You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2012.

After # 20 on your final, there are 2 short answer questions that ask you to answer on a separate sheet of paper.  You can answer them here on our blog as well.

II.  Short Answer/Critical Thinking

1. You are recording sound for a small production that includes music and singing.  The opening number is one performer that will be singing while playing an acoustic guitar.  What types(s) of microphone(s) would be  best to use for guitar and vocal pickup?

2. You are trying to open up a Protools session to edit a recording, but the program will not open.  What are some troubleshooting options to remedy the problem?

The root of the word “technology” is the Greek word tecknos, which means “art.” Technology has been linked to art for centuries. For example, it took almost four years for Leonardo Da Vinci to paint the Mona Lisa, the most famous painting in the world. Today, it would take a graphic artist using a computer about five minutes to reproduce her. Howard Sparks, a well-known author of the 20th century, suggests that, “The art of our era is not art, but technology. Today, Rembrandt is painting automobiles; Shakespeare is writing research papers; Michelangelo is designing more efficient bank lobbies.”

Short Answer: What is your view of the idea that today’s art is technology?

Answer the following questions as well.

Question: How many bits is a byte?

3) 16 
4) 32

Question: Computers calculate numbers in what mode?

1) Decimal 
2) Octal 
3) Binary 
4) None of the above

Question: RAM stands for…

1) Random Access Memory 
2) Really Annoying Machine 
3) Read A Manual 
4) Real Absolute Memory

Question: ROM stands for…

1) Royal Ontario Museum 
2) Read Only Memory 
3) Read on Monday 
4) Real Obsolute Memory

Question: What does CPU stand for?

1) Cute People United 
2) Commonwealth Press Union 
3) Computer Parts of USA 
4) Central Processing Unit

Question: To select text by shading as you drag the mouse arrow over the text is known as…

1) Clip art 
2) To highlight 
3) To fetch 
4) To decode

Question: Main circuit board in a computer is…

1) Decoder 
2) Highlight 
3) Select 
4) Mother board

Question: A ___ is a color with black added to it.

1) tint
2) value
3) shade
4) hue
5) pigment

Question: The property concerned with the brightness or dullness of a hue is ______________.

1) tint
2) value
3) intensity
4) hue
5) pigment

Question: Plans for organizing colors are called __________  ____________.  ( Two words)

1) still life
2) focal point
3) color wheel
4) color scheme
5) pigment

Question: A ______ is any color with white added.

1) tint
2) shadow
3) shade
4) hue
5) pigment

Question: A type of paint that is transparent and mixes with water is called:

1) tempera
2) acrylic
3) house paint
4) watercolor
5) craypas

Click the image below to be taken to a website to VOTE FOR Rmur Beats. Ramon Murrillo graduated from Desert Mirage High School in 2011 and is now producing hip hop instrumentals and is in the top 10 for a contest to have a beat included on a new Kosha Dillz mixtape.

Kosha Dillz was a performer at the 2011 Hue Festival and is from New Jersey. He has been featured in various magazines, MTV and is a playable character on NBA2k11 along with Snoop Dogg and other rappers. Click to vote for Rmur Beats Below!

Answer the following questions, you can use your book.  Click “Leave a Comment” to submit your answers.

1. Connection speed affects:  (p. 323)

a. audio quality

b.  file types allowable

c. microphone techniques

d. computer choice

2.  The faster the connection speed: (p. 323)

a. the lower the audio quality

b. the higher the audio quality

c. the more file formats you can send

d. the more compression required

3. Which of the following is not a way to improve audio quality in Internet audio: (p. 324)

a. improving connection speed

b. increasing the size of the files

c. increasing sampling rate

d. compression

4.  There is one basic type of digital file format used in Internet audio. (p. 325)

a. true

b. false

5.  Downloadable nonstreaming formats: (p. 325)

a. utilize the principle of buffering

b. require that the user first download the entire file and store it on the computer’s

hard disk.

c. require specific server software

d. is incredibly fast to download

6.  ISDN made it possible to produce a recording session in real time between studios across town or across the country.   (p. 327)

a. true

b. false

7. All internet audio including MP3 is at or near CD quality. (p.323)

a. true

b. false

8. Reducing the size of internet audio files may improve the quality. (p323)

a. true

b. false

9. Sound design is the process of creating the: (p. 328)

a. sound effects

b. music

c. audiotography

d. overall sonic character of a production

 10. The pitch of a sound refers to its: (p329)

a. highness or lowness

b. strength or weakness

c. loudness or quietness

d. tonal quality or color

 11. Timbre refers to a sound’s: (p. 199)

a. highness or lowness

b. strength or weakness

c. loudness or quietness

d. tonal quality or color

 12. One of the following characteristics is unlikely to be associated with slow tempo: (p. 199)

a. monotonous

b. controlled

c. agitated

d. dignified

13. Indirect narration: (p. 190)

a. describes what is being seen or heard

b. describes something other than what is being seen or heard

c. is narration recorded off-mic

d. is narration that is voiced over what is being seen or heard

14. In speech, the nonverbal sound can carry the primary meaning. (p. 334)

a. true

b. false

 15. In speech, meaning can be communicated through pace. (p. 334)

a. true

b. false

 16. By placing inflection on certain words, a speaker may: (p. 334)

a. change the sentence meaning

b. change the sentence syntax

c. change the sentence grammar

d. change the sentence structure

 17. Narrative sound: (p. 202)

a. emanates from and duplicates a sound source as it is

b. adds more to a scene than what is apparent

c. provides a verbal context to what is being seen or heard

d. provides factual rather than emotional information

 18. When sound parallels Picture: (p.330)

a. Neither the aural or the visual element is dominant

b. The visual element leads the aural element

c. The aural element follows the visual element.

d. The focus is always on the visual element

 19. When sound and picture define effect: (p.331

a. The aural and visual elements are equal

b. The aural and visual elements are different yet complimentary

c. The visual element defines the effect

d. The effect is always the same.

Define the following Key Terms:

Connection speed

streaming formats

Sampling rate

nonstreaming formats

File manipulation


File formats



step 1Use this website to convert audio files:

step 2Open iTunes.

step 3Open new GarageBand project: File ⇒ New or ⌘N.

step 4Determine if file is compatible with GarageBand.

  • Drag desired audio file into timeline – if it goes in, there is no need to convert.
  • If it doesn’t go in, the file will need to be converted.

step 5Determine if file is compatible with iTunes.

  • Drag desired audio file into timeline – if it goes in, there is no need to convert.
  • If it goes in, convert with iTunes: Select Advanced ⇒ Create MP3 version. Follow process from Lesson 4 to locate the new song file and move it to desired location.
  • If it doesn’t go in, convert with the audio convert website.

step 6Use the website to convert outside of iTunes or to non-MP3 file type.

  • Open Switch.
  • Drag and drop audio file into Switch window.
  • Select output folder – this is where your converted file will end up.
  • Select output format – mp3 is widely compatible.
  • Convert: Use menu (Convert ⇒ Convert Files), keyboard shortcut (shift+⌘C),
    or click on icon in lower right corner of window. Switch convert icon

step 7Drag converted file into GarageBand timeline.
switch software window


Swtich can convert to and from common audio file formats, some of which are listed below. Information in the table below is from

.aac Advanced Audio Coding File iTunes default encoding. Similar to an .MP3 file, but offers several performance improvements.
.aif Audio Interchange File Format CD-quality audio file, similar to a .WAV file; standard CD audio AIFF files have two channels (for stereo sound).
.flac Free Lossless Audio Codec File Open-source; uses lossless audio compression; compresses audio files with no loss in quality.
.m3u Media Playlist File Contains a playlist of MP3s and other audio/video files; contains references to files, but not the actual files.
.mov Apple QuickTime Movie Common multimedia format often used for saving movies and other video files; Mac and PC compatible.
.mpc Musepack Compressed Audio File Based on .MP2, but with several improvements; not as popular as .MP3 c, but has higher-quality sound.
.mp3 MP3 Audio File Common for music files and audiobooks; near-CD quality in a file 1/10 the size of a .WAV or .AIF file.
.ogg Ogg Vorbis Compressed Audio File Compressed audio file that uses free, unpatented Ogg Vorbis compression; similar to an .MP3 file, but sounds better than an MP3 file of equal size.
.pls Audio Playlist Playlist containing a list of audio files; may be used to redirect to an Ogg Vorbis (.OGG) audio file; contains references to files, but not the actual data.
.vox VoxWare Dialogic Audio File MetaVoice encoded audio file that simulates human speech.
.wav or .wave WAVE Audio File CD-quality audio file, similar to .AIFF file; WAVE more common on Windows, AIFF more common on Mac.

Sample Audio Files:

Audio files used in the tutorial, and their sources, are listed below. You may use these files to practice converting, if you like.

Read the instructions on how to use this website to use samples and other sounds to make instrumentals, beats and songs. Click the image below to be taken to the website.

January 2012

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RSS The Makeshift Musician

  • Producing Natural-Sounding MIDI Notes
    When making electronically-produced music, you’ll find yourself often programming notes rather than playing them. People who don’t understand the medium will say that this makes the music cold, mechanical and lifeless, but they simply don’t understand the amount of work and craftsmanship that goes into manually arranging notes. A composer needs to take into […]
  • Weekly Music Writing – Like lifting weights made of creativity
    A while back I wrote about writing music constantly in order to build your skills and flex your creativity. I’ve been making music for several years now and my biggest project had been a 16 track score for a tragically unreleased computer game, which I finished in about 6 months. This was a great exercise, […]
  • Microphones, Cables and Everything Else in Your Studio
    This is the final part of the Makeshift Musician’s Comprehensive Guide to Building Your Own Studio So, you’ve got your room for your studio, you’ve set up your computer, hooked up your audio interface and installed your recording software. What’s next? Actually, a lot of stuff. Microphones Unless you’re an all-software kind of musician, you need […] […]
  • Audio Recording Software for Your Studio
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  • Audio Interface, or, How to Get Sound into Your Computer
    This is Part 3 of the Makeshift Musician’s Comprehensive Guide to Building Your Own Studio Now that you’ve got a computer, it’s entirely possible that you’re now standing in front of it with your guitar or piano or whatever, your eyes slowly moving back and forth between the two objects in a confused manner, wondering how […]

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    Just Blaze on the evolution of musical styles, the state of New York hip-hop, DJ’ing, and ghot production. “A lot of these guys employ people who do their music for them.” “Some of these DJ’s that are constantly on the road are also constantly putting out new music.  How… because they have guys under them […]
  • Battle Of The Americas Beat Battle f/ Young Guru
    The Beat Academy presents The Battle of The Americas Beat Battle featuring judges Young Guru, Symbolyc One (S1), and Jake One. On Saturday June 21st 24 producers from USA and Canada will go to war in the ultimate team beat battle! Grab tickets or visit Beat Academy for more info. Video of The Road to […]
  • DJ Premier Explains Iconic Gangstarr Logo
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