Duck and Cover:
For this song, we used SoundTrap, a web browser based DAW. I used samples from Galt MacDermot's song Coffee Cold, and I also sampled an old 1950's instructional video about what to do when an atomic bomb explodes within the United States. This project helped me develop skills in a new DAW, and helped me learn to use samples more effectively. After adding both of the samples, I added in a strings section and a Rhodes piano. Overall, I think the song is good, however I probably could have spent more time on mixing, however SoundTrap doesn't have much to offer regarding mixing.
This project was meant to be a submission to the competition in New Jersey. I started off by using the stems from a pre-existing song, "Feel the Lightning" by Dan Deacon. I used both the drums and the jaw harp stems from this piece, and then built my project around that. I added in synths, a grand piano for the bass sound, and two harmonized synth leads. But after this, I felt the project was still lacking something. For some reason, I thought Willy Wonka should be the man to make my project whole, so I added some audio from the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie. In the beginning, Wonka whispers, "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams." During the buildup of the piece, I used his 'song' from the creepy and completely unexplained boat scene. Finally, at the end, Wonka whispers, "So shines a good deed in a weary world."
For my final project, I collaborated with Sam Vanasse. This song uses a building piano structure with a harmonizing lead riff, but then moves into a more electronic section, before reverting back to its original structure. This was one of the longest songs I have ever made, but I also feel it is one of the best.
This project, from my final year of music tech, was simple yet interesting. We were asked to mix a song. Three songs were provided, and I chose the one with the most tracks, in order to refine my mixing skills as much as possible. I started by color coding and naming tracks, just to make sure I knew what was what. Next, I panned out slightly, in order to give the mix width. Then I added compression and EQ to each track, and created busses for reverb on the most tracks, and then a delay bus only for the vocals. Then I decided I wanted to adjust where things were panned. I finally put it all through a master track, added a limiter, and adjusted the levels in order to reduce unwanted compression and to make it sound more balanced. I think the final product turned out pretty good, although I probably could adjust the levels a bit more in order to make it perfect.
This project was meant to include a building structure, with elements building up and dropping out at certain points. I created an electronic based song, starting off with a filtered piano in which the frequency of the cutoff was adjusted until completely open, and then I added in arpeggiated synths and a bass sound, and simple drums.
O Virgo Splendens
This project was started in Sibelius, in which we composed a piece of piano music, and added in different instruments. Then, the project was carried over to Pro Tools, in which we added in final instruments, mixed, and mastered. This project was very different from most of the other projects I do, in its structure and the instruments used.
Raw Audio Mix:
In this project, we were given multiple short clips of unmixed songs, and told to mix them. This is only one of the songs, and it is one of the weirder ones. However, I think I mixed it well enough, using compression, EQ, reverb and pan to make it sound wider and more complete. The mixed version sounds miles better than the original.
This third project had a simple premise, which was to write a song in the Aeolian mode. At first, I created a simple song, however I did not like the outcome. After deleting it, I found a prison song, and sampled certain pieces of the vocals, and added a reverse reverb effect. After that, I just added in different instruments, creating a large building structure, with lots of parts dropping out at a certain point.
Marathon of Fright:
This fourth project had another somewhat simple idea, if a bit difficult. The idea was to create an atmospheric soundtrack/soundscape for a movie trailer, the movie being Marathon of Fright. However, the song could only be created using Mellotron based sounds, in the Structure Free plugin. To create the song, I just held down one note for one of the tracks, and used the pitch bend function to move it up and down. I added distortion effects, and then a reverse reverb effect in order to add to the 'spooky' type effect I was going for. After that, I recorded small stabs of notes, used pitch bending on them as well, and added distortion and reverb. All the use of effects throughout the song created a very angry and deep sound. Finally, I duplicated the first Mellotron track, and then automated panning of both tracks, however they panned at different rates, making a somewhat uncomfortable rotary effect..
Our class was given a video, Aqua. However, this video had no audio whatsoever. We were told to create a song around this it. I made a basic electronic song, using synth pads, drums, and a vocal sample, that says the words, "Buy, Sell, Sold." I feel I definitely could have mixed this a bit better, as the kick drum seems too bassy, but I still feel this is a pretty good song.
Head Like A Hole:
For an at home project, I looked around for vocal stems, and stumbled upon the stems for Head Like A Hole by Nine Inch Nails. I left the vocal track as it was, and built a song around the vocals. I added in a bass synth, drums, a piano with a heavy chorus effect, and a deep sub-bass.
This project was a simple exercise in keyboard skills. We needed to figure out and play a holiday song, then record it into ProTools and add drums. I added reverb on every track to give it a bit more ambience, however other than that I didn't do much to the song. It was only 3 tracks and didn't require much mixing.