Completed Covers

Here are some covers I think are okay… 🙂

Please make sure your ears don’t bleed when you listen, they sound okay I guess… Please leave feedback, it would mean a lot even if you said they were terrible. I need to have something to rebound off of. I don’t have a vocal tutor and I taught myself guitar, sorry if it’s bad!

 

 

Bye!!!!

Does producing make you a producer?

Recording is so tiring! Wait no, it’s just singing and guitar. Recording is simple, surprisingly, it’s not terribly hard. It’s not at all rocket science, anybody can do it. 

But the thing that makes good audio is location, equipment and assets (vocals and instruments).

From last time I recorded, I changed location, added a mic and used my acoustic guitar.

Microphone: AT2020 USB Microphone

My microphone is a USB microphone because it can be recorded through any computer easily.

In my last post, there is more information for anybody curious.

Bathroom studios are the best type of studios; spacious, best acoustics and not very expensive.

(like I’m gonna buy an extra bathroom to record in for my annoying voice, as if)

There are pros and cons though, I have found that they are so amazing there may be some minor problems..

The Pros:

awesome voice projection

– guitars get projected nicely, to even out guitar and singing

– the room basically acts as a big cave, that makes echoes and makes the instruments sound fuller, and giving voice clarity that can only be found in top microphones and real vocal/song studios

The Cons*: 

the projection can pick up mistakes, that usually can’t be heard in normal rooms, and because I don’t own a filter for my microphone it can pick my breathing pretty badly (in my opinion)

Overall, this is my favourite recording place currently. 

The pros outweigh the cons and if I had more equipment it would be amazing but I am still young and even just buying me a microphone is actually quite a bit for my songs, which my originals are not good (yet, hehe) but I am thankful.

*Remember also, if you are going to record in your bathroom, watch out for water, elevate your laptop/camera, make sure there are no dripping taps. Be careful of dropping things on the floor, usually people have hard floors so if you drop your instrument, it’s gonna be a little bit, uh, hurt, loud and possibly broken. The laptop also, a shattered glass screen isn’t the best way to show your parents you’re a great musician… or a popped out battery (I experienced the second one oops.. hehe).

Guitar: My guitar is an Alvarez. It’s a folk sized guitar, which doesn’t effect sound much just size. There is not much to know about this guitar, I am not a very big guitar nerd. 

The time taken to record all of these songs:

5 days (9 hours, seems like a lot, but i would have annoying errors and mess up timing and things like that)

The websites I got chords/lyrics:

Ultimate Guitar (also has bass, ukulele and drums): 

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/top/top100.htm

Ultimate guitar has almost every song (I have weird music taste) and you can print off the tabs/chords off easily without having to sign up. Also, these are free unless you’re on the PRO setting. Pretty logic based. I also love it cause it has lots of different settings. Like auto-scroll. I love this one cause I can record without having to scroll. It helps me cause then I don’t have to edit.

BettyLouRS (not blocked by the school net, unlike ultimate guitar): 

http://bettylou.zzruss.com/bettylou2000.htm

I like this website too, but the problem is, it doesn’t have an auto scroll setting like Ultimate Guitar does, which annoys me, but it prints in a cleaner format than Ultimate guitar, and all of the chords are super easy and simple, but not over simplified. Without a capo this can be very annoying though, sorry.

Planning and Preparations

My message is to show people that guitars can play a range of songs, so I’m choosing 1 – 2 from each genre to cover with vocals. I’m going to use no other instruments and just layer the guitar. I’m layering the tracks in GarageBand, which is a software on Apple devices. The only alteration I use is reverb. It just makes it have a louder, fuller sound.

I’m going to use my stratocaster electric guitar for all of these songs, maybe an acoustic if it seems necessary for the song. Stratocaster guitars can be changed into many different tones, allowing for more diverse playing. This is paired with an amp (mine is a Blackstar) and a capo (for transposing). Picks are not necessary here, fingers are fine. My electric stratocaster guitar looks like this:

image

I will be using my microphone for these. It’s an AT2020 USB microphone. USB microphones are compact and nice looking so I decided to get one. It was a good thing to get because it cuts out white noise and from reviews and my view it sounds like you’re right next to the person, it’s that clear. It connects to laptops and it looks like this:

image1

I am so excited to record all of the covers! Stay tuned for a list of all the songs and the genre they are from. I have more than 30+ songs, with 25+ genres! See you soon!

Passion Project No. 3

Guitars. They can handle many types of music. Sure, a few come to mind instantly. Rock, country and pop, but they can do much more. Genres shouldn’t be boundaries for a guitars music playing abilities, nor should age or time. Different guitars make different sounds but any guitar can play any song to an extent. Not having an electric guitar shouldn’t restrict you to playing country and pop, you can play rock.

I believe that guitars are one of the best instruments to play for all ages. They are easy to transport and have lots of different rhythms you can play. From fingerpicking, chords, fret-tapping, whammy bars and muting there are many things you can do with a guitar.

Guitars come in many different types, believe it or not. There are 3 different types of acoustic guitar: classical (nylon strings), acoustic (steel strings) and the arch-top acoustic guitar. Below are all the types of guitars I know off the top of my head. Now there’s no excuse not to play a guitar. Ha. I own a acoustic classical and an stratocaster electric guitar.

Types of guitars:

  • Electric guitar
  • Acoustic guitar (3 types)
  • Double-necked guitar
  • Electro-acoustic guitar
  • Twelve-stringed guitar
  • Resonator guitar
  • Steel guitars
  • Archtop guitar
  • Bass guitars 

I want to show people that the electric guitar is an amazing instrument and sounds great in any genre. I encourage people to take up guitar. It’s an amazing instrument.

Choice Day

Choice day was extremely exciting! The point of choice day was to give everybody in primary more choice in what they learn. Here are the choices of activity that could’ve been chosen for your activity:

I did acting out. I loved acting, even though it was kind of terrifying being in front of a crowd, or even just 20 people… I can’t help it even though I love to act! It’s going to be so embarrassing watching it back… I did Acting Out and it was really fun. Following a criteria you did an act with about 4 other people from different grades, genders and ages. We made costumes in the Crafty Corner. You could choose from about 5 different acting scenario criteria. Our criteria/act was to “Tell A Story” and it’s about when the books disappear and everybody is required to act in the scene.

Our act was about the world banning books for being potentially harmful. It is a news report followed by court and the end of a news report. Books become illegal to possess. All books perish. It’s a comedy skit.

I learnt that drama can be fun even with younger people and adding voice/tone can really help the performance.

 

Finally Complete

Completed! Finally done… For now.

Now I can breathe easy, for now anyway. Everybody should be very proud of their Passion Projects. They’re all amazing. I’m not just saying that. Most of these are things that I can’t do very well. I think everybody should be proud to share something that they love, at least.

I think my voice sounds terrible in most of them, I think my voice sounds better in my head, haha. I’m delusional. I have a shedding guitar solo on guitar so maybe I should more away from singing? Anyways, Emmy sounded perfect though! She’s always doing singing solos and such, I wish I had the confidence to. In a way, I wish I was like her. Great work Emmy! Continue being you, cause you’re perfect that way!

Emmy and our album ended up having 5 originals and 1 cover. Two written by me, three written by amazing Emmy and the cover was Riptide – Vance Joy. My favourite that was recorded was Riptide. Even though it was a cover, I think it was nice. We were both singing in it. It was a collaboration. It’s the first time I’ve ever recorded a collaboration and I learnt a lot. 

It was really hectic and I think I could’ve done some things better:

  • Audio quality: For a few songs it sounded almost muted after rendering. I wonder whether it was my headphones being used to listen back or the actual process itself but I will use a full microphone set next time. No matter how long it takes. I want to invest in a good microphone at least. I think it would make the audio sound crisper and I wouldn’t need to spend a long time trying to filter through the audio waves correcting the sound levels. With some microphones it does it automatically. Or auto-magically, I have no idea how it happens.
  • Guitar: Maybe my guitar could have been amped up (acoustic). There are acoustic pickups available at the store, Oxygen Music. If you were wondering, that’s where I buy all my music books and stuff. I might get a new acoustic guitar, like the one in the Year 6 classroom. It has a built in tuner, which would be good for tuning on the spot. Also, it has a amp slot (near the bottom) and it’s picks it up through an amp (which I already have for my electric guitar) so it would be convenient. It’s a little bit of a shame having the Year 6 guitar just sitting there most of the time. Oh! Or we could make big group bands and have a battle of the bands one night in the hall! Woah. Then if people didn’t want to participate in bands then we could let them take their film-making talents further by learning how to lip-sync and adapt audio. Photographers could take pictures, if wanted. We could commentators and presenters for people wanting to and then people learning how to use the stage effects. It could be like a choice thing. What was I talking about? Oh, hehe the guitar. I need to buy some sort of adapter. It sounds better if I do.

 

 

Retrieving audio

Production is hectic, fun and tiring. I hope it’s worth it!

During this time, I have learnt so much about recording, it’s really fun. I like recording because well, not only I can record myself, but I can help others. I have met so many people wanting to share their talent, but have no idea how. Many of them in my grade, in the form of music. It’s a common passion, and that is why, I have chosen music for my Passion Project. I had no idea so many people related to music, especially the people to our grade. Such wonderful musicians I have as friends! Comment your favourite song below! I want to see what genre people our age like 🙂

Here is the equipment we have used to record:

  • Macbook Pro
  • Rode Microphone
  • Garageband
  • Handheld microphone & stand

Having a sleepover with Emmy was awesome! We had so much fun! Our album consists of 5 originals and 1 cover, 3 originals written by Emmy, the other 2 written by me. The cover is Riptide by Vance Joy. Vance Joy… more like Emmy Joy. *drum clash* We took so many takes but we are happy with the results. We did have problems, it wasn’t only rainbows and butterflies, it’s compromise. 

So, we had these struggles while recording, and the solutions:

  • Not hearing vocals properly – Re-recording over the top of the base track, therefore strengthening the vocals. The reason for not hearing properly in the first place is the instruments being too loud. It is quite difficult to record like a pro and have about 6 different and distinguished tracks, therefore not needing this, but it is difficult on the program I’m using, Garageband. Overall Garageband is pretty easy & amateur.
  • Hearing background noise (wood chopping, TV, siblings) – We either waited or we closed windows. We couldn’t move Emmy’s piano so.. Yeah. We’re so adaptable.
  • Vocals – Emmy was a little sick during our sleepover, so her vocals were a little bit forced. We ended up using a handheld microphone and a stand to record it so that we weren’t straining her beautiful voice. Even so, Emmy’s voice was still amazing. She can sing, even when sick!
  • Laptop with lyrics going onto “sleep” while recording – Quite minor but was annoying. I just had to stand near and help without making any noise, which… didn’t work most of the time but we got there! Thanks for putting up with me Emmy! 😛

 

Planning. Planning. More planning. Sigh.

Planning for a project is hard, but rewarding. I guess in a way, planning is the an essential thing that can really keep a hectic life together. Other than emotional support and faith, of course. I mean, you can’t build a skyscraper without a good plan. Without a good plan the building would fall. A plan is like a map. When following a plan, you can always see how much you have progressed towards your project goal and how far you are from your destination. Knowing where you are is pretty good for making decisions on where to go or what to do next. Like getting to the treasure. Our treasure is our CD, in many ways.

Emmy and I have been working so hard to achieve the best for our first EP, sure we don’t have studio equipment or a record label (yet) it’s still going to be the best of our abilities at this time. We would have spent a long while doing this, we want it to be perfect, but we are only human. I know, in time we will both get better at it.

Steps to creating our CD:

  1. Writing or perfecting song lyrics, chord progressions and rhythms
  2. Recording the base vocals and instruments in Garageband. Make sure audio not distorted.
  3. Editing those base tracks, then if too quiet with vocals, going back and heightening the vocals by recording more over the top. (This only happens if the vocals are almost indistinguishable. Wow. Such a big word. Didn’t even know I knew how to spell that, or even guess)
  4. Edit sound-waves, play around with vocals and other things. Change pitch, if necessary.
  5. Get feedback. Add it on. 
  6. Render MP3 and burn to CDs.
  7. Create CD covers and booklets.
  8. Relax and enjoy! With ice-cream, of course. 

Here are the things we use to record and things being recorded:

  • Macbook Pro
  • Garageband (Mac)
  • RODE microphone
  • Vocals
  • Guitar (acoustic and electric)
  • Piano
  • Drums

I’m so excited to present our project to everybody but yet again really nervous. I guess I’ll go now and shake it off. Get it? I have a blank space, so I’ll talk about the potential problems.

Challenges:

  • Getting time to record. We are both really busy, so we are working stuff out.
  • The audio gets lost. Please no repeats of last time. Please.

Bye!

Building Views || Maths300

Building Views

Building views is a Math activity that involves mostly visualisation. We did it with actual blocks and on Maths3oo. The main difference between Maths300 and actual cubes is that with cubes you had to find the maximum and minimum, meanwhile the Maths300 is just asking for numbers on the plot. This activity is helping you be aware of space and depth. It is about visualising levels of blocks/cubes and stacking them to create levels. Kind of like the buildings in the CBD with the levels, unlike France where they have a limit of how high they can actually build. We placed them on the 4×4 plains, having 16 square foundation blocks. Here are examples of what I have said:Capture

There are numbers inside signifying how high that tower stacks. One level/number is one cube in the stack. So, if it was in the front view in the 4×4 with the numbers, 3, 1, 4, 2, the front view would be this (right).

It would look like this when build with physical cubes on a 4×4 or on Maths300.

My biggest challenge was probably getting the minimums on the Task 1 sheet.

Task 1/Actual Cubes:

Task 1 was basically making us aware of space and making us ready for Task 2. We had to find the maximum and minimum of the blocks we can use to result in the same views from the side and the front. Then you write the maximum and the minimum of blocks you can use without changing the views. The trick with the minimum was to share views where the height was the same with the towers needed and not overpowering another smaller tower. 

Task 2/Maths300:

So with this task you had to find out the towers on the grid and document them . The trick with this one is to find the smallest tower in the view and document it in the grid. Then you press check. It says where you have missed spots and where you are spot on. If you can see some behind, position them where you think they would fit. Then you press check. I didn’t use x-ray very much, but it reveals the behind blocks if there are any. It makes it very easy. Here is an example of finished ones:

Screenshot (10) Screenshot (9)

Another Passion Project!

Time has come again this year for another batch of Passion Projects.

Although my new P.P. doesn’t differ much from my first one, I am sure to do it right. I am partnered up with Emmy to make an EP w/ covers. Emmy is an amazing person, plus she plays instruments and can sing great! I don’t know many things Emmy can’t do honestly.

Nothing is set in stone yet with song choices and covers. It depends with time, effort and how much time Emmy and I have together. The genre of the album is unknown. Emmy is going to play instruments/sing and song-write some songs and I play instruments/sing and song-write some songs and edit/mix.

The purpose of this project is to share passions. Of course, I have already shared this (to a certain extent) but honestly I really like this. Also, by having a partner, we have more lyric ideas and things (like instruments) to work with. My dream is to make my passion/s a reality.

I am communicating how music can have many different topics and how music can help people cope with things such as grief and depression.

Our songs are for anyone over 8yrs of age because it takes a bit to appreciate our work, I guess.

I am looking forward to recording and sharing… and not losing my project.