Welcome Full Sail Students and Staff
Project and Portfolio 1
In approaching my final track project, I created an entirely new piece, building on the skills practiced in projects one and two - as well as take on some of the additional challenges discussed in the month’s lectures. I wanted something on the spacey/chill side, maybe something someone may hear in a dimly lit coffee shop on a space station in orbit around a distant world.
I began work on the track with a simple 98 BPM drum machine beat in 3/4, then added a layered bass in line with the kick drums using the Trap Bass patch and an Alchemy bass patch that I modified to my liking, using EQ to further meld the two sounds. The drum machine lacked a degree of depth by itself, so to really sell that ‘sci-fi coffeehouse’ feel, I added a layer of acoustic drums to flesh out the percussion. There is an Apple Loop buried in the background adding a shaker-type sound to the percussion, but that was used more for the sample in it we’ll discuss later.
The instrumentation - harmony and melody, came from the chord progression I chose - F Minor: i, i, v, iv and i, i, iv, VII in two separate chunks, then a 2nd part that repeats i, iio, v, iv. Using Alchemy, I dialed in one sound in the higher timbre, with a swirling delay bounce and a second a lower drone pad, again blending them through track stacking and selective EQ. The melody is a futuristic rhodes organ, EQ’d to have sparkle and set itself apart from the harmony parts. There is also a synth track low in the background with an arpeggiated, higher register piece that is mixed back into the pads to add depth and movement. The Apple Loop in the previous paragraph is processed through a vocoder synth that’s counter panned to the original loop to give it a sense of changing notes with the harmony.
For the required audio and sampler tracks, I recorded myself whispering some vocal ad-libs for the first portion of the song, then sliced that recording with the sampler to create the percussive vocal chop in the 2nd section. The Apple Loop mentioned previously adds the looping ‘OOOOH’ sample that is heard throughout the track. The original loop is 4/4, so for my puropses I chopped it to 3 beats and looped it for the first section of the song, and for the second section I opened the loop up to the full four beats, making the distinctive ‘OOOOH’ loop differently in the 2nd half.
The time based effects are reverb and delay, used fairly liberally across a lot of the tracks. Dynamic processing is used nearly everywhere as well, with the audio tracks properly gated, compressors used across most tracks (as well as on track stack busses to glue sounds together), tracks have been EQ’d and adjusted for a tighter-sounding mix overall.
I had a terrific time putting all of this together. Just for fun, I decided to also include a fully arranged version, despite knowing it wouldn't be graded. I hope you enjoy it.