Found Sound Song Process

The most recent song that I created, Noisy Daydream, was based around the ambient sound that I recorded. I simply put my phone on a table in Freeman Dining Hall and hit record. Although we had the option to use one of our classmates’ found sounds, I chose to use my own because I felt confident that I could compose a song around it. However, although I had been confident when I recorded the sound, I found that the actual transcription part was more difficult than I had imagined. I had all sorts of ideas in my head, but with my minimal knowledge of the SoundTrap software, I kept getting frustrated when things wouldn’t come out sounding the way that I wanted. Although it took me a while to complete this project, I worked a lot with MIDI input (using the onscreen keyboard) and the effects that SoundTrap has to offer.

MIDI input was quite difficult and painstaking at times, since I was limited to using the onscreen keyboard on my computer. This sounds like a small issue, but as a musician, it was actually unbelievably confusing to me when the keys on my computer keyboard did not match up to the letter names on the MIDI keyboard on my screen. For example, if I pressed the “D” key on my keyboard, it would produce an E flat. In addition, while I am a fluent typist, that all seemed to go out the window when I was trying to play melodic lines using the keyboard shortcuts. Next time, I may try to figure out how to use a live instrument, or at least a tangible MIDI keyboard.

I was excited to test out a bunch of different effects on my composition, but they were surprisingly hard to find in SoundTrap. I actually had to go into a user’s guide and search for the function in another tab. However, I had a lot of fun experimenting how different effects altered different sounds, and once I got going, I enjoyed myself, even though I barely knew what I was doing. Overall, I feel like I was successful at integrating my found sound and several different effects into my composition, and it has also piqued my curiosity regarding recording live sounds. I would definitely like to try something like this again in the future, maybe using my trombone.

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