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DRAM262: Sound Design, Spring Semester, 2006
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Click here to listen to the results of our Project 4, "Musique Concrete."

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

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"Insinuación" MIDI Composition by Michael Rasbury based on Music and Lyrics by Matt Marcus.
(6 MB download)
Play Button In this track, the MIDI Composition is muted. This reveals all tracks recorded and performed by the students of DRAM 2620. (6 MB download)
Play Button This is the full mix of both the above recordings. (6 MB download)
Download this .pdf file (320 KB) to see a screen shot of our virtual mixer for "Insinuación" in Digital Performer 5.
Or listen to the recording in stages...
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March 3, Preparation of Student Composition for Recording Demonstration
March 17, MIDI Demonstration and Student Recording
(6 MB download)

After seeking approval from the class, I started working on a base MIDI track based on a musical idea and lyrics by Matt Marcus. I created the basic MIDI musical track of our original song.

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Friday, March 24, Student Recording (6 MB download)

We began recording the acoustic elements of the song by adding acoustic guitar (performed by John Hopke) and bongos (performed by Greg Sloan).  I added a small wood block track to the recording

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, March 31, Student Recording (6 MB download)

Today we recorded trumpet (performed by Nathan Redabaugh) and flute (performed by Teresa Wood).  I demonstrated the power of signal processing in recording.  We shifted the dynamics of the acoustic tracks by editing equalization and compression.  Reverb and delay processing were discussed.

We also added the entire class making general "party" sounds for a middle section of the song. We recorded a second track of the group clapping in unison.

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Friday, April 14, Student Recording (6 MB download)

Today we added our first vocals.  Melissa McDowell added double-tracked chorus lyrics and Matthew Marcus added double-tracked the verse lyrics.  Double-tracking voices creates a thicker voice timbre. Matt Marcus also added some single claps for later editing.

In order to accomplish these recordings, we used different microphone techniques for capturing clear vocals.

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Friday, April 21, Student Recording (6 MB download)

Today we added Nathan Redabaugh and Matthew Bass (4th year Anthropology major) and a guest to our classroom, to the recording.  Both added original spoken parts (rap) to the song.  We used unidirectional microphones, one dynamic and one condenser to record them.  Both microphones had improvised windscreens for close microphone placement.

At the last moment, we added Anjili Pal and Melissa McDowell speaking a very small part toward the end of the song.

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Friday, April 28, Student Recording

We listened critically to the final mix of our song and decided upon a final name for the work. We all agreed to "Insinuación", which means "overture" in Spanish.

Using digital audio editing techniques, we lengthened the original time of the "party" noises underneath the second rap in the middle of the song.

We prepared the song for placing on the Internet and posted it.

RECORDING INSTRUMENTS: 2 Audio-Technica 4030 condenser microphones, G4 Powerbook, 1.5 GHz, 1 Gig RAM, M-Audio Firewire 410 Audio Input/Output Device, Digital Performer 4.61, and Propellerhead’s Reason 3.0.

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

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Last Modified:
December 7, 2008