Class #2 Listening Exercise…the stuff and substance of music

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Kitchener Studio Project
Monday, Jan 20/2014
Sounds of a group of singers dancing & drumming in a communal celebration. Thoughts that came to mind while listening:
WHERE DOES THE SOUND RESONATE IN THE BODY?
THE GROUP IS THE INSTRUMENT
THE SOUND IS OPEN TO THE SKY
BUT IS CONTAINED WITHIN A CIRCLE OF MOVING PEOPLE
INTERSECTION OF HIGHER NOTES
USING THE VOICE AS AN INSTRUMENT
USING THE BODY AS AN INSTRUMENT
EVERYONE PROVIDING A CONTRIBUTION
FEELS LIKE A HEARTBEAT
SINGING DRUMS IN THE CENTRE
STORY UNITES
RHYTHM IS A POETIC LANGUAGE
CHANTING IS A GROUP RHYTHM
ORCHESTRA OF VOICES, CHOIR OF SOUNDS
 

                                                                                                                                                     RANDOM CLASS NOTES FOR FOLLOW-UP:

DEPTH OF FIELD IS SUPER IMPORTANT TO RECORDING.  DEPTH OF FIELD IS CAPTURED…NOT CREATED IN POST

LISTEN TO:  TOWER OF POWER (METERS?)  NEW ORLEANS STYLE DRUMMING THAT CREATES A SENSE OF SPACE

IF YOU CAN MASTER “ONE MIKE” RECORDING, THE REST IS EASY
THE ORIGINAL TRACKS TO LAY DOWN ARE REFERRED TO AS “BED TRACKS”

THE SCAFFOLDING THAT HOLDS THE MUSIC TOGETHER:

CONCEPT OR THEME

MELODY – (2ND MOST IMPORTANT QUALITY & WHAT MOST SOUND ENGINEERS STRIVE FOR)

RHTHYM – (#1)

  • IF YOU MAKE A MISTAKE IN DRUMMING, IT IS HARD TO RECOVER, OTHER INSTRUMENTAL ERRORS ARE FORGIVABLE
  • THEREFORE DRUMMER MUST BE ABLE TO KEEP TIME  TO MAKE THE RECORDING PROJECT WORK (& AVOID TIME CONSUMING REMEDIES)
  • KICK AND SNARE USED TO KEEP A NATURAL FLOW
  • “TIGHTNESS” IS RECOGNIZED AS A PRO QUALITY, & IS RADIO FRIENDLY

 HARMONY – (3RD)

  • ANOTHER MELODY
  • PADS THE NOTE MAKES IT RICHER, FLUFFIER; DIAD/CHORD/CHORD EXTENSIONS
  • INTERWEAVING, COMPLIMENTING IN THE SAME KEY

 LYRICS

  • THEY TAKE THE MOST TIME TO PRODUCE (FOLLOWED BY RHYTHM)

 DENSITY

  • HOW MUCH IS GOING ON?
  • TECHNIQUES INCLUDE FLATTENING (OFFSET 3-8 MILLISECONDS)  & ADDING MORE VOCALS
  • FLANGING & DELAY (DIVERSION OFF THE ORIGINAL SOURCE)

 INSTRUMENTATION

  • YOU EVALUATE YOUR PERFORMER (FATIGUE/STRENGTH) AND YOU MAKE INSTRUMENT CHOICES FROM THERE
    • THE MATERIALS THAT INSTRUMENTS ARE CONSTRUCTED WITH HAVE CHANGED (MAHAOGANY TO MAPLE, ETC)
    • PICK THE RIGHT INSTRUMENT…IT CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING

SONG STRUCTURE

LISTEN TO TOM PETTY – WALLFLOWER
 
PERFORMANCE

QUALITY OF THE GEAR & THE RECORDING

THE MIX

MASTERING

  •  TAKING YOUR FINAL MIX AND MANIPULATING IT, MAKING IT “LARGE”
  • LOUDNESS WARS?

PLAYBACK –  WHAT IS THE END MEDIA THAT THE PROJECT IS GOING TO BE LISTENED ON???  WORK BACKWARDS FROM THERE

RECORDING BIT AND SAMPLE RATE?

  • LOSSY (MP3 & AAC) VS LOSTLESS (WAVE & AIFF)
  • LOSING QUALITY OF AUDIO WHEN FILES GET COMPRESSED
  • CD QUALITY IS AT 16 BITS 44.1 SAMPLE RATE VERSES MP3’S WHICH ARE 128 & NOW 320

REVERB & ECHO:

SOUND IS DRAWING OUT THE ROOM (LIKE AN ARTIST) LETTING YOU KNOW WHAT THE SURROUNDING IS

WORKING WITH ROOMS IS AS IMPORTANT AS MICROPHONE TECHNIQUE

  • TEST OUT THE MID RANGE IN A ROOM
  • DO YOU WANT TO USE THE ROOM FULL SIZE?  HOW DO YOU DEADEN THE ROOM?
  •  COUNT OUT THE REVERB TIME (1SEC, 1.5 SEC?)
  • PADDING THE FLOOR DEADENS SOUND
  • BACKGROUND NOISE?  UNWANTED SOUNDS? LISTEN FOR FINE DETAILS

HUMIDITY & TEMPERATURE:

  • SOUND TRAVELS FASTER IN HEAT
  • HUMID SOUND IS WARMER, THICKER, LOOSER…INSTRUMENTS MAY SOUND A BIT OUT OF TUNE
  • AT 500Hz AND UNDER – HUMIDLY ROUNDS OUT THE SOUND BUBBLE

500-5000Hz ARE THE MID RANGE FREQUENCIES THAT ARE MOST PROBLEMATICAL,  ABOVE 5000 YOU ENCOUNTER VOCAL ISSUES,   BELOW THAT LIKE 40 – 100 (SUBS)

1000Hz IS THE HOLY GRAIL OF FREQUENCIES – EASY TO HEAR

ASSIGNMENTS FOR NEXT CLASS:

  1. BLINDFOLDED;  SPEND 15 MIN A DAY  LISTENING TO AMBIANCE AND TAKE MENTAL NOTES – WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU HEAR
  2. QUIZ– RESEARCH 10 FACTS/FINDINGS ABOUT DAW AND POST ON WORDPRESS SITE BEFORE NEXT CLASS
  3. DOWNLOAD MIXCRAFT
  4. PERSONAL BLOG AND RECORDING DUE NEXT CLASS ALSO
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