Throughout this year there have been many positive and negative outcomes for both the dissertation and the project. The following section will conclude my year of studying into the evolution of house music.
Original Project Aim
My original aim for my fourth year project was to study exhaust notes of performance cars to see if the sound is a massive factor when it comes to wanting to own and drive one. What sound of a car would give the most satisfaction? This original project aim seemed to be idea at time but after some thought over a couple months and supervisor meetings I felt that I had to change away from my original idea. So I decided to look at house music and its evolution. I chosen this area of study as I am a DJ/promoter of a house and techno club night and I was interested in research the history of house music and how the tracks I play out are musically constructed.
Final Project Aim
The aim of this project is to investigate the development of house music as a style from its roots in soul and disco to its emergence as a modern style.
Theoretical Knowledge Gaps
At first finding research was a struggle but after watching the documentary “Pump up the volume” it gave me a more search terms. This helped me to build the foundation for my research proposal and project.
After building a base for research and learning search terms I found research the classic instruments that were used in early production was very beneficial for the dissertation and the project. It related to the project as it allowed me to research and creates the sounds of the classic machines in Ableton Live 9.
I was struggling to research the structure of house music as I had a rough idea about the structure of house music but I had no academic proof to back up my knowledge. I then found the book “The Dance Music Manual” in the library at Abertay in this book I found a full section on the structure of house music, I used this structure as a reference when analysis other tracks structure and it allowed me to build similar table to display the data.
I found researching both classic DJ’s and modern DJ’s was beneficial for the project as it give me Djs and their music to listen to build an understanding of the sounds relevant in the 1980’s and 2015. I also researched the innovators of house, this gave me the opportunity to ask in my questionnaire who
Practical Skills Gaps
The beginning of the project aspect to this year highlighted some clear skills gaps and areas in which I needed improvement in my production skills. There were also aspects of this project that I feel I succeed in. I feel that I was able to program house style drum patterns in Ableton well but there was a area of improvements to get the sound of the kick drum, Hi hat, snare, clap, etc to sound like the professional records I was analyzsing and studying. I eventually got to grips with getting the drum sound to sound how I wanted and to work with each other creating a clear drum pattern.
A other skill gap that arisen through this project was that my synth sound design was lacking as my first attempts at recreating house sounds I had heard in records I previously listened too. I overcame this issue by training myself by using tutorials and practicing to recreate both classic house tracks and modern dance tracks.
After completing the tutorials and creating tracks another skill gap arisen why my mixing techniques for house music. I was struggling to get the bass line and the bass drum to work together. I was also struggling to achieve clarity in my mid and high frequency sections. To overcome this issue I resorted back to research around the subject area and using tutorial’s to train me. I spent a lot of time on working on the skills to mix the sub bass frequencies with the kick drums. I believe I have achieved a good mix in this section of my tracks. I also think after practice mixing the mid and high frequency I man eventually managed to achieve.
After overcoming issues with my production skills and mixing skills I then went on to create a classic house track and a modern house track. I believe that both these tracks represent the era’s they are meant to come from. This was done buy using the research data to highlight the tracks I was to analyses. From that I created remakes of the selected tracks to practice my skills. After completing these tracks I went on to create the final tracks for my project. I feel that the latter part of the project went smoothly after I had worked on my production skills and mixing skills.
What I have learnt throughout the year
Throughout the year I have had many positive and negative moments but through this I have learnt a lot of new beneficial information. I have learnt a lot around the background of house music and its culture. I found researching this section very interesting. I also was also able to learn about the structure of house music and how some of my favorite classic tracks were created.
Throughout the fourth year project I have taught my self a lot about music production and synth sound design. This I new information will be crucial to my development as a music producer in the future. I feel I still have a long way to go on my path to becoming a music producer but I think this project has at least enabled me do build a foundation to grow from. I also think I still need to constantly keep training my self on the mixing as well as the production.
Through out the fourth year I believe that my skills as a researcher and music producer have increased due to the process of completing the dissertation and project on the evolution of house music. I know have a good understanding of the history and culture of house music from its roots. I also feel I have understanding of how the technology has evolved and how house music has evolved with it. I can now differentiate from style of a 1980’s house track and the 2015 style of house track. From this I strongly believe have achieved my project aim as I have research and created house tracks that represent the classic sound and the modern sound. By doing this I believe I have highlighted the difference in structure and sound. After showing where house music is in 2015 I am excited to see what house music sound grows into over the years. I was already a fan house music before I started this project but completing this project has made me engrossed with the genre and the culture surrounding and I can see this being an integral part to the rest of my life.