Posts Tagged ‘Digital Audio Technology’

A dire trend in today’s game music (& how you can fix it)

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

I’ve been listening to music in video games for over 20 years and have been an enthusiast all the way. I cherish everything from humming the catchy tunes of Mega Man 2 & 3 as I played as a child, to recording Secret of Mana’s score on cassette tape, to buying my first OST directly from Japan. However, I’ve noticed a distressing trend in recent years: Music is becoming more subdued, soulless, and sometimes silenced altogether. This often plays out as an imitation of cinema (no offense to film scores). I can think of multiple game series where early installments had excellent music, and recent entries had “appropriate” yet forgettable scores. How could this happen?

(more…)

Scoring a Film

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Unlike my previous projects, today I am going to talk about a future project I am somewhat excited of doing. This project is for my Desktop Audio Production course, in which we are given a scene from a public domain movie and we are to score the soundtrack, and put together the sound effects to the picture. The movie is a Sci-Fi title and we are to score the music as if the movie was a serious fil not something that was “cheesy.” This might be a challenge as a lot of public domain movies are edited very abruptly, so creating something that flows with the picture can definitely be a challenge.

For the project we are to put together the project and delivering it in a Logic session. As of right now I have some ideas as how to approach the musical composition, but as for the sound effects, I’m thinking I should try to design some sounds of my own, or use some sounds that are in the Cogswell sound library. I will probably end up using some of the samples from the library, and trying to make a few sounds of my own.  Sound design is one of the elements of the Digital Audio Technology program where students can really be original.  I am looking forward to having some fun with this project!

-Jared D.

Audio students working in the studios.

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

As I was leaving the Cogswell campus yesterday, I heard a grandiose finish consisting of guitars, drums, and something that could have either been a harp or piano.  The sound travelled faintly through the hallways and a a bit of it made its way into the Cogwell admissions office, the Ina A. Cokeley Campus Service.  The curiosity got the best of me and two other Cogswell inhabitants and we followed the sound to the first place we all had assumed to be the source of the audio explosion.  We headed through the halls and heard the sound getting louder and clearer.  Nearing the control room, a few other curious ears were making their way in the same direction me and my band was heading.  We all converged outside of the glass, looking into the tracking room to find a Cogswell Digital Audio student, hands on the faders and knobs of the mixer.

Here’s a look at what we found:

-Rachel

Cogswell hosting an Open House, December 11!

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

It’s that time again!  Cogswell College is having an Open House on December 11, from 11:00am to 3:00pm.  If you are looking to have a career in the digital arts, engineering, or entrepreneurship, come check out what Cogswell has to offer firsthand.  Admissions Representatives will be on hand to answer any questions you have and to help you out with the admissions process.  Tours will be provided for those who haven’t visited the campus before, as well as workshops about our different programs:  Digital Art and AnimationDigital Audio Technology, Digital Arts EngineeringSoftware Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Entrepreneurship and Innovation (which had its own exclusive Entrepreneurs Workshop in November in conjunction with the Entrepreneurship Launch Competition.)

Also, do you listen to Pandora?  Yes? If so, have you seen or heard us?  Here’s a screen shot provided from a Cogswell student who happened to be listening:

Keep your eyes and ears open the next time you’re listening to your custom station!

-Rachel

Bring Your Own Bass presents: Vendor & Battery

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Tomorrow! Tomorrow! Tomorrow!  The Cogswell Radio Club is hosting a concert, the highly anticipated show:  Bring Your Own Bass presents: Vendor & Battery.  Check out the flyer for all the details!  Plus, if you are visiting Cogswell for the Entrepreneur’s Workshop, feel free to come back and enjoy some fresh music.

The insiders tell all… a mini-series of blogs

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Cogswell students are an exceptional bunch.  Each one coming from a unique background and collecting at this institution of art, engineering, and innovation.  I have chosen to give these movers and shakers a voice in the online Cogswell community, because I believe they can give you an insight into Cogswell Polytechnical College that no admissions representative, faculty member, or staff member is capable of telling.

Cogswell students are passionate, and I hope that this will come across in the interviews soon to follow.  Each week, one member of the Cogswell student body will be showcased in a Q&A session hosted by me.  Hard hitting questions will be the main event, as I explore and reveal the many psyches that make up the eclectic student body.  Each interview is going to allow readers into the student scene of Cogswell, giving a different perspective and spin on the Cogswell experience for those curious about the student culture here at Cogswell Polytechnical College.

The blog series is comprised of students from all programs: Digital Art and Animation, Digital Arts Engineering, Digital Audio Technology, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Computer Engineering, and Software Engineering.  For whatever your interest, check back weekly to see if the student exposé matches what degree you may be interested in!

Concert series fall 2010 debut with Vendor and Battery

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Photo taken by Jessica DeLacy

Sponsored and produced by the Radio Club, the concert series begins again this fall!  The first show of the year is a showcase of electronic music with the headliner Vendor and Battery.  Hailing from Northern California, the group produces electro-dance beats that get you moving before you even know what’s going on.  Other acts include DJ sets from fellow Cogswell students who have the skills to ellicit your inner dancing queen, or king.  Cost at the door is $5, free for VIP.  For more information on acquiring VIP status, Cogswell students can check their email and contact members of the Radio Club.  The show is scheduled for November 20th, which happens to be the same day as our Entrepreneurs Workshop.  If you are attending the workshop/open house, feel free to stay for the evening and attend Friday Night Live to unwind after a productive day!

The concert series began a few years ago, beginning with the first installment of Radio Club staff.  The intention was to feature local/independent performers that would also receive airplay on the Internet based stream.  The first series, known as Friday Night Live, was produced by students for students, with every aspect of the production being covered by a member of the Cogswell community.  This included:  scouting for talent, booking, running the sound mix, and grassroots advertising.  Through these responsibilities, Cogswell students had a firsthand look at what is involved in the business of the live show, involving everything from official building clearances, fire codes, and hiring security to refreshment sales, organization, and communication among everyone involved.  Students new to Cogswell as of this semester have teamed up with upperclassmen to revive the Radio Club and concerts.

The events provide experience in the live aspect of audio for anyone who wishes to get involved.  It is not exclusive to Digital Audio Technology majors, but it also extremely beneficial to their knowledge of the field, as many of the principles of audio production are applied to the live environment as they are applied to the studio environment.  With that said, students interested in producing shows or involvement in radio are encouraged to check out the Radio Club and get plugged-in to the happenings of the club!

-Rachel

Global Game Jam coming back to Cogswell

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Once again, the Global Game Jam event is coming back to Cogswell Polytechnical College.  Previous years have been major successes, with both professionals and students collaborating on fully functional games.  Last year’s game jam yielded 13 games, which was the most of any other jam site in the US!

For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, the Global Game Jam event takes place every year in one weekend all across the globe.  This means that thousands of people are working on games continuously for one weekend, allowing the participants to be a part of a worldwide gaming phenomenon!  Participants form teams and each team creates a game over the 48 hour period.  This means everything from concept to programming to audio recording for aural cues happens before the end of the event, resulting in a finished product that is playable and possibly available for sale soon after.  Many Cogswell students from all majors and backgrounds get involved in this huge game creation frenzy.  No matter what one’s part, each person has something they can take credit for and put in his or her portfolio. From an audio perspective, it provides a great opportunity to work on becoming efficient, because one needs to be when there are multiple teams who desire to have sound effects in their games and a short range of time to get it done!  Space is limited, so if you want to make sure you get into the Global Game Jam, register early!

Speaking of AUDIO and JAMS, if you come by the campus on Mondays between 11:00am and 3:00pm you may hear some beautiful music filtering through the hallways near the studios!  The Audio Producers and Engineers Club (APEC) is holding a weekly jam session where fellow students can bring their instrument of choice and create music in an improv setting.  APEC has been very involved in creating opportunities for Digital Audio Technology students, as well as all other majors, to enrich their aural worlds.  The club has been active in lobbying for equipment requested by students, extended acoustics knowledge in hands-on projects, and holding workshops to further investigate recording techniques.

-Rachel

Radio returns to CPC!

Friday, November 5th, 2010

ONtheAir

Much to my delight, the CPC Radio Club is being ravamped!  Be prepared for some student shows coming to you via online streaming, and keep a heads up for a concert even that’s in the works.  It’s going to be EPIC and beyond your wildest dreams!  I remember the early days of CPC Radio when me and a handful of others were building it from scratch and learning all the tricks of the trade, in addition to some of the trials and tribulations… but we ironed out everything and really sunk our teeth into the lands of internet radio and self-produced concerts.

Also, there’s a pretty snazzy article in the current issue of Animation Magazine that tells the tale of Project X’s last film, “The Offering.”  I personally didn’t work on it, but a ton of my friends did, so I have to represent. :) Go read it, see the trailer, and get stoked!

Cogswell Audio Faculty Speak at AES Conference

Monday, September 27th, 2010

LarrytheOCogswell’s newest Digital Audio Technology faculty, Larry the O, is slated to speak at the upcoming Audio Engineering Society Conference in San Francisco in November. He will join Peter Drescher in a spirited “cage match” discussion about sound, music, interactive audio, game soundtracks, hardware, software and audio production.

The two met at Berklee College of Music in 1976 and have been arguing both sides of any audio issue ever since. Moderator, Steve Horowitz who will referee the match, will ask a series of questions and give the pair a specific amount of time to discuss it before the gong sounds.

Topics might include:

  • How many audio file formats do you really need?
  • Giving the producer what they want, even when they have no idea what that is
  • Just exactly what IS “audio quality”?
  • Analog vs. Digital, Tubes vs. Transistors, Tape vs. Hard drive, Vinyl vs. CD – Improved technology has made audio production better, right?
  • You say that sounds “annoying” like it’s a bad thing!
  • “I promise never to program a computer to play something I can’t” (aaaand … fight!)
  • Buying gear and maintaining your studio: hardware, software, musical instruments vs. planned obsolescence and audio business models
  • “We need it yesterday” – planning and timing of audio projects (Larry’s fireside rant)

Larry the O, Toys In the Attic principal, joined the Cogswell faculty this semester and will be teaching Studio Recording 1, a required course in the Digital Audio Production track of the DAT program.

-Bonnie Phelps, Dean of Institutional Advancement