In this report I will be discussing the work I have done throughout the last 6 weeks for my chosen discipline, which is sound. I will be reviewing the research I have done into my discipline and analysing the experiments I have done in order to further my skills and knowledge in my discipline. I will talk about the research techniques that I have learnt and used over the course of this term. The work that I have done that I will be discussing includes the Who am I task where I was doing primary research into myself, the interview task where I was interviewed by someone else and then had to plan question to ask them as part of research practice, the task where I took a personality test to find out more about myself, research practice where I first researched skateboards and then the history of sound, my experiments in fear and sci-fi, and my practitioners report where I researched influential people in sound.
Who am I? – Research task
The first task that I did over the first couple of weeks was designed to inform me what I knew about my interests and why I am interested in them. This was part of my primary research into myself to start me thinking about what I will want to explore in the future. I started this task by creating a mind map of everything that I was interested in and why I was interested in them, then I wrote what I knew about my interests and realised that there is a lot that I do not know. From this task I learnt I am very interested in storytelling and prefer films, shows, and games that have interesting stories and characters, so I am interested in world building and I will try to explore this for my Final Major Project.
Peer Interviews – Research task
The second task that I did was designed to give me practice in planning specific questions in order to research specific information. To do this I had to think about what I wanted to know and how I could structure the questions in order to find out the information I needed. Another part of this task was me being interviewed to get me to think about what I have experienced in my life and how that has influenced me. Also this was another task to get me thinking about what I enjoy and what I might want to explore for my FMP.
Myers Briggs Personality Test
In this task we took the Myers Briggs Personality Test in order to find out more about myself and my personality as this could be helpful in my future as I would have a better understanding of what my strengths and weaknesses are which could help me with my work as I will know how I can work best and avoid becoming distracted or demotivated. The personality type I was given by the test was INFJ-T which means I am more introverted- meaning I prefer being alone and get exhausted by social interaction, intuitive- meaning I am very imaginative and open minded, feeling- meaning I am more sensitive and empathetic, judging- meaning I am highly organised and value clarity and closure, and turbulent- meaning I am self-conscious and sensitive to stress. The test results also concluded that I look for constant improvement. The strengths that I possess according to the results are that I am;
- Inspiring and Convincing
- Determined and Passionate
My weaknesses include being;
- Extremely private
- A perfectionist
- Someone who needs to have a cause
- Someone who burns out easily
From taking the test I have learnt that if I do not understand the reason for a piece of work I am doing I am going to be demotivated, and if I am working for a long time on a project I am going to burn out quickly and lose the energy and motivation to work on it. I can use the knowledge of these weaknesses in the future as I will work harder to understand why I am doing something and ask what the purpose is if necessary and also I can make sure that I take regular breaks to avoid burning out as quickly, which will improve the overall quality of the work that I produce as I will be more motivated to do it and have more energy for it.
Once I had taken the test for myself I got a classmate who knows me well to take it for me in order to see what other people thought my strengths and weaknesses were. The personality type they got for me was ISFP which stands for introverted, sensing, feeling, and perceiving. The strengths of this personality type include;
- Being charming
- Being sensitive to others
- Being imaginative
- Being passionate
- Being curious
- Being artistic
The weaknesses of this personality are;
- Being fiercely independent
- Being unpredictable
- Getting stressed easily
- Being overly competitive
- Having fluctuating self esteem
From these weaknesses I know I get stressed easily and I can use this knowledge in my future work as I will be able to work on staying calm and maintaining control so that I am able to work in a better environment and then produce better work. I can also try and be less independent if I get stuck in order to receive help and improve the work that I produce, which will also help me avoid getting stressed.
Skateboard- research task
From this task I learned different research techniques that I can use on Google that will help me find specific results easier. I learnt how I can broaden my searches if I do not know exactly what I want to find out by adding an asterisk to the end of the search in order to get results that include everything related to the term. Alternatively, I could also narrow searches if I wanted to because I know exactly what I want to know and want to filter out irrelevant results that will just get in the way of what I need by using Boolean operators such as “or” and “and”. By using these I am able to find results much quicker and I can use these when I start my own project to find the information I am looking for quicker which will enable me to start practical work sooner.
My experimentation into sound
From experimenting with sound and the research I had to do in order to do the experiments I have learnt more about the tools available in Audacity and what I can do with them. I also learnt how I can manipulate voices to make them sound demonic or robotic which I could use as a part of my FMP to demonstrate my skills. I also learned how science fiction sounds have been made in the past and the different processes that were required to create each specific sound and that most of the sounds were made just by using ordinary objects. I then experimented creating sci-fi sounds using ordinary objects and learnt what sounds I can create with them through editing. I can use this knowledge in my FMP as I will know how I can edit sounds to create the sound I want and I also know what kinds of objects will make what sound. I also researched Foley and also learnt from this how ordinary objects can be used to create different sounds that will be associated with other objects, for example shaking keys can be made to sound like soldiers marching.
My own research into sound and Practitioners Report
In these tasks I researched the history of sound in film and television using the research techniques that I learned from the task where I was researching skateboards and researched two sound practitioners, Jack Foley and Ben Burtt. From doing this research I have learnt about the historical context of sound in film and TV as I discovered that the first film to contain sound that was synchronised to the actions that were happening on the screen was “The Jazz Singer” which was released in 1927 by Warner Bros. The sound for this film was recorded and played back using a Vitaphone which was hooked up to film projectors. This marked a changed for sound and films as before this the only sound that accompanied films was performed by either an orchestra hidden from the audience if the film was being played in a theatre or if it’s not a big occasion the music could be performed by someone on a piano or someone playing the guitar, so there was not many sound effects that could be produced. Also in 1927 the Foley technique was used for a film for the first time, however experiments in this technique were happening before this. This technique has been used in films ever since and has largely remained the same. I also learnt about industrial factors as I learnt about the technology that was used to record sounds when they sound was just beginning to be used and what some of the problems were, such as amplifying the sound enough for the entire audience to hear and also synchronising the sounds with the pictures. Another thing I learned about the technology at the time is that the sound equipment was big and noisy and had to be kept in a soundproof room that was known as a “blimp” to allow them to record sounds in the best possible quality and not affect the sound and action being recorded. Knowing what the technology was like at the beginning I am able to see how it has developed and understand how the processes of recording sound for films has changed and also increase my knowledge of the technology that is available for me to use and this can give me a greater understanding of what I can do with it which I can use during my FMP to allow me to try new things and possibly produce better quality sound work.
One historical and cultural factor that I learned about while writing my practitioners report was that when Ben Burtt was doing the sound design for the 2009 Star Trek film, he listened to the sound design from the original TV series and took inspirations from them and tried to recreate some of the iconic sounds, such as the warp drive, as accurately as possible so that the new films would have that connection to the originals. As the technology has advanced since the original Star Trek series sound has developed in films and there are now new techniques that can be used to record sounds and I can use my knowledge of these techniques during my FMP. I also learnt that most sci-fi films made their sounds synthetically until Ben Burtt decided to use objects to create sounds that had a material quality to them which made them sound more naturalistic to the audience.
To conclude the work that I have been doing for Unit 12 has taught me a lot about sound and has given me a lot of new tools and techniques that I could use during my Final Major Project. I have learnt about different contextual perspectives of sound including historical, industrial, and cultural contexts that have led to the development of sound in film and television. I can use my knowledge of these during my FMP as I will be able to talk about how they have changed and may be able to generate ideas based on the changes, for example using objects to create more natural sounds which is what Ben Burtt did when working on the Star Wars and Indiana Jones films. I will also be able to use the knowledge that I have gathered from ding research into sound as I now know more about the tools I can use and I know more techniques that I can use to create the sounds that I want and know how I can manipulate voices to make them sound very different from the originals. This will allow me to experiment with sound recording to attempt to create the exact sound that I want. I have also learnt about how I can research quicker by using Boolean operators to make my searches more specific or broader depending on my situation. This will help me find any information that I need quicker and enable me to do my work sooner and increase my knowledge. I can use all of what I have learnt from these tasks to start thinking of what I want to explore during my FMP and what kind of product I want to make as well as ensuring that my FMP is completed to a high standard and that it demonstrates the new skills and techniques that I have gained during the last few weeks.