We’re On The AIR!

Yesterday, our CT 244 class all came together and went live on the DS106 live stream radio. To be honest, it was better than I expected! After deciding last week that we were all going to be a part of the radio show, each group quickly came together and started to rehearse and come up with their parts. Lisa and Khalil decided that they were going to be in charge of everything. Jason was our engineer of our show, while everyone else each who decided to be in the radio show, contributed their parts in each segment.

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In the beginning, Maya introduced the show and introduced our class. Then, Khalil started his “Turn Down for What?!” segment. This segment was really fun to listen to. After that segment was complete, Alicia, Laywah, and I’s commercial came on, which was us discussing a little about each one of the Zodiac’s sign and how each of their personalities are.

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Even though I was unable to stay for the entire radio show, my absolute favorite part was the segment where Melvin and Khalil both rapped. I had no idea that they could rap like that. They did a rap that they both personally wrote themselves. That just shows how creative they both are. It also shows how much thought they put into the radio show. When they were rapping, I could tell that how much passion they have. I liked how Melvin told the audience how he writes best when he’s going through a hard time. It made it look as though he had a strong connection with the listeners. When I heard Khalil’s rap, I was really impressed. He did an amazing job, and he’s a great rapper.

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Lisa made a great host. She really should think about being a radio announcer. She showed great enthusiasm and sounded hyped, which is very important for the listeners because then they will enjoy listening to the show more. I would also like to thank Lisa for being in doughnuts for the class before our live show, that was really thoughtful and kind of her. 🙂 However, Jayson, who was our engineer was the most important part of this radio show. He controlled all the sounds, and switched us from “commercial” to “on the air.” He did a great job on that. 20140520_105737

Overall, I think our class did an extraordinary job with the radio show. Everyone who contributed did a great job. Thank you to Professor Smith for giving us the idea of a radio show, and also helping along the way. Our radio show was a success!      20140520_111239

CAN WE SAY AWESOME?

On this amazing day, I decided to finally go on another field trip. I have seen post about this museum and I found it interesting so I decided to go here: Sony Wonder Technology Lab. This technology lab is amazing and I thought my last field trip was good but this right here was incredible. I did not have to pay for any tickets which I was happy about again because I did not pay for the last one I went on. Sony Wonder opened on May 25, 1994 and is operated and fully-funded by Sony Corporation of America.Sony Wonder

When I first enter, I have to get a ticket and a card to access the machine that is in the lab, ride the elevator all the way to the fourth floor. As soon as you get out the elevator, I have to log into the SWTL experience by setting up your account, including your name, adding your favorite color, musical genre, picture and voice

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reservation sony wonder

The first thing I decided to do was digitizing, where I have to pick up this monitor which I thought was a microphone but it was not(Boooooo!!!!). I have to use that monitor to pass over a screen on the side. Then after that you that you can create your own digital fun with the picture you first took when you came in. As you see, I look cool in my nerd glasses, with two hearts on the side and changing the color of screen picture blue.WP_20140520_001

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saved-by-the-bell-telephone

I do not know if you remember the phone that Zack Morris used in Saved By The Bell as a cell phone. Well in this picture you can see the white phone to it. These types of phones was the hottest thing before cellphone was invented. The telephone was first introduced in 1876, sparked a whole new wave of communication. In this society more than three billion cell phone users across the world send voice, text, photo, and video messages wherever they go and whenever they want to. If you say that is not true then you probably haven’t done it or your just lying to yourself. People do not even use payphone no more since technology got better.

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The Robot Zone was very interesting. These robots sense, think and act just like humans which is cool. Program one of six colored robots equipped with light and touch sensors to determine how they act when they encounter other robots or conditions in the Robot Zone.  I did not get my favorite color which is blue but I guess green was okay for now.

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We have the Animation Ramp, where I explore illuminated display cases, and learning the five key elements that go into creating an animated film or video game: Story, Character, Environment, Visual Effects and Final Composite. So as you can see I have Hotel Transylvania( which I must say is a funny movie, if you have not see it then you do not know what you missing), and A Cloudy Chance of Meatballs( I can not brag about this one because I never watched it) but you can see the creation that the artist put in it to make it look awesome.

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I went to the Game Builder where I can create my own racing game, where I select a track shape and manipulate the environment to create mountains and valleys for your course. You can also choose the style and color of your vehicle and play the game you’ve just created!

Game builder

I decided to go to the High Definition Theater where they play a short film and the short film is the Sony Bravia Bunnies. In the film the creators are talking about how long it took them to do it, the enjoyment of it, and probably not getting it done. The film was nice.

This is the whole commerical of the bunnies in action

If you have not visit this museum, you should it is amazing. I also plan on going back there soon.

 

Sound Production Power Hour

For our last day of class we decided to conduct a live on-air radio show. Most of the class got involved in the setup and creative process so it was pretty cool. Also, shout to DJ Jay Biz he did his thing. (give him extra points for working the switch board) On Thursday we came up with a layout of how the show would run for Tuesday. I was really surprised by everyones ideas in our class, they were very creative.

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As a host for the show, I introduced our first segment titled “Turn Down For What.” This phrase is pretty common in hip-hop and pop culture today so it was only appropriate to come up with this title for our segment. “Turn Down For What” basically means, acting reckless or not giving a damn about anything..no matter what. There’s even a video for it but I will warn you, it’s VERY VERY WEIRD.. and CREEPY.

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I really enjoyed listening to the commercial Leh-wah, Stephanie and Alicia made for daily horoscopes. We also had two special performances from Melvin and “Klutch” which was cool in the lyrics segment. I wasn’t expecting people on DS106 to actually hear us on the show but we had a good crowd of listeners tuning in. Overall it was a great experience and we could definitely do this again on day. Actually, you should require all your classes to do an end of the year group radio show. I think the outcome would be pretty entertaining.

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I want a commercial, that’s just the right amount of cheesy, FOR ME

So I made up yet another Ds106 assignment. This time it was to make a fake radio commercial for York College. Now, if it’s one thing I know I do a lot. Is watch a lot of daytime TV, and when in this state of viewing (for the most part) worthless nonsense you tend to see some ridiculously cheesy commercials. And more often then not, they tend to be education programs.

Some have jingles

While others try and go the down and out person looking for a school that has WHAT THEY NEED AND CLASSES FOR THEM! And they want YOU to get of your lazy bum and get into class.

So I wondered, ” What if I made such a commercial for Cuny York?“. Enticed by this interest I gathered three of my friends and forc–I mean, volunteered them to say canned cheesy lines to go perfect with a cheesy radio commercial. A common theme in these types of commercials tends to be how the person in question did want just any other school. So I thought to be as generic as possible. Part of the joke being that the commercial gives actually no real information at all. Also there was an importance on delivering each line as cheeky and peppy as possible.

It wasn’t exactly all that easy to get good recordings from my assistants. Of course when your working with anybody on something that is suppose to be comedic (or even not comedic) laughing is going to happen. Whats interesting though is how confident each of the people I recorded felt at first but when they actually had the mic facing them and the tape recording they mumbled words, forgot lines, and even froze for a second and said “wait”.  It’s always an interesting dynamic when working with people who aren’t used to having themselves recorded.

I used my all time favorite recorder the Marantz 660pmd to record and  Audacity to edit this project. I recorded small 5-10 sec of my voice actors talking as to make it easier for editing and piecing together the sound bits and using interloping different voices so I can one persons lines about york and cut the next persons lines smoothly.

The song I used was “Sense” by  independent 3 piece jazz band  House Of Waters off of their latest album “Revolution”  (which you should totally buy or at least listen to). I thought the song had a real….education-y-library-esq- I wanna learn-good for a commercial-kind of inspiring-vibe to it. I’ve seen these guys live before and I got so hooked I bought their album. Some real good stuff.

 

Fitness and Workout.

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So this next assignment i choose is called sound effects story.  The purpose of this assignment is the create a story using only sound effects. This took some time for me to complete as i had to do some editing here and there using audacity.  I chose audacity because it is my favorite program opposed to adobe audition mixx, etc.  To begin i wanted to create a story of how a typical day going to the gym would be like with sound only.  Listening to the sound effects from the audio you may get an idea of what is going on. alarm_bed

Waking up to an alarm clock, then taking a quick shower and having some breakfast.

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Well, steak isn’t really the type of food many people would want to eat for breakfast right before going to the gym, but it isn’t too bad  if topped with some good fast carbs like potato or white rice.  The body needs to absorb energy quick and fast carbs are a great source of energy.

After leaving the house and arriving at the gym, that’s where the fun begins.  Hitting the weights for an hour at most, 45 minutes at least,  it feels great.  Then after a long work out and returning home from the gym, the food that you decide to eat next is what determines a lot in your fitness regime.  Anyway the sound effects story that i created ends right after arrival at the gym.  Some of the audio effects i choose were higher then the rest and this was difficult to balance and correct as i am still learning some of the functions that audacity has to offer.  For the most, i edited mostly the length of some of the clips, as they were unnecessarily long.

This video was very helpful in some aspects of this assignment.  I found this website to be extremely useful and recommend it to anyone looking for a site with great sound effects.  Registering on the site doesn’t take to much time in addition.

https://www.freesound.org/

https://www.sounddogs.com/

During editing some of the effects i came across a video that was helpful.

 

 

MERLO SERVICE

Hey everybody this as been one tough thing for me to do and I am going to be honest it was not easy finding something to do for Service Learning. I was here thinking, thinking, having a headache of what to do then it hit me like a slap in the face. I knew somebody that was into music and decided to interview them about their own work and ask them a few questions. It was fun but in certain cases I wish I had the right equations to do this assignment. Hopefully, this comes out the way it supposed to.

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A mixing board is used for a wide mixture that is used in recording studios and is on computers. Mixers are often classified by their input and output (I/O) capabilities. If you want more information on this you can go to this website http://www.indiana.edu/~emusic/etext/studio/chapter2_mixers.shtml

The mixing board allow individual control of gain, effects, pan, and equalization for each channel such that the recording engineer can modify individual channels to achieve the desired total sound effect. http://www.google.com/patents/US5812688 this is where you can find more about the mix boarder. In the video below is an man being interview and telling you how to use mix board and giving you examples of it.

People download different tools to make beats instead of getting a mixboard. People use Protools, Audacity, Adobe Audition CS6, Mixx and we all used these in our post but I found out about one more while doing the interview.

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The one I found out about is FL studio. FL was formly known as the FruityLoops. The first version was develop by Didier Dambrin and it was released in December 1997 but it officially launched the early of 1998. Go to this to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FL_Studio

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I did my interview with a former York College graduate that is in a group call Merlot Inc. We decided to do it here at York College, where he show me how he became about doing beats, what inspired him, and teach me a thing or two on the FL studio.

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I tried to upload the video on here but I pass the maximum limit of uploading the file so I decided to do it on youtube. Here is the link as well just in case you can’t see it on the bottom https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RT-uXv7v9zY&feature=youtu.be. In this video, our graduate his telling me well us after you view it about the kind of beats he put in is track. It was fun getting to know how to add certain beats to make the music sound nice.

Do not get me wrong people still use mix boards till this day but we have technology for that now don’t we? I never used a mix board before and hopefully I will soon to see which one is better the mix board itself or doing it on the computer by downloading one of the software. Would you rather be in a studio having a hand experience on a mix board or have a computer and get the software and do it? I will probably do both just to test it out but that’s just me. Let’s see what our former York College graduate have to say about all of this. I used Protools to do my editing and let me tell you it is not easy especially if you want it to sound perfect. Also, I used the ZOOM H2N for my recording.

This is just a little preview of what I was trying to edit

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I told you I would put a video of Merlot Inc video and the beats you here is produce by Mr.Aix Balan, so here it is

THIS IS MY FINAL RECORDING, IT PROBABLY DID NOT TURN OUT THE WAY I HOPE IT DID BUT I DID THE BEST THAT I CAN..

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Movie Dialogue mashup

This next assignment is a movie dialogue mash up.  The purpose of this assignment is to use two selected movies of choice and extract the dialogues scenes of actors form each, then re-edit them to create a story as if the characters from different movies were in the same conversation.

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The two movies that I choose were;

Her (2013)                                       The Matrix (1999)

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The concept of this assignment was great!  However, it was very tedious and I spent quite some time trying to find the two movies to use for this.  Originally I wanted to use the movie “300” and “kick ass”.  As these were my favorite movies and it would seem like a great idea to work with movies that I have seen numerous times already and remembered the dialogue very well.  But even those two didn’t work out very good as many scenes did not match what I was looking for.

This is the dialogue between the two movies;

Matrix: “This is the construct”

Matrix:  “We can load anything from clothing to equipment.

Matrix: “Anything we need.”

Her: “We who?”

Matrix: “Is it really so hard to believe?”

Her: “Where are you going?”

Matrix: “To the world as it was at the end of the 20th century.”

Her: “What’s going on?”

Matrix: “Your hair has changed, your appearance now is what we call a residual self image, it is a mental projection of your digital self.”

I used audacity to work on the editing for these two clips, as I am very familiar with the it and find it easier to use than adobe audition.  I personally think audition is more complex then audacity.  The amount of editing that can be done of audition greatly exceeds audacity, but audacity is simpler.

These videos helped me with my editing:

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:

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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

 

Let’s get technical!

cafe wha neon sign

I chose to take a trip to one of the most popular music venue in Greenwich Village called Cafe Wha. Also, this is where I work over the weekends. While I was training to be a manager, I remember them teaching me about all the different task I had to do; one of the task that I had to do that I thought was so hard and took a couple messing up to get, is turning everything on in the sound booth. Here is a video of me going through everything in the booth. In the video you will see me pointing to something called the Rack, the tall thing, which is the main power for everything. It turns on the mixing board, speakers, amps and everything else on stage. Also, you will see the guitar players amps on stage. These amps are located right behind them while they are performing.

While in the booth the sound-man and I spoke about a couple things. The first thing he said to me was that sound is all about signal flow. Audio Signal Flow is the path an audio signal takes from the source to the output. Also, during this path it includes all the processes involved in generating audible sound from electronic impulses or recorded media. The next thing we spoke about is the Analog Console, also known as the Mixing Board. This is where the audio signals are sent into various outputs. The board allows the audio signals to be controlled, split and filtered. This is the central piece of equipment in a recording studio or live sound venue like in this case. In the process of the Signal Flow Chain there has to be a microphone line. This line is directly where the audible sound is sent to the Mixing Board. Microphones as we know from sound class, work as a transducer and converts the audio into an electrical current.

While in the sound-booth I heard one of the guitar players say into the mic, “Chris more reverb!”. Then I saw Chris hand reach for the Aux section on the mixer and began turning knobs. The Auxiliary Send provides a space for plug-ins to be activated. The plug-ins send the audio signals here and this is where he is able to do special effects on the singers voice such as reverb, delay or a loud distortion on the lead guitar’s riff. Moving down the mixing board he also showed me the Fader, this is where you see knobs going from the left to the right of the board. This is where the sound-man plays around with the volume of all the instruments until there is satisfaction with how each performer is heard.

I was a little confused about the Sub buttons and what they are for but I did a little research and what I have learned is that sub groups are assigned, this is a way to adjust sound levels easier, and to explain more on this, a group of microphone lines can be synchronized together so that only one knob controls them all. For example, the drums has microphones that are close to every drum and can be very hard to adjust each drum head individually. Also, in my video above, I showed the guitar-players amps on stage which also had microphones set up in front of them. This helps make the sound clearer and easier for the sound-man to manage sound levels from the booth.

Here is a video that I thought was helpful. This makes you see a mixing board in a simple way. Also, helps explain somethings you might of wanted to learn more about. The second video goes into detail about how equipments are connected and explains how the audio signal is being sent to the mixing board.

Overall, this trip was very helpful for me to have an idea of the Job of a sound engineer. It is truly a tough job because you have to understand everything on the mixing board to be able to make sure that the musicians are satisfied and the sound is perfect for the show. One thing about live music is when there is a mess-up its happening right in front of the audience and its the sound-man’s responsibility to fix it. Other responsibilities are having to make sure all the XLR cords are connected into the right inputs to make sure signals don’t get messed up. Moreover, labeling is very helpful so that the sound-man could remember which knob is for what. Finally, this job also has to deal with keen hearing or should I say close listening; have to be able to hear feedback during performances and getting rid of it. Also,  know when to use special effects on singers voices or guitar riffs.

Below are pictures I took of the mixing board. I have circled areas on the board that I was talking about above, and a couple pictures of the musicians on stage.

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You’re on THE AIR!

For my field trip assignment, I decided to attend Sony Wonder Technology Lab. The Sony Wonder Technology Lab is an amazing museum filled with TONS of incredible activities to be involved in. This museum is free for all ages. Located in mid-town Manhattan, this lab teaches people about the different types of technology and how they really work.

filename-img-6252-jpg    When my friend Alicia and I first arrived to the lab, we were first told to “Log in.” In order to log in, you were giving a card which you had to scan on a computer and the computer then takes a picture of you and asks you questions such as your name and it allows you to basically personalize your own profile. After completing this process, your card is now officially programmed so that you were able to be involved in the different activities that the museum had to offer. Before conducting any activity in the museum, you had to first scan the card. After programming our card, we then set off into the museum to see what it was all about!

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One of the activities which we did was “Programming a Robot.” For this, we were assigned a specific robot and we were giving an opportunity to program the robot however we wanted too. We were given different options of how the robot could react to certain issues and we chose how we wanted it to act. It shows the different ways in which robots think, act, and sense different things around them. This was a fun activity because I learned more about how specific a human has to program certain technologies so that it responds the way we want it to.

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At another station, we went to the Animation Studio. At the section, we we allowed to animate our own story line. We chose a character and then we were able to control how we wanted to character to look, its facial expressions and even its every movement. After we created our character, we also got to create the environment. That allowed us to choose different colors, lights, and even the weather (fog, snow, etc.)

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However, aside from all of the different activities, my absolute favorite was HDTV Studio Exhibit. At this exhibit, it was set up just like a television studio. There were 2 camera’s which 2 different people can control and there was a table and a few chairs for the “reporters.” For this activity, we were told that the cameras will have our lines which we were assigned to read. At first we was given a chance to rehearse. After a quick rehearsal, we were given the countdown on when to start speaking our lines because we were “on the air.”

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Our topic which we talked about was on Polar Bears. We had to talk about how because of global warming, polar bears are predicted to become extinct in the next few years. We then had a portion which we had to pretend like one of the reporters was actually on site at one of the places and talking about how bad the polar bears lives are becoming. We then “went back to the studio” where we summed up our reports and talked about the different ways in which the viewers can help protect the environment which will eventually help the polar bears.20140422_111152[1]

sony11

 

This felt so amazing. I was able to better understand what exactly goes on in a recording studio. I now have a better understanding of what it feels like being on camera in the studio. The hardest part for me honestly was reading the lines off of the screen and looking into the cameras. It was even harder because I had no clue of what topic I was going to be talking about and what I had to say. I wish I was able to redo this activity again because it was so much fun. (Too bad for the long line and wait!) This is a great museum and I definitely recommend it to anyone who’s interested in any type of technology. I wish that my video of the final results from the recording was able to upload onto the website. The file is unfortunately too large to upload. But I do hope to visit it again soon!