Rock With You – Michael Jackson

This is a journal documenting regular listening experiences. The Journal is not a venue for critiquing song-writing or construction. Each entry must indicate the date of entry, artist, song title, and album. Each entry requires an in-depth analysis of what is being heard, from instrumentation to effects used on the song (e.g. – compression, reverb etc.). The 5 songs to analyze are:
1. Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley
2. Extraordinary Machine – Fiona Apple
3. Rock With You – Michael Jackson
4. Oshodi Oke – King Sunny Ade
5. Solsbuy Hill – Peter Gabriel.
An example of what is expected as an analysis of each song is: “There is a centered bass guitar, which is very tonal. There is not a lot of low end on this bass but it is rather in the mid-range in terms of the range of a bass guitar, playing without too much low-end frequency. I say this because the timbre of the bass guitar is very bright and tonal, though not treble enough to here the fingers of the bassist on the strings, though there is a slight thump in the bass every time a note is played which may be caused by the gain in low frequencies due to compression. The drum kit consists of a hi-hat, kick drum and snare. The hi-hat is panned to the right, with light reverb. It sounds relatively close to the other instruments, with a crispy, slightly crunchy sound produced in the upper mid range. The snare is played as light rim shots, a mixture of the snares and the brilliance sound of the rim. The snare also sounds like it has some reverb, with a fast attack, and no sustain or decay. The kick drum and snare are both centered in the mix, the kick being the lowest element of the mix because of it is low frequency range. There is indication of compression since the gain seems to be turned up on the low kick drum, however there is again, like the snare, a fast attack (slower than the snares) with no sustain decay. There is a synth being played in the mid range. This synth has automated panning, bouncing from side to side and gliding across the middle of the stereo spread. The high-end frequencies have been taken away form the sound, giving it a smooth, rounded timbre. The sound has reverb, and is relatively a bit more prominent in the mix than the other instruments, barring the vocals. Though the rounded timbre of the synth and automated panning make the sound appear to have a large stereo image and creates space, the synth still sounds relatively close when compared to the orchestral harmonies in the piece. There is an orchestral accompaniment in the song, which seems to be panned slightly to the left. It sounds like it is compromised of violins, violas, and cellos, but no basses since there is no pitch in the range of a bass. There is a second violin section (I say violin section based on the fact that their pitch is higher than the first orchestral section and is in the pitch range of violins), that is either mirroring or complimenting the vocal line (depending on which section of the song), panned either center or very slightly to the right. I believe that the first orchestral track, on the left, may be the reason the second violin melody seems to appear panned slightly right in the stereo image. Both orchestral tracks have reverb on them. An electric guitar plays in the verse, panned slightly to the left, with reverb and a short delay. The timbre of the guitar is slightly distorted and crunchy, and there is a presence in the upper mid range caused by the slap of the pick on the strings. There is a second guitar, acoustic steel-stringed, panned very similarly as the first guitar. It’s hard to tell if there is any reverb on this guitar since it is not very present in the overall mix, but there is definitely a detectable presence in the upper mid range and you can also here the brilliance of the steel strings as they’re being strummed. The lead vocal is in the center, however it seems like it is a stereo track with a lot of width. This is, as expected, the loudest element of the mix. There is reverb and compression on the lead vocals, with an audible gain increase indicated by the increase in the sibilance and pronunciation of the consonant sounds. The compression sounds like it has a short attack and a short decay. There also seems to be a chorus-type effect on the vocals, since it has a dreamy timbre, with a whisper-like quality. I believe that doubling the vocals and panning each track left and right, and then delaying one of the tracks slightly achieve the width of the vocals. There is a second set of vocals, which are less prominent in the mix, however they have another effect, possibly a tremolo, giving a “vibrato” sort of effect on the backing vocals.” Further instructions: – No sources are required, but may be used obviously if something is not the author’s own idea. Furthermore, no sources can be found online.

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