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DRAM2620: Sound Design, Spring Semester, 2010
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Group Project; from Drama 2620, Sound Design, Spring 2010
CHALLENGE: Create a multi-track recording of an original song.


"Michael's Purple Shirt", written and recorded by the students of DRAM 2620. (6.4 MB)

Image Download this .jpg file to see a screen shot in Logic 9.
Play "What It Means", written and recorded by the students of DRAM 2620. (4.7 MB)
Download this .jpg file to see a screen shot in Logic 9.
Or listen to the recording in stages...

Friday, February 22,Student Recording, "What It Means" (4.4 MB)

Today, Norman Reategui brought his nylon string guitar to class and improvised a chord pattern in A minor. We then listened to some drum loops to find one with the particular groove we are interested in. We added a drum loop to the sequence and then recorded Norman playing two patterns. We used a Crown SASS-P, stereo condenser microphone to record the guitar in stereo.


Friday, March 5, Student Recording, "What It Means" (3 MB)

Today we considered the tempo and flavor of the piece. Classmate Sedale McCall created a new sense of rhythm by performing and capturing a new MIDI drum pattern. Norman Reategui brought in his guitar again and helped us keep the groove by playing his guitar piece captured last Friday. Sylvia Kates began improvising some potential melodies in the class room. Other students discussed the nature of future lyrics. Later in the day, I doctored our work with a few choice loops heard in the above example, but we may remove them later.


Friday, March 19, Student Recording, "What It Means" (4.2 MB)

We struggled a little during the first moments of class to find a way forward. However, I challenged the class with improvising some melodies. We started recording these and will use them to discover the final melody. Classmate Richie Macleod was brave enough to go first and successfully improvised a simple melody. I then had him record two other tracks of the same original improvisation. Classmate Chuhan Wang brought her friend Charlie to class. He improvised a melody in tandem with Richie's part. Next and as an alternative, classmate Norman Reategui improvised a melody. Click this link to hear Charlie, Norman, and Richie at the same time. Classmate Brittany Collins sent some vocals she recorded using her own computer and GarageBand. I asked here to solo her new vocal tracks and export them individually without the music. I received these via email and them drop them into our mix, heard here. Classmate Aashish Edakadampil later sent another rap to drop in for our first verse heard here.


Friday, March 26, Student Recording, "What It Means" (7.6 MB)

We did not record in class today, but classmate Aashish Edakadampil did some work on our song at home using GarageBand and one of the instrumental .mp3's on this site. He recorded a possible verse and rap, and then sent it to me in .mp3 format. I later imported it into our master document. I had to extend our musical composition using copy and pasting techniques. I dropped his recordings into our project as a potential second verse.


Friday, April 2, Student Recording, "What It Means" (8.1 MB)

At this point in the process, a majority of students expressed a lack of understanding of the direction of our song. I suggested we start a second song, and let the smaller group of students still interested in "What It Means" continue development. We wrote a simple idea called, "Michael's Purple Shirt" and made a quick mock up of it. Classmate Ally Boate provided a beginning vocal. We will now develop both songs in the remaining class time.


Friday, April 9, Student Recording, "What It Means" (6.6)

We did not work on this song during class today. After class, Aashish Edakadampil worked with me to discover a new plan for the arrangement of this song. Classmate Eudora Chua joined this conversation and agreed to sing the new melody for both verses. The new verses will be recorded outside of class and electronically delivered to me to add to the mix. Classmate Sedale McCall is also developing lyrics.


Friday, April 9, Student Recording, "Michael's Purple Shirt" (4.5 MB)

This song really started to develop today during class. Eudora Chua provided vocals for our first verse with lyrics written by classmate Sylvia Kates. We then began developing a bridge section for our song. I used software instruments to discover a chord progression and proceeded to record our ideas as MIDI data. Allyson Boate provided vocals for this new bridge. Allyson sang the bridge four times to create a four-track vocal stack. The entire class discussed ideas for completing the song and various students were inspired with ideas to explore after class. Later, I added the final vocal part of the bridge based on lyrics from Slyvia Kates. I created a second verse later in the day and recorded it. Also, Aashish Edakadampil emailed to me a recording of him singing an idea for a third verse. I added it to our mix. Sedale McCall also emailed an additional verse heard in this version.


Friday, April 16, Student Recording, "What It Means" (6.6 MB)

Aashish Edakadampil created and recorded a new chorus for our song today and sent it via email. I dropped into this mix.


Friday, April 16, Student Recording, "Michael's Purple Shirt" (4.5 MB)

Today the entire class participated in recording. We improvised an opening scene for our song in order to prepare the listener for the subject matter. We creatively edited Eudora Chau's verse for a rhythmic effect during the first verse. We added Terrance Fells-Danzer improvising a spoken track.


Friday, April 23, Student Recording, "What It Means" (6.6 MB)

Aashish Edakadampil and Sedale McCall sent some finishing touches via email for me to drop into the mix. Sedale provided rap for Verse 1 and 2, and Aashish created and performed the final chorus.


Friday, April 23, Student Recording, "Michael's Purple Shirt" (8.8 MB)

Today we invited Adam Long (The Sometime Favorites and The Derelicts) to add electric guitar to our song. We used a GLX 1200 off axis of the speaker of his guitar and a AT 4033 pointed out into the room. We recorded several solos and rhythm guitar tracks. I later added a noise gate to his recordings and mixed in a version of his solo transposed an octave up.


Friday, April 30, Student Recording, "What It Means" (4.7 MB)

Today, classmate Aashish Edakadampil and I put the finishing "touches" on the song. We cleaned up some sections of the song left unfinished in previous mixes and challenged the quality of the chorus vocals.


Friday, April 30, Student Recording, "Michael's Purple Shirt" (6.4 MB)

We listened to our song for a final time and challenged the mix. We made some minor changes to the vocal levels. During the first verse, Terrance's background vocals were reduced in volume. Next, we had a discussion about the new guitar parts. Some students felt the electronica sound of the song present in earlier mixes had been diminished by the new guitar throughout the song. It was determined that the rhythm guitar would be taken out of the mix and the guitar solo would be changed. We choose another guitar solo take of the seven we recorded on April 23. Finally, Chuhan Wang recorded herself saying "in a good way," heard at the end of the first verse. She recorded it with her computer using Audacity and sent it to me as an .mp3 to drop into the song.

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, Digital Performer 6, and Logic.

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

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Last Modified:
May 5, 2010