Saturday, May 15, 2010 (09:00 AM)
+   Compose
    *   Background: 
        -   Two features of the song came to me in rehearsals for the
            worship team at Northminster: (1) The chord swells used for the 
            intro (E2-D2-Gmaj7-A2), and (2) the pattern used for the verse 
            (F#m7-Gmaj13-F#m7-Gmaj13-F#m7-E2). The intro was used as an 
            introductory vamp in one or two services.  I also have had the last 
            chorus in mind for several weeks:
                    then the breeze blew away the gloom
                    as a star was arizing
                    and for one glorious moment
                    i saw beyond the horizon
            This alludes to a dream I had in the summer of 1988, in which
            I turned 22. Perhaps I will find time to describe it later.
        -   I started a Sonar 8.5 project file a couple weeks ago and began
            to develop the intro. The song will include piano as I like my
            poor replication of what I thought I heard Brett playing at
            "one glorious moment."
        -   At this point, my concept for the song needs a lot of composition.
            I doubt I could fill 50% with the ideas I currently have. And
            lyrics are coming slowly because I have a solid feel for what I
            want to convey. But some lyrics came to mind this morning for the 
            first chorus:
                    to the gloom--to the harder road
                    to the fear and confusion
                    driven on by a longing
                    to see beyond the horizon
            The first verse-chorus sequence will be in a lower key (Em7-Fmaj13),
            metzo-piano, calm, and legato, just after the intro. The song will 
            finish with the last (second?) verse-chorus sequence in F#m at 
            fortissimo.

                                            Monday, December 27, 2010 (03:57 PM)
    *   I have been taking time over vacation to flesh out the song. It is
        an intense and difficult process. I find myself pacing the floor,
        clenching my fist, and shouting, "Come out! I know you are in there!"

                                            Friday, December 31, 2010 (11:03 AM)
    *   The tortuous path of composing continues. Lots of tears, lots of 
        struggle and frustration. But I believe I now have two thirds
        written. I just now need a portion that presents all the contrasts
        leading up to the great finale. 
        -   3:11 PM. The last verse came. I can hardly sing it. I asked,
            "can these words possibly hit anyone else like this?" Like
            lightning the answer came: "Do you think you are the only one
            to whom I give such dreams?" I laughed, "Good one!" Then
            I tried to sit down and work on the final portion, but I
            couldn't; I just start crying. Sheesh!
                                        Saturday, January 8, 2011 (05:10 PM)
        -   I have reverted to a very old technique that I have not used for
            over twenty years: pen and paper on the back of a guitar.
            See composing_a.jpg.
        -   6:29 PM I think I finally have the song structure.
                                                composition hours to date: 20.5

                                            Sunday, January 9, 2011 (02:02 PM)
+   Scratch track.

    *   I opened the project file and listened to the crude scratch of the
        intro and experienced a massive rush of emotion. But, before I record
        what I have written, I need to make some decisions about the 
        intro--its length and basic structure.
        -   Intro ends at 1:32. This is turning into a LONG song. OK, Muse,
            if that's how you want it.

    *   First scratch: guitar and vocal.
        -   Setup:
            >   Guitar: 414 -> GSP1101 -> mixer -> main -> Delta 1010LT. 
                Monitor via mixer bus 3/4 with reverb.
            >   Vocal: Beta 87 -> Aphex 207D -> S/PDIF.
                Monitor via mixer bus 3/4 with compression and reverb.
            >   Monitor: bring mix out send 3/4 to mixer for monitoring. Then
                listen through card at C-Control by monitoring the
                3/4 return. 
            >   Set metronome to not emphasize the down beat since the meter
                changes. 
                See scratch_setup_a.png.
            >   set recording depth to 16-bit for scratch tracks
        -   Just jump in. I know I will have some stop-starts, but that is
            what punch-in is for.
            >   414 breaking up. Battery? Yep, 2.5v (should be 9v).
            >   120 BPM feels a bit slow. Now is the time to get it right! 
                :   Found this: change_tempo_help.png. So I can change the
                    tempo and have audio clips (just scratch tracks) follow!
                    [1/10/11 Freeze the track to improve the sound. Right-click
                    the freeze button to clear the Track FX box 1st]]
                :   Found an online metronome: http://www.metronomeonline.com/
                    132 BPM is what we want.
            >   I just had a six-minute take ruined: crackling induced on 
                both tracks! Fine! Proceed and record them over. Happened
                again. Suspect online metronome messing with audio device.
                Reboot. Much better. 
            >   The song is only eight and a half minutes. Plenty of room!
            >   Wow! The Big Crescendo is really hard to play:
                    F - Am - Eb - Gm - Db - Fm - Cb - Ebm - Abm
                Something about transitioning those 16th notes into
                a sort of triplets (doo-ga-dee doo-ga-dee doo-ga-dee 
                doo-ga-dee).
            >   The song is 8:46. After a four-hour session, I have a
                basic scratch track.
        -   Listening to the scratch track, I am thinking I might need a
            varying tempo. The 132 is appropriate for the attainment
            passage, but it is too fast for some other sections. Hmmmm.
            Am I sure? Or would a compromise help? Actually, I think all I
            really need is a ritardando over two bars into the last chorus to 
            make it bigger.
                                            Monday, January 10, 2011 (03:31 PM)
            >   Actually, 132 is simply too fast. Go with 126 BPM. 
                Ritard to 120 two bars into the third chorus. Use line-draw
                tool in the tempo map window. 
                See ritardando_a.png.
            >   Set all audio clips to follow tempo and freeze the tracks
                to listen and play along with to check. 
                :   Freezing takes A LONG time. Can I freeze multiple tracks
                    at once and take a break? Tried, but it messed it up.

    *   Scratch vocal.
        -   I have enough of a scratch guitar that I can sing along with it.
            I tweaked the words, so I need to redo it anyway, and it will
            be nice to get away from time-stretching.
        -   Sonar did it again: it ruined an 8-minute vocal. Oh well, 
            it was good practice. Reboot. Got it.
        -   Now, sing along to develop the backing vocal. Several practice
            runs, and I think I have something I like.
        -   I am very much liking it. Render
            beyond_the_horizon_scratch_a.mp3.

                                        Saturday, January 22, 2011 (01:00 PM)
    *   New equipment!
        -   Facebook post:
                The WillSongs Guitarsenal welcomes its first major addition in 
                two years: The Carvin V3 Half-Stack System. I have called myself 
                a guitarist for about seven years now without having an amp--Oh, 
                the shame! Now I must embark on the endless quest for tone (you 
                guitarists know what I mean). This 100W powerhouse boasts five 
                preamp tubes (12...AX7) and four power tubes (EL34). Aaron gave 
                me a challenge: He played his favorite Disturbed song and dared 
                me to reproduce the guitar's sound...I nailed it--muahahaha! 
                Unfortunately, the V3 will not make its debut on the 
                very-soon-to-be-released song. However, it is a critical tool as 
                I dive into serious arranging for the following magnum-opus.
            See:
                carvin_v3_a.jpg
                carvin_v3_b.jpg
        -   Another Facebook post:
                Evil Genius laboratory update. The new amp is now part of the 
                new guitar "rig." The GSP1101 is integrated both before the 
                preamp (stompbox models) and afterward (effects), while 
                bypassing its own preamp models. The compressor is inserted 
                after the tubes, so the system is so responsive to touch, I feel 
                like I have to learn to play all over again. The V3 will respond 
                to MIDI program messages for channel and boost switching, so 
                recording the next song may involve having Sonar send MIDI to 
                the amp so that I don't have to tap-dance between the footswitch 
                and the MIDI foot controller.
            See:
                carvin_v3_system_a.jpg
                carvin_v3_system_b.jpg

    *   Scratch Bass line. I created a patch for the bass on the RP20. I
        cloned it from the standard bass patch and added some tube drive
        for it. Much better than anything before it. 
        Name = "Beyond Horizon", patch = 99.
        -   The bass line is not defined yet, but I wanted to get my 
            ideas down and move on and come back to it later.

    *   Working on electric part now. Can't resist.
                                            Sunday, January 23, 2011 (10:59 AM)
        -   Having the most amazing exerience, weeping as I play along with 
            the grand finale. I found this awesome sequence to go with the
            refrain ("I saw beyond the horizon"). It consists of modified
            arppegios on strings 2-4, then it jumps an octave for the last
            two refrains and dives to an open E chord. 
            :   Using channel 1 on the V3:
                    presence    : 7
                    treble      : 7
                    mid         : 6
                    EQX         : ON
                    mode        : thick
                    drive       : 2.5
                    volume      : 2
                    mid cut     : 5
            :   delays on GSP1101 set to heavy 8th notes.
        -   mic the cabinet. I got a pretty satisfying sound with an SM57,
            four inches from the grill, aimed almost at the center of the
            top-left speaker. Forums say to move off-axis; I tried at first,
            but the sound was too bass-heady, and this was much better.
            Counter-intuitive: I thought bass would reduce as I got off-axis
            where the near-field wave could "cancel" itself out. Oh well.
            The SM57 has a natural bass rolloff, and it sounds great on the mids 
            and highs, so no sense in grabbing a condenser. It works...don't
            fix it.
            See mic_v3_a.jpg
            Notice channel settings.
        -   I laid a scratch electric part. But I am not satisfied with the
            way the sound sits in the mix. Need to tweak. 
            :   This is tricky because, when I play, I hear some of the live
                amp from the other room through the door way (no door).
                Ah-ha! Headphones and an extension cord! Play open strings
                while moving the mic about with the left hand. Wow! That 
                was a serious lesson in recording engineering! I could not
                believe the difference a one-inch movement could make in
                the radial direction from the center of the cone. Also,
                the bottom left speaker has a richer sound to it. 
                See mic_v3_b.jpg
                Notice I am about an inch off axis compared to the previous
                position (mic_v3_a.jpg)
            :   Broke a string. NOT FAIR!
        -   Got another track. I still enjoy playing it (even with headphones),
            but I am not enjoying listening to it. Something is not going
            right in the arrangement. I noticed I wanted to hear more quarter
            notes rather than eighth notes, but there is more to it that that.
            I could move on to drums, but my gut says to wait.
            :   Mess with the tone a bit. A great thing about the Carvin V3
                is, channels 1 & 2 are exactly the same circuit, so I can
                set them the same, then tweak one and A-B-compare it against
                the other. I think I improved on the tone:
                    presence    : 7
                    treble      : 7
                    mid         : 6
                    EQX         : OFF
                    mode        : classic
                    drive       : 1.8
                    volume      : 2.5
                    mid cut     : 1
                Yep, the improvement probably comes from switching the mode
                to classic. The "thick" mode is described in the manual:
                "designed with a massive low-end, textured mids
                and blistering highs." But notice the very low gain used
                to get clean sounds when played softly. That is where the
                V3 shines. I also turned the mid cut "off", but this is on
                the master controls, so I cannot A-B-compare. Still, I think
                I have more work ahead with microphones.
            :   I think the presence was the culprit. 
                                            Tuesday, January 25, 2011 (08:00 PM)
        -   Got a third take in. Not perfect, but The Muse says, move on.

    *   Drums.
        -   The Muse leads straight to some basic drums in the Grand Finale.
            Yep, that's where She is. Wow!
                                        Wednesday, January 26, 2011 (08:07 AM)
        -   render beyond_the_horizon_scratch_b.mp3.
            Still not satisfied with the guitar sound, but I did not try
            channel switching. I may also want to change the delay during
            the song as well.
        -   Couple more hours at night. Feel the need to take a vacation
            day tomorrow and progress on the drums. I want a track that
            takes the scratch to the next level. 
                                        Thursday, January 27, 2011 (10:36 AM)
        -   Yes, The Muse is strong with me today. Burning the vacation day!
            Twist those knobs! Pull some levers! 
            :   1:51 PM. Now that I have something of a drum track, the
                bass is becoming DANGEROUS! 

    *   Bass. Oh yeah, that felt good. 
        -   Render beyond_the_horizon_scratch_c.mp3.

                                            Friday, February 4, 2011 (08:39 PM)
    *   Arranging with Rob, here for 2 hours. 
                                        Saturday, February 5, 2011 (03:09 PM)
        -   Rob and I reviewed the verse (A1 and A2) and decided to make a
            pensive piano solo. This means making more space. Add six measures
            (three repetitions of the 2-bar chord pattern) before the first
            verse and eight measures before the second verse (at the end).
            The song is now at 9:49, leaving 11 seconds for any intro or outro
            video while still fitting withing the YouTube ten-minute limit.

                                            Sunday, February 6, 2011 (11:41 AM)
    *   Back to electric guitar.
        -   Time to get the V3 really WORKING on this song. And that means
            putting the MIDI foot controller in complete control. Program
            Bank 04 for the process.  Settings are stored in 
            fcb1010_programs.xls. 
        -   Amazing practice session. I can now discard the footswitch and
            use the MIDI foot pedal (FCB1010) exclusively from the desk.
                Channel 1: Heavy overdrive for the metal section.
                Channel 2: Moderate overdrive for most of the song
                Channel 3: Clean for first verse and chorus. 
            See carvin_v3_settings_a.jpg
                                            Monday, February 7, 2011 (08:32 PM)
        -   Got a new scratch track laid and sent it to Rob, who sent me
            a new piano track earlier.
            See carvin_v3_settings_a.jpg

                                        Thursday, February 10, 2011 (10:59 AM)
    *   Review.
        -   I am thoroughly unsatisfied with the scratch track. It sounds 
            like a chaotic mess, and I am banging my head against the wall 
            asking The Muse, "Which way now?!?!?" 
            :   Mike suggested never letting the bass disappear. 
                                        Friday, February 11, 2011 (08:41 AM)
        -   Render beyond_the_horizon_scratch_d.mp3 (to get the new guitar
            scratch track).
                                        Friday, February 11, 2011 (03:17 PM)
        -   I may have found the problem--er, that is, reconnected with
            The Muse: Back on the bass again, and I realize I have been
            playing the notes, but I am not yet playing the Song. Now I am
            playing along over and over and allowing it to coarse through
            my veins giving me chills as I play, and I am finding the
            Song's center through the bass. Mike was on to something.
                                        Friday, February 18, 2011 (05:58 PM)
        -   The YouTube limit is now 15 minutes. That means I can add some
            measures at critical locations:
            :   8 bars at 51 to give Rob more time to develop the piano solo
            :   4 bars at 284 (+8=292) for similar reasons
            :   1 bars at 340 (+8+4=352) to lengthen pause after grand finale.
            :   The song is now 10:07, though that includes 3 sec before
                first note, so it is really 10:04.
        -   Ken had a burst of ideas as he listened. I took notes. Oops,
            bar numbers all have to be adjusted. But here is what I wrote:
                    old         new   
                    bar   add   bar   idea
                    48     0     48   toms
                    51     8     59   piano up octave
                    86     8     94   sticks on quarters
                    97     8    105   screamin guitar high, no fuzz
                    120    8    128   background vocals
                    139    8    147   whoa!
                    152    8    160   wacka-wacka (wah-FX rhythm electric)
                    168    8    176   triangle
                    194    8    202   too straight; syncopate
                    216    8    224   straight
                    228    8    236   high, clean guitar
                    252    8    260   background vocals
                    278    8    286   sixteenths up neck (guitar?)
                    333   12    345   scream!
                    346   12    358   ritard

                                        Tuesday, February 22, 2011 (06:28 PM)
    *   Back to bass.
        -   I have been practicing a lot. But now I need to adjust some
            of the drum parts. Unfortunately, there is now a big latency
            between striking the key and hearing the note.
            >   Not the Live input PDC override.
            >   This is way more than the 1.5 ms associated with the 
                64-sample buffer size.
            >   Check the audio options->advanced dialog. See audio_options_a.png.
                :   Try switching from WDM to ASIO driver. No luck.
                :   Uncheck "Share Drivers With Other Programs". No luck.
                :   No latency when I run Battery 3 by itself! 
                :   No latency with Friday Night (Session Drummer 3)
                :   Can't try in rivendell.cwp. The synth rack says "the synth
                    is disconnected." It also says B4 II is disconnected and 
                    will not open it. 
                :   No latency with When I Stand (Battery 3). 
                :   Delete Battery 3 and insert again. No luck.
                :   Create new MIDI track to bypass drum map. No luck. 
                :   Open junk.cwp, create synth and tracks. No latency.
                    The problem is with beyond_the_horizon.cwp.
                :   Delete other synths. No luck.
                :   The latency also occurs on the piano (TruePianos).
                :   I can only conclude, the file is corrupt. 
            >   Revert to an earlier version that does not have the
                problem. I had to go back to Feb 4 to eliminate the problem!
                To hell with that! I am rebuilding the project from scratch
                (no pun intended)! 
                :   Copy the vocal scratch clips. This allows me to copy
                    the tempo map and markers along with it.
                :   I can drag-drop effects between two projects! Nice.
                                        Wednesday, February 23, 2011 (06:08 PM)
                :   I made a few changes, and the latency is back in to the
                    NEW file! Revert to find what change created it.
                                    file                latency
                            2011-02-23-17-58-45-460         no
                            2011-02-23-18-00-06-600         no
                            2011-02-23-18-00-57-839        yes
                            2011-02-23-18-03-17-967        yes
                    So! One minute worth of changes CAUSED it! List the 
                    changes.
                        added ambience send to drums
                        added delay send to DC400
                        added LP64 multiband and Boost11 to master
                        locked outputs to stereo mode
                    Take the file with latency, and gradually undo these
                    changes, beginning with most suspicious.
                        bypass LP64 multiband in master
                    EUREKA!!!!!! (i.e., latency disappears).
                :   The help on the LP64 Multiband says,
                        The LP-64 Multiband Compressor uses look-ahead peak 
                        detection to reduce the gain just before a peak. 
                        "Look-ahead" means the limiter analyzes the audio input 
                        ahead of time by delaying the output. Like many 
                        mastering linear-phase plug-ins, the LP-64 Multiband 
                        Compressor requires a fairly large look-ahead--on the 
                        order of 20 milliseconds. This typically does not 
                        present a problem as mastering tools are most often 
                        utilized in post-production work. 
                :   Now for the BIG question: Can I get the same result with
                    the original file? No, it is still there. 
                    #   However, if I bypass all effects on buses, latency
                        disappears. I am closing in on the enemy! Then I turn
                        them back on one at a time, and latency is still 
                        gone! SAVE!!! Now latency is a one-to-one function
                        of the LP64 bypass! The enemy's secrets are laid
                        bare! 
                :   We are rolling again. Made some very helpful changes to
                    the drum line that make it easier to track the bass.
                    Still have some practicing ahead. Very challenging
                    bass line. 
                                        Thursday, February 24, 2011 (05:59 PM)
        -   Finally! I have a new bass scratch track that I am happy with, and
            the song moves forward. 
                                            Friday, March 4, 2011 (09:18 PM)
            >   Distracted. Must prepare for concert next Saturday
                (benefit for Not For Sale). Oops, forgot to render:
                beyond_the_horizon_scratch_e.mp3
                                            Saturday, March 19, 2011 (04:01 PM)
            >   I have returned from a long sojourn. 
                :   A lot of work getting the system set up for rehearsal
                    again.
                :   Choose the mic for the DC400. A/B-compare the SM57 with 
                    Rob's ribbon mic (Apex 215). Optimize each using headphones.
                    I slightly prefer the SM57. 

                                            Sunday, March 20, 2011 (10:17 AM)
    *   Let's try something new: real-time lighting control.
        -   The first hurdle is being able to control the lights from within
            Sonar. The ENTTEC DMXIS is the device. See dmxis_hardware_a.jpg. It 
            connects via USB and sends DMX signals to a DMX-capable dimmer pack. 
            The DMXIS offers a VST plugin that Sonar can run as a VST synth. 
            >   There are two ways to control it:
                    1) Set up presets and use MIDI notes to trigger them
                    2) Use track automation envelopes on the synth output
            >   Sonar does not immediately see the VST DLL. First, I have to
                tell sonar about it. Select,
                    tools->cakewalk plugin manager
                Then check the "configure as synth" box for the plugin.
                See dmxis_vst_a.png. It then appears under the 
                "VST Instruments (VSTi)" group.
            >   Oops, the VST interface will not work. It thinks the 
                software is still locked. Reboot...twice...no luck.
                Visit www.enttec.com/support. A forum entry says,
                    "...there is a quick workaround: - Right click on the DMXIS 
                    standalone icon, and select "Run as administrator" - When 
                    DMXIS starts, it will prompt you to unlock the product 
                    again. - Enter your unlock code as before, and quit the 
                    DMXIS standalone. Now, when you run Live 8, the DMXIS 
                    plug-in should open correctly."
                IT WORKED!!! See dmxis_vst_b.png.
        -   The second hurdle is controlling the lights. 
            >   I purchased a restock Chauvet DMX-4--a very simple, 
                4-channel dimmer pack that accepts DMX control. See 
                CHAUVET_DMX_4_DIMMER_PACK_PIC.jpg. However, I need to tell DMXIS 
                how the dimmer pack is configured. It comes with a library of 
                presets, but none of them really match. In the end, I found out 
                how to clone a preset and customize it. Create a text file, 
                "Chauvet DMX-4.dmx", with very simple contents:
                        Blue
                        D,0,255,
                        Green
                        D,0,255,
                        Amber
                        D,0,255,
                        Red
                        D,0,255,
                Then place it in the library folder:
                    C:\Program Files (x86)\ENTTEC\DMXIS\DmxLibrary\Chauvet\
                Now I can right-click one of the DMXIS channels and load this
                preset into that range of channels beginning with the one I
                click.
            >   Now I can create presets to trigger, or I can automate
                the faders. Color the automation strips to correspond with
                the lights. See dmxis_vst_c.png.
        -   The third hurdle: mounting the lights. I simply do not have room
            in here for the tripod. But I have an idea: mount the crossbar
            on the top shelf of my desk. I just have to find some kind of
            pair of stands that will hold it. Or...hmmm...hooks as those used
            for bicycles? 
            >   Well, that is an hour spent on tech stuff. Time to say,
                "It's the Music, stupid!" And play. The Muse is on both the
                DC400M and the bass right now. I am rehearsing each 
                relentlessly while I nail down the techniques and subtleties
                until I can really play what I feel naturally. 
            >   I feel like I am very close on both instruments. Got to
                get ready somehow. 

                                            Thursday, March 24, 2011 (05:26 PM)
    *   Bass Scratch C. One take, a couple punch-ins. I like it. 
        Could almost have tracked, but not quite.

    *   Okay, making good time. "DC400 thru V3 Scratch C".
        -   Oops, need metronome on a couple passages. punch-ins. 
        -   Mix a bit
            >   Drop all instrument faders 1.4 db since vocal is maxed.
            >   Implement an idea on the drums at Section F (heavy metal).

                                            Friday, March 25, 2011 (02:57 PM)
    *   Vocal Scratch C.
        -   Just get set up and start rehearsing. Voice a bit weak.
        -   The Aphex 207D has given me some concern. The control panel for
            the M-Audio Delta1010LT flashes "unlocked!" roughly every five
            seconds when using S/PDIF (a critical feature I need). Did a
            test: recorded 2 minutes of A440 with no glitches. Also, when
            Audacity was recording, it does not flash "unlocked!" So,
            no worries.
                                        Wednesday, March 30, 2011 (01:34 PM)
        -   Decision time: Do I need to buy another vocal mic? I want to
            track with Jessie simultaneously, and she deserves the
            AKG C414B XL-II more than I. That leaves the Behringer B-2 Pro
            for me. Is that good enough? 
            >   I did this before with acoustic guitar, and I could not hear
                a significant difference. Ken heard a harsher high end, and
                pro-level reviews have mentioned this with cheap condenser
                mics. This makes me tempted to buy another mic. STOP! If I
                can't hear it, I am NOT paying for it. But what will happen
                with vocals and sibilance (which I plan to boost in the final
                mix)?
            >   Run a back-to-back test so that I sing through both mics 
                at the same time. 
            >   See pics:
                        mic_ab_test_a.jpg
                        mic_ab_test_b.jpg
            >   Set recording depth to 24-bit.
            >   Run both mics through the Aphex 207D with MicLim, but
                without ANY low-cut filter. Monitor on the C414B with 
                compression and reverb, but record dry via S/PDIF.
            >   One full take (and blow off the hard stuff) with a couple
                punch-ins. Need to remember the physical discipline required
                for REAL singing.
            >   Oops, need to decide on a lyric! OK, best I could do under
                pressure!
            >   Place the two tracks in a Sonar Quick Group so that muting one
                instantly unmutes the other. 
                        See mic_ab_test_c.png
                And listen side by side. 
                :   The waveforms are almost indistinguishable.
                        See mic_ab_test_d.png
                :   OK, I really CAN hear the extra presence rise in 
                    the B-2 Pro. I like it. If it is too strong, it is
                    small enough to tame with EQ, but I don't think I will.
                :   CONCLUSION: Even if I could buy a mic equivalent to the
                    C414B for the same price of the B-2 Pro, the benefit
                    would not be substantial enough to justify the cost.
                    The B-2 Pro is good enough for Will Spicher's voice.
                :   Actually, I should let Jessie try both mics and pick 
                    the one she likes singing through. 
            >   Create samples:
                        bth_mictest_a.wav
                        bth_mictest_b.wav

                                            Sunday, April 3, 2011 (02:52 PM)
    *   Made a first pass at programming the lights via the DMXIS with 
        automation envelopes. 
            See program_lights_a.png.
                                            Friday, April 15, 2011 (02:53 PM)
    *   render 
            beyond_the_horizon_scratch_f.mp3
            beyond_the_horizon_scratch_f_novoc2.mp3
        The second item is for Jessie to practice with.

    *   More light programming.
        -   I bought another rack of four PAR38's along with another 
            Chauvet DMX-4 dimmer pack. Set the second DMX-4 to the same
            base address as the first so that it is a clone and simply
            provides more power. 
            >   The light array is, left to right:
                        blue
                        amber
                        green
                        blue
                        blue
                        green
                        red
                        blue
                So I have four blue lamps on one channel and two greens to
                get the dark colors brighter and improve visibility in the
                dark scenes.
        -   The phrase, "walking through fire", just screams for lighting
            effects. I learned how to draw waveforms for envelopes in sonar.
            Set snap to frequency (In this case, I set red to eighth notes and
            yellow to eighth triplets to vary relative phase). Click at mean 
            value (vertically). Drag left to right with vertical position 
            defining instantaneous amplitude (relative to mean). 
                See draw_sine_envelopes_a.png
                                            Saturday, April 16, 2011 (11:36 AM)
        -   Perform my own lighting test with my camera.
            >   The Canon PowerShot A720IS does not allow setting the exposure;
                it is adjusted automatically--precisely what I wanted to avoid.
                But it is all I have. Begin the capture will all lamps fully on.
                    See light_test_b.avi
            >   Bring red lower in intro to second verse (quiet).
            >   Light bursts need to be delayed slightly. Begin ramp on beat.
                    See program_lights_c.png


+   Track piano.
    *   Prepare.
        -   Background. I am going to record Rob Weber on a 5-foot grand piano
            at Northminster Presbyterian Church's Trinity Room. That means, I 
            have to use the laptop (Alienware m17x) with the portable audio 
            interface (M-Audio Fast Track Ultra). 
        -   Get project ready on laptop for recording, and validate.
            >   Rob mentioned possibly using three mics. One is likely to
                be his ribbon (Apex 215), which cannot tolerate phantom
                power and needs a lot of gain. Pull the PreSonus BlueTube out
                of the dungeon for this. 
            >   Validate ability to record three mics while providing two 
                independent headphone mixes.
                :   Set recording audio to 24-bit.
                :   First try: audio was messed up on playback. Disable all
                    audio drivers not related to the Fast Track Ultra.
                    It worked. 
            >   Validate lighting control. It works.

                                            Tuesday, April 19, 2011 (11:27 AM)
    *   Here at Northminster Presbyterian's Trinity room with Mike and Rob.
        -   Pics:
                    track_piano_a.jpg
                    track_piano_b.jpg
                    track_piano_c.jpg
                    track_piano_d.jpg
                    track_piano_e.jpg
                    track_piano_f.jpg
                    track_piano_g.jpg
                    track_piano_h.jpg
        -   Take one. Adjusted gains to avoid clipping. Camera behind Rob.
        -   Take two. Camera on hands. 
            >   Notes. bar 50, pound harder at 151. review rhythm at 181. 
                patch 278, 334. 
        -   Take three. Camera on hands still. 
            >   Very nice pickup to V1. 
            >   Clam at 173, 201, 241, 258, 326, 
            >   Oops, record mode set to overwrite, so Sonar deleted the
                previous takes. They are still on hard disk, so I just have
                to import them again at bar1 or 3.
        -   Take four. Camera on hands still. 
            >   Clams: 50 (comes in too early. check take 3 also), 258, 
                328 (all last chorus), 
            >   Nice: 165, 183, 254, 278, 
        -   Take five. Camera in front of Rob. 
            >   Clams: 278, 295, 
            >   Nice: 51-71, C2, 
            >   1:42 PM Done. Tear down.
        -   Listening at home. 
            >   Layer two (take four? the one with file #524) has some magic
                in it.

                                            Friday, April 22, 2011 (09:08 AM)
    *   I made a start at compositing the piano. I figured out which clips
        went with which takes and named the clips and arranged them in
        layers accordingly. Then, to select a take for a segment, use only
        the treble mic; split clips; copy into an extra layer. The lables 
        on the comp layer indicate which takes go with which segments.
                See comp_piano_a.png
        -   [4/24/2011] Just noticed something wonderful about Sonar 8.5:
            When I split clips in the Piano Treble Mic, the corresponding
            clips in the other mics were split also because they are
            "grouped across tracks." So all I have to do is select the
            proper clips in the other tracks and Ctrl-Shift-Click-Drag them
            to the comp layer. This gets easier when I set snap to 
            include audio clips (for the few clips that are slip-edited). 
            Nice job, Cakewalk!
        -   [4/24/2011] Cleanup: Clone the piano tracks to new tracks, and 
            delete all but the comp layer. Then clean up the crossfades.
        -   [4/24/2011] The very first piano notes in the song are very 
            special and require extra treatment. Two things lack in Rob's
            performance: The bass note and accented note (the first and last
            in each sequence of four eighth notes) are not accented enough,
            and the accented note does not have sufficient highs to trigger
            the reverb tail the way I want. So I will "enhance" these notes
            by mixing in the MIDI sequence. Move these notes to match Rob's
            timing.
                See comp_piano_b.png
            Notes from the original piano line are retained but muted
            (shift-middle-click them). Add EQ to the synth return to 
            attenuate middle frequencies, and the effect is very subtle
            yet effective.
        -   [4/30/2011] Rob alerted me to some "clams" I should look at.
            >   "there is a bust at 6:40. I know there is a take that has that 
                whole part correct." He is right. bar 241. Switch from 
                take 3 to take 4. 
            >   "There's also a clam at 7:52..."  He played a D on accident,
                but I liked it and included it on purpose.
            >   "One more clam at 9:07." He played a very interesting chord
                over the word "gloom." I think all the tracks are like that,
                but I am intrigued by it and chose to work with it.



+   Track acoustic.

    *   Rehearse. My strum has gotten flabby. I need to whip it back into
        shape. At the same time, I need to rehearse vocals by myself and
        with Jessie in a few days. 
        -   So I need a comprehensive rehearsal setup:
            >   DC400M through SM57 through mixer. Monitor via sound card
                and speakers.
            >   Bass through Mission Control through mixer. Monitor via sound
                card and speakers.
            >   Vocal through B-2 Pro->207D->mixer (compressor on 
                channel insert), S/PDIF to sound card.
            >   Acoustic through SM81->207D->mixer (compressor on 
                channel insert), S/PDIF to sound card. The mic is about six
                inches from the 12th fret, aimed at it. When Jessie gets here, 
                I just switch in the AKG for her vocal. 
            >   Now I can put a guitar down, grab another one, and quickly
                rehearse any of four sources (three guitars, vocal). 
            >   Arrange the SM81 with the vocal mic so I can play acoustic
                while singing (as I did when I wrote the song). Good thing
                I still have the gooseneck attachment I got decades ago!
                    See rehearse_setup_a.jpg
                Played through it. Feels very inspiring. I played the entire
                song through with no accompaniment just because it felt 
                so good.
        -   Got some great rehearsal time in this Good Friday.

                                            Wednesday, May 4, 2011 (05:24 PM)
    *   Mike is here. Let's do this.
        -   New concept for video: The very last note is preceded by a
            blackout, fade to full, and blackout again. For this shot,
            all characters become me (vocalist). So I just need to change 
            clothes for that last take.
        -   Video Setup: Mike has his nice camcorder, but he does not like
            my camera because it does not shoot wide format. But my 
            Logitech C310 webcam does. Download driver software to the 
            Alienware m17x to capture video.
        -   Audio setup. 
            >   414 via Shure SM81 through Aphex 207D preamp.
            >   Monitor via new earbuds: Shure SE315, which sound close to
                the Sennheiser HD280 headphones.
            >   Record two channels: (1) The pure mic preamp signal
                via S/PDIF and (2) the signal I monitor, which includes the 
                dbx266xl compressor. The latter provides some real 
                inspirational energy, and I may not be able to reproduce it
                via plugins.
        -   Two takes felt fantastic! Actually, I felt I nailed it dead on
            in the first take, but we took a second to get another camera 
            angle.
                track_414_a.jpg
                track_414_b.jpg
                                                Sunday, May 8, 2011 (11:09 AM)
    *   Comp.
        -   The pure sound is at least as good and more flexible than the
            effected, monitored sound. See 414_processing_a.png and
            414_processing_b.png (notice that the power button is off for 
            E2, the 2nd equalizer, so the 1kHz peak is not active).
        -   Well, I was almost right about take one. However, take two is
            more confident basr 152-160 (the Bb-C-D hyperstrum).

    *   Now that final tracking is complete on 414 and piano, I can automate
        their levels. Render beyond_the_horizon_scratch_g.mp3.
        See scratch_g_console.png.

                                                Sunday, May 15, 2011 (11:22 AM)
+   Last night I tracked the bass with Mike's help.
                    track_bass_a.jpg
                    track_bass_b.jpg
    *   Setup: 
        -   Bass (Fender Jazz Bass Plus V): Pickup panned 70% bridge, 
            mid boost, active, flat.
        -   Run through Mission Control patch #99, "Beyond Horizon".
            >   This is a new patch with extra tube overdrive. Backup settings.
                    backup_mission_control_a.png
                Note: I have to perform the bulk dump twice as the first
                dump is corrupt. The second uploads to the secondary RP20
                successfully. Lucky discovery I made a long time ago.

    *   Four full-length takes with different camera angles. Two 
        takes at the end in singer costume. Set bass to passive mode to
        eliminate hum during the decay of the last note.

    *   [5/16/2011] Composite. Did not use takes 1 or 6 (corrupt audio).
            See comp_bass_a.png

+   Track electric.

    *   I want to improve on the setup by adding a second mic (SM57).
        Process: Patch in the Jamman to the effects loop so I can play a loop 
        into the speakers while I move mics around. Listen on headphones while 
        moving mics. Lots of options, but the main parameters are, (1)
        radial distance from a cone center and (2) axial distance.
                mic_v3_c.jpg
                mic_v3_d.jpg
        Notice that the left mic is further from the cone center than the
        right mic. The mics are one inch from the grill. They blend well in
        mono and add spaciousness in stereo.
                                                Saturday, May 28, 2011 (02:31 PM)
    *   I need another improvement on the setup to maximize inspiration during 
        tracking. I intend to track dry with the only effect being volume swells
        from the G-Major/2. Since this is inserted before the microphones, I 
        cannot use it to provide critical delay and reverb. Besides, the delay 
        is complex: usually I want quarter notes. But in the intro, I want 
        eighth notes. And the amount of delay is changing throughout the 
        song--especially in the volume swells where it needs to be quite high 
        with a lot of feedback. 
        -   Plan: automate the mutes to the delays, but remote-control the
            delay volumes with the MIDI foot pedal.
        -   Run the 30-foot MIDI cable from the MIDI thru of the Carvin V3 to
            the computer. So the MIDI data flow is:
                    1. Foot pedal (Behringer FCB1010)
                    2. TC Electronics G-Major/2.
                    3. Carvin V3.
                    4. PC (M-Audio Delta 1010LT)
            So the lower row of switches control the V3 amp channels, the
            upper row controls effect modules in the G-Major/2, Expression
            Pedal A controls the delay mix in Sonar, and the Expression 
            Pedal B controls the volume via the G-Major/2. Talk about
            a "control freak"!
        -   Create separate send buses for 1/4-note and 1/8-note delays.
            Oops, can't automate mutes on buses. Have to automate volumes.
            But I want to control the delay volume real-time. So I need a third
            bus to collect the outputs of the two delays. Right-click the bus
            fader, choose "remote control", press "learn", move the pedal, and
            voila! I can see the fader move with my foot! Is this cool,
            or what!!! 
        -   Find an impulse reverb that works for guitar and sounds great.
            There is one for a marshall spring. Perfect.
        -   Here is the setup:
                    track_electric_setup_a.png
            >   Note: Select Transport | Live Input PDC Override to get rid of 
                the processing delay so the 1/8-note delays actually occur an 
                1/8-note later. 
            >   Notice the high-pass and low-pass filters on the delays.
            >   Notice the G-Delay bus includes a feed to the guitar reverb.
            >   Notice the guitar channel does not feed a bus from the fader
                (i.e., direct sound). This comes directly from the sound card
                to minimize lag.
        -   Liking it. Need a few tweaks.

                                            Thursday, June 2, 2011 (03:00 PM)
    *   The time has come. Just do it.
        -   Don't forget:
                    volume swells at beg
                    shots of amp switching channels.
                    shots of guitars
                    shots of blank screen
                    get singer costume at end
        -   Done. One take with frontal angle, two takes with angle from right.

                                            Saturday, June 11, 2011 (03:55 PM)
    *   Comp.
        -   Having trouble with the delays and reverbs, but have something 
            usable enough to know which take is most magical.
        -   See comp_electric_a.png.
            This shows the takes along a timeline for Mike's reference.
        -   Render beyond_the_horizon_scratch_i.mp3.
            Not proud of it, but it is a timing reference.


                                            Sunday, June 12, 2011 (11:03 AM)
+   Track vocal.
    
    *   Prep.
        -   Improve the mix as much as possible.
            >   Preliminary notes:
                :   cut first "beyond the horizon" from vocal.
                :   boost bass at F and G
                :   acoustic to -2.5 at H
                :   electric to swells at H
                :   hear acoustic in A2
                :   mute hat hits at 105
                :   mellotron to -10 at C2?
                :   boost 414 at E
                :   Move swells in H to swells tracks.
                :   coordinate kicks in C3.
                :   re-engage the multi-band on the master
            >   Add a mild compressor to the swells. I overmodulated the pedal.
                    See swells_compressor_a.png
            >   Having trouble. Sonar's help says, "You can also group 
                controls, so that automating one control automates all the 
                controls in the group." It is not working.
                        no_group_automation_a.png
                This example shows one group (blue) out of sync.
                :   Hmmm. I kicked the envelopes read enable, and both faders
                    snapped into place. However, the grouped, non-automated fader
                    quit following the automated one. It does not work. Tried 
                    deleting and recreating envelope. It does not work. In fact,
                    for the swells group, automation isn't even working on the 
                    track with the envelope!
                        no_group_automation_b.png
                    Notice, the envelope is at -10.2 while the fader 
                    is at -18.0.
                :   Contact Cakewalk tech support via help menu.
                :   I tried manually recording automation. If I record it
                    on all group members, I get identical envelopes. But that
                    is not how it's supposed to work. If I record only on
                    one channel, it still does not respond. Period.
                :   Save and reboot. Windows updates installed.
                    The master track now follows the envelope, but the
                    group does not. 
                :   FINE! Copy the envelope and adjust both together.
            >   Lots of work done, but it's not ready until I sing with it.
                But I need a bike ride.
            >   Much better. Render:
                    beyond_the_horizon_scratch_j.mp3
                    beyond_the_horizon_scratch_j_novoc2.mp3
                The second item is for Jessie to practice with.
                                            Monday, June 13, 2011 (04:29 PM)
            >   More tweaks to make:
                :   reduce mellotron in C2. 
                :   less delay on electric in intro (done)
                :   boost electric 
                    #   33-35 (done)
                    #   165-171 (done)
                                            Tuesday, June 14, 2011 (08:11 PM)
                :   Oops, missed an edit on the electric.
                :   More levels.
                :   Add a delay effect to vocal in A2. Nah, hold off on that.
                :   Tweak the kick in C2.
                :   Render:
                        beyond_the_horizon_scratch_k.mp3
                                            Thursday, June 16, 2011 (08:03 PM)
        -   My B-natural screams are working. Record short clips of just these
            in case it disappears come tracking time. And, a few minor mixing
            tweaks.
                :   By the way, I added a scream--in deference to Ken's
                    suggestions--to the intro. Feels really really good!
                :   Render:
                        beyond_the_horizon_scratch_l.mp3
                :   I saw Joanne's FB event "Los Angeles Dream Circle"
                    https://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=208423625866628
                    The event's creator wrote, 
                        "I am doing my part by creating a space where each of us 
                        can connect with other through the powerful language of 
                        the shared unconscious world so beautifully expressed by 
                        our dreams."
                    How ironic! 
                                            Wednesday, June 29, 2011 (08:47 PM)
        -   Had a great rehearsal with Jessie.
            >   Render
                    beyond_the_horizon_scratch_m.mp3
                                            Wednesday, July 13, 2011 (10:19 AM)
        -   Jessie's availability is quite limited right now. Do some
            video editing. Mike encountered a difficulty trying to create
            a video of the ensemble (bass, electric, acoustic): The
            multiple layers overloaded his computer. He thinks a graphics
            card will do the trick. And his availability is also very
            limited. I need to keep moving the ball forward. Something
            inside me will not let me move on. So I am burning vacation
            today in the attempt.
            >   Get a handle on what video files contain what.
                beyond_the_horizon_video.xls.
                Two hours.
            >   I talked to Mike. His idea sounds good: split into multiple
                Vegas projects, one for each instrument. Then render a single
                video file and import into a master project.
            >   Got the bass done. Two more hours.
                        file      take  camera  track label
                       00089.MTS    1   mike    T1 M front vid
                     Video 5.wmv    1   WC      T1 WC low-front vid
                       00090.MTS    2   mike    T2 M left-front vid
                     Video 6.wmv    2   WC      T2 WC high-left vid
                       00091.MTS    3   mike    T3 M left-front (ens) vid
                       00092.MTS    4   mike    T4 M float vid
                       00093.MTS    4   mike    T4 M float vid
                       00094.MTS    5   mike    T5 M left-front (end) vid
                       00095.MTS    6   mike    T6 M left-front (end) vid
                See video_edit_bass_a.png.
            >   Oops. Found a limit:
                "Vegas Movie Studio projects support up to 10 video tracks."
                "Vegas Movie Studio projects support up to 10 audeo tracks."
                Looks like Mike's idea has even more merit.
            >   Another two hours gets the electric done.
                    See video_edit_electric_a.png
                Notice how pretty the web cam can be when there is enough 
                light. But otherwise it is too dark. Ten tracks was just barely
                enough!
                    See video_edit_electric_b.png
                Spreadsheet shows the complexity.

                                            Wednesday, July 20, 2011 (05:20 PM)
    *   Track Jessie.
        -   I wanted to track both of us together, but there just isn't the
            space and logistics. Besides, tonight is the night, and I am
            not quite up to it (really tired for no apparent reason). 
        -   Two cameras: Mike's (Canon Vixia HFM30) and mine
            (Canon PowerShot A720IS). We were not able to get the webcam
            to behave last night. It is either very dark or very grainy.

                                                Friday, July 22, 2011 (06:19 PM)
    *   Track my vocal - finally...after nearly eight months laboring on this
        song. It is a Dark Friday. How appropriate. I am alone. I will have to
        run everything.
        -   I am sticking with the B-2 Pro since I have build the mix around
            it--putting my money where my mouth is (in more ways than one).
        -   I finished take one. I am under the weather, and I feel tired
            and weak. But the song feels inspired. My voice may not hold up.
            I am having trouble with Mike's camera, and he is not available.
            But dark shots are too dark. Found manual, but exposure is maxed
            out. My camera is doing a good job. It may be all I have.
        -   After take three my voice is not weakening but improving. 
            I shall have to thank Someone for answering a specific request.
            Now, Who was that again? 
        -   I feel sick. Takes three and four were cut short because I did
            not extend the punch zone. What's hard about that is, on take
            four, I felt more emotion than any other take at the end
            (climax).
        -   10:30PM. Done. Exhausted. See 
                track_vocal_a.png
                track_vocal_b.png

                                            Thursday, August 4, 2011 (07:44 PM)
    *   Comp my vocal.
        -   For the most part, take four is the take that keeps on giving...
            ...until it runs out of audio, that is. Ouch.
                                            Friday, August 5, 2011 (03:01 PM)
        -   Look at some older scratch-track clips of the "love lost" scream.
            Strangely enough, the very last take--last of all recordings--fits
            the best. Phew.
        -   We have a vocal track.

    *   Comp Jessie's vocal.
        -   See comp_vocal_a.png
        -   Man, I love her voice! 
        -   Jessie got a strong vibrato on the word "despair" that needs to
            be reduced. There is only one take with her singing in unison with
            me through section F. V-Vocal to the rescue:
                See comp_vocal_b.png
            Notice the LFO tool is selected (upper-left corner). Just click
            and drag. Gone. Similar on "cost". I really like Sonar Producer!
        -   Mix the counterpoint with envelopes: See comp_vocal_c.png.


+   Straight into mixing. Mix A.

    *   I want the bass to really pulsate on the 16th notes--a la Chris Squire
        of Yes. I think it involves tuning the attack and release times of
        the compressor.
            See bass_pulsation_a.png
        Solo the bass (green S in upper-right corner) and solo the
        lowest band (yellow solo button). A 16th note is worth,
            60/126/4 = 0.120 seconds.
        I want the attack to let the pulse through, then reduce the gain
        and release just before the next attack gets through. Settled on
            attack  = 37 ms
            release = 100 ms

    *   Remove the cymbal shot at the end to cue me to sing the last
        "The Horizon".

    *   More minor tweaks.
        -   Really enjoying this song again...still.
        -   Takes 2.5 minutes to render.
        -   I do not want 3 seconds of silence at the beginning, but the timing
            must be consistent. 
                See audacity_trim_a.png
            Notice I can tell audacity EXACTLY where to trim:
                00:03.000 to 10:10.000
    *   Render
                beyond_the_horizon_mix_a.wav        16-bit, 44.1kHz
                beyond_the_horizon_mix_a.mp3        192kbps
        -   Go listen lots.


                                            Saturday, August 6, 2011 (11:14 AM)
+   Mix B.

    *   Notes on Mix A:
        -   More Jess in counterpoint. +1db and tweak
        -   Rim shots at end verse? Are they too loud, or do they need to go?
            I like them gone. They were a metronome.
        -   More electric last chorus
        -   elec swells 7.30
        -   4:38 more bass & elec for the riff
        -   more elect or less mellotron in c2? Actually, trade off: mellotron
            high in first stanza, guitar in remainder.

    *   This time I A/B with both monitor pairs for each tweak.
        -   A few other minor tweaks.
        -   There are ZERO pitch corrections in this song.

    *   Render
                beyond_the_horizon_mix_b.wav        16-bit, 44.1kHz
                beyond_the_horizon_mix_b.mp3        192kbps

    *   Time for some badly needed cleanup.
        -   Delete unused audio files. 
        -   Delete unused tracks. Old scratch tracks are retained in backup
            file, beyond_the_horizon_mix_b.cwp.
        -   Add scratch audio files to scratch_tracks.zip, and delete.

                                            Sunday, August 7, 2011 (10:58 AM)
+   Publish

    *   Let's try something a little different for once. Some internet
        research suggests that the easiest way for me to sell on Amazon MP3
        and iTunes is to use TuneCore.com. They charge $10/song or $50/album.
        -   Create the account
        -   Create the song:
                    Beyond The Horizon - Single
                    by Will Spicher
                    Release Date: 07-Aug-2011
                    Label: Will Spicher
                    TuneCore Song ID: TCAAZ1186583
                    UPC: 859706560062
                    Primary Genre: Rock
                    Liner Notes: You currently have no liner 
                                notes for your album
        -   They want artwork at least 600x600 pixels. Okay, go with the 
            butterfly plot. Tweak. 
                    See butterfly_plot_d.jpg
            Oops, I meant to save a PNG. Oops, tunecore doesn't like PNG
            anyway. Whatever.
        -   Upload. Oops. They want the WAV file. 103Mb. At 54Kb/sec this
            will take 32 min. Tea time.
        -   "If this is your first release you will not be able to make your 
            media player for about 3 hours."
            >   Done. Nice.

                                            Monday, August 8, 2011 (04:22 PM)
+   Video editing.
    I am happy enough with Mix B to turn my attention to video.

    *   Jessie (beyond_the_horizon_jessie.vf). 
        -   Let's try something different: an audio track of just the 
            vocal to sync with. I think I can get Sonar to export an MP3 file
            of just her vocal track. 
            >   Select just the vocal track.
            >   Choose export | audio. Setup to get the track with its
                compression and volume automation, but not reverb, and
                save a mono signal.
                        See create_vocal_sync_a.png
            >   Create one for me and one for jessie.
                :   Cancel track FX for me because of the delay and doubler.
                    Oops, hard clipping. Just bypass the vocal strip and
                    use the multiband compressor.
                :   Import into Vegas File. Syncs right up exactly!
                    And, it is a huge time-saver when synching the video:
                        See create_vocal_sync_b.png
        -   How's that for an hour's work?!? Email to Mike.
                                            Tuesday, August 9, 2011 (04:29 PM)
    *   My vocal (beyond_the_horizon_will.vf). 
        -   Out of tracks. I need to bundle takes on top of tracks. Slip-edit,
            sync remains aligned.

                                        Wednesday, August 10, 2011 (03:12 PM)
    *   Study compositing methods in vegas.
        -   Search YouTube for tutorials on compositing in vegas. No luck.
            Too much irrelevant stuff.
        -   Go with help files. 
                                        Thursday, August 11, 2011 (03:57 PM)
        -   Actually, it looks like event-level adjustments (not track-level)
            are the way to go--especially event panning, cropping, and zooming.
            Found a cool tutorial that quickly illustrated what I'm after:
                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XugrxCe9V2M
            Sheesh, these techno-kids! 

    *   Electric: I brought beyond_the_horizon_electric.vf to a
        possible handoff point for Mike.

                                            Sunday, August 21, 2011 (09:41 AM)
    *   Mike is having a hard time with editing as his computer cannot keep
        up. He said he talked to someone who informed him about editing with
        "proxy video files." That is, the AVCHD format is very compressed, so
        the computer has to work hard to extract the raw information from
        the file before it can display it. Proxy files are the original
        AVCHD files converted to a more accessible format such as MPG2.
        -   A help topic in Vegas mentions this
                See proxy_video_files_a.png
            but this says nothing about HOW it is done! 
        -   Google("how do I create proxy files in vegas")
            >   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nDVbA1Patw
                Good tutorial, but he uses another program to perform the
                conversion while Vegas implies IT can do it. Also, he uses
                a lot of file system manipulation to fool Vegas into looking
                for replacement files, as if one cannot do this otherwise.
            >   http://eugenia.queru.com/2007/12/12
                    /proxy-editing-with-sony-vegas/
                This uses the same process as the tutorial video.
            >   http://www.friendsofhdvideo.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=274
                A comment suggests Vegas Pro can perform the conversion.
            >   Another discussion extolls "VASST Gearshift" script package.
        -   I think the Vegas help article assumes I would use
            tools -> render to new track. Or, possibly, 
            tools -> selectively prerender video. Chase the help.
            >   "selectively prerender video" only prerenders transitions.
            >   "render to new track" requires a blank track and would require
                discarding original clips. It would also discard clip timing
                information.
        -   I notice in Vegas I can replace a file. In the project media
            window, right-click on the file, and select replace....
            ...one file at a time. Painful!
        -   If I have all the proxy files in a separate folder, as the
            tutorial points out, I can rename the old folder forcing
            Vegas to look in the proxy folder and replace ALL of them,
            provided they have the same file name. Hence, the need for
            two programs: SUPER to convert the files, and Rename-It to
            force the proxy filenames to match the originals.
        -   Conclusion: use the process defined at,
            http://eugenia.queru.com/2007/12/12/proxy-editing-with-sony-vegas/
            and,
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nDVbA1Patw
            >   I may be able to skip Rename-It by writing a DOS batch
                script. 
            >   I am feeling a bit suspicious. Why is Super free? Research.
                :   A user posted, "Donít use SUPER (c), itís loaded with 
                    spyware and trojans, Donít pay for video converters either!
                    Check out Mediacoder on souceforge, open source and safe. 
                    Does everything!" 
                    But Mediacoder is also full of warnings from users.
                    It's not actually open source, and they say it is full 
                    of malware and adware. What the H is going on here?
                :   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SUPER_(software)
                    Article mentions some suspicious stuff about having to
                    allow it to connect to the internet and having to disable
                    "heuristic scanning in his/her antivirus program."
                    Better steer clear! 
            >   Need to find a reputable video converter!
        -   Hunt for a converter.
            >   page on the AVCHD format includes a section on converters:
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVCHD
                One of them is avidemux:
                http://avidemux.sourceforge.net/
                which supports command-line operation for batch processing.
            >   Phooey! Mike has the problem, not me. However, I will have
                the problem depending on how he approaches it. But
                I have to move on. Too frustrating.

    *   Another issue: the cropping bars.
        -   See frame_cropping_a.png. Notice I have panned the pedal clip
            to the lower right. In the preview window, notice how this clip
            has been cropped by a black bar, even though there is plenty
            of room for it.
        -   If I select the pedal track and select tools -> video
            -> track motion, I get an editor that says the tracks
            dimensions are 1280x720. However, if I click the little icon
            on the track (which says "parent track motion"), the 
            editor says 720x720. 
        -   Post question to forum.
        -   I notice: the event pan/crop window has height 960 
            (correct width of 1280). Suppose the frame was scaled up
            to the width. The 720 would correspond to 720/960*720=540.
            The video was taken with my camera at 640x480, so that does
            not seem to make sense. But 1280x960 is exactly double 640x480.
            Suppose it was trying to stretch 640x480 to get the 720 height;
            This gives a width of 640*720/480 = 960, making the black bars
            (1280-960)/2 = 160 px wide. OK, but what do I do?
        -   Experiment: in the event pan/crop dialog, select a preset
            "16:9 Widescreen TV Aspect Ratio". Then zoom and pan the frame.
            IT WORKED!!!
                See frame_cropping_b.png
            The part that is hard to get used to is the fact I am zooming
            and panning the output frame relative to the thing I am 
            trying to zoom and pan. 
        -   I can save the settings to my own preset:
                pedal (16:9 LR)
                amp (16:9 UR)
            Then select them for all events as needed.
        -   I do not like what the luminance mask does to colors. Simply
            pan the windows so they don't interfere.
        -   Conquered.

                                            Monday, August 22, 2011 (11:00 AM)
    *   Back to proxy file editing. Mike spent a whole day converting files
        using Vegas. But this results in a file the length of the entire song,
        rather than the original file, and makes the project fully dependent
        on the derived files. He felt this was necessary because the proxy
        file method may not work right. I said I will not accept a significant
        increase in the project size without proof it is necessary; I am
        having a hard enough time archiving a 50Gb project, and I do not
        want to archive a 100Gb project. 
        -   The Vegas forum had a post saying Super is great. I begin to think
            the problems people run into are because they don't download 
            the right link from the right place. Download.
                http://www.erightsoft.com/SUPER.html
                ->  http://www.erightsoft.com/Superdc.html
                ->  http://www.erightsoft.com/S6Kg1.html
                ->  http://www.erightsoft.biz/GetFile.php?SUPERsetup.exe
                ->  SUPERsetup.exe
            Norton says the file is safe. Internal properties confirm the
            build version with the web site:
                SUPER © v2011.build.49 (July 1st, 2011) 
            I noticed the download link changes over time, apparently
            balancing out the download server demand. Another example is,
                http://www.erightsoft.info/GetFile.php?SUPERsetup.exe
            OK, whatever.
        -   Create a system restore point--just in case.
        -   Install.
            >   The terms mention the issue:
                    "When you encounter a false detection, it is mostly 
                    heuristic, meaning that your Anti-Vir wasn't able to parse 
                    and recognize the encrypted code, so the easiest way for the 
                    Anti-vir is to flag the file by default as suspicious, 
                    heuristic or "gen" generic."
            >   Decline installation of FaceTheme.
            >   Uncheck "Install RealPlayer"
            >   Reboot.
                                            Tuesday, August 23, 2011 (08:08 PM)
        -   Fighting with no progress.
            >   I installed FFDWHOW. No luck.
            >   I installed the Zoom Browser EX for the Canon Vixia HFM30.
                No luck.
            >   Downloaded Media Player Classic. It plays the file using
                ffdshow as a decoder. Video is fine, but audio is missing.
            >   I am stumped and do not know where to turn. Why did Mike
                insist on shooting at 1440x1080? 
        -   Look at other converters
            >   http://www.wondershare.com/pro/hd-video-converter.html
                :   The free trial WORKS! But it places a watermark on the
                    output. I just have to confirm it is right, then cough
                    up the $40. 
                :   One of the quirks I noticed is, I entered the output 
                    resolution as 640*360, but I end up with 640*352--every 
                    time. I don't understand that, but perhaps it is not 
                    important. 
                                        Wednesday, August 24, 2011 (10:11 AM)
                :   Make a trial run. Essentially, follow the process all
                    the way through to make sure it works before buying.
                    See proxy_video_files_b.png
                    Nice interface. I like the multi-threaded algorithm
                    and progress bars! I can even tell it how many cores
                    my CPU has or how many I want it to use. 
                    #   I was right. To rename the files, simply open a
                        command line and execute:
                            ...>ren 00*.mpg 00*.mts
                            ...>ren MVI*.mpg MVI*.avi
                            ...>ren Video*.mpg Video*.wmv
                :   Wondershare support is slow at answering my question. They
                    have competition:
                        http://www.xilisoft.com/hd-video-converter.html
                        http://www.avchdconverter.net/
                                        Thursday, August 25, 2011 (02:03 PM)
                :   Wondershare confirmed the error.
            >   Xilisoft HD Video Converter v6
                        http://www.xilisoft.com/hd-video-converter.html
                :   No size errors; it retains the settings; I can pick the 
                    profile by file (run full batch without having to change 
                    anything in the middle of it); it uses the GPU as a CPU... 
                    This thing rocks! Buy it! $39.95.
                        See proxy_video_files_c.png
                :   It looks like it will take 1.5 hours to convert all the
                    files.
                                            Friday, September 2, 2011 (06:59 PM)
        -   Vocal.
            >   Made some screen captures to get straight which take is active:
                        comp_vocal_d.png
                        comp_vocal_e.png
                        comp_vocal_f.png
                        comp_vocal_g.png
                                        Saturday, September 3, 2011 (09:00 AM)
        -   Today I intend to split the piano-acoustic project into separate 
            minor project files. Begin with piano.
            >   Which take is active?
                    comp_piano_c.png
                    comp_piano_d.png
            >   Good piece of work. 
                    piano_video_a.png
            >   I noticed the AVI files did not convert well. Some sort of
                weird behavior in HD Video Converter v6. Reconvert.
                Much better.
        -   Acoustic.
            >   I want a sync track. Create sync-414.mp3 as above. 
            >   Need a take reference: comp_acoustic_a.png
                Sort through which clips are which files and takes:
                    Rec 1   = 585   = take 1
                    Rec 2   = 589   = take 2
                    Rec 3   = 593   = take 3
            >   Another Good piece of work. 
                    acoustic_video_a.png
        -   Create a composite--a master project--consisting of the instruments.
            >   Render the electric. 
                :   BTW, I am rendering the minor projects
                    as HD-720-30, MPEG-2. 
                :   Rendering from the proxies takes 3 minutes.
            >   Render the bass. 
                :   I can tell right now I will want more shots from
                    take 1 (front view). 
            >   Create a new project, beyond_the_horizon_master.vf.
                The videos import at time zero, the mix is offset 3 seconds.
                    master_video_a.png
                A MILESTONE IS REACHED! 
                A huge technical hurdle is overcome.
            >   Render a video, and let the guys see it.
                :   Takes 6.0 min to render from minors.
            >   Upload to YouTube:
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6mglhm_PAY
                Took 8 hours. Hmmmm...

                                        Sunday, September 4, 2011 (11:41 AM)
    *   Bring the vocals into the master project.
        -   Took another stab at my vocal--a serious one this time. 
            Select the shots I like the best. Prediction: Mike will resist
            using any shots from the PowerShot camera. Certainly the shot
            in the final verse and chorus will require some debate. While
            it captures crucial facial expressions that no other shot gets,
            it is the one that cuts off the top of my head. 
                    will_video_a.png
        -   Back to Jessie.
            >   A little trickier: I think I want to coordinate the camera
                angle when she is harmonizing with me. But, do we face the
                same direction (as if we are singing out to the same audienc)?
                Or do we face slightly toward one another (as if to a common
                point close to use)? Maybe that question should be left for
                the second iteration, after we see the master.
                For now, pick the favorites. I tend toward take 5 where
                she seemed most relaxed and animated.
        -   Strange thing happened:
                See master_video_b.png
            I don't know what these markers are on Jessie's minor
            rendering or how they got there. But they come from the
            project file. The same thing happened on my vocal.
            >   The Render As dialog has a check box: Save project markers
                in media file." 
            >   These are called "media markers" and can be used both for
                snapping (time cursor and edge trimming) and for marking 
                chapters in a DVD.
        -   Lots of splitting, panning, cropping, and effects--the
            latter being to create the cookie-cutter windows and sometimes
            adjust the brightness of the PowerShot to match (roughly)
            the Vixia. 
        -   Render time blows up to 19 minutes.
        -   See master_video_c.png
        -   email Mike:
                The master project now has all elements on the screen. Minor 
                projects use the shots that I think look best after a first 
                pass-through.  Now the task is to decide, at any given moment, 
                what elements need to display and where and whether they need
                to change (i.e., use a different shot from a minor project). 
                                        Monday, September 5, 2011 (09:15 AM)
        -   Aarrgggh! It takes 8 hours to upload a 1.40-Gb video to YouTube.
            Does this make sense? 
                1.40*1024^3 / (8*3600) = 52196 bytes per second.\
            Yep, that is my AT&T upload speed. Mike says he can upload the same 
            video in 10 minutes. He has a $60/mo deal with Comcast, as compared
            to my $35/mo deal with AT&T. Time to reconsider. 
            >   When I signed up for "AT&T High Speed Internet Pro" on 
                5/30/2008, I was told upload speed would be 1Mbps. 
            >   AT&T currently claims the Pro plan has an upload speed
                of 512 Kbps--10x faster than what I am seeing. 
                http://www.att-services.net/att-high-speed-internet.html
            >   A forum post says, "yeah I get the same .43Mb/s too. That's 
                pretty normal for a 512Kb/s connection (after the network 
                overhead)." 
                    http://forums.att.com/t5/Internet
                        /Not-Happy-with-Upload-Speeds-Customer-Support
                        -states-quot-not/td-p/2631529
                By ".43Mb/s" he may have meant "43kbps", which
                was in the post he was responding to. But if he really meant
                0.43Mbps, then that is 10x faster and 84% of the quoted
                512Kbps. Actually, the post he was responding to was 
                inconsistent: "I'm getting... drum roll, please... .43mbps - 
                YES! 43kbps! That's 17 seconds to upload an email with a 5mb 
                attachment." So, the time spec would be
                    5*1024 / 17 = 301 Kbps
                so he must have meant 0.43Mbps. 
            >   Done:
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAjVgFOPGAQ


                                        Thursday, October 20, 2011 (06:28 PM)
+   Mix c.

    *   Just a few tweaks. Mix ideas
        -   Cut bass in 414.
        -   Kick quarters in last 4 bars of intro
        -   kick follow bass at 9:34.
        -   Kill strum transients in swells
        -   Remove missing note in bass at 9:48 to agree with video. I have
            to use this take because the camera angle has to match the 
            costume change.
    *   Render
                beyond_the_horizon_mix_c.wav        16-bit, 44.1kHz
                beyond_the_horizon_mix_c.mp3        192kbps

                                        Saturday, November 12, 2011 (10:24 AM)
+   Tracking video.

    *   Mike has stopped working on the project. He said he is about five
        minutes into the rough draft. But I have committed myself to publish
        the song by Thanksgiving--now only two weeks away. Time to turn my
        version into something I can publish. 

    *   To-do list:
        -   Fade swells guitar into lead guitar in intro.
        -   Shrink scream vocal, perhaps darken. In fact, the vocals should
            be the same size as other characters. May have to shrink Rob in
            some views. 
        -   Can I put Jessie behind me during backup vocals, and limit to
            facial?
        -   Jessie should disappear for "love lost". Pretty smile, but it
            needs a better setting.
        -   Get mike out of the edge of the bass track.
        -   Remove pedal switch from electric at 6:54. This will make room for
            the vocal.
        -   Pan acoustic to right to make more room for Jessie.

    *   Switch to mix C.
        -   I noticed that mix B was shifted to start at 3;02--that is, two
            frames after the exact 3 seconds I referenced. I placed mix C
            at 3;00, and as I watch, the video looks delayed. 
            >   Had to shift nine frames to get good visual alignment. But why?
        -   I am now encountering performance issues but only when the 
            vocal track is active. The instrument ensemble (bass, acoustic,
            electric, and piano) works fine until the vocal (top track)
            appears. It includes the cookie cutter effect.
            >   I had the preview window set to "preview full". Setting
                to "good half" helps.

    *   Fade swells guitar into lead guitar in intro. This needs to be done
        in the subproject, "beyond_the_horizon_electric - proxies.vf".
        -   So easy it's not funny. Simply slip-edit the two clips to
            create a crossfade (auto crossfades must be on). Then slip-edit
            the upper-right corner of the pedal clip to create a fade-out.
        -   I think I would like to move the electric to the far left for
            the entire video. That way, the vocal does not obscure the 
            lower frets. Event pan & crop, 4 clicks to the right (moving the
            "camera view," not the clip).
            >   Odd: the music and video are still aligned with the 3;00
                offset.
        -   Now, how do I render this thing again?
            >   Copy "beyond_the_horizon_electric - proxies.vf" 
                to "beyond_the_horizon_electric - originals.vf"
            >   Rename the proxy folder (e.g., "proxies - kill") so that Vegas
                has to search for the media files.
            >   Open "beyond_the_horizon_electric - originals.vf". Redirect
                Vegas to the originals media folder. Give it time to build
                peaks. And save.
            >   Render as MPEG-2, HD-720-30, to
                .\video\Renders\beyond_the_horizon_electric.m2t
            >   Open beyond_the_horizon_master.vf. The new file is simply there.
                :   Oops, music delayed relative to video. Huh? Shift left
                    5 frames.

    *   Continue with other edits in master project (as they mostly deal with
        mixing the views together).
        -   I added cookie cutters to the instruments to soften the borders
            (black is not very black). This makes rendering laggy. Good 
            thing to keep in mind.

    *   Add a title page and credits

    *   Render beyond_the_horizon_master_v3.m2t (MPEG-2, HD-720-30).
        -   Rendering time blows up to 1:15! It looks like the cookie cutter
            is a real number-cruncher.
        -   By the way, here is how to get it into the iPhone (notes from 
            converting v2):
                Use HD Video Converter 6 to convert to format "iPhone MPEG-4 Video" 
                with 960x640 resolution. Drag & Drop into iTunes, then select 
                advanced->create iPod or iPhone version. Takes a long time. sync the 
                converted version.
                    iPhone 4 specs:
                    http://support.apple.com/kb/SP587
                Beyond The Horizon was downsampled to 640x428. However, specs say 
                the iPhone can play H.264 video up to 720p. But I did not try.
            >   Since it downsampled last time, I converted to 640x480. This
                version loads directly and does not need to be converted
                again in iTunes. Hurray!

                                                Sunday, November 13, 2011 (09:46 AM)
    *   Try again.
        -   Mistakes in v3:
            >   The pedal work at the beginning is darkened by the cookie cutter.
            >   End scream clip slightly earlier. Fade in & out?
            >   Drop bass out when silent?
            >   Mike still in bass ~5:25. I thought I panned sufficiently right.
                And there is a clip transition in the bass that shifts me 
                left to right.
            >   Shrink vocal at 7:00.
            >   Is the electric leading the audio?
            >   In credits for God, change "dreams" to "the dream"
        -   Actually, I never panned the bass. Oops. This has to be done in
            the subproject, "beyond_the_horizon_bass - proxies.vf", because
            the video occupies exactly the upper-right corner. Does that really
            matter? Yes, because I don't want to pan the solo with the roaming
            camera. 
            >   Pan all events, except the solo, on click to right. And, the clip
                that was too far to the left included Mike, and it gets 2 clicks.
        -   I just realized something: Editing the master would be a lot 
            easier if all the effects (e.g., cookie cutters) were applied 
            at the subproject level. 
            >   Save and use a preset to go quicker.
                    beyond_the_horizon_bass - proxies.vf
                    beyond_the_horizon_electric - proxies.vf
                    beyond_the_horizon_acoustic - proxies.vf
                    beyond_the_horizon_piano - proxies.vf
                Piano has too many clips. Apply to entire track.
            >   Add slight pan to acoustic.
            >   Render the above-listed subprojects using the process described
                above.
                :   Rendering time is now about 19 minutes.
        -   Return to beyond_the_horizon_master.vf
            >   Finish the task list.
            >   Now, is the electric leading the audio? The audio is delayed
                4 frames (0.13 sec). Split the difference: slide it back
                to 3;02. Looks great.
            >   Render beyond_the_horizon_master_v4.m2t
                :   I notice rendering goes quickly when vocals are not
                    present, apparently because the instruments no longer
                    have effects. 23 min. Render,
                    beyond_the_horizon_master_v4.m2t
                :   Oops, no title or credits. What happened? I worked on
                    the backup file. Grrrrr! Yet the edits are still there.
                    I think I closed the file, decided to render, opened
                    the wrong one, and rendered. 
                :   Try again. Very nice. 
                                                total production hours = 236
                                        Wednesday, November 16, 2011 (06:20 PM)
        -   I have had two failed uploads to youtube. Since this file is 
            1.4Gb, it takes eight hours. YouTube supports resumable uploads
            but only with enhanced browsers (firefox, chrome, IE with 
            silverlight). Go with firefox.
            >   I closed the firefox browser 39% into the upload. Two hours
                later, it started up right where it left off. Nice.
            >   Or, does it work? First attempt said it was uploading, 
                but it stalled. Try again. Now it says it is at 2%, but
                the performance monitor is only showing 1.5kB/sec going out.
                Leave it a few minutes. OK, it is running, but it started
                the upload over. What did I do wrong? I just navigated out
                of the page this time. I wonder if I just needed to wait
                longer the first time. But the page had elements that 
                suggested it thought it was done.
            >   Try again. Close browser at 18%. Nope, it started all over
                again. Thanks a lot, YouTube.
                                            Monday, November 21, 2011 (02:20 PM)
            >   Last night Luke told me, "sometimes, if I feel down, I
                end up thinking of the song and it makes me feel better"
                even though he doesn't like the sound of my voice on
                it, LOL. I said, "Maybe deep inside you sense what the
                song is really about."
        -   Oops, forgot to grab the mix screen shots:
                    beyond_the_horizon_mix_c_tracks.png
                    beyond_the_horizon_mix_c_console.png


Total Production Hours: 238.0