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Making music with field recordings and open source

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OSS

Hmmm... field recording. Well, as usual, Wikipedia has a good overview of field recording, including a mention of the use of smartphones as a recording device. And sure enough, my Android smartphone's store includes a reference to several apps that work for field recording. So I started thinking about open source options, and that maybe Audacity installed on a Linux laptop could also do the job, especially if connected to a decent microphone.

I looked around and found Steven Burnham Smith's thesis, in which he discusses the rationale for an autonomous audio field recorder (PDF), which he builds using an Arduino as the core (although I imagine a good case could be made for using a Raspberry Pi). Of course, the musically inclined, once back home with their field recordings, could add—à la Biosphere— musical elements, using an open source synthesizer (for example, ZynAddSubFX) and an open source drum machine (for example, Hydrogen).

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