5.19.2008

A Tribute to Grandma Fran

:: For the midterm project in my spring quarter of Intro to Audio, we were assigned the task of recording a "radio drama". Simply put, we needed some dialogue, music, and perhaps sound effects. Many people did interviews, but I had no idea who to go to for something like that. I decided to go with a reading of my Grandma Fran's old children's poems in her memory. The poem "Who Will Play With Me?" seemed perfect; it was littered with animals (perfect for the sound effects) and ambiance (well suited for music).

I had my girlfriend Nadia Aikins read the poem for me since she has a much better voice than I do. It was recorded on the bed in our room with a simple Marantz PDM660 portable recorder and an AudioTechnica lavalier (lapel microphone). The music has guitar, played by myself, and piano played by my classmate Whitney Eden. I actually got the piano pieces by accident; I took a break from playing to get a bite to eat, an apparently I took too long because when I got back in the control room Whitney was in the rehearsal hall jamming away on the piano. I just sat back and listened for a while until it became clear that she was really good. I tried using the XY stereo miking technique to capture the high and low ends on the right and left respectively, but the placement was such that the effect wasn't as dramatic as I'd hoped. Still, I got some really good material to work with.

As for the editing and mixdown, we had just been introduced to the 5.1 surround sound mixing room, so I was really excited to get my hands dirty in there, especially since film sound is what I want to focus on. It was never booked, so I got a lot of time in there. I really needed it too; the room wasn't equipped with ProTools, so I had to learn Digital Performer instead. While I decided to forgo any surround mixing in favor of good old stereo, I learned a lot about this new software an discovered that while it had some flaws, it seemed a lot more intuitive than ProTools and will definitely be more useful as I become more involved in movie audio ::

UPDATE: File is now only available at http://musicianator.web.officelive.com/default.aspx