5 song music mashup (Girl)

I did the ds106 assignment for the 5 song music mashup but I made sure that I had a theme behind my mashup which was the word ” Girl ” .That word means so many things for so many people. Women change like the seasons ( no offense ladies ) but each song I put in the mashup expresses that very statement because each song gives a different mood. here are the songs I used in my mashup

1.

2.

3.

4.

The mashup process was fairly easy because I had already done so much on past projects. In order to put everything together smoothly I adjusted each oncoming track to the fade-in option under settings in the top right corner of my audacity page .

Phenomenal Women – Over Dramatic Reading

I got this idea when I saw Alley’s post and thought to myself ” hmm okay this is an interesting approach to a project “. It pulled me in right away. The aim was to read a famous poem but in kind of a different way to make it yours . Then suddenly a lightbulb popped up and I automatically thought of maya Angelou and her influence throughout the years on not only the literary world but pop culture as a whole  . One of her most famous pieces “Phenomenal Woman ” was embraced by the nation as she described the true attributes and reasons you should appreciate a woman . The obvious twist is that a man but yet as a human being I can’t help but embrace every word and bring it to you guys .

 

 

Phenomenal Woman

BY MAYA ANGELOU

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Maya Angelou

 

Once again I used the zoom h2n handy recorder for this assignment which balanced out my vocals well .  The playback button ( right side of device )  was so helpful because I had to run it back a few times in order to put enough emotion in voice to fully get into the words . One common mistake is putting it to close to your mouth which will result in the recording coming out bad so definitely try to distance yourself from the device when recording .

device

RADIO COMMERCIAL

This one stuck out to me I just had to do it. I used to work at a radio station back at my old college in long island so this project stuck out to me like a sore thumb. The aim of the project was to create a product for a character in a movie or show of your liking. I was inspired by this product used in the movie ” Coming To America ‘ called Soul Glo . in the movie Hakeem has to royally marry a female of his liking but he chooses to marry a humble girl from the inner city . Throughout the film he takes advice on how to meet a woman and a few characters suggest he start with his looks. Hair Products are of the main sources of this culture’s vanity and i just knew I had to make fun of that fact.

coming to america

Hakeem is seen here in this scene questioning whether he should keep the ponytail he’s had since a youth in his homeland.

The main objective in a commercial of any kind is marketing and persuasion . Thats exactly why i went for a smooth voice in my audio with the help of my trusty recorder ( below ) :

device

At first my recording was a bit muzzled because i had connected my apple headphones to it and it was nearly as compatible as using studio headphones as far as recording goes. I decided to adjust the effects a tad bit with my first recording by altering the amplifications in the top right corner of my audacity screen. This allowed me to adjust the vocals in order for my voice to be clearer . I then did a separate recording to give more of a realer commercial feel as you see in any commercial on television and radio . The second recording was a lot smoother yet I still wanted it to stick out more so I simply brought my mouse to the audacity tool bar and adjusted the envelope ( top left corner ) of my background bed music . This resulted in my audio being a little louder than my background which is definitely what I wanted .

 

 

 

CRITIQUE BLOG POST !!

I am doing my critique on khalil’s ”Luncheon noise” . Overall Khalil’s project was very informative because his post told me a lot that I wanted to know . it was very direct and to the point . The only thing I suggest for a post like this would be to break up the information you have put forth into a paragraph structure rather than putting everything together. another Thing I noticed is that you didn’t really evaluate on how to use the recording device . Sometimes when i post I like to put down any problems I might have which in turn enlightens my classmates on devices and how they can learn from my mistakes. A simple sound cloud link or even some pictures of the recorder and its pieces would have sufficed .

device

Pictures like this can really inform the viewer on what the components and buttons on their device can really do. i know because it has helped me once before . The sound however was very descriptive of a lunch room surrounding as you explained . I heard the sound of the inhabitants as well as the man making the food . Good Job Overall

now Stephanie went with a different approach and went outdoors for her sounds .

Her recorder ( the Zoom h2n Handy recorder ) has a built in mic which is why she didn’t have to use an external piece. Both her and khalil’s recording sound pretty similar in recording which is a fact i’m not disputing but the presentation of the blog is what I wanted to compare . The blog started with an open soundcloud link as well as a intricate description of 3 things :

1. her recorder

Zoom-H2n-Handy-Recorder-Detail-View

 

2. The components of the device

device

 

3. And her approach as far as sample rate and format .

As I said before both parties did a great job as far as sound and what they were trying to show but the overall post differed in description and understanding . great job to both of you and these are steps that i even consider when I view any of my classmates post . Keep up the great work .

When Beyonce and DJ Mustard Combine its Na Na Naughty Boy!

This remix project was in  accordance to DS106 audio assignment Music Mashup, which asked us to create an audio mashup aka a remix of two songs. I didn’t used Audacity as the assignment asked, but that is because I didn’t have to used Audacity.

Instead I used Mixxx which a free DJ Software. I have used previous DJ software such as Virtual DJ (which I’m certain many people I know used already,  Serato and Taktor. What was such a bother about these program besides the obvious cost, was that they were never easy to use up front, seemed intimidating and there was always some underlying catch if you really wanted to practice some pro work. Serato for example, its program being free but the hardware to go with it costing more than the most computer did. That is for another forum however.

I chose to use the below audio clips :

The instrumental is from the the Trey Songz single Na Na produced by DJ Mustard. While the A capella I found is from Beyonce’s single Naughty Girl.

From the beginning when I chose to do this project I decided it would be best to use songs which were close in bpms (beats per minute). This was so that the manipulation of the songs wouldn’t differ greatly and sound over edited from the original version. Those are problems which I encountered before trying to match a slow song with an instrumental that was much much faster or slower than that acapella was.

I am new to Mixxx and decided to find a tutorial on YouTube, after I downloaded the program and began to play with it for a bit. This clip over viewed using the cross-fader, the pitch bar which not only increases or decreases the pitch but also alters the bpms correspondingly so the higher the pitch the higher the bpms. Next was the individual volume adjust for each audio track and filters with can either cut or adjust the high, mid and low frequencies of each track. Loop controls which I was familiar from other software which allows for placing marks at specific points of a song, but I didn’t need it in this case. Generally I can agree this software is good for non-professionals, but you can also practice a lot a being that is free.

I also read this article from Beyond Beatmatching, which was essentially on creating your own mashups. This article spoke on how its best not to be too complex, and to match songs of the same or similar key. For me this can be the biggest challenge, in finding songs that are close enough in key and have a similar bpm. This article also featured an interview with DJ Prince, who is a DJ and producer from Norway who has been around since the 1980’s. He goes on talk about how he had to do research back then by going to the library and reading about music theory, and discovering the root key of pop songs back then and applying them to his turntables to work. He also goes on to say how back then without affordable software he had to rely on musician friends to find the key in a song, which really shows me how far technology has come where we have free and available software that lessons our work load but obviously requires us to understand what exactly we are doing.

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 11.16.59 AMScreenshot of songs adjusted and playing together.

As I was using Mixxx and used two songs which were close enough in bpm I left the Instrumental track as it was. However I lowered the pitch of the A capella track since it was slightly faster than than the instrumentals and changing the pitch also changes the bpm or speed of the track. It was difficult to find the correct pitch of the A capella that would seem legitimate enough to match the instrumental. My final project is as close as I believe I could work the A capella which does not begin as sounding as good as it finishes.

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 freesounds.org 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.

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.

 

Street Music

For my assignment I was told by the professor to make two recordings. I decided to have fun and make this an “experiment” so I figured I would record in two environments with two different extremes . The first environment I recorded in was the very busy street in front of my house which was exactly how I figured it would it would be which was very loud. The siren gave a great example of that along with the sound of the tires rubbing across the pavement . The recorder I used was a MARANTZ PD670 02 along with a DYNAMIC SM58 microphone and SONY MDR headphones which didn’t exactly fit AT ALL . this recorder is very old which actually benefited a beginner like me because it was very simple to use. Marantz PD671 right side .

Saint Albans, New York 11412

My second recording was in the York College Library . The sound was interesting because being in a library you would have thought it would be very quiet right ? ..quite the contrary the environment was a bit noisy . People laughing and keyboards is what mainly was recorded .

A Bee line by the A line.

I live in a very discreet (and boring) part of Queens, NY. Ozone Park, the neighborhood I’ve lived in for the past nine years, is practically dead at all moments of the day, with the exception of when the final classes of John Adams High School, which is just two blocks away, let out. Despite the dead-ness of the area, I decided to record near my home anyway. The second location I recorded in was my bathroom.

photo 2

 

Above: The window I recorded from.

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Above: The second location I recorded.

For one, my recording device, the Marantz Professional Solid State Recorder PMD660, need to be powered by a plug in the wall. Secondly, every once in a while the A train will go past my house to enter Far Rockaway and flights will jet past towards JFK Airport.

photo 1 (1)

Above: The only activity in the area: The A train.

As I mentioned before, my recording device was a  Marantz Professional Solid State Recorder model PMD660. My device can record in both stereo and mono (I recorded in mono). It has a built-in speaker for playback and saves audio onto Compact Flash cards. The device features automatic recording which allows it to record only when sound is present. It also records in MP3 or WAV formats at several settings, compressed at 64 kbps (mono) and 128 kbps (stereo). It records uncompressed at 16 bit linear pulse code modulation (PCM). I recorded in WAV format at 1536kbps and 48 kHz. Gain on the mic is automatically adjusted depending on the mic plugged in. The volume of the device is controlled with a wheel.

photo 3

Above: My equipment

To record sound, I needed an external microphone. The mic I used was a handheld Electro-Voice RE50  Dynamic Omnidirectional Mic. It has a dynamic transducer and is powered by the recording device.

As I was recording, my dB levels were average, never going into the red. Maybe that’s a result of how quiet my block was during the recording process.

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.