Though I did not intend to make a piece that consists of three individual movements, I do perceive these pieces as being related due to the use of similar sounds in each, the similarities in their overall form and how the different events unfold, and due to how the concepts and techniques in the creation of one movement often informed the approach to another.

Movement I: Untitled (Water Piece)

For the first movement, the water piece, I decided to base it on my approach to the field recordings that I made at Hog River. The sounds that I chose to gather revolved mainly around how water interacts with different types of materials, and the sounds that result from this interaction. In the recording process, the materials I used included a metal bucket, an oil filter, a metal pipe, and a plastic bag, which were each placed in the river by being tied to a rope and thrown in so that the water and the objects could freely interact without intervention. In addition to this, I also collected water from the river and poured it on various instruments at a separate location. These instruments include a concert bass drum, a snare drum and a ride cymbal.
In my approach to this piece, I attempted to manipulate the sounds that I had gathered in order to demonstrate the various colors and timbres that were generated from the interaction with water. Instead of using recordings of the river itself, it was my intention to highlight the sounds of each object or material involved as generated by the movement of water, which is the reason why I mainly used contact mics to make these recordings. Another more conceptual approach to the creation of this piece is the use of filters by using pictures of various types of metal in order to enforce the purpose of focusing on the particular material involved.

Movement II: Untitled (Study in Metal)

In response to the first piece, I decided to focus entirely on sounds produced by metal objects and organized the piece by grouping together those that were created by similar performance gestures. This includes scraping, scratching, hitting, sliding etc. I created this piece with the intention of demonstrating how these sounds can be altered as they occur simultaneously in various locations, with certain sounds occurring in the foreground and others in the background. My main approach to this piece was to create sounds in the image filter through spectral analysis as well as through a variety of effects such as stretch, grain, and graphic eq. I attempted to use effects that I had purposely neglected in previous projects that dealt with granular synthesis or compression in order take sounds that originally consisted of separated attacks, and turn them into sounds that are continuous, while maintaining the distinct color or each.

Movement III: Untitled (A Personal Challenge)

For this movement I decided to challenge myself to neglect my normal approach to sound manipulation and instead, treat sound in ways that I would normally find unappealing. The rules that I set in place for myself were that I would have to use sounds that I had recorded through quite a bit of effort and completely alter them so that they are unrecognizable. This also meant that I would have to neglect effects and methods that I normally use. For this piece I relied mostly on synthesis through the spectrum synth, the image synth and different sampler instruments. Each sound was manipulated separately, making the process a little more of a challenge in terms of deciding what sounds work well together which ones don’t.



The three movements in this piece, each dealing with water, are interchangeable in terms of order. The order of the movements as they are on the combined .aiff file are simply the order in which I worked on them. Each movement represents water as it exists in three forms, liquid (Nature), gas or steam (Machine), and solid or ice (Ice). Originally I set up limitations for each movement, Nature: only using the Effects Room and Image Filter; Machine: using the Spectrum Synth; and Ice: using the Image Synth and Spectrum Synth.


The “first” movement, Nature, utilizes water sounds obtained from the Hog River. My attempt for a more natural music concrete sound, limited which effects I could use in the Effects Room. My goal was to have all of the sounds sound like water. As a result I used some effected files played alongside the source sounds to create a composite sound. For the image filter I attempted to use graphical weather data taken from the Windsor Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, but the resultant sounds weren't exactly what I wanted, (you can hear them in this movement, I think they sound too “Metasynthy”), but it was a different use of the image filter than I have done on other projects. Rather than setting up a formal structure to the piece, I used one of my source sounds as a kind of ostinato that outlined the piece, and filled in the rest with sounds and events I wanted to hear.

is similar in structure to the first but is a much more dynamic piece. Here the ostinato outline is the sound of the water heater and gas heater in my basement. When I recorded the sound, the gas heater shifted from being full on, to partially on, to off, and I used this as a dynamic structure of the piece. There is a large crescendo till the heater switches to partially on, then the piece kind of trickles out following the source sound. I used the spectrum to generate sounds, and similar to the first piece, paired them up with their sources to create a neat effect. I only used the effect room when I needed to pan outside of the montage room, and to change the volume, or gain.


The last movement, I had intended to use only the Image Synth and the Spectrum, but I found myself using the Effects room when I couldn't get the desired sounds from the other two rooms (Mostly tuning sounds to pitches and stretching the length of sounds). The ice sounds in this piece are primarily ice cubes and manipulation of them, but also in the beginning there is the sound of walking over ice with water underneath. I used the spectrum analysis in the Image Synth to generate the images, and used the sampler, multisampler, and waveshaper, to playback the sounds. The multisampler uses both the sequences from the spectrum synth as well as pitches I altered by hand using the effects room. For the structure I used what I will describe as an A A' B and then a coda which is the chord that rings for the last minute or so of the piece.



Movement 1: Water Noise of the Hog River

For this first movement I really wanted to trace the river upstream from the first location I used (near Lot D), all the way up to the car bridge. I really wanted to capture the full sound of the water noise in the first half of the piece, with a full equalizer moving into a much thinner water sound that includes less than a dozen bands of 128 on the Graphic EQ. Along the way, I include the sound of rocks dropping in the water that are manipulated in different ways.

Converted all water audio files from .wav to .aif in iTunes

Renamed files to Grossman_water01-08.aif and gave them spotlight comments for where the source file was collected and how it was collected.

Brought the front and rear of each of the four water recordings into Logic to mix them as one condensed track resulting in four separate, four channel sound samples.

Opened Grossman_water01.aif in sample editor
Opened Effects room
Trimmed Grossman_water01.aif into four different parts isolating the different rock dropping sounds.

Opened Grossman_watersplash01.aif in effects room
Opened filter/effect Pitch & Time
0 Transpose in Semitones
25 Speed %
33.61 Amplitude Decimate %
96.494 Inertia %
Render and Save as Grossmawatersplash01PT.aif

Opened Grossman_watersplash02.aif in effects room
Opened filter/effect Pitch & Time
0 Transpose in Semitones
25 Speed %
30.61 Amplitude Decimate %
71.48 Inertia %
Render and Save as Grossmawatersplash02PT.aif

Opened Grossman_watersplash03.aif in effects room
Opened filter/effect Pitch & Time
0 Transpose in Semitones
25 Speed %
33.81 Amplitude Decimate %
37.52 Inertia %
Render and Save as Grossmawatersplash03PT.aif
Opened Grossman_watersplash04.aif in effects room
Opened filter/effect Pitch & Time
0 Transpose in Semitones
25 Speed %
31.54 Amplitude Decimate %
0 Inertia %
Render and Save as Grossmanwatersplash04PT.aif

Opened Grossman_water02.aif in effects room (Graphic EQ)
Worked to get rid of car noise in background
Used only 10 of the 128 bands
Used fade out in sample editor
Saved filter as GraphicEQ.eff
Render and Save as Grossman_water02GEQ.aif

Opened Grossman_water03.aid in effects room (Volume)
Worked to get small snippet from the audio sample to sound “wave like” by randering it many times. After rendering 12 times I got the sound I was looking for.
Add fade out in sample editor
Saved filter s Volume01.eff
Render and save as Grossman_water03VOL.aif

Opened Grossman_water04.aif in effects room (Graphic EQ)
Worked to get low rumbling from car passing to sound like low rumbling water
like on was beneath a waterfall.
Used all 128 band but matched some of the high end band to the same as the filter from Grossman_water02GEQ.aif so to aid the transition in the montage and make it seamless.
Saved filter as Graphic EQ3.eff
Render and Save as Grossman_water04GEQ.aif
Finally, I arranged the sounds in the montage room in the way I desired to and made a final mix of the project as both an aif (GrossmanFINALmvt01.aif) and an mp3 (GrossmanFINALmvt.mp3).




I decided to start this movement by purposefully avoiding percussive sounds. Instead I created a chord bank from the sound of rushing water heard by the walking bridge. This was created using the Inertia tool and Graphic EQ found in the Effects Room. Spectrum Synth was used after the halfway mark of the piece to blend from my two water sounds (trickle sample and rushing water). The sound of water gradually exposes itself as the piece unfolds.

My goal was to create a meditative piece that does not require careful analysis by the listener in order to be enjoyed.


My inspiration for this piece was an old 78 RPM record that I recorded from my grandfathers collection a few years ago, containing a piece by Mantovani. The sound of the spinning record perfectly complemented the simple presets found in the Image Filter Library. The piece allowed me to mess with new FX in the Effects Room that I previously had no use for, including the Waveshaper and Pitch and Time. Other sounds came from a sound FX library that I assembled from my own field recordings. Besides my own samples, I used Logic loops (mostly beatboxing samples) and ran them each through the image filter and other effects.

My goal was to combine cut-and-paste hip-hop with the analog feel of 78 RPM records and manipulate them in an interesting and sometimes sarcastic way.


This piece was created using predominantly image filtering, the FX room, and the Spectrum Synth. I first assembled machine sounds that contained moving frequency bands within them. Many of them were ‘small’ or ‘delicate’ sounds that required the use of graphic equalization and/or compression in order to be heard correctly. I cleaned up these sounds using the FX room, and then began manipulating them with the Spectrum Synth and image filter.

After assembling a rough mix, I continued to bounce fragments of sounds and re-import them back into Metasynth for further manipulation. To have a better understanding of where I started from and my general workflow, I put these sounds into subfolders labeled: effected sounds, twice effected sounds, thrice effected sounds. This was done to help to show the number of times a sound was bounced back out of Logic and re-effected. After this amount of processing, the individual components still needed careful shaping with EQ from Logic in order to allow them to fit together correctly.

My goal was to create a piece that incorporates intricate and rhythmic machine sounds that work congruently and generate images in the mind.



Piece 1: Dreaming by the River

With this piece I used mostly Image Filter and Various effects applied to the field recordings. I started compiling various sections of my locations recorded along the river and organized them into a sort of crescendo with a coda at the end, while moving across the stereo spectrum from left to right. Hence the montageA file that you see. I then applied the images of water using the image filter with the images of water that I used in project 5. The purpose being that I looked at these sections as that sort of dazed/dream state as I would let my mind wander when I was recording. I then used the various splashing and walking sounds to smooth transitions and emphasize the two states as the dream state used heavy reverb.


With this piece I used only the image synth, and montage room. Initially I started with the rhythmic foundation. With my presets, I liked the idea of playing the original and then quickly moving trough the variations from, close to more removed, as to give the listener an idea on how they are related. This is especially holds true with the Lady Macbeth voice but even the rhythmic foundation will change slightly and come back. The piece is split into A A’. When the material comes back I start with the voice as that I feel is the central idea to the piece and then I reach for an even fuller sound before finally tapering off with what I thought of as the rain stick not only in sound but also trough the stereo spectrum as the beads move from one end of the stick to the other.

Piece 3: Underwater

With this piece, I stared with the field recording of water rushing trough one of the pipes on the outside of the dam bridge. I ran it trough the Spectrum Synth and pitched it a basic a minor triad. I then used 3 drawings that I made from scribble and ran those trough the image filter to generate a sort of melody. I then added a low base version of the spectrum synth panning from left to right to not only give the piece direction but also to complete the whole underwater feel i was initially going for. Afterward I ran it trough the stereo echo effect and twice the echo effect in order to give the piece a pulse, almost grain like effect, which I felt was needed. And finally a little early reflection to complete the effect.



My vision of the water based piece did not have a great deal of direction until I listened closely to the water sounds I had collected. I had unintentionally isolated a lot of sounds that had nothing to do with the river itself: people, cars, geese. My recordings of the water itself were actually quite nice so I decided to try to affect everything but the water and keep it present during the entire piece to some extent.
My goal then was to make everything around the water as mechanical and foreign as possible. It kind of became centered on the world from the river's perspective.

During the projects I worked on this semester, I seemed to avoid the sequencer. For this project I spent most of my time there. I wanted to create an “electronic” sounding piece and not something that was ambient. This is also where I experimented with the synths the most and tried to get specific sounds for the main, melodic voices. Out of these voices came some very focused and dense sounding spots in the song.
This project I would assembled in the Montage Room as opposed to Logic since I had favored it in the past.
Also, see “Spectrum Synth Sounds Notes” folder in “shermanFINALmvt02” for more detailed notes on each rendered file.

For the third piece, I wanted to see how much I could get out of the water clips I had collected. I had the potential for telling a very descriptive story with the variety of ambient clips I had gathered. The overall compositional style was ABC.
Also, see “Spectrum Synth/Sampler Notes” folder in “shermanFINALmvt03”for more detailed notes on each how instruments were constructed.