Author Archives: Nathaniel Braswell

Pitzer Courtyard @ CMC

This recording was taken in Pitzer Courtyard on the campus of Claremont McKenna College. The courtyard is part of the Kravis center, and features a stone-laid fountain which honors the lives of CMC students who died pre-graduation. This recording was taken on a Sunday morning at around 10 AM, allowing the sound of the water to remain largely uncontaminated by general student activity. If this recording were to be taken 24 hours later, the fountain’s drone would be accompanied by the sound of rolling longboards and distant conversations.

This recording was captured with the Shure MV88 portable microphone, which attaches to an iPhone and operates via an iOS app. The app allows for control over the directionality of the input. For this recording, I used an omni-directional setting which captures the full 360 degree soundscape.

 

Food Trucks @ CMC

 

This recording was taken outside of Crown Hall on the campus of Claremont McKenna College. Due to the pandemic, CMC contracted with various local food trucks from the Los Angeles area to serve CMC students lunch and dinner for the Fall 2021 academic semester. These trucks were parked outside of Crown Hall. This recording was taken directly adjacent to these food trucks at the very beginning of a weekday lunch rush. The soundscape is dominated by the hum of the trucks and the mechanical noises of food preparation. At one point, you can hear an order being announced on the loud speaker.  Since these trucks are parked outside of a dormitory, this soundscape potently highlights the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on campus soundscapes. 2 years ago, this same location would have sounded quiet and residential. In 2021, it sounds industrial and lively.

This recording was taken using the Shure MV88 portable microphone, which attaches to an iPhone and operates via an iOS app. The app allows for control over the directionality of the input. For this recording, I used an omni-directional setting which captures the full 360 degree soundscape.

 

 

 

 

 

Edmunds Hall @ Pomona

 

This recording is of Edmunds Hall on the campus of Pomona College. It was recorded during a passing period, at 2:45 on a Tuesday afternoon. You can hear the drone of a plane flying overhead, interspersed with conversations and the occasional car. Near the end of the recording, you can hear a longboard sliding across the pavement as its rider dismounts. Since Edmunds Hall is a classroom building, most of the conversations are held by groups of people catching up outside as they exit class. The weekday passing period allows for groups of people to briefly congregate outside of the buildings, dispersing as the classes start. This presents a different soundscape than that of a weekend, where the conversations you’ll hear will generally be held by those walking through. Fewer people will just be “hanging around” to talk.

This recording was taken using the Shure MV88 portable microphone, which attaches to an iPhone and operates via an iOS app. The app allows for control over the directionality of the input. For this recording, I used an omni-directional setting which captures the full 360 degree soundscape.

 

 

The Cube @ CMC

 

This recording is of the cube (AKA the “Living Room”) on the campus of Claremont McKenna College. The cube itself is an enclosed glass box, furnished with chairs and tables for studying and talking. The cube sits in a reflection pool, about an eighth of an inch deep with water, that flows continuously from the base of the cube outwards. There’s a concrete pathway that cuts through the reflection pool to enter the cube. The above recording was taken at this entrance. The recording reflects how the centrality of the water in the surrounding soundscape. This particular audio clip was recorded on a Sunday at 10 AM, which represents a particularly quiet time on CMC’s campus. If this recording were taken 24 hours later, we would expect the sound of the water to be accompanied by talking, passing longboards, and doors opening/closing.

This recording was taken using the Shure MV88 portable microphone, which attaches to an iPhone and operates via an iOS app. The app allows for control over the directionality of the input. For this recording, I used a semi-directional setting which still captured the 360 degree soundscape but which slightly compressed all sounds besides the ones directly in front of the microphone. This allowed for a “focus” effect in which the water becomes the pre-eminent sound, while still allowing other background sounds to be audible.