- More essays by Jonathan Sterne on compression and fidelity can found here
Listening and Videos
- Soundfly: "Guide to Microphones"
- Into the Ordinary: "How do microphones work? Dynamic Microphones & Speakers"
- Discussion and definition recording methods throughout history. Bring in physical objects when possible.
- Experimentation with recording sounds using different media and with different types of compression, and comparison of results.
- Sampling demonstration: Demonstrate sampling of a continuous variable and errors in reconstruction due to sampling rate. A child's growth curve or day-to-day temperature measurements are good examples.
- Microphone recording demonstrations based on polar patterns and placement.
- Gear ID: Identify type of media, microphone, or speaker.
- Compression of an audio file using various methods.
- Create an online shopping list: Create a recording scenario for students to shop for appropriate recording gear. Employ Sweetwater sound buying guides for microphones and PA speakers.