The Jingle All The Way assessment this trimester was really eye opening for this trimester. In our work in CIU last trimester, we discussed sourcing income from a few different places, and Jingles are something that can pay, but I’ve also really enjoyed. Parts of Jingles are very creative, but they also need to work within a set of guidelines such as visuals or a space that the sounds need to exist in. I can see myself doing some jingle work to supplement mixing and recording in the future. The struggle with the jingle was getting music to sync with visuals and using ProTools to process and lock to a grid for a video rather than for music to work with itself or other tracks in the song/s. The spaces I had to create to make the foley and visuals work together was a challenge, but the guidelines I discussed also helped with this. Copyright was and is a really big part of our jingles, as we’re using existing ads and video to create our assignments. The most interesting part of the project is uploading and embedding the videos to YouTube and just crossing my fingers that they stay up until they’re assessed.
I’ve become fairly proficient in ProTools, however changing the grid lines to frames instead of samples or seconds was a challenge. However, I’m in the habit of recording at 48k to make sure importing and exporting of videos and audio is easier for bands who might want todo videos with music I’ve recorded, and it’ll sync better with 24.97fps. I started my main jingle by creating tempo map for some parts in the video that I wanted to line up with the music, regardless of foley. Not surprisingly, after the whole video sync’d really well, so the original video was clearly worked on with the music in mind (if not worked completely parallel to each other). Keeping the advertisement interesting was difficult, as the outcome could easily have been music and foley playing in parallel, rather than visuals and sounds that interact with one another. I tried to make music that was complete within itself but also matched what was happening visually. Two aspects that display this are the drum fill when gauges and glass smash, and the dive-bomb as an ember sails across the room and mixes with the Tennessee Whiskey. It was important that the focus of the audio shifted to keep the audience engaged.
Another big challenge I faced was the idea of space in a jingle. I discussed this in class in Week 11, and was curious of the music/soundtrack should exist in the same ‘space’ as the foley should. My main jingle was set in a big industrial factory, which I mimicked with a lot of reverbs and not much bottom end to imitate sounds hating hard, brick walls. A few parts pf the jingle are inside a tunnel, so I rolled off the highs and extended the bottom end of the reverb to give it a tunnel like sound as the whiskey in the ad roared through lot. In hindsight, it’s obvious that the music can’t be changing to fit these spaces all the time, but I’m glad I asked. One aspect I’m particularly proud of, albeit cheesy and that it only exists for a moment is when the Jack Daniel’s bottle is plunged into the water to cool off, the entire mix is automated to sound like it’s underwater with some EQ and and phasey modulation effects. The hissing sound of the label on the bottle changing after it re-emerges from the water is just the hiss of the hot bottle hitting the water played in reverse, however it gives the great effect of the change in label rippling and bubbling across the entire bottle. I also used to automation to give the lava-like whiskey some intensity as it flows through pipes, moving left to right and forwards to back.
The timbre and mix of the foley and music itself was difficult as they were processed quite differently but still had to sound coherent. A lot of the foley sounds were very processed and sound-designed so they didn’t sound too similar to what they were originally (metal rulers hitting a metal bin and the floor, a single glass smashing (my housemates would only let me sacrifice one) and a hot pan being plunged into water, etc.) , whereas with the music itself I really made an effort to capture good sounds so it didn’t require as much mixing. A lot of the foley came out quite metallic, so I made the drums particularly click and snappy, and the guitars had a lot of gains attack without being harsh. I cut a lot of the high end from the bass so it really just fills out the guitar. I automated the music in an out so all of the foley would fit as this is more of the focus than the music. I used two reverb sends for the foley, a ‘CloseFX’ and a ‘FarFX’ and sent most of them at about 0dBFS to keep it solid and ‘real’ sounding. The music was sent to its own sends, but the audio as a whole still sounds coherent. I used master bus EQ and compression across all audio.
In conclusion, the jingle project really was a lot of fun. I learned a lot about space and mixing to matched other sounds processed in different ways so it still sounds cohesive. This is a really important skill to have as as a hopeful mixing engineer, I might received raw or processed tracks from different engineers and studios that all need to be mixed coherently into a song or album. I can see jingles being a great way to network, pay some bills and keep myself creative in new ways, and hopefully working with material without as much copyright risk. This could lead to sound for TV or movies, or other areas I haven’t even thought about. I really enjoyed the composition within constraints as it really helped me dial something in fast that suited the video. Processing the sounds themselves was a lot of fun, and this was probably the most complicated ProTools session I’ve ever created, as far as sends, automation, effects and different processing goes. As stated earlier,a lot of the foley really needed some work to stop it sounding like foley recorded in a small garage. I believe I delivered a coherent advertisement that invokes a mood that suits the product.