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DRAM2620: Sound Design, Spring Semester, 2012
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Group Project; from Drama 2620, Sound Design, Spring Semester 2012
CHALLENGE: Create a multi-track recording of an original song.


"Motion", 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...

Friday, March 3, Student Recording, "Motion"

After talking and brainstorming about how and where we wanted to begin the song creation process, we decided to go for a jazz/rap style reminiscent of the early 1990's. We listened to some tracks from A Tribe Called Quest and other artists of the era. It was determined that we needed a looping bass line to set the stage for the rest of our song. A brief internet search helped us find a unique upright bass recording, which we subsequently chopped into smaller segments and looped throughout the whole track.


Friday, March 16, Student Recording, "Motion"

Today, Lynne Cates brought lyrics to class and we improvised a melody to them. Alan Donehoo volunteered to sing them. We asked him to sing the passage three times to create a panned chorus effect. We also recorded him saying, "We are all in motion." Finally, we caputered my computer speaking the word "motion" and added it to the developing song.


Friday, March 23, Student Recording, "Motion"

Today I presented the class with a slightly cleaned up version of the song, most notably experimenting with removing the stutter in the initial “motion.” We then recorded Daniel Prillamen's verse — a dramatic reading, as told by one personality of a three-headed alien. I encouraged Daniel to try and create an ad-libbed rhythm to his lyrics, which he fine-tuned after we recorded his verse a couple of times. We still aren’t sure where in the song we want to place Daniel’s verse, but we’ve left it directly after the opening chorus for now.


Friday, March 30, Student Recording, "Motion"

Today I presented some changes I made to the song, including a more interesting beginning, a key change for the final chorus, a minor loop underneath the final chorus, and some note changes in the bass loop during Daniel Prillaman's rap. We re-recorded Alan Donehoo's vocals for the chorus, with the full set of lyrics, and added those. We also changed the pitch of Daniel Prillaman's voice in his rap to simulate the alien's three heads.


Friday, April 6, Student Recording, "Motion"

After today’s class, there aren’t too many new audible edits, but we made a lot of progress in terms of taking the next step in the song. The addition of a key change and minor loop got the students thinking about what feel we would want for a second verse and, potentially, a bridge—I believe that more rapping will be incorporated during the next recording session. We decided that the baseline (as one of the few musical elements in the song) wasn’t enough of a completing element, so I broke the students up into sections, by men and women, and had them record vocal rifts to add under the chorus’ and verses. The new addition to the song is the sound of the men imitating the baseline with their vocals. The women’s part—which has yet to be added in—is a run that mirrors the minor loop in the song.


Friday, April 13, Student Recording, "Motion"

Today we had a very productive recording session. Classmate Lynne Cates wrote a verse of rap for our song and we recorded first today. We listened to her perform along with the track before recording and the members of the class gave her notes on how to deliver the rap. She used a stylized voice for our recording. Daniel Prillaman (our first rapper in this song) added three tracks of overdubs in unison with Lynne. We panned these left and right. Next, Chandler Tyler recorded a vocal descant heard at the end of this example using his best soprano voice, and classmate Hannah Oh, provided her voice to duplicate what Chandler recorded.


Friday, April 20, Student Recording, "Motion"

We had limited time today, so I promised the class I would do some editing to the song outside of class. First, I edited Daniel Prillaman's first "a;ien" rap and shortened the end. I then experimented with various loops and synth sounds to give the second course a "lifting" action.


Friday, April 27, Student Recording, "Motion"

Today we had fun crowding around a stereo micrphone and being silly!

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,
MOTU 828 mkIIIAudio Input/Output Device and Pro Tools 10.

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

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Last Modified:
May 7, 2012