Objectives: To learn the basic process of creating a song using audio editing software, similar to the processes used in a recording studio.
Materials: Computer, software audio editing program (example: Acid Music Studio, Mixcraft, GarageBand or similar program.), a microphone that can be connected to a computer, (optional) sound effects found on looping or audio editing software CD's.
Before 2011, we used an older software program called Screenblast Acid 4 by Sony to create and edit audio for creating MP3's and .wav audio files for CD's. I created lyrics based on demonstrating character and respect for fellow students and the school.
As of 2011, we have been using Mixcraft or Acid Music Studio to create the files. There is a FREE limited version of Acid XPress available at the following address: http://www.acidplanet.com
* Zip Your Lips is a rap about learning to be quiet in the hallways and not disturb other students.
* Don't Run in the School is a song about encouraging the students to walk, not run, through the long hallways at our school.
* Central Park Will Pass the S.A.T. is a song about motivating students to do their best on the annual standardized tests (Stanford Achievement Test and Alabama Reading and Math Test).
* The Central Park Gotcha Song is about being responsible, respectful and resourceful at school. (Gotcha Lesson)
I recorded my voice originally so the students could hear the music as it was supposed to be recorded. The students rehearsed the music several times before recording took place. If they made a mistake, they immediately wanted to try it again. All of the students want to be the ones to 'make it' on the final CD produced for the school!
A screen shot below shows the features that are commonly used.
Steps we used in creating the songs:
1) Write the lyrics, if needed, and have them available to all the students performing the recording.
2) Connect the microphone to the microphone jack in the computer. Open the Audio / Volume Controls in the computer to turn on the microphone.
3) Open the 'Sound Recorder' (or Mixcraft / Acid Music) program in Windows.
4) Record the voices / lyrics / sound effects into the program individually.
5) Open the Acid Music Program (or other audio editing program). Using the Explorer View at the bottom of the screen, click and drag the wav, MP3 or other media file to the main screen. Keep adding more audio and effects as needed. Each audio part appears as a 'track' on the screen (examples - drum track, vocal track, sound effects as seen below).
6) Click and drag the mouse to fill in the area where you would like the audio to play. Press the 'Play' button in the transport to play the song. Move the audio (graphics) to line it up if needed or to reposition it on the timeline. You can see the sound waves and shapes on the timeline below.
7) Experiment with changing the volume, pan, pitch, tempo, or add sound effects (reverb, delay) to the tracks. Save your file. To record the file to a CD, save or render the file as an MP3 or .wav format. The file may be written or 'burned' to a CD or posted on a website.
Ask students to notice...
* Examine the software you are using. How many tracks can be recorded? What kinds of files can be imported and exported?
* What are some of the sound effects and processors available in the program?
* Is it easy to create a professional recording for the public to purchase?
* Does it take a long time to produce professional music recordings?
* Is there a lot of planning done before the recording can be made?
What kinds of places do you have to go to in order to have professional music recordings made?
* Are there any recording studios in the city where you live?
* What are the financial costs of having a song or album recorded?
Extra Activities and Research:
* Research various recording studios on the Internet, especially ones in the area that the students' live.
* Research the costs of developing and creating the professional music recordings.
* What kinds of careers are available to people that produce professional music recordings?
* What are the types of software programs available to 'home' users for recording music? What are the differences between 'higher end and lower end' programs (i.e. - features)?
* Write the lyrics and music to a song and record it in class or at home.
will be able to demonstrate an understanding of basic recording techniques using a computer, microphone and software based audio recording program.
* Student production - Our audio files from this project will be posted to this website.