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View slide show and read the article found here and then answer the questions found here.

Def Jam - Run, Rick Rubin, Russel Simmons

Definitive Jux is an independent record label based in New York CityUnited States.  The label was initially known simply as Def Jux, but in 2001 popular hip hop label Def Jam Recordings sued Def Jux over the name similarity. This lawsuit was settled out of court and the name was officially changed to Definitive Jux.

Based on what we have discussed about Copyright Laws, Do you think the name is similar enough to be sued?

1) What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)?
2) What is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)?
3) What are your own thoughts on sharing files such as movies and music with friends?
4) What countries are involved in the ACTA?
5) What is the Freedom of Information Act?
6) What is the Electronic Frontier Foundation?
7) What is the  Knowledge Ecology International?
8) What is the The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)?
9) What do these organizations and acts have in common?
10) What is piracy?  Is it illegal?

Ahh Autotune.  Popularly known today as the T-Pain effect, Autotune is a program [] that can alter the pitch of singers through a wide variety of settings.  Because of this somewhat manipulative tool, singers can produce songs that sound better than their natural abilities or create music that sounds distinctly artificial.  For better or for worse, Autotune is now firmly entrenched as a part of modern music production, used and abused by artists from Cher to Rebecca Black.

In this post, I’m going to walk through how to achieve a few of the effects similar to those that Autotune produces.  For PCs, Audacity and a free plugin called GSnap are easy and powerful tools for pitch tuning.  On a Macintosh, which we use here at the Multimedia Project Studios, the process is made fairly simple by the audio editing application, GarageBand.

–        Start off by opening up GarageBand and creating a new Voice song.  If you aren’t sure what key the song is in, don’t worry; you can leave the default of C Major and adjust it later.

–        If you already have a voice recording to use for this song, move it to the timeline by dragging and dropping the file into the middle of GarageBand.  Otherwise, if you plan to record directly into GarageBand, wait until after we have adjusted all the settings.

–        To open up editing controls for your recording, double click on the sound file in the timeline or click on the scissor button in the bottom-left corner of the program.  Here, you will see several bars that can modify how your recording sounds.  The one we are going for is “Enhance Tuning”, the slider in the middle.

–        The “Enhance Tuning” setting will adjust the voice in your recording to be more on key, just as Autotune does.  To apply a slightly tuned effect to your song, simply move the slider up, to somewhere around 25 to 50. Now, each word sung should sound as if it is hitting the intended note more cleanly than before, without any noticeable artificial tones.  Here’s myauto-tuned-for-good version.

–        Perfecting a singer’s vocals was the original intent of tools such as Autotune and Enhance Tuning.  However, recent artists such as T-Pain have experimented with its effects and taken artificial pitch tuning to the extreme.  The resulting voice sounds strangely fragmented and robotic, reminiscent of talking in front of a spinning fan.

–        To achieve this effect in Garageband, start by increasing the Enhance Tuning setting to 100 and making sure that “Limit to Key” is checked.  This will artificially adjust the voice as much as possible to create that robotic sound.

–        At this point, you should listen to how your recording sounds, or record yourself singing if you don’t have a voice track already.  Here’s my auto-tuned-for-evil version.

–        If certain parts sound different from how you imagined or intended, your GarageBand song file is most likely set to the wrong key.  To correct this, you have to edit the Master Track, located in the top right corner of the program.  After clicking on Master Track, find the menu for Key at the bottom right and play around with the different scales until your voice is moving up and down the way you want.

–        For further enhancement, try adding a “wet” reverb sound to your track from the list of Vocals presets – this will make your recording sound more natural to the listener.

–        To get the best audio quality, you have to start with a good recording.  Try recording with high quality microphones in the MPS Soundbooth on West!

Have fun messing around with the Enhance Tuning setting, and make some good music! Bad Music!

Even though Auto-tune – that funky robot effect that ruled the radio for a big chunk of 2008 – has been officially declared dead by no less a rap superstar than Jay-Z himself, people still went nuts for T-Pain’s Auto-tune app on the iPhone. You don’t have to have an iPhone (or pay hundreds of dollars for official Antares Auto-tune software) to get that T-Pain sound, though. In fact, you can do it with an app that comes preloaded on the average Mac: Garageband. Check out the gallery for a step-by-step guide to bringing the T-Pain.



March 2014

RSS DMHS Counseling

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RSS Rampage

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RSS Mr. Katz

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RSS College of the Desert Radio 1620 AM

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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
    This is Part 4 of the Makeshift Musician’s Comprehensive Guide to Building Your Own Studio We’re now down to the last big component of your beast of a studio. To add this last piece, we need to dive into the prickly, sometimes confusing realm of software. Luckily for you, though, there are a lot of easy […]
  • 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 […]

RSS Crate Kings

  • Just Blaze on Ghost Production, Musical Styles
    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
    DJ Premier explains how Guru and Big Shug designed the Gangstarr logo and how it’s been used throughout all of their albums.  Primo also talks about how Mass Appeal was created with the intention of being a radio hit.

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