Trimester 5 wrap up

This trimester feels like it has had less of a beginning and end than previous trimesters. More projects are continuing on than before and I’m learning to manage multiple projects at once. Organization seems to be the key here to moving forward, and although not the best example, the differences I have noticed in production companies (e.g. AV etc) between successful larger companies and those just struggling to get by are that successful ones are managed, and organized significantly better (e.g. time spent per-production).

So uh, without further re-due here is a short wrap up of all my projects. Unfortunately I won’t be able to provide examples or copies of most of them, as many projects are ongoing and I’m in the process of obtaining their permission.

 

these projects are complete

Noizemaschin

A local experimental music night run by Perth hackerspace The Artifactory. Skot Mcdonald who runs the night contacted us through SAE and asked if we could provide mastering services for the live recordings of each show.

I would have liked to spend a lot more time on this to better understand the limitations of audio restoration software. Learned about about LUFS, limiting, and noise floor!

Here is a small example of one of the tracks.

 

 

these projects are ongoing

Throwing The Habit

Provided an extensive array of foley (made larger thanks to FMOD), VA, and some loopable ambient tracks.

Here are some examples of foley created.

Audiobook (including 5.1 mix)

I have been helping to record a set of short stories for audiobook format with a family friend, conservationist, and story teller Rod Safstrom.

The 5.1 mix of one of the short stories is complete, along with about 7 of the others. Unfortunately its a kinda personal project for him, and so I can’t provide examples. If your name is Brandon there might be a version of all of these in the project folder on the student gdrive.

Transnational Crash

Re-recording the first song I ever recorded by the first band I ever recorded. Most of this is tracked and the final session is actually the Saturday after we finish. Although I’ve spent significant time on the session (mostly drums a.la beat detective/manual alignment), I’m not actually mixing the track). Tried to turn a negative into a positive with this, so they’ve agreed to give me a copy of the final mix which I intend to compare against my own iterations of the mix and see what I can improve with/do differently.

Shit Narnia EP

Yep, this is the same project from last trimester it’s still on-going and I’ve revised many mixes since then. The single is even already mastered (by us), and up on bandcamp here!

Cant Win.Do Try (Feature Film)

Still trying. Not yet winning. Will get there eventually.

Major Project

I have also been working on the pre-production phase of my major project which is going to be as follows.

4 Track E.P. written, produced, recorded, mixed, mastered.

10 minute soundtrack made from sampled elements of the original recording, as well as possible overdubs.

Talent House/Front Website, which would be the gateway to both samples of our work (portfolio) and a “management front” or aggregator for both our music and work in the audio industry.

 

See you next Trimester!

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Week 9/10

We’ve recently been allowed access to the two new control rooms on campus each boasting a large and fairly complex (for my standards) console. I figured it’d be a good idea to start researching some of the rack gear in each room so I have the confidence to use it while tracking as opposed opposed to during mixdown.
AUDIENT SURFACE PRO 8024                                                                                   
WARM AUDIO WA76 PEAK LIMITER
Based on the Universal Recording Electronics Industries (UREI) 1176 Peak Limiting Amplifier, the first true peak limiter (1967), which is one of the most replicated pieces of gear in history. Features compression ratios of 4, 8, 12, and 20 and an “all buttons in” mode which mimics the undocumented feature of the original limiter. All buttons in does not increase the ratio but rather messes with the bias of the FET circuitry and sounds great in situations where distortion is wanted. Good for tracking through, although it has its uses in mixes if you’re comfortable with printing tracks to make up for the fact that Pro Tools comes with BF76 a software plugin clone which can be applied to as many tracks as needed.
ART PRO VLA 2 COMPRESSOR
A Vactrol based Optical Compressor. Less character than a typical optical compressor which could be due to the vactrol gain control element which varies from the types of most vintage optical compressors (which used discrete lamps and photocells), the soft knee which applies the compression more gently at first, or other typical features of a compressor that cause it to impart “colour” to a signal. Slamming it (~15dB gain reduction or more) can get the circuitry going and start to change your signal, so if that’s what you’re after you may end up with a fairly compressed sound.
DBX 266XL COMPRESSOR
A 2 channel compressor/gate, where the gate features a variable ratio allowing it to function as an expander as well. The compression stage is modeled on the famous dbx 160 and features an auto attack/release setting that is intended to impart the “dbx sound” (this may have something to do with the fact that dbx is known for producing VCA compressors which have a distinct characteristic as opposed to being completely transparent). The compressor features a 1:1 ratio for a similar purpose, and is probably more of a colour box than an all rounder (using it on more complex signals like a 2 track mix or complete drum kit can cause unwanted pumping and fluttering).
UNIVERSAL AUDIO 2-610
This is the dual channel version of the UA Solo 610. Features high and low shelving EQ’s, as well as a DI on each channel for ease of of use. Has a lot of character, which is to be expected of tube style inputs, but these are based on the legendary UA 610 modular console which has already secured itself a large slice of musical history. Great for drums, acoustic guitar, vocals and basically anything that favours tube style inputs.

 

 

Copyright, Contracts, and Intellectual Property

Just the other day, Jaun-Paul Rebola visited SAE and gave a lecture on the importance of copyright, contracts, and intellectual property within our areas of study.

He also gave us some information about contract negotiation and power of position which could be applied more liberally to business in general.

Copyright is the form of intellectual property protection which covers artistic and literary works, and can be compared to Trademarks (products, logos, brands), Designs (aesthetic appearance), and Patents (ideas and inventions).

Copyright is unique in that as soon as you have created a piece of art or literature, it is automatically covered by copyright. A point to note here is that you must be able to prove the date of creation/registration if you are contending the originality of someones work, or they are contending yours. This seems logical as there must be proof that one was created before the other in order to settle any dispute over copyright ownership. Most digital files are time and date stamped so this is not usually a problem but if your art is not within the digital realm it can be a good idea to convert it if possible for the sake of copyright, or do what everybody used to do and get it date stamped at the post office before mailing a copy of it to yourself and leaving it unsealed.

Generally in music the artist holds the rights to their own songs, while major labels often own rights to recordings. This is not always true and differs on a case to case basis, however it’s a fairly safe assumption with when researching who owns the rights to what songs.

One industry that this is changing in, is the gaming industry. Often artists are paid outright for compositions (soundtracks), and in return relinquish the rights to their music.

If you are employed by a company and produce art/literature for them as part of your contract, you may not own the rights to what you are creating. If this bothers or affects you, read your contract!

Contracts are a legal agreement between two or more party’s. They have three basic requirements which must be met before they can be considered valid.

1. Offer and Acceptance [both party’s must enter into the agreement and mutually accept the terms of the contract]

2. Intention [both party’s must have intention for the contract to be legally binding]

3.Consideration [both party’s must be giving something to the other, i.e. it cannot be one sided]

DO NOT SIGN A CONTRACT IF YOU DON’T AGREE WITH THE TERMS.

Before the contract is signed it is up for review and you are perfectly within your rights to amend, add, remove any parts of the contract which you do not agree with (of course the other party is not obligated to agree with your amendments either).

Here are some general resources to help you if you’re wondering more about copyright, contracts, and intellectual property and what it could mean for you as a content creator.

http://copyright.com.au

http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au

http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au

http://apraamcos.com.au

 

Week 7/8

 

This fortnight Anna Laverty gave a small guest lecture at SAE and left us with a microphone list from her typical setup at Sing Sing Studios.

While “anything works” I thought it would be a good idea to research these microphones to widen my understanding of the toolkit available to sound engineers, as well as to look for commonly used microphones and their ideal applications.

Beyerdynamic M 88 TG -Dynamic Hypercardioid mic featuring soft presence boost and exceptional bass reproduction.

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 2.49.41 pm

 

 

 

Neumann U 47 FET – Combining the capsule sound of its predecessor the K 47 & U 47 with the ability to record high SPL sources such as loud guitar amplifiers, bass cabs, and bass drums. The microphone features a bass roll off around 140Hz and two different attenuation stages at 6dB and 10dB.

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 3.56.58 pm

Shure SM7B – The dynamic coil is similar to the Unidyne III in 57/58s. The microphone features both a bass roll off at 400Hz and a presence boost at 2-4kHz. The mic has very low sensitivity meaning that it does not work well on quiet sound sources. This also means that pre-amps allowing for large amounts of transparent/clean

gain work well with this microphone.

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 4.00.23 pm

Shure SM57 – Industry standard highly versatile dynamic microphone. Frequency range tapers off after 15kHz which is supplemented by boosting the presence region making the mic perfect for guitars. The studio microphone 57 is also one of the most robust microphones available, both in terms of handling SPL and overall build making it a key piece in the live sound kit.

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 4.01.55 pm

Sennheiser MD421 – 30Hz-17kHz. Features a 5 position bass roll off switch which allows for the control of the proximity effect in close micing situations, and a presence boost.

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Sennheiser 441- Supercardioid polar pattern and a 30Hz-20kHz frequency response. Features a similar bass roll off switch to the 421, and a brilliance switch which accentuates the higher frequencies by lowering everything below 2kHz and boosting everything above. The 441 is known as one of the most accurate and versatile dynamic microphones on the market.

441.png

Neumann KM 84 – 40Hz – 20kHz. The worlds first phantom powered (48v) microphone. Has also become the standard by which pencil condensers are measured. The KM 84 maintains its frequency response +/- 135 degrees to the centre of the microphone allowing the microphone to retain much of its off-axis frequency response.

km84.png

Coles 4038 – 30Hz -15kHz linear frequency response. Ribbon microphone with the standard figure 8 polar pattern. Originally designed by the BBC to work as a broadcast microphone to be used in situations where clear smooth wide range frequency response, absent of transient distortion and relatively high sensitivity was essential.

Coles.png

Neumann U 89 – 40Hz – 18kHz linear frequency response. Features 5 interchangeable polar patterns including Omni-Directional, Wide Angle Cardioid, Cardioid, Hypercardioid, and Figure 8. The microphone also features a 3dB bass roll off switch allowing a choice between either 80Hz or 160Hz.

U89 cardioid.png

AKG C414 – There are two modern iterations of the C414, the XL II and the XLS which differ only in frequency response and capsule. The XL II has a more pronounced presence boost lending itself to vocals where as the XLS flatter frequency response leans more towards instrument recording.

xls vs xl2.png

AEA R92 – 20Hz – 20Khz frequency response. Standard ribbon figure 8 polar pattern. Can handle high SPL levels for a ribbon microphone with a max SPL of 165dBSPL (can be put to the grill of a guitar amplifier).

r923.png

Week 5/6

Projects

Audiobook/s: Have recorded the first session and am in the process of editing the dialogue and collecting samples to piece together the ambient atmosphere with.

Can’t Win. Do Try.: Distributed a copy of the movie in its current state to the clients so they can begin watching it and making requests. Have re-watched the film and made an additional assets list including cloth, footsteps and specifics. Trying to push this through as quickly as humanly possible so as to move into the next phases of the project.

Shit Narnia: Remixed and mastered the single from the EP and sent the band both a pre-master and mastered .wav (such trust). There is still more I would like to do to the mix but I’m waiting to hear back from the band after this latest reincarnation.

Throwing The Habit: We now have all documentation complete and have begun recording foley. A sheet has been drawn up to make the process easier to run from home and ensure more time can be spent on the project in a shorter period.

Research

In this section I’ll take something that I’ve come across in my studies and try to provide helpful links and information for people like myself.

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) has much helpful information on their website, but this caught my eye. I’ve been trying to improve my sessions recently and so industry standard documentation is a big plus. Here is the parent document.

Week 3/4

I’m going to try to only mention projects in the projects section if they have been developed in the last 2 weeks.

Projects

Throwing The Habit: This is a game project that I’ve agreed to work on and a new addition to the list. So far I’ve had some initial discussion with non-audio members of the project team with regards to scope and have agreed upon a date for which the asset list is to be completed by.

Audiobook/s: Have made contact with the writer/narrator and agreed upon a date for our first session. Also I’ve found this gem http://macaulaylibrary.org/about which was published a week or two ago. Seeing as i will need to build a background of nature around the story this may be a good place to look for inspiration. There would probably be some issues with copyright if I started using their actual material though.

Can’t Win Do Try: Have spent the majority of my time working on this, as we now have given a finish date of 30th October. We are currently working on finishing the foley so that they can start watching the movie and making notes on changes they would like us to make.

Waits For No Man: Researching equipment that we will be using and workflow. It would be ideal if we were able to get our hands on a zoom f8 however we should be able to make do with a zoom h6. We would be running a boom (and/or omni condenser for enclosed areas) with radio mics where possible. I have read the script through once to get an idea but need to make further notes scene by scene and design recording ideas based on each situation.

Transnational Crash: I’ve been to their latest gig and had a chat with all the members regarding both the EP mentioned last week and the finishing of their single. 1-2 sessions will be needed for the single and this will happen before we delve further into the EP.

Shit Narnia: The band has contacted us and have a preferred release date for the single (the EP they don’t want to release until summer). I’ve dug up the old pre-tape sessions and if we record the last track in the new TLA room, running all the tracks through the same tape emulator or tape machine should help to give them similar qualities. I’ve also listened to the EP in a bunch of different environments and have been making notes.

Jugular: Have received a copy of this now but haven’t watched it yet. Have sourced and located a large pool of foley and samples that we could possibly pull layers from, however I will have to wait until after watching the movie.

Week 1/2

Welcome back!

I’m now in my 5th trimester and everything has become a lot more self directed. Unsure of which projects to use for assessment I’m going to be changing the format of these slightly until everything falls back into place.

Here is a link the unit guide for what hopefully is a better understanding of what I’m failing to explain.

Projects

Stendhal Syndrome – Second Level: This is a single track I’ll be recording and mixing for a friend. If I have nothing to cover my mastering aspect of assessment I may master this track, however hopefully I can find something that I can master in 5.1

Audiobook/s: Something a little bit different that I’ve started early discussions and planning for, this will involve recording dialogue for nature/wildlife based storytelling and supplementing it with bird calls/animal noises and general nature ambiance

Can’t Win Do Try: This is the feature film that I was working on as a side project last trimester and will be continuing into this trimester. We (Trevor and I) have a rough end date of December/EOY to aim for, and are currently in the process of recording foley to supplement the existing audio.

Waits For No Man: This is a new feature film for the same people as CWDT. Trevor and I will be recording the sound on set for this as well as doing post production/mix&master.

Transnational Crash – Authority: Single track recording and mixing. The drums were tracked previously a few days before campus closed last trimester so we have a head start with this one. Currently halfway through comping and editing drums and tracking the rest of the instruments in the coming week or two.

Transnational Crash – Collab EP w/ One Tiger Down & The Silent Deeds: This is really early talks currently, and the scope hasn’t been agreed upon yet but it would be good to get more industry credits, contacts and experience.

Shit Narnia: Due to my love of punk music and Shit Narnia in general I’m trying to weasel my way back into another one of Sam and Lee’s projects with these guys.

Jugular: Another movie project this involves working with an already released movie to improve the quality and make it sounds more professional – scope will include at the most basic some foley added and some audio replaced.