Semester 1 done

Jared Lucas

Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Computing and Technology
Course: BSc (Hons) Audio and Music Technology
Category: Computing and digital technology

15 January 2014

Jared and his Sister

I made it! Deadline week was awful – I only had four hours’ sleep in three days and actually felt guilty for sleeping two hours in one night! Nevertheless I think I did OK, but I’ll have to wait until I get my results.

I need my loan to come through very soon otherwise my landlord won’t be happy…already paying the late fee!

I also just had my visa come through for a trip to Moscow to visit my sister, who is teaching English there. I was worried it wouldn’t come through in time after my housemate ‘hilariously’ hid my passport before I posted it.

My course

Only one semester left until I graduate now. I’m not going to do a Masters – I want to start climbing the career ladder. I applied to Radio 1/1Xtra for Station Sound Producer but wasn’t successful. Better crack on with more internship and job applications now!

Final studio portfolio

We booked a mass of studio time and mixed the Hot Chip and One Day covers using only hardware effects. We also chose two songs from a band called Actaeon (who write their own songs on keyboard and vocals), and recorded drums, guitar and bass guitar.

Digital performance

Managed to make a sequence using ChucK programming. I aimed to create a structured, looping EDM genre piece – featuring drum samples, synthesized melodies and glitch samples. It’s not perfect but I was pretty happy with the result considering it was made entirely from code.
I also had to do a live performance using a MIDI controller and software. In the end I ditched Ixi Lang and used Ableton Live with a PS3 controller and a MIDI keyboard. So many embarrassing technical problems arose, but I think I was able to talk my way out of trouble!

Final project

Now it’s January, the other coursework deadlines have passed and luckily I can use my Cam FM work for a 2nd semester module, and my Dr Who work for a different module. This means I should have a decent amount of time to crack on with the dissertation. More to come…

Live sound engineering:

I made a log book of all my live experience, with 13 entries in total (very time consuming). The coursework write-up was raised from 1,500 to 3,000 words and I found out the deadline was extended to January on the day I was handing it in, after spending another sleepless night working my ass off. With the log book included, I had 45 pages and 50 references!

Cam FM

It’s Cam FM committee changeover time soon. The station manager asked each of us to write a blurb about our current role and our experience as committee members. Here’s what I wrote:

As the music being played on the radio constantly changes and develops, the station imaging needs to follow suit – making for more professional sounding shows.

The main role of the Head of Production is to record and produce jingles, sweepers, adverts and beds. This can be for the station as a whole, individual shows (and their features) and one-off shows for particular events or outside broadcasts.

The Head of Production needs to be flexible and able to produce something to a decent standard very quickly – sometimes on the same day the brief is given.

Other responsibilities can include censoring songs, editing live recordings, editing podcasts, creating promotional videos and production tutorials.

The Head is expected to work with the Deputy and Production Team to help spread the workload and boost creativity and efficiency.

There is plenty of creative control in this role, a brief can be detailed and involve feedback, or simply be, ‘Do what you want, you’re the Head of Production!’

Being on the committee was an eye-opening experience for me. I had no idea how much it takes to run a student radio station, and it was great to learn what goes on behind the scenes.

Meetings were fun, everyone was extremely friendly, and it felt brilliant to put forward my ideas, know that my opinion counted and see things happen with the station as a result of my input.

After a year as a committee member I have so many more skills and achievements on my CV that look very impressive and are transferable to so many roles after graduation.

Christmas Holiday

Jared and his family at Christmas
I went home on 21 December and spent the next few days and nights meeting up with old friends, Christmas shopping, playing pool and on nights out in Ipswich and Colchester.

Here is a picture of my crazy mother’s Christmas pudding…I wasn’t that impressed.

I also got to meet my friend’s daughter who is the cutest thing ever, and I met my girlfriend’s family for the first time! She said I would just be meeting her sister, then gradually the whole family showed up – not sure if that was her secret plan or it just happened, but either way they were all very nice and if it’s true what they say about girls growing up to look like their mums, it won’t be such a bad thing!
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