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Thursday, 3 July 2014

Media product: RNC's got tallent

Hi there,
My sound for media product are elements me and my partner produced for the RNC's got tallent show.
We produced a theme tune, and some results music. We also produced sound effects for the show but we didn't end up using.
Below are two videos of the RNC's got tallent show. I was doing sound, and my buddy Josh was on one of the cameras.

Part one: and

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Frank Turner - recovery

This song uses mainly real instruments for its instrumental. An electronic keyboard is used for a synth sound in the backgrund, however it uses real guitars, bass and drums.
It was the lead single from his 2013 album Tape Deck Heart.
It is an indy song. There is reverb put on the vocals to give them more room however if you didn't now they were there you wouldn't notice it.

Mic, line and instrument level

Mic level
Microphones produce very low levels of voltage. Dynamic microphones generally produce 1.5 millivolts and condenser mics which are more sensitive produce signals of about 70 millivolts.
These signals are weak and can therefore be affected by interference. Because of this, a pre amp is required to boost the signal to line level.
Mic level is between -56 and -40 DPM. Microphone impedance affects the efficiency of how the signal is transferred to the input of the pre-amp. Consumer mics are generally high impedance meaning that the current is weak and more prone to interference. Professional mics usually have low impedance meaning that the signal is stronger and therefore giving a better signal to noise ratio.

Line Level
Line level signals have a much higher voltage output than mic or instrument level, usually somewhere around 750 millivolts. As this signal is stronger it can be carried over a longer distance. 750 millivolts is the industry standard and allows for the interconnection of different devices from different manufacturers.
There are two types of line level:
• consumer line level is at -10dBV
• professional line level is at +4dBu (or DPM)
RCA (phono) connectors are usually -10dBV. XLR connectors are usually +4dBu (Mic Level). TRS quarter inch jack plugs can be either -10dBV or +4dBu
Instrument Level
Although keyboards and guitars do not output at the same level they are usually somewhere between mic and line level. To take the signal of an instrument to line level an active DI (Direct Injection or Direct Input) Box is required. To take the signal of an instrument to mic level an active or passive DI Box can be used.
DI (Direct Injection or Direct Input) Box
DI Boxes convert unbalanced high impedance signals from guitar pickups and contact microphones, into balanced low impedance signals required by mixing desks.
Active DI Boxes use electrical circuits to convert the signal and require a power source to run which is usually a 9v pp3 battery or power adapter. Some, such as the DBX D12 (pictured below) can run off phantom power, allow the polarity to be reversed to combat phase issues and have a ground or earth lift switch which allows the user to disconnect the ground cable in a microphone or balanced instrument lead to remove humming and buzzing caused by ground loops. Connecting a DI Box is pretty straight forward. Plug your instrument or microphone cable into the input and connect a balanced mic lead from the output to your mixing desk.

dbx db12 active di box
Passive DI Boxes use a transformer to convert the signal. They do not require a power source and are usually cheaper than active DI Boxes. Most passive DI Boxes will suffer some loss of high frequencies however this is usually outside of the usual range of operation in all but he cheapest models. A high quality Passive DI Box is a safer bet for live shows as there is no danger of the battery running out during a performance.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Investigating a media instatution (Universal Music Group)

Universal music group

The headquarters are currently based in satnamonica, CA.
It was originally called Decca Records USA in 1934, and then changed to MCA music entertainment, and then in 1996, and then it branched off in to pollygram in 1998.

Who owns it?
Universal Music Group (UMG) is the largest American music corporation. It currently operates as a subsidiary of Paris-based media conglomerate. Max Hole chairmen and CEO of UMG international
Key people are: Chairman & CEO Lucian Grainge hig.
List the products they produce. These are all artists are all signed to this record label.
Akon, all American rejects, jack Johnson, Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, and Justin Bieber. They have also released merchandise, DVD's, and other things to do with the artists. They also take a percentage of what the artist gets paid.
They also release CD singles, music downloads, and they sell billions of records per year. They have also had several number ones in both the UK and the US charts.

List competitors
Sony records, EMI records, and warner music group. Universal, Sony, EMI and warner brothers are the four biggest record labels active at this time. With lots of subsidiary labels.

Universal records use social media to gauge the age of the people posting about the artists they have signed.
They also collect how much it is being played on the radio. This helps them gage whether an artist is popular or not, as radio stations will tend to play more popular artists that fit in with their target audience, as that's what people want to hear.
They also observe the crowds at artist's gigs to see what kind of people are buying tickets, as these people want to see the artist perform live.

Universal records use social media to gage the age of the people posting about the artists they have signed.
They also collect how much it is being played on the radio. This helps them gage whether an artist is popular or not, as radio stations will tend to play more popular artists that fit in with their target audience, as that's what people want to hear.
They also observe the crowds at artist's gigs to see what kind of people are buying tickets, as these people want to see the artist perform live.

Universal records make sure that their songs are edited for radio play, and that that the lyrics are appropriate. This means that all offensive and suggestive words/sound effects are blanked out, or replaced by words. This can sometimes completely change the meaning of the song.
This means that the company can release whatever lyrics they want, but they have to be careful to make sure that they’re not too hateful or that they’re not going to get complaints from the public. One thing they should be aware of is tragedies; national and regional, to make sure that there aren’t any very offensive jokes or digs. They’ve also got to be aware of the effects of these songs, and what they could make people do.

Investigating a media product
I am going to be investigating the album Save rock and roll by fallout boy.
It was released on 12 April 2013 and is the band’s 5th studio album.
Previously the band had decided to go their own separate ways but said it was never a break up, because they might get back together.
They announced this album with a new tour, and said they wanted to reinvent the band’s image and sound.
The album debuted at number 1 on the billboard chart.
The night before band member Pete Wentz had stated on twitter to a fan asking if fall out boy would be making a comeback that there wasn’t anything planned. The album was all recorded in secret.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Sound for media

This is my sound for media task where I had to create a media product 3-5 minutes in length. It had to include atmospherics, a recorded sound effect, music, and dialog.

Session 1:
I had decided to work with my classmate Josh, and we had decided that 3-5 minutes equalled about the length of a song. We didn’t know what to write a song about, and then we remembered that the college had a talent show coming up. We tried to come up with some lyrics, but didn’t do very well.

Session 2:
After a weekend of failed song writing, we came to the conclusion that we probably weren’t very good at it. We went back to the drawing board. Then we came up with the idea of doing an advert. We figured out if we could make it interesting enough by interviewing some people who were performing we could pull it off.

Session 3:
In this session we recorded some of the voice tags. Josh did the actual voices since he could do a good impression of Peter Dixon (the voiceover man from XFactor). I recorded these in sound forge.

Session 5
I used session 5 to edit these voice tags.
Sessions 5 and 6 were used so we could come up with a script for these adverts.

Session 7:
In session 7, we had a complete script but we didn’t have anyone to record it. As both me and Josh didn’t really have the right kind of voice that we were looking for. SO we had a brainstorm and then asked intern Andy if he would record it for us. He agreed.
Me and josh were in the control room, josh was relaying the script via talkback
Session 9 Was spent editing these clips and making the music for the talent show.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Understanding media album (task 2)

Understand how sound elements are produced for media products

There are many different types of sound elements and there are also many ways in which they can be produced. I am going to discuss a few of them here.

Sound effects

There are many different ways sound effects can be recorded. What a sound designer will do is find something that sounds exactly the same as the sound they are trying to create. For example waving a pair of gloves can sound like a bird flapping. This is called Foley
The one I am going to focus on is the lightsaber sound from star wars. That one was designed by recording a sound of a projector, and then interference from a TV signal. These two sounds were then mixed. A contact microphone was used to record them both. A contact microphone is like a regular microphone, except it records the audio vibrations through the object, and not air vibrations.

Atmospheric sound

To record atmospheric sounds, e.g. someone’s footsteps on gravel, the best and easiest way to do this is to use a pair of microphones so the sound captured is in true stereo form. Also, it makes sure that the sound captured is in its best quality, and is as real as possible. Obviously this depends on the microphones being used.


When artists are composing music for a film, they produce a film score which is a combined product of music, usually dialog and sound effects. The composer will compose the score, andthen the dialog and effects will be added and I will be edited for the final cut later on.
A film score includes cues which are timed to enhance the film and these could be for dramatic effect, or to make the scene seems more emotional.


Sometimes multiple cameras are used to record dialog so the image is captured from different angles. However, there may just be a static camera recording the actor/actress.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Analysing music, TV, and a movie

Hi again,
This time I am going to analyse a piece of music, a clip from TV, and a clip from a movie.
I am going to discuss its purpose, elements that are included, and its meaning.


The piece of music I have chosen is the theme to the popular BBC2 motoring show, TopGear.

I have chosen this because I think it suits the show quite well. This is not just because it is well known, and when people here it, they immediately think of the show.


The purpose of the TopGear theme is to entertain, as it usually provides a background music for presenter Jeremy Clarkson to explain what’s coming up in the show, which he sometimes makes funny by explaining little things, e.g. “Tonight, James wears a hat, I wear a hat, and Richard wears a hat with stuff on it.”


There are drums, a few guitars and a synth. There are also some atmospheric sound effects that could be mistaken for cars. There are also a few stabs nearer the end for dramatic effect.


It has a very particular meaning. It lets you know that the show is starting. Some of the elements in it also hint that it is a show about cars.

Analysing a TV clip

The clip I have chosen is from hit BBC comedy, Gavin and Stacy. It shows the two families eating breakfast together when they start to here rhythmic banging from upstairs.


The purpose of this clip is to entertain and to suggest what might be going on.


This clip includes the sound effects of everyone sitting around eating breakfast. Also later on in the clip, to try and mask out the noise coming from upstairs a radio is switched on. All you can hear from upstairs is a rhythmic banging, suggestion sexual activity.


The meaning of this clip is to entertain and to make the watcher speculate on what is going on upstairs. The music of the radio is added to try and mask out the noise, and then a few of the family pretend to sing and dance along as if they know the song.


The movie clip I have chosen is the scene from the family guy spin off of Star wars episode VI, (Return of the Jedi)

I have chosen this because I find it very funny, and it provides dramatic and comical effect during the movie.


Its purpose is to solely entertain and to keep the watcher in suspense for what will happen next. It is a set up for a big scene.


This clip includes a minimal amount of elements. The main element is the dramatic jaws like music in the background. This adds dramatic effect, and aims to keep the user in suspense for what will happen next. All the cast are nodding to each other, waiting for some sort of signal. I feel it goes on a bit too long, but I also think it’s a very funny clip.


Its meaning is to keep the watcher in suspense for what will come. It is also supposed to amuse the watcher by going on too long. This is the nature of the show, however; dragging jokes out a bit too much but not too much so that they aren’t funny.