Level 3 Unit 12: Digital Audio

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Level 3 Unit 12: Digital Audio

  1. 1. U12 – DIGITAL AUDIO<br />
  2. 2. Health Warning<br />Please remember that the Exam Board doesn’t provide MAs for anything beyond U4, so this is my best interpretation of the markgrids and other paperwork...<br />Note: this one needs specialist kit and we need to be sure you have access to all you need BEFORE you get going!!!<br />
  3. 3. Scenario<br />A start-up company is trying to break into the sound business. They have a kind of interview-cum-audition in about 8 weeks. They need to produce a new soundtrack to a specific piece of video – either a film soundtrack or TV show/advert. They need to show they can do better than the bunch who did it: John Williams, eat your heart out..!<br />
  4. 4. Scenario<br />Your assignment is to design the soundtrack for the start-up, so they can start winning contracts and stop relying on their parents for food and laundry!<br />Bear in mind – your final product has to work WITH the video extract/advert when it goes to the audition!!!<br />
  5. 5. Task 1 – The Research<br />Well, this AO is pretty much always research, and this Unit is no surprise. This is a bit of a challenge because of the nature of the assignment, so go through this carefully...<br />You need to review soundtracks from at least 2 (depends on the grade you want) categories – and the detail you give defines the grade you get.<br />
  6. 6. Task 1 – The Research<br />The Board are a bit picky here, so you need to select your soundtracks from this list…<br />Interactive products (e.g. Web-based presentation, adverts)<br />Video product (e.g. music or corporate video)<br />TV/radio advert<br />Film<br />Fictional or factual TV show<br />
  7. 7. Task 1 – The Research<br />And the elements you ought to be looking for include:<br />Dialogue/speech (scripted? Unscripted?)<br />Music (theme tunes/music beds/pre-existing or specially composed music)<br />Sound effects<br />Wild tracks<br />Silence<br />Special effects<br />
  8. 8. Task 1 – The Research<br />And the key is that you can EXPLAIN the reasons…<br />Explain action<br />Reinforce emotion<br />Attract attention<br />Set a period<br />Give coherence between shots<br />Identify a programme<br />Effect on specific audiences<br />
  9. 9. Markgrid – AO1<br />PASS<br />Candidates provide:<br />A description of the elements used in a soundtrack from at least two different categories focussing on dialogue and music.<br />They show an understanding of the relationship between various elements.<br />Candidates demonstrate some awareness of the reasons for the use of these elements.<br />They make general references to the products they have analysed.<br />
  10. 10. Markgrid – AO1<br />MERIT<br />Candidates provide:<br />detailed description of most of the elements used in a soundtrack from at least three different categories.<br />They show a good understanding of the relationship between various elements.<br />Candidates describe a range of reasons for the use of these elements.<br />They give a number of appropriate examples from the products they have analysed.<br />
  11. 11. Markgrid – AO1<br />DISTINCTION<br />Candidates provide:<br />a comprehensive description of all the elements used in a moving image soundtrack from at least three different categories.<br />They explain how the relationship between various elements is affected by the genre of the product and how they interact.<br />Candidates describe a range of reasons for these elements and suggest how these give meaning for specific audiences.<br />They use effectively a range of examples from the products they have analysed to highlight their analysis.<br />
  12. 12. Task 2 – the Nuts and Bolts<br />So now you know how the ‘big boys’ do it… your turn. You need to plan the ad, check out the structure and kit needed, and select the sounds/music to make this work. You MUST include voice-over, sound effects & music!<br />Again – on this one the more detail, the better the grade: check out the mark grids…<br />
  13. 13. Task 2 – the Nuts and Bolts<br />So in this you’re looking at your product in much, much more detail. It could be:<br />Multimedia product: e.g.<br />interactive presentation<br />training material<br />advert<br />other<br />Moving image product: e.g.<br />film trailer<br />film sequence<br />advertisement<br />short news programme<br />preview of new television programme<br />other <br />
  14. 14. Task 2 – the Nuts and Bolts<br />And you must plan your soundtrack material:<br />identify the material required (eg music, voice-over, wild track)<br />source the material required (eg scripts, music tracks)<br />address copyright, legal and ethical issues<br />identify the required technology/personnel (eg voice over artist)<br />how to capture sound (analogue and digital), sampling, natural sound effects (eg animals and weather), compressing sound, music and voice<br />source existing sound files and save appropriately<br />
  15. 15. Markgrid – AO2<br />PASS<br />Candidates provide:<br />a basic plan for a soundtrack for a specific product.<br />They investigate and identify key resources including items of equipment and existing sound files and make a rough, possibly unfeasible estimate of the time needed to make and dub the soundtrack.<br />They identify music in general terms and pick music that reflects their own interests rather than that of the target audience or the product.<br />They suggest music and voice-over but do not indicate extent of their use.<br />
  16. 16. Markgrid – AO2<br />MERIT<br />Candidates provide:<br />an effective plan for a soundtrack for a specific product.<br />They investigate and identify all resources including items of equipment and existing sound files and make an accurate and feasible estimate of the time needed to make and dub the soundtrack.<br />They identify specific genres of music that will appeal to the target audience and are appropriate for the product.<br />They include voice-over, music and indicate the extent of their use.<br />
  17. 17. Markgrid – AO2<br />DISTINCTION<br />Candidates provide:<br />a thorough plan for a soundtrack for a specific product.<br />They investigate and identify all resources including items of equipment and existing sound files and make a precise and accurate and estimate of the time needed to make and dub the soundtrack.<br />They identify specific genres of music that will appeal to the target audience and are appropriate for the product and clearly indicate details relating to copyright.<br />They include voice-over, music, wild track and sound effects and indicate the extent of their use.<br />
  18. 18. Task 3 – Making it!<br />OK now you have to actually DO what you said you would… Hmmmmm….! The Board call this:<br />Record required material using appropriate technology <br />But if that was all they said, well it just wouldn’t be Nationals.. Check out the next slide…! :-0<br />
  19. 19. Task 3 – Making it!<br />Editing skills to show:<br />
  20. 20. Markgrid – AO3<br />PASS<br />Candidates use:<br />basic equipment to make a sound track.<br />The quality may be poor, for example the balance between voice-over and music may be incorrect or the music too long.<br />There may not be a good fit between the product and the soundtrack.<br />
  21. 21. Markgrid – AO3<br />MERIT<br />Candidates use:<br />a range of equipment to make a sound track.<br />The technical quality is good for example showing balance between voice-over and music.<br />There is a good fit between the product and the soundtrack.<br />
  22. 22. Markgrid – AO3<br />DISTINCTION<br />Candidates use:<br />use a range of equipment, including effects equipment to make a sound track.<br />The technical quality is good and the soundtrack also shows a high level of creativity.<br />The soundtrack clearly enhances the effectiveness of the product.<br />
  23. 23. Task 4 – The Techie Bit!<br />So now you get to show off a bit… or lose your marbles as you try to figure out all the technical terms..! In this you have to look at the different audio encoding technologies, and select one…<br />Which is why the first thing you have to do is learn about what’s out there from which to pick!<br />
  24. 24. Task 4 – The Techie Bit!<br />In this task you need to:<br />Investigate different audio encoding technologies: e.g.<br />Proprietary -vs- non-proprietary (freeware/shareware)<br />Lossy -vs- non-lossy<br />Compression techniques<br />sample rate, bit depth<br />MP3 – AAC – WMA – other<br />CODECs<br />Encode the finished audio to an appropriate file format and size for use in a moving image or multimedia product<br />Customise/label created audio clip (eg author information)<br />Remember: Wikipedia is NOT accepted by the Board as a legitimate sole/significant research source<br />
  25. 25. Markgrid – AO4<br />PASS<br />Candidates provide:<br />a basic comparison of different audio encoding technologies.<br />The audio is encoded to an appropriate file format for use in the chosen product<br />
  26. 26. Markgrid – AO4<br />MERIT<br />Candidates provide:<br />a detailed comparison of the main audio encoding technologies.<br />They demonstrate some understanding of the main differences between them.<br />The audio is encoded to an appropriate file format and size for use in the chosen product<br />
  27. 27. Markgrid – AO4<br />DISTINCTION<br />Candidates provide:<br />a comprehensive comparison of the main audio encoding technologies.<br />They demonstrate a clear understanding of the differences between them.<br />The audio is optimised and encoded to an appropriate file format and size for use in the chosen product.<br />
  28. 28. Task 5 – Judging It!<br />So you did it! But how WELL did you do it? And this isn’t a case of, ‘I done it gud!’ or ‘It sux’. You gotta go ask someone else, among other things… come on, if it was easy everyone would be doing it…<br />
  29. 29. Task 5 – Judging It!<br />FIRSTLY…<br />Gain feedback from a client or focus group: e.g.<br />questionnaire<br />interview<br />record audience response<br />describe strengths and weaknesses<br />And then…<br />
  30. 30. Task 5 – Judging It!<br />Evaluate audio:<br />technical quality (eg relative levels, equalisation, effects)<br />creative quality (eg appropriateness for the moving image or multimedia product, appeal, impact)<br />in relation to the original intentions of the audio<br />compare with professional audio<br />And then…<br />
  31. 31. Task 5 – Judging It!<br />Evaluate production process (justify choices made)<br />Suggest improvements<br />Strengths and weaknesses<br />Easy! <br />
  32. 32. Markgrid – AO5<br />PASS<br />Candidates present:<br />the audio (added to the moving image or multimedia product) to a client or focus group.<br />They make a brief and subjective evaluation of the quality of the audio that makes little or no reference to feedback received.<br />Candidates provide a brief evaluation of the effectiveness of the production process.<br />Candidates give some examples of their strengths or weaknesses<br />
  33. 33. Markgrid – AO5<br />MERIT<br />Candidates present:<br />the audio (added to the moving image or multimedia product) to a client or focus group.<br />They make an objective evaluation of the audio that refers to feedback received.<br />Candidates provide an accurate evaluation of the effectiveness of the production process.<br />Candidates identify some of their strengths and weaknesses.<br />
  34. 34. Markgrid – AO5<br />DISTINCTION<br />Candidates present:<br />the audio (added to the moving image or multimedia product) to a client or focus group.<br />They make an objective and detailed evaluation of the audio that refers to feedback received.<br />Candidates provide a detailed and accurate evaluation of the effectiveness of the production process. They suggest improvements.<br />There is a comprehensive evaluation of all areas of the production process and some potential amendments are described. Choices made are justified.<br />Candidates identify a range of their strengths and weaknesses.<br />
  35. 35. Task 6 – Follow Through<br />You need to be quite critical here – highlighting strengths as well as weaknesses. So look at:<br />Technical quality<br />Creative quality<br />Appeal to the target audience (& how do you know?)<br />Software/techniques used<br />Comparison with professional animations<br />Get others to comment (more the merrier)<br />Suggest how this could be improved (DETAIL) based on all of this review<br />
  36. 36. Markgrid – AO6<br />PASS<br />Candidates provide:<br />A basic evaluation<br />Focus is on the end product<br />Feedback is sought AND RECORDED<br />Some improvements are identified<br />
  37. 37. Markgrid – AO6<br />MERIT<br />Candidates provide:<br />A detailed evaluation<br />Focus is on the end product, the processes involved & technical aspects of the finished product<br />Feedback is sought AND RECORDED<br />Some valid improvements are suggested<br />
  38. 38. Markgrid – AO5<br />DISTINCTION<br />Candidates provide:<br />A comprehensive evaluation<br />Focus is on the end product, the processes involved & the creative & technical aspects of the finished product<br />Feedback is sought AND RECORDED<br />A range of valid improvements are suggested, along with detailed notes on how they could be implemented<br />
  39. 39. IT<br />IS<br />OVER!<br />

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