“The Project” (for 3-28-14)

This project went much more smoothly than the last one I did!

The first thing I did was to work to figure out what went so terribly wrong with my last project. I believe the issue was that the flash drive I was using to save my project on the whole time was too small for to hold this project. I worried that if I used the same flash drive again the same thing would happen. I asked a classmate (Jenny) for help on how to save these projects in other places. She helped inform me about Google Drive and how to save tracks in garageband as individual audio tracks of their own that I would work with in different versions of garageband on different computers. This was all very helpful. I also did get a new flash drive that has quadruple the space that my old one did! Throughout the project I was saving every version of the project in three different places. I zipped the file each time and saved the zipped file on the pin drive, in the google doc, and attached it in an e-mail to myself. I did NOT loose it this time!


I chose to do a mash-up (which I will go more into later) so I needed to pick some songs to mach-up. I had been searching for songs for a couple days and trying to mash-up a couple pairs, but none of them were really speaking to me. As I was doing a different assignment Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity” came on my Pandora. I sang along with it because I love the song so much, and then I thought about mashing-up that one with something. I thought of songs that had similar topics to this song and then Adele’s “Someone Like You” crossed my mind. I looked into the two songs and how the vocals would mix and I first figured out how the entire mash-up would work with the vocals.

The next step was to figure out how the instrumental components of the songs would mix. I realized that they both use primarily piano and then I tried a few things and then began to figure out how to mix them and what I could put over what in what ways and at what times. I was very pleased that I was able to figure this out with relative ease. So then I stared the midi.

I did the midi through playing the piano this time and was quite pleased with the success I found in doing this. I did sections separate from each other and repeated what I could. I also, in almost all cases, did the right hand separate from the left hand for accuracy. After doing the midis I went in and edited them to clean them up. I did all of the midi work first and then added in the audio afterward at the end. I sang over the midis and with the metronome on to help me keep time well. I call the final product “Gravity Like You”. I am pretty happy with it. I would like to sometime rerecord the vocals because I am out of tune for a lot of it. I had a lot of time hearing myself sing as I had headphones in for recording.

Here are the two videos of the songs I used material from:


What I Had to Know:

I had to know about how to properly save my files so that I would not be in danger of loosing them. I thought I already knew how to do this, but I realized there was so much more to it than I thought. That was a huge piece of knowledge that I learned from this project. I also had to know how to do editing with midi so I could make the midis more accurate and give the recordings the best quality possible. I had to know all of the same content that I did for the last project concerning how to connect and use a microphone to record my audio and how to adjust the levels so that it sounded its best.

There were certain concepts I needed to understand to be able to make the mash-up work. In picking the two songs I needed to make sure that they were pretty compatible so that they would mash-up together easily. If they weren’t then I needed to know how to make them fit together well. I looked to see if the meters of the pieces were compatible and if the keys and chord structures could work well with each other so that I could put one melody over an instrumental line from the other song . This all went quite smoothly for me. I knew that I wanted to overlap the two songs at one point, so I had to figure out that one of them at to being at half the speed of the other one for them to line up well.


What My Future Students Could Learn From This:

I could use this project or something like it to help teach my students all of the different elements of technology that I had to learn to be able to do this. I would teach them how to use the microphones with the computers and all of the elements of Garageband that we needed to learn through the last couple projects. I would teach them about midi and how to use it with a keyboard and through Sibelius or Finale. I would teach them how to edit midis. I would also go through and teach them several different ways of saving it just to be safe so they don’t lose any material and so that they have the knowledge of how to do that.

Through this project I could teach the students about time signatures and which ones are similar and different. I could teach them how to adjust time signatures if needed to fit two songs together. I would also teach them about keys and how they could possibly mix minor and major in a mash-up. i would teach them about transposition because this is an important element  in mashing-up songs so that they are not incredibly dissonant.


What Was My Project?:

I consider my project a ash-up. In my opinion a mash-up consists of material from a few songs (about 2-5), usually two, and the material form these songs is consistently used throughout the work. If it’s more than about 5 songs and the material is only used once and then the work moves on to the next piece without coming back to the previous one that it more of a medley to me. My project uses material from two songs and they are both used throughout the entire project. I go back and forth from one to the other constantly throughout and I even overlap them at one point.


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