Music Grade 8 Criterion A Submission

Link of your research
Garageband lesson store (built into garageband)

What information are you using from this link?
From this information store, I will be able to extract valuable information regarding the knowledge on how to play the software instruments, especially the guitar and piano. This will help me improve my software instrument skills and also significantly increase the quality of the track as the software instruments would ideally take up around half the song.

Link of your research
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELs6PfVn0zo

What information are you using from this link?
I will use this source to find out how I will expand my knowledge on garageband skills and it’s extensive features. This video informs me on new or undiscovered garageband skills I didn’t know about, which I could use to my advantage as these include the ability to stack multiple plugins (up to 15) instead of the usual limit of four.

Link of your research
https://support.apple.com/kb/PH25014?locale=en_US&viewlocale=en_US

What information are you using from this link?
The link above leads to the apple GarageBand support page, where I can have access to a variety of GarageBand knowledge and also find specific answers for my questions. The exact page the link leads to is the page for Arpeggiator, which I could possibly use for my software instrument section of my song.

Link of your research
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP7hZosZfvQ

What information are you using from this link? *
This link is a video which talks about how to correctly apply drum tracks into Garageband and also provides valuable information on how I could use those tracks. I will use this video to help me pair together the different sections of a song, since a drum track could serve as the core of the song.

Music Project Genesis Proposal

What is the goal for your assignment? 
My goal for this assignment is to improve the skills I previously gained during the software instrument assignment and apple loops assignment. I can also incorporate instrumental skills acquired during grade 6 and 7.

Why this project? 
I chose this project because I feel that I still need to improve upon my skills, and I also think that I would be better suited in excelling in a select field rather than learning a new skill, which would take a considerable amount of time. I also thoroughly enjoyed the apple loops and software instrument assignments, which also contributed to my decision to use these two individual skills in tandem to complete this assignment.

Outline/Process (Steps) to Achieve Goal. 
The steps below will be my outline of the project and assist me in managing my time efficiently.

1) First, I will complete the project proposal, which includes researching about the topic and watching the videos on the task overview, and should take around one lesson with a little for homework.
2) Then, I will take the main idea I have in my mind, and find suitable apple loops to fit my song. I can also find other songs that I might want to add in, so it becomes more like a mashup then a completely new song. This should take around 1-2 lessons.
3) After, I will record my software instrument/s, which will be part of the ukulele songs played in grade 6/7, but played on a piano. This should take around a lesson to perfect.
4) Next, I will sort out the connections/bridges between sections of the song, and also make the transition from software instrument to apple loops more smooth and sounds more like a single song. This should take 2-3 lessons to complete.
5) After that, I will check to make sure that I don’t include any errors (like having apple loops off time), then share my song with a peer and request feedback for me to improve upon the song. This should take around half a lesson for the peer review and corrections.
6) Finally, I will change and improve the songs according to the feedback I received in step 5 and show this version to mr o’toole for a final check. This would probably take up the latter half of the lesson.

What do you hope to learn? 
I hope to improve upon the skills learned in the first unit, and also increase my knowledge and understanding of Garageband functions, which I could alter to fit my purposes. I also hope that I will learn how to play other instruments on Garageband so that I can play a drum track of my own.

What are the criteria you will use to self assess the success of your product? 
I will mark my music off the criteria provided, and which will be used to mark me for my grades. This will help ensure that I can achieve the best grades possible while creating a successful product. The music would be mainly marked off on the criterions B and C. I will also include a set of my own criteria, such as having the length of the song be around two minutes (+/- 10 seconds), and including at least one software instrument (playing a song from the ukulele song folder).

Sounds Of CDNIS Music Crit B and D Summative

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.