Fall 2008»CSCI 210 Homework3-mini Audicle

CSCI 210 Homework3-mini Audicle

Assigned Date: Thursday, Oct. 9, 2008
Due Date: Tuesday, Oct. 21
Due Time: 1:40pm

Last modified on October 21, 2008, at 03:36 PM (see updates)


A significant component of computer games regardless of genre is music. Of course, you do not have to be formally trained in music composition to create an interesting soundscape for a computer game.

(quoted from Wikipedia) A soundscape is a sound or combination of sounds that forms or arises from an immersive environment. The idea of soundscape refers to both the natural acoustic environment, consisting of natural sounds, including animal vocalizations and, for instance, the sounds of weather and other natural elements; and environmental sounds created by humans, through musical composition, sound design, and other ordinary human activities including conversation, work, and sounds of mechanical origin resulting from use of industrial technology. The term "soundscape" can also refer to an audio recording or performance of sounds that create the sensation of experiencing a particular acoustic environment, or compositions created using the "found sounds" of an acoustic environment, either exclusively or in conjunction with musical performances.

This assignment focuses on creating soundscapes for computer immersive experiences. You will create music with Audacity and miniAudicle. Audacity will be used to process audio sounds. miniAudicle will be used to assemble them into a "soundscape".

Also see musique concrète.

Musique concrète (French; literally, "concrete music"), is a style of avant-garde music that relies on natural environmental sounds and other non-inherently-musical noises to create music.


Create a soundscape for a potential computer game using found sounds.


Create a design of your soundscape, where you specify what types of notes, sounds, etc., you will use.

For inspiration:

Of course, there are many other great (better?) examples of soundscapes. Find and listen to some more before deciding what to "compose".


You should use at least three parallel streams of music. At least one of the streams should be MIDI. At least one of the streams should be synthesized audio. At least one of the streams sound be found audio.

Feel free to use Audacity to manipulate audio before importing it to miniAudicle. However, do NOT use Audacity to mix different sounds together (in any substantial way) only to import them as a single audio file in miniAudicle. Instead use miniAudicle to do the "mixing", by playing two (or more) audio sounds in two (or more) parallel streams. For example, see the sample programs that come with miniAudicle:

  • otf_01.ck through otf_07.ck


Consider making the music interactive (e.g., mouse and/or keyboard input affects the behavior of the playback). For example, see:

  • hid/kb.ck and hid/keyboard-organ.ck
  • hid/mouse.ck
  • hid/joy.ck

Consider making the music collaborative (i.e., two or more laptop musicians collaborate in producing the music piece in real time).


You will submit your assignment at the beginning of class on the due date. Bring your project on a memory stick (USB drive). Be prepared to demo it to the rest of the class.

To receive full credit, you must include your names, date, class, and information on how to use your program as comments in your code.


Your assignment will be graded based on:

  • how aesthetically interesting your music is,
  • the variety of ideas you tried in your design of the composition, and
  • how well you followed the above instructions.


For your in-class demo, you should:

  • Discuss your composition design.
  • Illustrate your design by discussing different components.
  • Play your music.


Each student will vote for the three best projects (excluding their own), in terms of originality, significance, sound appeal, and presentation/demo.