Over the past two college years we have covered and progressed through a total of 11 Units, the 12th being our final extended project. Each different Unit I have acquired an array of different skills and knowledge, achieving the basics for the first step into the music industry. At the very beginning of the course I had noticed that there has to be a intensive overall passion for music in general, being open minded about learning the basics. Over the progression on the course I have come to understand, that my free time is an essential investment in advancing in the industry. Learning all different perspectives left me with a basic overview of the business, fueling me with interest and motivation to carry on my studies in music technology so that my hobby will become a career. The variety of different units taught, brought the huge spectrum of different career choices that I should be taking, into consideration.
Before I started this course music was that form of energy that was the medicine to feel good, let go and shut off from everything around me. Going to gigs and clubnights was the part of the week I would look forward to the most, in combination with getting home and being able to DJ on my setup. Since I had not gotten into and had no knowledge in music technology or production, I spent many hours on a daily basis searching for new tracks to mix. A career in the music industry is something that I had not thought about at the time, until I got eager to learn a wider skill set than just mixing tracks together. I had already part taken in a event management course where I was already implementing my DJing, love to sharing good music and my passion towards making a healthy electronic music festival.
Taking part in this course has opened my eyes to many different areas in the music industry that i had not yet taken into consideration before. I find it important that I understand how many different tasks and jobs are needed, to achieve different concepts in the industry. The human hearing mechanism was helpful for understanding how our ears are built, to reflect the sound waves off the Pinna and inside to the ear canal for the further steps processing the energy into information for our brain to receive. Acquiring knowledge about the fundamentals of how instruments work or are built was important for grasping, an understanding of how their parts work together when played. Beat chemistry and functional keyboards are crucial units that assisted my first time producing my own music, opening the doors to mastering the world of synthesis. All sides to music business were essential units to cover when understanding the financial, ethical, legal, networking and artists issues that come hand in hand with the industry.
Self guided subject investigation assignments benefited my existing knowledge about the mixer and CDJ’s that i own since I decided to do an in depth investigation of all aspects of my equipment. I ended up very pleasantly surprised by learning about little secrets that I had not yet discovered, an essential asset for perfecting my Djing. The same counts for the multiple in and out of college performances that had happened over the course of the 11 units, since it was a first hand experience gigs would operate, also giving me confidence in my DJing. Understanding the importance of acoustic treatment has helped me planning to build my home studio, but also benefiting learning a better interpretation of sound.
The knowledge that i have gathered up until today is in great importance to be since it is the introduction into an exciting opportunity, to facilitate and improve my hobby to a professional standard. The past 11 units have pointed me in many interesting directions and choices, for taking the next step towards a career in music technology. This course has brought me to realise that my life revolves around music on a daily basis, I need to use each days time productively creating networks and opportunities to get a solid and established footing in the industry. This also relates to consistently looking further into the focus points past 11 units in my own time, to gain and improve a more in depth and essential knowledge base for the future.
I am now confident when using what I have learnt in practice compared to before I started this course, but I still understand that my knowledge is very basic and there still needs to be a lot of time invested to achieve and produce great work such as those who I look up to. I started with close to no skills other than past experiences such as playing the drums, trumpet and the past years of Djing, I now have a general understanding of multiple music technology and production principles such as how sound works, can be created, manipulated, the business related side of the industry, working in a live or a studio setting with other artists and more confidence in my live performances. I find it important to now keep my daily routine based around music and networking in the industry. This will keep me learning and improving my skills, being viable to produce an array products for different medias; such as TV, radio, live gigs, management, stage setup, making music for a Label and understanding what makes different genres and how to mix and master them.
For my final project I chose to produce multiple intros for a London techno / house radio show broadcast, preferably a talk-show or a mix session. The main influence for me deciding on doing these intros instead of the club night I planned in Unit 11, a single or an EP is because I did wanted to investigate a new field of music production. Releasing my first EP and sitting down to brainstorm for ideas for a night, I decided to realise these in my free time instead of using them for a self guided learning choice. Since I have not yet produced anything like an intro, I decided it would be an interesting approach to learning how to use my DAW’s for other than just producing tracks. My plans and aspirations after this course are to study music technology at university to give me an in depth knowledge in the field I am pursuing to have career in. On the side of that I am in need of a bigger networking in the town I will be studying in, so that I am able to start promoting and manage an event, enabling myself regular Dj performances.
After continuing to work on my production techniques, I will be promoting myself as a brand in search for a Label to release my first EP on. Motivation, consistency and networking will be the main ingredients to accomplishing my goals!
The idea about trying a new field for my final project with the skills and techniques that I have learnt over the past 11 units, I decided to produce multiple pieces of work for a small portfolio which can be presented to a radio station. The idea is: I have been commissioned by a radio station to produce a creative piece of work to a professional Standard. Each piece produced should be able to used a power intro for the radio stations show / broadcast / podcast, the genres of music being played are techno / house. I then will have to pitch / playback the results to the client demonstrating how my personal skill sets were applied to my final project. My vision of the radio power intro is a mix session with guest Djs or even a talk show revolving around dance music.
For any samples, sounds or jingles that I need I will be using what logic can provide me with, which includes all loops, samples and on board synths. I will be using voice samples to name the radio station and the show, for this I will be planning on using existing voice samples that stations may have to offer and also my Roland VT-3 Voice Transformer to record myself with my microphone and then manipulate the audio samples inside logic. I have got some samples online from websites like looper man, which are helpful when I will need the jingles and soundscape effects for the intros. I will be producing and arranging the intros on my laptop in logic, to mix and master them I will be booking the studio facility so that I can produce my work to a professional standard.
Using the college facilities for research is important for my final project so that i can also get primary research instead of just secondary. Arranging interviews with lecturers at my college will help facilitate getting primary research, including radio stations. Access to the library for various books that may be helpful and also asking if any level 4 students are interested in taking part in a interview / questionnaire, giving me more primary resources. The internet will definitely come in use for a large extent of the research and also the notes that I have taken over the past 11 units. Depending on circumstances I came up with the idea whilst planning my final project that I would also make an additional intro for a college radio show, which I would organise to happen towards the end of the college year. Other classmates and students from college would be able to have the opportunity to record a mix in a live radio show in college.
For producing the power intros I will be using logic pro x, since this is the DAW I am most comfortable and familiar with. I will be completing and presenting all the work I have done in form of a power point presentation, covering all steps to accomplishing my final projects result. A playback of the radio show intros will be ready to show to the client and each step towards finishing my final project will be posted on my blogs page as well for reference.
Reflecting and evaluating my work will be a on going process which I will accomplish by reviewing over all my blog posts for unit 12. For this to work I have to post all my research, plans, ideas, changes and any other detail that goes into the process of completing the final project. Once everything is organised and accessible on the blog ,reflecting and evaluating the steps I have and still need to take will become a lot more efficient and over viewable. The blog post will overview the entire process from the beginning until the end including the conclusion, showing research, ideas, problems, changes and the pros and cons to the choices I have made along the way.
Writing down pros and cons for every decision that I have made at the end each week regarding the week that has past, is a ideal way to find out what the strengths and weaknesses are of my choices and where I will need to do adjustments. If any problems occur during this process I will be able to draw out a brain chat to contemplate new ideas that solve these issues, slightly tweaking the projects concept if I need to. My decision making will be highlighted in each blog post if I do any minor or major changes to my project, but also including speculations and new ideas feeding into my concept and aim of the project. Reflecting and evaluating work along the way will assist me when referring back to the aims which I have set in my projects concept.
Setting myself SMART targets on the college blackboard website will be a simple and over viewable way to document aims or goals I have set myself, to make sure that they have been achieved.