Culminating Assignment – Sounds of CDNIS


Describe the process of this assignment. 

The product of this assignment is a 2 minutes-song created with GarageBand using CDNIS sounds edited with plugins, software instruments, drum tracks, and loops.  After understanding the tasks and requirements of this assignment, I recorded some different sounds around the school. Then, I chose the ones I could use in my song, which were a teacher talking, a door closing, some stomping, and the clicking sounds of a stapler. Afterward, I used my knowledge of plugins and sound effects that can be used to edit tracks to edit the sounds. Later, I thought about which kind of song I am going to make and set the tempo (105 BPM), time signature (4/4), and the key of the song (C major). Also, I selected two drum tracks and came up with melody and chords. I chose a few software instruments including the two I chose previously (Evolving Shades and Synthetic Voice) and played it using musical typing in Garageband. I switched a few of the instruments I was using for different parts and tracks. Subsequently, I went through the loop browser and picked a few to add in my song. Finally, I did some arranging and finished editing the song. I exported the song to an mp3 file to add it to my blog post.


Discuss your CDNIS sounds and how useful they were for your end product. 

The sounds I’ve used in my song were a teacher speaking, a door closing, some stomping, and the clicking sounds of a stapler. My song was more focused on the software instruments instead of the CDNIS sounds. The tracks were more like background music and sounds. The plugins I have used to edit the track of my teacher speaking were vocal transformer and pitch shifter. Similarly, I have used echo, chorus, noise gate, and compressor to edit the stomping sound. These two sounds were used as a transition between different verses. As for the sound of a door closing, I have edited the track using bitcrusher, noise gate, and compressor. It was used in the background like an accent to the melody. Likewise, I have used overdrive to edit the clicking sound of a stapler and made it part of the drum track. Overall, my CDNIS sounds were not a huge part of my song but it would not have been the same without them.


Evaluate your new learning skills acquired.

Throughout this assignment, I learned many valuable new skills such as editing tracks using plugins on GarageBand, make good use of loops, and creating melodies. I have watched a couple of videos on utilizing plugins and the effects they bring to tracks. I was able to edit my CDNIS sounds as shown in my screencast. I thought it was really cool to make the tracks sound drastically different from the original sound. Also, I learned how to use loops decently. I used to spend a great amount of time looking for the perfect loop for my projects, always ending up wasting my time. I learned that I could cut and edit loops to my likings to make them fit in my song, but it still took me some time to find loops that matched the key and mood of my song.


What challenges did you face and overcome?

A challenge I faced was the tracks not sounding harmonious. The CDNIS sounds, loops, and melody were like different songs at first. I did not really think about which kind of song mine was going to be like when I recorded my CDNIS sounds. I just went around the school finding interesting noises I could use. For example, I banged a fire alarm, kicked the wall, and pressed the stapler aimlessly. They were all so random and  Besides, there are countless loops on GarageBand, so it took me quite a while to find the ones that matched with my song and the CDNIS sounds.

I listened to songs of different genres, paying attention to the background music and layers used. I also asked for feedback from my peers, which helped a lot because I could see my work from a different perspective.

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