Explain the step by step process of this assignment…
-Research/inspiration: I had to come up with an idea at first. I wasn’t too sure what to do but there weren’t any rules at all so I could do anything I wanted. I decided to choose a sadder song because I thought it would be easier to edit and be creative with it.
-Proposal: After choosing the idea I had to specify the goal and my own criteria in the proposal. It wasn’t too hard and it didn’t take too long.
-Design specifications and Criteria: I think my criteria that I made by myself was a little bit too hard so in the end I wasn’t able to achieve it. Mid-project I changed the song I had decided before and did a mashup of three songs.
-Find a song: After starting my project again, I chose a song for my base and chose two other songs to go with my first song. It didn’t take too long.
-Decide on the different instruments: I ended up just using bass to play some chords.
-Add the effects and layers: It was kind of hard at first but I learned how to slow down a song and I added lots of echoes and reverbs to make it sound sadder(?).
-Cut and incorporate parts of another song: After I added the parts of the other songs I realized they didn’t especially go together, but I still tried my best to make it sound good.
-Self-assess: Self-assessing is the hardest part because I changed the whole project midway through so the criteria I made before does not really apply to the new project.
Assess your success against your assessable criteria from your proposal…
-be At least 1.5 minutes long: The mashup I made is 3 minutes long.
-Have the audio of me playing piano: Does not have the audio of me playing piano.
-have 3 midi instruments: Only has 1 midi instrument.
-have Some parts from another song: Two other songs mixed together.
-Everything flows together: Not really.
-Everything is the same tempo: I tried my best to make everything the same tempo but I’m not sure it is.
Evaluate your learning and new skills acquired.
Some important new skills I acquired was more knowledge on garage band. I learned about how you match songs tempos, and how you slow down/speed up a song without changing the pitch of the singer. I also experimented more with new effects like echoes and reverbs.
What challenges did you face and overcome.
The biggest challenge was to choose the songs. That was the biggest challenge throughout the whole was to choose some songs that I thought would sound good. I honestly think my end result didn’t really flow together but I think the choices for the songs were good. It was so hard to choose songs because many songs I chose, I could only download the whole song, not just the vocals or instrumentals. This is why I think my mashup sounds bad, because the songs are really choppy.
This is the music sheet that I have to learn for the melody of the song. I think I won’t play both hands but only the melody. I checked the sheet and the music is relatively easy for me to learn, since I haven’t played in around 5 years and I was never really good. One of my requirements was to play the melody using my piano, so I have to find a way to learn by myself.
In my self-assessment rubric, I said I would have at least 3 midi instruments. This means I need to have some kind of chords to go with the song. These links help me learn basic chords I can use in my song. I can match up the chords with the music sheet so the midi instruments will go with the melody.
Since one of my requirements was also to add another part of a song to my instruments, I have to learn how to correctly mashup two different audios. This is a straight to the point video on how I can mashup other songs together. They explained how match up the rhythm of the two different songs so they can sound good together.
The goal of the assignment is to present myself and my feelings through a piece of music. To express my background and culture as well as personal taste and ideas, but mostly to express a certain feeling. Another goal is to demonstrate my knowledge of music arrangement and putting together a song using garage band. I will choose a song then rearrange and play it using midi-instruments from Garageband. I might also add in some components from another song. I haven’t played the piano in years so I could also try to learn the melody and incorporate it in the song.
Outline/Process (Steps) to Achieve Goal. *
-Design specifications and Criteria
-Find a song
-Decide on the different instruments
-Play the song
-Learn to play the melody on piano
-Add the effects and layers
-Cut and incorporate parts of another song
What are the criteria you will use to self assess the success of your product? *
I had to start looking at the requirements for the assignments. We needed four recordings, midi instruments, musical effects and loops. It was important for me to think about what kind of song I wanted to make before hand so I could have time to record all of my different songs. Then I had to think about the structure of my song. I wanted my song to be made of mostly loops, which is why I had to spent a long time to find different loops that matched but also made the song interesting and not the same all the way through. For my instruments, I just looked up minor and major chords online and I found some chords I could play to match my loops. Finally for the musical effects, I used them to help me change the recordings to match my song.
Discuss your CDNIS sounds and how useful they were for your end product.
I wanted to make my song very calm, but also interesting to listen to, and for it to reflect my mood and my everyday life during school closure. This is why I had a recording of my teacher speaking during a class throughout the whole song. I made it added reverb and overdrive and made it sound unclear; I didn’t want it to distract from my actual song, but it did make my song sound more interesting and it did show how I am staying at home and doing online learning for now. Other sounds were an ambient noise of cars outside my window at night and some birds chirping during the day. These two sounds were added only in the beginning to set the mood. The last sound was the sound of a rainstorm, I also added some plugins to make it less clear, but it goes on throughout the whole song as well and helps blend everything together.
Evaluate your learning and new skills acquired.
The thing I learned to most about was the plugins/musical effects. I had no idea how to manage or edit them before, I didn’t even know they existed. Since I had to time experiment with them and adjust them for this assignment, I feel like I know a lot more about how they work and what they do. I think this assignment helped me better understand the process of making music from beginning to end. I learned a lot more about the tools available for me to use and how I can use them well.
What challenges did you face and overcome?
The biggest challenge was that my song was entirely made of loops (the melody). I didn’t want it to be just two loops over and over again so I added many many different loops for it to sound interesting. The problem with that was that all the loops are very different, so it’s hard to make everything sound like one complete song. I made use recordings I had to first make a background noise, but mostly I picked out two instruments and I blended all my loops together by adding chords. Overall this helped me make my loops sound more united and I think it sounded a lot better.
How is recording the same and different compared to the original song? What were your reasons behind your decisions?
My recording is different from the original track mostly because I used different instruments from the original song. The one instrument I used that stands out the most compared to the original song by Elvis Presley is the ukulele. It gives a very different sound compared to the original song. I tried to make my recording sound more like the original sound by changing my drum to a modern R&B pattern: slower, and fits my song better in my opinion. This drumming pattern reminds me of the drums in the original song even though it is not exactly the same. For my digital instrument, after trying almost every instrument there is, I decided to try using a clarinet. I think this is what makes my recording the most different from the song. In the original song, the instruments used are pretty basic, electric guitar, double bass, piano, drums…ect. My song includes ukulele and clarinet. I don’t know if the two go together, but while learning clarinet, I have grown to love the distant, mellow sound of it. Overall, I think I was very influenced by the original song.
How did your music classes prepare you for this assignment?
Discuss your playing in regards to; timing, note accuracy, rhythm accuracy. You MUST use correct musical terminology:
My recording was not in rhythm at all. The singing, strumming and melody sounded weird together. In the melody, I think I did 1 or 2 notes wrong but melody is overall what I am the most comfortable with.The strumming in my recording was repetitive, because I did the verses separately. I couldn’t manage to play it all together without messing up. I don’t remember very clearly my live performance, but when we were practicing, I felt in rhythm with my group mates. I think when we performed, our singing voices weren’t loud enough, and we messed up at a few parts, but overall I am proud of myself since somehow it was so hard for me to learn the melody as fast as my group mates. We had no idea that we were supposed to play the second part, that was on the bottom of the sheet, but now I wonder if I was supposed to play it in my recording too.
Discuss your overall understanding of Garageband and it's processes. Note down what you learned about Garageband's capabilities and how this impacted your song
I think I learned a lot about Garage Band, since I had never used it before to record and edit. I found it very useful because sometimes for the strumming or the melody it took me a long time to find my fingering, and I could edit the part where I was finding my fingering out. I found it really hard to record the metronome because it never really made any difference as in the end, my recording still wasn’t in time. This is why when I tried to add drums, it was just horrible. I found it so frustrating because when I listened to the metronome alone, I could completely sing the tune in my head on time. Then I actually recorded it and there were a few notes that took too long, or too little time. I think the part that really confused me was playing the strumming on time. I couldn’t even figure out a good strumming pattern! For my strumming, in the end it seemed to me that the best solution was to record two verses of the song, and just copy paste it three times. And of course, it wasn’t on time…Overall, Garage Band really impacted my recording, as if I couldn’t edit some parts out, or copy paste some parts, I would have never had a full recording. I think it is a very powerful tool in that way.