Saturday, May 15, 2010 (09:00 AM)
- 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
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
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.
- 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.
> 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
> Set metronome to not emphasize the down beat since the meter
> 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
> 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.
> 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
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.
- 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.
* 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
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.
Notice I am about an inch off axis compared to the previous
: 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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
Thursday, February 10, 2011 (10:59 AM)
- 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
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:
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.
So! One minute worth of changes CAUSED it! List the
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
: 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
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:
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
: 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:
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
> 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
> 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,
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
> Run a back-to-back test so that I sing through both mics
at the same time.
> See pics:
> 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
> Place the two tracks in a Sonar Quick Group so that muting one
instantly unmutes the other.
And listen side by side.
: The waveforms are almost indistinguishable.
: 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:
Sunday, April 3, 2011 (02:52 PM)
* Made a first pass at programming the lights via the DMXIS with
Friday, April 15, 2011 (02:53 PM)
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:
So I have four blue lamps on one channel and two greens to
get the dark colors brighter and improve visibility in the
- 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).
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.
> Bring red lower in intro to second verse (quiet).
> Light bursts need to be delayed slightly. Begin ramp on beat.
+ Track piano.
- 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.
> Validate lighting control. It works.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 (11:27 AM)
* Here at Northminster Presbyterian's Trinity room with Mike and Rob.
- 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
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.
- [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
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
- [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
> 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!
Played through it. Feels very inspiring. I played the entire
song through with no accompaniment just because it felt
- 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
- 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
Sunday, May 8, 2011 (11:09 AM)
- 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.
Sunday, May 15, 2011 (11:22 AM)
+ Last night I tracked the bass with Mike's help.
- 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.
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).
+ 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.
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,
- Find an impulse reverb that works for guitar and sounds great.
There is one for a marshall spring. Perfect.
- Here is the setup:
> Note: Select Transport | Live Input PDC Override to get rid of
the processing delay so the 1/8-note delays actually occur an
> 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)
- 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.
- 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.
> 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.
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!
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:
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.
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
: By the way, I added a scream--in deference to Ken's
suggestions--to the intro. Feels really really good!
: I saw Joanne's FB event "Los Angeles Dream Circle"
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
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 (08:47 PM)
- Had a great rehearsal with Jessie.
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.
> 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
> 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.
Notice how pretty the web cam can be when there is enough
light. But otherwise it is too dark. Ten tracks was just barely
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
- 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
- 10:30PM. Done. Exhausted. See
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:
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
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
* 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.
Notice I can tell audacity EXACTLY where to trim:
00:03.000 to 10:10.000
beyond_the_horizon_mix_a.wav 16-bit, 44.1kHz
- 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.
beyond_the_horizon_mix_b.wav 16-bit, 44.1kHz
* Time for some badly needed cleanup.
- Delete unused audio files.
- Delete unused tracks. Old scratch tracks are retained in backup
- Add scratch audio files to scratch_tracks.zip, and delete.
Sunday, August 7, 2011 (10:58 AM)
* 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
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.
Oops, I meant to save a PNG. Oops, tunecore doesn't like PNG
- 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.
> 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:
- 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:
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
but this says nothing about HOW it is done!
- Google("how do I create proxy files in vegas")
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.
This uses the same process as the tutorial video.
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
- 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,
> I may be able to skip Rename-It by writing a DOS batch
> 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.
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?
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:
One of them is avidemux:
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.
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.
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.
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,
- Create a system restore point--just in case.
> 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"
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.
> 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
: 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
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.
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
Thursday, August 25, 2011 (02:03 PM)
: Wondershare confirmed the error.
> Xilisoft HD Video Converter v6
: 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.
: It looks like it will take 1.5 hours to convert all the
Friday, September 2, 2011 (06:59 PM)
> Made some screen captures to get straight which take is active:
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?
> Good piece of work.
> I noticed the AVI files did not convert well. Some sort of
weird behavior in HD Video Converter v6. Reconvert.
> 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.
- 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.
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:
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.
- 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:
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)
- 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.
> A forum post says, "yeah I get the same .43Mb/s too. That's
pretty normal for a 512Kb/s connection (after the network
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.
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
beyond_the_horizon_mix_c.wav 16-bit, 44.1kHz
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
- Can I put Jessie behind me during backup vocals, and limit to
- 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
- 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
- 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
> Open beyond_the_horizon_master.vf. The new file is simply there.
: Oops, music delayed relative to video. Huh? Shift left
* 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
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
iPhone 4 specs:
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
> 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
: 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,
: 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:
Total Production Hours: 238.0