BAseCAmp Sound Production

Summary

We were to use the skills we have learned so far to create a sound production as a whole. The sound production must include the different elements we have learned about such as bass, rhythm, melody, ect.

21st Century Skills Demonstrated

I needed to find different resources online and in the classroom to learn about the process of recording from an actual instrument to a GarageBand file, and then also learning how to make that GarageBand element sound just the way I wanted it to sound.

The Composition

Reactions to the Final Version

I think that given this is the first time I’ve ever tried to play a combination of these instruments together, the composition turned out better than I initially expected. The production may not be as professionally sounded as possible, but that is where you use people who actually play drums and base guitar to make the song sound better. The guitar part, which is the part I personally focused on and wanted to sound the best turned out great. The exact sound I was looking for was what I was able to create and then also I was able to apply my skills in playing guitar to boost the overall quality of the song itself.

Evaluation of the Final Version

I really enjoyed listening to this song because it creates a picture in my head of a bunch of dudes surfing in the summer just having a good time and it gives off good vibes.      -Chris Schnellman

What I Learned and Problems I Solved

I found that having the proper equipment is a very important role in producing music through a computer like this. I found that a lot more work can be put in after a performance to boost its quality although it doesn’t sound as cool or impressive as it does if it was live.

Podcast Recording Project

Summary

In this project we were to create a podcast by selecting our favorite song and developing statements about the different attributes to the song. We were then to write a screenplay and record the podcast using the song to compliment the analysis that we preformed. The final product would be an in depth analysis about the diverse range of things that occur in our favorite song.

Audio Mixing

(SoundCloud blocked me)

Terms

Volume Fader- A sliding mechanism on a mixer that adjusts volume

Pan (Stereo Image)- A knob, or slider that moves the sound source between the left and right sides of a channel, headphones or speakers.

Clipping- When amplitude is too high (higher than 0dB) a digital audio signal can distort which is called clipping

Equalizer (EQ)- A device that can boost or retard a certain range of frequencies, such as bass, treble, or middle frequencies

Bus Track- A track that can send various signals to other tracks

Automation- A process that lets pan and volume be adjusted automatically during the playback

Audio Compression- When louder elements are made quieter and softer elements are made louder. Think of it like this: picture a sound wave, what compression does is squish the parts of the sound wave that go too low or too high

Bass- The lower range of frequencies in human hearing, that tend to be felt through vibrations, as well as heard.

TrebleThe higher range of frequencies in human hearing, the highest of which may become harder and harder to hear as one ages.

Reverb- An device that can make a sound source sound as if it were in a room or hallway.

What I Learned

I learned that driving home a true meaning in a song is usually what gives it purpose. In some cases like the song I chose, the meaning really isn’t there and the composition of the song with the sounds used in the patterns they are used in is why people like the music they like. It doesn’t always have to tell a story although that is the way people usually create their music to have purpose to someone.

Microphone and Recording Project

Summary

We were to create a podcast using multiple different microphones to see which microphone we thought our voice sounded the best through. We were then to edit the podcast to make it clean and without mistakes in the original recording. After that we had to post it to Soundcloud.

Microphone Audition Podcast

My Favorite Microphone Specifications

Rode Procaster:

  • Broadcast quality sound
  • High output dynamic capsule
  • Balanced, low impedance output
  • Internal shock mounting of capsule for low handling noise
  • Internal pop-filter to reduce plosives
  • Robust, all-metal construction

Terms and Concepts

  • Microphones
    • Dynamic – The sounds waves itself its creates the membrane by moving its diaphragm. Very popular and very well known. It is good for low and middle range, NOT high range.
    • Condenser – The membrane has an electrical current waiting for sound. When the little sound waves hits it, it responds instantly. They are all over the place, but it need a electrical energy {amplifier} from something {example – battery}.
  • Polar patterns
    • Omni – Picks sound up from all directions which is picked up equally. This is used for interviews because it can pick up more than one person, without having to have two separate mics.
    • Cardioid – Picks up one half of the microphone, also known as a ‘directional mic’. Most sensitive in the front, about 180 degrees.
    • Bi-directional – ‘Figure of 8′, picks the front and behind of the mic, but the 90 degree angle on both sides does not get picked up.
  • Transduction – Converts one form of energy to another.
  • Voltage – An electric force or or a potential difference shown in volts.
  • Phantom power – Activates the condenser in a microphone. DC powered mostly between 12 and 48 DC voltages.
  • Sensitivity – Voltage at its known sound level. Can be called by its voltage or decibels. Higher number means more sensitive, everything is mostly in negatives.
  • Frequency Response – The range of sound the microphone can produce and how sensitive it is within the range.
  • Transient – A variation in current, voltage, or frequency.
  • Placement – Placement of the microphone is key, depending on the sounds you want, it can just be the distance from you or the instrument from the microphone. This part of the microphone can effect others emotionally in a way to connect with the audience.
  • Proximity effect – Decreased sensitivity to low mics, which reduces background noise and vibration and counter acts when used very close to the source.
  • Output – A place where the sound leaves the system.
  • Characteristics – This is the Relative Response and Frequency in hertz graph to show how good or bad the microphone is. This can show the quality of the mic.
  • Noise rating – This is the octave pressure level and the mid frequencies of the octave.
  • Hardware
    • Clips – A clip is something that you use to hold a microphone on something { example – stand }, but, using the wrong kind of clips can effect the performance, make sure it is tight so it has the correct effect.
    • Stands – This ties in with a clip, this is what the clip will connect to. This keeps the microphone towards the object you want to hear without having to hold it or keep it still.
    • Windscreen – Something that covers and protects the microphone, mostly a foamy material.
    • Direct Box – A device used to connect amplified instruments and having it put in a direct mixer.

What I Learned

I learned that even the most subtle of specs in a microphone can make the biggest difference in boosting lows to make a masculine sound or blocking out high end hissing for a more clean sound. The standard microphone used in our film classes is actually one of the worst options for pure audio but as a function of a amateur film it does its job well and holds its own.

Freakonomics – How to Become Great at Just About Anything

Link To Podcast

http://www.wnyc.org/story/how-become-great-just-about-anything-rebroadcast/

Notes

  • testing deliberate practice on an alternate topic other than her work to get a realistic result of the new idea
  • With talent there needs to be work rate and dedication for it to be utilized
  • without a work drive there will always be someone that will out preform them
  • being born with perfect pitch can help with being a musician but it isnt always something people are just born with
  • learning perfect pitch is possible
  • training must occur in early life
  • Mozart would be considered relatively average in todays society
  • Alfred Cortot would now not likely be admitted to Julliart
  • We have gotten so much better because we have learned how to learn
  • Improvement comes with lots and lots of practice, (10,000 hour rule)

TED Talk

The Science and Engineering of Microphones

NOTES

  • Vibration creates a push and pull on air molecules  “Compression, rare fraction” and produce sound
  • the air molecules pretty much stay in the same place ^
  • Phase is important to know about when working with stereo mics
  • Audio Signal – An electronic representation of the actual sound waveDynamic Microphone – In a dynamic microphone a thin diaphragm is connected to a coil of wire called a voice coil which is precisely suspended over a powerful magnet.
    • As the sound waves strike the diaphragm it cause it to vibrate, moving the voice coil through the magnetic field generated by the magnet which generates a small bit of electricity which is sent down the output leads.
    • This is the electromagnetic principle.
    • ADVANTAGE: They are simply constructed and can handle loud sources without much distortion.
    • DISADVANTAGE: They are weak when trying to capture soft distant sources because the diaphragm needs lot of sound energy to move.
    • DISADVANTAGE: dynamic microphones have a heavy diaphragm along with the additional weight of the coil of wire.
      • It therefore takes longer for the diaphragm to react to a sound wave due to the effects of inertia hence causing a less accurate recording.

    Ribbon Microphone – Instead of using a coil, ribbon microphones use a small strand of very thin 2 microns thick aluminum ribbon.

    • Variation on the dynamic microphone.
    • Ribbon microphones are almost exclusively used in the studio, not for location audio.
    • ADVANTAGE: It is more responsive to high frequencies
    • DISADVANTAGE: It is fragile and prone to tearing

    Condenser Microphone – Condensers use two charged plates, one fixed and one which can move acting like a diaphragm.

    • There’s no coil.
    • The two charged electric plates create what’s called a capacitor. As sound waves strike the electrically charged diaphragm, it moves in relation to the fixed plate changing its capacitance and generating a very small electric charge which is amplified inside the microphone.
    • This is the electrostatic principle.
    • ADVANTAGE: Because you’re not moving a coil, condensers can be more responsive in the high frequencies.
    • ADVANTAGE: Because you don’t have any magnets, condenser microphones can be made very small.
    • Because condensers work with electrically charged plates, that means they require some sort of outside power.
    • Some microphones have the option of an onboard battery while all condensers can utilitize something called Phantom Power.

    Phantom Power – +48v of energy sent down the microphone cable to a condenser microphone from the audio recording or mixing board.

    • This power enables the electrically charged diaphragm to move in response to sound waves.

    Directional Response – Directional response is represented by something called a polar pattern.

    Polar Pattern – Polar pattern is how well the microphone “hears“ sound from different directions.

    “On Axis” and “Off Axis” – On axis is directly in front of the sound source. Off axis is not directly in front of the sound source.

    Omnidirectional Mics – This mic polar pattern is responsive to sound from all directions, you don’t have to be “on axis” to be picked up.

    • Lavalier and lapel mics are small condenser microphones with an omnidirectional pickup pattern that can be placed on a person.
    • Boundary mics are omnidirectional condenser mics. They are positioned flush with a surface that capture sound as it rolls off the flat surface. Boundary mics are used in stage production and conference tables.
    • ADVANTAGE: These mics are useful for picking up sound in a general area.
    • ADVANTAGE: Lavalier / lapel mics are small and can be placed just about anywhere.
    • ADVANTAGE: Boundary mics do not draw attention to themselves because they lay flat on the floor or wall.
    • DISADVANTAGE: They will pick up all the unwanted sound in the area.
    • DISADVANTAGE: Lavalier, lapel, and boundary mics won’t have the same richness of sound as a shotgun or studio condenser mic.

    Directional Mics: Cardioid Pattern – Most basic pattern.

    • Heart-shaped pick up pattern.
    • ADVANTAGE: Picks up what’s in front but not behind.
    • ADVANTAGE: It is suited for live performance as it picks up the sound on axis but won’t pick up what’s behind it, like crowd noise or feedback from a speaker.

    Directional Mics: Hypercardioid and Supercardioid Patterns – More directional than cardioid.

    • Skinnier heart-shaped pick up pattern.
    • Picks up the front and sides and rejects 150 degrees to the rear.
    • Shotgun mics are supercardioid.
    • ADVANTAGE: Great for recording location audio while trying to filter out some of the unwanted ambient sound.
    • DISADVANTAGE: Can exhibit strange phasing sound effects when used in small spaces.

    Directional Mics: Figure 8 Pickup Pattern / Bi-directional – The polar pattern looks like a figure 8.

    • ADVANTAGE: Useful for certain musical applications or interviews with a person on each side of the mic.

“Prodcution” Sound Production

Summary

In this project we were to complete a song or track that included the major elements of a composition: Bass, Harmony, And Melody. These components would make up a track created in GarageBand or any other music production software available. The aim of the project was to create something with meaning or with a description behind why you came up with what you came up with.

21st Century Skills Demonstrated

Creativity and innovation- I believe that within making music, there has to be a creative mind backing it. I personally am still developing that creative mind and I think that this project allowed for me to push a little bit deeper into that mindset. in this project, I am attempting to use multiple different sounds combined to create one sound that the listener enjoys and wants to hear more of. Using this developing mindset, I plan to make music that I enjoy and hopefully something in which others may enjoy as well.

The Composition

https://soundcloud.com/potkonjakrr/production-sound-production

The composition was not created to induce a certain feeling. I did not specifically use tonics or a change in tempo to create a feeling in the song although I did use a transition in the sound to include the melody and harmony together as one.

Reactions to the Final Version

Over the course of producing this final, I personally created more than one single track or “beat”. This allowed me to figure out the thing I liked and didn’t like about each part of the different compositions. The first track I created, I started with drums and I really enjoyed the way my drums sounded, but I couldn’t get the bass line or my melody to sound the way I liked with them. I then turned to starting a new track with my melody. This track allowed for me not only to see how Melody and Harmony should work together but allowed for me to utilize the tempo I created to make the drums sound good with it. The problem I then encountered was the bass syncing up and sounding correctly. I found that having certain parts of my drums created a major conflict with how my bass sounded. I then turned to creating a new melody- harmony combination that was simple but still sounded good. This lead to a drum line excluding the trouble parts use prior. The bass line in this composition was much easier to fit in and took a lot less effort to create.

Evaluation of the Final Version

I believe that the process of creating this track was a great learning experience and allowed for me to see that creating music isn’t a first time, throw it down, kind of process for me. I think that the beat that I created is a good representation of where I am now in terms of my knowledge of the subject and will be a great way to look back after achieving other benchmarks in music. I wanted this composition to be something that sounds like it didn’t come from GarageBand, yet I am still working out the kinks in that goal.

What I Learned and Problems I Solved

I found that producing a quality sound is more about the repetition of producing. Having experience in what you are working with is the only way to become better and better at it and I a very excited to see what the rest of this year has to being improvement wise.

Bass Recording Project

Summary

In this project we were to create a bass line behind a melody as a short “beat”. This bass line could compliment or add to the melody and or harmony preformed. We were first to remaster a class melody in which tested our skill, and then we were to find a bass line that was interesting or that we enjoyed and post that to our blog. This allows us to hear what a professional bass line may sound like and how it may act in the song. We then created our own bass line in GarageBand using whatever tools we could.

Lesson Bass Line

I found that in using this scale the way I mixed up each of the notes actually sounds terrible. The scale did not mix up very well the way I did it so I found that using scale notes was not the easiest way to create a complimenting base line. I prefer to act based on sound rather than how it looks on the screen.

One of My Favorite Bass Lines

(Caution: Not clean Version)

I enjoy the bass line in this song because of how prominent throughout the song it stands. The bass line is also backed by a bassy type horn instrument that makes the deep end of this song really stand out. The the rapper, Dr. Dre, also has a lower bassy voice so the two together send across a strong message just in the sound that makes you listen. The sound created doesn’t have a specific build up but but it does have a tonic that it returns to in each chord succession.

My Bass Line

I created my bass line to compliment the changing of tones in the harmony. The bass line is a simple upright base that gives the melody a bit of depth purely when the rise or fall of the melody takes place. This allows for there to be a wider range in those single chords as well as the trailing off bass chord played during the rest of the melody.

Bass Terms

  • Tonality – the whole package of ingredients of what makes western music sound like music
  • Root – a chord can be represented and named by one of its notesWalking Bass
  • Chromatic Scale -a musical scale with twelve pitches, each a semitone above or below another
  • Bass Riff -a short rhythm phrase used in music by a bass

What I Learned and Problems I Solved

I found that using a bass line to compliment your song can actually change the entire mood of the song and can change the way the song acts or how it makes the listener feel while listening to the song. The elements that make a bass line strong is not that it is always present, but that it is present in the correct moments.

Harmony Recording Project

Summary

In this project we were to utilize our new found knowledge of harmony to find a harmony that sounded good to us and analyze why we enjoy it. We were then to create a harmony that is hopefully our own kind of style. We were to use the inter-web to find a .midi file of our favorite harmony within a song to import into GarageBand, where we are able to see how the instruments fall together to make up this song in general.

Lesson Harmony

One of My Favorite Harmonies

I enjoy this harmony because it includes a variety of Factors that play into making it all come together. The Empire of The Sun is a ban that creates music with a meaning behind it and that displays a variety of emotions. This song specifically uses the build at the beginning to create a up-beat and happy feeling to it using a tonic to start each bar off and having a constant higher pitch keyboard sounds that plays off-beat over the harmony itself.

My Harmony

I chose to follow a similar pattern as my favorite harmony above. Although I used voice rather than an instrument, this allowed for me to have one constant tonic in the C scale and using two tension chords throughout the entire harmony, I built an up-beat pattern. My harmony does not develop or push toward anything in the end but it rather is a kind of excerpt kind of harmony that one might use to make a sample beat. The harmony itself actually ranges from a build up kind of harmony with a happy feeling to a harmony that moves back down the scale.

Harmony Terms

  • Drone- the self perpetuating continuous notes
  • Harmonics- 2 chords being played at a constant
  • Triad- a group of 3 or more chords
  • Polyphony- 2 or more melodies with the backing of 1 voice
  • Progression- the movement in music toward the destination
  • Tonic- the note that all the other notes are based around, likely the C chord (1st)
  • Dominant- next in importance to  the tonic (5th)
  • Passimezzo Antico- the bass chords
  • Passimezzo Moderno-  the constant tonic is used between the other chords
  • Dissonance- the lack of harmony in musical notes
  • Passing Notes- a note that isnt actually part of the harmony
  • Suspended Notes- a chord in which the major or minor is left out
  • 7th Chords- a triad plus the extension of another note with it
  • Diminished Chords- a triad with 2 minor notes
  • Augmented Chords- a triad with two major notes

What I Learned and Problems I Solved

I learned that finding a balance in harmony is very important. Using too much of any given harmony may drown out the rest of your song and being complex may overwhelm the listener. I chose to keep my harmony with voice very simple and easy to track. I also chose to make a fairly repetitive harmony in order to make it sound as if the voices were sampled. A problem I ran into with this project was weather or not I wanted it to sound absolutely computer generated. By this I mean slight user error can add a realistic effect to music and so when I recorded my voices and my drums I did not go back and edit the timeline to correct any slightly longer or shorter notes. I chose in the end to keep the error as it adds the effect I liked in this short portion of a song.

Rhythm Recording Project

Summary

We are to use several preset tracks that are off in one way or another and make them right. There are different problems encountered in each section and we are to use the tools handed to us by GarageBand to correct these errors. Each section uses a different tool although in some cases we are required to use our knowledge we learned from the previous lessons.

Lesson 7-1

lesson 1

We were to use the tempo of a drummer track to line up the other tracks so that they all would be in the same tempo. We did this by setting the new drummer track as our “Groove Track”. This allows each of the other tracks to snap to the same tempo of the drummer track. As seen in the photo above, the “Groove Track” is the track with the little yellow star to the left of it. The tracks that have a blue check mark next to them are the tracks that are synced up to the “Groove Track”.

Lesson 7-2

lesson 2

In this section our different tracks are all lined up time wise. This portion of editing is used to master the songs actual sounds. We can use the drummer editor to change the amount of sound each snare or cymbal makes and how much they effect the beat. The drummer editor is the tool found on the bottom of the screen of the photo above. This feature allows for us to really emphasize our pauses and when the beat hits.

Lesson 7-3

lesson 3

This section is our “multipass beat” section. This feature allows for us to record a measure, or multiple measures, of a beat for a song. This feature not only allows for us to record a single bass line but at the same time we can record over this bass line with snares and hits to create an entire drum line. We can do this by finding the dum type that we would like to use for this beat. In my case I chose to use the “Boutique 808”, an electronic drum machine with pre-recorded sounds. We can record over a single section by finding the “Cycle” option at the top of the screen. This “Cycle” option can be found by pushing Command< “C” on the keyboard at the same time. We will see a yellow bar at the top of the screen of the appear and then we are able to drag and shorten it to our liking. This bar allows us to repeat what is within the measures it covers. Then we find a bass or hi-hat sound that we like by using our Musical Typing option found in the option “window” at the top of the screen. Then we press “R” on our keyboard and record the single sound beat that you would like. The track will loop over what you have already recorded. We can then select another sound from our Musical Typing keyboard, and record over this section again and again until we are content with the beat we have created.

The next part of this section works with “Arpeggiated” drum machine beats. This option creates a repeating sound when you push one of your musical keyboard keys. This option is found on the bottom right of the screen in the controls section of the beat machine. We can then use this to record “Overdubs”.

Lesson 7-4

lesson 4

In this section, we learned how to create loops from our beats. A loop is something that will play over and over but sound smooth and consecutive rather than choppy. The first thing we needed to do was create the sound that we want to use for our loop and then add the “Cycle” region above those measures. If you press play it will play as if it was a loop. If it sounds on tempo and loops well, then we can turn it into a loop. If not there are some effects we can use to assist this. First off we want to turn on the flex track for this track. This is found in the bottom left corner of the editor. Now you can set flex markers. This allows us to line up our beat with each bar. To set a flex marker, fin the hits in the song and then drag them to the nearest bar. The song can also be trimmed and edited down to just the parts you would like from t by using the Command>”T” function on the keyboard. This allows you to cut the track where ever your playhead is. Once your song is finalized we want to merge all of our tracks as one track and then make a loop from it. To merge tracks we want to select all of the tracks together and then go to the “Edit” tab, and scroll down until you find join tracks. Now we can make a loop. After all the tracks are one track, go to the “File” tab and then scroll down until you find the region loop option. create loop and select its categories.

Lesson 7-5

lesson 5

In this section we used the tempo track to create dramatic change in our beat. The tempo track is found under the “Track” tab. This will bring up a region above all of your other tracks with a blue line through it. This blue line controls the tempo of your song. when you click on the blue line you create a marker that is moveable to create a slower or faster tempo. If you double click on one of the markers you can type in the tempo you would like to set the different regions at. If there is a tempo change we can use two markers to gradually bend the tempo to that speed rather than such a sudden drop or rise, by dragging the line up or down.

Terms and Concepts

  • Meter – Accent on a certain beat of the song (Heartbeat)
  • Pacing – Stride of the song
  • Tempo – Beats per minute
  • Beat – rhythmic  unit in a recording
  • Hip Hop – Rap with an Electronic backing
  • Out of the Pocket – not grooving together
  • Quantize – moving imperfections of notes to set beats
  • Single Take – One and done
  • Multipass Recording – when one and done doesn’t fly
  • Overdub – Adding more tracks
  • C1 Octave Range – middle range of piano
  • Cowbell – popular sound used in songs
  • Drum Kit – set of drums
  • Kick Drum – lowest sound on a kit
  • Snare Drum – rattle sound to a tom drum
  • Drum Machine (808) – Popular Drum machine, great low end
  • Loop – sound that repeats seamlessly
  • Arpeggiation – playing notes of a chord one by one
  • Sound Effects – adding in a non musical sound to a compisition
  • One Shot Sound – a single sound

 

What I Learned

In each section I learned and encountered a great deal of problems with GarageBand, as well as ways to fix each problem. The lessons provided a tactic or skill that allowed for the problem in each section to be fixed. For example when our tempo doesn’t match up with another tempo, we can use a groove track to force it to match up. I learned quite a few different skills in garageband that will be good to know when producing mixed songs.