Trimester 5 is now over and it is now time for me to reflect on what has been achieving over these 13 weeks.
Firstly, a lot happened in my personal life. It was and still is extremely challenging for me to keep up with school and I felt extremely anxious about some of the outcomes in this trimester. This has occupied my thinking for most of the trimester and sometimes made it really hard to focus on my uni objectives. Hopefully, a well-established communication in between the academic staff and myself made this module achievable and some of the work delivred was actually well received.
I’d like to thank some of the academic staff for allowing me to deal with some of the situations theses past weeks.
Our first task was the Sound Exploder project. It has been a helpful exercise and corresponds to what I’m looking for in this course. The point was to mimic a chosen producer and adapt one track to his style. I chose Pharell Williams for his efficiency in production. He uses simple elements in a relly elegant way to achieve a full-on result. It was also quite humbling because sometimes his tracks can sound easy but in fact, it’s not. I had to use a mix of critical listening skills, composition skills as well as songwriting skills to come up with a product. I’m not impressed with it but it is good to see where I am in term of production skills. I need to keep working to get to where I want and this is going to apply to every discipline involved this trimester.
The next project was hen the tape one. We had the opportunity to record onto tape at SoundPark Studios for a full day session. I was lucky enough to source a band. I found a jazz trio through social media platforms and they were pretty keen on the project. We ended up recording 3 differents songs and gave the musicians the opportunity to record several takes for each of these. We recorded to ProTools and to tape so we could work with different types of sound. I think it was a really cool recording session and I liked working as a group so everyone knows what is exactly going on and what they need to do. We had to provide mixes and masters for at least one track. I’ve been mixing the whole thing and provided masters to musicians as well. I had some issues with the bass in mixesmxes but I think that it has been adressed in mastering. As a whole, I’m really satisfied with the project and I’m thankfull that I’ve been given the opportunity to use SoundPark Studios facilities. A huge shout out to David Turner who helped us get the session.
Later this trimester, we’ve been introduced to the wonders of mastering. We’ve got nto the mastering suite and got to learn about its gear and propreties. We tried to understand the differences inbetween an analog master and a digital one. We went exploring on some famous mastering techniques and we also tried to get a taste of what these techniques can achieve and when to use them. I really enjoyed this module and I’m looking forward to utilize it within my own work. I like the idea of having a very last tool on your tracks for it to reach its best strandards and if the mastering engineer’s really good, your track could almost reach it’s “true form”. I mentionned in my previous blogs that I stillwant to learn more about mixing firstg before heading more seriously into mastering.
I am actually still finishing the post production module as I write this blog but I thought it was important to mention in this reflection as well. I have been a bit away of the classes but I think the goal of this module was to work as a team on a post production project. The team had to divide itself into differents tasks such as sound design, editing or songwriting. They worked with film students on a web series and really improved it by implementing sounds assets and music along the video. Some of the effects and foleys used enforces the comic effect on the video and help it to transition smoothly in between shots. I’ve been helping a bit with dialogue mixing and editing as well as focusing on the narration. I’m disappointed that I couldn’t get much more useful advice from Ant (our teacher) than the others but that was only relying on my ability to be present in class. I think that I’m not really into post production. I don’t really like to work with so many tracks for such a small results. But the industry is heading more and more into post production and these would be useful skills to use later in my career.
I’ve been working on some Hip Hop for my freelance side of things. I’ve been receiving stems all he way from new caledonia and had to provide a mix. I did already work with these artists but it feels different as I wasn’t supervising the production. I had to “guess” where the music was going and compromise with my vision. I think I imporved everything that has been sent to me but I’m a bit disapointed with the material I received. The Album lacks of vocal doubles and crucially of harmonies. I would have aimed for a ellborated vocal production from the recording stage rather than trying to invent it while mixing. It has been a good project globally and I’m super keen to finish the mixes as soon a I get the little more recordings I’ve asked for to make it realeasable.
To conclude, I’m glad this trimester is over and that I will have the opportunity to start the next one with a fresh mindset. I’ll focus on the learning outcomes of this trimester to make sure I didn’t miss on too much content because of my personnal situation.