The City Rings

Month: October, 2011

Sonic Snaps from Ghent


Third session at Mobi and Wispelberg school in Ghent.
Today we focussed on listening and recording.
In pairs we went for a “soundwalk “ in and round the school.
First we started with listening only : the fact that you can hear your environment amplified and in so much detail is really intense and overwhelming . Never noticed before that our school & the city made so much sound !
The recorder seems to be both a microscope and a telescope :
we could hear very close sounds in detail, but we could also hear many distant, unrecognizable sounds.
We did a small repetition of the technical part of the recording process ( monitoring, checking input volumes,
checking for unwanted disturbing sounds etc,….. )
We found out that a microphone is an instrument in a way : by choosing position, by moving the mic, by hiding in f.e a tube, we can change and colour the sound .
After some recording exercices we went back to the class and listened closely to (y)our sounds. We listened to & discussed the UK/Spain sounds, and afterwards everyone came up with a list of sounds they definitely wanted to find and record properly for our Sonic Postcards .
See some pictures and listen to some of our SonicSnaps here :


Sonic Snaps from Barcelona

So we’ve done our third session here at Ramon Berenguer IV school :) namely the Sonic Snaps session.

We started by listening to Soundscapes from Belgium, the ones we had at that moment, paying attention to its structure and dynamics, intensities, changes, repetitions, etc. Then we listened to our own, paying attention to this characteristics, and we particularly liked this one:

…listening closely we also arrived to the conclusion that most -but not all- of our compositions were quite chaotic and with a monotonous structure that could be improved paying attention to the volumes of sounds, the silences between sections, repetitions, etc. So we learned something here! ;) and we expect to be applying this to our Sonic Postcard exercise.

Then we listened to some of mySounds that were discarded, and why: low recording volume, recording stopped while the sound was still on, background noise etc. And tried to see how to improve the recording process and not commit the same mistakes. Furthermore, we explained again how to use the recorders which the class found redundant; but the teacher, this is me, thought was important ;) And we were ready to go around the school and record some sounds… I mean… Sonic Snaps! for the Sonic Postcard exercise next session.

We did not upload our Sonic Snaps, yet, for we didn’t have time to sort them and choose the ones we will use. Please be patient. But we did took some new photos, as we thought all your class photos were much better than ours and we were jealous, hehe (or “jeje” as we write in Spain). Here they go, enjoy and see you soon.


Sonic Snaps from Penzance

For our third session at Humphry Davy School here in Cornwwall we had a really productive morning!

We looked at the website for the first time and finally said a proper hello to you over in Barcelona and in Gent. We really enjoyed looking at your photographs and listening to some of your mySounds and Soundscapes and discussing them. Take a look at the Soundscapes page for some of our thoughts and comments!

After we had a look at the web site, Cat played a few recordings that she had made in and around Penzance and other parts of Cornwall. We had to guess which sounds we thought were recorded in Penzance. It turns out 5 out of 6 were recorded in Penzance, and 4 of them on our school grounds – we’d never have guessed that some were recorded here! This really showed how a real variety of sound can be found even in a small area.

We also talked about sounds that we associate with Penzance – not all of them were obvious! They included:

  • The sea
  • Seagulls
  • Old grannies
  • Horses hooves
  • Traffic
  • The crunching sound of eating Cornish pasties!
  • We weren’t able to go out of the school grounds to record our Sonic Snaps, so Cat will use these ideas to make some recordings around Penzance for our Sonic Postcards next week.

    Having done this, we were excited about getting outside with the recorders and recording our Sonic Snaps around the school. You can listen to some of the results here. Can you guess how they were made, or which part of the school they were recorded in?


    Soundscapes from Ghent

    The pupils from Wispelberg made 2 fascinating compositions with the sounds they received from Barcelona! The had great fun doing it. Please check them out!


    Dydh Da from Penzance!

    Session 1: Students from Humphry Davy School


    Good Day from Humphry Davy School here in Penzance, Cornwall.  Above are most of the students in our group, we are a class of 28.



    In Session 1: We had an introduction to the project and did some listening and sound making exercises. We were asked to bring in an object, we then explored how any different sounds we could make with that object, and from those selected one to record for our mySound. Cat then showed us how to use the M-Audio recorders and we recorded our mySounds, which you can listen to on the mySounds page.  Can you guess how we made our sounds?


    Last week we had session 2: We were shown how to edit in Audacity. Unfortunately we experienced a few technical problems so unfortunately not all of us managed to finish our Soundscapes. Luckily in session 3 we got a chance to catch up and create some soundscapes – you can listen to the results below!

    Ben and Xan made this Soundscape from their own mySounds and Amandu’s mySound from Belgium.

    Tom & Jacob made this Soundscape using their own mySounds and the mySound from David & Judith in Barcelona and Segyid in Belgium.


    Session 2: Introduction to Audacity


    Session 2: Students editing mySounds in Audacity



    Hello world! mySounds & soundScapes from Barcelona

    Hello world!

    Writing from Ramon Berenguer IV, secondary school at Santa Coloma, Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain). Excited to participate in this second pilot of TheCityRings :)

    We had two workshop sessions already. On the first session we introduced the class to our own organization Sons de Barcelona, but also the other organizations we are collaborating with on TheCityRings project; Sound&Music, UK; and Aifoon, Belgium. Then we explained the goals of the project; and the exercises we were going to be doing during the workshop.

    As we had to record our mySounds, from the objects the students brought, and since it is difficult to start thinking on how to get sounds from these objects, we played a couple videos like this one:

    Afterwards we were ready to start demonstrating basic notions of sound recording; as mic sensitivity, input gain, clipping, etc. And once they got a grasp of the use of our recorders, they started to record their mySounds:

    The second session we started listening to a selection of mySounds from Humphry David, Mobi and Wispelber; and also our own. Then we played a few example sound-compositions as this one by WIM for a Freesound contest:
    And then we were ready to use the mySounds to do our own compositions or myScapes, as we like to call them ;) . Here you can see them previewing the sounds.

    And here working with them; we used open-source and free software Audacity.

    Here you have some of the resulting soundScapes

    You can listen to the rest of themclicking here.

    Let us know what you think !
    See you next week ;)


    Here we are…


    Yes, some sound action from Mobi school in Ghent .
    Here you can see a picture from our class:

    Until now we recorded our own sounds and send them over to Barcelona, curious what you think of them!

    Then we listened very closely to the Spanish sounds: they were very interesting, but it wasn’t easy to guess the source of them. But we thought it might be good, for composition purposes, not to know how the sounds were made. Anyway: here’s the composition we made with it. At the end we also listened to some Penzance sounds, and we liked them so much, that we also integrated 2 Penzance sounds in our composition. Sit back, listen and let us know what you think !

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