Friday, 12 August 2016

PLG - Garageband 101

I was quite apprehensive about this week's PLG as it focused on the cohort learning to use Garageband in preparation for creating a film to share at the Manaiakalani Film Festival later this year.

Garageband is a whole music creation studio, which also has a complete sound library including software instruments, presents for guitar and voice as well as virtual session drummers.  A lot of teachers in the cluster already use this software to enhance audio elements in recordings or more simply for recording instructions for rewindable learning for learners.

We were fortunate enough to have Rob Wiseman from Pt England School come and spend the day with us to help build our confidence with using the software.

The reason for my initial apprehension was that most people who I spoke to are quite adept in the use of the app and when I had a look through it, it was a bit daunting.  Luckily Rob was able to scaffold us into using it with the design of a few tasks.

Our first task was to record ourselves reading a school reader and making it as clear as possible.  I found that the use of it was very similar to that of iMovie where you could cut out parts where there was additional sound (ie, page turns, doors shutting) and clean up your raw footage before saving it for use.

Here is the recording with an image of the book to see how my first attempt went!

Our second task was to create a backing track for some video footage that we had already captured.  Rob bought up a good point about how audio work is just as important as working with the visual and how we should not treat audio as the "poor cousin" to visual.  As we began to experiment with the different elements, I started to see how you could spend a lot of time on these tracks.  Here is a screenshot of the various options you can choose from (there is a lot!)

You can see how audio can add atmosphere or another layer to a film so the last part of our day was spent discussing how it is important to prepare for filming and plan out all elements of your filming.

Here is my track from the second session:

Thoughts or wonderings for my practice:

- I am now a Garageband convert and am keen to try these new skills!
- As mentioned above, I really can see the benefits for rewindable learning.  This can help learners who may struggle with reading instructions or allow them a choice on how to receive instruction.
- It could add another element to my literacy program where we can work on using reading with expression or add personalities to various characters within texts by experimenting with how we imagine they would sound or speak.

Look forward to showing some more recording skills later this year!  If you want any further tips, Ashley wrote a great blog post about it!

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