This week was all about the remixes and mashups. When I hear remix and mashup, my first inclination is to think of music, however, this week was really eye opening to me about what a remix and mashup are and how they are present in many different forms of digital work.
When I first heard remixes and mashups, I have to admit I was a little confused as I thought that these two things were synonymous. However, I quickly got a lesson on the similarities and differences between the two. Mashups and remixes do have a lot of similarities. For example, both involve the creative act of making something new from previous works. However, it is important to note their differences. A remix was defined to me as a creative edit of one form of media, whereas mashups refer to the mixing of media/content of from disparate places. Going into the last week of classes, where we are expected to undergo on a final mission, I think the distinction between the two is important to recognize. While remixes can be useful for individual projects, mashups I think are extremely useful for the combination of projects. It is this sort of combination that gives way to a lot of awesome collaborations of concepts we have explored over the last couple of weeks, that provides good understanding as we head into the final weeks of this course!!
Once I had a better understanding between the difference of Mashups and remixes, the next part of this week was spent trying my own hand at mashups and remixes.
To start off, I completed 10 stars worth of mashup assignments.
The first mashup assignment I completed was worth 3 stars and was called “On Broadway”. This assignment consisted of remixing one of my favorite songs from a Broadway musical to show the different covers that have been created over the years. I am a big Broadway fan so not only did I know I wanted to complete this assignment, I knew what song and musical I wanted to use for it! I decided to use the song “Defying Gravity” from the show Wicked. This is one of my favorite shows, but this show is wildly popular and many people have covered this song so I thought it would be the perfect song for this assignment!
The firt step to making my mashup was to download all the clips to mp4 files. I decided to do mp4 files instead of mp3 files because I wanted to include videos with the audio since the performance is a big aspect of a broadway show! Once I found the various clips I wanted to use and downloded them, I uploded the clips to my HP photo and video ediotr where I was able to trim the videos so they would connect and flow into one another. I have gotten very comfortable using my HP editor app which made this assignment pretty simple to do!
I had a lot of fun creating this video and this remix! I made a Disney Mashup early in the semester and remember being super stressed out making that and having a lot of difficulty. It was great to get the chance to make anotehr sort of mashup! Making this mashup was a lot easier than the first time around, which I think reflects how much I have learned over the course of the semester! I also got to use actual video versus just audio as I did in my Disney Mashup so it was cool to get the chance to sort of complete a similiar assignemnt but update my learning skills!
My next mashup assignment was worth 3 1/2 stars. This assignment was all about mashing up the live version and recorded version of the same song to see what differences we can hear. A lot of people notice differences between live and recorded versions of the same song. For me personally, I prefer live versions of songs while I think most people prefer recorded versions. Either way, different versions of the same song lead to some interesting differences and this assignment gave me the chance to explore that.
The song that I decided to use to complete this assignment was actually a song I used for another assignment that tasked me to create a graphic based on powerful song lyrics. “Praying” by Kesha is one of the most soulful songs I have ever heard in my entire life and Kesha is an amazing singer. The lyrics of this song are so powerful and emotional that I felt it would be the perfect song to switch back and fourth between the live and recorded version to see how the emotion hat the song carries changes based on whether or not it was recorded or sung live.
The first step to completing this assignment was to download the live and recorded version of the song from YouTube to an mp3 file. Once the two songs were downloaded, I then imported them to Audacity where I was able to trim and combine the audio files multiple times to flow into one song. I probably switched between the live and recorded version 3 times. Its been a couple of weeks since I have used audacity so this assignment was a great refresher for me! Once I was content with all the switches, I exported the audio file and embedded it in the file!
I think that the main noticeable difference is the raw emotion that comes across in the live and recorded version. This song is all about Kesha’s survival with sexual assault, and pretty emotional and raw. Listening to the two versions, I think its pretty clear that Kesha sounds ‘better’ in the recorded version because of all the editing. However, I think that the raw emotion is so much stronger in the live version, which brings me back to proving to why I personally think live music is better than recorded music. Live music may not necessarily sound better, but the ability to listen and experience live versions of music carries such a different and in my opinion evokes a much stronger emotional response to the song you are hearing. I think that is evident in the switches between the live and recorded version of this song. I love music so this assignment was a great way for me to explore music and the impact is can have based on how you hear it!
The last assignment I completed for this week’s mashups moved away from audio and focused on the visual.
One of this week’s mashup assignments tasked me to take a dramatic closeup of anyone’s face and superimpose an unrelated landscape or scene over the face. When I first read this assignment description, I actually immediately decided I wasn’t going to do it. Photoshop and photo editing is probably one of the things that I feel most uncomfortable about. And since this assignment was photoshop heavy, I decided against trying it. However, I couldn’t help but look at past class examples which were so entertaining and funny, I really wanted to make my own. So, instead of giving into my lack of confidence, I decided to go for it and try this assignment!
The first part of this assignment was to come up with the two images to use. I decided to use the Kim Kardashian meltdown face and superimposed it on the landscape of a broken McFlurry machine from McDonalds.
While I was very nervous to complete this assignment, it was actually a lot easier than I expected. I think the main concern I had for this task was that I didn’t have access to a photo editing software I felt comfortable using. When I have to edit photos, I usually use Adobe Photoshop. However, my laptop for some reason has decided it no longer likes Photoshop and wont open it (unrelated but if anyone is a photoshop/HP wizard hit me up I could use some help…).
Luckily, some former classmates who had completed this assignment previously had some great ideas of places where I can edit photos. this is where I discovered Pixlr.com!
Pixlr is a free website where you can easily upload and edit multiple images at a time. Using Pixlr, I uploaded the three images I needed (Kim K crying, a McFlurry machine, and an out of order sign) and begun editing them. Using the layers function, I overlapped the Kim K crying and out of order images and cut them using a lasso tool. Once they were cut out, I was able to move them on the original photo so that it looked like one photo! I am really happy I decided to do this assignment. It was a lot of fun and honestly opened my eyes to a new photo editing site that is really easy to use, which I can see being helpful to have in the future.
Once my mashup assignments were completed, it was time to turn my attention to remixes. This week, I completed two remixed assignments, which you can check out here.
The first remix-ed assignment I completed was a remix of a web assignment that tasked me to create a postcard! The remix however, was that the post card had to include Waldo form “where’s Waldo” in a conspicuous way.
Once again, I sued Pixlr to make my postcard.
The first step to making my post card was to upload the pictures. I found this picture from a soccer game on google, and additionally downloaded a picture of Waldo. Once both of my pictures were downloaded, I uploaded them onto Pixlr by layering the Waldo image on top of the soccer background. Once it was layered, I was able to easy crop the outline of waldo and shrink him down to size. Then, I simply moved him to where I wanted him and added a bit of text to make it look more like a postcard!
This assignment was relatively easy which was actually a great thing for me! As I mentioned, in the past, I have avoided assignments that dealt with photo editing as I do not feel confident in my editing skills and abilities. However, this assignment was the second time this week where I was pushed out of my comfort zone to create a photo edited assignment!
The second remix assignment I did was actually sort of a remix of a remix…
This week has gotten me a little scattered brain, between all the school work and applying for post grad jobs. And to make matters more stressful, I fractured my foot and have had to go to various doctors appintments. I rushed reading through the instructions for this week, and failed to see the comment about trying to relate our assignments this week back to our character as much as possible. well, seeing how I already completed my other assignments, I decided to use my last remix assignment to connect back to my character.
The assignment I decided to remix was a design assignment that tasked me to design my dream bedroom. However, the remix of this assignment asked me to ‘Boot Camp’ it by making it tougher and putting a military feel to it. But as I said, I really wanted to connect this assignment to our theme and my character, so instead of making my dream bedroom with a military feel to it, I decided to create Justin’s Dream spy room with a secret agent feel to it. You can see pctures of his spy room in the post embedded above.
In order to make my remix-ed assignment, I first needed to download all the pictures. Using Google, I searched for all the types of things you would expect to find in the ultimate secret agent office, but also things that I thought would reflect Justin’s story (i.e. high tech surveillance system). Once I downloaded all of my pictures, I uploaded them all to Canva to make the graphics of the layout of Justin’s Office. Canva has been something that I have used a lot in this class over the course of the semester, and is something that I think I will continue to use in this class and outside of the classroom. It is super easy to use and the possibilities to make all kinds of graphics are endless.
Once my mashups and remixes were complete, one of the last things I did this week was combine my new found knowledge of these two concepts and further develop my idea for a final mission.
As a recap, my idea for our final mission was to explore one area of digital storytelling that we haven’t so far and that is the world of video games. VIdeo games are a great example of the combination of all the elements we have discussed over the course of the semester such as design, audio, and even video.
An assignment that I would love to mashup with is Caitlin’s final mission idea. Caitlin’s final mission idea dealt with creating new cover stories and identities after our identities have been compromised. I think this idea stuck out to me becasue we have learned a lot about the secret agent genre and theme over the course of this semester. My understanding of the secret agent genre and what makes a secret agent has definitley change over the course fo the semester, and I have been looking for the chance to reevalute my original chracter’s identity and story to include what I have learned.
I think this mission idea could mashup really well with my original final mission idea. I think it could be a great idea to make our game start with our mission’s being compromised and having to reinvent our own identity by designing our characters and making a mission people can play along to.
Video games is soemthing I defeintley dont have a lot of knowledge in, playing or how to make my own. Usually, I would stray away from an assignemnt that I have no knowledge about. However, this entire semester has opened my eyes to a lot and has been a constant learning experience, so why not end the semester tackling one last thing!
Finally, the last assignemnt I completed for this week was to make a tutorial for an assignment I completed. I was actually really excited to mae a tutorial. I have used tutorials and past student examples multiple times, so the chance to make my own was great as I hope to maybe one day help a student like former studetns have helped me!
I decided to make a tutorial for my mashup assignment this week where I mashedup the live and recorded version of Kesha’s “Praying”. This assignemnt required the use of Audacity which I think made it the perfect kind of assignment to make a tutorial for. Audacity was soemthing first introduced to me at the start of this course and it took a lot of trial and error to figure out how all that audacity can do. But I have used Audacity a lot over the course of this class, and it has helped me make some pretty cool projects so I hope this tutorial will be useful to future students who might feel frustrated and overwhelmed by Audacity as I first did.
And as always, a week in ds106 wouldn’t be complete without daily creates! This week I did three (sort of…)
Throughout this semester, we have been exploring various concepts of digital storytelling. This week with remixes and mashups, was a great way to test our creativity, by showing us show the recasting of existing media can be done to create forms through the combination and editing of many of the concepts we have explored over the course of the week. I think ending the weekly types of assignments right before we go into our final mission projects was a great way to really reflect on all we have learned and accomplished this semester, and get the creative juices flowing for our final missions!!