So here it is, it is been few month I’ve been enrolling at SAE Melbourne and it is already the end of the first audio unit. We created and covered a lot of different creative contents through lectures, assignements and in-class exercises. Even though I’ve been blogging regularly about my work, I’m going to try to go a bit more in-depth in this blog post and to be reflective on what I’ve done.
We did work on three main subjects/exercises :
-A sound-a-like assignment
– A remix exercise- Critical listening baseline exercises
I’ll be trying to outline what has been an important issue or improvement on each of this particular exercise.
The sound-a-like assignment was a group based exercise. It was a good thing to start the trimester with as it made me learn about the other students working with me. It is also surprisingly difficult to work with strangers and make everyone feel good about being part of the group. It made me reconsider how pre-production is a crucial part of any recording and how a project can really go nuts without it. Apart of that, the project went really well with good music performances and a good spirit of teamwork in the end.
I was really happy with myself being comfortable using the studio console and hardware
without any issues after a long period being away from it. I was also happy with the mixing compromises I went for in the mix. In the other hand, I could have improved on sticking to my assigned studio role when it comes to recording sessions as we only need to go towards one vision, one direction which is the producer’s vision on the project.
The remix assignment was a really cool assignment in my opinion. Electronic music is becoming more and more predominant in the industry and even non-electronic genders decided to apply some of its codes into their music. It makes it an essential skill as an engineer to imply some of its meat inside our own work if not our client’s work. Furthermore, I feel really close from this music having a strong hip hop background and listening to lush vibing mp3s since my early years. We had to use our classmates material to work with and turn a non-electronic music into a piece of electronic music.
I’ve picked a fast paced country song from my mate Jacob and went totally out of context style wise. I’ve put a lot of effort breaking down the musical content of the song into different midi clips that turned out to sound electronic after instrument design. It was the first time I did that and that was a total exploration and a super fun exercise working with them country scales. Apart of this exercise I kind of went with sounds and instruments that I fancy to give it my own vibe. We also had to design some of our instrument while matching some criteria and that also was quite a funny exercise. It expanded my vocabulary on synthesis ad helped me with Ableton routing system. The sampling part of the assignment was to me the best part but I reckon it could have its own assignment because a sample beat turns out to be really different to a composed beat in my opinion.
Critical listening baseline exercises were also interesting. It is to me a constant improvement that an audio engineer would need to work on. It is a really competitive industry and our ears are generally the only tool that can really make the difference between engineers. We need it to be aware of what’s going on and to be effective at taking decisions or making compromises.
I think it started with some stem matching exercises. It is really funny because I was working on similar exercises meanwhile the assignment happened. It is an exercise I really like cause it makes you really think about sound design rather than keeping the balance between everything. You just aim for a particular sound and do not care about what is going around (because there’s generally nothing around only mixing one and only source).
I had issues doing the exercise on the d day because my ears were feeling sour and gradually started to become heavier and heavier on the nerves. But anyway, I took a big deep breath, quite a few time to rest and went back to the exercise. I was happy with my techniques when we compared it to the “correction” and I feel I had the right approach in overall regarding the instruments I chose to match.
The next exercise was the hearing test. It was surprisingly easy in my opinion and I went trough quite fast. Anyway, there is still several ways to improve in this area especially with a lot of free or almost software available online. I really like quiztones kind of exercise cause it helps me to be able to make some fast decisions. It makes sense to train yourself in a time-restricted environment as its most likely a real life situation thing for an audio engineer.
The last exercise was the In the Box mix. I couldn’t assist the session on the D-date but I think I’ve made the necessary to prevent the related people and to arrange another session back. I had the opportunity to do it during the last week. I chose the green day song which I’ve been listening in my early years. It was really nice to work with this song because I generally don’t work with “rock” genders “electric guitar” based song. I think I did quite good with mixing it trying to add character to the sound without any high-end hardware units. I kept the balance using side chain compression but did not have time to strat writing automation to the track. Once again we were working in a fast paced environment and I appreciate these kinds of real life situations.
To be more global about my trimester, I think that I’ve handled quite a good work. My only concern was more my presence at a certain moment of the course . In the other hand, I really tried to be at a maximum level of communication with lecturers to let them know my issues so they could still recognize my work a serious task asking real efforts to meet the deadlines and not thinking I had been lazy and behind the course.
To conclude, I really enjoyed this trimester. I’m really happy with my choice to move to Melbourne, it has been a fantastic beginning of journey within the course. I’m also excited about how fast I start to learn about things on personal music especially regarding music theory and on my compositions. I wish to perform better in the future and to surpass people’s expectations. I also wish to team up into a production company being able to produce sound, video and animation professionally. I wish school relatives could help me in this project.