Audition and Sound


  1. Inspiration
  2. Exploring Sound
  3. Zoom H4n
  4. Audition & SoundCloud
  5. Dowloadable Sounds
  6. References
  7. Exercise

1. Inspiration

2. Exploring Sound

In order to understand what we are doing in this lab, it is helpful to go through some terminology and learn about sound and how it is stored. Once you understand a little about sound, we will record sound using a Zoom H4n device and edit it using Adobe Audition.

2.1 What is Sound?

The answer to the question of, "what is sound?" is really a physics answer. Have you ever struck a tuning fork and placed it in water or dropped something in water? If you have, you would have seen waves. Sounds are waves in air, which are picked up by sensors in our ears. Because sounds are waves, let us take a look at a basic sine wave (which we would hear as pure single tone).

Sine graph

Picture was taken from:

Some important definitions are:


  1. Would the following diagram represent a sound with a higher or lower pitch than the original sine wave diagram?
  2. Would we perceive this sound to be louder or quieter than the original sine wave diagram?


The sounds that we hear are not typically pure tones: they will be composed of waves of different frequency. When you are looking at sound waves in the following sections, you will see more rough edges than the smooth and regular sine waves. This is the result of several frequencies combining together.

1.2 How is Sound Stored?

If you want to capture a sine wave such as the above, you could use an array. For instance taking a sample at (π/2)t, your array would look something like this:

0 3 0 -3 0 3 0

The resulting "wave" would look very triangular. Ideally, more samples could be taken. However, you can understand the idea of representing the wave.

Two questions come in to play when storing sound:

  1. What is the maximum amplitude to be stored? This will determine how many bytes in memory you will use for each sound sample or array element. For instance, if you want to capture amplitudes from 32 767 (215-1) to -32 768 (-215), then you will need 16 bits (2 bytes) for each element.

  2. How many samples or array elements will you have for every second of recording? For instance, the array above could have more samples to "smooth" the wave. The rate at which samples are collected is the sample rate. Some typical sample rates are below:

Now that you understand a little more about sound, let us dive in with doing some recordings and editing.

3. Zoom H4n

Quick start guide on how to create your first recording:

How to delete files that you've recorded:

Other videos or resources that might be useful:

4. Audition and SoundCloud

We will be going through some of the content in this video starting from about 5:30 when it talks about multi-track sessions.

Introduction to Audition - Week 1 (Podcasting in the Classroom) from Edge Gain on Vimeo.

Highlights to cover:

If you need more help with Audition, here is the Adobe resource with tutorials:

5. Downloadable Sounds

  4. (use with credit)
  5. (watch for credits)

6. References

7. Exercise

Record a short poem, nursery rhyme, or story. Using Audition, add 3 additional sound recordings to tell your story.

7.1 Your submission:

Add an entry into your learning journal. Your submission should contain:

  1. A heading for Lab 5 and a brief description of what tool was used and what you did (ie. for this lab, it might be something like  Lab 5: Audition)
  2. One image of your final Audition work environment with all the layers(use Command-Shift-4 and space on a mac to take a snapshop of your Photoshop window)
  3. A link to your finished audio that you've uploaded to SoundCloud:
  4. A learning journal entry which might contain any or all of the following: a description of what you've learned, challenges faced, any YouTube videos or tutorials that you found useful, any credits for content that you got from "open source", and anything that you might want to remember about what you've done for the future.

7.2 Mark Distribution