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My Music Project My Musical Project… Create a piece of music for a coffee advertisement Length of music to be 1 min 48 seconds Music must be royalty free Output is to be stereo, WAV format Plan, Plan, Plan

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My Musical Project…

Create a piece of music for a coffee


Length of music to be 1 min 48 seconds

Music must be royalty free

Output is to be stereo, WAV format


Plan, Plan, Plan

  • Approach your projects with a plan. Chaos has a place after you have tamed planning.
  • Capture your creative ideas on a writing pad and/or in a Word file. Always carry a pad and pen or PDA Keep one by your bedside.
  • Create your own templates and quick reference sheets for efficiency

Purpose & Audience

What are the goals for your project?

What are the expected outcomes?

Why are you doing it?

What do you need to complete it?

Who do you need to complete it?

How much time is it going to take?

When are you going to have time to do it?

Where are you going to do all the tasks?

Where are you going to find all the resources?


Feeling and Style

  • Visual and aural senses must align
  • They should also align with goal(s)
  • Initially use sound references, ie.
  • something familiar that might suit,
  • might evoke the experience you picture
  • from your memory or music collection
  • from radio, TV, film, public library
  • Use of: Speech, music, sounds

Feeling and Style

  • Use your own keywords to describe the feel
  • light, happy, cruising, busy, bright, frantic
  • dark, sad, moody, slow, melancholy, lazy
  • If relevant think of a music style
  • - rock, reggae, blues, classical, Celtic
  • Then consider the tempo to match
  • heartbeat, walking pace, jogging pace
  • fast, very fast

Sources & Output

  • Microphones
  • Vocals  Omni-directional eg. Shure SM58
  • Instrument/Amp  Unidirectional, eg. Shure SM57
  • Direct (plug directly into your PC soundcard)
  • Watch those volume levels and glitches!!
  • Preamp or mixer (4-1 or 6-1)
  • Low noise
  • Acts as safety buffer between inputs and soundcard
  • Usually provides headphone (for input monitoring!)


  • MIDI sequencers
  • Allow you to
  • Sequence MIDI events & controls
  • Import/export in MIDI format – not audio
  • Minimal effects/no plug-ins
  • Audio editors
  • Used for cleaning and processing WAV files
  • Popular products
  • Cool Edit
  • Sound Forge
  • Wave Lab
  • Gold Wave (Freeware)


  • Composing Software
  • Allows you to
  • Sequence Audio + MIDI
  • Create, edit, produce and master audio
  • Utilise plug-ins
  • Popular products
  • Steinberg Cubase
  • Adobe Audition
  • MAGIX Music Studio
  • Cakewalk
  • Digidesign Pro Tools


  • Composing Software
  • Other types:
  • Audio sample & loop sequencer, eg. FruityLoops
  • Algorithmic composers, ie, computer generated music, eg. Soundscape, FractMus 2000, AC
  • Auto backing bands eg, Band In A Box, Jammer Hit Session
  • Can be used to generate royalty free music


Audio file converters

The primary audio file format used by audio editors and sequencers is WAV

Other formats include:


Converters can be used to create WAV files from these other formats, eg. dBpowerAMP, CDex

Streaming audio can be captured via soundcard

and audio editor or audio recorder


Used to extract CD tracks to WAV or other formats, eg. Cdex, FreeRip



  • Plug-ins
  • Audio processing and production
  • Equalisation (EQ)
  • Compression
  • Limiting
  • Effects
  • Time Delay: Reverberation, Echo, Tremolo, Vibrato
  • Distortion, Overdrive
  • Filtering: Chorus, Flanging, Phasing, Vocoder
  • Instruments
  • Drums, keyboards, brass, woodwind, strings, etc


Capture the cleanest, strongest sound

Check your signal and noise levels

Noise is your enemy – check your environment

Power: surges, filters

Washing machines, air conditioners, drills

Electrical fields near audio cables

Cable joints are ok – don’t bend cables



  • The four MOST important processing functions
  • #1 – Equalisation
  • Can be used to add clarity and/or presence to
  • an audio sound
  • Graphic or parametric equalisation
  • #2 – Compression
  • Used to create presence and/or evenness in an audio sound
  • #3–Mute used to clean “silent” parts, remove breathing
  • #4 – Fade-in and Fade-out


Audio is heard in spaces:

Panning = Left  Centre  Right

Proximity/Room size:

Dry = close

Reverb = depth


There are many; be selective, not greedy

Apply individually = Insert

Apply across multiple sounds = Send Effect

Listen to the results in your

headphones and car and room



General computer music


Plugins (VST/DX)



Royalty free music

Search: royalty free music –CD –CDs –CD’s –buy

Record streaming audio via soundcard

(ie. What You Hear mode)



  • Audio format & disk space (stereo):WAV – 10MB/min; MP3 – 1MB/min; WMA – 500KB/min
  • MIDI - Musical Instrument Digital Interface. A standard for interconnecting synthesisers, sequencers, PCs and other equipment. Also specifies events, eg. Note on, note off, controller change.
  • Plug-in – a software program used by a sequencer that emulates an musical processor or instrument
  • Sample – a small piece of digitally recorded sound
  • Sampler– A device that digitally records sounds for later performance. It can usually manipulate these sounds in a variety of ways.
  • Sequencer - Anything that stores performance information
  • Virtual Studio Technology (VST) – a plug-in standard
  • WAV (aka Microsoft RIFF wave) format: 16 bit, 44.1KHz, mono or stereo,

How I built my project

  • Internet: to search for royalty free African music
  • CDex: to convert African MP3 file to WAV
  • Cubase VST/32: Music production
    • Import the African audio file
    • Record two guitar samples
    • Copy, paste and align the guitar samples
    • Create the MIDI drum tracks
    • Convert the MIDI drum tracks to audio (WAV)
    • Mix level, EQ, compression, left/right pan
    • Add reverberation and tremolo FX
    • Export whole composition to audio WAV file
  • Sound Forge: Final editing
    • Fade out at end of audio
    • Shorten audio length (1:57 to 1:48 mins)