This blog will give you an overview of the happenings and updates of this semester as a whole and what approaches were taken to complete each project required by this semester.
The jingles project was the final project of the unit, for me personally it was one of the more challenging assessments as music production is not my strong point. But I was more than happy that this assignment put me on the spot, as the best way to learn is under pressure. For as long as I remember making music has never been something I was good at but its something I’ve always wanted to learn to do. I took it upon my self that will create music for one short film and one commercial having picked a coca cola advertisement and a documentary about the beauty of Sri Lanka in jumped into pro tools as my main DAW for producing the music. For this project we teamed up as a team of three to form the company SkyAudio. These jingles will all be released under this name.
For the coca cola jingle I started my laying down a piano base on which I added a layer of strings all using one of Pro Tools inbuilt MIDI software’s Xpand still feeling that something was missing I tracked a layer of electric guitar over using a simple clean fender strat to keep the simplicity of the piece after having tracked guitar I then jumped into MIDI world once again and added a lead line using a xylophone VST. Once the music was complete I went on to record the sound effects of coke pouring into a glass which I recorded at home off my iPhone and also jumped in the studio and did a voice over which I added at the end. After I was done adding all the elements I went on to mix it and bounce it as a complete audio visual file.
The next video I attempted was a documentary titled Sri Lankan Dreams by a YouTube based company called Fresh Start Media. This is a 5-minute-long documentary of Sri Lankas beautiful landscapes and people. For this I attempted to create a backing track to complement the short film. My approach to this was first I laid down a very ambient sounding piano layer using a Piano VST instrument and adding a fair bit of reverb to it. This layer was just a chord progression. After that I moved on to adding a layer of strings to give a very grand feeling. For the strings I used a similar chord progression to the main piano progression. Having added these two layers I moved on to adding a lead piano layer for this I used a honky tonk style piano and added a delay effect to it to create an arpegiator type feel. After which I moved on to mixing and then a finally a bounce of the final video. This one was the hardest of the lot personally because I found myself repeating the same progression a lot and tried very hard to give it variation. But overall the I am pleased with the outcome of the jingles project although it is not my strength I challenge my self to do it and learn from it and I think the project did just that.
For my freelance work this trimester I worked on two projects. Both being mixing. The first project I did was for the Melomanic Session which is a warehouse style acoustic session that happens every two months in Colombo Sri Lanka where various artist perform a set of chilled out acoustic music. For this I was given the stems of a 2 hour long session which consisted of 9 sets of both bands and solo artist and was required to split and mix them. I was given clear instructions to keep a little bit of the introduction of the band at the start and end of each set. Having figured out what parts to keep in and what to remove I separated each set and all of its elements. Then i took each set and mixed it individually bouncing a Wav file after each mix. For the mixing aspect of the each set I applied compression and EQ on pretty much most elements of the tracks and reverb and delay where I thought it was needed. Having finished mixing the set I sent them back the wav files via google drive. Having listen to all the track he came back to me with feedback where he said that he was happy with all the tracks except one which he thought had too much delay on it. Having fixed that one particular track I sent it back to him after which he posted it on the sessions official sound cloud page where the tracks have got a combined 400+ plays. This was the first time I have attempted to mix a live session and I think with what I had to deal with it was a pretty good outcome as well as the organizers were happy with its outcome.
The Second freelance project I took on was mixing a single for a Sri Lankan Rock band “Salvage”. For this project I was contacted by producer Engineer Nishan Daniels and was asked if I was happy to mix the bands 5th studio single “Stains” having agreed to it I was sent the stems of the song and was given clear instruction on what needed to be done. The song was recorded at the Sooriya Village in Colombo and the pro tools session was sent across to me via google drive. After having listened to the song many time I proceeded to edit a couple of things adding in fades where needed and used beat detective to correct the timing of one drum fill. After having edited everything I booked a session at SAE’s big Audient Studio where I mixed the song on the desk patching out board effect units as well as using a few in the box one’s. The toughest part of this project for me personally was re-recording the process stems back into pro tools as requested by the producer. Having figured out how to do it through re-routing the Aux sends the final mix and stems were sent back to Nishan the producer who went onto master the track. The song was released and as at now has got close to 55 radio plays over two weeks and is also available on the bands official bandcamp page.
All in all this semester was defiantly a learning curve for me, I defiantly learned that music production is something I really need to work on and improve. I also realized that to create something it must not be rushed you must give it enough time flow naturally. But that said I am pretty impressed with myself and what I’ve managed to come up with and I think If I work on it I defiantly can do much better.
Please find below links to all projects I have done as well as the company website
Freelance Project 1 (Melomanic sessions):-
Freelance Project 2 (Salvage single stains):-
Company Website:- https://skyaudio.wordpress.com/