This page explains how to use capture sounds and images with the Android and iOS / iPhone mobile applications and to explore and remix them with the web-based map application.
Contributing Sounds and Images Using UrbanRemix’s Mobile Applications
First, register for an account. During registration, choose a project (group) to join.
Then, open your phone’s app store or market, search for “UrbanRemix”, and download the free app. You can follow these download links.
When you launch the app, follow the prompts to start recording sounds and taking pictures. After you have recorded the first sound of the session, you will be prompted to enter the username and password you created on the UrbanRemix web site.
To record a sound, click the “Record Sound” button and press the red circle to start recording. You can record for a maximum of 60 seconds, though we encourage you to record even shorter sounds. To stop recording, press the square stop button.
When recording is complete, click on as many tags as are appropriate to describe your sound and hit “Save.” You can continue to record more sounds and take more pictures.
To take a picture, click the “Take Picture” button on the main screen. Take your picture and click “Use” to save it.
Once you have finished recording sounds and taking pictures, you must upload them to the UrbanRemix server to share them. Do this by clicking the “Upload Media” button on the main screen and then the “Upload” button. If you have many files to upload, we suggest that you do so over a WiFi connection, not 3G, so that they will upload more quickly.
Before uploading, you can review your recordings and photos, delete any you do not wish to share, and edit the tags assigned to each. To review an item, click on the blue arrow next to its name. To delete it, click the trashcan icon in the upper right.
When you launch the Android app, enter the username and password you registered on the UrbanRemix website and click the “Remember Me” checkbox so you will not have to re-enter this in the future.
Next, confirm the project to which you wish to contribute.
To record a sound, press the “Record Sound” button from the main menu. You can record for a maximum of 60 seconds, though we encourage you to record even shorter sounds. To stop recording, press the “Stop” button.
After recording has ended, you can play, save, or delete the sound.
When you press “Save Sound” you can name the sound and select as many descriptive tags as appropriate. After saving your selections, your sound will be saved to the phone and can be uploaded later.
To take a picture, click the “Take Picture” button on the main screen, and click “take picture” on the next screen to capture the image. Again, you will be able to save or delete, and saving will allow you to edit the filename. Pictures will also be saved to the phone for uploading at a later time.
Once you have finished recording sounds and taking pictures, you can upload them to the UrbanRemix server to share them. Do this by clicking the “Upload Files” button on the main screen. You can select certain files to upload, or upload them all. Once you start uploading, the upload process will continue in the background, and you will be brought back to the main screen. If you have many files to upload, we suggest that you do so over a WiFi connection, not 3G, so that they will upload more quickly.
To view the upload progress or history, click the “Upload History” button on the main screen.
The Android app's "Instant Remix" feature lets you explore sounds and images near your current location. When you select this option from the main menu, you'll immediately begin to hear a remix of sounds -- those you recorded or those contributed by other users -- that are close to your current location. You'll also see a slideshow of photos taken nearby.
To change the sounds and images in your remix, press the settings icon at the top right corner of the screen. From there, you can control how far away Instant Remix will search for sounds and images; various search criteria to use in selecting material (the date when something was recorded, the tag it was assigned, and the user who uploaded it); and the maximum number of simultaneous sounds in your mix. The "sound length" option controls the amount of repetition in your remix: shorter lengths mean that sounds will repeat more often.
When you are done tweaking the settings, hit the "update settings" button to return to the slide show. (You may have to scroll down to see the button.) Note that it may take as long as a minute for your new settings to take effect, as a new instant remix is requested from our server and downloaded to your phone. If you don't see any images or hear any sounds, that means that nothing was found near your current location. Try changing the remix settings, or use our web-based map instead (full instructions below).
If you like your instant remix, hit the "save as ringtone" button to use an excerpt of it as your phone's ringtone.
UrbanRemix’s map application lets you explore the sounds you and others recorded with the mobile application. Using the map application you can create new soundscapes and remixes from them by simply drawing on the map. It is compatible with recent web browsers on any Windows or Mac computer.
Listening to sounds in a project
To open the map application, choose an UrbanRemix project and click on the “View Map” ( ) icon.
Once the map opens, click on the map markers to hear the sounds (red markers) and see the photos (blue markers) captured in that location. A purple marker indicates that several sounds and/or images were captured in the same location.
If you want to search for specific content, use the “Filter” tab to the right of the map. You can limit the sounds and photos displayed to particular descriptive tags, contributing users, and date ranges. You can also limit the display to only sounds or images.
When you are finished making your search selections, press the “View Results” button to update the map display and the map will display the content with the selected filters. To clear the search criteria and show all sounds and images, press the “Clear Selections” link.
Basic sound mixing
To remix the sounds on the map, you first draw paths across the map. To draw these paths simply click a series of points on the map, and they will be connected to create your path. Clicking on an existing dot will remove it from the path, and dragging it will update its location.
You can also create paths by clicking on the “New Path from Directions” tab on the right and entering start and end locations.
To hear a sonic representation of your path, press the play button. After a brief pause, you’ll hear a soundscape that represents a virtual walk across your path, mixing together the sounds you encounter along the way. If you like your soundscape, click the “Save” link to download and share it.
Creating loops and complex mixes
To make things more interesting, click on the “Add Path” button to draw more paths. Each new path adds a new audio track. You can then use the controls on each path’s waveform display to control how they sound in the mix. Using the interface you can:
- Start and stop each of them with their individual play buttons or play them all in sync using the big play button.
- Jump and scrub within each path by clicking and dragging across the waveform.
- Loop each path by clicking the loop icon, and set the loop boundaries by dragging the black bar above the waveform.
- Set the sonic density of each soundscape and its duration.
- Control the overall mix with volume, solo, and mute controls.
As you “perform” with the paths by manipulating these controls, you can record yourself so you can share the performance. To do this, press the “Record” button to start recording, again to stop recording, and then download your performance as an MP3 file or share it on our site and across the web.
The “Tools” tab on the right offers additional features. To move to a certain location on the map, type it in and press the “Go” button. You can also have the map re-center and zoom to fit to all of your current paths by clicking the “Fit Map to Paths” button. Clicking the “Download” button will download all sounds and images that meet the current search criteria, so that you can import them into other audio and video production software.