Microphone and Recording

Summary

For this project, we spoke in many microphones to attempt to determine which one sounds the best on us. One of the purposes of this is to try to save time if we ever go to a recording studio.

Microphone Audition

Terms/Concepts

  •  Microphones
    • Dynamic – The sounds waves itself its creates the membrane by moving its diaphragm. Very popular and very well known. It is good for low and middle range, NOT high range.
    • Condenser – The membrane has an electrical current waiting for sound. When the little sound waves hits it, it responds instantly. They are all over the place, but it need a electrical energy {amplifier} from something {example – battery}.
  • Polar patterns
    • Omni – Picks sound up from all directions which is picked up equally. This is used for interviews because it can pick up more than one person, without having to have two separate mics.
    • Cardioid – Picks up one half of the microphone, also known as a ‘directional mic’. Most sensitive in the front, about 180 degrees. Shaped like a heart.
    • Bi-directional – ‘Figure of 8’, picks the front and behind of the mic, but the 90 degree angle on both sides does not get picked up.
  • Transduction – Converts one form of energy to another.
  • Voltage – An electric force or or a potential difference shown in volts.
  • Phantom power – Activates the condenser in a microphone. DC powered mostly between 12 and 48 DC voltages.
  • Sensitivity – Voltage at its known sound level. Can be called by its voltage or decibels. Higher number means more sensitive, everything is mostly in negatives. Sound pressure.
  • Frequency Response – The range of sound the microphone can produce and how sensitive it is within the range. You want it nice and flat.
  • Transient – A variation in current, voltage, or frequency.
  • Placement – Placement of the microphone is key, depending on the sounds you want, it can just be the distance from you or the instrument from the microphone. This part of the microphone can effect others emotionally in a way to connect with the audience.
  • Proximity effect – Decreased sensitivity to low mics, which reduces background noise and vibration and counter acts when used very close to the source.
  • Output – A place where the sound leaves the system.
  • Characteristics – This is the Relative Response and Frequency in hertz graph to show how good or bad the microphone is. This can show the quality of the mic.
  • Noise rating – This is the octave pressure level and the mid frequencies of the octave.
  • Hardware
    • Clips – A clip is something that you use to hold a microphone on something { example – stand }, but, using the wrong kind of clips can effect the performance, make sure it is tight so it has the correct effect.
    • Stands – This ties in with a clip, this is what the clip will connect to. This keeps the microphone towards the object you want to hear without having to hold it or keep it still.
    • Windscreen – Something that covers and protects the microphone, mostly a foamy material.
    • Direct Box – A device used to connect amplified instruments and having it put in a direct mixer.

What I learned

In this project, I learned which microphone sounds best with my voice, and learned about how to create effective recordings that sound the best – proximity effect, and the Cardioid circles.

 

Bass Recording Project

Summary

For this project, I created a simple melody with chords, then I put a bassline below it. We also watched a video about bass terms, and we were supposed to incorporate what we learned from the video to the bassline.

My Bassline

Bass Recording Project

For this, I mostly used either perfect fifths or major thirds with the bassline. I tried to make it so that at the end, the bassline moves in a different direction than the main melody.

Bass Terms

 

Tonality: What makes Western Music sound different than all the others – mostly keys and chords

Tonic: Most important note in a chord

Root: Bottom note of a chord

8/16/32/62 ft pitch: The length of the organ pipes

Double Bass: One of the earliest bass-playing instrument

Bass Tuba: Had the task of playing bass

Contrary Motion: Bass provides a counterweight

What I learned

For this project, I learned how the bassline works, and how important it was. Previously, I thought that the whole bassline was in a strange place. It shouldn’t be too loud so that it distracts from the main melody, and it shouldn’t be too quiet, because then it’s useless. Now, I realize the effect that it has when it isn’t there. It adds a depth to the music, and a wholeness. When I had trouble with this project, I went to this video,

John Production Project

Summary

For this project, I created four tracks, with rhythm, melody, harmony, and bass. As this was the final, I wanted to try to make a grand finale, incorporating everything we learned. Unfortunately, I think I only used about 80% of what we learned, for an example, my song definitely wasn’t eight bars, and it didn’t start on the tonic. Also, I didn’t use such techniques like suspension, or dissonance.

21st Century Skills Demonstrated

Ways of Thinking

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving:

  • I have analyzed how parts of a whole interact and work with each other to create a desirable result by learning how all four of the parts of music – melody, harmony, rhythm, and bass – work together to create a song. This can be seen by my final project, where I use all of those techniques. My final project is below this.

Ways of Working

Communicate Clearly:

  • Throughout this course, I have learned many things about how to use different media technologies. For an example, most of my blog posts, including this one, I have used SoundCloud.com to embed music into my blog. Also, I have used a mixture of Flat.io and Flickr.com to put the picture of music on my blog.

Tools for Working

Media Literacy:

  • In this course, we learned how to embed images to our blog – upload images first to Flickr, and then to the blog. We also learned how to properly cite our sources when taking images off the creative commons (Where we are allowed to use and build upon other’s works). Here, you can see that I cited the Creative Commons by writing in: original artist’s name, original artist’s title, where I got the picture (ex. Flickr), and the date I got the picture. I also organized this by putting it in chronological order.

4x3 Grid

Ways of Living in the World

Reflect critically on past experiences in order to inform future progress:

I have used many of the past projects to try to make my final project the best possible I can do. For an example in my final, I used a very appealing beat that I used in my “Making Beats Project.” Also, I used techniques that I learned in the past project, “Harmony Recording Project” – A Major 7th chord that resolves to a Major Fifth right afterward. I also used something that I learned sounded good, which is if I have a trill, with an arpeggio below it, it gives the desired effect of a grand finale. I learned that in Bass Recording Project.

The Composition

FInal Project

For a better picture of the music, go here

I used a contrabass as the bassline, the violin as the melody, the piano as a mix between the harmony/chords and melody. Mostly, the violin played either the same notes as the piano, or a third/fifth up. I used the snare drum as the more complex rhythm, and the bass drum as the beat backbone. Unfortunately, I was unable to add more melodic techniques such as suspension, and dissonance. However, I was able to add a Major 7th chord, which resolves right afterward. I also added a minor chord. Around measure 19, I added some arpeggios, and at Measure 22, I resolved a perfect fourth into a major third, which gives an effect of resting. Right afterwards, at measure 23-26, the violin does a trill, and the piano plays another arpeggio. I wanted to give the effect of a grand ending. At the very end, all the stringed instruments play a giant C major chord.

Reactions to the Final Version

“I really like how the whole song is like a roller coaster. It is happy at some parts and sad at the others. I also like the variety of instruments used in the piece. They all sound good with each other and don’t compete at all. The end is probably my favorite because of the unexpected beat drop. It really adds a lot to the piece of music. The part of the song that I find the best and sounds the best to me is the beat. The drums in the background add a lot because it supports the song. the[sic] drms[sic] or the beat is the foundation of the whole song and John does a great job of doing that!” –Jake 

Evaluation of the Final Version

Some of the feedback that I have received included a note about the last chord – how it was unexpected. I believe that the reason for that was because it was so loud. It was also simple, because of how I made the violin – the main melody – the loudest, and the harmony behind that. I suppose that the meaning of how I wanted to create the song may count as emotional because I wanted the end to make the listener to feel an uplifting grand atmosphere. However, the limitations of the software that I used didn’t help, because it didn’t really allow volume changes.

What I Learned and Problems I Solved

In this project, I learned how to create a nice ending, that is satisfactory. Also, I figured out how to make a louder sound on the mp3, for the ending chord, I used as many Cs, Es, and Gs as possible – every single one that Flat.io could play, for every instrument. It sounded pretty good.

Making Beats

Summary

For this project, we created a rhythm in the background of a melody (a beat), to a small melody. I created mine in Flat.io.

Rhythm Terms

Rhythm

A strong, regular, repeated pattern of sound.

Beat

The beat or PULSE in a piece of music is the regular rhythmic pattern. Like the beating of your heart; heartbeat.

Tempo

The SPEED at which a piece of music is to be played.

Accent

The STRESS given to a musical note.

Duration

The period of TIME during which a musical note is HELD OUT.

Meter

A specific rhythm determined by the NUMBER of beats AND the TIME VALUE assigned to each note.

Syncopation

The musical rhythms in a piece of music that accents a normally WEAK BEAT (off-beat/up-beat).

Cross Rhythm

A rhythm used simultaneously with another rhythm or rhythms. The use of two or more rhythms simultaneously.

Duple

When the meter of a piece of music consists of TWO BEATS per measure/bar.

Triple

When the meter of a piece of music consists of THREE BEATS per measure/bar.

Quadruple

When the meter of a piece of music consists of FOUR BEATS per measure/bar.

Accelerando

A gradual increase of tempo in a section of music.

Ritardando

A gradual decrease of tempo in a section of music.

Rubato

A flexible tempo in a section of music.

My Beat

My Beat

In mine, I remembered back to what my band teacher in Middle School had said about most rock and roll songs, that the beat was accented on the second and fourth beats, and people would clap on those parts. I also enjoy the sound of the eighth -> sixteenth -> sixteenth. I wanted to make sure that most of the strong chords were on the fourth/fifth notes of the snare drum part, and at the last note of that part – the quarter note.

What I Learned

In this project, I learned a lot of terms and more musical theory about beats. Also, I learned by trial and error, that sometimes super-complex rhythms aren’t always the most appeasing to the ear, and just eighth notes sound good.

How Music Works: Rhythm

  • Rhythm is the mot independant part of usic
  • Rhythm is the part that interacts with the brain hte first
  • The sensation of music comes from the pulse. We first hear pulse from mother’s heart
  • Tempo – speed
  • Pulse is present in all types fo music
  • in classical, pulse is implied
  • implicit pulse vs explicit 0 cna have greate serenity for implicit
  • subdivision – dividing whole wbeats
  • typicallly by two
  • triplets is main component of celtic-anglo music – change order)
  • limericks – Triplets on doubles
  • bests of different length on a type of time
  • Handel’s royal coronation piece – slows down, from sixteenth in beginning to half notes
  • accent shifting – fourth key part of rhythm
  • tempo pulse subdivision accent
  • virtual accents: brain giving accent to beats when there’s none
  • syncopationryhthm off the beats
  • more common in folk muuisc than classical
  • ragtime music when syncopation first came to america
  • jazz – unpredictable syncopation – swing
  • lag in the rhythm
  • loose
  • syncopation with another rythym – cross-rhythm
  • Rap: base pattern, rhtyhm the rhgtyhm other part is determined by singer
  • pulse
  • tempo
  • syncopation
  • crossrhtyms

song-rumba, bossa nova, etc

lotws of influences from everywhere else to cuga

mirror image of swing in jazz – originated in cuba

Instead, it is anticipating the beat instead of delaying

Cuban dance spread throughout the world

 

Harmony Recording Project

Summary

In this project, I created a simple melody, with the length of one period. I then attached a mixture of chords on to most of the notes. Before doing this project, we watched a video about how to make each of these techniques to make the song more interesting, Suspension, Augmentation, diminution, and polyphony.

My Harmony

Harmony

I tried to structure my harmony by adding some 7th chords, such as at measure 6. I also tried to design it so that it would create tension with 7th chords, then it would release it. An example of that is at measures seven to eight. I tried using suspension at measure seven by carrying the chord underneath the two other notes. I’m not sure how effective it was, though. I tried to carry tension from the two quarter ntoes in measure 4 by using a minor Eb chord, then doing a F chord, to keep the Eb, but turning it to a seventh chord. I resolved it at the note after that, though.

Harmony Terms

  • Harmony didn’t start with music – renaissance
  • in nature, possible perfect celestial music – greeks, philosophical
  • heavenly music – angels
  • Harmony has been created slowly
  • Harmony is two or more sounds coming together for an effect
  • Western: Turning collision of notes into something better
  • 12th century, western changed from rest of world
  • Simple harmony: parallel notes
  • chord progression: chord not static
  • when a note in a melody collides with one of the drones, a three note chord is created
  • Harp: Harmonics: hidden notes – Bb contains other notes
  • gives rich and full quality
  • every note has a series of it’s own notes
  • we can only hear 1 or 3 of them
  • first clusters by europeans were created by teasing out the harmonics
  • Bb F D
  • every note has a chord
  • Minor triads
  • the third is half step lower
  • weaker harmonic
  • polyphony – when tow independent harmony and melody coincide
  • each note has possible 6 chords where it belongs
  • C: A, C, F. a, c, f
  • First need to identify important notes
  • Tonic-Dominant Relationship – chord progression
  • Dominant is shadow to tonic
  • alternate center of gravity
  • all classical composers became infatuated with tonic-dominant
  • journey from tonic to dominant
  • subdominant chord – third most popular – mirror image to dominant
  • F-5-C-5-G Spacing
  • primary triads
  • discord, or dissonance – when notes are put together when they shouldn’t be
  • passing notes
  • clearly passing through – cheating dissonance rules
  • ears have became fix dissonance
  • suspension
  • sitting notes that didn’t leave the sound – left from previous notes, and played with dissonant notes
  • creates tension
  • it’s normal to resolve tensions
  • composers began to graft chords to others
  • CDEBb C major added to Bb
  • 7th
  • turn into something more vulnerable
  • wants to move to a F Major
  • augmentation, diminution
  • 5th raised half-step
  • Taking away a bottom note

 

What I Learned and Problems I Solved

In this project, I learned a lot more about how to make good sounding chords, and how to make chords have more depth, rather than just adding major thirds and perfect fifths. I also learned techniques such as suspension, augmentation, diminution, and polyphony. A problem that I had was it being hard for me to figure out which chords came after eachother. Fortunately, I found a website that told me how to do that, https://www.hooktheory.com/theorytab/common-chord-progressions.

Your Elusive Creative Genius

  • “Aren’t you afraid that you won’t be able to top that?
  • Since the renaissance, they credited people more than their Daemons
  • “Genius” originally came from Rome – Magical Daemon
  • Don’t give up

My home was in my middle school math classroom, where I was with people that were closer to my skill level than other groups. It was where I really shone.

Beatles Presentation

  • 1960s, gclassical at lowest point
  • When they started, pop music was in infancy
  • Classical and popular music were driftomg further apart
  • No one really wanted to listen to clasical – composers strayed away from traditional ways
  • Some chords are drawn to tohers
  • classical composers got bored wth the old sounds
  • Beatles used harmony
  • good composer try diffrent chords
  • different effects from diffrent chord chains
  • F7 is a wobbly chord – Bb chord
  • FAC then Eb, then move to Bb
  • Beatles borrowed techniques from classical
  • Modulation: Undergoing a huge change from harmony – moving center of gravity
  • Key CHanges
  • subtle key changes = good
  • Moving key downwards = more wistful
  • modulation upwards = new day
  • Perfect Cadence
  • 5-1
  • Beatles began to get into new territory

Melody Recording Project

Summary

In this project, we created a simple melody, over eight measures, or one period. Before doing this, though, we watched a video about how to create a simple melody. We also learned many musical terms. We also found our favorite song on a MIDI file, and downloaded the song on a music program. We then separated the main melody from the background.

Lesson Melody

  • Don’t have too many leaps or steps – have a good mix
  • half note at measure 8
  • Start and end phrases with tonic = no tension
  • If end first phrase with Dominant – lots of tension
  • Kind of like parentheses
  • Leading tone = most amount of tension
  • Tonic resolves tension, Leading tone, dominant, and subdominant = creates tension
  • Start with quarter note
  • Typically if large leap, should go down afterwards
  • Half notes feels like really stopping – dotted quarter doesn’t feel like stopping
  • If currently higher pitch, use higher tonic. vise-versa
  • Make sure to tie phrases together

One of My Favorite Melodies

 

Hurts-Unspoken

For this project, I found a MIDI file of one of my favorite songs, and found it’s main melody line (found up more). I used Unspoken, by Hurts. The main melody starts with an E#, or an F. However, the song is in the key of C.

My Melody

MyOwnMelody

For this project, we learned more about how to compose a basic eight bar melody. I added some new rhythms to each of the motives – the syncopation in measure 2, the quarter-note triplets in measure three, and the eight-sixteenth-sixteenth in measure 5. The last two measures are a variation of measure four – doubling the length of the notes in measure 7 and 8. The tonic is in measure one and eight to act as a starting point, and a landing point. At the end of measure 4, I put the leading tone in, to build tension. Also at measure five, I put in the dominant to keep the tension. I wrote this in the key of C major.

Melody Composition Terms

  • Most music is basically the same – same techniques
  • Melody is music’s most touching aspect
  • We can recognize melodies we heard in the womb
  • Can act as a bridge between cultures
  • can inspire many things
  • Every music system shares 5 same notes
  • Pentatonics – from greek
  • Notes: depends on how large the distance you want to be
  • to close: You may have a problem hearing differences
  • all music systems have chosen notes different noticeably
  • scales – how close together you want each notes to be
  • measurement of how low or high you want notes to be
  • Western music: 12 notes
  • intervals – difference between runs
  • western music: smallest distance between two notes
  • easier to sing whole tones vs semitone
  • chant and folk song sound like what older songs like
  • middle ages, the third and fourth, and fifth, and by renaissance, intervals of 6 and 7
  • ancient patterns and archetypes
  • called scales
  • called modes
  • britain had done raising when going up, flattening on the way down
  • blue notes
  • purposefully flattening some notes
  • blues mode
  • always squeezes run down
  • diatonic: to take one or two of the old modes, and merge them into a standard
  • minor scale
  • happy – major – ionian
  • designed to be compatible
  • People didn’t really change notes that much before 16th century/18th century
  • new style music became very popular
  • modes in more modern music

 

  • Theme – Long melodic idea
  • Motive – Short Rhythmic Idea
  • Period – All 8 measures of music – standard length of melody
  • Phrase – Half of a period – 4 measures
  • Antecedent (Question) Phrase – First Phrase in a period – sets music up – needs to resolve something
  • Consequent (Answer) Phrase – Second Phrase in a period – finishes sentence
  • Scale Degrees
      • Notes in measures
      • Tonic, Supertonic, median, subdominant, dominant, submediant, leading tone, tonic
      • Tonic determines key, and other notes
      • Start and end with tonic
      • Gives most rest
      • One scale degree feeling of stability and resolution – tonic
      • Dominant, leading tone, subdominant – high level of tension

      Other three will give little tension – supertonic, meadiant, submediant

  • Steps – Any movement using halves or wholes
  • Leaps – More than wholes
  • Conjunct motion – Everything moves smoothly
  • Disjunct motion – Melody built primarily by leaps
  • Repetition – Using a repeated material to create a link between the phrases of a period
  • Contrast – Write two phrases that contain contrasting material to create interest
  • Variation – Two phrases that have some recognizable material and some contrasting material

What I Learned and Problems I Solved

I learned how easy it is to create a new composition, and I learned how to make a new composition that sounds good. I learned the theory behind each notes, and how to do things such as building tension and releasing tension. One problem I had was I didn’t really know how to change key signatures with Flat.io. Fortunately, I found a tutorial, https://flat.io/support/editor?item=editor.keysig. It showed a step-by-step example of how to solve the problem.

My Riff

We were given the task of creating a riff out of three notes. For my project, I used the notes of G#, B, and C. I used them because they are what makes the natural minor scale distinguishable from the harmonic. The sound of them makes the atmosphere very different. I wanted to do something pretty simple, but interesting. After getting my basic notes down, I played with the rhythm and order of notes.