Shorty Stuck in South Central Matrix

This project is based on the DS106 audio bank assignment Dialogue Mashup. This assignment asked us to take two different movies and extract the dialogues from scenes and re-edit them to create a story.

Here try this other video since that original one was removed:

I chose to use the clips above from two very popular movies I remember as a teenager growing up. The first scene is from The Matrix which came out in 1999, and was really popular when it introduced the ‘bullet time’ effect with slow motion and camera movement. This caused a lot of copycat scenes in other movies with the whole bullet effect. The other movie that was funny at the time was Scary Movie, which was the Wayans brothers first comedy spoof to the Scream series that was so ridiculously funny at that time. Overall I watched these two movies numerous times, till I was sick of them.

There are various approaches I thought of before deciding on how exactly I was going to do the mashup for two movies. I liked this mashup of a bunch of movies edited together to sound as though it was one dialogue from one film. Then I also liked this other movie mashup, but this one was less complicated in that it used clips from one movie which was Toy Story 3 and used the dialouge from the trailer for Fight Club. These were great edits, however they both relied heavily on the visuals to really carry the story. However I wanted the dialogue to be able to carry the story without having visuals, and it was also the reason I chose two well known movies in pop culture. So that upon hearing the two dialogues, listeners could remember the two films and then try to visualize from what they heard, the two movies blending together for the mashup.

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 10.15.45 AMMulti-Track edit for Morpheus and Shorty

To edit the two clips I used Audacity. I used the multi-track editing since it was two audio tracks I used and it really came down to editing for specific voice dialogues. Since the original two clips I used are from movies they had other people speaking besides the main individual characters I wanted to hear from each. To start I placed both audio clips on separate tracks and began to cut out all other dialogue from the clip and kept the main characters voice. Since the dialogue for Morpheus was much longer, I decided to use his speech as the lead character and to have Shorty follow in between Morpheus’ speech. Lastly I had to place the alternating clips to be in synch one after the other and then I also had to alter the gain where necessary to avoid the audio from one track over powering the audio from the next. Then after all that editing, I had to mixdown both tracks into one file and I exported it as a WAV file, since both clips were downloaded as mp3s to avoid further compression of two already compressed files.

My idea for the dialogue re-edit was to take the dialogue that originally had Morpheus talking to Neo in the Matrix. Then to edit it with the dialouge of Shorty from Scary Movie, so as to create a scene as though Shorty being a pot head was doing what he does best in getting high. Then Morpheus would be the voice of reason trying to explain the reality of the current Earth situation to Shorty. In reality Morpheus isn’t real and is more of a hallucination in Shorty’s head but appears real to us.

Pull up selector….Wheel and Spin the Plan Again

This post is going to be an updated plan to the original plan I started here. The first quarter was very lazy for me I’ll admit, and I could have done better. That’s the past however and the ultimate goal still remains to be that 485 or more. Of course that includes getting more familiar with software such as Audition, Pro Tools for editing, and even Mixxx which is a new and free DJ software.

I still want to experiment more with the recorders and mics where possible, but that may extend beyond this class. So going forward, I have 3 quarters left in the semester and some 300+ points to get to reach my goal. Looking back on my first plan, and with feedback I realized that I did not plan for the maximum of work that I could do but rather aimed for the minimum. The first quarter really inspired to try some other projects, since I should have known it would be better to aim closer for the maximum number of overall points. Instead of 2 or 3 blog posts, I’ll aim at doing 5 which is the maximum. These will be done regarding projects, another field trip (which I actually went to before the Paley Center), 2 critique blogs, a tutorial or two and also 2 exams.

One thing I would note is that the quarters are not equal, and that really could be an advantage rather than a disadvantage to get some real work done in the April 11 to May 5 quarter before exams. Overall plans change and this one even though it is re worked could really alter from what it is. How my new total of 541 for 3 quarters which outweighs my original total of 517 is just crazy. Here is the new schedule.

Planned Schedule

March 25 – April 10

Audio Project 3 + Level 2 Blog Post  = (15+12) = 27 pts                                                   Audio Project 4 + Level 2 Blog Post  = (15+12) = 27 pts                                                 Audio Project 5 + Level 2 Blog Post  = (15+12) = 27 pts                                                       Audio Project 6 + Level 2 Blog Post = (15+ 12) = 27 pts                                                     Exam 1: Golden Ears & Mic Basics ======== > 30 pts                                                        3 Creative Blog Comments = (3 x 5) ========> 15 pts                                                                                                  Period 2 total  =  153 pts

April 11 – May 5

Audio Project 7 + Level 3 Blog Post  = (15+25) = 40 pts                                                       Audio Project 8 + Level 2 Blog Post  = (15+12) = 27 pts                                                 Audio Project 9 + Level 2 Blog Post  = (15+12) = 27 pts                                                   Field Trip 2 + Level 2 Blog Post  = (20 + 12) ==>  32 pts                                                      Exam 2: SWS & MBB ==================> 30 pts                                                    Critique Blog Post = (20 + 12)============ > 32 pts                                                        3 Creative Blog Comment = (3 x 5) ========>  15  pts                                                                                                    Period 3 total  =  203 pts

May 06 – May 20

Audio Project 10 + Level 2 Blog Post  = (15+12) ===> 27 pts                                        Tutorial + Level 2 Blog Post  = (15+12) ==========> 27 pts                                            Critique Blog Post = (20 + 12)================ > 32 pts                                       Service Learning + Level 2 Blog Post = (20+12) ===>  32 pts                                              Tutorial 2 + Level 2 Blog Post  = (20 + 12) =======>  32 pts                                               3 Creative Blog Comment = (3 x 5) ============>  10  pts                                                                                                  Period 4 total  =   160 pts

Attendance —-> (3×5) = 15 pts                                                                                          Planning Post ———–>10 pts

Total Points (153+203+160+15+10) = 541 pts


What a Relationship Could Be Like In Sound

This Project is based on the Storytime! SongTag Style assignment from the DS106 bank. This assignment asked that we create a story using at least 5 songs. For me some of the most annoying music can be the ones about relationships, however they can be some of the most in depth. So as a challenge to my self I decided to do a dialogue style narrative with different songs. That way it would be, as if a man and woman couple were talking to each other through song and going through the motions. The guy confronts the girl, she answers back, and back and forth till they admit their embedded love, bleh I say.

Below are some popular romantic comedies in recent years so you can get a better idea of the direction I’m going :

Bottom: The Proposal (2009), Top: Life As We Know It (2010), Mid: That Awkward Moment (2014)

For this project, I decided to go to vast library of YouTube videos to download some Mp3 versions of the songs I wanted to use. The songs and more specifically the corresponding lyrics are as follows with the music:

Bob Marley – Waiting In Vain Lyrics (Man talking to woman)                                             It’s been three years since I’m knockin’ on your door,
And I still can knock some more:
Ooh girl, ooh girl, is it feasible?
I wanna know now, for I to knock some more.
Ya see, in life I know there’s lots of grief,
But your love is my relief:
Tears in my eyes burn – tears in my eyes burn
While I’m waiting – while I’m waiting for my turn,

Beyonce – Single Ladies lyrics  (Woman’s response to man)                                       You decided to dip, but now you wanna trip
Cause another brother noticed me
I’m up on him, he up on me
Don’t pay him any attention
Cried my tears, for three good years
Ya can’t be mad at me

Cause if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it
If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it
Don’t be mad once you see that he want it
If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it
Ooo, ooooo, oooo

I put gloss on my lips, a man on my hips
Fit me tighter than my in my Dereon jeans
Acting up, drank in my cup
I could care less what you think

Trey Songz – Say Ahh lyircs (Man’s response to woman)                                              Go girl,
Its your birthday
Open wide, I know you’re thirsty
Say Aah (Aah, Aah, Aah, Aah)
Say Aah (Aah, Aah, Aah, Aah)
We don’t buy no drinks at the bar
We pop champagne cuz we got that dough
let me hear you say Aah (Aah, Aah, Aah, Aah)
If you want me say Aah (Aah, Aah, Aah, Aah)

Rihanna – Rude Boy lyrics (Woman’s response to man)                                            Come here rude boy, boy
Can you get it up
Come here rude boy, boy
Is you big enough
Take it, take it
Baby, baby
Take it, take it
Love me, love me

Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers – Why Do Fools Fall In Love? lyrics   (Man’s response to woman)                                                                                                        Love is a losing game
Love can be a shame
I know of a fool you see
For that fool is me
Tell my why
Tell me why

Mariah Carey – Love Takes Time lyrics (Woman’s response to man)                     Love takes time
To heal when you’re
Hurting so much
Couldn’t see that I was blind
To let you go
I can’t escape the pain

‘Cause love takes time
I don’t wanna be here
I don’t wanna be here alone

You might say that it’s over
You might say that you don’t care
You might say you don’t miss me
You don’t need me
But I know that you do
And I feel that you do

Babyface – Everytime I Close My Eyes lyrics   (Man’s response to woman)               And every time I close my eyes
I thank the lord that I’ve got you
And you’ve got me too
And every time I think of it
I pinch myself ’cause
I don’t believe it’s true
That someone like you
Loves me too


For Radio, TV and Film from Long ago The Paley Center is the place to Go

Paley center

I had the privilege of going to the only Paley Center in the eastern side of the US, right here in New York City. The other one is in Los Angeles. The Paley Center was formerly known as The Museum of Television & Radio and before that the Museum of Broadcasting. It was founded in 1975 by William S. Paley, who was a chief executive for Columbia Broadcasting System and credited for building it up from a small radio network into one of the biggest radio and television networks in the United States.

The Paley Center isn’t your typical museum, as I thought there was going to be physical artifacts to see and touch. This museum is catered more to the media artifacts of audio from radio and video from television.

The above video clip is of President Roosevelt while he is giving his 1941 State of the Union address. This is one of the oldest clips I could find available in video online. The Paley Center provides a really better assembled library to explore. I was able to listen to an older speech from President Roosevelt, which was one from August 09, 1920 when he speaking in Hyde Park, New York as a then Democratic Candidate for Vice President. This particular audio was clear to hear the vocals, however there were also clear pips in between the vocal and I could also hear the wind blowing in the background.

Its amazing how much we have advanced in the medium of radio broadcasting and also audio recording. Even when you read the FCC’s, A Short History of Radio, you can appreciate the science that went into the research and development of equipment and devices for use with radio. The development also in the science of the technology for mobile not just studio equipment, which allows us to have in our current time from short wave radios usually used by companies, connecting employees in a short distance to our mobile cellular phones which allow us to freely connect with persons world-wide.

What a day at the office sounds like for Snake

Top to Bottom: Audio Project, Metal Gear Solid trailer, Metal Gear Solid 5 trailer

For this project we had to create a story using at least 5 sound effects found online, and no verbal communication, no longer than 90 secs. I didn’t take long to come with an idea of how I would play this story with sounds. I decided to use Solid Snake as my character from the game Metal Gear Solid.

Solid Snake                                                                                      Solid Snake

Solid Snake is spy, a mercenary and a special operations soldier who is part of fictional US Army Special Ops Unit FOX-HOUND, which carries out top secret operations usually in “unauthorized” combat zones to cope with local revolutions, regional complications, and global terrorist activities and all that cool stuff. Snake is also a bit of a loner with the life he leads and he is a chain smoker.

Metal Gear                                                             Metal Gear weapon as in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patroits

The Metal Gear which is actually a nuclear-tank weapon that is able to walk, and launch a nuclear warhead anywhere on the planet. Snake’s mission in this game series is to disarm and destroy the Metal Gear weapon. Metal Gear is also the name of the game series which spans nearly 5 and a half decades from the Cold War to the near future, and his early missions occur in Alaska.

I enjoyed playing these Role Playing single shooter games when I was younger such as Goldeneye 007, which was a part of the James Bond game series which were based on the movie series. So my goal was to create a short audio scene, based on my memories  what a mission would sound like from the main character Snake’s point of view.

The next task was to find sound effects that I liked and I managed to get what I needed between sounds found on and on YouTube. The 5 effects I found were of Wind Blowing, Footsteps, Faster footsteps, Sniper Shot, Gun lock and load, Lighting and smoking a cigarette, and a Distant explosion. The only sound effect which I used from YouTube was one from a movie scene where a body is being dragged, and this worked for what I wanted since I wanted to not sound too obvious being too loud, which is usually the case with Snake in his missions.

I used Audacity for this project where I imported all the sound effects as separate tracks. My first track was the wind blowing and I wanted this to be constant for the entirety of the project. I then was able to align and edit the footsteps by adjusting the amplitude on the track and trimming the length of the clip to what I needed. I did this same process with all the other effects on different tracks, trimming and adjusting the amplitude and/or gain where needed. At the end my objective was to make sure that the appropriate sounds could be heard at the appropriate time, and that there was no over powering of one effect. Then I select all the tracks and mix and render them into one track. Finally for export I decided to use the .wav format since most of the effects were originally mp3s and I didn’t want to add another layer of compression to files that initially had compression.

How To Catch The Busiest Cat in Action

Above Top to Bottom: Finished project, Microphone tips for voice overs, Voice over and software use, Example of live high speed car chase in Australia, 

This assignment which I found in the DS106 Audio assignment bank. It asked users to create a car chase commentary, as though we were a news anchor providing color commentary. For the action we had to find the most boring video possible, which really contrasts with how exciting an actual car chase would be and add a voice over to it. I added my own voice and a helicopter effect to video.

My main objective for this assignment is to :

1) Record a good voice over of myself for the video and add a helicopter sound effect. I managed to find this small write up about the Introduction to Film Sound on which gave a good overview on the human voice, sound effects, and music. I also watched this clip on YouTube from Scare School on the Importance of Sound Effects. Even though I wasn’t going for the scary sounds that are in horrors, I can appreciate more how much the smallest effects can add to entire finished product.

2) Record myself using a USB condenser microphone rather than an a traditional XLR microphone. For this I read Sound On Sound’s review on the advantages of using a  USB mic, and I also read through an Amazon customer forum and a Voice 123 forum where persons  asked questions a and got some good feedback on the pros and cons of using a USB microphone.

3) Use the freeware audio software Audacity to record my voice over into a digital track. For this I figured it would make most sense to watch videos rather than to read some boring tutorial. I watched these two videos from Free Stuff and eHowTech on both how to possibly make your vocals clear or better when recording with Audacity.

I found this boring video of a cat, after all what is could really be more non-exciting than a video of cat not doing anything. So I downloaded the video from YouTube using KeepVid and I also took this helicopter sound effect which I liked and also downloaded with KeepVid.

The next step was one which I thought would be easy, but turned out to be much harder than I expected. I was muting the video and trying to improv some commentary to the video as it played and I record myself. That was not working after several takes. So I ended up writing out a script as I watched the video in parts making sure it was appropriate for the action or non-action rather that was on video.

To do my voice over recording I used the MXL USB .008 Condenser Microphone along with Audacity to record my voice as I watched the video. This again was not easy and took several takes to get it better, but Audacity does a good job of showing the levels of each channel being recorded. This was good because I couldn’t record myself on the microphone and listen through the headphones at the same time. This was very So after configuring the USB Microphone after I read the manual, it was basically just hitting the record button and and then stop button.

The audio was recorded in a stereo track on both channels at a frequency of 44.1khz and the software’s default sample rate of 32-bit. However the audio file was exported with the same frequency but with a 16-bit sample rate in a .WAV format since I didn’t want to loose quality using a compressed format such a MP3.

Since I had to record and watch the video at the same time that required that I had to start the voice recording before the video started and stop it after it finished. This worked out pretty well, then I was able to to trim the voice recording to just what I needed from what I recorded in Audacity.

My final step was when I placed all my media files in Premiere Pro, which I feel gives me more precise editing control rather than say iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. Since I had edited the audio I was going to use already I just had to unlink and delete the original audio from the video. Then align the voice over and effects where I wanted them to be corresponding to the video and adjust my audio levels. Finally I was able to render all my media on the timeline and export the project for in mp4 format for YouTube.



My Plan, My Learning, Completely Reformatted

This post is one not common to conventional teaching. Rather this is a mission to take control of what I want to meaningfully gain, and not to accept what is deemed the acceptable standard.

This was born out of a need for us students to take control and craft an effective learning plan for the remaining semester. The plan I devised below, was based on the Reset and Bonus posts, and shows the layout for the rest of the semester.

Planned Schedule

March 4 – March 24

Audio Project 1 + Level 2 Blog Post  = (15+12) = 27 pts                                                       Audio Project 2 + Level 2 Blog Post  = (15+12) = 27 pts                                                      Audio Project 3 + Level 3 Blog Post  = (15+ 25)= 40 pts                                                       Field Trip 1 + Level 1 Blog Post  = (20 + 6) ===> 26 pts                                                       3 Creative Blog Comments = (3 x 5) =======> 15  pts                                                                                                         Period 1 total  =  135 pts

March 25 – April 10

Audio Project 4 + Level 3 Blog Post  = (15+25) = 40 pts                                                       Audio Project 5 + Level 1 Blog Post  = (15+  6) = 21 pts                                                       Exam 1: Golden Ears & Mic Basics ======== > 30 pts                                                       Tutorial 1 + Level 1 Blog Post (20+ 6) =======> 26 pts                                                      3 Creative Blog Comments = (3 x 5) =======> 15 pts                                                                                                       Period 2 total  =  132 pts

April 11 – May 5

Audio Project 6 + Level 2 Blog Post  = (15+12) = 27 pts                                                       Audio Project 7 + Level 2 Blog Post  = (15+12) = 27 pts                                                       Exam 2: SWS & MBB ==================> 30 pts                                                      Critique Blog Post   =================== > 20 pts                                                       2 Creative Blog Comment = (2 x 5) =======>  10  pts                                                                                                     Period 3 total  =  120 pts

 May 6 – May 20

Audio Project 8 + Level 1 Blog Post  = (15+6) ===> 21 pts                                                  Service Learning + Level 2 Blog Post = (20+12) =>  22 pts                                                  Field Trip 2 + Level 1 Blog Post  = (20 + 6) ====>   26 pts                                                   Tutorial 2 + Level 1 Blog Post  = (20 + 6) ======>  26 pts                                                  1 Creative Blog Comment = (0 x 5) ==========>  0  pts                                                                                                   Period 4 total  =   95 pts

Attendance – 25 pts                                                                                                              Planning Post – 10 pts

Total Points (135+132+120+95+25+10) = 517 pts

Zoom H2N Recorder As Simple As It Really Gets

Group Members: Benzel, Khalil, Chiedu, Jayson

This is our updated tutorial for the Zoom H2N Recorder, as it relates to external transducers. Both for dynamic and capacitor (also known as condenser) microphones (transducers), keeping in mind that that this Zoom recorder isn’t directly designed to facilitate an XLR connected microphone. We hope you enjoy and understand.

A brief overview of the Zoom H2N recorder

Group Members : Benzel, Khalil, Chiedu, Jayson

Zoom rec 2 Zoom rec left side Zoom rec sd card

Zoom H2N l-r: Zoom front & back, left side, underside for SD card.

The recorder we are going to do our tutorial on is the Zoom H2N Handy Recorder. Unlike the Marantz and Tascam recorders the small Zoom recorder does not allow for an external microphone to be connected through an XLR cable, only through a Line In cable for a ⅛” mini phone jack for a plug in condenser microphone.

The Zoom comes with 4 different channel settings located at the top of the recorder.
MS stereo mode uses one of 3 middle microphones to capture audio in a cardioid or unidirectional pattern. This channel is suitable for recording in wide open areas, such as concerts or soundscapes.

XY stereo mode records audio in stereo on the other side with two microphones at 90°, this allows audio to be captured in a bidirectional pattern, and this is preferred for recordings such as solo performances  and interviews.

The 2 channel option on the recorder mixes signals detected from the XY and MS microphones. The 4 channel option just records these channels separately and you can adjust the balance between the XY and MS after recording. The 2 and 4 channel are good for recording live rehearsals and business meetings for example. In 4ch mode only WAV files in 44.1/48 kHz and 16/24 bit can be recorded.

The input gain can be adjusted by adjusting the knob on the left all either all the open or closed. The higher the number the more open the gain, the lower the number, the more smaller the audio that is going to be detected through the internal transducers.


From home to the sleepless triangle

This post required us to make two 5 minute recordings outside of school, one indoor and the other outdoor for this assignment. For my sounds, I decided to use the Tascam DR-100 again since it was available and not too bulky to do an outdoor recording. For my recordings I decided to use the mp3 format at a frequency of 320K, sample rate of 48kHz and a 32 bit rate. I again used the internal microphone, which is an electrical condenser on the omni setting, turned my manual gain all the way up with the mic gain set on high.

For my outside recording I decided to go to Times Square, and I set up right in the ledge at the bottom of the stairs. This recording was done at 9:48 p.m and I believe it would be good to capture a really busy and noisy area of the city. Here my levels ranged between -4dB and -14dB, and actually peaked causing the peak indicator to flash a couple of times. For this recording I could hear close conversations, walking and sirens in the high end, while in the low end I could hear the traffic with cars and buses and also the trains.

For my indoor recording I did my basement in Queens, the morning after the Times Square recording to have a contrast of a morning quiet place. This recording ranged between -42dB and -26dB for the most part and had it its highest peak of -11dB at about 1:38. This was more in the lower end as a recording, and even though I had on the headphones I could more distinguish the squeaks and creaks that were recorded when re-listening in a different with a different sound altogether.