Studio Production Reflection – The Set That Didn’t Happen

For my Studio Production piece I focused on housemate Jade; whose music, insight and expression makes for some interesting sounds and ideas to explore. My plan was to basically document the process of a planned DJ set and deconstruct the journey from Jade’s bedroom creativity to a public space, particularly as Jade is still finding her feet in DJ-ing skills. Unfortunately, Jade was not notified that the equipment would not support her USB and thus night ended up being a bit of a disaster. Nonetheless I still acquired enough material to portray Jade in my intended way and still got what I sonically wanted out of the occasion.

This particular exercise really developed my relationship with Reaper and allowed me to experiment a bit more with skills I learnt at the workshop a few weeks ago. I used a few different FX plug-ins to shape voice and ambience into the piece in a way in which mirrored Jade’s own music (for example echoey and spatial effects). I also combined various  recordings to reinforce the contrast of a public space in the context of Jade’s internalised creativity. I played a lot with volume too and was very cautious of balancing it correctly. There are admittedly a few sound effects I found online that I’ve included that I’ve subtly placed in for texture. I also try to mostly use voice and conversation as more of a backdrop than centrepiece.

Conceptually I was actually inspired by tour documentaries made about musicians: the sequence of rehearsal, travel and performance is I structure I enjoy. Kyla’s gave me some feedback on using music that I kept in mind while piecing it together and also consciously made sure the sounds were diverse and contrasting after various class discussions on “what do we hear?”.

This was quite stressful to make given the circumstances, it’s also hard to count on subjects and have learnt that you have to be quite flexible. Of the five pieces I’ve made for this class this is probably my favourite – I enjoy how it flows. It’s obviously not perfect and there’s a lot of things I’d like to improve on. One of these is introductory narration – I’d like to be able sound more comfortable and coherent. Using narration in this was ultimately an experiment. I’d also like to delve even deeper into the world of plug-ins so I can take my next brief even further. I’m quite a journalistically driven person – it’s my aspiration – so I haven’t really been able to make an abstract piece but would love to explore this side of audio documentary.

In my last brief I was marked down for not appearing to understand the concept and I hope I’ve been able to a hit a little closer to it this time, I do really enjoy making these pieces even though sound design isn’t something I’m particularly good at or have a background in. This brief has made me look forward to the next one.

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