Hello everyone and welcome to my fourth in-depth blog post. I was unable to complete the actual fourth in-depth blog post due to schedule conflicts with my mentor, so while this post is technically my fourth it will cover the criteria of the fifth in-depth blog post as well as a progress report on my project.
Starting with the progress I have made, during this meeting my mentor and I reviewed a video I had taken of a short DJ set I made to demonstrate the fundamentals of DJing we had discussed during our first two meetings. My mentor and I reviewed the footage, and he gave me feedback on the decisions I had made during the set. One of the concepts he mentioned most prominently was my use of EQ during transitions, in which I cut the low end of the wrong track. Rather than cutting the low end of the main track being played to make room for a new kick drum sample and bassline, I should be doing the opposite, letting the bass line of the main track play out to the audience. Additionally, my mentor touched on some of the arrangement decisions I made during the set. While most of the feedback he gave was positive he commented that I often faded out tracks too abruptly and that at the beginning of my set I did not really have a main track for the audience to focus on, rather trying to implement a more technical transition. Throughout the meeting, my mentor stressed that he believed that I understood the basic concepts behind the decisions I was making while DJing but that I was not following the typical DJing conventions regarding the details in my decisions.
This week’s How to Have a Beautiful Mind chapter was on the concept of the six hats. The six hats categorize different statements that we make in a conversation, with each of the six hats being assigned a colour. The first of these hats is the white hat which covers information and hard facts, when we are using the white hat, we are stating information and thinking in terms of facts. The red hat is rather the opposite of the white hat and covers our feelings and emotions towards a subject. Next is the black hat which is our critical thinking and judgement hat. The black hat is similar to the white hat but it focuses on thinking critically about the information and viewpoints suggested in somewhat of an objective manner. The yellow hat looks for the values and benefits of proposed courses of action. The yellow hat asks why something will work and how the parties involved stand to benefit from it. The penultimate hat is the green hat, which is our creative thinking and idea-generating hat. The green hat seeks to look for ideas individually, free from the judgement of the other hats until their time comes. Finally, there is the blue hat which is the organizer of the hats. When we use the blue hat, we are organizing our ideas and defining a course of action. This week I was asked to transcribe a short conversation with my mentor and show where each hat is used. Below is that transcription which is of a conversation from 4:30 – 5:33 in the video. Each of the hats is indicated by the colour of the text used.
Mentor: we’re you able to get into any EQing?
Me: Oh yeah, I was EQing, I don’t really have any effects knobs on my controller so it’s a bit hard to control that.
Mentor: OK cool.
Me: So here I am killing the bass of I’m Not Alone to make room for the kick of Faxing Berlin.
Mentor: I would actually do the opposite of that. I would kill the bass of faxing Berlin rather than killing the bass of Faxing Berlin. Since right now your first track is more of your main track, I’d have it take the lead until it’s time to switch over. So at the very beginning while you’re still mixing it in that second track is the one that you are really going to want to kill more frequencies in. The bass is usually the main one and usually if there are some mids and highs if there are really obtuse sounds in that section. So Faxing Berlin would be the one you’d want to kill and then at a key moment you would kind of kill some frequencies and switch it over.
At the beginning of our conversation, we are both speaking using the white hat because we are merely introducing the facts regarding our current situation. Then my mentor makes a statement using the red hat saying that he would do the opposite. This statement is merely his feelings and opinions on the matter, as he is yet to say why he thinks this way. Then my mentor moves on using the black hat. During this section, he is thinking critically about my decisions and the decisions he would make as a critique of what I did during the mix. He then switches to the white hat to explain the facts of which frequencies he would EQ as he is bringing in a new song. Finally, my mentor finishes by using the yellow hat to explain why I would benefit from using less aggressive EQ on I’m not alone, finding the value and the “why” to the alternate decision he had earlier addressed using the black hat.
Thank you for reading through my fourth/fifth In-Depth blog post. Because of our unfortunate scheduling conflicts, we will be moving on from the fundamentals of DJing immediately into crafting my set which will be the final product of my In-Depth project. Now that we have gone back to meetings at a consistent time, there should be no further issues regarding the timing of these blog posts.