How to make a sound walk – questions after the workshop

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#52119
Andrew Stuck
Andrew Stuck
Participant

We are running “How to make sound walk” workshops during Sound Walk September – we are constrained in time and have to cover a lot, so we are anticipating that participants will have questions that haven’t been answered.

We will hopefully retrieve the chat and any questions that were left there.

So please post any questions you have and we will (hopefully) provide the answers.

#52943
xelis de toro
Participant

Hello I just attended the workshop and arrived slightly late, maybe you have already answered this…
when they said that people will listen to the sound geolocated in an specific place, to be able to do that,…
would they have to have the echo app and the link to that specific walk?
what is the sound format for echo app… mp4a ?
Are they any other sound walk creators?
much appreciated

#52947
Andrew Stuck
Andrew Stuck
Participant

Hi Xelis

There area several platforms that offer geo-location – we use Echoes simply as it is free, and we’ve found it pretty much bomb-proof.
However, unless the composer / producer of the sound walk has geo-located their piece on a platform that can be reached via the Internet, then you would have to download the app on which they created it.

Echoes prefers m4a – as they are more compressed and take less time to up / download – they are standard with iPhone / Mac (as well as with Zoom for example).

Walk Listen Create has a community of about 500 sound walk creators but there will be. many others – some complete novices, others skilful .

Glad you were able to join the workshop

Just go out and try recording something on your next walk

I did one the other day on the Thames foreshore – we had this set up so if we had had time you could have critiqued it (as it is far from perfect). https://walklistencreate.org/dow_selection/mudlarking-from-hoselydown-stairs/

Have fun

best, Andrew

#53077
Andrew Stuck
Andrew Stuck
Participant

Q&A from the Sounds from the Shoreline workshop chat

Many of these questions were answered by workshops participants – so a big THANK YOU to everyone for helping each other out.

Q: after you locate a sound in a map with echo, how do people bump into the sound? do they have to know before hand that the sound is there?
A: Listeners have to download the Echoes app and seek out the soundwalk – then depending on whether the creator has hidden the geo-located polygons (this is an option you have as a creator) determines whether you can see where the geo-located sounds are or whether you have to search for / stumble upon them.

Q: the name of the recording programme on an iPhone?
A: Voice Memo – I personally open Siri and ask it to open Voice Memo – works every time. To find it amongst the bundled apps is lass easy – look out for a big Red dot!
Voice Recorder- On Android it should be under Tools, most devices come with a built-in one. just swipe down and a search box should appear – type “voice recorder” in there.

Q: Some earphones have microphones in them. It it better to use that or go for the phone mic?
A: To be honest I haven’t tried it with blue toothed ear buds, but others tell me that the quality of the mic in the phone is always better than that on the earphone. Marcin says: The earphone mics are good for recording your own voice. If you’re about to record environment or other people speaking, I’d recommend using the phone mic.

You can get binaural mics – these site either side of your head and look very similar to headphones – they allow you to record sounds as similar to how we hear through our ear. Playback is better for those wearing headphones, listening to it without headphones tends to make it sound dull and it can be distorted. Binuaral is a great additional element to try.

Q: can I ask why you chose Echoes app (Echoes.xyz)?
A: The app is free to use – whoopee! – is virtually bomb-proof – has eager support if anything should go awry

Q: what if apps become redundant?
A: On the Walk Listen Create platform, we are trying to, at the very least list older soundwalks, and are investigating ways in which to revive some. We are working with the British Library Digital curator, Stella Wisdom, so are fairly well-informed of new developments to counter redundancy

Q: Why (in the Audacity editor) are there two lines?
A: Left and right channel (think ears) – not necessarily stereo – your smartphone records in mono, so the editor merely duplicates the track, but many sound recorders record in stereo. You can fool the listener into imagining they are listening in stereo by panning the sound between each ear / channel – fade in one channel as you fade out another.

Q: So you can go quieter and louder depending on the sounds on your walk – eg a busy road, louder.
A: Indeed – within the editor you can select passages of wave forms and make them softer or louder. This is helpful if on the ground there is extensors ambient noise, but there are other times when you might want to make passages softer – if you want characters in a fiction or drama to be whispering for example.

Q: Does Echoes only support m4a?
A: it also supports mp3 – it could support other formats too. m4a is standard with Mac / iPhone and Zoom and is compressed more than mp3 hence usually slightly smaller and consequently faster to up / download.

Q: Is there a simple way to edit out unwanted ambient sounds when making a recording?
A: – yes and no – you can take out ambient sound using some Effects on Audacity. But it is pretty limited. Pros use Logic Pro Tools to create broadcast quality – but they are not cheap and take a bit of time to master

Q: What is the geo location for 30 Days of Walking?
A: Walks submitted to 30 Days of Walking aren’t geo-located

Q: 30 Days of Walking – is it just in London?
A: No anywhere in the world

Q: Do people need the Echoes app to listen to the soundwalk?
A: You can listen to Echoes sound walks on the web – and of course, there are many sound walks that aren’t made using Echoes. WalkListenCreate.org has more than 250 sound walks – some are on Echoes, many are not geo-located.

Q: What if there’s already a sound in the area you’ve created?
A: do you mean that other people have left a digital layer thre? It is fine – as your layer is unique to you. It only becomes a problem if someone hacks you layers – I have seen that happen only once and that was by the Police

Q: how do people listen to the sound? Do they have a choice? do they have to be connected to a specific program?
A: if you record a sound walk as an mp3 and add it to SoundCloud then people can listen to it through their web browser

Q: Is this usually used in the context of an exhibition, project or event? Or are there independent users that would just go around exploring?
A: we want everyone to enjoy creating sound walks
Q: yes. I guess I am asking if there is a natural, unprompted user group
A: Echoes has a creator community as do other apps e.g. VoiceMap – we too have a community amongst the registered users of Walk Listen Create – we hope forums like this will be helpful for sound walk creatives

Q: I have a question: how reliable have you found The Echoes? How precise?
A: Sometimes it is infuriatingly precise! It is pretty good – but like everything else it is reliant on the infrastructure in the area in which you are making your geo-located soundwalk – if a satellite goes down….

#54835
Babak Fakhamzadeh
Keymaster

Questions and Answers from the Sounds from he Chase & Chalke workshop chat – we recommend you check our earlier posts that also have lots of Q&As from our previous “how to make sound walk” workshop

Q: Where to find Voice Memo on Iphone to use for recording audio
A: On iPhone voice memo is usually found in the ‘utilities’ folder – I ask Siri to open it!

Q: source of Sound effects Effects SFX?
A: try “epidemic sound” for music and Sound FX – but there are many sources, just google or search on Youtube

Q: What was the editing software that was demonstrated?
A: https://www.audacityteam.org

Q: What is the url for Echoes?
A: https://www.echoes.xyz

Q: Are you only able to upload walks on laptop/computer? It doesn’t seem to have the new walk option on the app on android?
A: Only on the computer if you are an Android user

Q: With the echoes app is it possible to listen to recordings on a walk without begin in the area. E.g could I listen to recordings from a Poland walk in Australia?
A: Within the app but not on the web – but I will check on that with Echoes!

Q: Within Echoes you can plot a possible online route and hear what the sound walk would sound like. How do you do that?
A: You can start by only making your walk ‘Private’ not public and there is also a Preview facility too

Q: what is the URL for Shorelines?
A: https://walklistencreate.org/wr_instance/shorelines/

Q: Are the walks curated by Echoes? Can you delete it if wanted?
A: No Echoes doesn’t curate them – however, a user is offered walks close to where they are. And yes – you can delete your walks on Echoes. Echoes team are able to remove walks however this rarely happens and – as far as i know – only in extreme cases. you can create and manage any kind of walk from the website and Echoes team do not curate them. They are happy to give tech advice if needed, though.

Q: where is the link to the Forums?
A: https://walklistencreate.org/forums/

#65211
egemenkalyon
Participant

What can I do outside of Echoes to create geolocated audio? Or is there any way I can load tours on Echoes. Can I stop and move in certain places with the commands I give with the same audio file?

#65481
Babak Fakhamzadeh
Keymaster

There is a rather wide range of applications that provide similar solutions to Echoes, all with their own, often slightly different use cases.
If you want to facilitate audio-based tours, a popular tool to look into is izi.travel:

http://izi.travel/

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