Monday, 17 March 2014

Wow. Such Weekend. Much Fun. Doge Approve. Wow.

Weekends tend to be a bit dull, if you're in a new city and don't know enough people there yet. So, on Friday I decided to do the next aural training unit and to have a looksies at our main DAW, ProTools.

The last batch of exercises on CD #3 were again about different effects and pinpointing them in A/B drills. Same exercise, different day. I won't bother you with more details about it. Unless you want me to.

After aural training I messed around with ProTools for a bit and tried editing a practise file with speech. What I saw and used was pretty intuitive and except for using the wrong tools the result was okay. Not anywhere near great, but okay-ish, sort of. Well, learning by doing or trial & error, what did you expect? Failing until you succeed. But this day's supervisor Marco helped me out a bit and showed me what I've done wrong. Mental note to myself: don't use the loop tool, not even by accident, if you want to trim a clip.

A pack of wild ProTools stations appears!

Saturday was pretty exciting, even though it started out without being anything special. Sleeping long, feeding the bearded dragons some fresh salad and just waking up in general. Around noon I wanted to have another go at ProTools, but this time I would use the right tools and think about what Marco told me the day before. As you might expect the result was different from Friday's mucking about with ProTools. I was already much faster with editing, since I had an inkling of what I had to do, and I took my time to do better crossfades, fade-ins and fade-outs. Working on the breaths and breaks was something I focussed a bit to get them to sound natural and believable. 

In the end, the outcome was a lot better than the last. Not something I would send a radio station, but for using ProTools for the second time I'm content. Well, no, not really. One should never be completely content with what one has been doing. Having a critical point of view of one's work and just trying to do better than the last time is the only way to become better. I apply the same principle when learning and practising an instrument, because the moment you're content with your own skills you stop being critical about said skills and as a result you stop becoming better. It might sound obvious and, let's be honest, it is, but most of the time the most obvious answers are the hardest to spot. Ever heard of Ockham's Razor or Lex Parsimoniae? It's a similar principle. Google it, if you've never heard of it.

Button goes in! Button comes out! Button is stuck.

While working with ProTools I heard some nice electronic music coming from another classroom and then from the lounge, but I wasn't done in the Edit Area. After finishing what I set out to do I was curious as to what was going on over there and I moseyed over. A couple of students and our superviser Daniel rigged up some synthesizers, a drum computer, turntables, a Tractor Kontrol, some Korg monotrons and a mixer and were having a small electro session because they completed the Electronic Music Producer course on this very day, presentation of the certificates included. Celebrations were in order. 

Less light, more sound!

But I wasn't just there listening to the soundscapes and beats they created. Daniel asked me if I knew how to operate the mixer and since I used to operate our small on-stage mixer when I was playing concerts with my band »Spielleyt Ragnaroek« I dared to do it. Besides it being a lot of fun, I could try and apply what we've learned and practised (aural training) up to now and gather some experience in mixing in a live situation without embarrassing myself too much if I did anything wrong.

Time flew by and one after another graduate left because it was some hours past closing hour. So, what else was there to do? Righto! Getting a drink as a finale for this day. And thus, with the last three graduates, Daniel and myself grabbing a drink before heading home, ends this tale. And they all lived happily ever after. Or something like that...


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