1. What are you going to learn (what is your "learning target")?
My learning target for this project is learning to write lyrics that fit radio friendly music, processing vocals (through effects and mixing) once they are recorded in order for them to fit the track, and matching them timing wise with the music. These are all areas I need further learning in.
2. How are you planning on learning it? (part of this learning must take place online)
I will learn by watching youtube videos, reading music production forums and online blogs about music production. Another very useful learning tool is listening to songs you like as reference songs, paying attention to the different subtleties, sound design, and structure in order to better write your own songs.
3. List your 10 authentic questions for inquiry. . .you only need the questions. The answers will come at the end of the project)
1. Will it be challenging to collaborate with a vocalist, especially over the internet?
2. Will the vocal recording quality be good enough when I receive it?
3. How long will it take to write the lyrics?
4. How many edits will I have to do as I find what works and what doesn’t?
5. Will I be able to process the vocals on a professional level with limited experience?
6. What types of new processing techniques do vocals require?
7. Will the process of working on the same song over an extended period get tiring?
8. How will the tools I use make the process more difficult or more simple?
9. How will I know when the song is good enough?
10. What will I do to stay motivated throughout the process?
4. What will a successful outcome look like (what is your "success criteria")?
A successful outcome for me is to have a vocal song finished at the end of the 20% project that is good enough for me to post publicly on my music sites. An extra successful outcome would be getting it signed.
5. (Most importantly) Is there an aspect of play and/or making in your project. Is there an opportunity for failure? It is important that you avoid pure knowledge pursuits for this project.
There is certainly an aspect of play in making a song. I find I have the most fun at the beginning and what seems like the least amount of fun around the 75-90% completion mark. In the beginning, the project is new, and it is simple, there aren’t a lot of things to keep track of. I am not afraid of messing anything up at the beginning and I am willing to try new things like adding a ton of reverb to something, or having a specific elements really up front in the mix where it normally wouldn’t be. These types of experiments can have interesting and cool results, often leading to new ways of doing things. Further, I usually write the main melodies early on, even in the first hour, and that for me is one of my favorite parts. There are a ton of opportunities for failure as well. The vast majority of songs that I start are never finished. When a song doesn’t seem to click in the first two hours it usually isn’t going to come together. Also, even if you have a song that seems like it may be cool, it can still land at that 80% mark and just not have the quality necessary, and no way to really fix it, despite a lot of time put into it, to be considered professional and ready to send out or put on music sites like soundcloud.
6. Which tool are you going to be using for research? (I know there was a request for more clarification on tools. We can do this Monday)
I am going to use the resources that come with my DAW (digital audio workstation), including the online manual, as well as the DAW itself to make the music and match the vocals with the song. I will also use music production forums, youtube tutorials and more. I will read professional writings on sound design and mixing for vocals. There are many high level articles on the internet about the topic of working with vocals in music.