AUD210 - Blog 8 - Sound a Like Reflection

This AUD210 series belongs to an assessment from college.

Prior to writing this blog, I attempt to submit the video file with our sound-a-like version of the song and moments after the transfer was concluded, I received a notification from YouTube saying that the video was blocked due to copyright infringement... and guess who reported it? The record label that owns Arctic Monkeys' rights. Brilliant isn't it? I was impressed by the incredibly minute amount of time it took for them to spot it and and file a report. Oh well... I tried... 

Now for the reflection:

Beginning with the negative side, I acknowledge that I didn't put too much effort into this assessment, artistically speaking. The fact that the team and I were required to mix together projected a mixed feeling of reluctancy and intimidation. Truth be told, I never enjoyed group work. That's not to say, however, that I despise collaborations. In fact, I love collaborating with teams and with other creative departments to achieve a common goal. What I dislike it having to share what I'm working on with somebody else. I immediately freeze when this happens because chances are our opinions are going to clash at some point. Whereas in collaborations, people are able to focus on their goals and expertise, and therefore the end result tends to be way better than if done otherwise, at least in my experience. 

What I felt was that everyone was very shy on the mix stage. It took us a while to truly engage and actively interact with each other. I acknowledge that one of my weaknesses is in music production, and I knew I had to find something I could contribute to with the best of my abilities. My attempt was to critically analyse the frequency content and point to where we could've EQ'ed and compressed, for example.

Now, the end result wasn't as nearly as accurate to the original. When we recorded the drums, guitar and bass, we monitored too quiet in relation to the original song. I think that by doing that crucial frequency content was masked and therefore it seems to be as bright and precise as the original. Also, the room acoustics is very dampened and because we were limited to using only the Audient console in that particular room, we weren't able to test the translation in different environments, not to mention through poor quality speakers. Instead of a heavy, pumped up sound, out recordings were quite weak and, unfortunately, it wasn't simple to revert that in the mix stage. Clarky helped us fatten the drums by overdriving the compressors mainly on the kick and snare, and while it did fatten, it also sounded terrible. 

Nevertheless, on the positive side, I learned a lot, especially how not to record live instruments. It was very hard for me to work in a large group. Being rather shy and quiet, it felt like a gigantic burden to deal with, and I think I did a good job in remaining calm and respectfully interacting with my teammates throughout the process.

Despite music not being my focus, I've been having a great time learning more about it, as it directly influences my work in audio post production -- in the sense of having to collaborate with composers to authentically create the soundscape of a film.