AIA_Postmortem_Andrews_Tristan

Section 1 – The Introduction

My name is Tristan Andrews; I’m a Full Sail University student. I’m currently in Advanced Interactive Audio engaging in the learning of developing assets and implementing them into games via different game engines and middleware. A postmortem is all about bettering yourself and/or a team by going over the different aspects of the project that was completed. The good and the bad needs to be addressed and noted so you’re more prepared for when the next project may come down your ally. The ups and down of every project should teach things for the next. You apply what you learn and improve. This is what the Platformer and Limbo project showed me I need to improve in on future projects.

Section 2 – The UE4 Platformer

For this game I didn’t really know the story, I just knew that there was a huge robot that was being chase by guys with guns. Along it’s way, it encounters many obstacles that are made of metal, concrete, and other various materials. These obstacles move, break, and explode. I felt as if it was only right that the game was energetic, loud, fast and in your face. For sound design on the robot I wanted the movement of it to be kind of a high pitched and have it stand out while a low impact sounds of the step filled in the rest. Using electric drills that were pitch shifted and distorted a little to created the motor movement sound of the robot. I used metal impact and rocks/gravel sound from WestarMusic.com to layer together with sounds of gravel to represent the robot’s foot hitting the concrete. The helicopter’s assets came from the mixture of three different perspective recordings of a helicopter that were blended together as it passed by in the game to give it a sense of realism. The ambiences I created for the city close up had a siren in it stupidly and made it a noticeable loop.

The goals weren’t meet 100% of the way even though all the sounds were implemented, mixed decently, and the cinematic was on time. I feel like the mix could’ve been perfected more within the game in areas such as the close and distant ambience. The transition between them wasn’t spot on; the fall off distance and attenuation was still in need to be adjusted. The area where I believe I fell short on the goal was with the assets themselves. I feel that the steps should have more of an impact/presents, along with the explosions and a few other assets.

The amount of time we had to complete our UE4 project was enough, but if one was to run into a problem and this slowed them down I could see where time would be a big factor. Being that it was my first time ever working in a game engine I would definitely say that it kept me busy. I enjoyed how we spent the first half of class learning the basics in some type of prototype. Even though the prototype wasn’t made off of the principles of how our sounds would react when we used them but more of how to implement the actual sounds and get use to the game engine software.

What went wrong first and for most was the close ambience that I created, this non-positional sound had a siren in the loop, which made it very obvious. Later on when I when created the police sirens and placed them throughout the map it masked how noticeable the loop was but it still should’ve been corrected. Another problem I ran into was a random crash halfway through implementing my sound one lab and I didn’t save before this happened. This cost me about an hour to catch back up to where I was, and in the end, that hour could’ve help me really tighten things up. What went right was multiple things such as the music. I felt it fit the gameplay very well, it was 140 bpm electronic style music loop. I wanted it to give the player a hyped up feeling while being entertaining.

Section 3 – The Wwise Limbo Project

When developing the sounds assets for the Limbo project I wanted to achieve the upfront and in your face feel that Hotline Miami provided with its gameplay. Being attracted to Hotline Miami originally because of the awesome soundtrack that was showcased while going on a rampage with your character. Dark, suspenseful, mayhem was what I had in mind. I wanted incorporate a similar electronic music in the game that was a slower pace to match Limbo’s speed. I wanted to achieve this without drowning out the creepy feeling that I felt Limbo needed to have as well. In the reference game Hotline Miami the only true sounds that you heard was mainly the music, this was followed by the sounds of the guns or melee weapons, opening and closing and the splattering of blood. I couldn’t notice the footstep sound effects in this game, if there were any to begin with. So for Limbo we wanted our sounds to be upfront and clear but at the same time, to create an impact on the player as if he is the only one there.

The goals weren’t achieved to the potential that I wanted them to be. When given the asset list for the project my group wasn’t sure about the electronic music theme anymore, there was nothing on the list about music what so ever. Instead of consulting with the lab instructor about our ideas we continued to proceed with sounds anyways. For both sets of the assets that our group had to complete my part was always “Student 2”. Not getting to spend as much time as I would have liked to on them I was pretty contempt with most. The sounds that I wanted to capture in this game I didn’t have the time or resources to record the sounds directly therefore they had to be pulled off of WestarMusic.com and be designed to my liking. Implementation was a breeze, my partner actually got a head start with Wwise, and then he went over the software with me to show me the steps. Event timing wasn’t a problem for anything but the slide. When the character would slide down the slope it was triggered a second or two later. This had to be something simple such as choosing the wrong event and assigning the sliding asset to it. The mix could’ve been better but nothing popped out at you of course, overall it was pretty decent.

Working in a group was unique for multiple reasons, one being, the most basic in my opinion, that you get to share opinions and ideas. This creates a brainstorm with multiple minds and allows for new concepts to arise for the project at hand. Another reason is simply because every chance you get to work with new people it can be a learning experience and a chance to soak up something that you haven’t learned yet. Even if it’s something as simple as you like their work flow so you adapted yours a little bit yourself to help benefit yourself. There was a lot I picked up from this project. Not only did I take in a few new considerations on sound design tricks to achieve a sound I’m looking for but also a friend as well. My partner and I didn’t really speak that much to each other until working on the Limbo project together and I’d like to thing it’s safe to say that we may work on personal music projects outside of school if we could ever make the time. Everything has its downfall, for this it would have to be conflicting schedules. Everyone has things to do, finding the right time to get together to make sure things are going in the direction and getting done in critical.

The goal was achievable in the time given to reach it but a little extra time would’ve never hurt, we would’ve actually benefitted from this quite a bit. This would’ve given us more time to make sure our slide was assigned to the correct event, get a better mix with our levels and better the sounds we created. I believe that if we would have worked harder then we would been closer to our goal or even achieved it.

File level management was well with our team, we seemed to keep a consistent level on all of our similar files. This seems to help the mix lay together more before we even adjusted the level. Our communication on what we expected each other to was great. We both knew what we were suppose to be doing and when it was suppose to be done. The main thing that went wrong with the Limbo project was failing to capture the sound of our reference game and getting into this project.

 

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Columbia Records

In 1887 the Columbia Phonograph and the American Graphophone Company’s were founded and would eventually come to form Columbia Records. This company was not only well known for its impact on music and the American recording industry, but also for its impact on modern life. Being around for one hundred and twenty-five years, Columbia Records has came to bring us many of the tracks we know today from many artist we know if love. These artist rage from modern day talents such as Adele, all the way to classics like Bob Dylan and everything in between. The power of influence upon the creative mind is tremendous, and who are artist influenced by? Other artist, and Columbia Records provided us with over a hundred different artists/bands many of which are award winning. Within the names you would see that it would include some greats such as Leonard Bernstein, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Al Jolson, Barbra Streisand, Bessie Smith, Johnny Cash, and so many more that shaped the industry into what it is today. Without this record label where would the music industry be today? I’m not saying it wouldn’t be as enjoyable, but I think we can all agree when I say it wouldn’t be the same. Even though the need for major labels in todays music industry is dying off and the age of independent artist is growing, we wouldn’t be here today with out them. Things are always changing in the entertainment industry, are you ready to adapt? I am, I’m willing to do whatever it takes to be successful in this industry. It all starts with a dream and some inspiration. In the next five years from now I see myself working with artist and producers to achieve the sound they want for their piece of art that they’re trying to showcase to the world. Whether big or small, I just hope to help my client make a masterpiece that they would be proud of.

References:

http://culturecatch.com/music/columbia-LP-birthday

http://www.columbiarecords.com/timeline/#!date=1908-02-21_22:56:06!

http://www.columbiarecords.com/artists/

 

 

ELECTRO & KRAFTWERK

Electronic Music Innovation (Afirka Bambaataa)

Kevin Donovan (aka Afrika Bambaataa) is one of the main originators of break beat deejaying. He was a very popular in South Bronx back in the 80’s as a DJ. Bambaataa also had two rap crews, the Jazzy 5 and Soul Sonic Force. Both “Jazzy Sensation” by Jazzy 5 and “Zulu Nation Throwdown” by Soul Sonic Force were debuted in 1980 and were classic hip hop anthems. Though this wasn’t impacting the electronic music, it did get Afrika Bambaataa a lot of respect. He had already earned himself the nickname “Master of Records” because he had encyclopedic like knowledge of funk grooves. An electronic “beat box” rhythm was played on a synthesizer by John Robie, then the hook was modeled after a song that was popular with the youth. That song was“Trans Europe Express” by Kraftwerk. The end result was a pop hit “Planet Rock”, this gave Afrika Bambaattaa and Soul Sonic Force a hit that went gold. It hit the chart at #48 in 1982. The song itself spawned different types of music such as, dance music and “electro-boogie” rap. This hit brought a lot of attention to this new style of music and went on to influence the development of the hip hop culture. Bambaataa is known as a Founding Father of Hip-Hop, Grandfather/Godfather, as well as The Father of the Electro Funk Sound. The creation of “Planet Rock” will always show forth its influences by the music we’ve heard and continue to hear. Today EDM, Techno, Trap, and other genre all incorporate the same idea in a sense, the sounds themselves have changed throughout time. One if the biggest things out right now is remixing rap/ hip hop music for clubs, most of the time this involves electronic instruments and sounds to achieve the goal. Where would music be today without artist/DJ’s such as Afrika Bambaataa?

References

http://listverse.com/2008/12/25/top-10-influential-artists-in-electronic-music/

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/afrika-bambaataa/biography

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lDCYjb8RHk

http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Afrika_Bambaataa.aspx

 

Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk was a German band, they wore suits and ties that played rather odd insturments. They set out to create a new image for the German culture with the influences of The Beach Boys. Kraftwerk had the dsire to be well known around the globe. They were the start of German’s style, look, and sound. Trying to focus on the good things that their country had brought upon us. While bringing a new electronic sound along with it. This resulted in “Autobahn” which was a hit a reached number 11. This was taken by surprise since many believed the song was a gimmick. Kratwerk used word play in which Americans could refer to in the English language. Kraftwerk would go on to release more songs along the same concepts. These song would incase electronic sounds that would go on and sort of shape the future for music. Not all music but but many genres were incorporating these sounds and instruments. The sounds that were created by Kratwerk could only be described as alien or erotic. These same sounds influenced a major recording artist who was a glam rock star, David Bowie. This can be observed in his work on “Heroes”. Many artist have sampled their work. One for example would beJay-Z sampled “The Man Machine” for his song “Sunshine” in 1997.Eventually they would go on to do songs in multiple languages, these include; German, English, Spanish, French, Japanese, and a Slavic language. This is very popular today, for a song to be translated into multiple languages, whether it be by the original artist or someone who is covering the song in their native tongue. Where would music be today without a revolutionary band such as Kraftwerk? They have influenced so many aspect of electronic music without it things would be so different. The impression I’m left with from the work of Kraftwerk is desire to be different but themselves all at the same time. That is an amazing trait.

References

 

Top 10 Influential Artists in Electronic Music

http://kraftwerk.wikia.com/wiki/Numbers

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/jan/27/kraftwerk-most-influential-electronic-band-tate

 

 

 

Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On”

Marvin Gaye’s image before the release of his song “What’s Going On” he seemed like he was more laid back and calm in my opinion, as if he was still finding himself with his music and being an artist. Cracking out his shell you could say. When he incorporated jazz and funk into his music, this created his new sound. This new sound would be used for the song “What’s Going On” released in 1971 and future songs to come. It sounded as if it was more “relaxing” or “soothing” in my opinion, I just start to feel it more than his earlier work. It sounds if he started to pour is heart out into his music. The biggest influence for the album would have to be his brother Frankie’s stories of the war in Vietnam but this still would’ve have been the same without  the help of Renaldo Benson. This is who gave the idea to Marvin Gaye. When the song was ready to be released it faced a few obstacles that kind’ve held up the process. One of those which was Barry Gordy, his wife’s brother, who said it was the worst thing he’s ever heard. Gordy refused to release the song in fear that it would hurt Marvin Gaye’s reputation. This album was set apart by other soul recordings at the time because of the fact that it was influenced by powerful events. Most of the other songs of the time were love songs of some sort or something along the mainstream lines.

The GRAMMY Awards

Part 1:

The genre I have chosen is Pop music. The genre has went through some changes throughout the years, for one example of changes occurred in the 60’s. Throughout this whole decade they called the sub-genres for pop “Contemporary…” which means to occur or belong in present time. I believe that Joe Jackson may have created the sub-genre Pop Instrumental Album in 2000 and which is a very popular category to this day. There are many artists that have their artwork nominated for this sub-genre in Pop. Even though there have been great performers throughout all genres of music since the very beginning of it, I think we all can agree a little when I say that Adele has risen to the top of that list. I do not believe that it was he specific style that created the sub-genre but let alone her raw talent. Overall the sub-genres haven’t gone through that many changes and they don’t seem to be too much different then the one in the earlier years. They all seem to be quite similar actually just a word is added or taken away to change it. Maybe the labeled one as an album versus a single or one sub-genre was a solo performance while the other was a duet or even a group.

 

Part 2:

Quincy Jones worked on multiple of Michael Jackson’s songs that were award winners such as: Beat It, Thriller (Both in 1983), and then We Are the World (1985). David Foster was awarded producer of the year two times, once in 1991 and another time in 1993. I feel like “winners” of anything are a great influence. Especially when it’s in your industry, the artist or producer that achieves the awarded most likely is going to have followers of some sort. Weather they want to copy the style completely, which happens more than less sadly, or just uses his winning experience to push them to create something great for themselves. Winners impact others by creating the desire for them to want to be in their spot. This creates some kind of competition. I feel that maybe Quincy Jones should have won an award in 1979, just because of the fact that he is a great artist/producer and one more grammy seems to hurt.