Video and Sound Blog 2

Elevator

by Jenny Lin, Olivia Kung, Son Luu

This past week, my team and I created a sound walk based upon the elevators inside of the Tisch School of Arts. Last week, we recorded all of our sound files. The sounds we recorded were inside of empty and full elevators along with unique sounds that we found as we explored each floor of Tisch. We decided to use the speakers attached to the Zoom recorder, instead of an external microphone because we wanted to emulate the noises of everyday life. After class last week, we decided to start editing the audio using Audition together first in order to get on the same page. We decided to do little audio manipulation, beyond the basic controls (i.e. fading, volume control, etc). After creating a very rough first draft and testing the walk individually, we found that were relying too much on the timing of the elevator itself being perfect. There were too many outside factors that we could not control and even if one person enters the elevator, the timing of our entire track was off. We thought that we could instruct the user to pause whenever another person entered the elevator or if the elevator stopped at an additional floor, but after testing this ourselves, we found that it was too difficult to keep track of where to start and stop. We tested different additions to our track to eliminate the timing that our first track depended on. One of our ideas was to continuously add elevator dings throughout the track at a set interval in order to keep a steady pace. After adding and testing the track with continuous dings, we found that there were too many dings and it just didn’t sound as clean. We decided to change our goal of the soundtrack by instructing the listening to close their eyes. Instead of a perfectly matched sound walk, we wanted the listener to use their imagination and prior elevator riding memories to create the movie that our sound walk accompanied.

Planning out our walk after listening to our first draft.

Planning out our walk after listening to our first draft.

Working on the multitrack session of our sound walk

Working on the multitrack session of our sound walk

Here is the sound walk that we created:

Below are our instructions for our sound walk:

Introduction:

“Elevator” is a 3-minute journey that begins in the lobby of the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU located at 721 Broadway. The school is known for producing some of the greatest names in film and theatrical performance.

Elevators are the only place where strangers actually spend time together in the same space. This walk highlights the nature of human interaction among students, faculty, and staff riding the elevators to the different floors that house various academic departments.

“Elevator” takes listeners on an everyday elevator ride. However, listeners are encouraged to stand in the back, observing, listening and experiencing every sound, whether it be human or mechanical, and silence while inside the elevator car.

Instructions:

  • Prepare the audio track and headphones.

  • Arrive at the lobby of the Tisch School of the Arts.

  • Press the elevator’s “up” button and stand around 3 feet away from both doors.

  • Play the track as you enter the elevator.

  • Upon entering the elevator, press the following floors: 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, and 12.

  • For the best experience, it is highly recommended to close your eyes and listen to the track. Imagine your own elevator ride. Create your own unique experience, without the influence of external factors. Furthermore, the walk does not depend on visual aspects, making it widely accessible.

Additional Guidance:

It is recommended that the listener try and choose a time when the elevator is less occupied (late at night or during designated class times) in order to maximize the quality of the experience with little external interruption. Before beginning the sound walk, think about the basic functions of an elevator and how it affects personal space and human interaction. Recall instances of riding the elevator alone or with others who may have been an acquaintance, a friend, a classmate, a professor, or a complete stranger. Recall your behavior or what you typically do inside that space, alone or occupied. Can you relate to what goes on in the track? Do you notice anything different on this elevator ride, what is your take on it? What are the different sounds you hear? What thoughts or emotions are evoked?