The Hard Life Living in BK

So I chose to review stories done by Kunal and Deji. I must say it was kind of weird realizing how close these individual stories sound. For me though I felt like they definitely could have been expanded.

For Devlin written by  Kunal. it was weird reading how his family did well then suddenly they didn’t do well financially. Well I think you could explain a little as to what happened that things became so badly that he all of a sudden needed to look for a job. And this happens in the 80s not in our current day which is during a recession. Then both of your options are the same so I was unable to see an alternative. Plus I’ve never heard gang stories where gangs hired random extra muscle to fight for them and pay them well. That was interesting, but I feel like it ended abruptly and could have had more meat.

For Devon life for him seems to be even worse in Brooklyn, because either way either he dies or his friend dies. And I feel like your options forces the reader to take specific direction to get more of a story, because I did similar for my own story. Here also I feel like the story could have expanded a little more as well. I mean Devon goes to try outs get selected becomes the best and after the team wins a playoff game, Devon gets a scholarship. That is amazing and I wanna know more. I do like the bromance that Devon and Ron have being opposites in the same surroundings in Brooklyn. Does Ron eventually get jacked that gets him shot? And where does Devon staying since he is 20 and graduating, does he live alone and if he is living a cleaner life how is he supporting himself.

All in all I think it was a good effort guys.

The Film Teaser and My Interactive Story

John Alvin was an American cinematic artist who created some of the world’s most recognizable movie  posters. Alvin created art for over 135 films during his career. His style of work became known as “Alvinesque” in the entertainment industry. I also think a lot of his work is amazing, when I think of the fact that media was created back then using linear methods of editing and creating, because they didn’t have the tools and software that we have currently. Below are some of the posters he designed:

 startrekposter                      jurassicpark4

l – r: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country 1989 by Paramount Pictures Corporation & Jurassic Park 1993 Universal City Studios.

godfather3               batmanforever3

l – r: The Godfather Part III 1990 by Paramount Pictures & Batman Forever: Licensed By: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.


Character Development of Male Character:

I was born in Scotland 1975. My mother was Irish born and raised in Scotland while my father was born in Jamaica raised for a bit in St. Vincent and then moved with his family at 12 years old to London, before he moved north into Aberdeen also known as the Grey City. While growing up in Grey, I have always been aware of my unique heritage and equally embrace both sides whether the experience was good or bad. It’s kind of weird even though my father is from the Caribbean his speech has almost always perfectly blend in as though he were a local.

My parents were always protective of me when I was younger, and it wasn’t till I was about 11 or 12 did the issue of race have any significance for me. I would see cousins on both my mother’s side often as we would visit them in Ireland often and they would visit us. My father’s  family would mainly come to visit us in the summer and they have actually managed to coordinate somewhat of a family reunion. Of the two we were able to visit the weekend of the one in held in London while my father went to the one Jamaica, and also to attend to some private business there. However it was in school where I was made of aware that I was a part of two races. All my life I was treated like any other young lad and the extra melanin in my skin was never realized as an issue to me. However it was in 2nd form (7th grade) my second year in secondary (high) school that I encountered Susan Stewart. Susan was a transfer student who had transferred as her parents moved to Scotland from Manchester when her father was promoted to be the Vice-President of operations of Shell (Royal Dutch Shell) in Scotland. Susan’s parents remained humble yet privileged folks who believed she should be a part of the public education system. Susan on the other hand was very well aware of her privilege and used it to cause as much mischief as she could. She was still her parent’s sweetheart and unlike her older brother she was still treated as tho she was still a young lassie (girl) and usually disregarded her behavior as harmless. Well it certainly was anything but harmless to those who were on the receiving end.

You must understand that Susan was definitely one of the prettiest lasses in my year at least top 3 and added she was new and was privileged to certain luxuries. Susan quickly had her own little gang who sort of regarded her as a queen of sorts. To be in Susan’s company she would intimidate other girls into acting out her ideas of cruelty. This would range from small bullying and name calling to ganging up on weaker children. However one day she went too far in pushing the wrong lad. This lad happened to be a one of my best friends in the entire Ellon Academy. You see Susan had her “gang” taunt Johnnie Murray. Well Johnnie grew up in a household where an eye was for an eye and as the youngest of four boys he learned from young how to defend himself at all costs. Johnnie planned to directly have a go at it with Susan and her girls after a week of taking their crap.

Johnnie confronted Susan the Friday at lunch break of that taunting week to warn her to start. As usual her group all started to do what Susan encouraged them to do. Johnnie didn’t care that they were girls, his aim was to make sure they never bothered him again. Johnnie found a large enough stone which was to scare them, but they pushed too far. He was very close to darting the stone at one of the girls and it was then I decided to get involved. I came over and stole the stone from Johnnie that he was certain to launch. It was at that time that the year head Mr. Grant appeared at the correct moment, not to see Johnnie with the rock but to see me the mixed lad with a stone in hand in a compromising position. It didn’t help that Susan and her gang accused me of coming to fight Susan. No one challenged this accusation, not even Johnnie. I was beyond shock and very upset. I had to bear the punishment of publicly cleaning walls for a crime I was attempting to stop. I became very cold and distrusting of friends at school. I believed I needed respect and with the encouragement of my parents I joined the junior cadets at school. I loved the toughness and challenges. It was taxing physically and mentally, but I wanted to be the best. To be the one calling the shots, giving the orders…..the one who would be respected. For me school became an obstacle to excel in the ranks of the cadets and I went on from school to join the Naval Service. I took everything in the Navy serious. I etched out distractions and in 2 years at barely 20 I was given an opportunity to join the elite Royal Marines.

Being worthy to be considered was a dream but the training felt like hell. Sure from cadets to the joining the Navy was no walk in the park. However, the Marines felt like I took all of my training for the last 7 years combined and multiply the intensity by 10. There were times I felt like I would surely die. That is what the Marines do to you they break you down till the point where you wish you could die. But it is not without reason. That filters out those strong enough to live the role and those weak enough to fall out. I survived though and I strived to become the best. And I did become one of the best. I was part of a unit that had a 96 percent mission rate and smallest casualty rate. As time passed my worth to the Empire grew as I not only was great in physicality, but also in the mental and technicality. I was indeed a threat to enemies. I was good enough to be recommended for a post first with MI5 then thought to be better used at MI6. At MI6 I was treated like the shit and why not. I had a highly successful mission rate. I did what was need at any cost and a license to kill only helped my work. However after some joint work with our American allies I was introduced to a world that enlightened me to learn that enemies of the state don’t just happen because of hatred for westernization and religious zeal. Sometimes enemies are birthed by the same governments who declare them as threats to mankind. The truth is when you start to seek to control not only your corner of the globe but in other areas that gain your interest, you can taunt a people unknown to the public into reacting in a way which seems violent and terrorizing to the world. Don’t get me wrong I love my country, and will be loyal but if loyalty means I have to destroy an enemy that created by the state rather than a natural enemy, I refuse to be a part of it. Five years at MI6 is what it took for me to resign at 28. Who would think a marine resign. Usually you finish on forced resignation when you can fulfill the grueling expectations no longer. But I left knowing big brother would always be looking over. But I knew how they operated than they did me. I was always a step or two ahead of their operations. And my work for them brought a lot of well paying work for me from all over America, Europe and some parts o Asia.




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.


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:
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. 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.


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:

Way in the past
the miners mined for ore.
They searched for copper, iron and salt,
for that and much, much more.

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

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

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

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
  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