Soundtrack – The progress of writing, recording and mixing

Since the proposal of the interactive music video, I’ve always wanted to produce the soundtrack myself even though that was not the main point of this project. I wanted to create the entire project from scratch in order to have a sense of independence and pride to own an artifact made completely by my own hands.

That choice certainly wasn’t easy. I took about 1-2 weeks to write the soundtrack, and COUNTLESS of times recording it. And after all that, I’ve only produced a draft. But hey, it’s still a progress after all.

screenshot-2016-10-29-15-22-10

Screenshot of the sound editing progress of the first draft on Adobe Audition

To be honest, it’s a pretty simple song, but what I like about it is that different people can interpret it differently. The song talks about meeting someone and falling in love, and probably meeting them again in a different season of their lives later on. Looking back, the song feels like it was written by the character in the music video who’ve already went through all the emotional trajectory of being in and out of a relationship. But like I said, different people might interpret it differently. Having some elements of uncertainty, while feeling assured that things will work out eventually gives people (or me, at least) a hope to strive and believe a little bit more.

There’s still a lot that needs to be done in terms of recording and mixing, so I’ll be giving myself 3 weeks max to re-record and finalize the track. In the mean time, I’ve posted the chords, lyrics and the draft preview:

somewhere-new_lyrics-chords

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Reminder: Project schedule

Since next week (31st Oct) will be the beginning of my last semester, I’ve updated my gantt chart in order to fit a more realistic timeline. Generally, here is how much time I have left to complete this project:

Week 1 (31st Oct – 6 Nov): visuals / finish music recording

Week 2 (7 Nov – 13 Nov): finish visuals / animation / music mixing + mastering

Week 3 (14 Nov – 20 Nov): animation / music mixing + mastering / code prototype

Week 4 (21 Nov – 27 Nov): animation  / music mixing + mastering / code prototype

Week 5 (28 Nov – 4 Dec): animation / code prototype / *done with soundtrack*

Week 6 (5 Dec – 11 Dec): code and troubleshoot (generally should be able to work)

Week 7 (12 Dec – 18 Dec): code and troubleshoot

Week 8 (19 Dec – 25 Dec): ALPHA TEST

Week 9 (2 Jan – 8 Jan): collect feedback, refine, and troubleshoot

Week 10 (9 Jan – 15 Jan): refine, and troubleshoot

Week 11 (16 Jan – 22 Jan): BETA TEST

Week 12 (23 Jan – 29 Jan): collect feedback, final adjustments, compile documents

Week 13 (6 Feb – 12 Feb): SUBMISSION

 

Tech research + more refinements

After looking at multiple ways to execute this multiplayer project using Socket.io and Node.js, I’ve learnt that it would be easier for both players to be looking at the same graphics appearing on screen rather than having commands like “pick a route” while the other player waits. It avoids confusion for the other player waiting for their friend to “make a decision”. So here are some further adjustments I’ve made in order to fit with a more realistic execution plan:

  1. Both players will be looking at the same screen.
  2. They will use their phones to control the graphics appearing on screen. (eg. colors, scenery, actions).
  3. The visuals remain as a split screen so they can see how the “exquisite corpse” method forms when two players pick different scenes.

IF only one player is connected to the server, then he/she is only able to switch the scenes for the first panel:

plan1

Pretty much like what we see in Jeff Buckley’s interactive music video, but instead of clicking on the panels, users will be using their phones to switch scenes in the panels. This allows them to see the different scenarios that could happen at one place such as the image below:

rs-233850-Jeff-Buckley-Just-Like-a-Woman

The underlying technology behind this mainly consists of Node.js and Socket.io. This tutorial: https://modernweb.com/2013/09/30/building-multiplayer-games-with-node-js-and-socket-io/ teaches us how to build a game using these technologies and the 3 platforms which I will be using (2 phones, 1 PC).

The architecture:

According to several researches, there are two types of multiplayer functions.

Client – Server – Client (which is what we’ll be doing)

or

Client – Client (this is rather straightforward and it does not require a feedback from the server)

architecture

The image above was taken from the tutorial website. It shows us how the architectural framework and the roles of Socket.io, Node.js and Express.js in this multiplayer project.

I’ll be researching more on the technology and try to code a prototype before executing the actual project.

Visual update: Poster Design

There are some updates that were done since the last blog post. Generally, these are:

  • Project title: “Somewhere New” – An Interactive Story Made For Two
  • Updated color scheme
  • Illustration inspired by David Bonazzi
  • Poster Design

Since it is a music video, the poster design is mainly inspired by vinyl records. Even though the concept of this project is very modern and interactive, I’d like it to have some relation with analog media. I’ve fixed the color scheme for all the illustrations but the final FINAL poster design is not confirmed yet. So far, this is what I’ve got, and I’m pretty happy with it  🙂 Just need some minor adjustments before finalizing the whole thing.

poster_somewhere-new1