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This week Emendy had the pleasure hosting Backstage Lectures, a Hip Hop Production class, presented by former Emendy lecturer Towdee Mac. Towdee has established himself not only as a solo artist but also performing in the well-known group Morafe. He is also an established producer and recently started the Backstage Lectures where he teaches seminars on Hip Hop production. The 3 hour lecture was hosted at Emendy’s newly completed lecturer hall.
The class was specifically tailored to give novice students a background of Hip Hop and focus on teaching them how to approach the production of a Hip Hop song. Towdee created the first song himself to demonstrate a sampling technique he used recently in a production. Then he deleted everything and got the students involved in creating a unique original song.
First year student Nqaba Dlamini stunned his fellow class mates with a piano performance that would make up the melodic structure of the song. Towdee then sequenced the drums around the piano, and showed the students the process of creating drums for a Hip Hop track, after which Nqaba reprised his performance by adding bass to the track.
Towdee then showed the students how to create a compelling arrangement for the song and subsequently created three verses and a chorus for students to do vocals on. The microphone was setup in the studio next door, and three students had the opportunity to improvise a verse for the song.
As always it was a privilege having Towdee back at with what is becoming an annual event at Emendy.
During these past holidays, Emile, Lorenz and Kate went on a road-trip to visit Bophuthatswana Recording Studios (BOP). The journey there is about 300km from Pretoria to the outskirts of Mafikeng. The MIA airport that is no longer used means there is quite a long day involved in using the space for sessions.
Emendy students have been getting quite a bit of culture these past few months. Welcoming our new first-year recruits during orientation week, we hosted the first ever EMENDY Amazing Race. Groups of students explored the Hatfield area – getting clues and hidden treasures on the strenuous adventure route. Ending the first term with a bang, the SRC’s social committee organized and hosted a full-scale beer-pong event which happened at campus. Teams could compete till the late hours of the night to be the first EMENDY pong champions.
Mid/Side is a different way of encoding stereo audio signals, which more commonly are represented by 2 discreet channels (Left and Right). Mid Side was conceived by Alan Blumlein in the 1930’s and is used for the cutting of stereo vinyl records and the transmission of FM radio. Mid/Side encoding can be used in the sound engineering world for the mixing and mastering of stereo audio material. Mid/Side can easily be derived from a stereo pair by using the following formula:
Mid= (Left + Right) - 3dB
Side=(Left - Right) – 3dB
MS is a feature that is included in a variety of plugins, it is however quite simple to create a Mid/Side encoding matrix with the aid of a physical or virtual mixing desk. Given any stereo signal the left and right components should be summed to create the mid component. For the Side the polarity of the Right channel should be inverted before summing.
One of the main advantages presented by Mid/Side is that it give a certain amount of control over the width of the stereo signal, and allows the processing of the mid and side channels separately enabling the user to for example: center an unstable stereo bass by applying High Pass filtering to the Side channel. Most stereo recording will exhibit a non-phase coherent reverb and therefor will be prominent in the side channel. It should be possible to reduce or enhance the width of natural reverb by balancing the levels of mid and side channels. The character of the recorded reverb can also be manipulated by applying EQ to the side channel.
Once Mid Side processing has been applied it will be necessary to return the processed signal to regular stereo. This can be achieved by using the following formula:
Left=(Mid + Side) - 3dB
Right=(Mid – Side) -3dB
By monitoring via the decoded signal it becomes possible to develop a more intuitive use of Mid/Side processing as the effects of any processing are apparent within a familiar frame of reference.
EMENDY students and lecturers attended the Breathe Sunshine African Music Conference last Friday in Johannesburg. The music conference was held in Newtown, with the aim of providing a platform for music industry specialists, students and artists to engage in discussions, lecture sessions and networking opportunities. The keynote speeches were delivered by Beatport’s Terry Weerasinghe and Gareth Cliff. The latter shared an interesting new take on copyright issues, and the phenomenon of online radio and the future of this medium in South Africa.
During their On the Couch-session, Hip Hop Pantsula and Khan Morbee from the Parlotones discussed the importance of African and South African artists to collaborate on creative projects, as we have amazing talent which the rest of the world are quite ignorant of. They lobbied for local radio quotas having to be enforced, in order for the rest of the world to be exposed to our homegrown talent - especially when famous acts visit and perform locally. Their exposure to our indigenous musical styles and approaches, creative production methods, an openness to fuse genres, and a distinctive ‘African’ feel to our local music, could establish a need and enthusiasm for big names to collaborate with artists in the wider African music industry.
Another interesting panel discussion was centered on the issue of the existence of a Management Vacuum in the African Music Industry. The panel debated the differences between music agents and managers; the lack of education, communication and expertise which exists in this regard in South Africa. The also discussed some ideas of developing these skills locally in order to establish more trained professionals into our South African music industry.
Congratulations to the two winners of THE EMENDY ART WALL PROJECT!
We recently launched a music-themed art design competition on Facebook. Students and staff were asked to submit digital designs on any music-production-related theme; votes were casted and the winners’ designs will feature in the entertainment area.
EMENDY students are invited to work under the art direction of the 2 winners, Precious Ngos and Tiaan Engelbrecht, to get the designs features on the wall. a Fun day of music, games and painting is planned during the final semester. Watch this space for details on the EMENDY WALL ART PROJECT!
|Precious Nkos||Tiaan Engelbrecht|
On September the 8th, EMENDY students had the privilege of getting a Hip Hop Music Production Masterclass from South African Motswako pioneer, and former EMENDY lecturer, Towdee Mac.
During the class, held at the Encore Theatre in Hatfield, Pretoria, students spent 6 hours learning the ins and outs of modern Hip Hop music production techniques from Mr Tswaknificent himself, which included techniques for sequencing drums, bass lines that don’t clash with kick pattern, keyboards and lead synths that support the vocal melody for an original track composed during the class.
Students then had the opportunity during break to write their own lyrics for the track and record it, before going into the 2nd half of the class which covered Hip Hop Mixing Techniques in Pro Tools 11, including techniques such as the use of side-chain compression on the drums and bass, serial compression and effects on vocals, and also equalization techniques for getting a clear and fat mix.
Emendy is proud to announce the release of one of our students Saint Seaba’s new music video on YouTube. His Afro Pop Funk style has amazed locals and the gigs are flooding in for this amazing artist. Emendy provides students he chance to shoot their own music videos with the colleges camera and the videos can be edited on one of our Apple Macs in final cut.
Saint Seaba Biography
St.Seaba’s real name is Eze Joshua Seaba and has come to South Africa to further his career in music. Saint Seaba lived in Ebony state and released his first album in 2010 titled SHUMA under Christian Dior Music. He is currently studying digital music production to master his skills at Emendy Sound and Music Technologies. Audiences can expect his new single to drop anytime now showcasing the sublime talent this artist showcases on his tracks. He is known as Charmer Boy by his female fans and won the Pretoria Music Awards title “Artist of the Year” in 2012. His nationwide video and song release promises to be extraordinary and his powerful vocal ability will keep you wanting more!
The legendary table tennis game at Emendy has kept students entertained since Emendy’s grand opening and students have done everything in their power to claim championship from the Chief Lecturer Lorenz Penckler. Unfortunately there is no way you can beat him since table tennis is in his blood. It has been reported that ancient elders gave Lorenz the secret powers to beat every challenger, so before you take him on make sure you know how to hold the paddle.
Tips & Tricks when Playing against Lorenz
Now that you know all the secrets to win a game against Lorenz, schedule a game at reception and see if you can beat this table tennis legend!
The best way to market yourself as a musician is to use social media networks to the best of your ability. Emendy yearly helps students open the perfect social media profiles and shows students how they should be used. Marketing your social network has become a breeze with innovative ideas that might make your page receive countless hits. Here is some more information on what was discussed in the Social Media Week:
Now that you know a bit more about the social media world and why using these networks will promote your music career, open networks now and enrol in our online marketing course for even more vital information!