Sound & Acoustics

18 march 2017

Soundscape during lunchtime, with downloads from Freesound, edited in Audacity, according to sound sketch:

  • Office lift
  • street traffic
  • canteen sounds

Lunchtime soundscape in Soundcloud

7 March 2017

More sounds uploaded in Freesound: (shower) (electric tram) (TV)

6 March 2017

More sounds recorded at home and uploaded in Freesound: (drum detergent pack) (shaker plastic stoppers in plastic container) (pressure paper spring) (rope through plastic container) (beat on plastic detergent pack) (stapler) (wood sticks beat on wood desk) (wood articulated doll)


5 March 2017

I’ve tried to compose a few more musics in Soundation and uploaded in Soundcloud:

4 March 2017

I decided to record several sounds at home, which I’ve uploaded in Freesound:

I have a desk microphone conected to my computer and recorded the sounds directly to Audacity and exported in .wav files.:

An exercise proposed for this course: to download sounds from Freesound to replicate the sound sketch of my sound walk in Lisbon:

1. street heavy traffic noise

2. train passing by

3. electric tram arriving at the stop

4. boats in the marina

5. car traffic passing over the bridge

I’ve imported the sounds to Audacity, trimmed some of them, introduced effects of «normalize» and «fade in-fade out» and saved as a .wav file. Finally, I’ve uploaded my sound collage in Freesound:

The quality of the sound clips I’ve downloaded from Freesound is much better than the ones I’ve captured with my tablet. I suppose that using a good recorder makes the difference.

A collage of old recordings with poems by poets’voices – Apollinaire, Myakovsky, Marinetti:


3 March 2017

How to produce sound effects at home with everyday objects

2 March 2017

Sound stories can be found in Youtube – Telling a story using only sound effects

Remembering sound effects in radio dramas of the old days


1 March 2017

Week 3 has started and a new exercise using the sound walk previously recorded was undertaken, to be «normalized», «fade in-out» in Audacity, uploading wav. files in freesound website:

26 February 2017

The weather has been very cloudy with no light in this week end of Carnival, but I went for a walk from my apartment to the seafront at Oeiras.

The location and walk is displayed with red arrows in the map:

I’ve edited a 1 min video

I’ve converted the video file in mp3 and uploaded in Soundcloud and Freesound (I must confess that Freesound is not very friendly and takes some time to make the file available)

This is my exercise on sound walk froom my office in Lisbon to the docks, a collection of video clips uploaded in Youtube and the sound uploaded in Freesound and Soundcloud:

As the capture of sound was made by my mini tablet, some sounds are not perceptible, I comment on the jingle of boat masts at the marina and the background sound of the traffic over the bridge, but the capture is not clear. This is the map of the walk


25 February 2017

Soundation is an online software that allows sound and music mix and composition, which has a gallery of sounds and allows to import sound is a software that allows to import sounds and associate to keys of a keyboard in order to composse and mix sounds and music. This programme can work well with Makey Makey


24 February 2017

Freesound . soundmaps

Bioacoustics – Biological (all sounds); Anthrophonic, human produced (vehicles, technological sound); Geophony , geophysical (wind, water, thunders…)

Soundscape –  landscape of sound – a sound or combination of sounds that forms or arises from na environment. Emotions derived from a soundscape.

Sound and audio are different concepts. Sound relates to the vibration perceived by human body and audio is related to the technological medium.

Sound taxonomy:

«Speech is the vocalized form of communication based upon the syntactic combination of lexicals and names that are drawn from very large (usually about 1,000 different words)[citation needed] vocabularies. Each spoken word is created out of the phonetic combination of a limited set of vowel and consonant speech sound units (phonemes). These vocabularies, the syntax that structures them, and their sets of speech sound units differ, creating many thousands of different, and mutually unintelligible, human languages. Most human speakers are able to communicate in two or more of them, hence being polyglots. The vocal abilities that enable humans to produce speech also enable them to sing..» (

«Music is an art form and cultural activity whose medium is sound and silence, which exist in time. The common elements of music are pitch (which governs melody and harmony), rhythm (and its associated concepts tempo, meter, and articulation), dynamics (loudness and softness), and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture (which are sometimes termed the “color” of a musical sound). Different styles or types of music may emphasize, de-emphasize or omit some of these elements. Music is performed with a vast range of instruments and vocal techniques ranging from singing to rapping; there are solely instrumental pieces, solely vocal pieces (such as songs without instrumental accompaniment) and pieces that combine singing and instruments. The word derives from Greek μουσική (mousike; “art of the Muses”).

«Noise is unwanted sound judged to be unpleasant, loud or disruptive to hearing. From a physics standpoint, noise is indistinguishable from sound, as both are vibrations through a medium, such as air or water. The difference arises when the brain receives and perceives a sound.»

«Acoustics is the interdisciplinary science that deals with the study of all mechanical waves in gases, liquids, and solids including topics such as vibration, sound, ultrasound and infrasound. A scientist who works in the field of acoustics is an acoustician while someone working in the field of acoustics technology may be called an acoustical engineer. The application of acoustics is present in almost all aspects of modern society with the most obvious being the audio and noise control industries.»

Features of sound:

Loudness – how loud a sound is – units of sound measure – decibel (dBA)


Pitch – the perceived frequency of sound including “definite pitch” and “indefinite pitch”

Timbre – the perceived sound quality of a musical note, sound, or tone that distinguishes different types of sound production, such as choir voices and musical instruments, such as string instruments, wind instruments, and percussion instruments, and which enables listeners to hear even different instruments from the same category as different (e.g. a viola and a violin).


Resources shared by peers:

Acoustic Communication –

Sound and Space: Our Acoustic Perception of the World –

Soundscape Ecology: The Science of Sound in the Landscape –

Course Resources (free):

What Does Cold Sound Like? See If Your Ear Can Tell Temperature –

Bowed violin string in slow motion –

Soundscape –

«The soundscape is the component of the acoustic environment that can be perceived by humans. There is a varied history of the use of soundscape depending on discipline – ranging from urban design to wildlife ecology. An important distinction is to separate soundscape from the broader term acoustic environment. The acoustic environment is the combination of all the acoustic resources within a given area – natural sounds and human-caused sounds – as modified by the environment. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standardized these definitions in 2014»



Whole Earth Magazine – wholeearth1987bk_article


23 february 2017

The course had already started in the beginning of the month when I enrolled in Kadenze platform. It’s promoted by the University of Macau and run by a portuguese teacher –

Introduction to Sound and Acoustic Sketching will offer tools and practices  to inspire students to approach sound and acoustics as elements in the sketching stage of a design project.

The course provides students with foundational knowledge and practical tools to analyze and use soundscapes and acoustic impulse responses in projects. In addition, a basic taxonomy of sound terms will be introduced, allowing students to develop a language for communicating and establishing dialogues about sound with all stakeholders in an audiovisual project. The practical component of the course is anchored in exercises that allow students to experiment and assimilate the different aspects of sound and acoustic sketching, namely:

• Sound Walks – Students practice “deep listening”, “sound scripting” and sound recording;

• Sound Browsing and Retrieving – Students learn how to obtain free sounds (using the Free Online Sound Repository and build up a scripted inventory in the process of sound design;

• Sound Editing – Students learn how to produce a creative sound montage based on their acoustic memory and a sound design script, using the free multi-platform sound editing software Audacity;

• Critical Sound Review – By comparing the sound sketch produced in this exercise with the actual recording of the sound walk, students can develop critical insights about the their conceptual perception and representation of an acoustic phenomena, in comparison with the factual recording of the same event;

• Acoustic Mapping by Impulse Response – Students learn how to record an acoustic impulse response from a physical space;

• Acoustic Imprinting by Convolution – Students learn how to imprint a pre-recorded acoustic response in an original audio content, producing an acoustic simulation for an architectural space, using free multi-platform sound programing environment Pure Data/Chuck.

Upon the completion of these exercises, students will produce two sound sketches: designing a soundscape based on their recollection of sound events, and simulating an acoustic space, based on analogous impulse responses from similar spaces.

Furthermore, students will gain introductory experience using the using the free online sound repository, the free multi-platform sound editing software Audacity and the free multi-platform sound programing environment Pure Data (or Chuck).