Explain the step by step process of this assignment… *
For this assignment, I decided to create a mashup using at least 4 different songs. Before starting, I went through a lot of research and trial and error trying to find the right songs to use. I went on youtube and searched up many songs, something I kept in mind was that I need to find songs where the key and pitch matches with one another. Having two songs that are in the same key/pitch is very important because it makes everything a lot easier and it doesn’t sound messy when put together. When I decided on what songs to use, I downloaded the instrumental version for one song and then downloaded only the vocals from another song. Then i went through a long process of moving around the vocals, changing the speeds of the songs so that it matches causing the song to flow and sound natural, for some songs. I repeated this process multiple times and ended up using parts of 9 songs in total, instrumental and vocal. Another key thing when having so many songs is transitioning. What I did to transition from one song to another is creating keyframes causing a song to fade in and out. This was probably the most useful trick that I learned from this project. Lastly, most of the songs I used did not need to be pitched up/down, but I had to for one of them, I managed to learn how to change the pitch of the vocals of a song to the match the instrumental of another.
Assess your success against your assessable criteria from your proposal… *
Looking back at my proposal, I think overall it was a success and I did even better than I expected. Requirements that I set up were using at least 4 songs and at least 2 vocals, I ended up having more than that having used 9 songs where more than 2 of them were vocals. The duration that I set for the song was approximately 2 minutes and my final product was around 1:50 which I think justifies it. I created smooth transitions and did my best on making the song change flow and sound as natural as possible. I found songs with similar keys, found vocals and tweaked the pitch a bit to match them. Overall, I did everything I said I was going to do.
Evaluate your learning and new skills acquired. *
When I started this project, I basically had very little experience with Garageband, all I really knew how to do was just using it to record songs and cutting parts of songs out. So I went into the mashup project with no experience. Since the project, I’ve learned so much on how to use the application and song knowledge in general. I learned how to find songs with matching keys and pitches. I learned how to change the speed of a song which was crucial to making my mashup. I learned how to use volume keyframes to create seamless transitions from one song to another. I learned how to change up a pitch of a song using a pitch shifter and vocal transformer. I learned to go through the process of trial and error and took time to finally find the right songs to use and having the right placements with the vocals. This project allowed let me know that making a mashup isn’t just slapping two songs together and expecting it to just sound good.
What challenges did you face and overcome. *
When making a mashup from scratch, there will always be problems where I have to overcome. One thing I want to highlight is trying to match my vocals to the instrumental version. What I did at first was trying to match the speed of the singing to the instrumental version which I did. Here’s the problem, only part of the singing matched perfectly and the rest of the song the vocals were very delayed. This problem occurred many times with the different songs that I did. To overcome this challenge I actually depended it a lot on splitting parts of the song. To fix the delay of them singing I took parts where there was a little rest/where the singer took a breath and cut out that empty part and then moved the delayed parts of the song and brought it to the front. This technique was very successful and was quite useful for me. Another problem that I would like to mention was pitching the vocals. I used the pitch shifter and vocal transformed that Garageband provided. There was one scale that you could drag to change the pitch and the other one was called a mix which was a very useful tool. The percentage that you choose on the mix is how much of the song that you’re trying to pitch. Overall, I think the challenged I’ve faced were great learning opportunities to help me do better and helping me learn even more skills.
The information I am using from this link is the basic tutorial on how to set up and make a mashup. First off, you make a Garageband project with the microphone. Then I have to organize my songs and cut off parts I want and don’t want, mostly incorporating the key parts of each song you’re using and taking off unwanted sections. Then you move each clip around and try to make them match. To make the clips not sound like its jumping from one another. A smooth transition can be done by fading out one song to another. To do that you can access the volume grid of the song then drag down the line at the end of the song to make the song fade out. To make the fade sound natural, you also need to do the same for the start of the next song where the song fades in.
This website provides on key things to know about when making a mashup. When finding each song, I should have both a vocal and instrumental version of the songs I’m using. This is because this will allow me to freely overlay my songs. But before overlaying the song, I need to fix the BPM of the songs are matching to fix song structure. When overlaying, I will be overlaying the vocals of one song to another song’s instrumentals. Another thing I can do is overlaying instrumentals together.
The website above was to teach me things to pay attention to when making a mashup. First thing to pay attention is that each track that you add in are all at BPMs. So when you overlay your tracks you need to make sure the BPMs match so it doesn’t sound messy. Second of all, the song structure of each track don’t exactly match. To fix this you would have to expand or trim down your tracks. Another thing is that the key of the songs won’t always match. I will need to review the circle of fifths for this as certain notes sound well together. I can also try changing the pitch of some songs.
Besides learning how to make a mashup on GarageBand, I also wanted to explore other softwares like Mixed in Key. To make a mashup with Mixed in Key, first, you have to build a library of audios and simply bring it up to the timeline. Then Mixed in Key has a harmonic compatibility tool that allows you to see how compatible each song is with your track. After picking the other track you can set the tempo and start fixing the volume and EQ of each track.
Looking back at the final composition and the draft, there were definitely a lot of changes made. First of all I my draft was written in swing and missing the given notes. So in this final composition, I made sure I included the right kind of rhythm and notes. I added in a range of dynamics and slurs, I also added in things including triplets and grace notes.