Tuning into 4F Radio to jump start your morning

So first of all let me say it was fun doing the radio show this morning. It also wasn’t the easiest from my end but I still enjoyed it. While the rest of the class was tasked with planning the layout of the show with the segments, I was given the task of engineering the show. What this meant, was that I was responsible for checking the levels of audio being channeled out, but also providing music to be played along with instrumentals. I also took responsibility for the set up and striking of all needed equipment, inclusive of microphones, the mixer, headphones, xlr cables and any other cables that we would possibly need.

So our show was broadcast on the DS106 online radio stream, and we managed to get most of the class involved in some way or the other. We had a group do a commercial

which was prerecorded by a group of 3. The rest of the show took the form of a talk show with host and guests in the studio, along with a few members even doing freestyles for us.

Melvin dropping a freestyle

Khalil aka Klutch dropping a freestyle

radio pics

Turn Down For What! radio segment

radio pic 2

Net Neutrality segment of the show

Jayson radio

This is me working on the mixer

I want to give credit to M.B. Smith for the above pics and Kwesi for the video clips I used above. The recording I did unfortunately only captured what was being played through the Mixxx software I used to provide the music, so it doesn’t have any of the voice recordings from the show. If we had set up a camera to record the event would be the closet that I could do to truly represent what transpired for the morning show. Who knows this opportunity may come again and I would want to be better at engineering the levels, and music simultaneously.

 

How I tried to be like Family Guy’s creator

Final Project time here so I decided to do the, “All Me In The Scene” DS story bank. This assignment asked that we create audio for a scene, where I play all the roles with different voices and characteristics.

So I found this play here, a 10 minute play and it is entitled, “The Wedding Story“. I chose this one because it was funny to me with the characters speaking back to the narrator.

Now the person who came to mind first when I first started to think about doing this project was Seth MacFarlane. MacFarlane if you didn’t know was the creator of the “Family Guy” show. He also voices four characters on the show.

seth-macfarlane-family-guy-200th-episode-celebration-01

Above: Seth MacMarlane

What is also amazing other than MacFarlane being able to clearly voice characters on the show, he is able to do it so easily, slipping from one voice to the next with what seems like so much ease, as seen in the video below:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YAx9FtPyg0
However when I came to putting this together I knew I was no where close to MacFarlane’s skill level, so I decided to record each character’s lines separately. I also watched this video which gave a brief set of tips on how to do voice overs good.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ce3CUn9HnRk This was not an easy task at all and I honestly kind of rushed it. But I think it was decent enough that you could distinguish and understand what is happening. I also could have added some effects but time was more against me in getting this done on time.
I would show you the lines for the skit, however I believe it is just too long to put into a post so I’ll give an excerpt from it, but you can still read the entirety of the play in the link at the beginning of the post.

THE WEDDING STORY

by Julianne Homokay

STORYTELLER: (closing the volume) The End.  Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite. What?  You want to hear another one?  But it’s a school night.  Okay, okay, just this once.  I’m such a pushover.  What type of story shall we hear? (ad lib. if the audience yells out suggestions) How about a fairy tale for our times?  A field of dreams fenced in by white picket, a story of the young man and woman we all hope to be someday? Too bad, that’s what you’re getting.

(The STORYTELLER opens the volume back up.  Lights up on BRIDE and GROOM in traditional garb standing on top of a wedding cake.)

Once upon a time there was a young woman, pretty as a day in June.

(The BRIDE does the royal wave.)

A young man stood by her side, smart as a whip and handsome as a polo horse.

(The GROOM salutes.)

They met in high school and fell in love on a merry day in May.

(The BRIDE and GROOM whisper to each other.)

Before long, the young man dropped to his knee, pulled a diamond from his pocket, and won the young woman’s hand in marriage.

BRIDE: Uh, excuse us, Mr. Storyteller?

(The STORYTELLER looks back at them, confused.  The BRIDE and GROOM smile and wave.  The STORYTELLER waves back.)

STORYTELLER: Moving right along.  With the blessings of their compatible—

BRIDE: Mr. Storyteller!

STORYTELLER: Excuse me a moment. (to BRIDE) Yes, what is it?

BRIDE: We didn’t exactly meet in high school.

STORYTELLER: Yes you did, it says so right here.

BRIDE: We met in a bar.

GROOM: And we dated on and off for five years while she experimented with foreigners.

STORYTELLER: How nice.  Well.  For our purposes, let’s say you met in high school, shall we? (back to the kids) So.  With the blessings of their compatible families, the young man and woman were to be Bride and Groom.

 

 

 

Jonathan Quash & York College

My second News Segment / Short Doc project for the Fall “14 semester. This highlighted Jonathan Quash a professor at York College who is the director of the college’s Mens Center and is a graduated student of York College.

This project was completed by a group of 4. I took the role of co-cinematographer and co-editor. I also did most of the transcribing of the interviews, 2 of which we did. Essentially this is was a combination of both interview shots and B-roll with the subject. The hardest part of this was making decisions on what to keep and what not to use, in the end I think we did good.

Raising Hellraiser with Scott Sethna

This video unlike the previous video was an actual in studio assignment. This was an individual project, however we still worked as a group in the class. What that means is that all members of the class were individual producers, but for each member when it was their turn to direct their own piece, the other members of the class took other in the studio. So for each project I was a technical director, assistant director, production assistant and so on until I had to direct my own piece.

For the piece we had to do a small demonstration similar to what GMA or the Today show does. We also had to use a subject outside of the class, and I was able to be guided to Scott who is studying music here at York and was willing to also bring a host to do the piece. The setup inside the studio was a three camera set up, and I came up with the design of the set. The most challenging part of the project outside of live directing was also trying to direct my guest which is practically impossible to do once the cameras start rolling. It was fun however and intense, and as usual only after doing the project was I able to reflect on what I could have done better. But it was really good the work behind the scene, changing each set for each project and and taking on different roles, and trying to do them as well as possible, because you want people to do well for you, so the better the team the better the outcome.

- Endless Possibilites

It’s ALLIVVEE it’s aliiivvee the poem is alive!

This project which I’m doing is once again from the DS106 assignment bank. This Onomatopoeia assignment asked us to tell a joke, or a skit or anything similar that included as much onomatopoeias as possible so that we could add sound effects to the sound words. Words such as “boom”, “blast”, or “thud.”

So as I looking around for material to use I came across a site named Funny Poems For Free. Here I was able to find some good poems and the one I decided to use is by Denise Rodgers, who has been reading and writing poetry since she was 14.

The poem is a short poem entitled “Kaboom” from Rodgers’ book Great Lakes Rhythm and Rhyme. I chose it for it’s size and the action words it contained. I believed that it would give enough of a challenge to find the sounds that were appropriate enough to match the words.

I was lucky enough to find this great tutorial above here on how to record a voice over using Audition. As simple as it sounds, it is really easy to forget that you have to include things such as both input and output for audio, and overall his tutorial really simplified the basics of recording with Audition. I again used the MXL USB .008 Condenser Microphone. I decided to use this microphone again out of control I could have in recording directly into the computer and I honestly wanted to try recording on it again for a voice over since I last used it in the How to Catch The Busiest Cat in Action post. So here are the lyrics, from the poem:

KABOOM!
Kaboom!
Ka-blast
Way in the past
the miners mined for ore.
They searched for copper, iron and salt,
for that and much, much more.

Kaboom!
The bite
of dynamite
cut deep inside the earth.
The charge explodes revealing lodes
of minerals of worth.

Kaboom!
The dust,
the air so mussed
went swirling through the sky.
It was a sight, the dynamite
that made the mountains fly.

Kaboom!
The earth
was filled with mirth
so tickled by the boom.
The miner’s pleasure,
each newfound treasure
that followed each
Kaboom!

by Denise Rodgers
I also hope that hearing the sound effects makes it seem as if you were in some sort of mine, even though that is hard to imagine if you have never seen or been in a real one before. However I encourage you to close your eyes and use your imagination more when listening to the project.

Museum Mics and the muse of a Playful Piano in the Movie Theatre

Abstract of “The Great Train Robbery”

This is about another visit I paid to the Museum of the Moving Image. This is my fifth time having gone there. Three of which were related to an assignment in this major. However with the video I that I recorded, with a Cisco FlipCam, which can feel kind of unique since Cisco has closing down its Flip business with all the support systems, which it only bought out in 2009.

flip cam 2     flip cam custom

l-r: Flipcam front view, flipcam rear view

It was very convenient for me size and time wise to capture two elements of the museum, which I could relate to this sound class. First we have the mics which I wish had better lighting, but it was a Friday afternoon and I wanted to get my info before they closed. The first part of the video was to showcase some of the old microphones they had on display.

However what I wanted to show, which I didn’t see anyone talk about on their visit there is the aspect of the movie theater. Yes there was a time when we didn’t have vocal audio and sound effects added to moving pictures. Instead a musical score was written and in most cases it was a piano player who provided all the live audio for the film. This really added another dimension to the movies of these times which were usually complete silent films.

I don’t know if there was a bench placed in the booth where the film is shown to give that authentic feel to as if we were in a 1900s theater where patrons actually say on benches, as opposed to individual seats as we are accustomed to, as I showed in the video.

Silent era films have always almost featured live music and the first choice of instrument was usually the piano. One of the first films to have his element of piano accompaniment was by the Lumière brothers in 1895. From the screening of their first film Workers Leaving The Lumière Factory in Lyon in Paris, which was one of ten short film screenings, piano music accompaniment has been a presence in the silent movie era.

Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory with piano music

From the time it was added to films music was recognized as important in contributing to the atmosphere of the film and also to give the audience vital emotional cues.

What made The Great Train Robbery significant at its time however, was not necessarily the sound that accompanies it, but rather that included composite editing (which is editing two separate pieces of film together), camera movement and on location shooting.

Abstract of old microphones at The Museum of The Moving Image

This video was just meant to showcase some of the earlier microphones used in the early 20th century. I know the video moves a little quickly and it is hard to read everything in the clip so I decided to list all the microphones in the video as follows:

1. Western Electric Type 1-B

2. Western Electric “Cathedral-Style” Desk Model, 7A, 1928

3. Siemens & Halske Ribbon Style #25, 1929

4. Western Electric Model 618A, 1931

5. Western Electric “Eight Ball”, Model 630A, 1935

6. RCA Unidirectional Model MI-3025, Type 77A, 1936

7. Shure Cardioid Model 555-556, 1940

Overall there is so much you can learn about from this place and what is great is that it is open all year around to not only get a basic look at the history of film, television and radio but you can really find some unique things related to media and pop culture there.

 

 

 

 

How to Get Goulding Singing To Good Ole Soca

This assignment I did was another attempt at doing the Music Mashup assignment from the DS106. This time I wanted it to be an improvement over the previous mashup, when I tried combining NaNa and Naughty Girl. This time I wanted to:

1. Attempt to use 2 songs which were not close in bpms (beats per minute)

2. Using 2 songs which were not close in genre and

3. Do a live mix for the recording where I manipulate the speed/pitch for the two tracks in Mixxx rather than have the two tracks play out from start to end at the same speed/pitch that they started at.

For this project I decided from the last Mashup I did that I wanted to use the instrumental from one of my favorite songs that were released from this years Trinidad Carnival festival. Too Real from Soca artist Kerwin Dubois allowed him to win the Groovy Soca Monarch competition for this years Carnival season.

So because this was such a popular tune, it wasn’t too hard to find an equally good instrumental like this one:

Now the task after having the instrumental I wanted and now had was to find a song the same or similar in genre such as any form of Reggae. I did not want to use any Caribbean music. So I started looking around at songs I thought would work and nothing was really working until I remembered I Need Your Love.

This is a track that was released by Scottish DJ Calvin Harris on his third studio album 18 Months, which I really liked and featured vocals from singers such as Rihanna, Kelis, and Neyo. I Need Your Love features English singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding. This song I knew was of a slow tempo, and fast enough to dance to, that I believed, I could use Goulding’s vocals for the Soca track. So here is the a capella from the original track which I decided to use:

So the next step was to look at some inspiration and to also do a little more research on how to create a Mashup better than I already knew.

This here is a video from this guy Sam Tsui and his band where they did more of a fit together Mashup of rather than the blending of one songs vocals over the instrumentals of a different song. However they managed to make it all sound like it was all one original song. However I remind myself they are musicians and more than likely understand notes, pitches, and keys better than I would.

I came across this article from Digital DJ tips and these given steps which I’ll copy and paste below pretty much helped me in solving my main problems in doing this mashup.

From Digital DJ tips:

Four easy steps to making your first mashup

So here’s how to get going. It probably won’t make you a masterpiece, but it will match the BPMs all up nicely for you, give you an easy way to experiment, and cut out all of the mystery. This should give you the confidence to then take mashup creation further.

  1. Find a tune that you have an acappella, a full vocal version and an instrumental of – If you haven’t got one, go and look for one. It must all be the same mix – so for instance, an original version, an original instrumental, and then the accapella. (It’s not as good having the instrumental of one remix and the vocal of another.) If you’re just missing the acappella, try the excellent acapellas4u.co.uk
  2. Set the BPM of the acappella to the same as that of the instrumental version – Unfortunately you can’t just press “sync”, as your DJ software probably won’t be able to guess the BPM of the acappella, as it has no beat. But because you have the instrumental version (and the vocal version), you already know the BPM of the acappella – it’s the same as those two! So manually set its BPM to that
  3. Recreate the vocal version of the tune by dropping the acappella over the instrumental – This is a step that I’ve included to help you to get used to the process. As you now have an acappella at the right BPM, you can start the instrumental playing on one of your DJ software’s decks, then at the right time, start the acappella playing. (Not sure where it starts? Refer to the vocal version – that’s why we’ve got it.) Now you have effectively the same track as the full vocal version, but composed of a separate vocal and instrumental. Feel free to mess around with your EQs, crossfader, filters etc to “remix” the track on the fly
  4. Replace the instrumental with a different song’s instrumental – When you’ve had enough of that practice run, stop everything, get the acappella back to the beginning, and on the deck that you have the instrumental loaded on, load the instrumental of a different song. Match its BPM to the BPM of the acappella – hitting “sync” will do it. (You know the BPM of the acappella is correct, because you set it earlier.) Now start the instrumental playing, and wherever you feel it is right to do so (hint: count in eights), start the accapella playing. Use your nudge controls to get it exactly in time if you need to. There you go – your first properly beatsynced mashup!

I knew from the beginning that these two songs weren’t just going to play in synch as easily as the one I did before. So I had to try to understand Mixxx a little better. I found this tutorial video once again from what sounds like a another 15 year old posting a DIY/ How To video but it really helped what I was doing:

With my two songs the beginning worked well together, however while the instrumental basically kept the same pace, the vocals for Ellie Goulding would change pitch range from the verse sounding in synch to the chorus, to the chorus either lagging or jumping ahead of the instrumentals. What was good about Mixxx is that it shows you the sound waves of the tracks. This helped because you could see where there was silence and where vocals were on the track. (I would also advise anyone to remove the vinyl display in Mixxx as well when recording a Mashup since you don’t want to speed up the either track with that tool but rather the pitch bar).

So first I decided to skip the intro for my vocal to match my intro for the instrumental. Since that section of the song wasn’t necessary to work with what I wanted which was to make it sound as legit as possible. So what I did was to skip to the first verse of the vocals and placed a hotcue on the track so that I could cue it in at the right moment, while listening to the instrumental play as shown below:

Hotcue shot1

I had to subsequently do this process two more times in the vocals otherwise the vocals would have just played along and sound horrible together and just not make any sense. So effectively the with the cues I could direct the position bar, while recording the remix and place it at a part of the track, this being an area of the vocal where I could see no singing going on. Then by timing the instrumental, I press the numbered hotcue button, which will pick up play as long as you haven’t stopped the track at the point where exactly where you want the track to restart along with the instrumental. This process involved my before knowledge of both songs and understanding which parts would blend better together to sound as good as possible.

This however, was not an easy task, and my laziness in wanting to have a track on top of the next made it easy and frustrating, at first, but I also didn’t want the final product to sound like no effort went into it. This final product was my 28th attempt, over the course of 3 days. This also happened because I wanted to do the mashup in one recording take. I hope it was not bad listening.

Endless Possibilities

 

Friends Faking it to get to Fun Rides

This project was not found in the DS106 bank, but was an original idea which turned into a group project. So for this project we had 3 members for the group who were Laywah, Khalil and myself Jayson. The idea for this project was to create a story of three friends at an amusement park (Coney Island for example), and two of the friends manage to trick the other friend into going on a ride they don’t want to go on.

Laywah was the originator for this group idea and the one who added the sound effects, while Khalil and myself recorded the dialogue and edit the voices.

So to record audio we decided to use one of the editing suites and to employ one of the USB microphones to record our selves together. After deciding on the type of scenario we wanted to create, we proceeded to record the dialogue by improvising our parts instead of writing out our parts. This was preferred so we could have that authentic feel for speaking against each other and that the skit wouldn’t sound overtly stunted.

In the editing suite we all surrounded the microphone. I sat close to the microphone on the right, Khalil was standing directly away from the mic, and Laywah was on the right side of the mic. This placement was done to also add to authentic feel of the distance of the voices being recorded, to replicate an environment as if we were at an actual amusement park and someone was recording us as we had our conversations.

 

 

Here is How You Rock out Till to Tomorrow

For this assignment we were asked to create a story using audio snippets form songs for the DS106 assignment named Music Tag. This assignment placed more emphasis on the lyrics of each song used and the requirement was that the last word of each clip used had to be the first word of the next clip. I also took on the other challenge in using different genres and decades.

The songs I used for the story with corresponding lyrics are as follows:

Rock That Body – Black Eyed Peas (2010)

I wanna rock right now
I want I wanna rock right now
I want I wanna rock right now
Now, now, rock right now
I want I wanna rock right now
I want I wanna rock right now
I want I wanna rock

Rock and Roll is Here to Stay – Sha Na Na cover (1968)

Rock (rock) – oh baby – rock (rock) – oh baby – rock (rock)
Oh baby – rock (rock) – oh baby
Rock ‘n’ roll is here to stay, it will never die
It was meant to be that way, though I don’t know why
I don’t care what people say, rock ‘n’ roll is here to stay

Stay – Rihanna (2013)

I want you to stay.                                                                                                             Ooh, ooh, ooh, the reason I hold on
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ’cause I need this hole gone

Gone – Switchfoot (2003)

Gone, like yesterday is gone
Like history is gone
Just try and prove me wrong and
pretend like you’re immortal.                                                                                           She said, he said, live like no tomorrow

Annie – Tomorrow (1977)

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow
You’re always a day away                                                                                          Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow
You’re always a day away …

The challenge for me was not knowing the songs since I knew all the songs I used, I just couldn’t remember all of them be name, but choruses and hooks from songs are usually the most remembered parts of songs.
This project also reminded me of creating mix-tapes on cassettes back in the 1990s. This small documentary is of rapper Nas talking about creating mix-tapes by listening to the radio and having to record the songs you want and also to make sure you didn’t re-record over the portion of tape you recorded the songs on, in addition to getting full versions of the songs you wanted in the order you wanted. In these times if you wanted to have the songs you heard at a show or on the radio you would listen for when it was in rotation on the stations playing hip hop or rap.
This short clip more or less sums up how what was known as mix-tapes in the past were created compared to how in this current day a mix-tape is simply done by dragging and dropping songs on a computer into a playlist.
I used a similar approach to making the sound story without using a vinyl cassette. I used Audition for this project and I used the multi-track editing for this project. For each song I first researched the lyrics for each song so that my editing would make sense. Then after I had the lyrics, I was able to source the position of the audio clip in relation to the selected lyrics and using the the selection and cut tools in Audition, I was then able to select and cut the portions of the song I needed. I then was able to line up each audio clip in 5 tracks below each other and line up the end of each track with the beginning of the corresponding clip so the clip could be continuous. I also altered the gain on clips where needed, so that I didn’t have some clips being louder or quieter in than the next and the volume wouldn’t be jumping from song to song greatly.

 

When Beyonce and DJ Mustard Combine its Na Na Naughty Boy!

This remix project was in  accordance to DS106 audio assignment Music Mashup, which asked us to create an audio mashup aka a remix of two songs. I didn’t used Audacity as the assignment asked, but that is because I didn’t have to used Audacity.

Instead I used Mixxx which a free DJ Software. I have used previous DJ software such as Virtual DJ (which I’m certain many people I know used already,  Serato and Taktor. What was such a bother about these program besides the obvious cost, was that they were never easy to use up front, seemed intimidating and there was always some underlying catch if you really wanted to practice some pro work. Serato for example, its program being free but the hardware to go with it costing more than the most computer did. That is for another forum however.

I chose to use the below audio clips :

The instrumental is from the the Trey Songz single Na Na produced by DJ Mustard. While the A capella I found is from Beyonce’s single Naughty Girl.

From the beginning when I chose to do this project I decided it would be best to use songs which were close in bpms (beats per minute). This was so that the manipulation of the songs wouldn’t differ greatly and sound over edited from the original version. Those are problems which I encountered before trying to match a slow song with an instrumental that was much much faster or slower than that acapella was.

I am new to Mixxx and decided to find a tutorial on YouTube, after I downloaded the program and began to play with it for a bit. This clip over viewed using the cross-fader, the pitch bar which not only increases or decreases the pitch but also alters the bpms correspondingly so the higher the pitch the higher the bpms. Next was the individual volume adjust for each audio track and filters with can either cut or adjust the high, mid and low frequencies of each track. Loop controls which I was familiar from other software which allows for placing marks at specific points of a song, but I didn’t need it in this case. Generally I can agree this software is good for non-professionals, but you can also practice a lot a being that is free.

I also read this article from Beyond Beatmatching, which was essentially on creating your own mashups. This article spoke on how its best not to be too complex, and to match songs of the same or similar key. For me this can be the biggest challenge, in finding songs that are close enough in key and have a similar bpm. This article also featured an interview with DJ Prince, who is a DJ and producer from Norway who has been around since the 1980′s. He goes on talk about how he had to do research back then by going to the library and reading about music theory, and discovering the root key of pop songs back then and applying them to his turntables to work. He also goes on to say how back then without affordable software he had to rely on musician friends to find the key in a song, which really shows me how far technology has come where we have free and available software that lessons our work load but obviously requires us to understand what exactly we are doing.

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 11.16.59 AMScreenshot of songs adjusted and playing together.

As I was using Mixxx and used two songs which were close enough in bpm I left the Instrumental track as it was. However I lowered the pitch of the A capella track since it was slightly faster than than the instrumentals and changing the pitch also changes the bpm or speed of the track. It was difficult to find the correct pitch of the A capella that would seem legitimate enough to match the instrumental. My final project is as close as I believe I could work the A capella which does not begin as sounding as good as it finishes.