As people who had never really recorded or edited sound, we had only a very vague idea that we wanted to do something with street food. I really liked the notion of incorporating something “of the city” into the project, but wasn’t really sure how to do it. We also knew that we didn’t want to do anything that required us to be voice actors, because it’s awful to hear yourself on a recording.
We used the TASCAM to record several minutes of the sound of street food being made in the middle of the night. The majority of those minutes was the sound of noodles being fried on a wok, but there were also some other shorter samples of chuan’er being cooked and cars and bikes going down the street.
We eventually decided to make some sort of a song out of the sounds we’d recorded. We spent hours dividing up the long recordings into individual sounds in garage band. We put each snippet of sound into a category- sizzles of the pan, hits of metal, voices, car vroom sounds, etc. We started looping and combining different “hit” sounds to make a sort of percussion beat, but realized the sounds were a little too choppy to do this well. We applied some effects (light echo, changing ambience) to make the sounds a little more smooth.
Seeing as neither of us has much musical knowledge, we were lost as to how to get the piece anywhere beyond an avant-garde percussion beat. We enlisted the help of a DJ friend who had logic pro installed on his computer and offered to help us make the audio go somewhere. We added a “drop” after the basic rhythm section that made the piece just a little more complex.
In class, one critique was that the piece was full of mids and highs, but no lows. We addressed this by adding one of Garage Band’s drum loops to the track. Another main piece of feedback was that the “drop” came out of nowhere and the beginning half didn’t really properly lead up to it. We increased the volume towards the end of the first beat and added the Garage Band percussion to make the drop seem a little more built up to. We also increased the volume of the track to compensate for the quietness of having to be recorded a couple feet away from the wok fire.