Author Archives: souljasmooth

Lyrical Graffiti – The best final project in CT History (Final Reflections Post)

This was an interesting semester for me both academically and personally and perhaps the toughest I’ve ever endured in my time at York College. However, it was my final project that kept my spirits up. I was thinking of something interesting that I could have done for final project that was fresh, new, exciting, and different. While anybody can shoot and edit videos or photoshop old pictures, I went with something that not only was different but spoke to who I am as a person. Hence Lyrical Graffiti was born.

My final project was a radio show that was broadcasted LIVE (yes LIVE on air in real time) every Saturday night for two hours on Mixlr.Com/lyrical-graffiti. The show was a showcase for everything hip hop, from old school and classic golden era songs to the most popular rap tracks of today. The show ran every week from the last weekend of August til present. The only on air personality was myself. However the show was completely interactive. Listeners could write in their comments on Mixlr, and they had the ability to call in via Skype.

Initially, I had several expectations. I didn’t expect anybody to call in or even listen for that matter. I later realized that my target audience were people my age who either worked or went out on Saturday nights, so that was one contributing factor to the lack of ratings. I did make up for this by creating a tumblr, which got exposure for the show. Some other challenges I faced were live on the air. At times, I lost my internet connection which meant that listeners had to wait until I came back online to hear my show. Then sometimes callers who called in via Skype were very explicit in their comments and at times I had to do damage control. And other times my itunes software froze.

There were several tools I used over the course of five months to complete this project. I had my laptop, a Yeti Pro microphone, and four different softwares: itunes, Mixlr, Skype and audacity. I could have not completed any part of this project without any one of them as they were all equally important.

As far as the plan for this project goes, I just wanted to share some really great music with people all over the world. Every song I played on my show was directly from a physical audio cd as my long time hobby has been collecting hip hop albums since i was ten years old. There were several remarkable experiences on my show. The amount of feedback I got from folks on twitter was overwhelming. I also got a call from a listener in Australia which proves that people all over the world can catch my show no matter where they live. Overall doing this project was a great experience and I don’t think anybody will ever think outside the box and do a project like this ever again.

Show website with archives to older broadcasts: Mixlr.com/lyrical-graffiti

Tumblr: lyricalgraffitiradio.tumblr.com

Mixlr Tutorial

As all of you know by now, I am doing a Radio Show entitled “Lyrical Graffiti” as my final project. Many have wondered how I put on such a quality production whilst working from home. In this blog post, I will now do a tutorial on how I set up the software for my shows. The first thing you will need is a microphone (preferrably USB). I personally use the Yeti Pro which has an excellent sound quality. It will also help to have a high quality pair of headphones to be able to monitor your sound. I use the Beats By Dr. Dre Pros. It is very important that you plug your headphones into your microphone as opposed to your computer. Now the way I set up will not be for everyone as it all depends on what mic you have. Here is a pic of my setup:

Show_SETUP

 

Next you will need to download four programs if you dont already have them: Mixlr, Itunes, Audacity, and Skype. All four of these programs are FREE. First you will start by opening Mixlr:

Mixlr_Open

 

After you open Mixlr, you should scroll over to the audio source tab. From there you need to click on the audio source tab. From there you should see the scroll down menu that says audio source. From there you will need to select what device you will use.

Mixlr_Sound_Source

mic_selection

 

As I stated before, my mic is the Yeti Pro. Now it is VERY IMPORTANT that you choose your microphone the first time it is listed. This is important as the first listing is listed under what they call a “loopback device”. The second option is an input device. Choosing your mic as a loop back device is very important as it will enable mixlr to broadcast whatever you hear in your headphones as well as whatever sound the mic picks up as an input device will only allow mixlr to broadcast what the mic picks up. Also, from here you will need to open the program Audacity.

Audacity_Start

 

From here the first thing you should do is go to the microphone icon and right click the upside down triangle to the right of it. From here, you should scroll down and click on the “Start Monitoring” tab.

audacity_monitor

 

Following this, you should scroll to the left and select your input source, which in my case is the Yeti Pro.

audacity_mic

 

From here, you should see green and red bars highlighted in audacity above the aforementioned microphone symbol. This means that your microphone is ready for use. This will also have an echo effect in your headphones, and you should hear yourself in your headphones when speaking into the mic. The levels should fluctuate when you speak into the mic or play music from your itunes collection. Also open up Mixlr as the levels should fluctuate in that program too.

almost_done

After this you are finally ready to broadcast. All you have to do is go back to the “My Broadcast” tab and hit “Start Broadcast”. I doubt you’ll be able to top my broadcasts (just kidding).

Mixlr_Open