home instructor courses Examples notes facilities resources

DRAM2620: Sound Design, Fall Semester, 2011
<< back

Group Project; from Drama 2620, Sound Design, Fall 2011
CHALLENGE: Create a multi-track recording of an original song.


"Halls", current version; written and recorded by the students of DRAM 2620.

Image View this .jpg file to see our mixer in Pro Tools 10.
Or listen to the recording in stages...

Beginning Stages, Student Recording, "Halls"

We started creating this song by listening to student submitted links to popular songs representative of each person's musical interests. Several links were provided, but one submitted by classmate Payton Drake seem to connect with most students in the class. She sent the song "Home" by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. As a group we appreciated the acoustic nature of the song as well as its folk leanings. We agreed to use this sound as a model from which to proceed.


Thursday, November 17, Student Recording, "Halls"

Today we invited guest artist Bentley Rhodes to join us in the classroom to play the basic guitar tracks for our song. We didn't use an amplifier for his electric guitar, but rather recorded his guitar with the direct output on the guitar. We used software amplifier emulation to get that thick electric sound. Bentley recorded one verse and one chorus as well as some general solos. We recorded Bentley playing rhythm guitar twice by having him play the same performance twice. We then panned one of the tracks to the left speaker and the other to the right for an open sound. Later in this process we will piece together parts of the improvised solo he played to create a guitar solo for the end of the song. I took the one verse and chorus recording and mocked up the entire song by copying and pasting recordings. The song now has an intro section, three verses, three choruses, and an outro section.


Tuesday, November 29, Student Recording, "Halls"

Much progress has been made since the last class period. During the Thanksgiving recess, added acoustic guitar, a bass line, and drums were added. In today's class, classmate Kerry Keihn brought her violin and a prepared melodic line to play. We recorded her playing the line four times, in order to stack it. This creates the sound of a string section. We then recorded the entire class singing "Deck the Halls" during the last chorus of the song.


Thursday, December 1, Student Recording, "Halls"

Today I brought to class some borrowed and very old sleigh bells to add to the verses and choruses. I recorded the same performance twice and panned one recording to the left channel and the other to the right channel. Classmate Payton Drake added lead vocals next using lyrics supplied by Tom Christensen and Emily Price. We also recorded her voice on two tracks, in order to pan one to the left channel and the other to the right. Finally, I mixed some of the original electric, rhythm guitar tracks back into the last chorus of the song. Mastering plugins were applied to the final mix.

RECORDING INSTRUMENTS: 2 Audio-Technica 4030 condenser microphones, Shure SM58, 57 microphones, Crown SASS-P stereo condenser microphone, MacBook Pro (2.4 gHz Intel Core 2 Duo), 4 Gig RAM,
M-Audio Firewire 410 Audio Input/Output Device and Pro Tools 10.

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

Go to the University of Virginia home page
Last Modified:
December 1, 2011