Music Practitioner Part 2 – What Brought Me Here #5

The Real Thing stamp - Image                                       (Australia Post stamp 1998)
This blog is a continuation of a series. See here for the previous blog.

A significant influence

A song that had a significant influence on my music practice in my formative years was “The Real Thing” written by Johnny Young, performed by Russell Morris, produced by Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum (Max TV 2014).
The Real Thing
The song was originally released in 1969 – an era of exponential technological development, including space travel, exploration (the first man walking on the moon), global conflict (the Vietnam war), global uprising (protests against the US involvement in this war), the social and cultural movement of peace, love and the resultant drug taking (largely marijuana and LSD), and music including folk, jazz, R&B, pop, rock, progressive rock and psychedelic rock genres (to name a few).
Russell Morris was an acoustic pop performer with some popular music chart success, playing either 6 string or 12 string guitars. Whilst he did play as a solo performer, a band often supported Morris (Wikipedia 2014). This song uses the basis of acoustic music (acoustic guitars, bass, drums) with layers of keys, processing applied and sampled sounds (such as news recordings, laughter, choral bomb sirens and it concludes with a bomb blast) over the top. Despite this song had clear acoustic influence, performed by someone who was usually an acoustic artist I recall the main aspects that caught my attention with this song was:
  • This song was clearly of psychedelic character, with numerous technical processes applied
  • The most obvious technical characteristic are the full use of the stereo field, with liberal use of panning; and
  • the extreme use of time-domain processing, from the opening section of the song, applied to both the music and the vocal line……including large amounts of reverb, delay, and flanging to name a few. Additionally, because of the large amount of processing, the main sonic quality was quite distorted in places, particular in the later half of the song
  • The use of these, especially the extent and the amount of processing helped create and place the listener in an out of world or drug-induced type state.
  • The duration of the song is more than double the length of the usual pop song of the day at 6 mins 22 seconds in length. [However, there was also a 3 min 46 second version played on radio]
  • the simplistic nature of the lyric, being only a few lines repeated throughout the whole song. I recall how a song could take you on a journey, telling a story, with limited lyrics, and yet still had an emotional impact of me
  • whilst the song represented a vehicle that transported me to another world sonically & aurally, I recall the intrigue of how this song incorporated a political statement, with the music video referenced against a backdrop of Vietnam war film footage. This introduced to me the multiple intentions and messages a song could express, appealing to a range of listeners with different values and beliefs of what the cultural production actually meant to them.
It has been reported that the likes of US Producer Phil Spector, and his wall of sound style of productions influenced Ian Meldrum (Wall of Sound 2014). I am unsure if Meldrum specifically set out to reproduce recording and production techniques that Spector used to achieve the wall of sound style; or whether Meldrum had the intent to create a song with a similar type of sonic complexity and variety of recording, overdubbing and processing techniques that took the listener on a sonic experience and voyage. Irrespective of Meldrum’s intent, I was certainly taken on, and continue to be taken on a sonic experience and voyage each time I listen to this song. As I return to this song after several decades of not listening to it in depth, and analyzing it as an example for my undergraduate degree students, I am again entertained and impressed by the multiple textual layers that Meldrum’s production team achieved via the recording, overdubbing and processing techniques applied. I further realize the dynamics of the song vary throughout, with instrumentation, sampling, amplitude, frequency, stereo field and processing constantly changing, quite often within a particular section of a song. This variety and complexity for me, makes this song a sonic experience and voyage each time I visit it.
It is this compositional intent and production approach that I will incorporate into my pending original music practice project.
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Music Practitioner Part 3. It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Australia Post 1998 stamp image courtesy of Australia Post.com. Accessed 4th October, 2014.
Max TV. 2014. The story of the real thing  http://www.maxtv.com.au/news/the-story-of-the-real-thing.aspx  Accessed 4th October, 2014.
Page, David L. 2014a. Life is About the Moment  Accessed 4th October, 2014.
Page, David L. 2014b. Music Practitioner Part 3  Accessed 18th October, 2014.
Wikipedia. 2014. The real thing (Russell Morris)   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Real_Thing_(Russell_Morris_song)  Accessed 4th October, 2014.
The Real Thing article courtesy of: The Real Thing Accessed 4th October, 2014.
The Real Thing video clip courtesy of: The Real Thing  Accessed 4th October, 2014.
The Wall of Sound article courtesy of:  The Wall of Sound  Accessed 4th October, 2014.
– ©David L Page 05/10/2014
– updated ©David L Page 18/10/2014
– updated ©David L Page 15/05/2016
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.
Advertisements

Mixing Part 7 – Following a process….

Mixing

This blog continues a series of blogs on Mixing (Page 2014).

Developing a skillset by following a process

MIDAS Console_looking left
(MIDAS 2014)
I was presenting to a group of Bachelor of Audio Trimester 2 students, preparing for the mixing stage of their final creative productions. In reflection, I felt a similar sentiment as my blog last year, ”Effectively guiding creative artists through a task: process” [May 2014]. In summary, the key elements are:
Mixing is a process…..
1) Yes mixing is individual, but it is an individual process based on developed workflows accumulated over many hours of experience…
2) The ONLY thing that separates different mixing engineers is their perspective …. what they are aiming to achieve. What are you aiming to achieve in your mix? Can you articulate that aim clearly? Have you nominated a reference track as your guide through this process?
3) Genre dictates in large part what workflow you choose. The mix process (workflow) you choose should be congruent to the genre.
4) For every workflow choice, there is a positive and a downside to that process. What provides you the most benefit, with the least amount of negatives in your desired aim, for your desired outcome?
5) There are no rules, BUT like all things technical and creative, there are fundamentals that you need to develop – learn, and practice – BEFORE you commence to attempt to discard them. In the previous blog (Page 2014), I proposed Owsinski’s Mixing elements as a very worthy guide.
6) There are a diverse range of mixing approaches put in front of you, with diverse perspectives, views, and workflows. There is NO correct workflow. You are shown options, for you to decide for yourself what workflow will work for you. If in doubt though, through your lack of time to develop this skill thoroughly yet, then please consult Owsinski’s Mixing elements as a very worthy guide (see point 5)
It is intended for this blog to continue in a series of Mixing blogs here.
References
MIDAS 2014 console image courtesy of AE Project Studio. Accessed 29th June, 2014
Owsinski, B 2013 Modern Mixing Techniques, Cengage Learning, Inc USA
Page, David L. 2015.  Post-Production Instrumental Editing + Processing Options  Accessed 22nd January, 2015
Page, David L. 2014.  Mixing part 6 – effectively guiding creative artists through a process    Accessed 29th June, 2014
– ©David L Page 19/07/2014
– updated ©David L Page 22/01/2015
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave


Mixing Part 6 – Effectively guiding Creative Artists through a process

Mixing

This blog continues a series of blogs on Mixing (Page 2014a).

Guiding Creative Artists: steps along a path

To walk down any path, it is usual to be sequential in that process. If you want to get to z, it is usual (but not always) appropriate to progress through each of the letters to get there. a , b ,c ,d, e, f, g, h, etc… To follow the suggested steps – a series of steps to follow, observing what is around you –  you can generally arrive at your destination in a timely manner. As you develop, it is of course important to sometimes stop or even perhaps deviate on the set path, and to experience what occurs when you attempt a, b, c, d, etc in a natural logical sequence; and when you do not follow such a logical sequence. What is the result of following  a before b, b before c, etc – or not?
As we get to the business end of yet another Trimester, I observe our Creative Media students again getting quite angst with their attempts to mix their final productions. I observe that most are yearning for what is actually a very straightforward process. Following suggested the steps – a series of steps that has been provided across several Modules to follow and experiment with, observing what occurs when they attempt a, b, c, d, etc, and understanding that in many instances, a must come before b, b before c, etc.
Japanese Garden
Whether myself, my peers or my students – in a studying phase or in our professional lives – it seems to be common amongst most of us to want some guiding process or sequence that we can initially follow, at least until we can get comfortable with the task, and then feel confident enough to be able to fly on our own, and then possibly self-empowered enough to customise the process into our own individual unique workflow. Not necessarily process in specifics or for what could be classified as micro-management, but process in terms of the introduction of a concept for global understanding, with a series of logical process steps to be able to realize the task at least all the way through.
Over recent weeks, as I have again introduced a group of novice audio production students to the art and technique of mixing in a Tri 1 Bachelor’s unit, I was reminded of how overwhelming such a task is. Initial questions most common continue to be: “how do I EQ?”, “what do I compress?”, to “what EQ works on a kick drum?”, to “does EQ come before compression?”, to name a few.
MIDAS Console_looking left
(MIDAS 2014)
Leading audio production author Owsinski outlines in his book “Modern Mixing Techniques” the steps and elements of mixing that he sees as common to all mixes are:
  • session set up,
  • gain structure,
  • stereo balance,
  • spectral,
  • dynamics,
  • time-domain, and
  • interest (Owsinski, 2013).
In my observation of those far more experienced in the audio industry, it is usually the fundamentals of: deciding upon a reference track, setting up your session, and setting your gain structure and balance first, that get the most immediate attention. The completion of these fundamentals, allowing the mix engineer to progress through a workflow, seems to be consistent to successful mixing sessions. In fact, it is quite often the case with a well played and recorded session, that once the fundamentals have been completed, the experienced mix engineer may only need to use minimal audio processing at best, because the mix is already sitting nicely where it is, with all of the instruments  placed within their own space, at good levels, negating the need for further attention and processing.
In contrast, in general the novice will overlook these fundamentals, eager to dive into what they perceive as mixing, applying audio processing, inserting as many plug-ins as they can, and start turning the EQ and Dynamic pots to extremes until they achieve obvious changes in sonic qualities. However, quite often as a result of their actions, the overall gain structure and stereo image is now adversely affected, presenting a range of other issues within the mix such as clipping, distortion, raised noise floor, lack of clarity, masking and possibly also unacceptable degradation of the audio quality: quite possibly, the exact opposite of what they were trying to achieve from the outset.
At this point, it is then not uncommon for the novice to exhibit a range of responses with their first mix task attempt: confusion, overwhelm, becoming debilitated with the task at hand, to panic, immediately re-entering the deep end and start randomly pushing more buttons, ‘knob twirling’, and adding even more audio processing devices trying to fix what they have created.
And yet, when they next have the opportunity of observing an experienced mix engineer approaching a mix task, what they are likely to witness is someone proceeding through a flurry of steps, moving swiftly, effectively and efficiently through a series of sub-conscious moves, as they progress through their customised workflow, developed over many hours, and countless mix session tasks. Essentially, the experienced mix engineer will have a clear goal of what they are trying to achieve and a clear roadmap of how they are going to achieve it.
I can guarantee such experienced activity necessitates commencing with the fundamentals.
In my observation, a novice creative artist may not understand the need or function of having a clear goal of what they are trying to achieve, before they commence the task. If you do not know what you are trying to achieve, most will probably end up somewhere other than where they wanted to. And whilst this may not be problematic in a creative streaming situation, it will not assist the creative artist if they need to be working to a brief for an external client (quite possibly, merely their Lecturer for the achievement of an assessment task).
Additionally, a novice creative artist may not have a clear roadmap of how to get to their goal. The fundamentals, a series of steps that allows the artist to progress sequentially through the task at hand, increasing the possibility of an outcome in the vicinity of what they were attempting to achieve. I have found that positive questions that assist in this stage need to be process-based questions such as: “now, what do I need to do first?” “then?” “then?”
I have also found a secondary benefit that this fundamental stage facilitates. It seems to assist the novice creative artist to catch their breath, ground themselves and focus before they immerse themselves into the technical and creative task at hand. Once they commence the task, the goal should be to move effectively and efficiently through a series of steps to a desired outcome (‘goal’).
The fundamentals are an ideal place for the novice creative artist to commence a technical and creative task, at least until they can get comfortable with the task, then feel confident enough to be able to fly on their own, and then self-empowered enough possibly to customise the process into their own individual unique workflow.
It is intended for this blog to continue in a series of Mixing blogs here (Page 2014b).
References
MIDAS 2014 console image courtesy of AE Project Studio. Accessed 29th June, 2014
Owsinski, B (2013) Modern Mixing TechniquesCengage Learning, Inc USA
Page, David L. 2014b. Mixing Part 7 Accessed 19th July, 2014
Page, David L. 2014a. Mixing Part 1  Accessed 13th April, 2014
Stone path in creek image courtesy of: aisf.or.jp  accessed 5th May 2014
– ©David L Page 14/05/2014
– updated ©David L Page 19/07/2014
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave


Introduction to Audio Engineering

Welcome to Audio Engineering and the world of studios. A studio represents different things to different people. Some see it as a technical place to track and mix artists’ expression (Burgess 2014; Burgess 2013; Burgess 1997). Others see a studio as an instrument, in which to develop an artist’s ideas into something more, possibly fusing several musical styles into a new genre (Eno 2004; Eno 1982). Irrespective of your perspective and motivation, one needs to start at the beginning – the fundamentals.

Hans Zimmer Studio

                                          (Hans Zimmer home studio)
Knowledge and Skill base required
The practical knowledge and skillset required of an Audio Engineer/ Producer is both vast and very complex. In addition to the knowledge and skillset of mixing and recording, both in themselves very involved and potentially taking years to master, there are a range of other knowledge and skills required. There is a range of equipment to know about, and theories required to know the studio environment, and to be able to succeed in this position on a professional basis.
Whilst there is a common industry view that perhaps there is less onus on being an engineer in the original sense of the word in terms of analogue gear and being able to fix that gear in this era, I would argue that the extent of knowledge and skills required is no less vast and complex. In fact, I would argue that with the development of audio gear in this digital era, there is a broader knowledge and skillset base required than was previously required. Some of the aspects a budding Audio Engineer/Producer must become quite conversant with are:
Step 1
  • Firstly, one must understand a generic Studio Setup
  • Then one must learn the specifics of the particular Studio Setup. For example: the console, patchbay, interface, computer system, and assorted outboard peripherals
Step 2
  • Secondly, one must understand a generic Signal Flow of a console
  • Then one must learn the specifics of the particular console in the studio you are going to use. For example: MIDAS Heritage 1000 , Neve  VXS, SSL AWS 948, API Legacy, Amek Media 51, Euphonix System 5, Audio ASP8024, Behringer Eurodesk SX4882 or Behringer X32
Step 3
  • Thirdly, one must understand a generic audio interface, and what role it plays in the signal path of a modern studio (AD/DA)
  • Then one must learn the specifics of the particular audio interface (AD/DA). For example: Avid HD 16×16, Apogee Symphony, Antelope Audio Orian 32+, Universal Audio Apollo, Apogee Ensemble, Focusrite Saffire, Focusrite Scarlett, Fireface 800 or PreSonus Studio 192
Step 4
  • Fourthly, one must understand a generic Tape Device
  • Then one must learn the specifics of the particular tape device, whether magnetic or virtual tape. For example: Avid Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Reason, Ableton Live, FL Studio, or Reaper.
Step 5
  • Fifthly, one must understand generic principles behind peripherals for audio processing (outboard gear, etc), why we should use them, when we should use them, and how we should use them
  • Then one must learn the specifics of the particular peripherals for audio processing in the particular studio. For example: Teletronix LA-2A, Urei 1176, Fairchild 670, Tube-tech CL1B, Manley ELOP+, Neve 2254, DBX 160, Empirical Labs Distressor, SSL-G Series Bus Compressor, Manley Variable MU limiter, Chandler EMI TG1, Alesis 3630, API 3124+, Eventide Reverb 2016, Focusrite Octopre MkII Dynamic, or Behringer MDX2600 Composer
In addition to this studio environment knowledge base and skillset required as outline above, more than likely one will have to contend with the various one-off technical issues that will happen from day to day with either electrical or mechanical equipment limitations and/or malfunctions. As we each experience on a daily basis, these can be very prevalent and disrupt even the best laid plans for a mixing or recording session. There are a range of issues that can happen at any point in time in a studio, and therefore the modern day Audio Engineer/Producer must have a broad knowledge and skillset base in order to problem solve through these issues in order to move on with the object of the session; either to record, or to mix.
I have deliberately overlooked mentioning the additional soft skills knowledge and skillset required of an Audio Engineer/Producer in terms of daily interacting with people related to the studio environment. These soft skills include communication, negotiation, patience and social skills. Whilst extremely important knowledge and skillset to have, they could be considered to be beyond the realms of an industry-based subject matter expert (SME) in this discussion.
Additionally, if you are recording and mixing, then most assume that the modern Audio Engineer/Producer/producer must have a degree of understanding and skills in the creative arts processes of: songwriting, music, arrangement, and/or instrumentation to draw on as may be required for the client.
Therefore, in conclusion in this brief discussion, the practical knowledge and skillset required of a modern day Audio Engineer/Producer is still to this day very vast and complex.
A budding Audio Engineer/Producer must develop a very broad knowledge and skillset base across the disciplines of the industry subject matter, the broader relevant Creative Arts and the soft skills; in order to operate within and around the studio environment, and to be able to maximise their chance of developing a successful professional career as a Audio Engineer/Producer.
References
Burgess, Richard James. 2014. The history of music production. New York: Oxford University Press.
Burgess, Richard James. 2013. The art of music production: the theory and practice. New York: Oxford University Press.
Burgess, Richard James. 1997. The art of record production. London: Omnibus Press.
Eno, Brian. 2004. “The studio as compositional tool.” In Audio culture: readings in modern music, edited by Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner, 127-130. New York: Continuum.
Eno, Brian. 1982. Ambient 4: on land. Editions EG. Compact Disc.
Hans Zimmer’s home studio image courtesy of:  http://www.scpr.org/programs/the-frame/2015/01/20/41178/interstellar-composer-hans-zimmer-says-hollywood-i/?slide=2  Accessed 12th December 2015
– ©David L Page 09/05/2013
– updated ©David L Page 27/01/2016
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.

Industry Protocol

Northern Lights_Lebine A.jpg

Studio Practice

A studio is used by many people, paying money for its’ use on an hourly basis. When a new user/customer (engineer, performer) walks through the studio door, they need to be able to commence their session fresh.
It is considered professional practice therefore that each user ensures that the Studio is left in a tidy, ordered starting state.
In the control room:
  • The console has been fully neutralised, ready for the next user, PRIOR to anything being disconnected or powered down
  • The control room equipment has been powered down in the correct order
  • If there are any chairs/stools, they are stacked on one side of the room against the wall
In the live room:
  • All of the equipment has been disconnected AFTER the console has been neutralised
  • The stage/junction box is in the corner with the cable coiled up
  • The headphone splitter box is in the corner with the cable coiled up
  • The microphone stands are at one end, folded down, with the screw thread pointing downwards
  • If there are any chairs/stools, they are stacked on one side of the room against the wall
Return to the Equipment Office:
  • Any gear that you have borrowed – rolled, folded, boxed as you were given
  • Report any malfunctions or damaged equipment to the Studio Supervisor in charge
It is considered professional practice therefore that each user ensures that the Studio is left in a tidy, ordered starting state, just as they found it. By practicing this, you will assist in maintaining a peaceful and tranquil working environment around the studios, facilitating more effective and efficient sessions. I am sure you will find the artist will be more relaxed, perform better, and be much happier with the results…..
References
Northern Lights image courtesy of: Northern lights  Accessed 22nd August, 2012
– ©David L Page 23/08/2012
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.

Pro Tools User Tip #1

Tips when using Pro Tools on a general use computer

Pro Tools 12 image

When you are using someone else’s computer, such as in a Studio or general use C-Lab environment, you are not likely going to be aware of what the previous person used Pro Tools for. They may have, for example used an alternative interface and customised the routing (I/Os) within Pro Tools for their own specific use. Therefore it is always advisable when you are creating a new Pro Tools session or re-opening an existing Pro Tools session to confirm the following:
  • Audio File Type: wav
  • Sample Rate: whatever your clients project requires – for example, 48 Hz
  • Bit depth: whatever your clients project requires – for example, 24 Bit
  • I/O Settings: Stereo Mix (not ‘Last Used’)
 Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 6.05.59 am
Once you have the Pro Tools session open, can I suggest you check the two sections in the Setup drop down menu:

Setup/Playback Engine

PTs Drop down menu

  • Setup/Playback Engine: does it have ‘Built in Output’ selected, or is ‘Pro Tools Aggregate I/O’ selected because the previous person was using an alternative external interface? Without an interface, you need to have ‘Built in Output’ selected

PTs Playback Engine

  • Setup/Playback Engine: H/W Buffer Size: make sure you have the correct H/W Buffer Size selected for the type of session you are conducting – mixing or recording/tracking
    • 1024 Samples (recommended for Mixing)
    • 64 Samples (recommended for Recording/Tracking)
  • When you have completed this task, close this display window by pressing the ok button in the bottom right-hand corner.

    Setup/IOs:

PTs IOs
  • Setup/IOs: reset all of the I/O tabs (Input, Output, Bus, etc) by pressing the default button in the bottom left-hand corner of the I/O display window for each of the I/O tabs. If any routing changes had been made in the previous session, this action will reset all of the I/Os back to the original default setup. When you have completed this task, close this display window by pressing the ok button in the bottom right-hand corner.
PTs Setup IO View
 These simple steps should become your standard operating procedure every time you create a new Pro Tools session or re-open an existing Pro Tools session on a general use computer, or in a Studio used by others.Having completed these simple steps, you can be confident that your Pro Tools’ session is correctly setup, ready for a successful Mixing or Recording/Tracking session, minimising the chance of experiencing signal flow issues during your Pro Tools’ session.
If however, having followed these simple steps you do have Signal Flow issues during your Pro Tools session, can I also suggest that you check the following:
  • Overall session signal flow. Remember, Pro Tools is no different to a studio, it is just ‘in a box’. All of the rules of Signal Flow still apply
    • are your session inputs (in the ‘mix’ window) routed correctly?
    • are your session outputs (in the ‘mix’ window) routed correctly?
    • are all ‘mute’ buttons off?
    • are there any ‘solo’ buttons selected?
 If you have checked all of the above suggestions, but continue to have issues whilst within the Pro Tools session, I suggest you consult the Studio Supervisors.
References
AVID Pro tools 12 image courtesy of:  https://www.avid.com/US  Accessed 11th January, 2016
All other images courtesy of David L Page Accessed 11th January, 2016
– ©David L Page 09/07/2012
– updated ©David L Page 13/01/2016
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.

Mixing Part 1

solid_state_logic_sl4064g
(Solid State Logic SL4064G+ 2010)

The Mixing Process

Background

As outlined in my Pre-Production Plan (Page 2010) blog several months ago,  lets return to the basics. It is the goal of the audio industry to facilitate to the realisation of recorded artefacts – recorded and then distributed in the mediums of shellac or vinyl records, magnetic tapes, compact discs and now more commonly as wav or MP3s. Within the process of producing these artefacts, there are considered to be three stages of the production process:
  • The pre-production stage;
  • The production stage;
  • The post-production stage.
Whilst there are blurred lines between several of these stages depending upon what musical style (genre) one is working within, the acoustic style recording process essentially adheres to the following three stages:
  • The pre-production stage is about planning for the production of the artefact
  • The production stage is the actual recording process of the artefact. This process is commonly referred to as the tracking
  • The post-production stage follows the tracking stage, preparing each track so that it is well balanced in terms of instrumentation, levels, frequency and dynamics – in preparation for the final step of this stage – the mastering process – prior to the artefact  being released to the public
At the heart of the production lies the actual reason for the artefact – the song or composition. This focus – the main reason for the production process – needs to be maintained throughout the creation of the artefact process. It must not become secondary to the process. It is often said that that to make a great song, you need to have:
  • a great song;
  • great instrumentation;
  • a great performance;
  • a great recording;
  • a great mix;
  • and great mastering.
Step 1: the artist creates a song in terms of melody, harmony, rhythm, counterpoint melodies, counter-point rhythms and instrumentation – creativity following both technical and musical theory guidelines. This is then practiced and adjusted or moulded as required.
Step 2: the song then needs to be arranged, with appropriate instrumentation relative to the musical style (genre) of the song.
Step 3: once the song is considered to be finished, it needs to be recorded. An essential aspect of the production process is the performance of the musicians used in the tracking process. If the musicians are both technically proficient and aesthetically sensitive, then there is hope that the song could be captured as the songwriter or composer had intended the song to be. A great song needs to be performed in the best possible way in order for that song to stand and be considered as it was intended.
Step 4: Whilst there are a number of approaches to the recording process, one usual approach is to capture the instruments as they were intended to sound. In this recording approach, the recording process is fundamentally a technical process; with the recording objective being to capture the song as close to as possible the pure or natural sound or tone of the instrumentation being recorded. In this recording approach, whilst some creativity can be used to get pre-desired effects, recording is fundamentally a technical process to capture the pure or natural sound or tone as being played. Note: if your offer to an artist is ‘to record them’, then this is the step at which you provide them whatever assets you have as a result of the recording, or production process. To go to the next step is to provide them ‘a mixed song = a produced song’, an entirely more complex and time consuming process…
Step 5: Once this recording, or production process is complete – ie not further recording is required –  the song needs to be mixed.

The Mixing Process

It is the role of the mixing engineer to take all of the recorded tracks and commit each of them to a final mixdown, in order to realise the pre-agreed qualities of the required end goal – the sum total of these tracks as being part of the cultural production artefact – in a balanced manner. This is the goal – the target – of mixing.
Mixing involves working on each track independently. Mixing is a constructive, engineering process, considering each of the recorded sound source elements – usually, but not necessarily, the instruments –  that have been captured to tape as part of the tracking process. As outlined by Ownsinski (2013), the mixing process includes adjusting the amplitude levels and panning each instrument within each of these tracks, allowing each instrument to be heard within the balance of the mix – to sit within its own space – spectrally and dynamically. The mixing engineer usually also adds processing – sonic and automation –to the recorded process to embellish the tracks sonically and musically.
 The mixing process therefore is both a technical and a creative process.
~Music_staff Blue
The mixing process is considered to be a technical process in terms of any auditory or sonic corrections required from the recording (tracking) process. This is usually required if for any reason there are deficiencies in either the recording or performance equipment; or the tracking or performance process. A mix engineer may assess the recorded assets as being deficient in either amplitude, their stereo position, or the actual recorded frequency range of the particular instruments.
The mixing process is considered to be a creative process as the mix engineer can influence the final tracks, by determining the relationship between multiple musical and sonic captured sound sources within the one track. Moylan (1992) agrees mixing is both a technical and an aesthetic process.  Mixing requires the creation of a sound stage – width, depth and height – that is both congruent to the genre, but also allows the mix engineer to transport the listener to a land that they imagine, an environment that is congruent for the artist and the cultural production to exist. A good mixing engineer arranges the sound sources in a way that creates moments of interest for the listener, that engages them without them necessarily being conscious of the manipulation. Sometimes the mixing engineer may decide it is necessary to take what could have been a pure or natural sound or tone, and dress it up for the desired outcome – usually, for an audience’s entertainment. The degree of dress up used by a mixing engineer should be guided by the pre-agreed qualities of the required end goal; but often an experienced mix engineer is recruited for their experience and creativity.  In this case, they will use techniques to create a soundscape – breadth, height, depth and dynamics -, along with a range of processing and automation techniques to add colour, interest, texture, space to highlight the existing or original song hooks, and also to add a range of extra hooks. There are after all, many options in the creative process.
However, as mixing involves working towards an end-goal of a cultural production where all of the sounds and tracks work as a homogenous whole, it is important that the mix engineer progressively builds a mix to a pre-agreed aesthetic. In order to facilitate this process, it is necessary to use a reference track to guide all of the participants in the production process at every step of the process. This reference track will suggest what type of song they are producing, the musical style (genre), the balance of what the finished tracks should become, and the degree of production creativity that it appropriate to include in the particular track. The pre-agreed reference track is especially important within the mixing stage. The mixing engineer will use a reference track – a track that they can make reference to regarding the overall balance of the desired artefact –  as an agreement with the person directing the production process (known as key stakeholder – possibly  the song-writer, artist,  manager or record label owner) – of what this end-goal, the cultural production will sound similar to, musical style-wise, musically and sonically.
It is intended for this blog to continue in a series of Mixing blogs here (Page 2014).
References
Izhaki, Roey. 2013. Mixing audio: concepts, practices and tools. 3rd ed. Oxford: Focal.
Moylan, William. 1992. The art of recording: the creative resources of music production and audio. NY: Kluwer Academic Pub.
Owsinski, B 2013 Modern Mixing TechniquesCengage Learning, Inc USA
Page, David L. 2014. Mixing Part 6 Accessed 19th May, 2014
Page, David L. 2010.  Pre-Production Plan – Part 1  Accessed 10th December 2010
Roback, Steven. 2004. Pro-tools 6 for macs. NY: Peachpit Press
Senior, Mike. 2011. Mixing secrets for the small studio. Oxford: Focal Press.
Target image courtesy of: http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/target-skills-53658831 Accessed 12th May 2014
Solid State Logic SL4064G+ image courtesy of: SSL 4064   Accessed 10th December 2010
– ©David L Page 15/12/2010
– updated ©David L Page 10/04/2013
– updated ©David L Page 14/05/2014
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.

SaveSave

SaveSave


E+L Session Plans Part 5

onion-layers

Education and Learning Session Plans (contd)

There are many forms of Education & Learning Session Plans which I have discussed in E+L Session Plans Part 4. This blog continues the series.

DLP’s Summary Education & Learning Session Plan

What: This is a summary outline of the education & learning session of what you are planning to do
Possible Use: This is a summary outline of the education & learning session of what you are planning to do, that can be passed to the students to inform them what they are about to do.
The same summary outline of the education & learning session can be used at the conclusion of the practice session, of what the learners did, and learnt.
EG: see below

AUD111 16T1 Wk2 Ed + Learn Session Plan Summary:

Program:  Bachelor of Audio Degree/AUD111 Introduction to Audio Engineering
Title of Education & Learning Session:  Introduction to Signal Flow
Session Number: Wk2
Duration: 180 mins
Site: Rm2.7
Session Facilitator: DLP
Expected Numbers: 24
Learner Group: Stage 1/Tri 1 learners, developing knowledge of their personality, comfort in group, learning style
Assumed Prior Knowledge: Nil (0)
Resources Required: see attached list
onion-layers
Rationale:
The rationale of this education and learning session is to introduce new learners to introductory signal flow in concept and practically
onion-layers
Aim:
The education and learning facilitator/instructor aims to gets learners in the audio discipline SAE Creative Media degree course Module – AUD111 to become practically familiar with key components of a contemporary small studio and introductory signal flow, prepared for the practical components commencing in Wk3.
onion-layers
Facilitator’s Objectives (by end of session):
  • facilitator/instructor to reinforce all of the learners’ names, and assess them progressively of their particular traits or needs
  • to introduce learners to key components of a contemporary small studio
    • XLR cables
    • dynamic microphone
    • 24 channel inline mixing console
    • control room monitors
  • to introduce learners to introductory signal flow
    • health & safety considerations (electrical, physical, auditory)
    • stage 1 – from sound source to console
    • transduction – what is it, examples of it
    • consoles – different types such as inline console
    • primary faders (by default use)
    • secondary faders (by default use)
    • consoles – channel strip (front of console, and back of console)
    • consoles – master section
    • control room monitors
    • studio/live room monitors for musician
    • role of engineer re monitoring (can around neck)
    • post-fader, pre-fader
onion-layers
Learning Objectives (by end of session):
  • to provide learners with studio health & safety considerations (electrical, physical, auditory)
  • to provide learners an opportunity to have a hands on learning experience in preparation for Wk3 practical class
  • to have learners participate actively in their learning via note-pad and pen
  • to have learners participate collaboratively and respectfully of all their peers
  • to revisit Campus Online/AUD111 regarding specific Wk2 resources
  • to revisit AUD111 Module Guide to introduce AUD111.3 Signal Flow exam Assessment task
  • to introduce learners to myself and resources I make available
  • to remind learners re their SAE lynda.com accounts
  • to refer learners to specific resources such as my wordpress site – Signal Flow Part 1 – endorsing the cross-over from CIU110
  • to introduce learners to industry protocols via the SAE Studio Guide, remind students of the qualify and booking process for SAE Tri Studios
  • to reinforce Module Content requirement other than Module Guide
    • synergy with AUD110, AUD112 and CIU110
onion-layers
Instructional sequence:
onion-layers
  1. Introduction of learning session
   2a. What is Signal Flow?
   2b. Signal Flow competency?
   2c.Studio visits
   3.Hometasks
       Familiarise your self with Campus Online various TABS
– Campus Online
– Module Guide
– Lecture resources, particularly Wk1
– Assessment Tasks
  • how communicated/reminded (prodded?)
  • when due
  • how submitted
  • your responsibility
  • assessable tasks
  • slack channel
  • Resources available
  • Campus Online
  • links to streamlined curation sites of relevant resources
  • Engage DLP’s provided resources –
      • Signal Flow blogs
      • you-tube channels
onion-layers
The next blog in this Project 1 series is E+L Session Plans Part 6
References
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 23rd November, 2015
Page, David L 2002. E+L Session Plans Part 6  Accessed 21st November, 2014
Page, David L. 1991. E+L Session Plans Part 4  Accessed 21st November, 2014
– David L Page 18/06/2001
-updated David L Page 23/11/2014
-updated David L Page 22/05/2016
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.

SaveSave

SaveSave


E+L Session Plans Part 4

onion-layers

Education and Learning Session Plans (contd)

There are many forms of Education & Learning Session Plans which I have discussed in E+L Session Plans Part 2. This blog continues the series.

DLP’s Interpretive Education & Learning Session Plan

What: This is a skeletal education & learning session plan, that outlines why the facilitator/instructor needs to cover this material, what they need to cover, and leads the facilitator to how they may introduce the education and learning practice sessions; without prescribing exactly how the facilitator/instructor must execute/deliver the tasks.
Possible Use: Such a session plan is useful for experienced education and learning practitioners
EG: see below

AUD111 16T1 Wk2 Ed + Learn Session Plan Interpretive: 

Program:  Bachelor of Audio Degree/AUD111 Introduction to Audio Engineering
Title of Education & Learning Session:  Introduction to Signal Flow
Session Number: Wk2
Duration: 180 mins
Site: Rm2.7
Session Facilitator: DLP
Expected Numbers: 24
Learner Group: Stage 1/Tri 1 learners, developing knowledge of their personality, comfort in group, learning style
Assumed Prior Knowledge: Nil (0), though assume they are enrolled/have attended Wk1 for both AUD110 and AUD112
Resources Required: see attached list
onion-layers
Rationale:
The rationale of this education and learning session is to introduce new learners to introductory signal flow in concept and practically
onion-layers
Aim:
The education and learning facilitator/instructor aims to gets learners in the audio discipline SAE Creative Media degree course Module – AUD111 to become practically familiar with key components of a contemporary small studio and introductory signal flow, prepared for the practical components commencing in Wk3.
onion-layers
Facilitator’s Objectives (by end of session):
  • facilitator/instructor to reinforce all of the learners’ names, and assess them progressively of their particular traits or needs
  • to introduce learners to key components of a contemporary small studio
    • XLR cables
    • dynamic microphone
    • 24 channel inline mixing console
    • control room monitors
  • to introduce learners to introductory signal flow
    • health & safety considerations (electrical, physical, auditory)
    • stage 1 – from sound source to console
    • transduction – what is it, examples of it
    • consoles – different types such as inline console
    • primary faders (by default use)
    • secondary faders (by default use)
    • consoles – channel strip (front of console, and back of console)
    • consoles – master section
    • control room monitors
    • studio/live room monitors for musician
    • role of engineer re monitoring (can around neck)
    • post-fader, pre-fader
onion-layers
Learning Objectives (by end of session):
  • to provide learners with studio health & safety considerations (electrical, physical, auditory)
  • to provide learners an opportunity to have a hands on learning experience in preparation for Wk3 practical class
  • to have learners participate actively in their learning via note-pad and pen
  • to have learners participate collaboratively and respectfully of all their peers
  • to revisit Campus Online/AUD111 regarding specific Wk2 resources
  • to revisit AUD111 Module Guide to introduce AUD111.3 Signal Flow exam Assessment task
  • to introduce learners to myself and resources I make available
  • to remind learners re their SAE lynda.com accounts
  • to refer learners to specific resources such as my wordpress site – Signal Flow Part 1 – endorsing the cross-over from CIU110
  • to introduce learners to industry protocols via the SAE Studio Guide, remind students of the qualify and booking process for SAE Tri Studios
  • to reinforce Module Content requirement other than Module Guide
    • synergy with AUD110, AUD112 and CIU110
onion-layers
Intended Education & Learning Session Approach (Pedagogy/Andragogy):
  • Facilitator/instructor-led introduction, with varying levels of guided/scaffolded instruction
  • In order to maintain the learner’s engagement, facilitator/instructor to use ongoing questions – content, concept, skill-checking and instruction checking question forms
  • Learners hands-on scaffolded learning practice 1 on 1, under watchful eye of facilitator and/or peers
  • Facilitator/instructor-led group discussion to share learnings
  • In order to maintain the learner’s engagement, facilitator/instructor to use ongoing questions – content, concept, skill-checking and instruction checking question forms
  • Facilitator/instructor-led outro
onion-layers
Intended Education & Learning Session Assessment Methods:
  • learners will demonstrate their understanding to the facilitator/instructor by answering specific directed questions
  • learners will demonstrate their competence to the facilitator/instructor by demonstrating a number of specific required tasks within the learning session to varying levels of guided/scaffolded instruction
onion-layers
Learning Outcomes (by the end of session):
  • learners will be introduced to studio health & safety considerations (electrical, physical, auditory)
  • learners will have a hands on learning experience in preparation for Wk3 practical class
  • learners will participate actively in their learning via note-pad and pen
  • learners will participate collaboratively and respectfully of all their peers
  • learners will revisit Campus Online/AUD111 regarding specific Wk2 resources
  • learners will revisit AUD111 Module Guide to introduce AUD111.3 Signal Flow exam Assessment task
  • learners will introduced to myself and resources I make available
  • learners will be reminded re their SAE lynda.com accounts
  • learners will be referred to specific resources such as my wordpress site – Signal Flow Part 1 – endorsing the cross-over from CIU110
  • learners will be introduced to industry protocols via the SAE Studio Guide, remind students of the qualify and booking process for SAE Tri Studios
  • to reinforce Module Content requirement other than Module Guide
    • synergy with AUD110, AUD112 and CIU110 
onion-layers
Concepts to introduce/reinforce (by end of session): 
  • Introductory signal flow
onion-layers
Instructional tasks:
  1. Introduction of learning session – 10 mins
  • Facilitator/instructor explaining aims and objectives of learning session
  • Facilitator/instructor reminding himself of all leaners’ names and any idiosyncratic qualities leaners may have 
onion-layers
 2a.1 What is Signal Flow? – 45 mins
  • to introduce learners to key components of a contemporary small studio – on the floor in the centre of the room
    • XLR cables
    • transduction – what is it, examples of it
      • dynamic microphone
    • 24 channel inline mixing console
      • consoles – different types such as inline console
      • primary faders (by default use)
      • secondary faders (by default use)
      • consoles – channel strip (front of console, and back of console)
      • consoles – master section
    • control room monitors
    • live room monitors
    • headphones
    • TRS vs TS vs 3.5 mm jack vs TT/bantom
    • interface
    • tape/DAW
onion-layers
2a.2 Signal Flow – 45 mins
  • to introduce learners to introductory signal flow – on the table in the centre of the room
  • learners to be engage with hands-on touching of the console, routing signal
    • stage 1: from sound source to console
    • studio/live room monitors for musician
    • role of engineer re monitoring (can around neck)
onion-layers
 2a.3 Signal Flow – Stereo Mix – 45 mins
  • to introduce learners to industry-standard independent stereo mix for monitoring signal flow – on the table in the centre of the room
    • to introduce the 3 families of audio processing
    • use of inserts and aux for routing these
    • headphone mix
      • by default headphone mix
        • positives and negatives of this method
      • independent stereo headphone mix
        • positives and negatives of this industry-standard method
        • routing of this
        • post-fader, pre-fader
          • positives and negatives of this
onion-layers
   2b. Signal Flow competency? 25 mins
  • to introduce learners to AUD113.3 Signal Flow exam in detail
    • particularly covering the questions they have already demonstrated hands-on competence in today’s learning session
onion-layers
2c. Studio visits – 5 mins
Recap Wk3 Audient ASP4816 practical
Revisit How you will gain access to this studio…..
Studios & hours you have access to
Feedback and Questions
onion-layers
3.Hometask – 5 mins
       Familiarise your self with Campus Online various TABS
– Campus Online
– Module Guide
– Lecture resources, particularly Wk1
– Assessment Tasks
  • how communicated/reminded (prodded?)
  • when due
  • how submitted
  • your responsibility
  • assessable tasks
  • slack channel
  • Resources available
  • Campus Online
  • links to streamlined curation sites of relevant resources
– Engage DLP’s provided resources –
  • Signal Flow blogs
  • you-tube channels
  • wordpress/signal flow blog
onion-layers
The next blog in this Project 1 series is E+L Session Plans Part 4
References
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 22nd November 2014
Page, David L. 2001. E+L Session Plans Part 4 Accessed 22nd November 2014
Page, David L. 1991. E+L Session Plans Part 2  Accessed 22nd November 2014
– David L Page 15/08/1991
-updated David L Page 22/11/2014
-updated David L Page 22/05/2016
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave


E+L Session Plans Part 2

onion-layers

Education and Learning Session Plans (contd)

There are many forms of Education & Learning Session Plans which I have discussed in E+L Session Plans Part 1. This blog continues the series.

DLP Prescriptive Education & Learning Session Plan

What: This is a somewhat fleshed out education & learning session plan, that outlines why the facilitator/instructor needs to cover this material, what they need to cover, and leads the facilitator/instructor to how they may introduce the education and learning practice sessions, and prescribing in some detail how the facilitator/instructor must execute/deliver the tasks.
Possible Use: Such a session plan is useful for somewhat experienced novice education and learning practitioners; and/or where multiple somewhat experienced novice education & learning practitioners are delivering the same practice session across multiple sites or times Such a session plan allows somewhat experienced novice education and learning practitioners to be led in modelled good education & learning practice planning, delivery and post-practice reflection.  
In this situation, I would expect an experienced education and learner practitioner to be on hand (perhaps across multiple classes, popping into specific sessions from time to time) with the somewhat experienced novice education and learning practitioner acting in a mentoring capacity.
EG: see below

AUD111 16T1 Wk2 Ed + Learn Session Plan Prescriptive:

Program:  Bachelor of Audio Degree/AUD111 Introduction to Audio Engineering
Title of Education & Learning Session:  Introduction to Signal Flow
Session Number: Wk2
Duration: 180 mins
Site: Rm2.7
Session Facilitator: DLP
Expected Numbers: 24
Learner Group: Stage 1/Tri 1 learners, developing knowledge of their personality, comfort in group, learning style
Assumed Prior Knowledge: Nil (0), though assume they are enrolled/have attended Wk1 for both AUD110 and AUD112
Resources Required: see attached list
onion-layers
Rationale:
The rationale of this education and learning session is to introduce new learners to introductory signal flow in concept and practically
onion-layers
Aim:
The education and learning facilitator/instructor aims to gets learners in the audio discipline SAE Creative Media degree course Module – AUD111 to become practically familiar with key components of a contemporary small studio and introductory signal flow, prepared for the practical components commencing in Wk3.
onion-layers
Facilitator’s Objectives (by end of session):
  • facilitator/instructor to reinforce all of the learners’ names, and assess them progressively of their particular traits or needs
    • to introduce learners to key components of a contemporary small studio
    • XLR cables
    • dynamic microphones
    • 24 channel inline mixing console
    • control room monitors
  • to introduce learners to introductory signal flow
    • health & safety considerations (electrical, physical, auditory)
    • stage 1 – from sound source to console
    • transduction – what is it, examples of it
    • consoles – different types such as inline console
    • primary faders (by default use)
    • secondary faders (by default use)
    • consoles – channel strip (front of console, and back of console)
    • consoles – master section
    • control room monitors
    • studio/live room monitors for musician
    • role of engineer re monitoring (can around neck)
    • post-fader, pre-fader
onion-layers
Learning Objectives (by end of session):
  • to provide learners with studio health & safety considerations (electrical, physical, auditory)
  • to provide learners an opportunity to have a hands on learning experience in preparation for Wk3 practical class
  • to have learners participate actively in their learning via note-pad and pen
  • to have learners participate collaboratively and respectfully of all their peers
  • to revisit Campus Online/AUD111 regarding specific Wk2 resources
  • to revisit AUD111 Module Guide to introduce AUD111.3 Signal Flow exam Assessment task
  • to introduce learners to myself and resources I make available
  • to remind learners re their SAE lynda.com accounts
  • to refer learners to specific resources such as my wordpress site – Signal Flow Part 1 – endorsing the cross-over from CIU110
  • to introduce learners to industry protocols via the SAE Studio Guide, remind students of the qualify and booking process for SAE Tri Studios
  • to reinforce Module Content requirement other than Module Guide
    • synergy with AUD110, AUD112 and CIU110
onion-layers
Intended Education & Learning Session Approach (Pedagogy/Andragogy):
  • Facilitator/instructor-led introduction, with varying levels of guided/scaffolded instruction
  • In order to maintain the learner’s engagement, facilitator/instructor to use ongoing questions – content, concept, skill-checking and instruction checking question forms
  • Learners hands-on scaffolded learning practice 1 on 1, under watchful eye of facilitator and/or peers
  • Facilitator/instructor-led group discussion to share learnings
  • In order to maintain the learner’s engagement, facilitator/instructor to use ongoing questions – content, concept, skill-checking and instruction checking question forms
  • Facilitator/instructor-led outro
onion-layers
Intended Education & Learning Session Assessment Methods:
  • learners will demonstrate their understanding to the facilitator/instructor by answering specific directed questions
  • learners will demonstrate their competence to the facilitator/instructor by demonstrating a number of specific required tasks within the learning session to varying levels of guided/scaffolded instruction
onion-layers
Learning Outcomes (by the end of session):
  • learners will be introduced to studio health & safety considerations (electrical, physical, auditory)
  • learners will have a hands on learning experience in preparation for Wk3 practical class
  • learners will participate actively in their learning via note-pad and pen
  • learners will participate collaboratively and respectfully of all their peers
  • learners will revisit Campus Online/AUD111 regarding specific Wk2 resources
  • learners will revisit AUD111 Module Guide to introduce AUD111.3 Signal Flow exam Assessment task
  • learners will introduced to myself and resources I make available
  • learners will be reminded re their SAE lynda.com accounts
  • learners will be referred to specific resources such as my wordpress site – Signal Flow Part 1 – endorsing the cross-over from CIU110
  • learners will be introduced to industry protocols via the SAE Studio Guide, remind students of the qualify and booking process for SAE Tri Studios
  • to reinforce Module Content requirement other than Module Guide
    • synergy with AUD110, AUD112 and CIU110
onion-layers
Concepts to introduce/reinforce (by end of session):  
  • Introductory signal flow
onion-layers
Instructional tasks:
Activity 1:Introduction to learning session
Predicted duration of activity 1:  20 mins
Resources/Materials for activity 1:
  • Internet/CO/AUD111
  • Internet/CO/AUD111 Module Guide
  • Internet/CO/AUD111 Resources tab
  • Internet/CO/AUD111 Assessments tab
  • Internet/You-tube/DLP playlists
  • Learners can use note-taking device if they choose to on their choice: eg iPhones/iNotes, iMacs/iNotes/iText, iPads/iNotes, pen/paper
Procedure for activity 1:
    1. Referring to the AUD115 Module Guide, Instructor recaps Week 1s overview
    2. Facilitator/instructor asks specific learners specific questions re Week 1s overview
    3. The facilitator/instructor is doing this as an opportunity to remember/learn the learners names (whilst also noting to himself of any idiosyncratic qualities learners may have)
    4. The objective here is for the Instructor to ensure all learners – including any Wk1 absentees – are familiar with essential elements of Week 1 (ie access to required resources – CO, Module Guide, Module aims and objectives/LOs, weekly schedule overview, assessment criteria, their responsibility as adult learners)
Evaluation/Assessment of activity 1: 
Evaluation /assessment of the learners takes place throughout the activity by listening to the learners’ responses to the specific questions being asked by the facilitator/instructor; analysing who is doing well and who may not be doing well as expected. This process may help to pinpoint what information is not yet clear, and highlight to the facilitator/instructor which of the learners will potentially need more help or attention that other learners may not need, on a weekly basis.
onion-layers
Activity 2a: Introduction of learning session content
Predicted duration of activity 2a:  20 mins
Resources/Materials for activity 2a:
  • Internet/CO/AUD111
  • Internet/CO/AUD111 Module Guide
  • Internet/CO/AUD111 Resources tab
  • Internet/CO/AUD111 Assessments tab
  • Internet/You-tube/DLP playlists
  • Students can use note-taking device if they choose to on their choice: eg iPhones/iNotes, iMacs/iNotes/iText, iPads/iNotes, pen/paper
Procedure for activity 2a:
  1. Referring to the SAE Course Guide, facilitator/instructor recaps Week 1s overview of all the learner’s Modules
  2. facilitator/instructor asks specific learners specific questions re Week 1s Modules introduced, and what the content is going to be about
  3. The objective here is for the facilitator/instructor to ensure all students – including any Wk1 absentees – are familiar with essential elements of Week 1 Modules (ie AUD112, AUD110..)
  4. The facilitator/instructor explains the aims and objectives of this learning session to the learners
  5. The instructor is undertaking this task for multi-fold reasons:
    • to engage the learners
    • to have the learners understand that all learning sessions are to be interactive proactive events
    • to ensure the learners understand that this learning session is part of the overall weekly schedule overview as shown in the Module Guide earlier
    • to demonstrate to the learners the connections between all 4 Stage 1/Tri 1 Modules, particularly the 3 audio-based Modules
    • to prepare the learners for an application of what they learnt in another Module. For eg: AUD112 learning about microphones, to being able to use one connected, functioning, converting one form of energy to another and successfully getting signal out of the monitors
    • that the facilitator/instructors know of, and expects the learners to be able to make connections to other Modules within these learning sessions;
    • to draw on the students knowledge, reassuring them that everyone knows something, and can contribute something in a learning session;
    • as an opportunity to remember/learn the learners names (whilst also noting to himself of any idiosyncratic qualities leaners may have)
Evaluation/Assessment of activity 2a: 
Evaluation /assessment of the learners takes place throughout the activity by listening to the learners’ responses to the specific questions being asked by the facilitator/instructor; analysing who is doing well and who may not be doing well as expected. This process may help to pinpoint what information is not yet clear, and highlight to the facilitator/instructor which of the learners will potentially need more help or attention that other learners may not need, on a weekly basis.
onion-layers
Activity 2b: Introduction of Signal Flow
Predicted duration of activity 2b:  40 mins
Resources/Materials for activity 2b:
  • powerpoint present
  • Internet/DLP wordpress
  • Internet/You-tube/DLP playlists
  • dynamic microphone *1
  • XLR cables *3
  • 24 channel console
  • active monitors *pair
  • power board & lead
  • Students can use note-taking device if they choose to on their choice: eg iPhones/iNotes, iMacs/iNotes/iText, iPads/iNotes, pen/paper
Procedure for activity 2b:
  1. facilitator/instructor has all audio devices on the floor
  2. facilitator/instructor asks specific learners specific questions re these pieces of equipment
  3. facilitator/instructor asks specific learners specific question regarding a dynamic microphone he has in his hand
    • What is it?
      • Lay term?
      • technical name?
    • What does it do?
    • Instructors test knowledge of learners by asking how it works? (clear answers not expected yet as it may be prior to AUD112 learning session that has not yet been covered)
  4. facilitator/instructor introduces concept of signal flow, from sound source to spl post-monitors
  5. facilitator/instructor demonstrates signal flow, from sound source to spl post-monitors
  6. facilitator/instructor is undertaking this task to introduce learners to key components of a contemporary small studio – on the floor in the centre of the room
    • XLR cables
    • transduction – what is it, examples of it?
      • dynamic microphone – capturing sound, converting acoustic to electrical energy
    • 24 channel inline mixing console
      • consoles – different types such as inline console
      • primary faders (by default use)
      • secondary faders (by default use)
      • consoles – channel strip (front of console, and back of console)
      • consoles – master section
    • control room monitors
  7.  The facilitator/instructor is doing this for multi-fold reasons:
    • To ensure all students are familiar with the essential element of AUD111 – Signal Flow (concept) on an analogue in-line console To introduce the learners to studio health and safety considerations (electrical, physical, auditory)
    • using an energised instructional drilling process, maintain learner engagement
    • to reinforce to the learners that all learning sessions are to be interactive proactive events
    • to ensure the learners understand that this learning session is part of the overall weekly schedule overview as shown in the Module Guide earlier
    • to demonstrate to the learners the connections between all 4 Stage 1/Tri 1 Modules, particularly the 3 audio-based Modules
    • to prepare the learners for an application of what they learnt in another Module. For eg: AUD112 learning about microphones, to being able to use one connected, functioning, converting one form of energy to another and successfully getting signal out of the monitors
    • that the facilitator/instructor know of, and expects the learners to be able to make connections to other Modules within these learning sessions;
    • to draw on the learner’s knowledge, reassuring them that everyone knows something, and can contribute something in a learning session;
    • as an opportunity to remember/learn the learners names (whilst also noting to himself of any idiosyncratic qualities leaners may have) 
Evaluation/Assessment of activity 2b: 
Evaluation /assessment of the learners takes place throughout the activity by listening to the learners’ responses to the specific questions being asked by the facilitator/instructor; analysing who is doing well and who may not be doing well as expected. This process may help to pinpoint what information is not yet clear, and highlight to the facilitator/instructor which of the learners will potentially need more help or attention that other learners may not need, on a weekly basis.
onion-layers
Activity 2c: Practicing Signal Flow
Predicted duration of activity 2c:  60 mins
Resources/Materials for activity 2c:
  • as above
  • but multiples of microphones and xlrs for all pairs of learners to engage in the signal flow exercise
  • paper and marker pens
Procedure for activity 2c:
  1. facilitator/instructor has all audio devices on the floor
  2. facilitator/instructor asks specific learners to replicate that signal flow as just demonstrated
  3. facilitator/instructor provides feedback as the learner is progressing to ensure they feel supported, reassuring to others that all learners in this session can feel supported
  4. Once a few have successfully completed this task in front of the class, the instructor pairs off everyone in the class, assigning them a channel no, and requests that one play the learner, and one play the Instructor – and demonstrate their understanding of Signal Flow (concept) on an analogue in-line console
  5. The facilitator/instructor is doing this for multi-fold reasons:
    • The objective here is for the Instructor to ensure all students are familiar with the essential element of AUD111 – Signal Flow (concept) on an analogue in-line console
    • to ensure the learners are adhering to health & safety considerations (electrical, physical, auditory)
    • learners demonstrate their competence to the Instructor by demonstrating demonstrate their understanding of Signal Flow (concept) on an analogue in-line console within the learning session in varying levels of guided/scaffolded instruction
    • to reinforce to the learners that all learning sessions are to be interactive proactive events
    • to encourage a culture of support in this Module cohort
    • to ensure the learners understand that this learning session is part of the overall weekly schedule overview as shown in the Module Guide earlier
    • to demonstrate to the learners the connections between all 4 Stage 1/Tri 1 Modules, particularly the 3 audio-based Modules
    • to prepare the learners for an application of what they learnt in another Module. For eg: AUD112 learning about microphones, to being able to use one connected, functioning, converting one form of energy to another and successfully getting signal out of the monitors
    • that the Instructors know of, and expects the learners to be able to make connections to other Modules within these learning sessions;
    • to draw on the students knowledge, reassuring them that everyone knows something, and can contribute something in a learning session;
    • as an opportunity to remember/learn the learners names (whilst also noting to himself of any idiosyncratic qualities leaners may have).
Evaluation/Assessment of activity 2c: 
      Evaluation/assessment of the learners takes place two-fold:
  1. Evaluation /assessment of the learners takes place throughout the activity by listening to the learners’ responses to the specific questions being asked by the facilitator/instructor; analysing who is doing well and who may not be doing well as expected. This process may help to pinpoint what information is not yet clear, and highlight to the facilitator/instructor which of the learners will potentially need more help or attention that other learners may not need, on a weekly basis; and.
  2. Learners will demonstrate their competence to the Instructor by demonstrating demonstrate their understanding of Signal Flow (concept) on an analogue in-line console within the learning session in varying levels of guided/scaffolded instruction
onion-layers
Activity 2d: Reinforcing Signal Flow
Predicted duration of activity 2d:  30 mins
Resources/Materials for activity 2d:
  • as above
  • but multiples of microphones and xlrs for all pairs of learners to engage in the signal flow exercise
  • paper and marker pens
Procedure for activity 2d:
  1. Once all learners have completed the above signal flow task, the facilitator/instructor gathers all learners back into a circle, and have specific learners explain what they have learnt, answering specific questions of the facilitator/instructor of every stage of the signal flow process using an analogue in-line console
  2. the facilitator/instructor then requests all learners to draw out their understanding of every stage of the signal flow process using an analogue in-line console (paper/markers to be handed out);
  3. the facilitator/instructor circulates whilst the exercise is going on to offer suggestions, answer questions, etc
  4. the facilitator/instructors then draws on several specific learners to show and tell their analogue signal flow chart
  5. the facilitator/instructor elicits questions and/or comments from the cohort, including demonstrated understanding of health & safety considerations (electrical, physical, auditory)
  6. Once cohort comments and questions are complete, facilitator/instructor returns to DLP wordpress blog on Intro Signal Flow to demonstrate a more pro signal flow chart, from sound source to spl post-monitors
  7. The instructor is doing this for multi-fold reasons:
    • By sharing the DLP wordpress blog on Intro Signal Flow, the facilitator/instructor is revealing there is more Signal Flow coming over the coming weeks (ie Parts 1 followed by Part 2, Part 3 etc)
    • The objective here is for the Instructor to ensure all students are familiar with the essential element of AUD111 – Signal Flow (concept) on an analogue in-line console
    • to reinforce learning practice in learners where they can easily digest new information, be instructed in, and demonstrate their understanding – all within 1 learning session
    • and replicate sustainable learning practice outside of class
    • to encourage a culture of support in this Module cohort
    • to ensure the learners understand that this learning session is part of the overall weekly schedule overview as shown in the Module Guide earlier
    • to draw on the learners knowledge, reassuring them that everyone knows something, and can contribute something in a learning session;
    • as an opportunity to remember/learn the learners names (whilst also noting to himself of any idiosyncratic qualities leaners may have)
Evaluation/Assessment of activity 2d: 
Evaluation/assessment of the learners takes place two-fold:
  1. throughout the activity by listening to the learners’ responses to the specific questions being asked by the facilitator/instructor; analysing who is doing well and who may not be doing well as expected. This process may help to pinpoint what information is not yet clear, and highlight to the facilitator/instructor which of the learners will potentially need more help or attention that other learners may not need, on a weekly basis; and
  2. Learners will demonstrate their competence to the Instructor by demonstrating demonstrate their understanding of Signal Flow (concept) on an analogue in-line console within the learning session in varying levels of guided/scaffolded instruction
onion-layers

 Activity 3: Recapping Learning Session
Predicted duration of activity 3:  10 mins
Resources/Materials for activity 3:
  • Internet/CO/AUD111
  • Internet/CO/AUD111 Module Guide
  • Internet/CO/AUD111 Resources tab
  • Internet/CO/AUD111 Assessments tab
  • Internet/You-tube/DLP playlists
Procedure for activity 3:
  1. Facilitator/instructor to field and respond to any questions re this learning session – Activity 1, 2a,2b,2c
  2. Facilitator/instructor to ask specific learners specific questions regarding their required take aways from this learning session – Activity 1, 2a,2b,2c
  3. Learners are reminded of required home tasks to familiarise themselves with Campus Online various TABS
– Campus Online
– Module Guide
– Lecture resources, particularly Wk1
– Assessment Tasks
  • how communicated/reminded (prodded?)
  • when due
  • how submitted
  • your responsibility
  • assessable tasks
  • slack channel
  • Resources available
  • Campus Online
  • links to streamlined curation sites of relevant resources
  • Engage DLP’s provided resources –
      • Signal Flow blogs
      • you-tube channels
      • wordpress/signal flow blog
        onion-layers
The next blog in this Project 1 series is E+L Session Plans Part 4.
References
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 21st November, 2014
Page, David L. 2015. Educational Philosophy Part 3b Accessed 22nd May, 2016
Page, David L. 2004. Educational Philosophy Part 1 Accessed 21st November, 2014
Page, David L. 1991. E+L Session Plans Part 4 Accessed 21st November, 2014
Page, David L. 1990. E+L Session Plans Part 1 Accessed 21st November, 2014
– David L Page 10/01/1991
– updated David L Page 21/11/2014
– updated David L Page 22/05/2016

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave