AUS220 Week 12: Now, Mix It
We're close baby, so, so close. One more week left of this unbelievable trimester. My head hasn't stopped spinning for 12 weeks now, and I'm not sure what state I will be in once it's done, but I am incredibly proud of where I am at this point in time. I must say that my time management has been exceptional this trimester. I have attempted some very advantageous projects and freelance work over the weeks and at this week 12 mark, it's looking like I might actually get it all in. This week was a bit of mad one, once again. Our CIU interdisciplinary projects were due to be uploaded by midnight Friday, I had a SIXTEEN HOUR drum tracking session with a band, and of course, we mixed our Backstreet Boys inspired demo project with Wilko for our final intensive.
For all the work my beloved Group 6 has done throughout these many projects, I feel like we fell apart for the first time during this session. I could put it down to stress, distraction or just plain fatigue, but for whatever reason, we didn't quite live up to our usual standard while mixing this track. We were slow, disorganised, reluctant, divided, and sloppy. Maybe not hugely so, but by our usual high standards it was certainly noticeable. Having said that, we got the job done, and the result is pretty respectable. Others, including members of my group, have heard the track and given it high praise, but for my ears, and the quality level I like to aim for, I must say I wasn't totally proud. I saw the session falling apart while it was happening, and I just didn't feel it was down to me to save it. I'm constantly struggling with my team work and my awareness of my large, loud personality, so I thought I would sit back and see how it played out this time. Once again, I must put my friend and co-worker Elysha Halstead up on the highest of pedestals. This incredible young woman puts silence to anyone that doubts a female's place in the audio industry. She takes charge, is across every aspect, speaks her mind in a diplomatic but strong way, and gives a shit as if her life depends on every detail. She is my professional hero. I'm in ore of her work ethic, her bravery and her mind. I never thought I'd be learning managerial tactics from a girl 10 years my junior, but I bloody well do every day.
At the end of a very long day, in a very small room, with a very big group, we called it a day. We spent most of the day running the vocals through outboard gear and levelling. It was good to see how some of those elements work but to be honest we were so rushed I don't feel as though I had a chance to learn very much. I'll talk further about it in my final AUS220 blog next week, but I don't know that the self-management style of the intensives is very well suited to the demo project. But we got a product out of it, we learnt a lot about the Neve and the process of recording on it, and we followed our projection to a pretty high standard. As I said, if I was looking at the process and end product from someone else's point of view I would probably say it was very good, but for me, I would have liked a better outcome. It was the end of a long and stressful trimester, we were a group of 10 in a room built for 3, and I think the fatigue and stress just got the best of us.
So this my final CIU interdisciplinary project. It's a short, satirical film called Mediate This, looking at the ongoing debate about video game violence and its affects on society and those who consume them. I won't say too much about it here because I will be writing a lot more for my final reflection report, but I wanted to post it her because I am extremely proud of it. I know that the path here for me was rocky, leaving my initial group and going solo with only a couple of weeks to complete it, but I am really happy and astonished at the amount and quality of work I was able to get done. It was the first time I had tried something this scale, and I really didn't know whether it would even be possible. I uploaded this at 11:30pm on Friday, 20 minutes before the cut-off, and I felt so proud. It has been online for a few days now and has already started racking up views and comments, which is of course the whole point.
A great thing that has been happening this trimester is the constant opportunity to push our selves to the absolute limits of our ability and really find out what we are made of. After the first three trimesters, I must admit I was in danger of becoming complacent. I was getting consistently goods grades, and finding the work easier and easier. I was starting to take it all a bit for granted, but I can safely say that this trimester and especially the last few weeks has kicked that idea straight out of my head.
I am also really proud of the freelance work I have been getting done. The hard rock band I am producing at the moment that I mentioned last week came in for some drum tracking in the Neve on Friday. We arrived at 8:30am and I turned the lights off in the control room at 12:10am. That's over sixteen hours. I recording complete drum takes for five progressive, hard rock tracks. It was a heavy session for all involved, and I was running on about 2 hours sleep, but we got it all in the can. Again, working under those kinds of circumstances really pushed me out of my comfort zone, exposed any weak spots, and forced me to dig deep to get it done. That's how I want my professional life to be always. I'm far too arrogant to learn or grow in a calm, relaxed environment. I'm the kind of person that needs screaming, fire, heat, and pure evil barreling down on me to make me wake up and pay attention. This week has completely depleted my adrenaline, gained me some grey hairs, and run me completely out of clean underpants, by my god was it fun.