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DRAM262: Sound Design, Spring Semester, 2007
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Group Project; from Drama 262, Sound Design, Spring 2007

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

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"Don't Rock Your Life Away" written and performed by the Spring 2007 Sound Design Class. (6.1MB download)
click In this track, the MIDI track is muted. This reveals all tracks recorded and performed by the students of DRAM 2620. (6.1 MB download)
click This is the MIDI composition for "Don't Rock Your Life Away".
(5.3 MB download)
Download this .pdf file (1.7 MB) to see a screen shot of our virtual mixer for"Don't Rock Your Life Away" in Digital Performer 5.11.
Or listen to the recording in stages...
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Wednesday, April 4, Preparation of Student Composition for Recording Demonstration
(5.3 MB download)

This is the original track, written for the most part by Forrest Whaling, Nate McFarland, and Chris Short. Michael Rasbury, instructor, added drum kit loops. The original rhythm structure was loosely based on a drum loop provided by classmate Ryan Best.


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Friday, April 6, Student Recording (5.3 MB download)

Today we added our first vocals. Chris Short sang both verses and the chorus. We recorded three identical tracks of his voice. The best phrases were utilized in one track as the main vocal and the rest were used for special effects. We use the rest of the vocals to create two other tracks, one panned hard left and the other hard right. Next, we added Lewi Malnowski speaking text in between Chris' chorus phrases. We decided to keep his text practically unaffected.


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Monday, April 9, Student Recording (5.3 MB download)

Ryan Best provided a rap he wrote around the theme "Don't Rock Your Life Away". After a couple of takes, we settled on the one in this recording. He also added two tracks emphasizing certain words in the rap. These were panned left and right, brightened, and mildly distorted in order to hear them in the mix.


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Wednesday, April 11 Student Recording (5.3 MB download)

Nate McFarland and Mindy Miller added some choral parts to the bridge of the song today. We were not sure at the beginning of class what we wanted to do with the bridge, but by the end of class we created some vocal parts. We added a total of nine tracks. Three were sung by Mindy Miller, and then Nate sang the other six. The end result was a nine-voice choir with three-part harmony.

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Friday, April 13, Student Recording (5.3 MB download)

We added a cello today to augment the sampled strings already in the MIDI track. Ryan Logue brought his cello in. We recorded him playing one phrase and then pasted together an entire song's worth of cello. We could afford to do this since the existing string part was based on a loop. Next, Justin Davis provided a rap he wrote. We added this just prior to the final chorus of the song. This proved to be a useful way to return to the general tenor of the song after the lighter chorus.


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Monday, April 30, Student Recording (6.1 MB download)

We completed the song today. Monet Bernard added a rap she wrote to compliment the song's bridge. We also recorded some very candid group responses.


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:
June 8, 2007