Spreadable Media Blog 8 – The making of the eyebrows (Artefact 3)


Made using Ableton Suite 8. Rather than use an existing piece of music, I saw this as an opportunity to create my own soundtrack. It remains to be seen whether this decision will have a negative effect on potential viewing figures.

I uploaded the music separately from the video on SoundCloud under the alias, Dub Brows. By releasing the music as free download  I wanted to encourage remix culture – offering it to other people to make their own videos along to my music. It will also prove interesting to see how the popularity of the video will impact on download figures for the soundtrack. From analysing YouTube and SoundCloud stats data I hope to assess the use of video as a means of music promotion.

The musical ideas for the soundtrack had been kicking around for a while. Dubstep is not a genre I have much experience of in terms of composing or even listening, however after experimenting with the extensive array of virtual instruments on offer in Ableton Suite 8 I found that I had almost unknowingly made a drum beat and bass line which could be used to produce my own take on the genre! I felt the electronic, futuristic aesthetic of Dub-Step suited the slightly ominous and menacing feel to the visuals. Artists such as Skrillex, Nero and Diplo provided inspiration, although my track doesn’t feature the same level of Synth LFO and Filter manipulation, and is probably a little too melodic to be classed as ‘pure’ Dub-Step.

One of the most enjoyable parts of the process was creating a “wobble” bass line similar to those synonymous with Dubstep. For this I utilised Ableton’s ‘Operator’ plug-in. There are a number of tutorials on YouTube which give step by step instruction of how to do this. Here’s a good one:

I decided upon a 1 minute maximum duration for this artefact. This would provide an area of comparison to the other artefacts, both of which are over 3 minutes long. Could viewers be inclined to watch a higher percentage of the whole duration of this one due to it being shorter?



The ingredients needed to make the UV Eyebrow Dance:

UV Dayglo Special FX Facepaint – thanks to Spivey’s (i pronounced like the i in ivy) Web, Macclesfield! (see picture above)

1 x UV bulb – bought from Maplins

1 x Video capable camera

1 x A very dark room

I had a lot of fun making this video. The only part of my face to which make-up was applied was eyebrows and eyelids. This was to make sure they were the main focus. I used a total of two colour schemes using only two colours – red and yellow. One colour was applied to the brows, whilst the other was painted onto the lids. I also reversed this design to mix to introduce slight but striking variation.


As you can probably imagine from the picture above, implementing this video was quite a difficult and uncomfortable process. Once managing to balance the camera on a stack of storage tubs, I had to hold the lamp, with the UV bulb fitted, close enough to my face so that the paint ‘came alive’ so to speak, before pressing record and performing the dance.

After a few practices, I couldn’t help but get all perfectionist about my eyebrow moves and ended up recording a good few takes. This had a detrimental effect on my eyebrows which started to feel very tired! After a little rest the eyebrow fatigue faded and I was able to finish off the dance in the reverse colours.

The scratch on my forehead, incase you were wondering, was endured whilst playing 6-a-side football on 2G Astro turf. Anyone who has experienced such a playing surface would know it can cause really bad burns if you fall over. I some how managed to slide on my face #:-S.


The video was arranged and synced to the soundtrack using a 30 day trial version of Adobe Premiere Pro CS6.

It’s online now so please check it out and let me know your thoughts! As always, thanks for reading!

This entry was posted in Identity, Must hear music, retechsocial, Spreadable media, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Spreadable Media Blog 8 – The making of the eyebrows (Artefact 3)

  1. You have probably the most informative post on how you’ve made your artefact from all I’ve read so far! I believe that most of people after reading this would be able to figure out how to make a little wobble bass, what to use to get the same lighting effect etc. Great, great post and execution of the idea!

  2. nmalik89 says:

    This post is really good. I love how you have set everything up. Good video and the effects look very good too on camera!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s