Describe the process of this assignment.
During the course of this assignment, I was required to create a two-minute-long mix of at least four sounds from around our school, apple loops from Garageband, two software instruments and drum tracks. Our main challenge was to use the sounds from around our school, then change and distort them to make it unrecognisable from its original. I started by recording five sounds from around the school, with one of them being a teachers voice. This teacher’s voice for me was my homeroom teacher’s scream, which I distorted it using an echo and a vocal transformer to make it sound like a monster’s bloodthirsty scream. I used this both near the beginning and the end since the echo made it a phenomenal jump start. As for the other four sounds from around the school, I also regularly used the vocal transformer and echo effect to change the sound to make it suitable for the idea I was aiming for. Aside from the vocal transformer and echo, other plugins (which are things that alter the sound of the track) I applied to these tracks were the noise gate (mutes all noise below a certain volume so that there will be reduced background noise), compressor (lowers the volume of louder sounds and increases the volume of the quieter sounds) and the phaser (similar to the echo, but it plays the repetitions out of line compared to the original). This allowed me to create gunshot like sounds from a hand scraping the floor.
Discuss your CDNIS sounds and how useful they were for your end product.
The CDNIS sounds I collected from around the school were instrumental to my product as they helped to bridge the gap between sections and provided more life to the sections of the song that sounded too hollow. The scream allowed my song to transition from calm and relaxing to a more upbeat and then a digitised song. A combination of two edited versions of the same sound created a steady sound to fill in where the music was lacking (usually the bridge between two main segments of the song) and faded to a quieter volume when the bridge transformed into the main section. Multiple sounds were also slowly stacked to create a building up feeling to the main elements of the song. There is a large section of the song near the beginning where its slowly building up to a sudden drop, in which it sounded a little blank as it crawled to the drop point. The sounds provided the perfect camouflage for this as the listeners were focused on the unexpected sounds (parts of the song before this point were using apple loops and software instruments).
Evaluate your learning and new skills acquired.
I acquired a vast amount of new skills through this unit, as we were expected to complete multiple assignments which all included a new skill we had to learn to complete the specific task. This process allowed me to learn a variety of GarageBand skills, like how to use the software instruments, how to implement apple loops properly, and also the ability to use plugins to allow a mixture of sounds from the same original track. While the software instrument and apple loops assignment were to create a two-minute song, the plugin assignment was a criterion A assessment where we had to find the effects of a plugin and how I would be able to use it to its broadest extent. I think that this method of learning is stressful but effective as I was able to grasp most of the knowledge that was expected, but the fact that we had to create a two-minute project for each and had two lessons put a significant amount of pressure on us. Although the experience wasn’t particularly enjoyable, I am pleased with the final outcome as I am able to use these previously unknown functions of Garageband to improve my music piece. I can also use these valuable skills next year, or even the next unit! But so far, this all culminated in this final assessment, where I was able to use all of these skills.
What challenges did you face and overcome?
I faced countless challenges and obstacles along the way as I progressed through the assessment, but the main challenge was obviously the problem of how I could connect the three sections of my song together. This proved to be a significant challenge as I could not use the same strategy I used during the apple loops assignments as the sounds of CDNIS sounded too different when compared with each other. So, therefore, I could not slowly layer them to slowly dismantle the sections (as a transition). I overcame this challenge by using explosive sounds to create a cliffhanger and also used 2 apple loops sound effects together to create a decent transition (at 1 minute and 12 seconds). As for the other transition, I was able to fade out the previous section and slowly fade in the upcoming segment, which created a middle ground for both parts. Aside from the transitions, another major issue I faced when creating this project is the fact that I was required to fill in a total of at least 2 minutes. This leads me to add an extra middle section to the song, which as it turned out, isn’t too bad.