Blog 13 – Trimester 5

Curated Work Review // Final Blog for Trimester 5

This Trimester has been crazy busy! Especially with me having to go to Sydney for 3 weeks, it really tested my abilities as an audio professional to be able to continue my freelance work, my class work and my studies while I was away. I was lucky to be in a group with Matt Schenkel who really supported my through this time not only as a friend but also as an audio professional.

I believe that the work that I have been involved in has all been produced to a high standard and the response that we have been getting from the film crew of ‘The Odd Sock’ and the two games Flummox and Runestone have been extremely positive. We plan to continue to work with both Flummox and Runestone throughout the rest of uni and even after uni until the end of their development. The games teams are stoked to have us and we feel that its because our work was of such a high standard.

The works that I have created or helped create this trimester for the class AUS230 are as follows,
Head Gap Mix
Head Gap Master
The Odd Sock Theme Song
The Odd Sock Sleazy Song
The Odd Sock Car Chase Song
The Odd Sock Pilot Episode
Flummox the Game (Freelance Work)

This trimester has been the most creative I have been to date and I am really looking forward to continue working on games throughout next trimester and after uni.

Blog 12 – Trimester 5

a. Discuss mastering for a film soundtrack in the current industry and compare that to music mastering?

Mastering for a film soundtrack is, I believe, not seen to be as such a creative step of the development process than it is for music mastering. That being said, they both get mastered to be able to be played for broadcasting whether it be for the cinema, TV or radio and the mastering engineer will master the tracks to meet broadcasting regulations, but I have heard that several engineers will work on a music soundtrack and continuously tweak it and mix it down into stem categories such as Dialogue, Atmos, SFX, Foley and then master them in those stems for Bluray/ DVD release.

b. What I am currently doing in my own creative practice?

STRESSING! We’re on the final stretch to complete all the sounds ready to go for the exhibition at the Loop Bar in Melbourne! In all seriousness we aren’t that stressed because we’ve put ourselves into a really good position by preparing a lot earlier because we knew that the Flummox Team wanted to exhibit it at the Loop Bar to get a lot of the testing done by people who came in to play their game and for this they obviously wanted all the sounds for the first couple of levels all implemented and finished. There’s only a few little bits of polishing we need to finish on very few tracks that we’ve noticed when we went in to play the build that had the sound implemented. After that the game will be ready for the exhibition. It’s really cool to see all our sounds working as they should be in the game!

Blog 11 – Trimester 5

a. How does the mixing process change from working in stereo to working in surround sound?

I think that when mixing is surround you have to be more aware of what you want placed in the middle of the mix, for instance when mixing in surround sound you generally (what we have done in class) mix to a film/ animation/ game on the screen in front of you and place your sounds in categories of what you can see on the screen and what you can’t see along with the awareness of where that sound should be coming from.

b. What I am currently doing in my own creative practice?

We’re currently heading towards the final stretch for the game Flummox. A lot of back and forth communication between the parties and making sure that we’re on top of the sounds we have recorded/ yet to record. It’s good that we had an excel sheet that we can easily open and mark off what we’ve recorded/ mixed/ implemented and then locked off to help us keep track of the sounds we have done because at the moment we have such a huge library of sounds that we could easily forget what was mixed and what wasn’t. We have been visiting the games team on regular occasions to go see how the new builds and things have been coming along and the game is really starting to come together now. We believe the sounds will start to get implemented next week so the plan is to have most of our sounds ready to go by then!

Blog 10 – Trimester 5

a. Discuss the sound design in the film viewed.

Unfortunately I was in Sydney when the film was viewed in class, I did shoot the Unit Coordinator an email to see if there was anything important I missed but it didn’t seem to be a major thing I missed out on.

b. What I am currently doing in my own creative practice?

My third and final week in Sydney as court has been adjourned until the earliest March 2016, (huge sigh) but the good news is that I can come back and finish off the rest of the trimester properly! We’ve currently been creating more sound assets for the game Flummox as it’s coming closer and closer to the due date for the games assets and we want to make sure we do the best job we can on the game. We’ve been playing around with huge chain sounds by pulling a chain through an upside down chair and socket wrenches and crashes and bangs to get the sounds of the world rotating and we are even planning on heading into the studio next week to do some voice acting for Linus, the games protagonist. Really excited to see all of our assets in action when it starts to get implemented into the game!

Blog 9 – Trimester 5

a. How do you get creativity and commerciality to work together harmoniously?

To get creativity and commerciality to work together harmoniously you have to a perfect balance between your own personal creative work and work that you have to make for a client. In other words you need to be able to be creative without compromising on how much your getting paid, if you worked on personal projects simply just for the fact of passion and you aren’t getting paid then yes you’re being very creative but not working with commerciality at all because you could be spending time being creative with a project that you are actually getting paid for.

b. What I am currently doing in my own creative practice?

Again, not a great deal, as of this moment I’m still currently in Sydney but there is talk in the courts about it being adjourned until the earliest March 2016, bad news for my family but good news for my studies.

I recently mixed a new demo for Runestone that I put into context by downloading free sounds of typical bar/ pub wallah and a recording of a fireplace and mixing that in with Matt’s acoustic guitar that he recorded at uni. It sounds pretty cool, the guitar playing needs to be fixed up/ re-recorded (not saying anything bad about his playing) and the track wouldn’t have the bar wallah and the fire in it, I just put that in there so we could listen to how the guitar sounds in context if we had those sound effects in the game as their own separate assets. I had to download those sounds because I didn’t have the facilities in Sydney to record them, but that being said if the game developers like the idea i’d be happy to record the sounds myself when I get back to Melbourne.

Blog 8 – Trimester 5

a. How many producer’s points would I receive, based on my contribution, to the reinterpretation project if it were released?

For the reinterpretation project we did a cover of the song Tiptoe Through the Tulips by Tiny Tim, the only I contributed to this project musically was pick the song we were going to cover so in that case I don’t think I get many (if any) producer points for that project. As for the pornosonic song we did for the student web series ‘The Odd Sock’ I would get creative points because I played the drums to both of the tracks, I’m pretty sure we only went with one track in the end but that counts right? I think because they were all covers that in a real life situation I don’t think any of us would get any producer points in the end anyway.

b. What I am currently doing in my own creative practice?

Not much. I know that sounds really bad, but I’m currently in Sydney and without my Midi Keyboard controller I feel kind of lost. Matt has been uploading some work for me to do in my free time though, so in that sense I have doing stuff relating to my creative practice but it’s only been mixing in the box with just some headphones. I should be doing more work and I know that a heap of it is currently sitting on my shoulders but in my current situation it’s hard to come back to the hotel after court all day smash out a couple hours of work because I’m so exhausted. With the coming weekend I have off I plan to sit down in a park and get a big bulk of the work done hopefully. Matt understands my situation and has been really good about it so I’m really grateful for the extra work he has to put in while I’m away.

Blog 7 – Trimester 5

a. How does the current state of mastering compare to the history of mastering?

The current state of Mastering seems like such a simpler process then it was when compared to the history of how ‘Master’ versions of tracks were made. At present times to Master something is to make sure that the tracks are able to work and sound properly on multiple platforms in multiple rooms and to conform to the certain broadcasting standards that the mastered media applies to. Whereas mastering used to be the process of printing mixed recordings to other mediums.

b. What I am currently doing in my own creative practice?

My creative practice is currently at a standstill at the moment, I’ve had to take up to six weeks off for undesirable family circumstances in Sydney and will have to mix audio that Matt Schenkel (project partner) sends to me after hours. I’m going to be trying to do as much work as I can in Sydney to support leaving Matt by himself for a couple weeks in Melbourne and have planned to use Skype to regularly talk to my Unit Coordinator to make sure my projects are still going smoothly as possible.

Apart from that, our projects are slowly coming together, more so for the game Flummox (our freelance project) than for our CIU Major project Runestone, mainly because Flummox is due much sooner than the game Runestone so it currently has more of our attention than Runestone does, that being said it doesn’t mean we aren’t progressing with Runestone. We’ve currently been creating demo tracks for the main over world hub in the tavern using references that have highly influenced the current state of the demos we have done from Diablo 3 and Torchlight 2. I can’t wait until it comes to the time where we get to input the audio into the game and watch as it all comes together.

Blog 6 – Trimester 5

a. How do you deal with a difficult client who rejects a great idea?

How I would do it is take into account why they are rejecting the idea and try working closer with them to create an idea that we are both going to be happy with, even if it is moulded slightly by a difficult client. If it is a project or idea that can’t possibly be moulded then I would get evidence to reaffirm my great idea, such as where it has worked before by other people who have done somewhat similar things and try to keep everything positive about it. I guess if it all comes to worse and my idea just has to be rejected I will start again from scratch and try to meet all the clients needs this time, and generally work a bit closer to the client this time.

b. What I am currently doing in my own creative practice?

This week I have been doing a lot of prep work for the games that I am working on this trimester, whether it be creating a synth library of cool ‘game type’ sounds or creating a sheet/ timeline for the all the assets we have to record by a certain time. This is mainly the case so we can work closely to the game students and have our milestones compliment their milestones, so if they wanted a demo of the first boss fight to be finished by this time, we’ll record all the sounds, foley, sfx etc. to compliment this.

Blog 5 – Trimester 5

a. Compare the use of composed music and sourced music for a television theme song.

I guess in terms of comparing, composed music would give the TV show a unique feel and if it’s catchy enough it would probably get the viewers to go see the full version of the song on a youtube or soundcloud which in turn would give the artists really good exposure, it also means that the artists can tailor the song especially for the show itself. Whereas sourced music can catch possible viewers with a nostalgic or somewhat kind of popular song for the theme song. Our example was a Tiptoe Through the Tulips cover of Tiny Tim’s cover. Even though our version won’t have lyrics we’re hoping that the majority of viewers would know the song and have the lyrics in their head while they listen to the theme song so hopefully they’ll have the “So tiptoe through the tulips with meeee” part stuck in their head to not only remind them of the TV series but to subtly let them know the relation of that certain lyric to the web series that we are doing the sound on.

b. What I am currently doing in my own creative practice?

At the moment I’m having my composing skills tested in this composing aspect of the assignment that we chose to do. From I have noticed from the result of our first studio session is that I am not a strong composer and I would have to rely somewhat on my team members in the future when it comes to composition tasks such as that one.

Blog 4 – Trimester 5

a. How is working with tape different from working with a DAW?

Working with tape is a much longer process than working with a DAW, especially when it comes to dumping the tape into the protools session, there isn’t an ‘offline’ mode so you have to listen to everything you had recorded on the tape whether it be one take or a half an hour session so you have to take into account dumping time when booking studio sessions with tape. Also, something to consider when working with tape is the actual speed of the tape reel when recording, the tape reel speed that we worked with could have the option of recording at 15ips or 30ips (which is inches per second). Recording at 15ips would give the mix a somewhat darker tone, but give you more recording space on the tape, whereas recording at 30ips would give the mix a somewhat cleaner and high quality sound but compromise on recording space of the tape.

b. What I am currently doing in my own creative practice?

Finding inspirations of game music, whether it be sitting down and enjoying a game or going online and finding composers for game music, such as Jason Graves who was the music composer for the most recent Tomb Raider game, which I thoroughly enjoyed the music for and is one of my main inspirations for doing game sound in the first place. There are some good documentaries online about the new Tomb Raider game and I have actually featured on of those in my really early blog posts on this page.