Assignment 2.1: Feedback Improvisation

Assignments: 1.1 | 1.2 | 1.3 | 2.1 | 2.2 | 3.1 | 3.2 | 3.3 | 4.1 | 4.2 | 4.3 | 4.4 | 5.1

1. Make a 20–30 minute improvisation exclusively consisting of feedback sounds created by various means within the studio. You can use any sound source there other than voice and pre-recorded media (CDs, pre-existing soundfiles, etc.). Your main sources of sound should be speaker-mic feedback loop with intervening filterbank, parametric EQ, delay, and mixing board faders/EQ. You might be tempted to rely mainly on delay and percussive sounds; but please try to stay focused, at least initially, on speaker-mic feedback. You can "play" the microphone as well as all the pieces of equipment and the mixer's faders, with an ear toward creating continuous sounds. I'll stipulate a rule: you have to use all outboard equipment, viz. the MXR delay, SND filterbank, Aphex EQ, and Aphex Aural Exciter. If you like, you can see if intervening things (like Neuhaus' percussion instruments) elicit new and desired sounds. As far as working methods go, feedback is never entirely predictable or repeatable, so try to record everything—there's no guarantee you'll be able to reproduce a sound. Be prepared to record long improvisations—and do think of yourselves as performing. And be prepared for the improvisations to be awful, boring, and painful at times. Listen for the occasional good sound, and when things are going right, you might get a long stretch of wonderful sounds. This recording will be the source material for part 2 of this assignment, and for both parts of Assignment 2.2.

2. Make a 4 minute montage of the best parts of your improvisation. In other words, find the parts you like, and string them together with crossfades. This is not a composition; that happens next week. This is merely to show off what sounds (and changes) you think are kind of neat. Leave the result as an appropriately-named aif in the appropriate folder.