This is my response to the Fictional Radio Ad assignment, worth 4 stars. I had to make an imaginary radio advertisement. I chose to promote the election of King Harambe’s successor. I tied this back to the semester’s overarching theme of the internet by building it on an internet meme, Harambe. I don’t know when Harambe first got labeled as a King, but I ran with that idea. I recorded my voice in Reaper. For the background music, I improvised on my MIDI keyboard with the piano sound loaded in Garritan Personal Orchestra. I wanted the music to start out dark and somber and then light up with hope as I discuss the prospect of a new leader. I decided improvising was better than composing something because that made the tune more spontaneous than something that was more carefully crafted. I also recorded without a metronome so the tempo would ebb and flow with the mood of the song.
This is my response to the 911, What’s Your Emergency? assignment worth 3.5 stars. All recording was done in Reaper. I used built in plugins to remove background noise from the recordings and I played around a bit with the equalization of my voice. The background music is something I made myself a long time ago, so I’m pretty sure I have full rights to use it. I think it fits the situation well because it is tense and apprehensive, much like a call to 911, but it is still kind of goofy sounding, much like this entire situation.
I chose to make this project relate back to the semester’s overarching theme of the internet. This is the story of someone who sees something offensive on Twitter and freaks out. This story is a reference to how people take stupid things said on the internet way too seriously sometimes. If you are someone who does this, I am asking you, for the good of the world, to please calm down. The 911 operator’s willingness to immediately act without even hearing what exactly happened is a reference to the tendency of the media and of individuals to jump to irrational conclusions based on incomplete evidence. In an era where information is readily available in mass quantities, we must take special precautions to monitor and analyze all of the data we take in.
This is my response to the Remake That Genre! assignment, worth 3 stars. I had to find two versions of the same song in different genres and compare and contrast them. Here we have “Death By Glamour,” the theme that plays during the player’s battle against Mettaton EX in Toby Fox’s Undertale. The song is a cross between a retro video game style and a dramatic runway anthem. It is a bit of a strange combination for a boss fight anthem, but it fits the character’s over-the-top, outrageous, and showboating personality and the reality-show theme of the fight extremely well.
Now here is a cover of the song played entirely on pitch-shifted air-horn samples for a red-hot dank meme MLG (major league gaming) sound.
I picked this song and this particular cover for a very special reason. Undertale is a great example of a game that became extremely popular because of the internet. For a while, it was really difficult to go anywhere on the internet without seeing Undertale fanart. All of this fan generated noise and content got more people to play the game and then more people created fanart and music about it. It was an excellent example of an internet feedback loop.
The cover I picked is a great example of what happens to content that gets popular on the internet. “Death by Glamour” got the meme treatment. The air horn is a harsh, loud, and shrill tool often used at sporting events by fans to show support for their favorite teams. This spread to the world of video games and the humble air horn became a symbol of competitive gaming. Any song can now be turned into an MLG anthem through the use of the destroyer of eardrums.
My preference between these two versions of this song is definitely for the original. This should be no surprise, as the airhorn remix is not intended to be enjoyable to listen to. It is meant to be funny and annoying and it is meant to bring people together through common interests and the universal language of memes. It is a great example of internet culture and Undertale is a great example of what happens when content creators embrace internet culture.
This is my response to the Sound Scapes assignment, worth 4.5 stars. I had to create a piece of sound using only “found sounds.” “Found sounds” is a very nebulous term, so I interpreted it to mean “sounds from objects I found around the house.” I went ahead and decided to create a song, because that is what I like to do. This whole song has a very metallic sound to it because most of the sounds were made with metal mixing bowls. I like to think this song was created when a hip-hop beat maker sieged and took control of a scrap-yard or a machinist shop.
All recording and editing was done in Reaper. The kick drum was made by plugging an old pair of headphones into the microphone jack of my computer and tapping the back of one of the phones. The hi-hat sound is from a can of compressed air. The snare sound was created by slapping a cardboard box. The crash cymbal noise is a metal sign I struck with my thumb. I put each of these sounds in their own track and grouped them together in a drum track. I bass boosted drum track and used a plugin called IMPusher to improve the sounds.
The trippy metallic noises were made with metal bowls of various sizes. I pit a little bit of water in each bowl, then struck and shook them. The lead bell noise was made by tapping the smallest metal bowl with a spoon while it was empty and then pitch shifting the sample.
This track would sound so cool with someone rapping over the top of it.
This is my response to the Sound Effects Stories assignment, worth 3.5 stars. I had to merge various sound effects to create a story. Here, I tell the story of a Chihuahua who performs at a comedy club and is quite loved by the crowd. Most of the sounds are from freesounds.com. I tapped my webcam mic for the soundcheck tapping and scratching as well as the breath sound. I recorded the ambiance of my room as a subtle effect to make it sound more like all of this audio was recorded in the same place.
This is my response to the Being a Music Producer assignment, worth 4.5 stars. The assignment was to record myself playing a musical instrument, and then record a second musical instrument over the top of it. I picked bass and melodica. I decided to push this significantly farther than the assignment actually called for since music is a pretty major hobby of mine. The assignment never said I couldn’t add a couple of midi instruments to the track and do some production work on the bass and melodica, so I went ahead and did that. I will say, the rhythm isn’t as accurate as I would like, but if I gave this the time it really deserves, I wouldn’t be able to finish the rest of my assignments in one week’s time! It would also probably be at least twice as long and have many more MIDI instruments. You can never have too many MIDI instruments!
I did everything in Reaper, my digital audio workstation of choice for almost everything. The drums were created with a handy little plugin called drumatic. It is great for really electronic sounding drums.
I added noise reduction, equalization, a bass booster and a compressor to the bass in that order. From left to right, the plugins I used are also shown in that order. For anyone who doesn’t know, compression in music production is a process that alters the volume of a track. The loud bits are “squashed” down and the quite bits are amplified to give the track a more consistent volume. The section where the bass isn’t slapped uses the same plugins, except without the bass booster.
I also did some production work with the melodica, albeit not as much. I added noise reduction, reverb, and a compressor. The plugins are displayed in that order in the picture below. The compressor I used on the bass is actually a modified version of the compressor I used on the melodica that is specially designed for guitars.
The last track is a pad that plays chords. It was created with a plugin called Hive. I swear, this plugin isn’t actually as complicated and confusing as it looks! I started with a built in preset and tweaked it to better mix with the other instruments. These software instruments I mixed with my own playing are proof that the singularity is already well in progress.
This is my response to the Create a Radio Bumper assignment. I had to create a short radio bumper for the Ds106 radio station. When I hear the term “bumper,” the first thing I think of is cars, so it only made sense to base the bumper around that. I started with a car crash sound sample. I recorded my voice and the bass with Reaper. The drum samples were made with MT Power Drum Kit, a MIDI instrument that simulates an acoustic drum set.