Production in Electronic Music

When music was first being recorded and produced, the musicians all had to get together in one room and record their song until they all played their parts perfectly and with minimal error. The song structure was strictly limited to what the band had decided on before any recording took place. The sound of the instruments and vocals were also pre-determined. A lot of thought and effort went into writing and practicing this so that their song would sound exactly as they had planned. The effort was all in the pre-recording phase. Today, most of the effort goes into editing in the post-recording process.

Unlike music that was recorded in the past, song structure and overall sound is developed after the recording has taken place. The pre-recording process still requires a certain amount of preparation and planning. However, the majority of the work takes place after the recording is finished. The artist is no longer limited by what the instrument or vocals sound like as they are being recorded. Any recording can be tweaked and altered to fit whatever sound they desire. If the artist or producer prefers a higher octave or a different note in the recorded vocals, they can simply edit it without needing the vocalist to come back in and re-record it. This opens up incredible possibilities of song structure and sound that can have an intense effect of the mood of the listener.

When thinking about how the song is to be structured, the artist is open to a wide variety of possibilities. In electronic dance music (EDM), the song’s structure plays a huge roll in the effect the song has on the listeners. There are many different techniques that are used in EDM specifically used to hype the crowd up. The techniques are used to give the listener to feeling of being lifted off of the ground, filled with anticipation, and then dropped back down to the ground. These techniques are analyzed and explained in an article called “Waiting for the bass to drop” by Ragnhild Torvanger Solberg. Solberg used commonly used terms such as “build up”, “drop”, and “uplifters” to describe the production techniques that are used. He also introduces a new term, which he calls the “drum roll effect”(1). The “Build up” refers to the part of the song that gives the listener an increased feeling of being lifted. “Uplifters” refer to the kinds of effects the artist will use to enhance a “build up” section. The “drop” is the part of the song, at the end of a “build up”, where the listener gets the sensation of being dropped back down to the ground after the feeling of being lifted. He describes the “drum roll effect” as “a frequently used technique in newer EDM where the prominent rhythmical pattern, often the snare drum, becomes increasingly divided until the return of the core, starting out with quarter notes and culminating in a drum roll right before the bass drops and the bass drum returns.”(1) Solberg’s article goes onto explain the effects by using a spectrogram of a song’s (“Icarus” by ‘Madeon’) wavelengths to provide a visual of the production that takes place.

music

You can see from the image that the song’s frequencies show a clearly visual increase as it approaches the drop and into the core section of the song. These production techniques create an unmatchable mood shift that can only be achieved through modern, post-recorded editing techniques.

Footnotes:

1. TORVANGER SOLBERG, RAGNHILD. “Waiting For The Bass To Drop”: Correlations Between Intense Emotional Experiences And Production Techniques In Build-Up And Drop Sections Of Electronic Dance Music.” Dancecult: Journal Of Electronic Dance Music Culture 6.1 (2014): 61-82. Academic Search Complete. Web. 27 Mar. 2015.

Observation of Nuclear Weapons

Germany was the first country to discover the possibilities that could arise based on the splitting of a uranium atom. This brought about fear in the United States, as it was a time of Nazism and Fascism in other countries. Albert Einstein who escaped from Nazi persecution had come to the United States and felt it was his responsibility to inform the President of what the German physicists were on the breakings of. After writing a detailed letter to President Roosevelt, there was a slow agreement to start the making of an Atomic Bomb in the United States. An atomic bomb is defined as a bomb that derives its destructive power from the rapid release of nuclear energy by fission of heavy atomic nuclei, causing damage through heat, blast, and radioactivity. This was then named the Manhattan Project. Having study based out of only three universities in the US, the University of Chicago, with the help of Enrico Fermi who had escaped Italian Fascism, discovered the first controlled nuclear chain reaction. This discovery was the turning point in the making of the first Nuclear Weapon. After such an advancement, funding was much assisted and development quickened. Towards the end of development, roughly $2 billion had been spent on research of the atomic bomb alone. It was seemingly impossible to keep such a large effort an entire secret but the nation seemed to manage very well. After completing their first trial, the United States prepared for the first detonation of an atomic bomb. Unprepared for such extreme results, the Americans on the trial were surprised at the blinding flash that was visible for nearly 200 miles. The homes of citizens had windows blown out over 100 miles away from the detonation due to the extreme pressure and heat.
The United Nations made the first attempt to ban the use and creation of such weapons in 1946 after seeing all of the negative effects it had on the world. Since this time, there have been many efforts and treaties in the potential elimination of Nuclear Weaponry. One example is the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water. This was signed in 1963 by The Governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The treaty contains articles such as Article 1 which states, “Each of the Parties to this Treaty undertakes to prohibit, to prevent, and not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion, or any other nuclear explosion, at any place under its jurisdiction or control.”

Since the creation of the first atomic bomb, nuclear warfare has only been used as a form of attack twice in our world history. This was the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Although not used in harm, there have been over 2,000 nuclear tests conducted as more and more countries began to create their own weapons. As of 2013, the United States alone has built over 125,000 more nuclear warheads. If we base numbers off of the amount of deaths caused from the bombing on Hiroshima, the United States has built enough nuclear warheads to kill 25,000,000,000 people between initial immediate deaths and the effects of radiation.

http://www.un.org/disarmament/WMD/Nuclear/
http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/since-hiroshima-weve-built-125000-nuclear-bombs
http://www.ushistory.org/us/51f.asp

Our Class Archive of Essays

Our class archive is interesting because although it covers a wide range of topics, the blog posts are connected by some common theme from that week. Sometimes the same person posts about one topic repeatedly, while other topics are shared between authors. For example, multiple different authors have written about different aspects of video games, while another author often writes about different aspects of music. By looking at the blog posts, its easy to see what topics are interesting to the students of the class as a whole, as well as what a specific person is interested in.

The topics that have appeared most are ones that are more recent issues, such as social media and how individuals are portrayed online. This makes a lot of sense since social media is still a relatively new thing and it affects most peoples’ lives in one way or another. The majority of the people within the average age range of the class are using social media, so there are many issues surrounding that topic that are important to the students of the class. When a specific topic is repeated often by different authors, it shows that the topic is an important one for the students in the class. While the class is made up of a diverse group of students, in general, students are within the same age range and many have been living in Ohio for most of their lives, or at least a few years. By looking at what the students in the class are talking about, it gives a good general idea of what science and technology related topics are important to this demographic of people.

Another interesting aspect of our blog is how the topics discussed in class appear on the blog. Sometimes, the focus of the blog post has been something specific that the class has read or discussed, so it makes sense for different blog posts to mention that reading, but other times a specific topic appears in blog posts even though it is not required to be mentioned. A good example of this is that there were a few posts added about the apocalypse after that topic was assigned as a reading and discussed in class. When these types of topics appear in the blog posts, it shows that in general, students were very interested in the discussion that took place in class. If the topics discussed are important to the class, many people may choose to expand on those topics during their blog posts.

While seeing what the class as a whole thinks of a specific topic is interesting, it is also interesting to see what specific people in the class care about. Some students have chosen to repeatedly write about the same topic, showing that that topic is something extremely important to them, and by reading their blog posts, anyone can learn why they are so passionate about that topic. More often, people tend to write about several different topics in their blog posts. By looking at the different topics that one person writes about, it is easy to learn a lot about that person. In the blog posts the writer not only shows what topics are of interest or importance to them, but they also express their personal opinions and beliefs, allowing the reader to get a better sense of who they are as an individual. Because of this, the blog is not only a good archive of the class as a whole, but also a small piece of the archive on each of the students within the class.

Mummification; A Funerary Technology of An Ancient Civilization

Anthropologists and historical scholars alike credit the Egyptians with the origination and refinement of the funerary technology known as mummification; despite other discoveries of mummification from other cultures around the world, i.e. Peru, Guanche mummies in England, and the Canary Islands (1). To understand why mummification originated with the Egyptians and the process and refinement as a technology we first must examine Egyptian Cosmogonies.
Cosmogonies are narratives, or stories about how everything in existence came into being; also referred to as creation myths (4). To early cultures in the Mesopotamian region of northern Africa, creation myths provided a foundation for religion, cultural morays, and in many respects an ancient “Mediterranean Family Tree”, if you will. These cosmogonies established religious directive for the polytheist societies of the time; crafting a fundamental means to worship many gods in a way that offered answers to philosophic questions, such as, “Is there an after-life?” Egyptians believed that death offered so much more than the act of dying; provided, the individual be of high social status, they have accumulated wealth, and that they believe they can influence and actively participate in the final outcome. Egyptians understood death as something to be managed and in turn life could be restored. Guided by their dedication and worship to the god of death, Osiris, ancient Egyptians turned to The Osiris Myth to choose from a litany of thousands of magical spells, hymns, and epitaphs to create an individualized, custom Pyramid Text, Coffin Text, or Book of the Dead (4).
Of parallel, if not paramount, importance to Egyptian funerary practice was the preservation of the body to the best of their capabilities; a procedural technique called embalming. But through the translation of Egyptian funerary texts and narratives by Greek and Roman authors we now know that embalming of the body was more than a series of physical and chemical applications, i.e. mummification, designed to minimize or arrest the decomposition of tissue. Rather, embalming was the mutual employment of traditional tissue preservation practices plus ritualistic magical spells and religious hymns and litanies recited by an Egyptian priest (3) (4). Through the many spells, epitaphs and hymns of The Osiris Myth, Egyptians came to understand that the soul and the body must be kept fully functional in order to navigate the kingdom of death. The religious rituals applied to the soul and the mortuary practice of mummification preserved the body.
Mummification began with the descendant lying face up on a flat stone in the mortuary. Mortuaries were typically built in catacombs or subterranean crypts were cool and often arid air conditions were present, facilitating desiccation, or water loss of the body tissues. Removal of tissue water content is essential to successful mummification. Next, the abdominal viscera and organs are removed, washed and desiccated; then individually wrapped in small packages for return to the abdominal cavity at the final stage of preparation, wrapping of the body in linen. Next, the brain is liquefied and removed from the skull using a special implement and one of many possible entrance/exit sites created in the floor of the caldarium. At this point the abdominal cavity is washed thoroughly and dried; the body is then flexed into a fetal or sitting position and lowered into a concentrated salt bath, in a large jar, with the head exposed. The degree of desiccation and the relative time frame to complete this is directly proportional to the ratio of skin surface area to the underlying body volume. The desiccation process is complete when the epidermis of the skin easily epilates. At this point the body is removed from the salt bath, rinsed and dried thoroughly with meticulous detail paid to replacing any finger nails or toe nails that have unintentionally fallen loose and coating the abdominal cavity with a mixture of oils and fragrances. Next, the small packages of abdominal organs are placed in the abdominal cavity and the wound is traditionally closed with a plate of wax (1). Finally, the body is coated in a mixture of oil and fragrance, wrapped twice with long tapes of linen and then covered with a mixture of oil, fragrances and resins. This final wrapping ensures the maintenance of tissue desiccation and to prevent insects from desecrating the body (2) (1).
When we consider technology as a construct our attention tends to turn to the more modern technological advancements we surround ourselves with each day. Despite their seductive allure, today’s technologies may be purely for profit; but, a closer look at some of man’s ancient technologies often uncovers a collaboration between religious ideals and rituals, mythological themes, human necessity, and early applied science. Egypt’s funerary technology of mummification is one such early civilization technology that is a complimentary blend of mythology and early applied science. Not readily apparent in the technology of mummification are the religious ideals and rituals; not to mention, the human necessity inherent in the mythology. Ancient Egyptians firmly believed that by properly managing death, in turn life could be restored.
Citations:
1) Dawson, Warren R. “Contributions to the History of Mummification.” Proceedings of the Royal Society of                                         Medicine  20.6  (1927): 832–854. Print.
2) Mummies. Lynnerup, Niels. American Journal of Physical Anthropology vol. 134 issue S45 2007. p. 162 – 190
3) ASSMANN, JAN, and DAVID LORTON. Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt. Ithaca; London: Cornell University                              Press, 2005. Print.
4) Lopez-Ruiz, Carolina. Gods, Heroes, and Monsters. New York, NY. Oxford University Press, 2014. p. 23 – 27. Print

Something I Found from Free-to-play Games

During the spring break, I found that it was a great opportunity for me to relax. And one day I clicked the icon of the free-to-play game called Hearthstone accidentally. At first, I heard of this game from some friends, and began to play it since last spring. However, I didn’t consider too much about this game. As a casual player, it was just a casual card game for me. This time, I clicked the icon and opened this game, just chose to play “rank mode” which was a new thing for me. I thought I was familiar with this game so it would be fine if I started to have a try for this more professional mode. I thought I had several cards and pretty balanced card decks. Then I started the game.

But things weren’t as fine as what I expected. I met many players who had orange cards, the best category among all the cards. I reviewed what cards I had and realized it was hard for me to beat them. I tended to think whether Hearthstone was fair. Then I suddenly came up with a thought: it’s free-to-play ostensibly, but in fact it’s not. It’s just like some games on PCs and smartphones. Another typical example is Clash of Clans, it’s free and you can “get” it from Apple’s App Store, but in order to get more resources in this game as soon as possible, obviously, you need to pay by dollars. Now many games in App Store or Google Play are just have the same strategy. Another option to get more resources in this kind of games is spending more time than other players. So in all, if you need to gain more resources free-to-play games, you need to pay more, or just spend much more time than the average. So in the community of players, differences between players appeared. Players who pay more are just like some very rich people in the real world; players who spend much more time in conceiving strategies and accomplishing some rewarding tasks are just like people who have PhD degrees. As for others, they may pay for a little amount or not pay at all, and they are the average players.

I realized that even in a free-to-play games, for some reasons, there are various “social classes”. So why do many people still want to try so-called free-to-play games which should be called “pay-to-win” games? I tried to retrospect my experience to find an answer, and found that I just had many related experiences when I was in China. In China, there is an online free-to-play PC game called “Crossfire”. It’s a game like Call of Duty without high definition (in order to make it compatible with many old PCs in China). I used to play it several years ago, but as the releases of powerful and expensive items which broke the balance of this game, I quitted. Many players had these items and who didn’t pay for these expensive virtual items (over 40 dollars each) can hardly win a game. For these player who bought these expensive items, they might be satisfied by winning games. Indeed, not everyone can be rich or powerful in the real world, but by paying more, at least many people could get strong “digital selves” in the virtual world. As for other free-to-play games which offer other options like rewarding tasks for players who will pay much time instead of much money, they are also satisfied by winning games because they can believe that they are talented masters in the game. Free-to-play games created some sort of virtual societies, and there are also some “social classes” in them. But not as Twitter (celebrities can be more influential than common people), players can be stronger just by paying more money (for all free-to-play games) or time (for some of free-to-play games). Digital self can mismatch with the true self easily, that’s why I think people are glad to pay something for this kind of games. Pay much, then get satisfaction from winning and be in a high “social class” in a virtual world, why not pay? As a casual player in Hearthstone (play just for fun), that’s my explanation from my personal experience.

Work Cited

Smith, Sidonie, and Julia Watson. “Studying the Digital Self.” The Chronicle of Higher Education. N.p., 21 Apr. 2014. Web. 17 Feb. 2015.

Advancement of Athletics Outline

Question: How are advancements and evolution of sports changing those sports?

Introduction: Present some changes being made in sports. Changes with technology, rules, athletes, equipment, gameplay. Discuss the different issues that are forcing these changes to occur.

Technological advancements: Talk about the inclusion of video review and expanded video review in the recent past. How does this possibly change outcomes of the game? How does it change the flow or momentum of a game? What are positives and negatives of the use of video review in different situations? How could the current process be improved to create a better overall system that more people can get behind?

Changes in rules: Talk about the process to change rules and how long it usually takes to get a new rule in effect. Discuss how rule changes can change the basic foundation of a game? How far is too far for changing rules? How can changing even simple rules change the game that professionals grew up playing? Changing rules has a potential to damage the integrity or excitement of the game in the eyes of the fans. Get source for correlation between rules and offensive potency, TV ratings, and attendance.

The advancement of the athlete: Discuss how the athlete has evolved and changed throughout the past. What has caused the changes in athletes that we have witnessed? Are the changes in the athletes a driving force behind the other topics discussed in the paper? Is there a human limit to how far athletes can excel and how close are top level athletes to reaching that human limit? Talk about different levels of athletes and the differences in training and routines.

Equipment changes: discuss how safety equipment continuously is changing in an attempt to become safer and more effective. However, there is also the goal that many companies try to achieve which is to get the product a light as possible. Thanks to this goal, along with the desire to beat out other companies, does the structural build of equipment live up to the same standards as previous popular equipment? Can the equipment changes cause a difference in skill levels or gameplay of certain individuals?

Money: Money is perhaps the largest change sports have recently seen. Talk about the differences in professional contracts. Discuss how salary caps have changed the way that professional sports are handled. What is the point of salary caps and max contracts? Discuss what makes an athlete become classified as a professional instead of just an amateur. Explore if college athletes deserve to receive monetary gain for their services as athletes. Finally talk about the monetary deals involved with TV deals, advertisements, and sponsorship deals.

Relation: Discuss any relations between seen between the advancement of athletics and readings assigned in class.

Conclusion: Using different sources found along the way, come to multiple conclusions for the different topics within the paper. Make sure all questions are answered and no loose ends still exist. Answer the main question about the effect of advancements in sports today.

Personal Research Reflection: Microscopes

I was drawn to research and write about the innovation and development of this technology because of its direct impact on scientific research. Since I was a kid I’ve enjoyed learning about science and exploring its innovative capabilities. I remember from my childhood making “volcanoes” with baking soda and vinegar, or catching different wildlife like salamanders, frogs, and crawdads in my backyard creek. I even had a toy magnifying glass, and would try lighting small fires by focusing the sun’s rays. As I grew older and started taking science classes in school, I was introduced to the microscope.

When I first thought about the power and influence of microscopes, it hit me just how common and prevalent this technology really is in today’s society. After all, a microscope is really just a more powerful and refined pair of eyeglasses. If I wanted to, I could research a whole bunch of different topics and technologies that utilize optics such as a camera (lens), telescope, eyeglasses, magnifying glass, etc. One thing that I think is interesting to note that although all of these technologies are used for different specific tasks, they all fulfill or satisfy human curiosity. It is remarkable to me how far our society has come because of advances in scientific discovery which has all been driven by the simple power of human curiosity. Curiosity is a desire to explain that what we do not already know. For many years the mysteries things as vast as space, or as small as microorganisms, were beyond curiosities capabilities. We were simply left to wonder or speculate without truly being able to investigate for answers. It amazes me how much being able to bend light to amplify an image has been utilized for so many different functions and to make so many revolutionizing discoveries.

When you think about technology in today’s society, you often think about the rapidly changing iPhones or new computers and such. However, if someone were to be asked to describe how a microscope has changed within the last 10, 20, even 50 years, most would not know how to respond. This is because this technology hasn’t changed all that much. Surely it has been refined and improved with better quality materials, higher power lenses, etc, but the foundational concept of using multiple focusing lenses with a light source has been left unchanged. Yet remarkably, this unchanging technology has been a vital key for change in society. Although, new microscope technology’s such as electron microscopes (TEM, SEM, etc) have been developed and utilized for more advanced research. I would like to include research on these developments and outline the future of the microscope in society. Can this technology perhaps “last forever?”

I am fascinated by the capabilities of science and as a science major hope to incorporate it into my future life. I am particularly interested in forensics, which greatly utilizes microscope’s ability to analyze evidence that is not visible by the human eye. Microscopes are used in virtually every science research lab and open up the world to endless possibilities.