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Composing with audio

At last Friday’s D-WRD session (4/19/13), we explored some contexts and technologies for composing with audio. We began by trying to associate “composing with audio” with a number of literacy practices:

Rhetorical in the sense of arrangement and organization
Rhetorical in the sense the interfaces can promote or constrain a person’s understanding, activity, understanding, and action

— Civic
— “Fun” and play (in the sense described by Albert Rouzie in “The Dialectic of Work and Play: A Serio-Ludic Rhetoric for Composition Studies”)
— Reflective
— Involves composing strategies
— Scripting
— Political: the role of expertise and technocratic culture
— Feedback, response, assessment — globally and phenomenologically
— Identity: as a student, as a teacher, as an artist
— $

We looked at three technology platforms for composing with audio:

* Audacity: — free, cross-platform for both MACs and PCs. Allows for multiple recording tracks and editing.
Pros: free. Comes with substantial documentation and user forums. Outputs in several file formats.
Cons: somewhat of a learning curve. Requires extra steps for exporting to MP3.

* Garage Band: – -comes installed on newer MAC computers (since 2009). Allows for single or multiple recording tracks and editing.
Pros: Friendly visual interface. Students with MAC computers will already have access.
Cons: not cross-platform. Not free.

* SoundCloud: — free (but upgradable) — an online audio distribution platform.
Pros: very easy to use, nothing to download, single-track recordings with no-fuss, integrates nicely with Digication: Audio module > Replace this media > Media from web (new). Mobile versions available.
Cons: not as easy to edit files once they have been uploaded.

Let me know if you’d like to look at any of these more closely?

At our next D-WRD session — Friday May 3rd, 10-11 a.m. — we’ll listen to some of our efforts at composing with audio, discuss a couple of background readings, and eat bagels.

— Natalie Tomlin has been creating astonishingly creative Garage Band + SoundCloud projects with mashups, remixes, and spoken-word performances.
— Salli Berg-Seeley has remixed the conventional “This I Believe” genre into a “This I Discover” project that she reports has gone very well.
— Sarah Brown and Edward Evins use audio recording as part of their student-paper feedback and responses.
— Nancy LaFever became adept with Audacity by accident!
— UCWbL has a radio show: