Category Archives: projects

Final Project: Splash

PROJECT PROPOSAL

After going through 3 final project proposals I have finally settled on one idea. My idea for my final project proposal is to add narrative sound animations to a 1 minute Nike commercial. The nike commercial I chose to use was one that contained two actors running from one point to another. The runners start in a park and then make their way outside into the city. While the runners run there are many natural sounds that can be turned into unnatural cartoon sounds. Converting this whole commercial into a cartoon themed audio clip is what I intend to do as I change the natural sounds to unnatural sounds.

The inspiration and process for editing and choosing this film came from a recent project that I did called Mega Plane Crazy Group Mashup. For the Mega Plane Crazy Group Mashup project I had to plot out each action in the scene I was assigned (Scene 19) and then replace the original sound with complementing ones. This process of documenting and replacing sounds followed the Matilda Approach which was a film that contained both natural and unnatural sounds. The unnatural sounds were cartoonish and helped emphasize the natural actions that took place in the film.

PROJECT OUTLINE

As I mimicked the documentation process from the  Matilda Approach I chose to divide the clip into 5 second scenes. By dividing the scenes into 5 second clips I can accurately see the point of view shot (POV) shifts and properly place sound to action within the clip. Also, while doing this type of documentation I am taking note of all the scene changes within the clip. knowing the scenes changes while the runners run outside will help me figure out the environment sounds I need as well.

Nike Running Commercial (Clip Breakdown)

1. (0:00 – 0:05) – Female runner is bent down beside a puddle of water tying her sneaker laces. A male runner runs closely beside her as she ties her shoe and runs right into the puddle causing water to splash on her. The male runner signals a hand gesture as he runs along while the female stands soaked.

2. (0:06 – 0:10) – The female runner catches up to the male runner and purposely runs into a puddle splashing the male runner. She then runs off and displays the same hand gesture the male runner did earlier.

3. (0:11 – 0:15) – The point of view is changed as we see the two runners in the distance from under a bridge. The male runner lightly shoves the female runner as he runs ahead of her. The female runner lightly looses her balance but regains it and proceeds to run. She runs ahead of the male runner and pulls down a tree branch in front of her as she runs.

4. (0:16 – 0:20) – The tree branch causes the male runner to get a little frazzled and he jumps right off the trail. When he jumps off the trail he falls and slides on his side down the hill rolling one time. He stops on his chest right in front of a small puddle the female runs into and splashes him in the face. After being splashed he gasp as he looks at the female runner run off ahead of him.

5. (0:21 – 0:25) – The female is running ahead then stops in the parks trail intersection to catch her breath. She gasp as the male runner is already there standing drinking from a bottle of water. The male runner acknowledges the female runners exhaustion and offers her some of his bottled water. She walks up to get some of the water and he splashes her in the face with the bottle water.

6. (0:26 – 0:30) – The female runner stands shocked from the splash of water to the face. The female runner catches up to the male runner in the city and shoves him as they run around a corner.  The male runner runs into a puddle of water from the shove. Another perceptive change as we watch the female runner run of out of the frame and the male runner run down stairs. The male runner runs around a corner(below the female runner) to catch the female runner and get soaked from as the female runner kicks water (from the platform she was on) on him. The male runner is soaked and out of frustration he runs faster to catch the female runner.

7. (0:31 – 0:35) – The male runner shoves the female runner as he runs past her around a corner. He runs ahead of her and pushes up a fabric awning with water on it that splashes the female runner as she runs past. He looks back to verify the water fell on the female runners head. A close up of his shoe is shown to represent the resilience of the shoe to water. The female runner runs across the street into a shallow puddle of water into an ally to catch the male runner. They run along one another in a tunneled ally way.

8. (0:36 – 0:40) – The male runner runs ahead jumps over a trash  but not before knocking it over and splashing water onto the female runner behind him. The female runner dodges the water and shoves him into a stream of water dripping from the tunnel they are running in. The male runner slides into the wall in the ally way then quickly regains his balance.

9. (0:41 – 0:45) – The male runner catches up to the female runner as they she slows down at the ally ways intersection. The male runner slides right past the female runner as the female runner makes a right down another ally way. Female runner looks ahead and runs to the pool of water she sees as the male runner catches up to her.

10. (0:46 – 0:50) – The two runners run alongside one another to the water as the male runner nudges the female runner. The two runners run faster to the pool of water in the street nudging one another.

11. (0:51 – 0:55) – The two runners run faster to the pool of water. As they reach the beginning of the pool of water a London double decker bus drives past splashing a high wave of water on both of them. The male runner almost slips as the wave subsides and the bus fully passes.

12. (0:56 – 0:60) – The gentlemen on the bus look as the two runners stand in the street soaked. The gentlemen on the bus slowly turn face forward form the window as the shake their heads.

ORIGINAL NIKE RUNNING COMMERCIAL

The video above is the original splash clip that I recreated into something more musical (splash). After watching and comparing the splash clip to this one you will notice why I needed to use the Matilda Approach to get all the necessary instruments in place.

SPLASH NIKE RUNNING COMMERCIAL (TIMING IS OFF)

In my attempts to recreate a musical of this Nike commercial I believe I failed to execute it the way I planned to. I feel really frustrated around the fact this could have been way better if i did it on protools and not audacity or garageband. Although those tools are useful they are not good for video and sound editing. I really liked my sound choice but to manipulate them to every action in the clip was very difficult. Judging from my previous videos (Scene 19) one could clearly see that i did not use the same program to edit the sound. In the videos I used protools to edit they came out much better. For me this is more than a lesson learned as this is my career field and everything I produce must look its best.

REFERENCES

List of sounds used to produce Splash

1. Percussion Tambourine D – In the Splash clip I used this sound to emphasize the male runner rolling as he slid down the hill.

2. Sad Trombone – In the Splash clip I used this sound to emphasize the male runner rolling as he slid down the hill.

3. Hi-hat – In the Splash clip I used this sound to introduce the clip.

4. Flight of The Bumblebee – I used this sound to provide a musical background. This one in particular was played using a piano. I found it interesting to use because I’ve heard it in other fast paced commercials.

4. Crash Cymbal – In the Splash clip I used this sound to emphasize every time water was splashed.

5. Sad Violin – – In the Splash clip I used this sound to emphasize the male runner kicking over the garbage can.

BEN BURTT

JIMMY MacDONALD

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SejPFUnyKtc

The video above is primarily forced on the sound design of the movie Wall – E. The sound design was primarily done by the famous Ben Burtt. Ben Burtt has been a very influential part of the sound design industry and has taken some conventional steps and unconventional ones as well in his creations. I actually found Ben Burtt to be a catalysis to great sound production as he thrives to not only be simple in approach but incorporate every resource.

Although I found the entire film to be good for inspiration I only focused on the Disney sound. Within this part of the clip Ben Burtt talks about the sound process behind some of Disneys earlier cartoons and other sound designers in the business. He refers to Jimmy MacDonald a long time sound designer for earlier Disney cartoons. Jimmy MacDonald was one of the earlier pioneers in the sound production industry who meshed sound props with actual footage. Jimmy MacDonald did this is such a way that made the objects on screen seem more life like as the sounds carried out their actions.

FINAL REFLECTION

As I step away from this project I take away with me a number of things. Over the semester I have seen some substantial growth in my blogging and I am somewhat impressed. Earlier in the semester I would not have written a reflection within the post as I am doing now. I felt that writing reflections on your assignments was something you did in a separate post which played a part in my negligence. As for my video I felt that if I used protools it would have cam out much better.

The content that I found on both Ben Burtt and Jimmy MacDonald have both shocked me and taught me at the same time. I was surprised at what little Jimmy MacDonald had to come up with rich sound from. He made his way of sound production look really easy. Watching his video on his approach to sound design was pretty amazing and I recommend all students dealing with sound to watch. Similarly in Ben Burtt video he talks about how made the lazer sound for Wall -e. After seeing how he was able to get that sound from a slinky / spring I was floored.

I could not believe that such a simple object when altered just a little could produce something so appealing to the ears. I was filled with inspiration after watching the two films to create a unique but meaningful sound for my video. I felt that the step I took in creating the video helped me both manage my time and the selection of sounds I would use. While adding sound to my clip I learned that you don’t always need voices to produce sound you can use instruments instead. I feel that i have accomplished something that i can save and build upon in the future. I have set the bar for myself with this clip and will continue to improve on future assignments.

Birds and Waterfall test

Getting familiar with audacity I used sounds from freesound to create a mix of two different sounds. Anyway, try to stay awake and enjoy!

 

I learned how to import audio in audacity in this project, and gave me an idea for my final project. I think I did alright with this mix and can add some more sounds to make it sound less dull and more realistic.

My Hallway Tunnel Perspective

I really thought this project would be easy, for I have mixed things before and created filters and different perspectives of instruments before.  I noticed that when I played an original sound back and recorded it over again adding reverb, panning, and  volume control, I heard the changes through my headphones.  However, once I played back the recording I had just done, those changes in left to right, up to down and near to far were not there.  Audacity is really tricky.

Anyhow, I finally realized I have to do more research on achieving the goals I’ve set out for.  Anyway, I settled for one straight perspective of me singing a song, which I did originally in my closet with a closed in no bounce or echo sound because of the clothes there to dampen the sound.  I’ll put both versions up now so if you’d like to hear the differences.  Enjoy.

First is my Perspective of a tunnel with to closed in ends.  In other words, you’re stuck in the middle of a tunnel with the sound and it has no way of escaping.  … enjoy.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/115755749″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Now the next sound is the exact same song, but in it’s orignal form.  No filters or perspective changes.  Only the sound of the small closet and you’ll hear the big difference.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/115756295″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

The Makings of a Good Blog Post

1. A Thoughtful Title – This would be a a title that both considers the content of the post and is creative. For example, a title for a post about a project plan to record ducks on a pond would be, “Thoughts on How to Listen to a Bunch of Quacks” and not “Recording Project Plan.”

2. Media Embeds – It is always preferable to embed media in a post rather than link to the external site where it is hosted. WP supports almost all social media network embeds, if not there are plug-ins. For common image formats, JPG, GIF, PNG it is always preferable to resize the embedded image so that it fits the width of the post. That way the image fit’s the design of the blog.

3. The Purpose of the Post – A some point in the first paragraph of the post a clear description of what you are presenting should be stated. Whether you’re describing a project proposal to be detailed, showing a work in progress, or analyzing another work, you must succinctly summarize your idea early in the post. This should be stated in as much as possible a conversational tone. Blogging allows for and encourages informal language (this does not mean sloppy syntax or grammar) to invite the reader to read. For example, “Yesterday I attempted to record the sounds of ducks at the pond in the park near my apartment. Above are my favorite three minutes of the recordings I made.”

4. Posting Links to external sources – There is always an opportunity to reference sources that were some how involved in the decisions you made and what you are writing about. This might include research done that influenced your process, an image found and embedded to illustrate a point, or even a simple reference to the assignment. Links should be contextual and the source described. For example, “While searching for techniques to record ducks on a pond, I discovered Avisoft Bioacoustics a company focused on analysis of animal recordings. They hosted a number of examples of animal recordings, I liked the frogs the best, and more importantly a detailed tutorial on how they make choices for microphones, recorders, and microphone placement.”

5. The impact of external sources – The research you do as an impact on the choices you make in your work and how you make them. It’s important to reflect on that research and describe how you incorporated it into your process. For example, “Avisoft gives an enormous amount of detail about different microphones (principally Sennheiser shotguns) and recorders, but we only have a couple of Senneheisers and recorders to choose from. What was really useful though was this diagram that visualized all the external noises to avoid in these types of recording environments.”

6. A description and reflection of your process – A reflection on the choices you made during the creating of your work (or planning of your work to be done) is incredibly important to facilitating the understanding of the piece. This might reveal choices made that were very good, or illustrate problems you confronted. You should describe specific tools used, how you used them, and issues you confronted while using them. For example, “To record my ducks quacking, I decided to use the Senneheiser MKH816T, which requires an A/B power supply, as well as the Tascam DR-100mkII recorder. Upon visiting the pond I found that the ducks were too far away! So I went and bought some bread and that’s when things got interesting.”

7. A final reflection – Whether the blog post was an analysis of a piece of work, a project plan, or presenting a piece of work you’ve created, it’s important to reflect overall on your sense of what it is you did and why. In the case of the analysis, you might describe what you learned from the work that you didn’t know before, or describe something you found interesting and why. In the case of a project plan you could reflect on the problems you believe you might face or what you might do to adapt your plan if necessary. And in the case of presenting work created, you might reflect on the technical quality based on appropriate criteria, and/or the content of the work and whether it achieved your intended goals. You might also describe how you would modify your approach if you were to return to this project or onto your next. For example, “What I liked about the three minutes of ducks I recorded and presented above was that the sounds were not what I’d expected. When I first thought of duck sounds, my mind was filled with sounds of quacking. But I actually did not get just the quacking, I heard the ruffling and jostling of the birds as they jockeyed for position to eat the bread I was throwing to them. It probably would have been better if I had someone else feeding the ducks though, as I was creating a lot of contact noise brushing against the mic and cables while throwing bread.”

Just as Natural as Breathing

[soundcloud params=”auto_play=false&show_comments=true”]https://soundcloud.com/lakeya-johnson/julis-and-lakeya-the-cttalk[/soundcloud]

For this particular recording assignment I will do two recordings; one a discussion and the other narrative sounds. The recording will involve no more than two people for each, one of them being myself. In order to record both the discussion and narrative sounds properly I would have to do some research on how to record a discussion. I would also have to look up microphones used for recording and the best type; handheld vs pin-up (LAV), or a shotgun microphone. Lastly I would need to understand how the setting I choose to record my discussion will affect the sound quality of the recording. After going through my “Recorder Microphone check list” I found it better to have an uncompressed file for richer sounds and a high sample rate to capture all the levels of sound recorded in each. After this aspect of setting up my recording I moved on to a more greater challenge; selecting the microphone type for each recording.

Some of the resources that I will use while investigating proper sound recording techniques, equipment, and settings for my recording will be the internet, some text, and a professional sound engineer. For my text resource I will have to refer to the Audio In Media by Stanley R. Alten textbook. In chapter 15 of Audio In Media entitled Music Production: Miking Music for Digital Recording under the paragraph Isolating the Vocalist Alten writes, “To record as clean as a vocal sound as possible, many studios use a isolation booth to prevent leakage from instruments or acoustics from reaching the vocal mic”. This text will not only help me decide on what mic to use but help me find a good location based on acoustics. I will also refer to both chapter 2 Acoustics and Psychoacoustics, chapter 4 Microphones, and lastly chapter 13 Sound Effects in  the Audio In Media textbook. In chapter 13 Sound effects I refereed mainly to the narrative sound and descriptive sound segments along with the defining space portion. The recorder I will use for this recording will be the Tascam DR100 MKII. Based on its functionality and ease of use I feel this will be best for my recording. It also enables me to attach an XLR cable to it for my omni-directional microphone I will use. For the discussion I used an omnidirectional microphone mainly because I wanted to capture all voices in the room clearly. For the narrative sound I used a shotgun cordiod microphone which meant I had to be more directional in my recording process; aim the microphone at the object I wanted to record. The omni-directional microphone has a wider polar pattern and is used mainly for recording like this one. Although this is not the only way to isolate an audio recording it is one useful way I can get a clean interview. With this I found myself looking to the TV studio room to record a clean background sound free discussion.

After googling “how to properly record an discussion” I was led to a site called Videomaker. Within this site I learned about some of the mics best suited to record a small group (I customized the information to fit my discussion recording). The author of this Q & A answers the question he is given about recordind a small group with, ‘I would put an omni in the middle of the group and run an XLR cable to my camcorder.  You can get pro quality sound from a next-to-new Sennheiser ME62 omni with a K6 powering module for $240 on eBay, not a lot more than a $230 VideoMic Pro. With a pro mic with a balanced XLR out put, you can run balanced XLR cable without introducing noise.  You cannot do this with a mic with unbalanced 3.5mm output, like the Rode. The great thing about the Sennheiser is that it is modular.  If you need more directionality, you can get a supercardioid head for as little as $109‘ – brunerww. Although not all of this information was directed to me I did in fact take note to the suggestions for future projects.

As I searched the web for more useful tips and “how to guides” I stumbled upon another site called Soundtosound.com. According to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) list of  Soundtosound.com its states that “most engineers will use a cardioid pattern, which is more sensitive to sounds arriving from the front than from the back and sides, as this avoids capturing much in the way of ambient sound”. I find this very interesting because as I am doing a vocal recording I need to come to a conclusion of what mic type to use. Also this information helped me in my second recording that only contained sounds no vocals.

FEED BACK

During this entire recording assignment I was faced with many difficulties. Some of the difficulties I faced while recording was monitoring the levels to the production, choosing the right frequency, and intensity as it related to gain levels. I felt that my knowledge was not as vast as it could have been about the recorded I chose nor the microphone. Although I used the basic principles behind frequency, amplitude, and phase knowing more about the recorder would have helped. Because I used headphones and conducted the recording by myself I was unable to simultaneously adjust the recording as I heard the changes in pitch. Also while I focused more on recording the interview I was forced to keep the levels to a specific setting.

 

 

A live musical Tribute.

I’ve known lots of musicians in my life. most of them I wouldn’t be able to find now. But, I have a few here and there who would be honored to have me record them. my plan is to record them separately and make something GRAND! out of their tracks!

I plan on starting with the keyboard player in my church.  Performing a song with my Tascam DR 100 mkII.  I will be using a straight line out from the keyboard directly to the line-in port of the Recorder.

I have researched in Audio & Media by Stanley R. Alten that there are two ways of doing so.  I can use a directional Microphone and aim it directly at the amp, or speaker that the keyboard is coming from.  I can also use a line out from the the keyboard and shoot that into my line in XLR port.  I’m kinda up in the air as to which method I’m going to use this weekend because I can’t be at the keyboard while it’s recording.  I’ll be playing drums.  But, I’ll figure something out.

 

Now, there has been a change of plans.  I have to use a Zoom H2n for my Church Keyboard recording.  All the other mics and xlr wires are out already.  I’m also going to use the H2n’s internal microphones for recording the keyboard.  It’s not what I actually wanted to do because I know it will pick up the room.  There’s no way to just filter out the other sounds without the use of a direct line-in to Line-out cord.

 

 

Follow the guide

For this particular recording assignment I will be recording a interview. The recording will involve no more than two people, one of them being myself. In order to record this discussion properly I would have to do some research on how to record a discussion. I would also have to look up microphones used for recording discussion and the best type; handheld vs pin-up (LAV) . Lastly I would need to understand how the setting I choose to record my discussion will affect the sound quality of the recording.

Some of the resources used while investigating proper sound recording techniques, equipment, and recorder settings will be the internet, some text, and a professional sound engineer. For my text resource I will have to refer to the Audio In Media by Stanley R. Alten textbook. In chapter 15 of Audio In Media entitled Music Production: Miking Music for Digital Recording under the paragraph Isolating the Vocalist Alten writes, “To record as clean as a vocal sound as possible, many studios use a isolation booth to prevent leakage from instruments or acoustics from reaching the vocal mic”. Although this is not the only way to isolate an audio recording it is one useful way I can get a clean interview. With this I found myself looking to the TV studio room to record a clean background sound free discussion.

After googling “how to properly record an discussion” I was led to a site called Videomaker. Within this site I learned about some of the mics best suited to record a small group (I customized the information to fit my discussion recording). The author of this Q & A answers the question he is given about recordind a small group with, ‘I would put an omni in the middle of the group and run an XLR cable to my camcorder.  You can get pro quality sound from a next-to-new Sennheiser ME62 omni with a K6 powering module for $240 on eBay, not a lot more than a $230 VideoMic Pro. With a pro mic with a balanced XLR out put, you can run balanced XLR cable without introducing noise.  You cannot do this with a mic with unbalanced 3.5mm output, like the Rode. The great thing about the Sennheiser is that it is modular.  If you need more directionality, you can get a supercardioid head for as little as $109‘ – brunerww. Although not all of this information was directed to me I did in fact take note to the suggestions for future projects.

As I searched the web for more useful tips and “how to guides” I stumbled upon another site called Soundtosound.com. According to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) list of  Soundtosound.com its states that “most engineers will use a cardioid pattern, which is more sensitive to sounds arriving from the front than from the back and sides, as this avoids capturing much in the way of ambient sound”. I find this very interesting because as I am doing a vocal recording I need to come to a conclusion of what mic type to use. Also this information helped me in my second recording that only contained sounds no vocals.

This text will not only help me decide on what mic to use but help me find a good location based on acoustics. I will also refer to both chapter 2 Acoustics and Psychoacoustics along with chapter 4 Microphones in  the Audio In Media textbook. The recorder I will use for this recording will be the Tascam DR100 MKII. Based on its functionality and ease of use I feel this will be best for my recording. It also enables me to attach an XLR cable to it for my omnidirectional microphone I will use. I am using an omnidirectional microphone mainly because I want to capture all notes my singer sings. The omnidirectional microphone has a wider polar pattern and is used mainly for recording like this one.

[soundcloud params=”auto_play=false&show_comments=true”]https://soundcloud.com/lakeya-johnson/julis-and-lakeya-the-cttalk[/soundcloud]

Plan your project idea

You must do some research and define how you what mics you would use how and why? And what recorders you’d use how and why?

For those interested in remix, define a specific piece(s) of media you’d like to work with as an example and describe how you might make substitutions, augmentations to the soundtrack.

Both need to be based on some research, whether you read Audio in Media, the web, or speak with a collaborator (location engineer). Explain what you found out and why it affects your plan.