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DRAM262: Sound Design, Fall Semester, 2006
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Click here to listen to the results of our Project 3, "Musique Concrete."

Group Project; from Drama 262, Sound Design, Fall 2006
CHALLENGE: Create a multi-track recording of an original song.

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"Out in the Country" written and performed by the Fall 2006 Sound Design Class. (4.8 MB download)
play In this track, the MIDI track is muted. This reveals all tracks recorded and performed by the students of DRAM 2620. (4.8 MB download)
play This is the MIDI composition for "Out in the Country" .
(3 MB download)
Download this .pdf file 120 KB) to see a screen shot of our virtual mixer for "Out in the Country" in Digital Performer 5.
Or listen to the recording in stages...
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Friday, October 6 , Preparation of Student Composition for Recording Demonstration
(3.1 MB download)

After seeking approval from the class, I started working on a MIDI track based on an original idea. I created the basic MIDI musical track of our original song.


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Friday, October 13, Student Recording (3.1 MB download)

We began recording the acoustic elements of the song by adding banjo. Luke Nutting performed the banjo part. We first recorded his electric banjo using a direct connection to our hardware. We later decided that the acoustic banjo sound would be better. We re-recorded the banjo using a condenser microphone.

I made an .mp3 mix of the song to send to the students via email for review.  This allowed them to come ready to propose additional instruments and tracks.


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Friday, October 20, Student Recording (3.1 MB download)

David Gassmann added an electric guitar on this date. We removed the guitar loop in the original track. Using a direct box, we were able to simultaneously record his guitar amplifier using an SM57 dynamic microphone and a direct output from his guitar. This allowed great flexibility later when mixing the song. We ultimately used the guitar amplifier track instead of the direct output.


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Friday, November 10, Student Recording (3.1 MB download)

After spending class time to make minor changes to the lyrics, Rachael Pickering volunteered to sing the verses. In this example, you will hear her work. The chorus vocals will be performed by another classmate. The vocal track represented here has been slightly pitch corrected. Minor equalization and compression were added. Rachael's vocal timbre was perfect for the mood of the song so little "doctoring" was required.

Play!

Friday, November 17, Student Recording (3.8 MB download)

Today classmates Nick Butler and Marley DelDuchetto added vocals to our recording. First, Nick and Marley sang harmony parts along with the verse lead vocal. Then Marley sang our chorus for us. After class, Luke Nutting invited a fellow musician named Lauren to add violin to the piece. To hear the song without violin, click here.


Play!

Wednesday, November 29, Student Recording (3.8 MB download)

First, we added the vocals for the bridge between the verse and chorus. Adam Johnson, Alex Levin, and Nick Butler sang this part in unison. In order to achieve better contrast between the verses and choruses, the banjo and violin were removed from the choruses. I added unison vocals underneath the lead vocal on the chorus.


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Thursday, November 30, Student Recording (6.3 MB download)

Adam Johnson came by and added human drum sounds. Minor changes were made to individual instrument volumes. The overall dynamics of the song were controlled using a multi-band compressor. The violin was given a delayed and "darkened" mirror track that was panned to the left side of the mix.


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Friday, December 1, Student Recording (4.8 MB download)

At the beginning of class, we added the sound of all the students stomping their feet along with the track. Next, we added group hand claps. It was later determined that the stomps worked against the mix of instruments. David Gassmann added cowbell. Rachael Pickering added a tambourine track. Minor changes were made to David Gassmann's electric guitar track. The mix was fine-tuned.


RECORDING INSTRUMENTS: 2 Audio-Technica 4030 condenser microphones, Shure SM58, 57 microphones, Crown SASS-P stereo condenser microphone, MacBook Pro (2.33 gHz Intel Core 2 Duo), 2 Gig RAM,
M-Audio Firewire 410 Audio Input/Output Device, Digital Performer 5.11, and Propellerheads' Reason 3.0.

These materials are examples only. They are not for intended for commercial use.

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Last Modified:
December 2, 2006