22nd July 2015

22/07/2015-Project started in earnest, this is after I picked up Zoom recorder from my second supervisor. I decided to start working on Self-Portrait no1 first. This was because it was an easy way to reacquaint myself with the camera functions in a controlled environment. I had decided to use 24 bit-96 kHz for audio, however, when I imported all the audio and video into Vegas Video I found out because I did not have the full version of the software - I could not take advantage of the higher quality. Self-Portrait no1 began as a way to include a semi-musical piece within the framework I was provided with. It also gave me a way to indulge in the visual artists’ whim of a self-portrait. I had some riffs I had been practising a few weeks ago, unfortunately for me I had not practised in over a month. Even worse it was in an odd time signature. What I decided to do, because I could not play the piece as a whole - I would film the riffs and parts of the composition being recorded. I would then piece together the Sonar audio recordings, the video and the ambient microphone recordings in Vegas Video. It was a task that was easier than I thought. This was because I had shouted a number…anything, and I could recognise these key phrases, which I could then use to align the disparaging audio and video tracks - although it was time consuming. I assembled the video loops roughly, then edited the guitar riffs into a continuous audio file, and I imported this into Vegas Video. Finally, I tidied up a rough cut of the video. I tried placing the guitar riff into the granular synthesizer: Padshop and experimented. This was not working so I decided to leave the guitar riff natural, although one of the guitar granular experiments resulted in a haunting melodic refrain. I put to one side for possible later use. I also experimented with the ambient microphone audio file, which was also placed in the granular synth - again this did not work. In the end, I decided since this was the very first piece, I would leave the audio as is and edit and mix it together in Vegas. This created some problems, because Vegas Video cannot access my full audio plug-in selection, so I had to make to do with what I had. I realized later I actually had access to enough mastering effects, but I was still happy with the finished piece. Once I edited the audio together, I found the piece sounded hollow in certain sections. I decided to use the granular guitar piece in these sections, although it was against the directive of this particular project - I had to use it-because it was just too good not to. Once the audio was completed, I started to experiment with video filters in Vegas Video. I experimented with Dream Glow, Drop Shadow, Invert and Spherize. I also experimented with automation within the filter plug-in environment. Whilst these filters created a very abstract effect overall, I was cautious and applied them sparingly…only using them to enhance the finished product. I’ve only just started using some of these “effects”, and more research into the proper use of said filters will be needed, but overall I was very happy with finished piece and was looking forward to experimenting more.  Please see side bar for video: Self-Portrait 1