Elements of Remixing

Before I begin discussing the changing same, I want to take a step back to a few passages before this discussion. I feel the underlying element of understanding the changing same stems from what DJ Spooky says about technology’s core existence. “Future generations won’t have a ‘dependency’ on technology. They will have technology as a core aspect of their existence – as much as the languages we speak, the air we breathe, and the food that we eat are all aspects of technology.” (16) When I think about this passage, I compare it to my younger cousins and the technology they use. I have an eight year old cousin that knows  more about her iPad than I do, and I’m 22. Technology is something inherent, something that’s part of human beings, and something that they can feel deep within their soul – it’s already programmed into them.

After I began wrapping my head around that aspect of the text, I then approached the changing same, which he defines as ‘offering iterations of versions and versions of everything, all change all the time.’ The way I’ve been thinking about it (in the most simplistic way) is it begins with something – the original source. Then, over time new creations are made from tweaking the original source in the most minute way. Based upon who the audience is and changing tastes, this can have infinite options. Or can it ?

I feel that DJ Spooky wants to convince and empower the reader to be constantly creating, remixing, DJ-ing, sampling, and repeating. “Rhythm science makes possible…tries to convey a sense of how conceptual art, contemporary technology, and timeless idealism might function today.” (20) This passage brings things full circle for me when considering remixing and archives. DJ Spooky wants us to visualize creatively, interact with technology and reflect on past principles. Archiving and remixing follow the same pattern – you start with an idea or source, use the appropriate outlet for your creation and make the archive or remix with influence of the past. Is the process that simple? Or is it the synergy and interaction between these three elements that truly makes an archive or remix?

– LH

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How to Add Effects to Create a Fuller Sound

In some parts of my recording, I was thinking about adding some music. Although I think you have to have a knack for adding music eloquently, (which, I’m not sure that I do) I am going to try anyways. Essentially, you make a copy of the vocal/narration recording and use both to create a fuller sound – kind of like adding extra layers in Photoshop to create depth.

 

The first thing you want to do is get your two recordings – the vocal/narration and the music you want to include in the section. Then select (so it looks highlighted) the portion of your recording that you want to make fuller. You want to duplicate this track – Edit -> Duplicate (Command+D).

 

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Then, you want to pan the doles of the duplicated tracks – one to the left, and the other to the right. This doesn’t make any changes to the sound, so you have to use the time shift button to push one track back and pull the other track forward.

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You want to zoom in on the track so it is easier to use the time shift tool accurately. Using the marker as your guide, drag the top audio track a bit to the right (so it starts just after your mark). Then drag the bottom audio track a bit to the left (so it starts just before your mark). It will end up looking something like this:

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You may want to play with the volume of the track since it’s fuller and may be overpowering. I feel like this will come in handy for those of you who have commentary and background music/noises. You can create fuller audio and play with the volume to create the desired effect.

Learning this has really made me think about how important timing is in an audio track. Theoretically I always knew, but I never thought about how one little shift can change the track completely. I think this really speaks to the theme of our class – making little tweaks in various forms of media is how remixes and archives are often made.   

-LH

Behind the Scenes – The Reality of Making a Podcast

For this post, I chose to write about Radiolab:Behind the Scenes for a couple of reasons – the most prominent being that I am not that into Podcasts. It’s not that I am not a good listener, it’s just that its a territory that is unvisited. Anyways, I thought this would be helpful for me in going forward with this project and give me the basics of the process (thankfully, it did!)

In terms of the way this video is put together, I think it mimics the flow of a podcast/audio recording. It starts out with some background information (who the Radiolab reporters are), adds details of who they are and where they are going. The essence of recording audio comes from weaving together snippets of audio to create the whole recording. The two reporters did this throughout the video, mimicking the way an audio recording is created. By building upon what the other one said, it really allowed me to think of what they were saying as a mode of storytelling. It’s easy to forget that you yourself tell stories all day, every day. If you think of your audio as a casual conversation, you get a great story – a view of another person’s story.

For me, the biggest takeaway is the planning that goes into a successful podcast/audio recording. In my mind, I always thought Podcasts were just conversations that happened naturally without any planning. Because it’s a sound recording, it’s difficult to actually see the planning that went into it because you’re listening with your ear only. How do we switch from using our eyes and ears to just using our ears when creating something ? Simultaneously, how can we convey what we saw with our eyes by only using our ears?

 

-LH

How to create a Rollover Effect by Swapping an Image

As a part of my website design, I plan to include buttons that I’ve made in photo shop in my navigation bar. I’ve found that I really like whenever there is a rollover effect on buttons/links on a website. I found a really easy way to create that effect by simply swapping the image. You create two buttons basically, one that you start out with and the other that you swap the image with (essentially you want to create the second button however you want it to look when the mouse is on it).

Here are the steps:

1. Choose your starting image for your button.

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2. Click Window -> Behaviors. Then you click the icon that has a + on it. Choose swap image. Then a window will pop up where you can browse your computer for the file you want the image to swap to (the second image). Dreamweaver does all the coding for you, as you can see in the bottom image of this grouping.

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3. Test it! I pulled up the view in Firefox to make sure it was working. The rollover was too quick for me to get a screenshot of it actually happening, but here is the image rollover effect in my browser.

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I know this is a very simple tool that Dreamweaver has to offer (in comparison to everyone’s brilliant tutorials), but I think it’s something that can be added into final website design and really allow your site to stand apart from others.

 

On the struggle bus, for sure.

 

-LH

Nudge – Website Analysis

After perusing the internet for a new website to analyze, I came across Nudge  – a design studio based in Charleston, SC. I was attracted to the design of this website mainly because of its simple design. Before I go into a more detailed analysis, here are some screen shots of the website.

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At the very top of the website home page, you can find the links ‘Work’, ‘Studio’, ‘What We Do’, and ‘Journal.’ Underneath these links is a small yet bold blurb of information about Nudge, which gives the viewer a general understanding or introduction of the company. Below the text are a group of images (current or past clients) and the viewer can hover over each of the images to get more information about that particular project (see the second image above or visit the website).

The color scheme is a white background with black text and gray accents (some of the boxes). The typography is composed of three different typefaces – ‘nudge’ (looks like handwriting), sections of the website (‘work’, ‘what we do’, etc.), and the body copy (the text that makes up the paragraphs). Overall, the typography is very easy to read throughout the website and the variations of typography make the website very organized.

The feel of the website is professional and simple,  which resonates with the audience – potential new clients that are looking to hire Nudge for a new project. Its ease of navigation attracts new clients and showcases current and past projects. Using photos and different typefaces throughout the website creates a consistency and creativity embedded in the Nudge brand.

One of the biggest takeaways from this website is the simplicity of design and emphasis on visuals. Its organization and grouping of images on the home page attracts viewers and entices them to continue exploring the website for more information. For some reason, I had the idea that I couldn’t have a white background for my website; however, I think Nudge really demonstrates how to design a successful website with a white background with black text and using images to add color to the site.

“The greatest ideas are the simplest.” – William Golding, Lord of the Flies

– LH

A Vintage Feel + Perspective

A Vintage Feel

Since this project allows the use of older photos, I investigated how to further play up the worn and vintage look of a photo. In this post, I will demonstrate how to create a vintage -looking image by adding texture that shows through a background photo. Here is the final product:

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1. First you want to find a texture – I found one that looks like old paper. Then, choose the picture (or text) that you want to make vintage.

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2. Click on the texture you chose and hit command + J to make a duplicate. Drag the duplicate (it renames it to Layer 1) onto the photo you’ve chosen and change the blending mode (where it says ‘Normal’) to ‘Multiply’. This allows the texture to show through. Make another duplicate of Layer 1 – which will be named Layer 1 Copy – and hit command + Shift + U to de-saturate that layer. Then fix the levels of Layer 1 Copy (to make them more dramatic) by hitting command+ L and drag the black and white toggles to the appropriate levels for your image. While still on that layer, you need to select all (command+a), copy (command +c), and then deselect (command+d).

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3. Un-check the eye symbol next to Layer 1 to make it unseen. Create a layer mask while on Layer 1 Copy and paste (command +v ) into the box (hit option and click on the white box for the layer mask). Because the texture I chose didn’t quite cover my original photo, I had to crop it. However, that did work to my advantage in explaining this tutorial because it really let you see how the texture showed through in comparison to the original photo!

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Perspective

One of the additional tutorials that I watched was on changing the perspective of a photo. This is going to be particularly useful for me because I took a lot of pictures of old pictures and had to take those pictures at a weird angle due to lighting conditions. It is actually really easy to do, which makes me so happy! I have installed the creative cloud on my computer and the process is a little different than that of older versions. For older versions, while the crop tool is selected, hit the ‘c’ key. This should pull up a perspective box that you can simply check and then drag the corners to the appropriate place. In creative cloud, click and hold the crop tool and it will pull up cropping options. Select the perspective crop tool and crop accordingly.

1. Select image that needs a perspective change.

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2. Click the perspective crop tool and select the corners of the image (this creates a grid).

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3. Hit enter to get a straight on view!

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– LH