Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The first music tech project of the year is a selfish one!

Audacity Logo
The first project of the year in Music Tech is always a unit on digital audio editing.  The reason I make this the first project of the year, is that in the past, WLA students have come to me asking for my help cutting music for dance and cheerleading routines, helping them make medleys for homecoming lip syncs, and other such requests.  What better skills to teach my students than real-world cutting of digital audio using modern software?  When my students know how to "cut" audio, they take the pressure off me and can help do audio editing work for any other student in school.  It's a win-win!

We used Audacity, a free, open source, cross platform, digital audio workstation, to accomplish this task.  You can read about the lesson on the Dance Project 1 instructions (PDF). This first project was entirely teacher-directed.  Future projects will give the students more choice over the music used and the decisions about what sections of the music to use.  My basic goal for this first project was to get rid of most of the verses and lyrics, while still retaining the feel of the beginning, middle, and end of the pieces.  In all, the original was 1:45 long.  The edited version below is 39 seconds long.

How do you share music? First we tried linking to our Google Drive accounts. Here is my Dance Project 1 MP3 file on Google Drive.  Sometimes it is a challenge to link MP3 files on a blog because there isn't a native app to play the MP3 file.Yes, we can upload it to out Google Drive and it plays there when we click on it in preview mode, but linking to the MP3 file only allows us to download it, not play it in the browser.

Enter SoundCloud (not Enter Sandman, that's something totally different).  According to their "About Us" page, "SoundCloud is the world’s leading social sound platform where anyone can create sounds and share them everywhere." What that means for our Music Tech class is a way to upload and share up to two hours of music for free!  It's pretty easy: (1) Sign up for a free account, (2) upload a song, (3) copy the embed code (it starts out <iframe...) for your song, and (4) paste the embed code into the HTML side of your blogging platform.  Then is shows up like this:



I like SoundCloud because it's visually pleasing, allows easy sharing to most major social media, and it's free for the first two hours of uploads.

One final mystery we try to address in the first Dance Project is the topic of audio file formats.  Most people today have heard of MP3 files because of the ubiquitousness of iPods and iPhones, but what other audio file formats might students also come across these days?  We took a cursory look at three different audio file formats: WAV, AIF, and MP3 and made Google Slide presentations.  Mine is embedded below, but please check out my student's presentation and blog posts.  You'll find their names in the upper right column of this blog.  They did a great job on their first Google Slide presentations!

25 comments:

  1. What is the power point presentation for?

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    1. I've explained that now. Let me know if I answered your question.

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  2. Why does the title have nothing to do with the article?

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  3. title is not spasfic and it see s to long

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    1. You're right. It's not specific. I changed it.

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    2. its a good title

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  4. Why did you put in the second sentence of the second paragraph? (Just wondering, not sure if that's needed, but I'm a student so I could very well just be missing the point.

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    1. Just in case a parent or another teacher would like to see the lesson instructions.

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  5. What does the Google Drive presentation have to do with the rest of the article?

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    1. I added a paragraph about that. Does it make sense now?

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  6. Why did Caleb Gregory King, not put parentheses around "point"?

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  7. There is no description on why the presentation is listed. Your Title is Lacking all it says is Sample post.

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    1. I've fixed both of those problems. Let me know what you think.

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  8. How do you get the pdf dance project 1 instructions?

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    1. There should be a link on "Dance Project 1 instructions". Try clicking it.

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  9. Why the title didn't include any clue with the article?

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    Replies
    1. Because I forgot to change it. What do you think of my new title?

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  10. how did you cut the music in audacity?

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    1. Good question! Check out this tutorial from Audacity on cutting audio: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/manual-1.2/tutorial_ed_beginner2.html

      We used "split new" a lot. It's described in this tutorial: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/manual-1.2/tutorial_ed_beginner3.html

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    2. Why didn't you get my comment notification?

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  11. Why did you choose audacity to cut the music/

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