This is my final soundscape. I made some changes to the eighth draft to better reflect my ideas. I tightened up a few of the timings and made some adjustments to some of the bird sounds so they are more clear. Then I decided to try adding some effects to the bird noises as well – I added some random delay pattens and some reverb to them. This combined with the EQ I had already applied created some interesting effects over the traffic noise.
The traffic noise gradually gets more and more distorted and the bird song becomes more and more effected also and then when the traffic noise is taken away, a strange sound emerges which is almost bird song but not as we would recognise it. I think this makes a statement about how the traffic noise is affecting our perception of other sounds.
I am more pleased with this version as I think it reflects my research better, and combines several differing approaches, including the more ‘truthful’ representation of a space, combined with the manipulation of sounds, not dissimilar to Lopez’s work. Throughout this process I have enjoyed trialling different ideas and creating new drafts of the soundscape.
This is my eighth draft of the soundscape and incorporated my two favourite new ideas – the addition of more material and the sonic manipulation of the traffic noise. I also combined this with a new idea which was to essential reverse the order of the sound walk – so that it starts in the more residential setting before heading towards the fields. This allows me to end with the traffic sound getting more and more intense as it is artificially manipulated, exploring the generative rhythms it creates, but also making it sound much more imposing. Purely by accident, the bird sounds overlapped at the end, but I quite like their short burst at the end as it just goes to show how much the traffic noise is drowning out.
I think, with a little bit of tightening up in places, this is the start of my final version.
Having listened to the new drafts I have made, there are two that stand out to me:
I like the gradual change in the fifth draft to making the traffic noise more intense, and I realised that I could try a different way of putting the soundscape together so that it would seem to gradually change, ending on the more intense, artificially manipulated sound. If I structure the soundscape so that rather than walking from the footpath (‘the track’) to the A27, I could structure it the other way round. This will be my next trial.
This is my seventh draft of the soundscape and it it a direct response to the feedback that the beginning half was quite homogenous. While I was at home, I made some more recordings of Paradise Lane, and have blended them in with my original. There are now lots of bird sounds present at the beginning, and although the traffic noise is still the most prominent, it is less so, and to me, it sounds like the birds are trying to sing louder than the traffic, which I quite like.
In this version of the soundscape, I’ve re-worked it to include less of the traffic noise, cutting about 1 minute and 45 seconds off the length. Personally, as I suggested in my post about this idea, I don’t think this is a good idea. It was not a very satisfying way of solving the problem and I don’t think the issue was so bad that it needed completely removing from the track. This will not be my final piece.
Following my feedback, I have spent the last few weeks thinking about and testing out some ideas (see previous posts).
This is my latest draft:
The main thing that has been changed here is the manipulation of the traffic noise through filters, distortion and Logic’s Ringshifter. This allows the traffic sound to get more and more intense, while creating more interest to the sound, before cutting off completely for the second half of my soundscape.
This makes the point that the traffic noise in Paradise Lane is quite severe, particularly as now, the listener will struggle greatly to pick out the bird sounds in the piece.
My third idea is to shorten the first half significantly, allowing it to go on just long enough that it is interesting but not so long that the listener starts to wonder where it is going. This would allow me to keep my original idea in tact. This is my least favourite option, not just because it would involve cutting short my track even further (I shortened it twice – one draft was not published and was over 20 minutes long, the second was 13 minutes long and I finally cut it down to the length it is currently at) but to me, it lacks creativity. While sometimes less is more, I am interpreting the feedback to mean that more should be added to make the weaker sections better, rather than just taking away what isn’t currently working. Nonetheless, I am going to try this idea anyway just to compare it with the others.
“Your underestimation of how loud traffic noise would be has actually led to an interesting aspect of the resultant piece: the dynamic perceptual relationship between it and other sounds. Whether you intended it or not, the generative nature of the ‘rhythm’ of the traffic is also quite satisfying.”
One of the things that Jeevan picked up on was the traffic noise actually creating its own rhythm. I think that this is an interesting place to start. Over the last few weeks, I have been considering what to do to make this more prominent and I came up with an idea of somehow artificially manipulating the traffic over the first half of my soundscape to make these generative rhythms more prominent, before returning to the second half of the soundscape which I would keep as it was.
Although I had watched this video, I noticed, from my feedback and through going back through my blog I realised that although I had done an extensive amount of research over a long period of time, I had not utilised the ‘network’ effect to its full potential and this has had an impact on my final soundscape.
My feedback suggest that I “take the challenge of improving the track as a prompt to experiment more with your creative and research processes.” So, to begin with, I’ve decided to go back through my research, in particular the listening and see if I can generate other ideas for my soundscape.