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Portfolio 1 Final Track

PP1 Final Track - Teresea Bannister

            When I began writing this piece, the style that influenced me came from the instrumental group, Mannheim Steamroller. They have this hard rock feel, but they use orchestra type sounds.  This was the sound I was going for.  For the second half of my piece I added in some cymbals, snaps, and a cool sound effect that I have no idea how to describe, only that it gives my mix a nice touch to the overall feel.  In the end, I didn’t match the Steamroller’s style perfectly but created my version of it, which is all I wanted to do.  


            First, I used 4/4 time for the meter and 120bpm for the tempo.  It gives it a nice faster moving beat but not too fast.  For the first 16 measures, I have a few more beats. The high hats have a double beat, but then I removed that extra beat for the next 16 measures as I was wanting to make it feel like it was slowing down just a little bit.  I did the same thing with the kick beat.  I removed a couple of the extra kicks during the second 16 measures. Next, with the bassline, I did the opposite, I kept it simple for the first 16 measures and then did a double bassline for the second 16 measures.  For the sounds, I used the drum machine designer, Atlanta on the Kick, Snare, and HHats.   This gave it a more electronic sound which went more with my hard rock theme.  I also used my created synth ESP sounds and layered them with my Snare and Bass tracks.  I used the Agile Synth Bass for the sound on the Bass track.  All these beats and sound choices helped bring together a cool electric hard rock vibe.  Which was a great start to my project.


            Second, I used the key of A minor for the first half of my piece and C Major for the second half.  The chord progression I used for the first half was |Am|F  Em| Dm |C | and then I just repeated that 4 times. For the second half, I used | Am Fsus4 | Dm | G Dsus2 | C | and then repeated that 4 times.  I kept it pretty simple for the most part.  However, I really like the sound that the suspended chords add, especially for the sound that I was trying to create, so that is why I added a couple of the suspended chords to the progression.  Moving on to the Melody, I created a faster-paced motif, arch style for the first 16 measures and then I created a slower paced motif, rising melody for the second 16 measures.  The reason I wanted to slow the second half down is that I wanted to add in some accents and beats to give it a unique changeup and feel.  By slowing down the melody, these extra accents would stand out a little more.  I used the Studio Violas for the sound on my Harmony track and the Hard rock guitar for my melody track.  I used both of these sounds with my hard rock/orchestral theme in mind.


 Next, when I created my audio, I decided to record myself clapping wood together.   I wanted a bright acoustic percussive clapping sound.  Once I recorded it and placed it where I wanted it in my piece, I used the flex automation feature in logic to make it, so it was in time with my piece.  Then for my synthesized sounds that I created myself, I used the ES P.  As I mentioned earlier, I created a snare type sound and used it to layer with my snare on track #51.  The second one I created was a bass sound, and I used that to layer with my bass on track #79.  Lastly, I created a sampled track.  I used that same wood clap but just a single clap.  I added a new track and loaded the ESX24 onto the track and then I loaded my recorded single wood clap into the ESX24 and created my own sound and then I named it Wood Clap.  However, in the piece, the track name is Layered Sampler Track because I used my sampler track to layer with my HHats.  It gives it a pretty cool click sound and accentuates the sound quite nicely. I liked it so much that I added the layered part to both the first and second 16 measures.  


            Finally, to mix my project, I went through each track one by one and adjusted the ones that already had an EQ and Compressor on them. Next, I added an EQ to the Layered Sampler Track, Bass, Melody, and my Audio Track.  I also added a compressor to the Bass.  For my recorded audio track (Wood Clapping), I really struggled to get that one to really stand out without clipping.  I wanted the sound to be louder, but it seemed like no matter how I tried, I could not get it to be sound I wanted without it clipping. However, after working with it for a while, I finally got it to an acceptable level.  Then I added SilvVerb to the Wood Clapping Track using bus 30, and that really brought out the sound.  Lastly, I added Chorus to my Melody track using bus 34, and I wrapped it all up by doing my final panning and sound check.  I made sure there was no clipping and completed my final bounce.  


Looking at the final completed project, I feel like I accomplished what I set out to do.  I created my version of a hard rock/orchestral music piece.  I definitely still have a lot more to learn but I think this was a great start to the process and the journey is the best part!

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