I recorded the sounds and sonic atmosphere of something we all know and love: the playground. The recording encompasses not only hints of children’s laughter and kids running around a large oak tree stepping on crunchy branches, but also the new touch of spring with slight gusts of wind and birds chirping about. Within the recording I would definitely say that the prevailing keynote is the chirping of the birds. Though not necessarily constant, the chirps are the loudest, most common, and most prevalent sounds in the recording. The breaking branches acted as signals, for each time one was heard you knew something or someone had passed by or was nearby the recorder. A recurring sonic archetype in the recording was gusts of wind. Though the breeze was always present, the wind picked up a variety of times within the recording.
This is a soundscape of the area around a waterfall at Mount Baldy. The TASCAM DR-40 sound recorder was attached to a tripod and placed approximately 8ft above ground level on a surrounding hill slope. The waterfall itself was surrounded by high slopes and directly in front of it was just open space.
About the Soundscape:
Keynotes – From the beginning to the end of the soundscape, the waterfall can be heard flowing through its path, formed by rocks. The wind is heard in the background throughout the recording but only comes to the forefront when it blows strongly a couple of times (no windshield was used)
One of the most constant soundmarks is the sound of hikers as well as families with small children coming to sit and hang around the peaceful waterfall. This waterfall is one of the main sites at Mount Baldy and there is always a chatter coming from around it.
The only signal that can be heard in this recording is the crunching of gravel from people walking along the dirt tracks. However, this is sound is almost inaudible as the paths were rather far away
A very reverberant single-stall women’s bathroom within the property of El Barrio Park, located right along side CMC. The bathroom is built from concrete and hard stone.
Recording setup: I held the recorder as a friend of mine aided me in popping the balloon.
Reverberation times and such:
89.0 dB (maximum intensity)
47.3 dB (minimum intensity)
1.423444 seconds (drop by 50db)
0.132778 seconds (to maximum db)
1.551444 seconds (to return to around 36.190841 background)
The spectrogram and wave analysis in both Pratt and Audacity aided me in understanding the sounds shape and form on a more physical level. The balloon recording is short, so there isn’t many second nor even milliseconds before the actual pop ensues. The build and the drop both seem fast. Though I had expected a lengthy reverb when I decided on location, that is not what was displayed in the recording. The pop was fast and the initial reverb was strong, but it dropped quite quickly. In the spectrogram analysis, you can see how short the time span between pre-and post pop level similarities are.
Location: Claremont’s College Park is an outdoor park located at 440 S. College Ave.
Recording Setup: (Recording device: TASCAM-40). Recorder was propped on the floor approximately 12ft away from a baseball field.
About the Soundscape: The recording was done near one of the many baseball fields closest to the parking lot. There was a youth boys baseball team practicing during the recording. The coach had some boys do drills out on the field and another coach was teaching a few boys how to hit the ball on the side practice arena. In addition, many parents were standing around the baseball field watching their kids practice.
- Leaves blowing across the floor
- People communicating
- The baseball bat hitting the ball
- Coach talking to his players
- Coach guiding his players
Location: Claremont Pooch Park is an outdoor park for dogs located at 100S. College Ave.
Recording Setup: (Recording device: TASCAM-40). Recorder was set on a bench in the playground for big dogs, approximately 10ft away from the dogs.
About the Soundscape: This park has two separate playground areas: one for big dogs and the other for small dogs. Dogs and their owners not only exercise, but also socialize here. There were many dogs and dog owners on the day of the recording. Some dogs played with other dogs while others played fetch with their owners.
- People communicating
- Vehicles nearby
Location: This recording was taken on the patio of the building at Larkin Park at Cambridge and Harrison.
Description of the Space:On the North side of the intersection of Cambridge Ave. and Harrison Ave. is a small park. There is a building with a south facing glass wall with a patio and shelter in front of it. The recording was take near the center of the concrete patio that extends the length of the building (~100ft), protruding about 5ft. The wall facing the patio is almost completely made out of glass with some brick, and faces an enclosed rectangular field and parking lot. The recording was taken around 8am.
Recording Setup: The microphone was raised about 4ft from the ground, and the the balloon was popped about 5ft away, using a Tascam DR-40.
Max intensity: 81.47 dB
30 dB drop: 0.18 seconds
50 dB drop: 0.59 seconds
Minimum intensity: 21.12 dB @ 2.0 seconds
Back to ambient: ~21 dB @ 2.0 seconds
Acoustic Description: The space’s only facing walls are the cement ground and wooden ceiling, not giving the sound much to reverberate off of. But, because of the hard surfaces, a slapping echo is heard once (it is also visible in the spectrograph). The grassy field that the space faces is surrounded by stone walls, which would make sense as having been what caused the echo.