home instructor courses Examples notes facilities resources

DRAM262: Sound Design, Fall Semester, 2007
<< back

Group Project; from Drama 262, Sound Design, Fall 2007

CHALLENGE: Create a multi-track recording of an original song.


"Strange Behavior" written and performed by the Fall 2007 Sound Design Class. (4.8 MB download)
Download this .pdf file (1.7 MB) to see a screen shot of our virtual mixer for "Strange Behavior" in Digital Performer 5.13.
Or listen to the recording in stages...

Friday, September 28, Preparation of Student Composition for Recording Demonstration
(4.8 MB download)

We spent some time in class on this date and the previous Friday brainstorming over lyric ideas. The class settled on the theme of technology impacting every aspect of our lives. Rachel Phillips, David Willett, and John Pappas headed the effort for starting a set of lyrics reflecting this theme. This idea was passed around to the other members of the class via email in order for each classmate to add to the lyrics. Aryo Harianto brought a MIDI rhythm track he created using the popular software called Reason. The song was really established on this date. We also recorded students David Willett and Emily Lam speaking class-created text represented mock cell phone calls. We applied several digital sounding effects to the recording. Listen to Emily here and David here.


Friday, October 5, Student Recording (4.8 MB download)

Today we took Aryo's MIDI rhythm track and recorded Wink Stone playing rhythm guitar. We recorded him using our M-Audio Firewire 410 interface. His guitar was connect to one channel and recorded in mono.


Friday, November 2, Student Recording (4.8 MB download)

Aryo Harianto brought his bass to class today. We connected his bass via its direct output (no bass amp). The sound of the bass recording will be made to sound like it was played through a bass amp using real-time digital signal processing plugins.


Friday, November 16, Student Recording (4.8 MB download)

David Willett brought some vocal wave files to class today. He loaded one of the previous mixes of our developing song into his recording software and recording himself singing the lyrics our class developed. He then exported just the vocal content back out of his software as wave files and brought them to class. These files were dropped into our mix. Now we have vocals!


Friday, November 30, Student Recording (4.8 MB download)

The class was interested in including an electronic sounding vocal element in our song. We took select phrases from David Willett's vocal track and exported them as wave files. These files were then loaded into an NN-XT sampler within Reason music creation software. We used Reason because it comes with an excellent Vocoder tool. After much listening, we settled on the proper synthesizer sound to combine/morph with the voice. Also, we added some digital sounding effects to the background vocals on the chorus.


Friday, December 7, Student Recording (4.8 MB download)

In order to make the song sound more "frenzied", I asked the students to bring in wave files found on the internet that reflected technology in some way. These files were dropped in at key places within the song. Two prominent samples were found by John Pappas and Abby Trenor. The recording of the person saying "hello" at the beginning and end of our song was found online by John. Abby found some of the digital distortions we used during the end of the song. We finalized the mix on this day. The mock phone calls we recorded earlier in the semester were added to the song's bridge section causing it to sound even more technology laden.

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 5.13, and Propellerheads' Reason 3.0.

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

Go to the University of Virginia home page
Last Modified:
December 7, 2007