For this week’s assignment, I decided to go in a little bit of a different direction. In past weeks, I came up with ideas that were more process oriented (i.e. my pedalboard example). However, this week I decided to come up with something a little more conceptual which I think ultimately lends itself better to a story (rather than just “instructions”). This concept is video game addiction. This is something that affects many people (see the Wikipedia link here), and I think it is a form of addiction that is only now just starting to be recognized as a serious addiction. Similar to a drug addiction, addiction to video games can consume a person’s life, break down all family and personal relationships, and can even cause physical harm (carpel tunnel syndrome, sleep loss, etc.). Despite all the information that is starting to become available about video game addiction, it is still a concept that is foreign to many people. Many of these people do not believe it is actually a thing, so I would love to create a story to help explain it to everyone.
So I don’t think anyone would be surprised to find out that I chose the “Being A Music Producer” audio assignment. The objective of this assignment was to record two parts of an audio track with any instrument (obviously guitar for me!). To begin with, I laid down a rhythm backing track. This was actually part of a song I’ve been working on (so sneak peak!!). Then, I laid down an improvised solo on top of the backing track to add some “spice” in 🙂
I uploaded it to SoundCloud, so you can check it out here–it’s just a small 16 bar snippet but you get the idea:
I think I got a little morbid here with my audio story…but oh well!
I started with the background traffic sound, and then added in a car crash, a woman screaming, a woman crying, and lastly a siren coming in at the very end. Let me know what you think!
So for my foray into SoundCloud, I figured I’d try to find the most absurd news headline of the year and read it aloud as a news announcer. Here’s the link to the actual article, and you can hear me reading the headline on SoundCloud:
I did some interesting work this week with pictures. One of my favorite things to do is to take a picture and modify it in some hilarious way in Photoshop. That said, I have actually run into trouble doing this. I didn’t ever intentionally do anything harmful, but I had created a picture of my brother’s puggles with devil horns so I figured I’d create one of my fiancée’s dog with angel wings (gotta get those brownie points!). However, when I posted it to Facebook, everyone thought that my fiancée’s dog had died. Like I said–totally unintentional but definitely not good!
So this week, I tried to avoid any mishaps like that. Here’s what I worked on:
First and foremost, I went on a design safari. Elephants, palm trees, and puggles–oh my! I took a few different pictures that exemplified some of the design elements we learned about. Check it out here.
Next, I created a couple more Photoshop images. They may have turned out a little creepy, but I think the message is clear–don’t mess with me unless you want your face on a gorilla’s body! (just kidding) Anyway, check out the pics here.
Lastly, I found another example for storified content. This one hit pretty close to home, since as a guitar player, I have my own pedal board. What a nightmare it can be! Check it out here (for the record, that is not MY pedal board–I’m definitely a little more organized than that!).
Overall, I think it was a pretty good week. I’m looking forward to the 2nd half of the class!
Keeping in line with the guitar/rock n’ roll theme of the week, I had another thought for something that could use some storifying. Some of you may have seen this before, but a lot of electric guitar players use a series of effects pedals to modify the sound of their amplified guitar. These pedals are typically placed on a Velcro mat called a pedal board. One confusing aspect is simply fitting all your pedals on the board. Another confusing aspect is deciding what order to place the pedals. The latter is most confusing, I think, because the order actually does matter. A delay pedal going through an overdrive pedal going through a de-tuner pedal might sound a little muddy since you’re digitally affecting a large number of effects. However, if you put the de-tuner first, you are simply de-tuning the raw guitar signal and then adding the effects on after that. Although it seems like a minute difference, it actually has a huge impact. Anyway, here is a quick visual representation of how confusing a pedal board can be:
The first design assignment I tried was the person’s face on an animal’s body. This one started off innocently, but as I was browsing through Facebook pictures, I found a truly terrifying picture of a buddy of mine from high school. It didn’t take much creative thinking to realize that this would be perfect to use as a face on a big gorilla. In terms of how I did it, I used Adobe Photoshop for the entire process. I enlarged and squared off his mouth and added some “wrinkles” to give him an angrier looking face. Then I blurred the face into the gorilla a little bit to make it look more “natural.” I may have gotten a little carried away–it’s pretty scary looking and I don’t think my buddy will be too pleased!
The next assignment I completed was a little less of a stretch. As you may remember from my previous posts, I’ve played guitar for almost 20 years. My guitar hero is Paul Gilbert from Mr. Big and Racer X. He’s an unbelievably talented guitarist and I’ve tried to emulate a lot of his playing style in my own. You can see him playing my absolutely favorite guitar solo ever in his cover of While My Guitar Gently Weeps here at about the 3:20 mark:
Anyway, I took a picture of me playing at one of my own gigs up in Worcester, MA–I love the face I’m making since I think it is very “rock n’ roll,” and I think it works perfectly on Paul’s body. I used Photoshop to crop out my head from the original picture and then added it to Paul’s body. I had to blend the background a little bit since our heads aren’t exactly the same size ;-). Anyway, check out all three images here:
I love having fun in Photoshop, so I really enjoyed this assignment. It was a little creepy at first, although I’m pretty sure that was my fault!