Monday, August 01, 2011

Sincronie presents: Field Recording and Soundscape Composition Workshop

Speakers: Federico Placidi, Matteo Milani (U.S.O. Project)

"Listening to the environment, contextualizing it objectively and creatively has always been a priority of the work of U.S.O. Project.
Free from any pseudo-environmental or socio-political implication, the continuous work on sampling, processing and transfiguration of found sound and carefully preserved in memory of a digital recorder, has always played a central role in our compositional practices.
U.S.O. defines Soundscape as the expressive and narrative richness that comes from the reciprocal and continuous interaction of multiple sound sources from the real world, and other phenomena which are perceptible and measurable only through proper and adequate transduction (electromagnetic signals, for example).

A Soundscape is also an opportunity for reflection and imagination that has little to share with the real world.
A Soundscape can be a place of the mind, a reminiscence of a future experienced in dreams, lands far away in space and time.
We try to deal with the possible infinites of the listening experience, both in their objective and manufactured dimensions.
We believe this represents our primary objective, to render the endless possibilities of life and its surroundings, sensible and experienceable in our conscious activity."

Objectives of the Workshop:

Students will be encouraged to actively listen to the rich sound world around them. Their imagination and creativity will be stimulated, and at the end of the course they will create a sound composition using the world around them as a musical instrument.

The workshop offers an introduction to theory and practice as follows:
  • An historical perspective on the Soundscape Composition.
  • Tools and methodologies for field recordings.
  • The listening practice to analyze the characteristics of ambient sound.
  • A practical approach to the transformation of sound.
  • Composition with three-dimensional space. The Ambisonics format.
  • Tools and Advanced spatialization Techniques.


Anyone interested in the Soundscape Composition and sound field experimentation.

Structure of the course

1) Introduction
  • Brief history of soundscape composition, with examples drawn from the work of contemporary artists who incorporate the practice of Field Recording in their compositions.
  • Introduction to the concept of "soundscape".

2) Tools
  • Field Recordist's Tools: microphones and recorders.
  • Conventional microphones techniques and creative miking.

3) Sound Transformation
  • Manipulation and digital signal processing techniques (VST+AU).
    • Filtering.
    • Convolution.
    • Granular Timeshifting.
    • PhaseVocoder.

4) Composing in Space
  • Multichannel Surround Sound.
  • HOA (Higher-Order Ambisonics).
  • Tools for encoding and decoding.
    At the end of the four-day workshop, participants will develop a short sound composition (about 6 min.) using the concepts and techniques acquired during the various modules.


    4 days / 17-18, 24-25 September 2011
    10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    Costs and subscription

    To participate in the workshop you must register no later than 10th September 2011. The fee is € 100.
    For more information about the registration, please write to


    Listening paths and outdoor recordings. The participants will take part in a "sound walk" to "collect" their point of view of a soundscape with their digital portable recorders, as defined by a preplanned route. Editing sessions of the collected material.


    It is recommended that participants bring their own laptop, a portable recorder and headphones.
    The number is limited to 14 participants.

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