Book Ideas for a Sound Design Class?

I am excited to have the opportunity to teach an upper level sound design class to digital film students this Fall. I have several books in my collection that relate to sound design that cover very specific topics, but what I’ll need for the class is a book that covers a broad spectrum of concepts within the field. The course competencies include multi-tracking, mixing, sampling techniques, signal processing, equalization, editing, synchronization of audio and video, Foley, and ADR. Does anyone have any suggestions for a book focused on sound design, but general enough to cover all of these topics?

To give you an idea of what I’m looking for, I currently use Real World Digital Audio by Peter Kirn for an entry level audio production class that is a prerequisite for the sound design class. Peter’s book works really well because it’s current and covers exactly what I wanted for the audio production class in an illustrated, thorough, yet clear and concise way.

Exploring The Sounds of Ice

This is one of the coolest (no pun intended) sound design projects ever. Marlin Ledin rode his bike and camped around the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior covering about 150 miles on the ice recording the creaks and groans of the shifting ice plates. Listen to his recordings and checkout photos and videos of his expedition at Marlin describes the ice sounds:

The Lake Drums, as some people call them, are an amazing phenomenon that rank right up there with Aurora Borealis. Lake drums, or drumming perhaps, occurs when a shift in the ice creates friction between sheets of ice, like tectonic plates of the earths crust. The unique sounds created come after these shifts in the ice. I ventured out and captured some of these sounds with modern recording techniques.

Generative Accident – Dripping Water

dripI have been re-reading articles on Generative music in Audio Culture : Readings in Modern Music again, and some unplanned generative music took me be suprise – dripping from my jumper.

I set up a few cardboard loo rolls to resonate with the sound and stood around for 5 minutes recording it all. There are some really interesting syncopated moments, all underpinned with a regular metronomic beat. I liked the intrusion of external sounds to the mix, as you listen on. A Happy accident


generative dripping clothes

rec@24/96 with rode nt5 and fostex fr2le, minimal eq



May 11th

The other night I was fretting about the fact that I had not picked up my bass guitar in two weeks because of my insanely busy schedule. I suddenly felt the urge to play after a long Lamaze class on Monday night. I was immediately back into the world of music again. I ended up creating this little heavy-hearted song. Why not post it!?

May 11th


Bobcat Jackhammer Attachment

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 was a beautifully sunny day in Minneapolis. This quarter my schedule includes a three hour break, which I usually use for catching up on curriculum, ACB entries or meeting with students, but this time I let Spring fever take hold and got on my bike a rode around one of my favorite city lakes. There’s a nice spot on the lake where I sometimes read or take an afternoon nap. Unfortunately just across the lake from my spot was a work crew using a jackhammer to break up a cement driveway. If you can’t beat ‘um, join ‘um right? Having my PCM-D50 along, I finally gave up on the idea of a few Zs and rode over to the action to make a recording. It took a minute to get the levels right, but I think they were going to be at it all day, so there was plenty of time for a good long recording. Here’s a few passes of the jackhammer engaged and splitting concrete.

Bobcat Jackhammer