Friday, November 1, 2013

Commercial Soundtrack Replacement

Screenshot of this commercial project in Garageband

For the past couple of weeks the Music Tech students have been learning how to replace soundtracks in existing TV commercials with music of their own choosing.  We've branched out from working solely in Audacity to using Apple's Garageband as our digital audio workstation (DAW).  There are a couple of goals for this project:
  • to learn how to use automation curves to fade in/out 
  • to understand the real world jobs of an audio engineer or a foley artist
  • to be able to download YouTube videos and other sound effects and import them into Garageband
The simplest type of commercial soundtrack to replace would be one in which there is no other talking or sound effects, but that would make the project very simple: just import a commercial into Garageband, mute the original soundtrack, and drag in a new piece of music.  Export.  Done.

But why make it easy?  :)

The commercial I use as my teaching tool is Apple's very first iPod commercial.  The reason I use it is because it weaves a music soundtrack in and around what I call "environmental sounds": the clicking of computer keys as a person types, the sound of traffic outside an apartment window, a door slamming. This makes the replacement of the music soundtrack more challenging and necessitates the use of automation curves and anchors to fade in and out of the original soundtrack to preserve those sounds.

How to Download YouTube Videos

In this world of digital media, it becomes necessary to understand how to upload and download digital content to and from the internet.  Youtube has become the "go to" source for most music and video content for most students.  We use videos from Youtube in Music Tech class under Section 107. "Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use" clause of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, The service that seems to work the best for our class is

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