Audio Acquisition Workshop

Year 1 Creative Computing

Audio Acquisition Workshop

Work in your animation groups for this session.

Following the technical guidelines already given to you (here and here), record and edit a soundtrack for your animation.

You can record sounds and sound effects using portable audio recorders, minidisc or a laptop. These devices either record to mini-disc, or to a hard disk inside the devices themselves.

During this session you will :

1) Plan what sounds you are going to record and how they will be used.

2) Work out how to record soundfiles on to your chosen device so that they are at the optimum amplitude without distorting.

3) Record your sounds and transfer them onto your computers ready for further editing.

Categories of Sound

Try to think about the following categories of sound when planning what you will do.

Sound Effects

These are sounds that relate to actions and events in your animation. These events can be onscreen (e.g. a character running) or offscreen (e.g. a monster hunting down a character). These types of sounds are often referred to as ‘diegetic sound’ – meaning that they are part of the diegeses, or the story/situation itself.

Ambient sound

This is a special category of diegetic sound. Ambient sound provides an audio ‘background’, giving the audience subtle information about the scene.


This category appears obvious, but it is not. Essentially, music can be classed as any sounds which are not directly related to the diegesis (the story or action) that are included in order to add and create atmosphere. This of course includes atmospheric sounds, synthesised sounds, and more conventional music such as soundscapes, rock music and orchestration.

Do not use copyright material in your work without permission form the copyright owners.

You can of course use music that is ‘rights free’.

However, you will always get extra credit for using your own soundscapes and music.


Chion, Michel: AudioVision (1994) New York: Columbia University Press
Huber D. & Runstein R. (2002) Modern Recording Techniques / Focal Press
Rumsey & McCormick (1996) Sound and Recording: An Introduction / Focal Press

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