Blog 13 Response video

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I turned this in on the google drive a while ago but just saw I had not posted it to the blog so I figured I would.

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Technology: A Part of Being Human

So many of the remixes and mashups I find myself coming across are “the best of…” one time period or another, be it summer 2013 or the ’90s. As DJ Spooky describes,”Dj-ing lets you take the best of what’s out there and give your own take on it.” The artists of such mashups do just that. They look back on what has been produced, collect the pieces they like- beats, rhythms, lyrics, vocals- and create their own piece of art to add to the public archive. This sampling of other artists work is what Spooky refers to as part of the “changing same.” While these artists limit themselves to what has already been produced- hence the same– they combine and manipulate these pieces to produce something changed.

Perhaps it is because like Spooky, many others “can’t think of a sound [they] haven’t heard or couldn’t make” that remix culture is so prevalent. Is it that creating something completely new and different is just that difficult because of the sheer volume of songs, movies, and plots that has already been produced? To avoid crossover or similarities with everything that has been previously produced is- in my opinion- impossible. That is not to say that creativity is dead or that progress cannot be made. But simply, that all creativity and progress are possible because of where they are able to begin based on preexisting archives.

Spooky describes that technology is becoming an intrinsic, “core aspect” of human existence. Just as early humans developed spoken language as a means of communication and this original language grew and developed, branching into different languages in some cases, technology is becoming an integral part of our communication. It is growing and affecting each generation more and more deeply. “Children… aren’t alienated from these technological and geographical phenomenon, they are born into them.” If we are at the beginning of technology being a part of being human, where will we take it? As language has completely transformed throughout it’s history of being part of being human, how will technology transform?

Mashups, a How To on Audacity

With our final remix project coming up, understanding the idea of mashups may come in handy for many of us. We’re all familiar with mashups. Artists take existing songs and combine them with other existing songs to create something completely new. But, what skills are needed to actually make your own mashup? Listen and watch the following video and see if you can notice how the artist creates a true mashup of both the audio and video of all the contributing songs. 

He rearranges the words of the original songs to make a new meaning for the new song. This is seen in the line “I know you want it… right now.” A single line created from two completely different songs. Beyond creating a whole new story line for his song, the mashup artist does several other things to ensure the compilation of many different songs sounds as if they were written for the same song. In the above video, it is evident that DJ Earworm, the artist, changed things such as the pitch and tempo. He even took vocals from one song and added completely different instrumentals. So, how do we, as amateur mashup artists, accomplish a similar task in our final projects? Its actually quite simple. 

In his video tutorial, Raheem D explains basic techniques of mashups. He begins by selecting an instrumental track and an acapella track. The first thing you should do once you have your audio to mashup selected is change the pitch. To perfectly change your pitch requires playing around with the amount you change it. There is no numerical value that perfectly apples to all songs. To change the pitch, make sure the track you want to change is selected. Then go to the “effect” tab and select “change pitch.” 

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From there, adjust the semitones (half-steps) until your track sounds like it is in a better pitch. As a word of advice, only change by multiples of 12 or 6. 12 semitones is the equivalent to one octave.

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The next thing you want to do to create your mashup is adjust the tempo so that both of the tracks are the same tempo. This will help the songs to “fit” together. The “change tempo” effect is located directly beneath “change pitch” effect. 

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Lastly, you want to adjust the timing of your tracks. This may mean that the vocals begin “when the beat drops” or at another point in the song that you think sounds appropriate. This can be done by using the “time shift” tool. 

I hope this is helpful as you begin to think about and plan your final projects and finish up your audio documentaries. 

-AG

How to make your kids fully flushed, scalable, and fixed.

Kids as in baby goats of course. Everybody loves baby animals but how do you get an image of baby goats to really make an impression as the background of a website? First, you can make the kids Really Big, in other words you can have your image fully flushed with the internet browser window. Then you can make the kids follow any adjustment made to the browser size, this is where making your image scalable and fixed comes in.

First find your kids and open Dreamweaver…

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Once you have new HTML and CSS files opened, we can start by making the image fully flushed. In your CSS file make a new rule called “.background.” You’ll want to make the following settings …

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Then link your CSS file to your HTML document. In the “body” tag you’ll want to create the background “class.” This way the CSS rule you’ve created will be applied to this tag. Then just for fun you can add text in an “h1” tag. This text will appear over the background image. You may also want to add some “br” tags to add length to your page. At this point, the image should fully fill the web browser, making the kids Really Big, and your text should appear over the image.

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Next you’ll want to further refine the CSS rules for your image to make the kids scalable and fixed on the browser. In your CSS document add the following rules…

background-attachment: fixed;

background-position: center

background-repeat: no-repeat;

These additional rules will cause the kids to scale to the size of the browser. It will also cause the center of the image to always be in the center of the browser window.

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And that’s how you make your kids fully flushed, scalable, and fixed.

-AG

Satorisan, It Means Understanding

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Satorisan.com is an online shoe store with a cutting edge website that embodies and displays their philosophy and their product with synergy.  The home page is colorful and eye catching, it invites the viewer to explore what the website has to offer. Navigation is simple. The page does not scroll down neither on the home page or any page after.  Instead, each page scrolls side to side. There are a simple six tabs located at the top of the screen that lead the viewer to all of the pages. Each of the different pages has large clear pictures or videos that give the viewer a very close look at their product. These photographs are the dominating rhetorical device. Text is limited which provides more emphasis on the product itself. Additionally, the choice the designer made in colors helps to guide the viewer’s eye to the shoes. Clickable links are also emphasized by the use of a bright green text box or underline.

What “works” for me about this website is its overall simplicity and emphasis on visual detail over text. The website tells the message of the Satorisan brand visually. Much like a photo essay, the text is there to support the visual story, not to tell it. The purpose of this website is to sell its product so, it makes a lot of sense that the visual emphasis is on just that. The quality and style of the photos and videos used reveal the details of the product and function in selling that product to the viewer.

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While I will not be selling a product, I really like the lack of vertical layout in this particular site. I also really like the large, high quality photographs and the “show don’t tell” philosophy. I have found this site to be very inspiring and am now imagining my final site as something closely related.

Making a New Photo look Old

Planning my recovery story was easy. Implementing that plan has not been as much of a walk in the park. The greatest and worst part of my plan is that a single key represents my family history, not photographs. As you can imagine, this presents quite a few problems in trying to uncover the history behind this key in a photo essay. Luckily, I’ve learned how to make new photographs look old by using Photoshop.

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Aged photographs can be characterized by their lack of contrast and contrast and the presence of scratches or damage, as can be seen in the above photograph which is authentically old. Photoshop allows us to take a new picture and remove the contrast and color and also add artificial damage. First, open a new picture with Photoshop. Then, begin the process of aging by adding a layer to protect the original file. With this layer selected, a “hue/saturation…” adjustment layer can be added to create a sepia tone appearance that will help remove the large majority of the color. To do this, check the box that indicates, “colorize.” Then, adjust the hue up from 0 until it the hue level is at a level that looks good, a value around 30 is typically good. The saturation must also be adjusted from 0 to a value around 10.  These actions can be seen in the photo below.

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Next the contrast must also be adjusted and “flattened out.” To do this a “levels” adjustment layer can be added. You can then adjust the toggles on both the black and white ends of the “output level” adjustment bar. To remove contrast further, you can adjust the highlight level by decreasing the value of the highlight toggle to about 200. The next thing you’ll want to do is add scratches or damage to your photo. Click on the original picture layer, go to the filter tab on your toolbar, and add a “noise” filter. You’ll want a value of about 3% and you’ll also want to select “Gaussian addition” and “monochromatic.” To add further scratches, add another layer above the original that is all black. Then add a “grain” filter.

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Then adjust the intensity and contrast on the filter (above image) and set the “blending mode” under layers on the lower left dialog box to “screen.” Changing the blending mode of the layer will remove the black and allow the photo to be seen under the layer. At this point your new photograph should be looking pretty old.

-AG