Location: This soundscape was recorded at 8:30 am on the south side of the chicken coop at Pitzer college, specifically on the walkway between the Mead dorm and the coop.
About the soundscape: Early mornings are serene especially around campus. The chickens are fun to listen to in addition to hearing the random conversations of passing pedestrians.
80.5 dB (maximum intensity @ 3.2s)
50.6 dB (@ 3.5s)
30.7 dB (@ 4.5s)
26.5 dB (minimum intensity @ 4.7s)
This recording was taken at Case Courtyard, which is an outdoor space but surrounded by a two-story brick building in all four sides (except an opening in the North West corner). Its concrete floor (ground) and the surrounding walls probably cause any reverberant sound to bounce/rise upward. At the time of recording, there were two wooden tables out in the courtyard. There were two people in the area including myself and another person holding up the balloon.
According to the data, it took 1.5 seconds for the balloon pop to decrease from the maximum intensity, 80.5 dB, to the minimum intensity, 26.5 dB. The difference between the two extrema is 54.0 dB, which is somewhat close to 60 dB. At the time of recording, the person who was holding the balloon spoke soon after the balloon pop (within the first 10 seconds after the pop, and closer to where the minimum intensity was taken from). For this reason, I had to cut out the very end of the recording. This may have prevented us from seeing the decibel volume decrease even more.
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.
Location: Pitzer College Outback, Thursday March 13, 11:45 am
Pitzer’s Outback is a designated zone for native wildlife that is one of the few places on campus designated not to be used for construction in the future. It contains a variety of wildlife and is situated on the corner of two major streets.
This recording was taken sitting on a bench in the Pitzer Outback. The microphone was placed on a stump pointing towards a nearby tree around noon. This resulting in a large amount of traffic through the nearby intersection of Mills and Foothill, which is heard throughout the recording as a keynote, a sound that is both constant and almost immediately ignored. The constant breeze that day resulted in yet another keynote, as it was ever present. Two very clear signals permeate the soundscape, an early propeller powered plane, which flies overhead, and about a minute later in the form of a particularly loud car accelerating from a stop. Despite the heavy traffic, several keynotes of a natural area can be heard, including birds and some smaller ground based wild life that scurries about.
Location: This recording was taken at the Frank Dining Hall patio at the bottom of Pomona College Campus. The patio is located outside the main dining hall area and contains about 10 tables. Approximately 30 people were seated outside. All the tables are quite small, seating at maximum 6 people. All of the furniture is wooden. One side of the patio is blocked off by a wall with windows where the main dining hall is located. There is a metal door on this wall as well which leads to the patio. On the other side the patio is closed off by concrete walls but decorated with plants and other foliage. Frank is one of the most popular Brunch locations on the 5Cs. At this time, there was a good amount of flow of people.
Recording Set Up: I placed the microphone on one of the wooden table facing away from the door. It was parallel to the ground. I sat behind the microphone with the friends that had come with me to brunch. All of the tables facing and next to the microphone had people seated at them.
The soundscape: I took this soundscape in the heart of brunch time so there were a lot of people around. The keynote throughout the recording is the chatter of people as they talk over their meals. The conversations that are easiest to hear come from the table surrounding my table. I sat in a central part of the patio. In front of me was a group of cross country boys who spoke rather loudly and to my right was a group of cross country girls that were chatting and gossiping. Also throughout the recording you can hear the clinking of cutlery, which clearly indicates the type of location the recording takes place in and therefore can be considered an archetype. Another archetype is the chairs moving at 0:19, 2:30 and 2:38. These evidence the fact that there are tables and chairs in this space and people moving in and out of them. There are no real soundmarks apparent in the recording. The laughter heard at different points could be considered a soundmark. The problem is that there is no sound that indicates that this isn’t just any old dining area.
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
Location: The Green Bowl, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA
Description of the space: The Green Bowl is located between East and West Dorms of Phase II at Pitzer College. The circular depression is covered in thick grass with a secant cement wall to one side.
Recording setup: The balloon was popped down in the grassy depression. The recorder was held 2 feet away from the balloon.
Max intensity: 82.81 dB
30 dB drop: 53.01 @ 0.128 seconds
50 dB drop: 32.10 dB @ 0.448 seconds
Minimum intensity: 31.7 dB @ .458 seconds
Back to ambient: ~30 dB @ .5 second
This space absorbed the sound of the popping balloon quickly as a result of the grassy enclosure and the outdoor environment. I hypothesized that the secant cement wall might result in an interesting reverberation however we did not encounter any statistically significant fluctuations in the sound decay.
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.