DMA Central

THE OFFICIAL COMMUNITY FOR DIGITAL MEDIA ACADEMY

Digital Audio & Music Production for Teens @ Digital Media Academy Summercamp 2010!

That’s right, this summer The Digital Media Academy is holding digital audio & music production courses for teens! The class covers all you need to know about digital music production. Learn to record, use loops, sample, mix, master and output to make professional music right on you desktop computer or laptop! You’ll get a sense of how to work with a variety of techniques to produce outstanding digital audio under the supervision of an industry pro who will help you bring your audio ideas to life. In addition, you’ll get your hands on the latest digital audio production equipment and musical instruments. Each student will be provided their own top of the line computer equipped Logic Pro 9 and will be guided step by step in the creation of their own music and audio productions.

This summer course is tailored for all skill levels and is 5 days of non-stop fun and learning. If you are new to creating music, have some experience, or want to know how to make music that sounds like your favorite artists, this summercamp is for you!

Sign up today for a great summer computer camp experience @ prestigious Universities across the United States.

http://bit.ly/9rZi7Q

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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have No Comments

Digital Media Academy Alumni Creates Smule Productions

Doug Larsen is a multimedia professional hailing from Ohio. Doug spent a year on the road as a producer for the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus. When Doug was hired he had just graduated from University of Miami and his polished chops were really in the departments of songwriting and keyboards. He had no formal training in the areas of digital video production. Oh, how the times have changed.

Doug is one cool cat.

He’s also a very lucky cat.

When Doug was hired on with the Lennon Bus a couple years ago we picked him up at the very end of our tour season. This is typically in the late fall and it’s also the time period the crew spends training on all of the latest and greatest hardware and software from our many sponsors. At this point in time the Lennon Bus and Digital Media Academy had a fairly new relationship and one of our first experiences together was to train on Final Cut Pro, Motion, Logic Pro, and After Effects and become certified in these programs in just under 20 days while we stayed at a Bed and Breakfast in San Francisco.

It seems like an insane task and it was, but we all made it through. Not only did we survive but we came out with endless knowledge of the programs and freshly printed certificates to go with it.

Doug learned a lot in those 20 days. We all did.

Since then Doug has entered in two contest for Smule. He was a finalist for the “I Am T-Pain App” contest and he is currently a contender for Smule’s latest contest.

I love these videos. Not only because they are hilarious, creative, and well crafted, but they also come from a friend of mine whom I was able to watch go through the process of learning how to utilize digital media to fully express his ideas. Doug is a great songwriter, but he is also a great music video director and he may of never had explored that avenue had it not been for the DMA training we went through to polish our chops.

Help Doug by watching this video and voting for him!

Friday Night Grind: SMULE ReMix – Legendary Johnson

And be sure to check out this video that Doug did for the “I Am T-Pain App” contest. It’s a great video and it gives some insight to living on the Lennon Bus. Enjoy!
I\'m On A Bus

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Music & Video Production at UCLA

mvpro_classAmong the many new Digital Media Academy courses featured this summer is Music and Video Production, taught in partnership with the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus. This course provides teens with an experience in the entire music video production process – from mixing music with Apple’s Logic Studio, to writing lyrics, to editing video footage with Apple’s Final Cut Pro.

I recently sat down with students taking Music Video Production at DMA’s UCLA location. Several of these students came from outside of California to participate in this very unique course. When asked what they enjoyed most about this course, I got a variety of enthusiastic responses. Christian Cox, from Monroe, Georgia, commented, “Teachers are young and can relate to any music style.” He explained that their class had divided into two groups, one writing a reggae song about nature and another writing a hip-hop song about having attention deficit disorder. Whatever genre of music they wanted, their instructors were talented enough to adapt!

mvpro_instrumentsMany of these students had never done anything like this before and were amazed at how much they were learning in a short amount of time. As Stephen Herandez from La Canada, CA explained, “You can go into this course without any knowledge and by the end of the week, you’ll think you can anything with Logic and Final Cut Pro!” Another student explained to me that she didn’t have any prior experience playing a musical instrument, but had learned a few simple guitar chords that week – enough to make a song! In addition to working with industry standard software and several musical instruments, students worked with high end Sony cameras to capture video footage around campus.

mvpro_instructorsIt was obvious as I talked with these kids that they had learned to work closely together. Many were also staying together in DMA’s residential UCLA program. “We have fun meeting new people and working together as a team to make videos and share memories, “ said Ron Magana from Canoga Park, CA.

To see an example video produced by the UCLA Music and Video Production class, click below:

DMA at UCLA: Trees and Leaves

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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have No Comments

Music-Making with Logic Pro

Hi, I’m Ben Jaffe, one of DMA’s instructors. In our Music & Video Production course, we’ll be composing and recording an original song, mixing and mastering it, and creating a music video and dvd to accompany the music. We’ll be using the best software tools for the job. I’d like to talk a bit about mixing music in “Logic Studio,” the audio software we’ll be using.

logic-interface

Logic Studio is one of the industry standard audio software packages used in recording studios. I believe Logic is easier to learn than many of the others, but it is just as versatile and powerful.

There are several steps to recording a song. First, you write the song, and decide what instruments play which parts. Then, you record the parts, and input the parts for the software instruments. After that, you mix and master the song. I’ll be talking about those last steps in this blog entry.

Mixing is mainly just setting the volume levels of different instruments so they sound good together. When you go to a concert, the engineer standing in front of that huge board somewhere in the back-center of the audience is the sound mixer. In that case, the mixer only gets one shot at mixing it right, since they are mixing a live show. Recording studios are great because we have plenty of time to get the song to sound exactly the way we want it to sound. And if something sounds entirely wrong, we can just re-record it!

mixer

We can also use automation to simulate live mixing. If we have a guitar solo, we can push the guitar’s volume slider up to make it louder, and pull it back down after the solo is over. Automation lets us do this automatically exactly the same every time we play our song.

There are other tricks we can use. When we record an artist playing or singing a part, we call that a take. We usually record several takes so we can get the best one. If none of them are perfect, we can actually stitch multiple takes together and use the best parts from each take. For example, if the guitarist botched one chord, but the rest of the take was perfect, we can substitute in a chord from another take to fix it. Logic makes splicing clips together very easy. In the project pictured below, I had two substandard takes, so I used different parts of each take to create a better one. (You can hear the song at the bottom of this post).

logic-multiple-take-edit

We can also add “Equalization” to a track. “EQ” lets us change the volume of specific ranges of frequencies. In other words, if the vocalist’s track sounds muddy, we can boost the higher frequencies and take down the lower ones to increase the clarity of their voice. If we have a high-pitched whine in the background, we can take out just the offending frequency.

Here are some examples of the kinds of problems we can fix by mixing the song. I recorded this song with my friend Misha Byrne a few months ago. For all three examples, I’ll play the unmixed version before the mixed version, so you can compare them.

In the first clip, listen to the volume levels. The vocals get a bit quiet on “Maybe I’ll never see…”
In the second clip, you may notice the high pitched noise in the background. Also, the ‘t’ in “heart” gets lost in the unmixed clip.
In the third clip, notice the error in the guitar on the last chord. In the mixed version, I spliced in another recording of Misha playing that chord correctly to make it sound better.

I’ve only mentioned a few of the tools recording engineers and mixers use to arrange and mix songs. We cover them all in our Music and Video Production Class, plus we cover the video side of things as well. We’re all very excited for this class. There is so much to learn, and this class will give every student the knowledge they need to get started in both audio and video.

Here’s the full song. Misha Byrne is a singer, guitarist, and songwriter in Queensland, Australia.

I hope to see you all this summer. This course will be a blast!

-Ben

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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have No Comments