Unit 12 – Extended Project

Delivering a Music Product

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CLICK HERE FOR MY RATIONALE + CONCEPT + EVALUATION

Task 1:

Context:

When it comes to deciding on the production of the power intros I wanted to challenge myself with something, more than making music for an album or EP. My radio imaging production will be focused on a chosen dance radio station shows or broadcasts, the production being power consisting of multiple tracks that fit into the brand and target group of the station. I will be recording my voice samples with help of a VT-3 voice transformer in combination with a college condenser and dynamic microphone. The reason I will be recording the sample voice sample with both types of microphones is, because I would like a wider range of audio selection that is more likely to meet the needs of the task.

The aim of my personal contribution to the project is to make myself more viable to produce music for different medias, instead of just focusing on making tracks. Since I have not yet undertaken such a production before I feel like there is a lot more to learn from, since I will be doing more than just creating a track from scratch. In producing these intros I will be improving my existing knowledge in synthesis, getting comfortable producing for other purposes than just music tracks so that I can become more applicable in different fields. I believe it is important for myself to use this last project as an opportunity to make myself more attractive and useful to future employers.

Approaching a power intro for a radio involves knowing what gives the station its characteristics which forms their identity and then implementing those, into my production giving the introduction the same unique vibe. I chose a radio station which broadcast underground dance music, mainly house but also include techno shows in their schedule. Since there are not many companies that provide such services today I can see this idea being very viable in the music industry, since every radio station could need a power intro or other radio imaging. Whilst looking into different people have have built up their careers around radio imaging I came across Dave Wakefield who said a quote in an interview which is quite fitting to my context:

“The second you stop striving to better yourself or your skills, is the moment that you stagnate and start going backwards.” 

BBC (2016) David Wakefield: Station imaging producer. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/academy/production/article/art20130702112135425 (Accessed: 13 May 2016).

This quote comes hand in hand with my aim revolving around improving techniques / skills and gaining knowledge / understanding, making myself viable in different fields of the music industry. Choosing to produce a power intro will help me gain an insight to the different areas that are important to understand, when being commissioned by a radio station to produce work to professional standards and implement the vibe that they are going for. My ambition of doing different projects will advance my ability to approach tasks more open minded, with a extent of knowledge to create a piece to a professional standard. Having improved these skills efficiently to give myself a level of confidence either by myself or in a group, when working on creative piece of work.

There are three main areas which will benefit me by choosing to produce radio power intros; Music Production,Audio Engineering and Radio Broadcasting. I am editing the power intros myself in Logic x giving me further practice with the software, but also allowing me to use a DAW for another project than music production or mixing and mastering. When choosing a radio station that fits my project and choice of music, I will produce my introduction around theme and vibe that the shows bring with it. With the specific stations show in mind, I will be listening to the show and researching into the brand that they are promoting to their target audience. Knowing the vibe and music selection of the DJs in the show, are important for me to be able to fully implement them into my productions.

Since I have been DJing for years learning how to mix tracks inside a DAW in a creative way for a company was a interesting, exciting and new challenge for myself. I have a large selection of different racks that suite the genre of music which I will be producing power intros for, which gives me the opportunity to utilise them in my productions, selected my tracks that suite the different shows identities. The radio station identity hat I seek to produce my power intros for must be a dance themed station who have minimalistic presenters when they do live voice overs.

Each power intro will consist of:

  • Sound effects to fill gaps and create space, atmosphere and vibe
  • 3 Tracks suited to the shows music choice and that defines their identity
  • Information for the listener in form of vocal samples including: Name of station, name of show, name of presenter and what day / time the show is

Instead of having a background of story behind my productions other than me striving to learn the most in my final project, I wanted to produce for a  radio station focusing on their image and how their brand would like to be represented. I will be producing power intros for shows that focus on the house and techno genres, with their sub genres deep house and tech house. I would be choosing these tracks from my library resorting to purchase some if I could not speak for the shows identities with my music collection. 

Task 2:

Research:

The research into my project consists of different areas which are gathered for a detailed overview of the essentials for my chosen assignment topic, which is a radio imaging production of a power intro for a radio stations shows.

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Background:

Radio imaging are the varying separate sound effects that are used on air, to distinguish and market a distinct brand of a radio station. The array of sound effects include: bumpers, shotguns, jingles, liners, stingers, promos, voiceover, sweepers, music beds and intros. The combination off all the different effects create a specific sound design, that gives the station it’s unique brand under its competition attracting their desired target audience. Creating a power intro for a specific radio station requires me to identify and incorporate their signature sound into my production, so that their brand does not loose its image. Recreating the familiarity for the listeners can be achieved by using the correct choice of music which appeals so them, but also sets the mood and energy for the shows or stations being promoted. Radio imaging (2016) in Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_imaging (Accessed: 13 May 2016).

Power intros are a great tool for marketing which combine information with good music, to assist the listeners in remembering the show. My productions need the message the radio station wants to give the audience in combination with the techno / house tracks that are popular on that station, brought together in a creative and interesting audio piece. It is important for me to recognise that not all radio stations use radio imaging and jingles for promotions or creating a mood, such as a BBC Radio 4who identify themselves through the presenters reminding the listeners “You’re listening to … on Radio 4”. Creative, R. (2016) Power Intro – music jingles: Music radio creative. Available at: http://www.musicradiocreative.com/music/acapellas/power-intro (Accessed: 13 May 2016).

The mixed tracks are given a makeover still keeping the fundamentals, such as the vocal keys and the musics melody. The radio stations logo or slogan can be sung or spoken over with musical similarities, but keeping the uniqueness which infinities the track.  Jingles, R. (2016) The power of power Intros, Beat mixes, Sing overs and ID mixers – JingleNews.Com. Available at: http://www.jinglenews.com/articles/the-power-of-power-intros-beatmixes-singovers-and-id-mixers/ (Accessed: 13 May 2016).

Bringing together the production techniques with the radio stations playlist, whilst incorporating the marketing of the shows brand with smooth transitions between the fundamental artists tracks. Incorporating jingles with the hit tracks helps the shows progression going, keeping the listeners interesting and entertained. World, R. (1994) About Page Parallax red. Available at: http://www.reelworld.com/about (Accessed: 13 May 2016).

“Jingles get stuck in the head 

and give you an identity that no-one else has” 

Giger, T. (2011) Jingles & imaging: Radio station artist signatures. Available at: http://www.radioiloveit.com/radio-production-radio-jingles-radio-imaging/jingles-and-imaging-radio-station-artist-signatures/ (Accessed: 13 May 2016).

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Tony Blackburn 1967

Jingles and radio imaging is a important part in live marketing and giving possibilities to advertise and promote the stations brand, upcoming shows and also others such as promoters spreading word about their event. The first legal jingle to be used in a radio show was on BBC radio one in September 1967, by Tony Blackburn. This was the answer to established stations with productions coming from top notch studios across the ocean in Europe and the USA, such as Radio Caroline and Wonder Radio London. By producing my power intros for a radio stations I will be promoting and advertising the radio station and their shows, with voice samples, synthesis and sound effects.  This combined at the beginning of popular techno and house tracks that bring the vibe of the station, also giving the listeners the music they love. Some radio stations decide to use power intros over jingles and sonic logos so that the show flows forward more. T. (2011) Jingles & imaging: Radio station artist signatures. Available at: http://www.radioiloveit.com/radio-production-radio-jingles-radio-imaging/jingles-and-imaging-radio-station-artist-signatures/ (Accessed: 13 May 2016).

In 1987 Johnny Beerling gave a good explanation to why the jingles came from America to the UK:

“I have to admit they are very American, because the whole thing came from America in the first place. Over there they had a very similar situation to us in that they had a very overcrowded medium wave band, they had a number of stations broadcasting in any particular town, and there was a need in an attractive way for station identification.”

Concepts, S. (2009) Station imaging and marketing. Available at: http://www.soundconcepts.ltd.uk/managingradio/a28.html (Accessed: 14 May 2016).

Notable Radio Imaging Producers:

Ben Marks

Is a senior producer at Heart FM 2008-2010, radio imaging producer and creative director at substance b media, re-imaging sounds along side with ReelWorld for stations such as BBC 1xtra. Since BBC reached over 1 million listeners on a weekly basis at the time he was commissioned to work on this project, I find it very important to take his work into recognition. To be hired by a radio station of that scale means that his work is produced to a professional standard, bringing the different  vibe and brand with his work. His work is very vibrant, joyfull and uplifting in compared to radio stations that may have more minimalistic intros. Europe, R. (2015) BBC radio 1Xtra ReelWorld top of hours 2015 by reelworldeurope SoundCloud.

“Such a unique station deserves a completely unique approach to imaging and I’ve literally been in fanboy heaven. Working with ReelWorld’s composers on the music and sound design, writing lyrics with Ragga MC’s, vocal sessions with Grime artists, talk about having your cake and eating it. I’ve been gorging on gateaux since we began this project!”

Europe, R. (2015) BBC radio 1Xtra ReelWorld top of hours 2015 by reelworldeurope SoundCloud.
Matthew Van Essen

A Producer & On Air Personality SunFM Network 2004-2006, Imaging Voice KAOS 90.5 & 91.1 2006-2008, Commercial Producer Virgin Radio 98.5 2006-2010, Producer Orbyt Media 2011-2012, National Voice of Mac’s Convenience Stores (Voice-Over) 2012-2014, Imaging Voice for Ryan Watters 2012-today, Radio Calgary Imaging Producer for Virgin Radio 98.5 2009-today. Linkedin (2016) Matthew Van Essen. Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthew-van-essen-55507a4a?trk=seokp-title_posts_secondary_cluster_res_author_name (Accessed: 13 May 2016).

Skills:
  • Radio Broadcast
  • Radio Advertising
  • Radio Imaging
  • Imaging Production
  • Branding & Identity
  • Radio Production
  • Audio Production
  • Voice Over
  • Pro Tolls & Adobe Audition
  • Radio Programming
  • Radio Promotions
  • Audio editing

Gaining an insight into the different perspectives of jobs that cover that tasks of my project is important for me to fully understand, so that I am able to produce a piece of work to a professional standard.

Stefan Vasilescu

Audio Producer for Modus Production 2002-2006. Radio Imaging Producer for SBS Broadcasting 2007-2014, Program Producer for Kiss FM 2007-2014, Program Host Kiss FM 2007-2014, In dependent music professional 1996-today, Radio Imaging Producer for PRO FM 2014-today and a Program Host for Dance FM 2014-today. Linkedin (2016) Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/almud?trk=seokp-title_posts_secondary_cluster_res_author_name (Accessed: 14 May 2016).

Radio Imaging

Radio imaging are tools used to promote a radio station, defining and promoting the brand and vibe to their target audience. Each different style of radio station is occupied with its own  unique approach. My choice of radio imaging production for my project, are dance station power intro production for known tracks played on their station. Administrator and Ciccarelli, S. (2015) What is radio imaging? Available at: https://www.voices.com/resources/articles/broadcast-radio/radio-imaging (Accessed: 14 May 2016).

Here are a list of some of the different styles of radio imaging for each stations music characteristic:

  • Active Rock Radio Imaging (with very high energy)
  • Adult Album Alternative Radio Imaging
  • Adult Alternative Radio Imaging
  • Adult Contemporary (AC) Radio Imaging
  • Album Oriented Rock (AOR) Radio Imaging
  • Alternative Rock Radio Imaging
  • Americana Radio Imaging
  • Classic Rock Radio Imaging
  • Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) Radio Imaging
  • Dance Station Radio Imaging
  • Hot Adult Contemporary (Hot AC) Radio Imaging
  • Lite Adult Contemporary (Lite AC) Radio Imaging
  • Modern Rock Radio Imaging
  • Oldies Radio Imaging
  • Rock Radio Imaging
  • Rock AC Radio Imaging
  • Smooth Jazz Radio Imaging
  • Big Band Radio Imaging
  • Talk Radio Station Imaging
  • Urban Radio Imaging
  • World Music Radio Imaging

The primary use for using jingles and radio imaging to create a power intro is to assist the listeners in recalling the name, identity and brand of the station. By choosing the right selection of music and sound effects a picture can get through to the listener, conveying feelings and emotions that the stations would want to express. A clear image of that stations brand  is needed to be able to combine the the radio imaging production, with the slogan making it easier to remember. The identity of a radio station can be recognised by the repetition of a certain sounding voice, a catch melody line or the radio stations name.

When combining these familiar characteristics together with a theme or music, you can create powerful a radio imaging brand that stay in the heads of the listeners. Radio presenters will have a selection multiple version that they are able to choose from, so that the jingles with the voice overs are not constantly the same and there is a selection different tracks that can be accompanying them. Using similar types of jingles will help create an maintained vibe and atmosphere for the radio stations show. Jingles helps the presenter to inform the listener of different sections and transitions between these during the broadcast. Power intros assist the introduction to broadcast, the radio station, the slogan and set the mood for the show; the presenter could then introduce himself, welcome the listeners and briefly give an overview of the show and DJs.

It has become typical for directors to decide that certain station group with the same brand, should use the same jingles with the only difference being the voice samples saying the name and frequency. This choice allows the stations to save money instead of buying a large variety of different jingles, but also gives the stations a more over viewable sound and imagine. These jingles are typically licensed for two years for a designated geographical territory, once this license expires it can be renewed for a lesser cost. The license assures that no other radio station that is transmitting in the same territory, is legally allowed to use the same jingle package. Station imaging and marketing (2009) Available at: http://www.soundconcepts.ltd.uk/managingradio/a28.html (Accessed: 14 May 2016).

UK Radio Stations

Before selecting on a specific show to produce power intros for I had to decide on a radio station which would be appropriate for my project. When researching into different radio stations there are many different factors to take into consideration, which are important to understand because in this career you are commissioned by a station instead of choosing to produce for one which suits my needs. When looking into what makes a radio stations brand I took the music genres, radio imaging, slogans, show names, type of presenters into consideration, also listening to the broadcasts to gain a feel for the shows movement.

Radar Radio

This radio station is based in Clerkenwell, London and is a station that is focused towards the youth everyone working there being under 25. The stations music genres vary from afro beat, hip-hop, grime, jungle, drum & bass, techno and house. The main genre of music that is broadcasted on this station would not be techno but I did find a show that ties into my project concept other than TAPEFEED. The show revolves around back to back techno and house session, a collaboration of Alessandro Boni and Rick Vayo. Both are Italian DJs and producers but they have not been using any introductions or voice over promotions for their station / show.

It was a real shame listening to the beginning of their techno / house mixes and not hearing and kind of radio imaging, or no use of intros and voice overs. Their style of music would have been ideal for my selection of music, but taking the shows brand into consideration my projects concept is not able to be well applied here. Radio, R. (2016) TAPEFEED. Available at: http://www.radarradio.com/djs/tapefeed (Accessed: 14 May 2016).

Click here for – Radar Radio TAPEFEED – 16th April 2016

London Fields Radio

This is a small radio station that is based inside of a cafe, creating bespoke podcasts for almost every different genre of music that one could count with great emphasis on conversation. The stations target audience are the different vibrant characters that live in the nearby area of Hackney, representing the diversity of the music at their street parties. The station has two broadcasts that i saw relevant to my project; the Rachael Barton show with bass heavy house being the first. Rachael Barton rather focuses on the conversation of the music with her listeners and playing selected house track, that reflect on the local clubbing scene which appeal to a wider audience.

The genre of music that she mixes would be possible to make a power intro for, but her broadcasts identity does not consist of radio imaging. As heard in the broadcast “Rachel Barton, Vol.2” to begin the show she introduces herself and the name of the show with a conversation and a selected intro track.

Click here for – Rachel Barton, Vol. 2

The second show that they broadcast is slow house show called “slow sundays” that focuses on the more mellow and slower section of house music with a large variety for disparate grooves. This slow and relaxed vibe the music gives targets an audience who re trying to come down from a stressful weekend, by listening to calming, jazzy and atmospheric music.

Slow Sundays Vol. 44

Neither of these shows use radio imaging to promote their station or broadcast since they are based on the music selection, which is accompanied along with a conversation. Radio, L.F. London fields radio. Available at: http://www.londonfieldsradio.co.uk/about/ (Accessed: 14 May 2016).

Release FM

Is a radio station that consist of many different talented DJs who are very enthusiastic about underground dance radio broadcasting. Instead of directly having themed shows with a brand, this station markets their DJs who have many years of experience in underground dance music. They showcase all different types of up and coming underground electronic music, targeting the intelligent listeners who want something else than the commercial and mainstream music on many other stations. Despite there not directly being and shows with names on the station, the broadcasts are named after the DJ who is performing. FM, R. (2016a) About release FM. Available at: http://www.releasefm.net/about/ (Accessed: 15 May 2016).

Rob & SI have been mixing together since the 90s varying from Balearic, House, Hip-hop and old school Techno for their “back to ours” show, not limiting themselves to playing one genre. Their show is also a live performance in other venues which stands out from your usual radio broadcast or mix, with “Back to Ours” sundays 8-10pm. FM, R. (2016) Rob & Si. Available at: http://www.releasefm.net/djs/rob-si/ (Accessed: 15 May 2016).

Click here for – 01-05-16 – Rob & Si – Release FM

Gary Mac has a new show called Deep in the Groove, there was not sufficient information around this how or any podcasts to review. His show is directly after Dave H’s “Deep House Disco” who’s show was inspired by nu beats, warehouse grooves and street hip hop from the United States of America. Dave H’s show’s music genre is progressive deep house, soulful house and nu disco with a hint of techno. The aim of his show is to introduce and educate a new target audience with a different side of music. He does not often play very many chart hits since his brand is to move forward and explore, showing the listeners all the other fantastic tracks that are out there. FM, R. (2016a) Dave H. Available at: http://www.releasefm.net/djs/dave-h/ (Accessed: 15 May 2016).

Click here for – Dave H Deep House Disco live on Release 92.8 FM – 23rd May 2015

Tony B – The Friday Night House Party

Tony B’s show is focused on deep new skool house classics from the US and UK and funky house with a slight jazzy feel to his broadcast. Collecting music tracks since the ages of 16, every track he mixes means something special to him. FM, R. (2016) Tony B. Available at: http://www.releasefm.net/djs/tony-b/ (Accessed: 15 May 2016).

Click here for – Release FM – The Friday Night House Party with Tony

Codesouth FM (chosen radio station)

Is a dance radio station for the south coast of the UK located in Brighton, covering Drum & Bass, Techno, House, Garage, Dub. The stations broadcasts focus on this large variety of new and classic dance music styles, that are attractive to electronic music lovers. Each show is played live by a DJ in their studio on the frequency 105.6 FM and they also have a live online stream on their website. The DJs in each show do live voice overs during their mixes, introducing themselves and the show, giving shout outs to comments / texts coming in, naming the current playing track or just general conversation with the listeners; like telling them to have a great weekend or advertising tickets to a festival.

Click here for – Codesouth FM Homepage / Web Radio

Code south does not over exaggerate with jingles and other radio imaging during their shows, but do have a selection of audio clips that they regularly repeat on air. Their shows do mainly use radio imaging for their show introduction, so that the DJ can queue up their first track and get ready to use the microphone. This radio station has many different shows that are ideal for my projects concept, choosing a hand full of relevant broadcasts for a larger spectrum.

Click here for – Codesouth FM Radio Shows

“The Anything Goes show” hosted by Matt Durstan and Chris Toxic, revolves around a different themed show each week on thursdays from 20:00-22:00. They play a large selection of underground music genres varying from Minimal, Jungle, Techno, Hardcore, Old skool Acid and hard dance.

Click here for – The Anything Goes Show Mix

The Sunday Therapy show rotates presenters each week between Matthew Matheson, Jack Attack and Ashministrator, who play a mix of deep house, progressive house, house and techno.

Click here for – Sunday Therapy Radio Show Mix

Codesouth’s show “The Repent” is on fridays from 22:00-00:00 the selection of music being , dark, ambient and atmospheric techno tracks mixed together in a DJ session with Matt Torbuck..

Click here for – Matt Torbuck Mix

“BERLIN” is broadcasted Saturdays from 20:00-22:00 hosted by Markus Saarlander, who mixes underground Electronica, Tech-house and Techno.

Click here for – Berlin show mix

Franky B Moore has a show every friday called “Fresh Fridays” playing new Deep house, House and Techno music

Click here for Fresh Fridays mix

After listening to each show over the weekends Berlin, The Repent and Fresh Fridays have the most similarities, to my choice and style of music for my project and in my own time. The Sunday Therapy Show is also an interesting show playing more jazzy and groovy house beats, which would be an interesting twist to the other three chosen shows. My power intro will need to include the stations and presenters identity music selection with radio imaging SFX will need to discretely chosen. The happy, uplifting and forward moving vibe in each show needs to be captured in power intros, keeping in mind that Berlin and the repent are more minimalistic and darker than Fresh Fridays and The Sunday Therapy Show.

Whilst listening to the radio stations shows I noticed that they shout out comments and text messages that viewers send in and also the phone number that they can use to do so. In my power intro I find it crucial to include this information on top of the general information of the shows and stations name.

House & Techno music in the UK

House:

The origin of house music was in Chicago in the 1980s, becoming popular in 1984 and spreading to other cities in America such as Detroit or New York. Throughout the mid 1980s house music also spread to Europe, Australia and South America. In the mid 1990s house music start making its way into pop and dance music across the world. Early productions can be recognised by their 4/4 beat which repeats through out the track, mainly using drum machines for the beats rhythms. More characteristics being the synthesisers for lead and bass lines with off beat hi-hats, having similarities to disco music just being more minimalistic and electronic.

It was only a question of how long it would take for house music to infiltrate the UK pop charts, since of how huge this genre was during the 80s dance scene. “Love can’t turn around” – Farley Jackmaster Funk was the first recognised house track from the UK, also reaching the place number 10 in the singles chart during September 1986.

Today house music varies a lot in its style and influences but keeping the dominant kick, that stands out from the actual song. House music has many different styles ranging from soulful deep house to more minimalistic micro house, also integrates with other genres. Some of these sub genres include euro house, tech house, electro house, and jump house. Pirate radio stations with their DJs aided spreading an addictive music genres, in cities such as London, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield and many more across the UK. The two main techno and house labels in the UK that had substantial impact on the scene are Warp Records and Network Records.

Techno:

The very first prototype or scheme for techno genre was created in the mid 1980s in a suburb of Detroit called Belleville, Michigan, however an interesting fact is that the first time someone referred to techno as a genre on record as in 1988. Belleville Three, Eddie Fowlkes, Blake Baxter and James Pennington were the pioneers of this creation who often collaborated together, throughout the 1980s. The first DJ to play Detroit techno tracks from the producers that I named above, was called named the Electrifying Mojo who promoted social and cultural awareness by not following his set radio formats or playlists. Detroit techno can be seen as the ground construct for the development of the variety of techno music sub genres that can be heard today, such as tech-house, minimal or trance. Detroit techno itself is a combination of african american beats with funky and electronic Chicago house, having a jazzy side as well. The influences and inspirations to create Detroit techno came from different electronic music artists such as Kraftwerk, Yellow Magic Orchestra and Giorgio the genre also being very synthesiser based.

When defining the style of techno it can be commonly be described at the repetition of instrumental music, generally with a time signature of 4/4 with a bass drum at each quarter note. A snare or a clap marks the backbeat of the track at each 2nd and 4th beat of each bar, with a open hi-hat on each 8th note. The beats per minute of techno varies from 120 – 150 bpm using music production technology to its creative advantage, with synthesisers, drum machines and DAW’s such as logic pro x. The Roland TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines are highly recognisable and cherished to creating the authentic techno sound, that many producers strive for. The UK and european crowd embraced the American underground dance music in the 1980s, being well established by 1987. German techno enthusiasts starting appearing around the 1990s, the same time illegal raves began to happen close to London.

The UK techno scene is on the rise and ever developing just as the rest of the world with its only unique flare as the others. The british artists have always had a certain way of altering an exciting sound to produce eccentric and distinct sounding outcomes.

Today techno productions generally repeat an arrangement of sounds whilst switching from a collective of sounds to another, which are aimed to draw the attention and interest of listeners. A large variety of different sub genres have evolved out of the original detroit techno such as; 4-beat, acid techno, amigacore, birmingham sound, dub techno, freetekno, micro house, minimal techno, nortec, power noise, tech house , tech trance, techno brega and toy town techno. The engineers of early techno was more of a futuristic and unique experimental genre which progressed, into dance music which some people enjoyed for the past decades.

Roland Aira Voice Transformer: (VT-3)

This device helps easily alter the pitch and formant in real time, either in a studio setting or a live stage performance. There are sliders which can be used to alter the pitch and formant of the audio signal, also having a reverb and mix balance slider. The lightweight finish of the housing in combination with the stable and reliable construction make this piece of equipment ideal to use for my project, since it is easily portable. The XLR/TRS combo jack comes with phantom power and a 1/8 inch mic jack, with stereo outputs being able to be configured as separate mono wet or dry channels.

vt-3_top_gal

There is a powered USB bus which is great with loopback recording and can also be directly recorded into logic through the USB, which is exactly what I need for my project. In addition to the robot voice the VT-3 can transform voices using many different effects making them sound like synthesizers, synth basses, hard tuned and lo-fi sounds and many more. This device can also be used for more subtle musical things such as adding reverb or using the various other faders to control the smooth wet/dry effects.

vt-3_back_gal

The pop and electro sounds can be controlled smoothly with the two auto-pitch effects, also being able to create a VP-330 sounding vocoder without needing a keyboard. You can use the scatter feature to create glitchy effects in your sound, also having lo-fi settings with megaphone and radio settings for synthetic sounding voices. The sound from the VT-3 has immediate effect without any popping, clicking or latency problems giving clean audio even when switching through settings.

Neumann TLM 103:

This is a diaphragm microphone that was advised to be used be Phillipe in college, since it is used for all different professional applications who need good sound quality in a certain budget. Unlike to other Neumann microphones this one includes a low self-noise that has been unachieved until now, which also comes with the highest sound pressure level transmission mrs than any previous models. The cardioid pattern is acoustically balanced very well giving a very strong signal without much reduction in strength, providing optimised attenuation of excessive noise from behind. The microphone has a cardioid pattern as mentioned about, with a hefty sized diaphragm capsule which is used in most recording situations. The feedback suppression is great for the college environment also with the feedback of the speakers int he studios, with off axis sounds naturally furnished with increased isolation.

neumann_tlm49

The frequency response of the capsule goes up until 5kHz, with a presence boost of 4 dB for any frequencies that are higher. To avoid popping noises there is a wire mesh head grille that has been installed on the capsule, which acts as protection again these sounds. The TLM 103 also ranges down to 20 Hz frequencies which can be recorded without any change in colour or appearance to the listener. The self noise level in this microphone have been minimised so that there is essentially no noise, levels of 138dB can also be reached without distortion. The common transformer output has been replaced with an electrical circuit, still providing a balanced audio signal. This microphone is useful in various different settings due to its capabilities and design such as; Vocal recording, sampling, foley / sound effects, voice over announcer’s microphone, on air radio / broadcast microphone, home or studio projects and also for recording or reproducing various live instruments.

Neumann Berlin frequency response diagram: (125 Hz – 16kHz)

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Click here to access Zooming Diagram

Berlin, N. Georg Neumann GmbH – diagram. Available at: https://www.neumann.com/zoom.php?zoomimg=./assets/diagrams/tlm103_diagrams.htm&zoomlabel=Diagram&w=878&h=295 (Accessed: 11 June 2016a).
 

Key features displayed on the Neumann Berlin website:

  • Large diaphragm cardioid microphone
  • Pressure gradient transducer with with one-diaphragm capsule
  • Transformer less circuitry
  • Extremely low noise: 7 dB-A
  • Includes swivel mount
  • Straightforward handling for home recording and professional studios
  • High-quality professional equipment for limited budgets

Berlin, N. (no date) Georg Neumann GmbH – products/current microphones/TLM 103/features. Available at: https://www.neumann.com/?lang=en&id=current_microphones&cid=tlm103_features (Accessed: 11 June 2016).

Primary Research:

I wanted my projects research section of the blog to contain a source of primary research so that I have a more diverse range of places i got my information from. Primary research is also good for gaining first hand knowledge or experience about something.

Questionaire
1. What did it take to get to where you are now in your career and do you have any notable recommendations? 
“I’ve done a lot of things that all contributed to making a career in music, and led to where I am now. From working in independent record shops, PR (promoting record releases), running shows on various pirate, internet and legal national radio stations (Flex FM, Rinse FM, BBC 1Xtra, Radio 1 etc), DJing at clubs, events and festivals around the world, co-producing tracks, starting my own record label; to becoming more involved behind-the-scenes in radio, working as a broadcast assistant and now producer. You need to get know people in the relevant scene/ industry- if you want to DJ/ produce make sure you’re seen in clubs, record shops, anywhere to get to know the right people. Show you are passionate. Learn as much as possible- if you want to work in radio then listen to as many presenters/ shows/ types of station as possible, to get an idea of different ways people work and how to develop your own style. Work hard and don’t get disheartened if things don’t seem to be happening straight away! Be patient, take your time.”
2. How would you define your identity when presenting / performing for a radio show?
“I have two identities- DJ Flight, playing underground dance music; and Natalie, producer of speech and music shows at National Prison Radio. The first is obviously very specialist, giving info on music played, forthcoming events, hosting interviews etc; the second is more broad based, but still quite specialized due to having to include info relevant to people in prison.”
3. What equipment would be included in your setup when performing for a radio stations show?
Use home set up when producing my podcast- 2x CDJs, turntables, a mixer, mic, computer, soundcard, speakers etc. At work we have 2x studios, that include radio desks, computers, speakers, mics etc; everything is pre-recorded, we don’t broadcast live, so we record our links then edit speech, beds and music together using Reaper or Audition software.
4. How important would you consider using jingles, sound effects and other radio  imaging productions are in your radio show and why?
Jingles are very important – they help give your show it’s identity, add a little sparkle, make it sound professional. They come in handy when segueing between two tracks, for specific features, if you want to change or highlight a topic, they can even replace speech – i.e fire an ident rather than physically telling the listeners who/ what they’re listening to.
5. Do you have pre recorded / edited audio clip(s) for your shows introduction, slogans and catch phrases? Or do you prefer live voice overs?
I use idents, yes. But also remind people who I am/ what the show is with my own voice.
6. Does your radio station use purchased jingles, sweepers, SFX and sound packs or are they produced by someone for your show specifically? 
One of my colleagues at National Prison Radio is in charge of station sound – she makes all the idents/ jingles, promos and adverts. For my own podcast I use a few that were made for me when I had a production team at the BBC.
7. Does the radio station you perform on cover the P.R.S license? 
Yes we do pay PRS. But as National Prison Radio is run by a charity (Prison Radio Association), a much lower figure is paid in comparison to other stations.
8. What would you consider are the most important parts of a radio show introduction?
To set things up – let people know who you are, what you do (briefly) and what they can expect to hear during the show. If there is a music playlist be sure to start with a strong track. Write a script, or at least notes in bullet point form, so you don’t forget anything/ know exactly what you’re going to say. A show ‘menu’ of sorts
9. How do you build up the progression of the show from the beginning to the end?
Plan ahead. Work out what you’re including, how much time you’re going to spend on each section/ feature, and if the show is music-based, programme the playlist so it holds people’s attention. Everyine works differently – find what works for you. Also remember that ears naturally tune out from listening after around 3minutes, so if you have a chunk of speech it may be best to break it down into smaller parts. You don’t want to overload your listeners with too much information in one go.

Task 3:

Problem Solving:

Along the way to completion of my final project there were multiple slight and bigger problems, that I had to find a solution to effectively finish unit 12.

Practical and Technical Problems:

When listening to the recordings of my voice samples for my power intro I heard that there was background noise, such as paper rusting, myself or a classmate giving the voice artist the sign to go. I tackled this issue by making sure that I EQ out any frequencies that i did not need, generally cutting under 140 Hz and trimming the high frequencies slightly to avoid excessive noise. I cut away the low end so that the voice samples low frequencies would not clash with the bass and such of the track being played. After I made sure that these two steps have been taken, I slightly boosted of trimmed the mid frequencies to make the voices more clearer in the mix.

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To get rid of the background noise in-between samples I cut the samples at the end of each word or sentence, so that I could also prevent the issue of them being cramped together. After having each vocal part split up into section that i could move about how  I needed, I came across another problem which was a popping sound. This problem occurred when i did not cut he samples precise enough at the end of a wave form, which was easily fixed by zooming into the audio file close to 100% and with pin point precision adjusting the cuts.

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Closing on towards the final steps of arranging my power intro I came across the question how I should end the introduction, or if it needed to end at all. At first I could not decide if I should slowly fade out my track, have a sudden finish if an effect such asa  boom and a whizz or just keep the last track playing. Since the intros and radio imaging SFX are using to maintain a forward moving motion of the broadcast I decided that the best option would be to keep the last track playing. After the intro is finished and the last track keeps playing the presenter or DJ will be able to take control over the show, using the faders or side chain to introduce themselves or talk to the listeners.

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During the production of my power intros I noticed that I had to bring the voices forward so that they are clear and understandable over the track that is playing in the background. I found several different techniques which I could use to make the audio more tighter, gluing them together with other parts of the intro. Using the OPTO compressor gave the samples a much more firm place inside the mix and a distinct tight feel onto of the track and in between the SFX samples. After I added a Ad limiter plugin so that my samples would gain more density, also resulting in the samples standing out of the mix more dominantly. Essentially a similar principle went for the sound effect samples in the sense that some of them needed some freshening up, by mainly choosing to use tight or squeezing compressor presets to have a direction to work with and adjusting the parameters to suite my needs.

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Another technique which I used to bring movement into my intro and also bring out the voice samples, was by using volume and panning in the automation in logic. I picked up this idea whilst analysing different power intro production guide videos on the internet, deciding to implement them into my own productions. I automated the voice to be panned slightly to one side whilst the track would pan maximum +8 / -8, to the opposite side of the voice. This allowed my to track a lot more space and movement throughout the mix and helps work towards solving my conflicting channels. Secondly whilst the pan automation was going working I also decided to use the volume automation to cut the volume level on the playing track by just under 2dB, which allowed for the voice samples to be heard clearer in the mix.

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Certain parts of the voice sample recordings were a little unclear and hard to understand, so i decided to repeat specific parts of the sample by using a delay; for example “the repent show” so that the listener has multiple opportunities to hear what is being said. Showing classmates my solution during the production phase, which was repeating the “show” section resulted in more of them understanding what was actually being said.

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Another problem that i came across is that when I recorded the voice samples I did not play back the track to myself or the vocal artists, resulting in the samples being out of tune to the different tracks. I fixed this noticeable issue by using the pitch flex tool in logic pro x to shift the pitches of the vocals up or down in notes, so that they match the track that is playing in the background. I found out the different keys of the tracks I was using by putting them into software that i had got earlier in the first year, called mixed in key. This software told me the different keys of the tracks so that I could then start changing the pitches of the vocals, so that everything was in key together.

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During the production of my power intros I did not keep an overview of how long my productions were getting and they ended up being around 2 minutes long. After listening to podcast intros, researching online and asking friends in college I decided I will have to cut them down to around 45 seconds. This was a simple problem to solve since i just arranged the cut up voice samples more tightly after each other and also tripping down the length of the tracks I was using from 16 bars to around 8 bars.

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I also did not know what exactly to do once all the information has ben given by the vocal samples and the last track was playing. I was stuck on the thought what would be the most ideal and efficient way to end my power intros. I finally decided against my second main option which was a sudden ending with a long lasting boomer effect and went with letting the final track play out. Choosing this solution I enabling more flexibility when using my power intro, keeping in mind that they are used to maintain flow and a forward movement in the show. The presenter will be able to take over control once the power intro has ended and it fades into the final track, giving the opportunity to talk over the playing track live and reintroduce yourself and interact with the listeners.

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After producing the arrangements of my power intros at phone mainly on headphones and listening to the result on my speakers at home, I noticed that I needed to take the next step in production and book a college studio to mix down my tracks. This was not much of a problem but more of a process that needed to be completed, so that my end result would reach the standard that I was aiming for. A problem would have occurred if I would have not mixed down my productions on speakers and instead kept the levels I had from file I did on my headphones. Luckily I got straight into a studio in the morning of college and could work on mixing down my tracks over the entire day into the early evening. Another great aspect of me using the college studio is that I could get people into the studio with me to gather different opinions on what I had done, or could improve.

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After completing the mixing down of my different power intros the next and final step towards making my production as professional as possible, was to book a mastering session with Craig in college to make my productions louder. I got a slot in time before the presentation which was essential to achieve a playback at a professional standard, without any problems that can occur in a sloppy production.

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While thinking about ideas on the best way to present all of my tracks conveniently at the performance, I came across the problem that I would have to playback all three of my intros at the presentation and the final tracks would go on for a couple minutes. Since I only had around 5 minutes to present I could not let each track play until the end and had to fade out each intro of the last track to 0dB, resulting in them being around 45-50 seconds long each instead of several minutes. That solved my problem with the intros going on for a long amount of time but not how me having to play each intro one by one. To get around this problem I decided to make a mini mix of all three of my power intros in logic, so that I would only have to play that audio file once and not each one after each other.

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Since I had bounced a version of all three power intros with a fade out at the final track, I could add each of the audio files to logic and just simply arrange them to play after each other. Once all these problems had been solved I was ready to present my productions to a live audience with confidence and to a professional standard.

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The final problems occurred during the process of preparing to record the vocal samples for each of the different radio shows. Before I could start using the VT-3 on the college computers I had to find Phillipe who had the admin password, so that I was able to install the driver software I needed for my Voice Transformer. I was able to download the driver software from the Roland AIRA website with the product number on my hardware, after this was installed I only needed to reboot the computer and it was working fine. I brought my own USB cable for my VT-3 so that I could simply plug it into the computer for sending MIDI and the college supplied me with a XLR cable, to record mono audio onto a logic file by plugging it into the sound card. This was also a better option to use the audio interface that the could supplied in the studio since we found that there was feedback coming from my laptops aux plugin, when we used a aux to quarter inch jack converter.

After I had setup the VT-3 in the college studio I noticed that when speaking into the microphone there was no audio signal coming into the mixing desk. Thankfully this was easily resolved by exchanging the leads that I was using for different ones, putting the broken one aside for Phillipe to avoid other people having the same issue.

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Theoretical Problems:

Feeding unit 11 into my final project was problematic for me since I did not see myself completing a such a huge task in 6 weeks, also being to overambitious to complete in that time frame. Deciding that it would be best to leave the idea of a club night in cambridge for a personal project in my free time, I also noticed it may be for the best to release my EP in my own time as well and essentially come up with a complete new focus point for Unit 12. I did not feel like it was the best time to force myself into releasing my first EP since I always put myself under so much pressure on the final assignments, I look forward to working on the tracks I have already started over the Summer so that I have my first release out.

Having the motivation to decide on a project that interests me but also provides me with more knowledge in fields from the past 11 units, i focused on either the promotion of an event or a radio show. The two main ideas eventually developed into the production of a power intro for a radio show broadcast because I felt like it would make me more viable in different fields of the music industry, also making me work more with samples in my productions. I was concerned about using exciting tracks from other artists for my power intros since it could fall under copyright infringement since I am using other tracks that are not mine in a project. The fact that the college pays for a PRS license solved this problem for me, including the fact that I would not commercially be selling or advertising my product.

To the beginning of the project I had a great problem with deciding on a topic to do my assignment on, being very indecisive on what would be the best choice for my final project would be. Speaking with classmates helped me gain an overview on the variety of different project that I could be deciding on. When i spoke to my teacher I gathered a great insight on the different possibilities of projects that I should be doing, also considering the facilities that the college has to offer. Researching into different possibilities that interest me online and in books from the library was informative to the different areas which needed to be covered, depending on the project focus point.

Before I started my productions I had to find out where I was going to get the different sound effect samples that I needed and also the different tracks, for the various power intros that I had planned. I already had a fairy large library of music on my laptop from DJing so I had no problem with needing more tracks for my power intros. I asked Malcolm in college what he thought my best option would be are he had gave me the website: free sound, which was the same one I had been looking through the night before. I came to the conclusion my best option would be choose 5 artists from free sound who have a large selection of radio imaging effects and download an extensive library of effects.

I only chose 5 artists’s sound effects because in my research I had found out that many radio station decide to use similar radio imaging in their broadcasts, for example so the listeners recognise a similarity in the shows with similar genres. The selection of the different tracks was important since I did not want to cause future problems regarding confusion of the listeners of what kind of music the radio stations show is broadcasting. I made sure that my weekends consisted of listening to the radio shows, so that I had an understanding of what kind of music was played and if I could use the music I have. After understanding the different radio stations shows genre choices, selecting tracks was simple and straight forward as I already had an idea of how I want the intros to flow.

Since I did not have professional voice actors for my vocal samples I decided to record my class mates voice and my own instead. I already had the information on the radio station name, show name, presenter / DJ name(s) and which day / time it is broadcasted; so all I had to do is write a short script for each recording. I did not include a slogan or catch phrase since I did not notice any except one that they played through out their daily show, so I decided it would be best if I did not change their identity / brand with a new slogan.

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Task 4:

Planning & Production:

Each of the seven links below show my daily project action plan and timetable which I have set myself, over the course of each week. The action plan also includes the resources that I will need for each task I set myself, the weekly evaluation being covered in task 6 (Evaluation & Reflection) later on in my blog.

WEEK 1
WEEK 2
WEEK 3
WEEK 4
WEEK 5
WEEK 6
WEEK 7

 

Task 5:

Practical Skills

By clicking on the following links below you can listen to my three power intro productions, for the radio station Code South.

Fresh Fridays:

CLICK HERE FOR: FRESH FRIDAYS SHOW INTRO

Berlin show:

CLICK HERE FOR: BERLIN SHOW INTRO

Repent show:

CLICK HERE FOR: REPENT SHOW INTRO

In this section I will be demonstrating the exploration, adaption and application of a range of practical methods and skills which I used in the realisation of my final project. Before I opened up logic to start my power intro productions I gathered a large library of sound effects that have familiar characteristics to them, which I showed interest in and I could see myself using in my vision. It was important for me to do my best to find SFX that would be recognisable between each of the power intros, since they are on the same station and have a dance music genre. I came across this in my research which showed me the importance of selecting sound effects with a reason, keeping the shows brand in mind. By using a variety of similar sound effects as a foundation between my power intros I was able to capture a recognisable identity for the radio station code-south, since the listener is able to hear the familiarities.

When looking for the different sound effects I went through a hand full of my favourite selected radio imaging producers who have created sound effects for a radio broadcast. These sound effects were to be mechanical, distorted, dark, atmospheric especially looking for builds ups / downs, sweepers, jingles and boomer effects. I found it important to incorporate a unique sound in each of the beginning sections of my power intro such as a motor starting up, tuning of a radio and a satellite signal coming in. I found that it would detailed for those who listen close  with a sharp ear whilst laying the several sweepers, jingles, boomers and other radio imaging samples that I had found to make the production sound fuller and more interesting.

I also spent a lot of time at home listening to the different shows on this radio station so that I could paint myself a picture of their identity and vibes in-between the three shows. Through my interpretation by listening to the shows I was able to judge what which sound effects would be best for my project. Once I felt comfortable with the audio samples I had gathered from different sources on the internet I had to choose three different tracks, for each of the three power intros being a total of nine tracks. My plan was to apply the music that I had already purchased because the quality of the tracks are a lot better than a youtube download / rip. I explored my personal music library doing my best to apply the track collection that I have to the different music genres on the three radio shows, with the alternative to purchase new tracks if I had to adapt.

Choosing the different tracks I would use in my power intros was one of the most important parts in my production process and also the final outcomes. This is because once I decide too use each of the tracks and stick with them they will be the same tracks I will present to the audience at college. Depending on my choice in tracks the listeners will perceive my productions different and also so the shows identities that I am representing with my work. Choosing tracks the are completley different to what the different shows actually air live in combination with no research into the different shows brands would be the opposite of what I aim to do.

Choosing different tracks for my productions:

Fresh Fridays show:

Since the show Fresh Fridays genre being house and its sub genre deep house I sorted my library my the genres and worked on picking selected tracks from there.

The first track I chose was “Animal Trainer feat. Otoridia – Our music (&Me Remix))” which I used as my introduction track for my power intro. I found that the beginning of the track had a very forward moving, build up type sound and reminded me of a moving train. I found this was a great track to use at the beginning since it had a simple structure, was interesting and fit in well as a attention grabber. I found the bouncy vibe that comes from the track fits the personality that reflects from the presenter of the show (Franky B Moore) and the mood that comes with the start to the weekend.

The second track I decided to use was “Stevie R & Ian Mckenzie – Beautiful Strange (Original Mix))” which was an ideal second track for my production. When I listened to this track I already knew where I wanted the transition into this track, since it grave a very dreamy, free and atmospheric vibe. Trying to capture the the identify of having a great time to the beginning of the weekend with great music, great banter and great occasional special guests. The deep bass line gives the listener the deep house which awaits them when tuning into the show, deciding to use the vocal sample in my intro to awake interest in the audience.

For the final track to conclude my radio shows introduction is “Doomwork – Dreamland (Supernova Remix))” which is a happy, feel good and up lifting tracks to set the listeners on their way. The tracks summarises and advertises the good vibes that come from the fresh fridays radio show, with the occasional dance theme played. Again still capturing the house vibes that are brought to the listeners in hope that the target audience gains enough interest in the combination of my selected tracks, so that they come and tune into the show.

BERLiN show:

The second power intro production I made was for the radio show called BERLiN, which captured the sound of Berlin with genres as Electronica and Tech House with some techno. The underground club night music that is aired gives the listener a joinery through the German melodic electronic music scene. This time sorting my library to find the various tech house and considering maybe techno tracks which I have that would suite the vibe given from the BERLiN show.

The first track that I chose for this production was “Zack Roth – Outland (Original Mix))”, which as in my previous power intro started off with an interesting and uplifting beat to grab the audiences attention. There was a part in the track with a long lasting crash cymbal which I urgently wanted to use after the beginning sound effects. The track represents the summer time feel good vibe that the station gives you, with a humorous presenter to keep the listeners entertained.

The second track that I chose for my power intro was “Robert Babicz – On The Streets”, which again capture the good mood and vibes that the show comes with. Whilst listing to a broadcast at home on code south’s online radio I heard a very similar track to this one and me living “On The Streets”, also having it in my library I thought it would be ideal to use. This track was probably the most similar to what I had heard on the shows that I listened to, or maybe this one just stuck in my memory the most. The listeners can enjoy this type of track at a normal volume at home, or at loud volumes with friends at a party streaming the online radio.

The final track that I decided to use was “Zusammenklang – Turning Back (Andreas HenneBerg Remix)). A lot of the music that Markus Saarlander mixes have these types of drums as well and was a great track to let the rolling synthesised bass drop in on the transition, from the 2nd track. The track still has a possessive vibe to it even though it can be more darker at times, also having a minimalistic style the BERLiN show follows.

Repent show:

The third power intro production that created was for the radio show “Repent”, late at night on fridays providing the listeners with legendary techno, ideal for those two want dark, minimalistic pumping beats with more ethereal tracks in between. This show if for all those two love the techno genre with its sub genres even until the middle of the night, ideal for a party with friends or those coming home from a night out looking for some more music.

The first track I chose was “Mononoid & Merel Wijnberg – Scare Quotes (Original Mix)), which was a great introduction to catch the audiences attention again. This being mainly for the tracks mysteriousness, ambient soundscape and minimalistic beat. This tracks fits in the with the dark vibe that comes with the radio show which also fits the theme of being late at night. Since not all the tracks are in your face, being more calmer sometimes this was a good choice to show the variety that I played on this show.

The second track which i decided to use was “Mononoid & Zonderling – Scarabaeus”, giving the audience a glance into the more aggressive, dark and bumping side of techno. I found this track very fitting i’m my power intros since it would get the listener pumped up with energy, Matt Torbuck also dropping in similar tracks in his mixes. This track was essential in my power intro to show a well rounded diversity of tracks which would intrigue the listeners to hear more.

The third track which i used for my production was “Stephan Bodzin – Wir” This track shows the listener the more ethereal side of the techno music and the show since it can be perceived as only rough and aggressive. I really saw this track being my final track because it the appreciator is very gripping, interesting and unique for the listener. I found with these factors it would be more likely to create a more authentic intro that would also appeal to a wider range of techno enthusiasts. I could also see how the transition from the second track could be done, at down beat part of the track where the isn’t a kick drum present with long lasting high frequency boomer / white noise effects.

Getting my power intros arrangements:

Once I had all three tracks and my audio samples I did a rough arrangement of what I had imagined my power intros to be like, experimenting with altering different sound effects and completing task 2: research.  This is where the actual production phase began of me putting together the pieces of my arrangements to create and perfect the practical side of my project. I will decided to write a generic overview of the different techniques I used throughout my productions, since maybe of them followed a guideline of the first blueprint I did with creative and educated alterations.

Here you can see the different arrangements of my three finished power intro productions:

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When listening to radio imaging productions precisely power intros for various radio stations, I noticed that they began with an array of sound effects which I had planned to incorporate into my productions. Watching different video tutorials on the process that different producers take when they make power intros showed me the same which I had heard listening to other intros, as you can see in the three pictures above. This knowledge gave me the confidence to stick with my decision to start of each power intro with sound effects, just needing to creatively layer the different samples I had gathered.

The combination of sound effects needed to come across smoothly as if they belonged together, progressing and building up to the drop of the first track as you can see in the picture above. It was important that all the samples were cut precisely on the end of a wave form not leaving any unwanted noises such as cracks or pops. I achieved my beginning arrangement by experimenting which effects go well together on top of my main sound effects such as the reversed starting motor, the static tuning of a radio or the dialling of a telephone. I chose these each of these audio samples the use as a fundamental strutter for the layers of my sound effects, which also adding an interesting element to the arrangement.

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Using boomer effects helped me marking parts of my arrangement with a impactful hits, such as the transition to the first track instead of only making sure that the first beat is in time / sync. These boomer effects I found in the logic audio library whilst researching into different sources to gain my sound effects samples from. They were a great essential to creating a powerful atmosphere in my mix, being very dominant over the tracks and other sound effects. I made sure to place the boomer sound effect sample precisely at the same place of the transition, hit or section I would like to highlight in my power intro; as you can see in the picture below:

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The sweepers helped me bring movement into the beginning section of my power intro, giving me the opportunity to creatively build up the effects to the first track. I had multiple samples that consist of mechanical, signal or white noise sweepers which had upward, downward and side to side movements. With these opportunities was able to create a steady motion building up towards the first track, with a smooth transition in-between the variety of layered effects. Again the fade tool in combination with the scissors became essential to making sure that only the audio which I needed in my mix would come out of the samples. I also used the fader tool instead of cutting some samples since I only wanted one section to be hear, but could not cut it without there being a noticeable pop or end to the audio. 

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The layering of the different sounds was just a creative process that took time till I felt comfortable with the arrangement I had produced, of course still needing to apply a variety of essential production techniques such as equalising the frequencies. I did not need to take much notice when selecting which samples I used since I had chose them to fit the stations image during my research, only focusing on not using exactly the same samples in each power intro. I feel like I had an experienced ear when spotting out which samples needed to be shifted towards or way from others, since I beat match tracks at mine close to on a daily basis. At this point I had not yet recorded my vocal samples for mr productions which was no problem since I could add and rearrange later to fit the needs of my projects.

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The transitions to the first track and between the follow two tracks throughout out the power intro were not as complex as the sound effect build up at the beginning. The transition were easily marked by the large selection of boomer effects that logic had to offer me, again always making sure that the waves forms of but channels align perfectly on beat. I very quickly learnt the importance of investing as much time as I needed to surgically placing the samples next to each other, by zooming is as far as I could in logic to sure sure that every samples does not start out of time. The transitions between the tracks were on the 1/4 beat of each track with perfectly cut samples, for the changeover to be smooth. I made the precise cut just before the first kick drum sets in and also the same at the end of the section I wanted to use, with no room for sloppy work or careless errors.

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I decided to keep the first tracks which are introduced to the listeners short so that they do not loose interest quickly, with the second track cut to around 30 seconds long and the last track playing out so the presenter can take control. I decided this total length would be the best option with each power intro playing for just under 1 minute, since I would have to play back my productions in front of an audience. In a live broadcast the power intro generally would not go on much longer anyway from what the research I based my productions on, since this would assist the listeners in loosing their attention.

Track arrangement picture

The reasoning to me choosing to let the last track play out is so that the presenter is able take control of the mix, love without an abrupt interruption or silence or transition in the show. Since each of the shows I chose are DJ mixes with live voiceovers the presenter is able to beat match their queued up track to the last track of my power intro, to continue the mix. I did not see much of a reasoning for a sudden ending of a slow fade out to my productions since this could be done on air if needed, just without the option of letting the track play out.

Live Recording & the Vocal Samples:

Whilst setting up the microphone and voice transformer with the studio equipment we could not use the aux in my laptop since this cause horrible feedback, so I used the audio interface the studio had. This feedback could have been picked up by the microphone during recordings causing problems at this stage in my power intro production. I did my best to be professional in the studio with a written script and being very precise with my directions to the vocal artists, so I could end up with a clear recording I needed. The recordings went straight from the vocal booth into a channel in logic, were I could playback the audio file for a verdict and judging if it needs to be redone. Once I was happy with the three different recordings that for each show I was able to bounce them as separate high quality .wav files, which I could take home to add to my previous arrangements.

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During recording I mentioned to the other recording artist that he should take breaks in-between the different pieces of speech, also keeping it in mind myself so that I was able to easily cut and separate each part in production. Utilising the same techniques when cutting the samples and tracks I used in my productions with the scissor tool, I separated each vocal sample so I was able to arrange them freely. Again it was very important not to be careless with the precision of cutting the samples, since I wanted my productions to achieve a professional standard.

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With the separated vocal samples I did not have to adjust the arrangements which I had prepared before the recordings, instead got to place them where I wanted also being able to change the order if I felt it was necessary. I decided to use the typical order that most power intros follow which listeners would be used to, by introducing the name of the radio station first, then the name of the radio show,  the DJ / presenter and finally what time / day the broadcast can be heard. I spread out the Vocal samples over the three tracks giving the listener more time to digest the music, making sure that no vocals covered the sound effects or transitions for a clear mix.

Vocal spread

The information tells the audience that the radio station is called code south was given over the first tracks, with the rest being placed strategically in-between the movement of the tracks. I tried my best to fit the vocal samples in-between kicks so that when the track comes back upfront in my mix, the kick dominates at its original volume instead of being lost under the vocal. I found that I had one vocal sample that stood out from the rest, a clear recording of me saying the radio stations name. I decided I would use this through out my productions to create another familiarity in-between them, with the selected sound effect samples and dance themed tracks.

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Plug-ins & Production

Once I had all the arrangements finished for each of my power intros the next step was to use the techniques I had gained for the production process, to bring the dynamics of my different channels out or upwards in my mix and making sure that no frequencies clash. Making sure that I do clean work at this point is essential if I want my final productions to reach a professional standard.

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EQ:

Using the equalisation plugin is one of the fundamental and most important tools which are used to shape and clean up a mix. With the EQ plug-in you are able to let multiple components sit and work together in your mix, which can be done discretely or very noticeably. By being able to control which frequencies are let through int to mix you are able to control the available bandwidth, making sure that there is enough space for everything in the mix. In my arrangement I avoided trying to fit different channels with similar frequencies on top of each other, so that they would not be playing at the same time. This would have most likely resulted in a muddy, unclear and unprofessional mix with to many elements clashing together.

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Here are a variety of different frequencies that I kept in mind whilst EQing my sound effects and vocals, since I did not EQ the tracks I used:

Sub Bass: 16Hz – 60 Hz

This bass is often felt and not heard since the frequencies can be to low giving the mix power and energy, to much EQ may make the mix sound muddy.

Bass: 60Hz – 250 Hz

These bass frequencies have the essential notes of the rhythm which helps making the mix become fat or thin, overdoing it makes the track very boomy.

Low mids: 250Hz – 2kHz

These frequencies resonant from most instruments and make up the lower end harmonics in the mix. 500 Hz  – 1000 Hz changes the sound of the instruments to the type of a horn and 1kHz 2kHz, to much will result in a telephone similar quality.

High mids: 2kHz – 4kHz

These frequencies help making vocals more recognisable by increasing the frequencies at 3kHz and lower the same on the music, so that the voice does not get lost in the mix. It was important for me to remember that boosting the frequencies of the high mids to drastically, could result in listening fatigue.

Definition: 4kHz – 6kHz

These frequencies help to bring out presence and clarity of different instruments and voices. When boosting these in the EQ the listeners is given the impression that that sound is closer to them, with the opposite happening when you lower  frequencies at around 5kHz.

Sparkle: 6kHz – 16kHz

These frequencies can be altered to change the clarity, sparkle and brilliance of different sounds, with to much boost resulting in a hissing or ringing.

SFX EQ:

I cut off the sub & bass frequencies out of most sound effect in my power intros so that the low end would not clash, such as boomer effects, vocals or bass from the tracks. Freeing up some of the bass frequencies allowed a lot more space for the important ones to come through that are to be heard. Many of the samples has unwanted frequencies that could not be heard anyway mainly in the sub and bass range, which would have caused unnecessary frequency clashing. I brought out the the low mid, high mids and definition of the sound effects so that they are in the cater of the mix and do not get drowned in the other sounds. Boosting the high mids and definition frequencies allowed me to give the different sound effect samples more brightness, giving them definition in my arrangement.

EQ

Depending on how which part of the samples I wanted in my mix I adjusted my EQ accordingly, only rarely leaving in the frequency range from 6kHz to 16kHz. I found that reducing the majority of the sound effects higher frequency range allowed me to use more sound effects in my layers, without there being unwanted noise in my mix.  For sub boomer effects at the beginning of my power intros I cut away the all the frequencies above 150Hz so that only the low booming sound would come through. This process took me a very long time to finish since it took a lot of experimenting to do until I could reach the perfection that I needed for a professional standard.

EQ 2

Track EQ:

I did not need to change any frequencies in the channels of the track since they had already need mixed and mastered, only had to turn on the EQ plugin on the channel. Though I utilised the automation control in logic to reduce the low and mid frequencies when the vocal samples came into the mix. I had to do this because the record enable button did not work on my audio channel and to make room for the vocal frequencies. With the record button I would have been able to draw out how, when and which I want the frequency to reduce and bring back in.

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Vocal EQ:

Each of the different vocals I had to EQ different since they each had different issues that they would have brought to the mix. I had to Cut of the high frequencies at 11kHz to refuse the fuzzy feedback noise that got picked up during the recordings, also needing to surgically cut a frequency at 9900Hz which was disrupting the mix. I also cut away the sub and bass frequencies until the low mids so that the vocals could not interfere with the bass of the tracks in the background. For the fresh fridays vocals I had to cut the low mids out at 910Hz because it was clashing with the tracks I had chosen, because I was very close to the microphone when i recorded it. For the other two power intro productions I boosted the low mids and high mids so that they would be more dominant and upfront in my mix.

Compressing

I adjusted the the parameters of the presets to my preference and what I needed to achieve my end result, by changing the threshold, compression ratio, makeup volume, attack, knee and decay time. The threshold gave me control over the minimum level of signal for the compression the take affect. Anything signals above this level will be the compressed according to the ratio I set, with any signals under the set level not being affected. The compression ratio allowed me to choose how much each sample would be compressed, generally choosing 2:1 – 4:1 but also ranging up to 8:1. This means that the chosen ratio would determine the amount of volume that the signal input would need to go over the threshold, for the output level to increase by 1dB. The attack determines how quickly the compressors reacts and when the compressors stops can be set with the release.

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The makeup volume explains for itself being able to adjust the amount of dB output, either increasing or decreasing it if I needed it down be louder in my arrangement. Knee gave me options on what the compressor would do when the threshold crossed. This gave me the alternative to apply the complete amount of compression to the set threshold-point, or decreasing the knee so that the range increases and I apply an increasing ratio of compression before the threshold-point. This gave me the option to have a direct, aggressive and dominant compression type or choose to soften down the signal making it more gentle as it goes past the threshold-point; ranging from 0.0 – 0.8 knee.

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I used three of the seven compressors in logic pro x them being Vintage FET, Studio FET and Platinum Digital, each having great presets to give me a selection of compressors for different uses / needs. The Vintage FET has a very fast and aggressive style and is an emulation of the “UREI 1176 Silver Face”, This piece of hardware had the same controls as the “Universal Audio 1176 but the same components were not shared between them. The OPTO tight preset allowed me to make the layers of sound effects which I had more compact, solid and gluing them together seeming as if they flowed off the back of each other. By tightening up different sound I was able to create a more dynamic flow between the transitions of samples and a more defined mix.

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The OPTO squeezed presser gave me a compression type which made my audio seem pushed forwards and giving the audio more mass or pressure. This allowed me to fill up the overall sound of my mix if sections sounded empty or to incomplete, also defining the motion of the different sound effects. I also used the OPTO vocal 01 preset as a blueprint for fresh fridays power intro after listening through the different options looking for the most suited for making the vocal sample fatter. By turning up the knee I found that I would easily shift the vocals on top of the background track and in front of the mix.

Compressor

The Studio FET compressor type emulates the hardware version called Universal Audio 1176, having the same controls as the Vintage FET other than knee. This is famously used for compressing drums giving very aggressive and in your face results, which were ideal for my productions needs. I used the type U aggressive preset on the vintage FET to bring out the sub sonic boom sound effect, making it more booming, massive and impactful. I needed the boomer sound effects to be very distinct and noticeable in my mix, with a large amount of power on the impact. I also used the type U high gain preset on sweeper sounds or noise build ups since this also made them more stunning,  noticeable and expressive. The sweepers building up the boomer sound effects right he right type of compressor made for a big soundscape with the gripping character.

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The final compressor type that I adapted in my production was logics genetics platinum digital compressor, which compressed very clean and fast without any additional vintage perks. The reason for choosing this type of compressor was because the Narration vocal preset really helped my vocal sample, for the berlin show get clarity, depth and power in my mix.

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Limiting

I used limiters to reduce peaks in my audio samples also increasing the perceived loudness of my sounds. The threshold allowed me to control the level at which the signal is limited and the outer ceiling control gave me the option for what I wanted toe maximum out level to be. I decide to use the adaptive limiter which rounds and smoothed my samples peaks, adding analogue characteristics also since the samples had been already mixed and the tracks mastered too.  I was able to achieve a maximum gain throughout my mix by using the adaptive limiter, without any unwanted distortion unless I pushed the limits. I found that leaving the outer ceiling at 0.0 dB and increasing the gain by 3dB, I was able to great density on all the different channels without any clipping.

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Reverb

This plug allowed me to create the sound of a space on different channels, giving them more depth and fullness. I chose the use the space designer reverb out of the four that logic pro x has to select from, adding character and making the different sounds become alive. I mainly used reverb on the vocals so that I could give them more a overall more alive sounding voices, but also on some effects to create short slap-back room environments. For example I used the reverb on the tuning radio sample to emulate the way it would sound if someone was tuning it in the small room, the listeners would be in. Using the reverb tool gave me mix a more realistic depth, character and more life.

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I mainly had the dry output level nearly full at -3dB with the reverb output at -24dB increasing the reverb output by +2dB every two vocal samples, which created more space, progression and variation. Making sure that I did not overdo the amount of reverb used and the original sound does not loose its character or distant place in the mix. I also did not want a long decay time since the reverbs tail would have interfered with other components that come into the mix, since the reverbs decay time would feed over the other tracks.

Controls rev

I could shape the overall sound of the reverb with the volume env with simple feature such as attack, decay and the initial level, giving me more possibilities for a fast ending tail and decay time and a slow, sweeping attack. Using the elope helped me shape the tail of my different reverbs so that I could precisely choose where I wanted the decay to begin, end and the rate at which this would happen. This gave me a lot of control over how this plugin was effecting my mix, allowing me to organise and shape the characteristics so they suited my productions arrangements.

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The filter env gave me the the capability to control the amount of filter effects that effect different parts of the reverb, from beginning to the end. I used the 6dB low pass filter with 0.60 resonance since I found that I did not want any drastic changes to the sound of the vocals, only needing to give them a realistic sounding space. The density env control was also helpful since I could create a unique impulse response to how I needed, changing the level and timing controls for the overall sound of my revel reflections. The wet and dry output controls on the right side on the reverb window allowed me to decide how much of the original signal would be let through and the level of reverb output that can be heard.

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I generally left the the dry output at -3dB with the wet output at around -24dB to -26 dB, since I found this had the most similarities to a realistic, hard, small room. I used the pre delay to determine how long it would take for my set reverb to come in as soon as a audio signal is detected. The IR start control came handy when needing deciding on the part of the IR sample the reverb comes in with the spread control allowing me to change the stereo-width of the sound. The combination of using all these controls allowed me to preachily tailor the reverb of each sound, exactly to my productions needs.

Controls eq rev

I decided to stick with room type reverbs which gave me a large selection of different sized spaces for my smaller sounds, using halls for more larges samples such as boomer sound effects. This allowed me to control the depth of each channel and how big the listener perceives the space.

Delay

This plug-in allowed me to create multiple repetitions of a audio signal similar to a decaying echo, by utilising this effect. The delay is an audio effect that recorded my a sample such as my sound effect or a vocal and repeats this recording after a chosen amount of time. I used this to create a dreamy, spacious and atmospheric effect of effects such as the radio scanning sample, at the beginning of the fresh fridays power intro.

DELAY SFX

I decided to choose the delay designer over the sample, tape and stereo delay plug-ins since I wanted to learn more about it and knew that it was a multi-tap delay. This gave me the option of having multiple delays which allowed me to freely edit and create delay effects that I could not have achieved with the other three plug-ins. This also gave me an opportunity to look deeper into the delay designer plug-in sign I have been using tape and stereo in a lot of my previous productions.

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I used the delay designer to repeat a part of the vocal sample in the repent show, that tells the audience the show of the name; “the repent show”. Since the recording was not very clear and understandable I decided to repeat the “repent show” section twice, after the original sample ended. The first tap was 1 second after the beginning of the original sample and the second tap was at 1,875 seconds, which gave the listener more opportunities to understand what was being said since at first it sounded like “The Repent sholl”. Not only did this help the sample to become more comprehensible but it also gave the vocals an attractive element, which also was aimed to awake interest in the listener.

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The echo plug-in let me give the listeners a reflection of the original sound effect, with similarities to the delay audio effect. I kept the repeat slider under 20% on all the different channels I applied the echo to so that effects would repeat and morph into each other, creating an attractive movement in the sound effects for the listeners. I did not want to change the colour slider since this would have affected the harmonic content of the delay signal, which I found was ideal at the default setting of 37.

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I left the dry slider very as I previously did with my reverb and delay since I wanted a strong original signal to be heard, lowering the wet output so that there is significantly less effect signal. I did not find it necessary to use any presets since I already knew I wanted to use the  timescale of 1/8 and 1/4 for different effects, since I found it fits in best with the background tracks.

Tremolo

I used the tremolo plug-in on a sweeper sound effect which added a rapid side to side motion to the audio sample. By altering the amplitude of the channels signal I was able to create a steady movement with repeated changes in the volume. With the depth slider I was able to control the amount of modulation which would occur to the signal setting it to 64%, with the display giving me a visual representation of the changes I was making. I set the frequency of the LFO to 1/16 by changing the rate knob, which gave me a very fast and strong tremolo effect with shorter strokes.

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Phraser

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This plug-in allowed me to create a shifted audio with frequencies cancelled out, whilst others are combined together. The peaks and troughs created by the phaser gave my vocals a sweeping movement, that progress through the frequency spectrum. I did not want to overdo the intensity of of the effect since this would have make the vocal samples a lot harder to understand, which was not my intension when using this plug-in. I wanted to add an electronic and mechanical element to my vocal samples, also giving them a little more movement in my mix.

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In the phaser feedback section there is a lowpass and high pass knob which allowed me to trim down the frequency range that was affected by the filter. The low pass frequency was set to 7500Hz and the high pass to 300Hz, since the vocal EQ was in this range and I wanted the entire sound to be affected by the filter. I chose to set the feedback at 43% which was a effective amount to change the vocal sample, without the effect taking over the voice and the listener not being able to understand what is being said.

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Setting the ceiling and floor slider in the phaser sweep section I was able to determine which frequencies I wanted to my affected by the LFO modulations, setting the ceiling to 6200Hz and the floor to 830Hz. This gave me vocals a large range of frequencies which would be modulated by the phaser, which I also wanted similar to the high & low pass filter frequencies. I decided that using the presets phaser algorithm of 6 in the order slider, since it made the vocals feel most dominant in comparison to others and the way light effect it had on my vocals.

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In the phaser LFO section I was able to close the different speed of each of the two LFO’s, deciding to use 0.14Hz for LFO 1 and 0.94Hz on LFO 2. Since I had my LFO 1 as my primary with 71% in the mix I needed to put my slow moving modulation on this LFO. For the second LFO I put a slightly faster speed (0.92Hz) so that an interesting movement would be created in-between both LFOs. The LFO mix allowed me to choose the radio between the two and which one I wanted to bring more upfront than the other.

Spreader

SPREADER

I used this plug-in to widen the stereo spectrum of the vocal samples that I had recorded, since they were a mono signal. This allowed me to change the perceived width of the vocals giving the listener the a stereo impression, since the effect systematically shifts the frequency range my different samples. Since I wanted the maximum modulation amount I turned the intensity slider to 100%, the same for the mix slider which let me balance the amount of effect coming through into the mix.

CLA Vocals

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I used this plug-in which from waves because I found that it works well of a variety of different vocals that I have used in personal music projects, giving muddy voices life. I used this so that my vocal records get cleaned and freshened up, making the voice more defined with the different effects that come with this plug-in. I decided not to use the compressor, reverb, delay or pitch sliders in the CLA vocals because I found I could be more precise with the different logic effects, with the larger selection of controls than one fader.

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Though the bass and treble effects with the three different selections made a positive difference to my vocals like day and night when mixing the high and low end. On the vocals with my classmates voice I used the bass effect to boost the upper regions, making them a lot more clear, solid and defined in my mix. For my own vocal records I used the bass effect for to bring out the lower part of my voice.

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I found that when adjusting the treble faders and looking through the different EQ settings that bite and top worked out best for my different mixes. The bite feature pinched my vocals adding a slight static effect to them which blended in well with the track in the background and suited my vocals. I used the top feature of bring out the high end of my classmates vocals making them a lot of clearer and natural.

Other Techniques:
Pitch flex

I had to use this feature in logic because the pitches of the vocal samples were not in tune with the tracks I had selected for my power intros, resulting in my mix being out of key and not sounding right. In my preparation I had already found out the different keys of the nine tracks that I used in my DJ software called ‘Mixed in Key’, so I only had to shift the pitches accordingly. Pitch flex was the better and easier option for me since I could set the key which I needed each sample to be instead of moving around faders without the seeing which key I am in.

FLEX PITCH

Automation

Throughout all three of my power intro productions I used the automation feature in logic, to control the panning & volume levels of different track and vocal channels. I had picked up these two techniques whilst researching into how radio imaging producers create their power intros, adapting some of their approaches.

Panning:

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I used panning automation on both the vocal samples and the tracks I used, which made them both drift to opposites sides. I didn’t want to have a designated side for either the track or the vocals, so that there would be a variation each time a new vocal comes in. I needed to make three points of both the tracks and vocal samples for this method to take effect, one at the beginning of the vocal sample, one in the middle and one at the end. When I raised or lowered the pan to either + or – 7dB I could control if the audio would pan to the right or left speaker.

PANNING 2

This technique allowed me to separate the two different audio signals in the space available in my mix, instead of them being placed in the centre on top of each other. This also assisted in the listener being able to distinguish both of the audio sources and hear out the information that is given from the vocal samples.

Volume:

I also utilised the volume automation for both the vocals and the tracks again, being able to control the dB level coming from the different channels in selected sections of my arrangements. I was able to bring down the volume of the track which was playing so that the volume should come through better in my mix.

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This technique helped me bring out the vocals in front of the track playing, bringing it into the background because the vocals were a lot louder than the music. The automation control again let me precisely choose where I wanted this process to happen, making sure that everything was on point for no delays. I tried my best to fit the vocal samples in so that the volume automation would not end up cutting off a kick drum, instead when the volume gets boosted to its original the kick comes through punchier.

VOLUME 2

Panning:

I used the panning controls on the mixer in logic to distribute, and spread of the different sound effects in my arrangement. I want able to control each channel by using the knob to position the different sound effects along a clock like representation, from left to right. I moved the positions of the knob from 12 o’clock to generally around 11 to 1 o’clock, which made different channels pan more to the left or the right. I used this feature to spread of the signal of the sound effects into a stereo field, adding space into my mix.

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I did not pan the vocals or the track using this feature since the music had already been produced and I had no need for either of them to be permanently panned to one side. Through shifting the monaural signal of the sound effects I was able to spread them out from all being aligned in the centre of my mix. I tried to avoid all my signals being in the centre of my mix since this has generally been the most crowded and busiest place in my stereo mix. This also allowed me to have sound effects coming in from the side towards the tracks playing, instead of having them lay on top of each other.

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I always left the boomer effects in the centre of my mix the same way I would have done when producing music with a kick drum. Panning this sound effect to the left or the right would have made the boomer loose its power and sound out of place. For sweeper, noise effects and other radio imaging jingles the panning tool was essential to create space between them to a very high standard.

Bus:

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I used the bus function to send audio signals to a bus channel where I could group the different components of my mix. I generally used the bus to send the different vocal channels to one channel where I had additional control to all the different vocals levels, with the option to add additional effects to to the strip. I did not lower the level of the send keeping it at +0.0dB so that there was no change in the volume level being sent. The faders then allowed me to lower or raise the vocals levels to the volume that I need them in my mix.

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Putting and EQ on the bus channels and compressing it let me glue together the different signals making them seem more together.

Mixing & Mastering:
Mixing:

Once I had all my arrangements finished and applied all the effects or plug-ins, I listened to each production before I bounced them. I made sure that all the levels of each channel would not go be in the warm levels (orange / red), since I wanted to try avoid any distortion caused by clipping. At this point I was happy with everything that I had added to my productions, which I could not change without bouncing a new file. I bounced each power intro productions channels into separate stems so that I could mix them down in a college studio. After booking the studio and importing the different audio files onto logic on the college computer, I started to mix down my production.

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Having each channel as a separate stem like in my original logic project helped me have control over every single channel, instead of having grouped them up by bouncing some together. I tried to blend all the different signals to make my mix sound as good as it could. For some of the effects I fine tuned some of the top mid and sparkle frequencies so they were not as crowded. I added compression on one channels to glue different sound effects together and overall enhance my original mix. The college speakers in the studio and the isolated environment gave me the time and peace I needed to turn the volume up and make precise changes to assess frequencies in my mix. I had to make sure that the master output of my mix would not go above -6dB, since Craig would not want to master these productions.

Mastering:

Once I had my three power intro productions mixed down I bounced each of them into one stem this time, separately so that I could get them mastered.  The mastering session with Craig was extremely helpful to finalise my production, multi band EQ or compressing and utilising the expensive, analogue modelled plug-ins that the mastering suite offers. Craigs knowledge and experience helped me balance the different signals in my mix to create a great sequence, allowing me to attend the cut which was an learning experience for myself.

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The UAD plug-ins allowed Craig to make my productions a lot louder, clearer and the best it could possibly sound, ready to be presented to an audience. He controlled the dynamic range of my mix and balanced the tonal levels, trying to fix any outstanding problems with my mix. After Craig was finished mastering each of my three power intro productions he bounced them in high quality onto my memory stick.

Task 6:

Evaluation & Reflection

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Week 1:

To the beginning of starting my final project I had to make a decision on what exactly to base my project on and if it would be reasonable to use my Unit 11s idea, of organising a club night in cambridge. I struggled to see myself organising and promoting my night in time for the deadline, up to the standard that I had imagined the gig. Since I have never been to visit any of the venues before and not built up a network of contacts that support my goals and assist me in achieving my plans. Since I decided to keep the plan to promote a gig in cambridge for when I move there for University, I thought it would be best for me to choose a project topic where I can try something new. To help myself planning this in the future I will need to stay proactive in my practical skills as a DJ and also work on getting into contact with people who are already promoting in the area, even just a job at the venue so I am present. Scouting out local talents who fit into the vision in my own time will be essential, along with establishing a brand for myself as an artist along with a separate identity as a promoter. The past 11 units this course made me notice that to start performing regularly at a gig I will need to present myself and my product, which I have not yet fully established other than my artist alias.

I came to the conclusion that my final projects topic would be something where I can implement the skills and knowledge that I have gained over the past 2 college years, improve and develop my gathered experience. Looking at the situation I am deciding to put myself into I wanted to gain as much knowledge and practice I could in the final stages of the course, also choosing a project topic to scrutinise an area of music technology I have yet uncharted. Producing and real easing a EP, single or album would have definitely been a viable option for me since I already had a hand full of tracks that I was working on. I tend to put myself under heavy pressure when such big events are happening such as finishing college, putting me in physical pressure which I would not like to produce my very first EP under. Releasing my first EP is something very special to me and would have to be perfect before I could consider releasing it or sharing it with family and friends. Even though the time spent with the practical work of producing my EP would benefit my experience with a doubt, I decided it was best not to focus on my music for my final project but rather in my own time.

I was scared of the thought of there being a chance for time to run out before my productions would reach the standard that I and the market sets it to be. I also decided against the idea of producing music because like I mentioned before, I wanted to explore a new territory using the experience that I have acquired. I wanted to show myself a different type of production for a very relevant market other than releasing music, also gaining and developing new knowledge and skills by doing so. The same principle goes for my idea of hosting a live radio show in college since I have experience DJing and have had a loo into the radio studio facilities on campus. Even though practice on different equipment than my own is always constructive, I did not see myself gaining sufficient experience doing something I am already familiar with in my final weeks at college. I also did not want to have to take up time from other students at college who are most likely also working on their final projects, my other solution being a show which I host by myself. As I would have enjoyed mixing tracks with live voice over it turned out to look like I would have to station myself in the control booth next door, where the show is run from.

The teachers of my course asked me to consider organising / promoting the leaving gig for all students at college instead of my vision of a club night in Cambridge. After reflecting on the tasks which needed to be done to bring the event up to high standards, under the circumstances of me having to rely on college staff and unclear dates I came to conclusion that it would be best to do a project for myself. As much as planning a small college gig would have benefit my experience in promoting an event I found it would be best only have to calculate my own decisions for my final project. The last idea that I had in mind before i came to my decision was to write a business for the release of a record label, but it did not take me very long to determine that it is not the right time for me to start such a large scale proposal. As I do not have a sufficient network to base this company around I saw this idea as a to big of a step and risk with my current experience and budget.

I came to the decision to do a power intro for a radio session whilst texting with my father and started listening to a mix for a radio station. I noticed that at the beginning there was an introduction made from sound effects and tracks which set a vibe, but also gave the listeners information about the show. Since I was urgently looking for a topic for my final project and was interested in how these were produced, I decided it would be a very good idea to look into. With the skills and knowledge that I have gained over the past 11 units I saw myself being able to use my DAW to more potential than producing music. I saw positive benefits and a opportunity to improve on my experience in production, whilst showing myself that I am able to produce others work than music. I also thought it would be make my portfolio more interesting to employers, having a variety of different productions which are viable in different fields of the music industry. I would also be able to apply and work on my different studio recording techniques, which I find I am not as confident in on top of benefiting my production techniques.

The facilities which the college have to offer are ideal for choosing to produce a power intro because there are the different studios, professional mixing desks, high quality microphones, experienced & helpful staff, acoustic treatment and the students. The different studios in the college are great since I am allowed to book them to work on my intros, also giving me an opportunity to raise the volume on speakers instead of on headphones or through my mixer at home. This will give me the opportunity to get my productions arrangements sorted out in a studio setting  and then move onto mixing down my tracks, before mastering them conveniently by booking a session with my teacher. The college has a large array of different equipment such as microphone which students are allowed to borrow for projects, which I can defiantly use for my vocal recordings since my personal STC-80 is not as suited for it. The presence of the different staff members and students on campus will benefit my project when I will need assistance in completing tasks, or their constructive feedback.

Developing my final projects idea in the middle of week one was essential to gain a precise vision of my productions, giving me tasks to complete and work towards. Generally researching into power intros and radio imaging helped me gain a great overview to what exactly they are used for and how they are produced. I noticed that power intros mainly use tracks from known artists instead of in house productions and the college PRS license would allow me to do the same, similar to a license a radio station would have for royalties. It was a good decision to start listening to different power intros from a variety of radio stations to progress my understanding of how power intros can be used for different shows. I also gained an overview of the different radio shows brands that are advertised to the listener and the general vibe they aim to give.

Overall for the first week I could have accomplished more towards starting my project since at first I struggled to leave my past Units proposal behind, taking me a lot more time to come up with a new project than I would have wanted. I am happy that I luckily came across a a topic which I am really interested in and can gain great knowledge and experience from, giving me an opportunity to learn something new and improve on my skills. I find that at the end of the week I found a vision of what it was exactly what I wanted to produce and now needed to keep developing on that idea.

Checking out books at the library were essential to having another source for secondary research other than the internet, but I whilst I read parts of the books I noticed that I was gather more information online than me reading. I think this must have been a combination of myself not being fond of books, books being harder to identify where to locate information, being restricted to the books you have and also my dyslexia. Still it was a great alternative resource that the college offered, giving me with the research needed for my final project.

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Week 2:

At this point I was aware that I will be starting my EP and club night in my own time as a personal project. In the second week of my final project I started the written work for my project proposal which helped me prepare towards the realisation of my project, since I was still contemplating theoretical questions. The three sections covered rationale, project concept and evaluation which helped me determine the stand point I was in and what my projects fundamental is. At the beginning of the second week it was time to look deeply into the specification sheet for each of the sections, also reviewing the 7 tasks to gain an overview of what it was I needed to do. Spending time reading through the UCAS spec gave me a list of detailed descriptions and definitions of each assessment and grading criteria. Copying the text out of the specification sheet into a separate document and splitting the text up into bullet points so that it was more over viewable, helped me see what exactly I needed to cover in each section.

I started off by writing my rationale which covered my achievements and progress throughout the past 11 units, including the different skills and knowledge that I have gathered. This section gave me a overview of what I achieved over the two years, giving me a summary of the different area that we went through. I also had to give myself time to reflect on what exactly music and its technology meant to me before I started this course and how that has changed over the time spent at this college until today. Putting in depth thought into the past units also gave me an opportunity to consider my long term apparitions and where I could see myself in the future. This also gave me an understanding of the importance of choosing a project that have benefits and influences, on my desired pathway to be producing as a career. Looking back over my previous notes and finished assignments gave me a feeling of accomplishment and motivation to complete the final project, to end off my time on this course.

Getting my projects concept written out helped me stick with a focus point for my assignment, since I and to clearly explain my projects plan, aim and personal contribution. Choosing to produce a power intro gave myself the opportunity to add a more diverse range of projects to my portfolio, also developing my current knowledge before I finish this course. This also helped me realise that I would like to produce a intro for a radio station show which broadcasts a dance music mix session with a DJ. The concept section also made me think about the different resources which I could use to my advantage and which are essential to complete the project to a professional standard. At this stage I also realised at what importance the weekly plans are, especially when aiming to do distinction level work. I could have spent more time considering how I would want to my work to be perceived, also including myself as a brand. Thinking back if I would have chose to do a radio show or broadcast I would have been able to give other students opportunities to record a piece of work for their portfolio, if I would have chose to do one for my final project.

Starting to write section evaluation gave me a opportunity to consider different ways to reflect on my work progression as a on going processes. I realised that I needed to consistently need to be tracking and noting my projects progression in blog posts, document all my research, problems, changes, ideas also entering all details and tasks I complete. Evaluating and reflecting on my progression and decisions found out the strengths and weaknesses in them, which could affect the outcome of my final project or production. My course tutor Craig asked us to fill in SMART targets regularly with tasks that we set ourselves for the week, this gave me the opportunity to enter a review date which I could see if I had completed what I had set myself to do. Deciding to do a brainstorm about the different aspects which I wanted to cover in my project on radio show power intros, helped me create a visual representation of the tasks I had to complete.

I am a visual learning so I found this method came very useful to me, also giving me an opportunity to come up with new ideas which I would add to the brainstorm. Once I had planned out the different sections which I wanted to cover in order to complete my project. The extent of the different sections in my brainstorm made me realise that in the timeframe that I had, I would rather stick to only producing for a radio station instead of including other areas just as a college radio station intro and post cast recording. By choosing to  only concentrate on producing different power intros instead of more projects I allowed myself to put more effort into them, aiming their standard up to one of a professional. Listening to different radio imaging and power intro productions on youtube, sound and other music platforms helped me gain an insight of what the market was asking for and the variations I could be producing.

I also gained a more clear vision of how exactly I wanted to produce my intros and also which sort of sound effects I was going to use. I had noticed that generally in each dance station show power intro there are 3-5 sections of different tracks that are mixed together. I came to the decision to use three tracks since I do not have a lot of information to give the listeners / record. The intros with 5 tracks are generally from famous artists with voice recordings of them, were they introduce themselves and the radio station. These tracks and voice recordings are then combined together with jingles, sound effects and creative music production technology techniques and skills which I also intended to do.

Towards the end of the second week I started with the first task of the project requirements which was the written context blog post. I found that i would be benefiting experience in different areas such as music production, audio engineering, radio broadcast marketing and a general further insight of logic pro x. I also got an opportunity to explain my dance power introductions and different tracks which I would use, which was very useful since I could roughly plan ahead already. I am sure I could have written more in the context section looking over it after I was finished, maybe taken some out of my concept from section 1. I decided I would have to catch up in the later weeks, tweaking and refining both parts which I would be doing anyway.

Over all in my second week I feel like I did not get as much done working on the actual projects body, but it was necessary to complete the three sections since they were part of the final projects content. Getting these three sections complete and focusing my concentrating more on them allowed me to efficiently get them completed, being the foundation of my works progression. Doing these three sections gave me an opportunity to look back over the past 11 units and the entire course, also reflecting on how this has changed my perspective of music in general. I gained a more in depth overview of the weight and amount of work which I would have to complete for my project, to cover all the contents tasks in depth to achieve my most potential. Starting to gather a couple documents with rough research on different areas that give me a better understanding of how power intros are used in different radio station broadcasts.

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Week 3:

In my third week of working on my final project I executed more in depth research into different areas would come in useful to project and my progression through it. The research understand in this week game me a detailed insight into what and how radio imaging is used in a live broadcast, also interesting facts about the marketing techniques and strategies to catch the listeners attention.   Deciding to look into the background of radio imaging gave me a better understanding of how jingles, sound effects, sweepers, power intros help maintain the movement of a show, also awaking interest in the listeners. During the process of my research I noticed that keeping the point in consideration that this is very important in combination with capturing the brand and shows identity in the production. Looking in general radio imaging and how it is used made me understand that I would have to know the radio station shows images to fully be able to capture the vibe that they are giving the listeners in my productions.

From this point on I decided it would also be best to research into the different information which power intros give the listeners, deciding that the best way to do so was listen to them myself. Listening to them myself made me confident about the information that I gathered, but also let me know the different key facts that I would need to cover in my intros. After a general look into radio imaging I also set myself the task to listen to different a hand full of chosen radio shows in the near future, where I could be able to efficiently apply my style of music. I feel like I could have continued earlier research in week 2 to do everything in one process, but in the end I got the overview which I was aiming to have. I find it was important to have an overall research section of my blog as I said to gain an understanding of what radio imaging is today, but I find the origin and reason to creation also important and interesting. If I gain and overall insight to the progression from creation until today I felt like I would be able to produce my intros more to a professional standard, by not only having the facts but also the reasons.

Again the college library had a small section on radio broadcast with a chapter on the history of broadcasting in the UK. I found it was important to focus my research on the music industry in the UK instead of focusing on Europe or world wide, but not ignoring the important influences on radio imaging coming from over seas. During the process of looking into the different shows and brands I thought that it would also be important to incorporate the identities of the different shows hosts or DJs, since this would give me a more rounded vibe to follow. The best way that I found to do this was to listen to their shows and read through articles that either interviewed or spoke about the different presenters. I am glad I went to look back at different notable radio imaging producers as a classmate had mentioned it to me in a conversation, firstly it being primary research and also having something that I am able to show as examples. The progression of my research developed as I covered more areas, thinking of new topics which I should be including and adding to make this task as thorough as possible.

Looking into different producers and presenters on various platforms such a mixcloud, soundcloud, youtube and also live broadcasts instead of just recorded ones, helped me understand the different characters which are on air. Each of the producers had their own style of making their radio imaging but I gained and insight on the noticeable differences between them and how they can be implemented into different shows. I not looked into the different pieces of work they produced but also for which companies they were for, so that I can gain a understanding what their aims and intentions could be. I notice that there are a variety of different radio imaging productions and it would take time and precision for me to explain my project to someone else, for them to also understand the shows identity I would choose in the near future. I convinced myself that having a more in depth research  on my projects topic and the history of it would only benefit me conveying this concept / information.

Understanding the different jobs and tasks that my notable producers have done in the past also helped me interpret how useful radio imaging comes to different companies and how they present themselves. I was surprised by the different techniques and reasons to using certain sounding SFX or jingles and what effect they had on the listener. I found it vital to incorporate these techniques into my productions such as using SFX with similar characteristics to make the different intros recognisable and a familiar sound throughout the shows. This was very important to maintaining a vibe that was recognisable throughout the different shows, since they are all on one radio station with a dance music theme. I found the best way to get my own idea of how the show presents itself was to listen to broadcasts at home and note down anything that comes to my mind. Using this method gave me a wide range of information about the radio stations shows from simple things like the names, types of presenters, music genres played, brand identity, slogans or catch phrases and what types of radio imaging they currently use.

Coming up to the end of the week I had to make a decision a radio station and a minimum of three shows to produce my power intros for my final project. I wanted to get this decision done so that I could start focusing on the specific radio stations shows identities, also giving me more time to listen to their shows and gain an image of their brands. I took the time I had left in this week to start looking into the radio station Code South, identifying the different key points that make the shows what they are. I found if very important to invest in recognising the different vibes which each radio show gave me and the similarities between them. I tried to make sure that all different points in my research would feed into my production, gaining as much relevant material as I could.

Overall this week i came to understand the importance of different types of branded radio imaging for the variations of radio stations. Grasping the concept of radio imaging from its core was also important in achieving a production to a professional standard, with confidence and flare if having to showcase my work or explain my projects concept. I looked into different possible shows that fit my projects theme, researching into their identity and capturing this to be incorporated in my productions.

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Week 4:

The forth week of my final projects progression I was concentrating on getting more research done on top of last weeks, starting off by looking deeper into the general history of house & techno music and their sub genres. I found it was important to look into the origin and development of the genres, especially in the UK. This was beneficial to my project so that I got some knowledge on the house and techno scenes in the UK, not have grown up here or having a lot of experience with UK tracks. Covering more areas in my research also gave my project a well rounded foundation of information to refer back to and work off. Reading through what defines the two genres and listening to examples, basically gave me a guideline to choose the tracks which I would like to use for my power intros.

Looking into early productions and comparing them to tracks from today gave me an opportunity to show the differences and development on my blog. In addition to that I came across influential artists finding connections between them and my personal favourites, making me approach them more enthusiastic and open minded. I made sure to make a small portfolio of tracks to add onto my blog so that the reader is able to see a progression in the two genres, searching for old school tracks and adding some from today out of my library. I decided to ask Craig one of my teachers if he has had any past experience in radio shows, or if he could get me in touch with someone to interview. Luckily his girlfriend is a radio DJ / presenter and producer who he would try arrange an opportunity for me to email her a questionnaire. I found an interview or questionnaire with a professional who is currently in the business very important because I would be gaining primary research, which is essential to having a thorough and reliable information base.

I decided to track down Phillipe in college who would be able to give me information on the different equipment that the college has to offer, inducing advice which is best for my intentions. Instead of me researching for a specific model or brand which is known and stated to be good on the internet, I thought it would be better to see what is the offer and get a professional opinion on the different microphones. It was also helpful that I could explain my project and intensions to him and getting direct feedback straight away, instead of me searching for generally good gear. At this point the different documents and files started to pile up on my laptop so I saw that i was necessary to organise my work better in a more over viewable fashion. I split up the videos and pictures links from my written work and research into assessable folders, also making sure that all links are being saved into a biography file.

If i would not have thought ahead with my links for my biography I would have been digging myself a deeper hole, the further I carry on with my research. On top of my weekly plan I used the college SMART targets to set myself tasks or goals for a shorter period of time, which I would choose a review date for. This was helpful in keeping a more detailed overview of different tasks that i had indented to do on certain days or the week, giving me another opportunity to see if I was on track with the work I set myself. Getting my rationale and concept read through in college by my teacher Malcolm helped me get tips on where I could improve and better my work, also letting me know that I may have done to much. He mentioned that I am able to cut information out of my concept and put it into my context, who’s advice I will be taking and will be making the changes to the posts in the future weeks.

I started asking teachers and students if they knew any websites or sources where I could download sound effects, jingles, sweepers or other radio imaging productions towards the middle of the week. After gathering some feedback I had a couple websites and a exact idea of the kind of resource that I was looking for. Luckily Malcolm told me about a website called free sound which I had been looking into already, which gave me the motivation to spend a lot of time listening through pages of sound effects. As I already had a idea of what kind of sound effects I was going to use to create the vibe that I felt came from the radio shows, I could start downloading and creating a sound bank on my laptop. It was important for me to make sure that the folder was easily assessable and over viewable which was supported to save me time in future production and sound locating.

On top of gathering different samples to use for my power intros I decided to choose 3 tracks for each of the three shows I was going to produce and intro for. My choice to go with three power intros was so that the total length would be cut down, allowing my to play longer sections of the three tracks I decide to choose. Choosing to play lingers sections of the tracks allows the listener to embrace the changes in the music, since there can be minimalistic alterations in these genres.

I could have also chosen a total of 5 tracks for each of the shows but i felt that the transition from one to another would be very quick, which does not really go with the genres and live mixing styles on each of the show. As I already mentioned I would be selecting the tracks out of my personal music library, also considering purchasing tracks if I needed more variety to fit the shows identities. I also made sure that none of the tracks that I would use in my productions are low quality downloads or cracks from various websites like youtube, since with would handicap my project form reaching its maximum potential.

Towards the end of my fourth week of my final project I kept researching into different websites where I could possibly get more samples to add to my library, making sure that I was ready to start the arrangement of my production. I did not want to start producing my power intros before I had all the sounds, tracks, work plans ready, since I did not feel comfortable just jumping into it without being fully prepared. I spent some time experimenting with the different samples that I had, laying them and testing out which ones fit together best. The time spent looking into the sample library in logic was useful because i found a large range of different boomer effects, which was exactly what I needed to make impactful transitions.

Overall in my fourth week i feel like I got a lot of in depth research done which helped me gain a precise understanding of my two chosen genres history and development. In doing so I gained more confidence with working towards the productions of my powers intros, having a greater understanding of radio imaging. I also make sure that current work has been read through, which I found it good that Malcolm did since I knew what i had to change in the future. The gathered sound library grew to a great extent to the point where I was sure that I would have enough to get started with my rough arrangements, still able to download missing sounds along the way that I feel are needed.

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Week 5:

In the firth week of the my final project I concluded my body of research and began the progression towards my finish power intro productions. I did not want to start producing the arrangements for my intros until I had reached a point, where I was comfortable with the amount of audio samples  that I had found. Since time was slowly coming to an end I decided it would be best to start arranging a rough draft on how I would like my intros to be organised and develop. By doing so I was able to notice where SFX may be missing to make the overall sound more impactful and rounder, also which ones exactly I was still missing and had to download / look for. The layering of different sound effects was very important since there was so possibility of achieving the fullness and effective sounds.

I am glad that I listened to a variety of different power intros in my research, giving me a greater idea of how they are generally arranged in a professional environment. The technical and engineering side was pretty much straight forward by implementing all the skills and knowledge that I have learnt over the past 11 Units. Being creative with my arrangements in attempt to make the intros interesting and have a forward moving motion, took a lot of trial and error until I was confident with the arrangements that I had made. It was worth researching into different productions techniques that are specifically used for power intros, since the different sources gave me important skills that I should be using in each of my power intro.

Looking into different youtube videos on guides or tutorials about the productions techniques of radio power intros was really helpful for bringing in a variety of skills that I would not have considered by myself. I planned to use automation to control the volume of the tracks playing so that one could hear the voice samples better, once I record them and put them in my arrangements. In combination with the automation volume control the producer in a video also used the panning automation, which effect I liked so I implemented it into my own. In combination with myself coming up with alterations to my plans or ideas I was very open minded about other opinions and techniques, since I am not a professional yet and should take as much advice as i could and reflective on other peoples work.

The most useful video was the youtube tutorial: Radio Imaging Tutorial – Producing a Power Intro (part 1-3), where I was able to gain a large amount of advice on how he approached his power intros. In each of the three videos he covered skills and techniques that he generally always uses to reach a professional standard, giving examples of different pieces of work and showing how to do so through out the three videos. It was very beneficial watching video guides on how other producers strategies, not only for gaining handy tips and trick but also since I am a very visual learner. I feel like I grasped a lot more concepts and information out of the videos in comparison to reading through paragraphs of text, even though they are usually accompanied by pictures to help explain. I found that watching the videos and taking notes while I had my productions open on a different monitor which I unplugged from my computer, helped me apply the techniques that I have learn while the memory is still fresh.

Reviewing over my research I noticed that I did not have any primary research other than myself looking into the different possibilities in logic, which was not sufficient enough for a well rounded research. I thought the best way to gain primary research was to ask my teachers if they have had any past experience with producing for a radio station, or even hosted a show. I was fortunate enough for my teacher Craig to do my the favour and ask his girlfriend who is a radio DJ, also a producer of speech and music shows. Her professional experience in radio stations was ideal for my projects missing primary research, so I decided it would be best to write up a questionnaire with I could email to her. Emailing her a list of questions seemed like the best way for me to easily get into contact with her and access the information that was offered to me. I could have spent more time considering the importance of the inquiries to ask her since I decided to keep it to an absolute maximum of 10 questions. If I would have done my primary research in earlier weeks I would have been able to get results from different sources, without leaving it until the current week.

I am very pleased with the amount of time and work I spent on the precision of cutting my different samples to perfection, making sure that there was no popping or cracking at the end of each audio file. Since my previous productions consider of purely synthesis based arrangements with vocal samples being the only audio I would need to cut, I did not have a large amount of experience with cutting them. Of course I have experimented with cutting the samples to precision on the end of a waveform in class and in my work, but I still feel like I gained a large amount of experience and confidence for using samples in future projects. I think my productions will be a lot more fuller, rounder and more professional with samples and synthesis, helping me be more open minded about my productions. Using samples in my productions will definitely open new opportunities for inspiration and visions compared to me being one dimensional and only using synthesis in my projects.

In the middle of the fifth week of my final project I had booked a studio to record the voice recordings for my different power intros. It was at the time to do so because I had arranged my three power intros in a order that captured the vibe of the shows, with the opportunity still to do changes to them if necessary. After booking a studio I made sure to ask a classmate to assist me in recording the samples, since one of up would be in the vocal booth and the other person controlling the desk & logic. Asking Phillipe for his time was essential to efficiently setting up the studio how I needed it in a shorter amount of time. He supplied me with acoustic foam walls from college to create a simple but effective vocal booth, which we setup in a square around the microphone. If Phillipe would not have been present assisting me I would not have been able to install the drivers in need for my voice transformer, since I do not have access to the admin password.

Overall he was a great help regarding problem solving in a professional manner, without him the process would have been a lot longer requiring more effort for me to find everything I need. Since he knew where all the different cables or pieces of equipment could be found in his office, I saved myself the time in attempting to find them myself. It was inspiring to see him work with the extent of knowledge he has in music technology, having me enthusiastically helping assist in the different tasks learn and develop as much experience as I can. Once everything was setup I wrote down a short script for each of the three shows, so that Cem and myself would have something to read it off instead of needing to memorise the words. I did not want to come up with a new slogan for each of the shows since the radio station only has one main clip that they repeat throughout all shows. Changing this could also alter the identity of the radio station for which the listeners know it for, which was not the aim or intension of my project.

With the research I had done in the past weeks I already knew what the different vocal samples should be and which information they give. It was essential to cover the radio stations name, show / broadcasts name, the host / presenters name and also what time and day of the week it is live. Making sure to spread out each section of information that I was recording by having short pauses in-between them allowed me to easily be able to cut them and move them around in my productions. If I would have recorded the written script in one sentence without pauses then it would have been more complicated for me in the future, also which could lead to problems when cutting them. Looking back at my voice samples I should have recorded multiple versions in another session so that I have more selection on which to use.

Having multiple recording to choose would have been a lot more beneficial to my productions, instead of aiming to get one clear and ideal recording done for each. If I record any vocal in the future I will resort to asking students at college who are able to sing and hit notes or keys, instead of not considering which keys the tracks are in pre production. As I already mentioned I am very satisfied with the precision of my work regarding the cutting of the samples, making sure that they are clean without any pops as the end of each. My decision to record each section of information with a pause greatly helped me out as I had intended, when cutting them and also being able to freely, easily and smily move or re arrange the order of them.

Once I had added the vocal samples to my arrangement I noticed that they were not in the same key, sounding off because I did not take this into consideration recording. Using skills and techniques that I have learn over the time on this course I am happy that i decided to use the pitch flex tool. I had never used this tool for any of my productions before so it was a great learning experience, also helping me end up with the a mix that is in key. Using my DJ software “Mixed in key” to find out the different keys of the tracks that I was using, so that I could pitch fletch the vocals accordingly. I felt like the vocals did not sound one hundred percent natural after changing them drastically, but I found that this fit in well with the genres and vibe of the show.

Towards the end of the firth week of my final project I focused on getting my power intros arrangement and productions done, so that I could start to consider mixing them down. I am glad that I went over my work refining the transitions and over all movement of the power intros, making them sound more smooth, fluid and interesting. In all of my power intros I ended up looking for additional sounds that I could add and layer onto of the ones that were present in my arrangements, because I felt like something was missing. I got used to using samples and accustomed experimenting with layering them, to the point where I could imagine what I wanted them to sound like together. I have not had such a clear vision of what I wanted any of my

productions to sound like, which for me is an enormous improvement for future projects especially when working for or with someone else.

I decided to do my first initial mix down at home after finishing my three productions arrangements, already having ongoing made sure that no channels are peaking or clipping before I started. Since I could only use my headphone efficiently at home I thought it would be best to have a rough copy finished for each three intros, which I would then perfect in a college studio on speakers. The way my speakers are placed at the moment at home did not allow me to work on my productions other than headphones, since I have my DJ equipment setup at a standing height. I intend to improve this when I move into a new flat in a month by having everything setup next to each other ready to be used, for any kind of project. Not having a professionally arranged setup of equipment at home in a way handicapped me in my work, since I limited myself to certain things instead of using everything to its full potential.

Once I had completed my first mix down on my headphones I was able to playback what I had done on my speakers, where I noted changes I had to make to my mix in college next week. The production and mixing down of my three productions was a lot more straight forward than production my own music since the tracks I used were already mixed and mastered, which helped me reach the professional standard I was striving for. Overall I feel like this week I have accomplished the most toward completing my project, mainly probably because I have heavily advanced to completing my productions only needing to mix and master them. I saved the finished blog post on research in a draft so that I am able to access in the future and refer back to any keys points that I need. The same counts of the sample library that I had found which I had saved onto my desktop with all the samples sorted and over viewable.

If I would not have organised my files and folders from early on in my project I am pretty sure that I would have lost or miss placed some of them. So thinking ahead and organising everything as an ongoing process throughout the weeks on my project, helped me in the long run to save time and redundant effort. Looking into different videos on how professionals do their work did not only show me their skills and techniques, but it also helped me understand that in future studies I should resort to video lectures rather than reading myself because it suits my style of learning more. Asking teachers for assistance and guidance with explaining tasks is also a great way for me to process information so I can focus on exactly needs to be completed. For future projects and productions I will definitely be resorting to videos guides because this also gave me a greater knowledge, also reading into topics like on board plugins where I can.

Production

Week 6:

The main objective for the sixth week was to get the three power intro productions mixed and mastered in college, so that the practical side of my project is completed. I decided it was important to get these done before continuing on my blog posts since I would have to present my work, to an audience in the final upcoming week. Making use of the college facilities during class time was very beneficial toward completing my productions, allowing my to work on written tasks at home. I am glad that I emailed Craig to book a mastering session on the weekend so I could confirm a date with him on monday. Thankfully I got a slot for wednesday after college with plenty of time to master down my productions and also enough for me to prepare, by mixing down all three power intros, bouncing them and organising my files.

The google calendar application allowed me to see what time my mastering slot was booked for from anywhere, which helped me keep track of the important appointment I am not allowed to miss. If I would have not organised myself, been declined enough to be on time and come prepared this could have easily interfered with me finishing my productions in time to be presented, because there were not many slots available since everyone left it to the last weeks. I am glad that I wrote down a vast majority of the problems that occurred during the progress of my project, but I could have been more detailed and persistent keeping track of everything issue. At the beginning I did not look into the depth of the problems that I needed to cover only noting down the most influential ones, which I came across by reading through the specification sheet.

I benefited from looking back at the specification sheet before starting to write a new task in the sense that i knew exactly what it was I had to do, but I should have been more thorough reading through each task in the first weeks. Not fully reading into tasks that involved an ongoing process through out the weeks made my choices on what to note down less detailed that they could have been.  Reviewing the work that I have previously finished to find any missed practical and theoretical problems helped me remember some, also coming across others that I hadn’t considered. Though the time spent reworking problem solving made me fall behind in starting on the next blog post, task 5 practical skills that I had planned to start at this time.

Once I came into college I used the first opportunity I had to book and studio and use the facilities to mix down my power intros. If I would have decided to do my written work in college that day then I most likely would have not finished mixing down each of my productions, or been ready for the next day in college which my mastering session was booked for. Even though the mastering session was later the next day I did not see the need to take the chances, if I have the opportunity to finish mixing my productions a day before and am able to concentrate on the written work after. At this point I wanted to have my practical skills blog post completed, at least a detailed rough version saved as a draft. I feel like I used the college studios to their full potential whilst mixing down my tracks, since I spent several hours in there trying to perfect all three of my productions. The dual monitor setup was great because I could put my logics mixer on one whilst changing my arrangements on the other screen, instead of being cramped on one.

I was also able to get classmates into the studio and ask them about their opinion which was very beneficial because I could gather their opinions and constructive advice. I find it important to take in other peoples opinions and work on top of this feedback, since sometimes after long hours of listening to the same over and over my ears play tricks on me and I miss things. I definitely could have taken more short breaks in-between my work because I felt like I was wearing myself out quickly, still getting work done at a steady pace. Once I had finished my mix down I had to bounce each project down, making sure that there were no errors when playing back each audio file. I am glad that I double checked each of them to make sure each file was read yo get mixed down with Craig the next day, so that no problems occur that take up precious time. By making each of the files easy to locate in my folders I saved Craig and myself a lot of time and unnecessary hassle of searching through countless unorganised folders.

During the mixing session I noticed that my choice to use tracks that had already been mixed and mastered didn’t help the fact that I wanted to engage and learn in a long process of perfecting each intro. Instead since they were already mastered we focused on bringing out the mix making it more louder, doing any fine tuning with multi band compressor, limiting and EQing out unwanted frequencies. At the end of the session i still gained knowledge and made me very excited to apply this in my own productions after this final project is finished. Being disappointed that my session went by so fast I was happy so have the opportunity to watch one of my classmates tracks get mastered, which added up for my “lost time” in the end. Backing up my files on my USB stick and my laptop was a great idea just incase anything happened to either, giving me and plan B to fall back onto if anything should happen to the mastered files.

I could have research into different presentation techniques but I decided to go with my previous experience with them, because I have had to stand up in front of people often. Still not getting comfortable with standing in front of people I thought it would be best to write down everything I wanted to say and practice it, not overcomplicating everything with techniques from the internet. As I had a good understanding of my project up till this point it did not take me long to write down everything that I would like to cover, giving me more time to review what I had written and see if anything important was missing. I am glad that at the end of this week I entered all my different asks onto my blog in a post, making sure that they are neat, tidy and over viewable.

The presentation of my project was important to me since I find it generally can get very boring just looking at pages of words without an end, so adding brainstorms, pictures, links and other things to accompany my written work helped out greatly. Overall this week I accomplished exactly what I had intended to do on the practical side of my work, but falling behind sightly with my task 5 blog post. I was able to completely finish the final steps of my productions by mixing and mastering down each of them, being very impressed with the level of work that I was able to achieve with the assistance of the mastering session. I will need to catch up with the blog post on practical skills and plan out the different points more in depth, so that I know exactly what to cover and minimise the risk of forgetting something.

I feel like I learnt a great deal mixing down my productions and also lurking over Craigs shoulder watching what he is doing, giving me even more motivation to go watch others and collaborate more often. I am glad that I got my productions completley finished in time for the presentation but also so that I could add this to my task 5, since I was only able to do a rough overview the different sections I want to cover.

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Week 7:

In the concluding week of my final project my head was mainly evolving around the presentation of my productions, but also getting the final piece onto my blog. I wanted to get as much done as possible so that each written task could be proof read by my teacher and I could get feedback on where to improve on. When I came into college at the beginning of the week our teacher held a speech explaining the run through of the presentation, were I compared what I had planned with what he said we had to do on wednesday. Finding out that we only had a total presentation time of five to seven minutes I noticed that I had planned to talk about to much. I had timed myself on the weekend going through my script and found that with the playback of each track at the end of my speech, I would be over ten minutes.

I am glad that I timed my practice run of the presentation at home because I knew that I would have to trim down the time I spent on each point. From that point on it was just a matter of trimming down each point, only mentioning the most important parts and timing the entire practice presentation again until it fits in the time frame. The total time of the power mix of my three introductions was at just under three minutes, giving me another three to four minutes to explain my projects concept and context. The amount of information that I wanted to present was alright but I would have to cut down on the amount of time spent elaborating each point. Deciding to playback the three powers intro in one project in for of a power mix, fading out the ending track of each was a good decision since this allowed me to only press play once. If I would have had three files to playback that would give me three times as much of a chance for something to go wrong, the power mix with the fade outs also made the transitions smoother without long periods of silence.

I could have spent more time practicing my performance in a mirror than what I did, the main reason being I started to prepare for the presentation to late. I was very nervous about getting up on stage as always and not feeling like I had everything memorised did not help me being scared. My presentation ended up being just over eight minutes long with the playback of my productions, overall I was very glad with my presentation but my wording could have been better. I feel like i spoke very rushed, not precise and maybe not making total sense which I had intended to whilst practicing. I did not take the time for questions in consideration which I could have avoided by asking my teacher, but the length was not a concern for me after I was finished. Again making sure that each file was not corrupt with any errors and working well the day before, along with backing up everything needed easily locatable on my laptops desktop. I am glad that I checked if each file was still working in the morning before I left to college since I did not get a perfect opportunity for it, also giving my conscience a rest.

I feel like I could have been a lot more clear with my wording and not be so hectic explaining each point, also taking my hand out of my pocket at the beginning of the presentation! Everything came across very casual and not close to professional of a presentation that I could have achieved, being the main two issue I see with my overall appearance! In future I will start speaking with my hands more like I noticed one of my classmates does a lot, also making sure that my script is fluent and more lively with meaning than just said to be said. It was a good choice mixing each of my power intro productions onto the back of each other, since I could already have an impression of what everyone would be hearing during my presentation and as mentioned a smooth transition between each of them. Towards the end of the week I had set myself the task to finish the blog post for task 7 presentation, which I was not able to do.

I am not sure if it would have been better to do the last week of my evaluation after my teacher has marked my work, instead of not having a sufficient amount for task 7. This is because if I would have written my evaluation after I finish all my outstanding blog posts, perfecting what I had done and over looking the important parts of the week such as tasks 5 & 7. Since I already had a vision of how I would like the viewer or customers of my product to perceive my work and myself, I felt like it would be best to write down the points which I would like to cover and makes rue that my evaluation is perfected. If I would have got more done for my practical skills and presentation part on my blog then I would have gotten better and more precise feedback on what I could add or change. For my blog post I will need to show that I have a variety of different ideas which are to be communicated in a organised fashion. Also covering my projects ambitions, personal contributions, available recourses and how I tackled the independent learning side to the project.

Getting practical skills done on my blog will not be so much of a challenge but more of getting the appropriate words down in a document. I find that demonstrating the exploration, adoption and application of the practical skills and methods which I used to realise my productions wont be to much of a challenge like other tasks such as planning or evaluation. To catch up this work I will have to go through each of my productions, scanning all changes I did from top to bottom and note these down in addition with any imaginative or newly learnt processes. Though not being precise and hurrying though this back tracking process will not be beneficial trying to achieve my maximal potential, gaining as much quality information out of my production analysis. I am happy that I had my weekly evaluation coming along with the feeling that I covered a large number of different points, definitely remembering more things than I had planned to do at the beginning. I could have done a evaluation section on my weekly planner as I saw some of my class mates did, but I thought since there is an entire evaluation part I would save myself the restraint of trying to fit my work in a smaller text box.

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Overall Evaluation:

I am very happy with the outcome of my final project even though I did not meet all my weekly tasks how I had set myself in the action plan. I was being extremely overambitious with the amount of work I wanted to do at the beginning of my project and also not making the best choices through out the six weeks. However I stayed within all my timeframes for goals that I had set myself for all three power intro productions. I ended up surprising myself with the outcome of all and leaving with me with greater, confidence, knowledge and motivation as I had set myself at the beginning of my project. Being to overambitious when writing the projects plan and not taking the time it would take me to research into consideration set me back on my blogs posts. I should have put more thought into the final project as my unit 11 was either just beginning and think ahead for something that could lead into unit 12.

In future projects where problems solving needs to be entered in a log I need to start keeping a diary from the beginning of the project, so that I can write down and remember the smallest of issues that occur along the way. Instead of not planning ahead and starting to write down problems around two weeks into my project, I could have gained a greater picture of problems doing so. This would have allowed me to explain the different problems to someone viewing my project, helping me paint them a picture of the entire process to a higher standard. In the end I do think that I covered the most important problems that occurred though out my final projects progression, also including smaller ones that are still relevant.

Being over ambitious with my weekly plan ended up handicapping me along with the choice to go back and update blog spots that I had already nearly completed to the standard I was striving for. Focusing on getting the final two tasks up to a point where they could be properly marked than just a rough idea, would have been more beneficial for more feedback in each area instead of only five in depth. Since I already had planned these two tasks it was no problem to complete them after putting more though into each of them, ready for the final chance to get feedback on the project. I am glad that my productions were met in the my set timeframe, allowing them to be played back to a live audience with me being very confident about them.

Overall I am pleased with my presentation since the mini mix of my productions allowed smooth transition, moving forwards without delays of me having to switch the tracks. Though speaking about my project concept and context could have been more clear and fluid, as I feel I was to hectic when bringing across the points I wanted to mention. In the future I will need to improve on this by practicing my speech longer at home so that I am more prepared, taking deep breaths, slowing down the pace which I speak in, speaking clear and using my arms to talk as well. I am glad that i unitised the mastering sessions that Craig had to offer us, because it improved the overall loudness and clarity of my productions.

Going over previous blog posts was not the best choice since I would have had more time to work on my written work, maybe not falling behind on the practical skills and presentation section. Besides this impact on the written projects parts outcome I was able to get feedback on my first draft, already having in mind exactly what it is I would like to add to my blog. With the feedback I had a clear overview of what exactly I needed to add to my context and research, also needing practical skills and presentation on the blog. My projects concept needed to be trimmed down adding some information to my blog post on context since I had irrelevant and to much written in it. I had missed out on important parts of my research also still waiting on the reply from the radio DJ who I sent a questionnaire to, which arrived shortly after I submitted my first draft. Some of the research I wanted to add was what I had done looking into the microphone I used to record the vocal samples, my VT-3 and also the techno music genre.

I need to be more persistent with my work flow not allowing things outside of college get to me so much, so that i can concentrate on getting my studies done. I did not give myself a lot of space for error in my planning which could be easily avoided in future projects, by taking this in consideration. In future I find it would be best to already start a brainstorm or plan about the upcoming project if I have enough information on what i will be. Thinking and planning ahead in future projects either in college or personal ones will help me save a lot of time and effort, which I will have to put into the process later on anyway.

Looking back before I started this project at the aims, goals and vision that I had, I would say that I have achieved them all. I wanted to gain knowledge and experience in a new type of production which was how to create a power intro for a radio show. The insight into the different components that come together for these projects was completley different to sitting down and working on a music project. Taking others peoples or brands needs into consideration was a great learning experience for me since I had not done this in the past, other than my own or those a project guideline set. The independent learning side to the project was very helpful since I had an opportunity to decide what I wanted to gain from the project and also improve my planning skills, by manage the process of development from the beginning to the end. It was the first time for me to be set a task which I had to organise myself, which also prepared me with a great insight to how university assignments could be like.

Task 7:

Presentation:

Showcase

Here is the video to my presentation, below I explain how I explore different strategies to present my project and myself as a brand, also how tackled  presenting my production to a live audience. 

A criteria of the unit 12 final project was to present my performing and production arts project to a specified audience at college. The college had setup a tent in which our class held their presentations on a stage with a TV screen and the assistance of Phillipe behind the mixing desk. I wanted to explain my projects concept and context to the audience first before presenting my different power intro productions to them. Since we only had 5 – 10 minute each to present it took me several tweaks to the amount of points and their depth, which I wanted to talk about. After changing around the structure of my presentation I was able to speak about the most important and significant points and playback the three power intros, in the set time frame which we had been given. I found it important that the audience knew exactly what my project was and the intensions I had behind it, being a introduction for a radio show.

I began my presentation speaking about my project before showing the audience my productions and then moving on to questions. I started off my speech by explaining my intensions and aim of choosing to produce a power intro for a radio station. I mentioned that I wanted to try producing something that I had not done before, a power intro being ideal since I love mixing tacks together. I also listen to a variety of different mixes on a weekly basis and I have noticed that many of them have power intros or other radio imaging, which I was very interested in how they are produced and what for. By choosing to do a project which is new for me will gel me become more viable in different media of the music industry because I will be improving my skills, experience and working on my coincidence producing inside logic pro x, also building up and adding to my work portfolio. I wanted to improve on existing techniques and knowledge that I had, being able to utilise them to a professional standard.

I wanted to produce this power intro for radio shows that are in a hours or two mix format for with a DJ as the host. My power introduction will be at the beginning of the show giving the audience the information about the stations name, the radio shows / broadcasts name, the DJs name and also what time / day the audience can tune in weekly. The power intro is to provide the listeners with a smooth, steady and professional flow and impression, so that there are no gaps or interruptions of silence or transitions during the live broadcast. The power intros also awake interest in the listeners with the array of sound effects and music mixed into a short amount of time. I decided to use different sound effects with similar characteristics in-between all three of my power intro productions. I did this so that the listeners can hear a recognisable similarity between all three shows, them all being dance music orientated and on the same radio station.

With my productions I wanted to grasp the vibe, identity and brand of the different shows of the code south radio station. I did with by selected a hand full of tracks that I personally thought would suit each show, after spending time listening and loping into each of them so that I could paint myself a picture of their identity. I used very mechanical and electronic samples since this fit the vibe of the music, keeping them sunny and on the happy side instead of using dark and gloomy effects. Since Code South has a cheerful vibe and cheerful presenters choosing dark and gloomy sound effects would have not fit into the identity that I was trying to represent.

Choosing to produce different power intros also gave me the opportunity to work on my sampling other than vocals, by beginning to use them instead of just starting synthesis based projects. This also helps my image of being viable for various productions in multiple fields in the music industry.

I had decided that I would be present my three power intro productions in the form of a mini mix, which I will be able to playback from my laptop to the live audience without needing to manually play three separate files. I wanted my presentation to come across professional and one of the issues I saw which could impact how the audience perceive it, would be short breaks when needing to play each power intro separately.

Since I was very pleased with the high standard of production I was able to achieve, I am comfortable sharing and promoting my work with a larger audience. It is important for me to start to show presence, brand and promote myself if I would like to get recognition for my work. I have explored a variety of different strategies to present and promote my productions to specified audiences. I could not upload my three power intros to sound cloud because it would have flagged up under copyright infringement and I did not want to get my account flagged or banned after their 3 strike policies. I have already uploaded my power intro productions to my blog meaning everyone who reads through will also be able to hear my radio productions.

Online Promotion:
Facebook

I have found a variety of different radio imaging production groups on Facebook which would allow me to get my work out to a larger audience. Since all the people that are in these groups are enthusiastic about radio imaging and many also do this professionally, I found it is an ideal place for me to be promoting my work. I will be sending a link to the group owners and admin with a link to my mini mix of power intros with a brief overview of my projects concept and context, posting a comment on the wall. I found that Facebook has a active community today and finding the right people or groups to send my work to, would be a great opportunity to get more people to hear my power intro productions.

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Here are some of the groups I found where I will be posting ym work in and who’s creators / admins, I will be sending a private message:

Soundcloud for Radio imaging – Public Group

Radio imaging and Production – Public Group

Radio imaging FX – Public Group

Radio Iamging for Station – Public Group

Audio Production and Radio Imaging – Closed Group

Radio Program Syndication – Closed Group

I also want to send me productions to ‘Music Radio Creative’ who specialise in radio imaging productions and have a large range of different clients. I feel like getting my work to professionals who appreciated and acknowledge the different components that make up the power intros.

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Twitter

I decided that the more social media platforms that I used to promote my final projects productions the better, since I would be able to reach a wider target audience. Similar to Facebook there were a variety of different pages that specialise in radio imaging productions for a variety of different stations. I felt like my work would fit in perfectly with the other productions that are being shared of these pages.

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https://twitter.com/theimagingdays

https://twitter.com/splatme

https://twitter.com/benztownradio/lists/radio-imaging-production

Reel world

Reelworld is a company that specialised in radio imaging production services and who also have a blog, who I am able to contact via email or giving them a phone call. I think it would be best to send them an email since I can directly attach my productions to it, without needing to proceed on with this after the phone call. Sharing my productions with these established brands will be very beneficial for me to become recognised by people in the music industry.

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Another option that I found was ‘On The Sky’ who specialise in radio imaging, imaging effects and song intros. They have three main producers who do projects for different statins such as Capital FM, Kiss FM, BBC radio and many more, winning awards such as the sony radio awards. If I could get my productions to the three producers for On the Sky that could be very beneficial, which is why I will use the opportunity and take the chance by getting in contact and sending them my work.

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Contacting Code South Radio Station:

Code South is the radio station for which I produced power intros for three of their shows. I will be getting in contact with the radio stations management via email which I have already acquired, so that I can send my productions to them. Ideally I have identified their brand in my productions and might show interest in the work that I have done for their shows. I was able to find the presenters twitter accounts since the code south website did obviously not give out contact details from their presenters. I found by sending them a message on twitter it would be the easiest way for me to get into contact with more staff from the radio station, since they are active on social media. If the management decide that they would like to use my productions for their live broadcasts it will give them a huge amount of exposure. This exposure could result in other radio stations becoming interested in what I have to offer them, wanting me to produce similar radio imaging for their station.

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