Saturday, August 30, 2008 (7:01PM)
+   Compose & arrange

    *   This began as a prophetic sequence I played on the 414 in a 
        worship service on Dec 8, 2004--nearly four years ago. I shared
        it with the other musicians, but nobody remembered it. I don't
        think anybody could hear me but me. It has come to symbolize
        Rivendell for me, so I think the title shall be, 
        "Seeking Rivendell." 

    *   I have only this sequence, and the rest of the song needs to
        be written. Nothing comes to me when I play it on guitar, so
        I thought I might try adding other instruments and see if
        The Muse indicates a direction that way. 
        -   Scratch track: 414
        -   Scratch track: electric. Not sure if I want the T5 or RG.
        -   Scratch track: Synth. I hear an arpeggiated synth line.
            >   Try lots of synths:
                    Pentagon I
                        ana seq (vel) BT
                        mks 80 seq (vel+mw) BT
                        velo reso seq BT
                    Analog Factory 
                    (Bass->aggressive, bright, simple, 
                    short...371 entries)
                        80SKREAM                *   *
                        prophetbass3            *
                        R&J CLASSIC ROLANDBS
                        SF_BLUEMONDAYBS         *   *
                        SQRBASS02               *   *
                        VELOPBASS (poly)
                        BRASSY01 (poly)
                        MILD (poly)             *   *
                        SF_SYNBRASS5            *   
                        WARMY (poly)
                        JOURNY                  *   *
                        PEARLS                  *   *
                        RICH_WATARU             *   *
            >   The CS-80 and prophet synths seem to have velocity sens.
                But if the synth lacks it, can I route the velocity
                data to some parameter? 
            >   Not sure if I want polyphony yet. The tone may be
                more important. 
                                    Sunday, August 31, 2008 (1:52PM)
            >   I believe I have narrowed it down:
                I saved each as "* copy" in a close configuration.
                To narrow further, I will need more instruments 
        -   Scratch drum track.
            >   Create a Battery 3 Pop Kit 
                :   Copy love_and_truth_popkit_c.kt3 to 
                    rivendell_popkit_c.kt3. Samples could not be found 
                    because the kit was saved with relative sample 
                    paths. Save the kit with absolute paths. 
                :   Now, can I remember how to set up a drum map?
                    Piece of cake (see setup_drum_map_a.png). Sonar
                    remembered the drum map I created, so it was 
                    already in the MIDI output drop-down list. I like
            >   Set up a 16-bar step-sequencer clip. I am shooting for
                a sound similar to Hillsong's Highest. I have a long
                way to go, but I love this Battery 3 Pop Kit! 
        -   Scratch bass track. 
            >   Fender thru Aphex 207D with MicLim via S/PDIF. Add a
                little compression & EQ in the box.

                                    Sunday, October 5, 2008 (12:58PM)
        -   twelve string. I have spent a lot of time playing this 
            song on the 555. Several ideas have come to me on it:
            I don't think the entire song is defined on it, but much
            direction can now be attained. 
            >   Record what I have via the AKG C414B XLII through
                the Aphex 207D via S/PDIF. Use the Reflexion Filter
                on the mic. 
            >   Oops, time to go sailing...very elvish!
                                    Tuesday, October 7, 2008 (7:27PM)
            >   OK, I got the scratch track recorded. But, since it
                does not follow the pattern of the rest of the 
                instruments, I recorded it with no reference. I was
                surprised to find that my ideas on the 555--which I
                had thought were incomplete--fill 7 minutes. I think
                I can finish the road map with the 555. There are 
                changes in meter (4/4 to 6/8) and possibly tempo. 
                                    Sunday, October 12, 2008 (12:12PM)
            >   I've been practicing on the 555. The song shall be
                mostly at a tempo of 175 BPM (faster than the 150
                originally programmed) except for a short legato
                phrase in the middle. I am having to work at being
                able to play this fast with the metronome, so more
                practice is in order. I think this track shall form
                the foundation upon which the rest of the song is
                built, even though it is rhythmic rather than lead
                and harmonic rather than melodic. 
            >   I got another scratch track recorded. During the 
                legato phrase I just tried to ignore the metronome
                and play as felt. It is not a final track, but it
                has some magic in it. I have a strong strumming hand
                these days that has some skill and subtlety, so this
                is a good day to take advantage of it. Yes, I think
                I have found magic.
                                    Sunday, October 19, 2008 (8:30AM)
        -   T5 scratch. I have made sufficient progress on a lead
            guitar line to warrant recording a new scratch. 
            >   T5, pos 4, bass & treb at nominal, volume full. 
                GSP1101 with patch Rivendell_T5_b.gsp1101p, 
                fortunately, the buzz is not present (an electronics
                demon I have been chasing for a couple days).
            >   The song shall end with the T5 playing the melody
                solo. I guess it expresses the loneliness I feel in
                my search for Rivendell. This brings the song to
                7:40--perhaps the longest in my repertoire. Yes,
                with Join My Voice with Heaven at 6:31, this is
                the first to break the 7-minute barrier.
            >   By the way, I am exceedingly excited about the 
                song--especially the second chorus. The part is
                hard to play there, but the energy is overwhelming.
                I have not felt like this since Rain & Wind. 
                                    Friday, October 31, 2008 (1:41PM)
        -   Bass scratch. I have been fiddling with the bass line for
            a couple weeks now, but have not developed it to the
            point of making it worth recording. Nevertheless, I want
            to record something before I have to tear down the setup.
            >   Setup: Split the bass between two paths via the 
                direct box.
                :   The first path takes the parallel signal through
                    Mission Control (RP20) using the patch,
                    "Wills Killer Bass" with no effects switches 
                    engaged. This is what I use to monitor.
                :   The second path is clean. The DI to the Aphex
                    207D with the MicLim engaged then to S/PDIF.
                    This is not monitored, but it may produce a
                    better sound using VST plug-ins. I would like
                    to try Craig Anderton's technique with the
                    multiband compressor. 
                :   Funny. The two channels are out of phase, and
                    the effected one is delayed by about 160 samples,
                    or 3.6 ms (see bass__phase_a.png). Better watch out
                    if I try to combine them in mix-down! 
                                    Monday, November 3, 2008 (7:09PM)
            >   I am sort of stuck and don't know what to do next. 
                I don't like what I am hearing, and I am not sure
                how to fix it. I could try a drum scratch, or, perhaps,
                rerecord the T5 and bass and get them coordinated with
                each other and, especially, with the 12-string. I
                think that is the approach I shall take. 
                                    Wednesday, November 5, 2008 (8:07PM)
                :   Got another T5 scratch in--enough to lob the ball
                    back into the bass' court. This is the "ninety-five
                    percent perspiration" phase of arranging. 
                                    Friday, November 14, 2008 (8:17PM)
                :   Got another round on the bass. I like the way this
                    is working. Challenging riff from 2:03-2:50 since
                    I made a hole for the bass on the T5. I noticed
                    that Mission Control does something for the picking
                    technique that is not easily duplicated elsewhere.
                    It might be the tube and/or the compressor.
                    #   I believe the dual-input was the way to go.
                        It results in a fuller low end with all the
                        high-end magic offered by Mission Control.
                                Saturday, November 15, 2008 (10:26AM)
        -   Drums scratch.
            >   I lost the P-120 with the labeled keys. Time to label
                the Yamaha MM8. By the way, the labeler is the 
                Brother PT1400. I have gotten a lot of mileage out of
                it and love it. Use 1-inch Flexible ID Tape (TZ-FX251)
                for cables and 3/8-inch laminated (TZ-221) for the
                piano keys. 
                :   Of course, the last label to place is the most
                    important: Cow Bell! 2.5 hours labor.
                :   Got a quick groove slammed in. It rides the toms
                    during the first verses and is inspired by that in
                    HillSong's "Highest" (a fine expression of
                :   The slow melody that inspires the song is lost
                    in the instrumentation after the first verse.
                    Introduce a quick organ to carry it. Use the
                    Yamaha MM8 patch "040 Rock Organ".
            >   9:30PM. 6.5 hours of work on the drum scratch, and 
                I am half way through the song...95% perspiration...
                                    Sunday, November 16, 2008 (1:31PM)
                :   I tried the Craig Anderton multiband compressor
                    on the bass scratch. I dropped the filter crossover
                    and the threshold on the lowest band a bit, and 
                    I like it. The lower band keeps it tight and punchy
                    while leaving the nice transient tube-effected 
                    frequencies alone. Hmmm...may have stumbled onto
                    something here. 
            >   Timing issues with the scratch tracks are really
                interfering with the arranging process. I intend to
                retrack them (555, bass, vocal), but the first one I
                track will be thrown off by the timing of the others.
                In the best scenario, I can correct the timing so that
                tracking has a good reference. Check out AudioSnap. 
                :   Try the 555 on the groove in the Rock section.
                    Not bad. I had to section off the smallest 
                    repeating groove since some got slaughtered.
                    Then a little fiddling with the threshold to
                    avoid some artifacts. It sounds rather nice when
                    soloed with the drums (the true timing reference
                    now that I have a part). See quantize_555_a.png.
                    Unfortunately, Sonar won't let me convert this 
                    clip into a groove. Read help (last resort, as
                :   Somehow I messed it up. Discard file, restore
                    backup, and start again. I got the impression that
                    I cannot convert an AudioSnap clip to a groove, 
                    that I must convert the unaffected clip to a
                    groove with the groove tool. But its interface
                    was awful--it slaughtered the timing, and I could
                    not figure out how to fix it. 
                :   Another failed attempt working with the loop
                    construction window. The first beat is late, and
                    I cannot seem to delete it from the groove. Also,
                    even though I detect transients, the audio is not
                    stretched--the timing errors remain. AudioSnap
                    did the job correctly, but I cannot enable 
                    groove looping on the clip. 
                :   See quantize_555_b.png. The purple marker has been
                    misinterpreted (it should fall on beat 3 but has
                    been quantized to 3-and). Right-click, disable the 
                    marker, and the problem usually disappears. 
                    Alternatively, hover the mouse over the stem until 
                    it highlights, then move the marker to stretch the 
                    audio. So the entire clip can be AudioSnapped, 
                    quantized, and errors fixed fairly quickly. That is, 
                    forget looping. 
                :   The bass snapped in immediately with a threshold
                    of 91%. But I really should have been more careful
                    about timing when tracking the scratches.
                :   More tedious work on the 555 snap. 
                :   The whole thing feels like a cacophony. Walk away
                    for a while. 
                                    Tuesday, November 18, 2008 (6:08PM)
                :   OK, let's come back to it now. 
                    #   Listen. I like everything up to 2:15 where
                        the timing issues show up (I have no AudioSnap
                        treatment until about 4:00). I like the tom
                        line on verse 5. Something falls apart in
                        the grand finale (chorus 2-4). 
                    #   Save rivendell.cwp.~2008-11-16-20-18-00-547
                        for easy retrieval since I am about to 
                        slaughter the file.
                :   The first trouble is during the lyrics. 
                    Tackle it!  The 555 lags the beat by 15%--rather
                    glaring. How did that happen? Split the clip, 
                    Grab it, and slide it over. That worked well.
                    Disable AudioSnap on the following clips and slide
                    them also. A small handful of edits like this,
                    and the 555 is lined up. Why did I get so
                    confused?  It was a long, hard weekend with 12.5
                    hours invested in the drums (not to mention the
                    2.5 hours labeling keys). Clearly, this song is
                    going to a level I have never been at since a
                    drum part is typically done in 10 hours. I was
                    in uncharted territory and weary. 
                :   Print the entire help topic on AudioSnap and read
                    it offline. 22 pages. No more swinging in the dark!
                :   The bass is no longer the problem in the grand
                    finale. It matches the metronome. The problem is 
                    the drums. Clone the drum track, mute the copy,
                    and pare the part down to the essentials. Now
                    write the bass drum line alone, then add one
                    element at a time while looping to check for
                :   I like the song again! This is rock like I've
                    never done rock before. Better quit for the night
                    while I'm ahead. 

                                Wednesday, November 19, 2008 (7:00PM)
+   Track 

    *   Bass. 
        -   Now that I have a serious drum scratch, the bass feels
            much more defined. I feel what I am supposed to play,
            and it feels and sounds invigorating. The blood, sweat,
            and tears was worth it. I filed my fingernails (partly
            because I broke one), and I have callouses, and I am
            ready for business on the bass like I have not been in
            years. Truly, this instrument is in the driver's seat!
        -   Well, I am all ready to track, and the metronome does not
            work in recording mode! But it works during playback! 
            The problem disappears if I am not punching in. So I can
            still make multiple takes and slip-edit the clips later.
            Wrong, it happens without punch also. Stop-start Sonar.
            Worked once & failed. Very frustrating! 
            >   Clone the drum track and write a metronome part, 
                freeze it. Phooey! That requires a seperate drum kit.
            >   Route the metronome bus to output 3/4, to the mixer, 
                back to input 3/4, to an input, and record the audio. 
                For some reason, recording one stereo channel allows the 
                metronome to work. Now I can really measure the latency! 
                Hmmmm...about 20% of a beat...sound familiar? At 175 BPM 
                this is 70 ms...not the audio card. Wait...that was 
                while recording. The waveform suddenly lined up after it 
                stopped recording. OK, more questions than answers. 
                Somebody shut the engineer up and go get the bass 
        -   OK, I thought I was ready to track. But I need to relearn
            some parts, unlearn others, and invent some more. Man,
            I am working my TAIL off on this song! And, of course,
            in the middle of it, I got hit with an explosion of
            inspiration for The Eyes of a Child--notes came in a dream
            Monday morning, and the dam burst. I can't keep up. Lord,
            if you want me to develop what's in my heart, I need you
            to help me find the time. 
                                Thursday, November 20, 2008 (10:02AM)
            >   Export rivendell_practice_bass_d.mp3 to play along
                with throughout the day. 
                :   A couple run-through's and I am feeling the
                    thrill. Unfortunately, though, I am getting
                    close to blister territory on the picking
            >   Well, I would like to track, but my fingers hurt too
                badly. They aren't blistered, but perhaps bruised.
                Play with a pick to at least solidify the part.
        -   6PM. A couple ibuprophen, a little endorphine 
            (treadmill), and some ice on the finger 
            paraphrase Peter Jackson, "pain is temporary; music is 
            forever." I am going for it.
            >   6:30PM Layer 3 is a SSSSMOKIN' take...and I have 
                fingertips left (at least not enough pain to quit).
            >   Layer 4 is also great. 
                I believe we have a bass line.
                                    Friday, November 21, 2008 (3:20PM)
            >   Render seeking_rivendell_scratch_a.mp3
                                Saturday, November 22, 2008 (2:50PM)
        -   Comp & process the bass line
                    from            to
                    001             111     take 4
                    011             113     take 3
                    013             end     take 4
            >   This presents a challenge: the bass resides on two
                tracks, and they are out of phase. I could use 
                AudioSnap to fix the timing on take 3 at 111, but
                how do I apply that to the other track? 
            >   See bass_process_a.png. I set the DI channel to
                provide the low frequencies with the multiband
                compressor and the Mission Control channel to
                provide everything above 500 Hz. The DI channel is
                inverted, and the MC channel is delayed 3.5 ms.
                It sounds good, but I don't know if it is worth the 
                extra work. I will have to check back. Actually,
                I think I get very close to the same quality by
                simply applying the multiband to the MC channel with
                active compression only applied to the low band
                (other bands are simply EQ). 
            >   I am not happy with the solo (97-121). It is sloppy.
                Truth be told, I really did not have it down and
                assumed I could pull something worthwhile off in a
                couple takes. Bugger! Well, fortunately, I left
                everything set up without touching any knobs or faders,
                and, beyond that, my fingers did not blister and can
                stand another go at it. Got it--a half dozen 
                run-throughs and one take.
            >   OK, now I really believe we have a bass line. And I
                am quite happy with the MC channel with the multiband.
                Mission Control was set on the patch 
                "Wills Killer Bass" with volume full, balanced line to
                mixer, no other modifications. The bass had the mid
                boost in with bass & treble both at 7:00 (slight boost)
                and pickup pan at 4:00 (mostly bridge with some
                neck pickup mixed in), volume full. And, as can be
                heard, I played with fingers for most of the song
                but switch to the pick for the middle jam.
                See bass_process_b.png (notice DI channel is muted,
                and EQ is not active). 
                Render seeking_rivendell_scratch_b.mp3
                Archive and hide the DI bass track.

                                    Sunday, November 23, 2008 (3:00PM)
    *   T5
        -   Half-dozen run throughs. New ideas after drums & bass.
            Fingers work, but magic not there yet. 
                                Thursday, November 27, 2008 (11:05AM)
        -   Add some drum and bass edits.
            >   The first three layers of the bass tracks are not used.
                Discard them. They can be recovered from
                seeking_rivendell_scratch_b.cwp if needed.
            >   Try tightening up the bass' timing in B1 (97-113).
                I have now read the AudioSnap help and know enough to
                really ruin the thing. 
                :   Revert to rivendell.cwp.~2008-11-27-11-11-29-406
                    if trouble happens. 
                :   Split the bass clip to isolate the section.
                :   Freeze drums, and enable AudioSnap on the bass clip.
                :   Set sensitivity to half note. Visually inspect
                    all marker. Had to move one to the true transient.
                    Ensure they are all close to beat 1 or 3 (half-note
                :   Quantize to half-note resolution.
                    See quantize_bass_a.png. Very nice! No more hassle.
                    However, A-B listening with drums only shows that
                    the bass was not really that far off. AudioSnap 
                    helped, but the main problem is the 555. 
            >   The 555 is ahead of the beat in this section. No
                AudioSnap. Isolate the section with clip splits,
                and nudge in loop until visual and aural timing is
            >   Continue checking bass against drums. 
                :   First half of song is now flawless. 
                :   Some significant timing issues show up in the last
                    chorus. Out of time, have to go.
                                    Friday, November 28, 2008 (7:19AM)
                    Actually, when I turn the metronome on, they no
                    longer seem significant. The drum part does not
                    keep a steady beat here, and that gave the illusion
                    of timing errors. 
                    #   Wait! I found one within chorus 3; this one 
                        sounds pretty sloppy. Isolate with clip splits. 
                        The sensitivity slider does a poor job at 
                        enabling markers--too many disappear. It seems 
                        the idea is to use the sensitivity and threshold 
                        sliders to get as close as possible to the 
                        markers I want to use, and then enable and 
                        disable manually. Threshold = 91% is a start. 
                        See quantize_bass_b.png. The markers with the 
                        square heads have been manually "promoted."
                        Quantize to eighth notes. Sounds excellent!
                        I am finally functional with AudioSnap!
                    #   The third beat of chorus 4 was missed, and it
                        is important. Steal a copy from chorus 3.
                        See quantize_bass_c.png. Note that automatic
                        crossfades is enables (button on track window
                    #   The fourth chorus sounds moderately sloppy
                        (see quantize_bass_d.png). Quantize to eighths.
                        One of the markers went the wrong way, so I 
                        had to drag it to the proper location. But,
                        other than that, it was a snap, and it sounds
                        definitely better. That completes the bass
                        line, and the boys are awake. 
                        Time for WAFFLES! 
                                    Saturday, November 29, 2008 (3:58PM)
        -   Just spent an hour and a half creating the T5 part
            for the B1 section. The challenge was complementing the
            bass solo without upstaging it. I even managed to reinforce
            what the 555 was doing there. Very happy with it. 
            >   I think I am having trouble progressing with the T5
                because something is missing: a keyboard. I feel it
                most acutely in the grand finale. 
                :   Here is a handy setup. See route_keyboard_a.png.
                    I am using the sound of the Yamaha MM8
                    (040 Rock Organ). With the routing shown, I can
                    work in the roll window just like a soft synth,
                    even auditioning the part with the scrub tool.
                    MIDI notes are sent out the port to the synth,
                    and the sound returns at the audio input.
                :   The one thing I dislike about this patch is its
                    ignorance of velocity, which I would like to use
                    to add a little dimension to the part. Try some
                    other sounds in the MM8's "keyboard/organ" 
                                024 Clean
                                041 1967 Keys
                                043 Compact
                    For now, I think "024 Clean" offers the best
                    combination of sound and flexibility. Hard 
                    velocities on low notes accentuate the fundamental.
                    On high notes they bring a shrill that cuts through
                    the mix. By the way, the number is that within the
                    category. The absolute voice number is the category
                    number plus 16 (so prime path is voice #39).
                                    Sunday, November 30, 2008 (9:29AM)
                :   In the cold light of morning, I am having second
                    thoughts about the organ. I begin to wonder if
                    I want strings of some sort. Also, the T5 line
                    has some fast riffs that are challenging my 
                    fingers. These issues bring tension to the project
                    as I am tempted to move faster than I probably
                    should. And yet I think this song is progressing
                    slower or, should I say, taking more work than
                    anything I have done to date. Curious...check
                    the log. Sure enough:
                                    Production Hours to Date: 56
                    I think my record is 50 hours. Am I getting more
                    discriminating as a producer? Or is this song
                    particularly demanding? Am I thinking too hard
                    about it? Not sure. But I just listened to the
                    second half with chills all over my body, so I
                    think I am still on the right path. 
                :   OK, how do I move forward? I now have enough
                    keyboard to provide the proper ambience on the T5 
                    in the grand finale, but I do not have enough T5
                    to write the entire keyboard line. Phooey about
                    that wimpy strings stuff--this is a ROCK song! 
                    Move the keyboard over, plug both in at the same
                    time, and get notes on both. See 
                    dual_scratching.jpg. Besides, it is a perfect
                    day to dive into this stuff. See 
                    backyardinwinter.jpg. Route the MM8 thru a DI box
                    and the Aphex to separate from the T5. Go with
                    patch "024 Clean".
                :   3:29 PM. I now have a decent scratch T5 with a
                    decent printed organ track. Project folder is 1.9Gb.
                    Render seeking_rivendell_scratch_c.mp3.
                    Long day...95%
                                    Saturday, December 13, 2008 (3:27PM)
        -   I need some variation between the two similar sections
            A1 (bar 57-73) and A2 (bar 295-316). I just spent an hour
            loooping A1 over and over finding a simpler yet expressive
            sequence. Unfortunately, I simply have not had much time
            lately to devote to it, but I could feel the writing
            and arranging happening in my head while I went and did
            other things. Also, my left index finger hurt and needed
            2-3 days to rest. But it is strong now! 
            >   Capture ideas in track 27, "T5 scratch E".
            >   Another sequence for the great climax at 234-240.
            >   Nail down the super-sequence, A2, at the end. 
            >   At this point, every note has been defined. Now I
                just need to practice. It is a very challenging part.
                                Sunday, December 14, 2008 (11:45AM)
        -   Track the T5?
            >   After a couple run-throughs I think I am ready to
                track, but I am not sure. Do I have the mastery of
                the part to add the nuances I want?  Should I practice
                more?  Will I compromise the inspiration if I work
                it too hard? Reboot, go eat lunch, pay the bills,
                and...hmmmm...GO FOR IT!!!
            >   Setup:
                :   T5. Switch position 4 (both PU's parallel, if 
                    I recall).
                :   The Starship Bridge (Digitech GSP1101). 
                    Patch RivendellT5d.gsp1101p (added delay and
                    reverb to foot switches so I can record dry).
                    Turn delay and reverb off, set volume to full.
                :   Through mixer main left (mono). 
                :   Sonar: set up a track with input-echo on but no 
                    output buss (I don't want the dry sound going 
                    through the audio engine). Insert and aux send
                    to create enough delay to maintain inspiration.
                    Route a little of the channel and the delay into
                    the existing reverb for now. 
                :   Annoyance: the buzz showed up after lunch. It
                    disappears when I touch the jack or the pickup
                    but not the strings. After some internet research I 
                    learned the T5 later received a string ground in the 
                    design to fight it. Taylor sent me one, and I need 
                    to install it now. Remove back: It already has one.
                    Huh? The string ground leads to a fuse that 
                    measures an open circuit across it; I think this
                    is the low-current fuse that protects the player
                    from shock (mic to lips to hand to strings to 
                    jack to shield to ground). It is soldered in, and I 
                    don't have a replacement and don't want to mess with 
                    #   Plan B: a static bracelet connected to the
                        jack. Radio Shack, $12.
                    #   5PM. The bracelet has a 1-M resistor in line
                        and does not work. Bypass the resistor.
                        IT WORKS!!!  See anti_buzz_bracelet.jpg. 
                        The bottome end of the lead is connected to
                        the jack.
            >   Got a take in, but I am relying on more takes to 
                polish up the hard parts. 
            >   The setup leaves something to be desired! If I want 
                to hear a previous take while punching in, I have
                to route the track to the master bus. But then I
                have two versions of the dry sound if I leave input
                echo on, and the balance is out of whack. If I turn
                it off, then I don't hear myself. 
                :   Idea: set up a dummy track just to route my
                    input to the effects. This track will not record
                    but will leave echo on. The recording track will
                    have it off. See t5_dummy_track_a.png.
                :   Another problem: I cannot get Sonar to overwrite
                    or mute only the last layer--it mutes or overwrites
                    all previous layers. I guess I should decide what 
                    section to record, and forget about hearing the
                    previous take. See mult_layer_punch_a.png.
            >   Well, I thought I defined every note, but there was
                a hole at 203-210 (the eerie bends coming off the 
                hyperspeed triplets in the superjam). Work it to death.
                Iron a shirt to rest. 7:30 My playing feels completely
                uninspired and full of mistakes. 
            >   8PM I managed to squeeze a second layer together. But
                I now find myself battling a loss of confidence--the
                notion that I just can't play guitar worth beans.
                I don't seriously believe it, but it is affecting 
                the way I play. There is something about the 
                crucible of tracking that exposes every little gap
                or flaw that rehearsal simply glosses over. And yet
                some of these flaws did not show up until now.
                Perhaps I have overworked, having erred when I failed
                to define that one sequence. 
            >   8:35 See t5_takes_a.png. I have three basic takes
                with a couple extra layers for good measure. The
                last had the inspiration--I don't where it came from,
                but I can guess (thanks!). OK, I am satisfied that 
                I can comp a good part out of these layers. What
                a day! Time for bed.
                                    Tuesday, December 16, 2008 (3:54PM)
        -   Build composite track. 
            >   Method: Split clips and copy them into a blank layer
                that holds the final piece. Enable automatic crossfades
                with "slow out/fast in".
            >   Select the comped layer, bounce to clip, clone the 
                track, archive the original track, delete the raw
                clips out of the new track. Now Sonar will read the
                T5 part from one continuous wav file and will ignore
                the dozen others.
            >   Add and build a track volume envelope.
            >   Render seeking_rivendell_scratch_d.mp3
            >   Oops. It just occurred to me that when I bounced
                the comp layer to clip I overwrote the individual
                clips. They were only copies, but now I cannot go
                back and see which clips were used for which sections.
                If I decide to do an edit, I will have to rebuild
                the comp layer. And I have some edit ideas already.
                Fortunately, the split points have been saved, so
                it should not be too hard. Or, I wonder...can I get
                the clips from a backup? Yes, the sequence 
                is...phooey, open the backup, copy the clips, paste
                them into the track, etc...
                                Wednesday, December 17, 2008 (7:41PM)
        -   A couple more edits on the T5; a little more automation
            on the 555 and bass; a little more general mixing. 
            >   Render seeking_rivendell_scratch_e.mp3. Also, I love
                playing this song. Make a practice track for playing
                the T5. 
            >   At this point, I have some decisions to make: how
                hard do I want to work on other tracks? Drums?
                Organ? Vocal? 555?  The song seems to be really
                coming together...or am I just sick & tired of
                working on it?  The effort is now at 74 hours.

    *   I don't think I need to bother tracking the 555 or the vocal.
        The scratch tracks are working quite well. On the contrary,
        move on to fine-tuning.

+   Fine-tune the arrangement.

    *   Drums. 
        -   Well, I pulled the keyboard over, unfreezed the synth,
            opened everything up, and now I can't find any holes 
            to fill. Wait...there is some motion the drums can add
            around 219. That's about it.
        -   Freeze synth, listen in dim-solo mode for any anomolies.
        -   Adjust levels. I am driving the bus compressor and
            limiter too hard. Oops, not so easy: I have automated
            faders. Now, how do I shift an envelope again? Ah,
            envelope offset mode (automation tool bar).
            Phooey! Forget all that. Reverse the order: set the
            limiter before the compressor. No, then I can get
            digital overload since the compressor can actually add
            level (saw one peak at +0.9 db). Raise the compressor's
            threshold a bit so it is running at about 3-db reduction.
            The +3-db peaks are OK since they cannot clip (64-bit math).
            I think the objectionable sound came from driving the
            limiter too hard. Back off on the "boost." Better.
            See buss_compression_a.png.
        -   The 555 has a fingerstyle part in V4 that needs a 5-db 
            boost, but it overlaps with the last strummed note
            before it. The "proper" technique would be to create
            a separate track since it really is a separate part.
            Instead, I found a nice trick: use a clip envelope to
            give the boost. That way, the strummed note (from the
            preceding clip) is unaffected. See clip_envelope.png.

                                    Friday, December 19, 2008 (10:06AM)
+   Mix.
    *   Mix A. 
        -   Very happy with mix on the Behringer Truth 2031A's with
            subwoofer included.
        -   M-Audio DX4's. Very nice. Toms in V5 are a little sharp
            but not worth editing at this point.
        -   Cheap PC speakers with subwoofer. Good. The sharp toms
            are not evident here. The soaring high note of the T5
            fails to resonate in these as it does elsewhere; these
            are basically high tweeters with a low woofer, and
            nothing to cover the mids. But the mix works.
        -   PA system in mono. 
            >   Calibrate with Phil Keaggy's "Beyond This Day". Drop 
                upper mids (3k) slightly. 
            >   555 a bit brittle. Toms not sharp. Do I have enough
                effects on vocal and T5? Mono might do that; yes, it
                has that effect on the 2031A'a. Don't change. 
        -   Render seeking_rivendell_mix_a.wav & burn to CD.
            >   Trim ends in Audacity. 
                Export seeking_rivendell_mix_a.wav
                Export seeking_rivendell_mix_a.mp3 at 192kbps
            >   Mute T5 & vocal, and 
                render seeking_rivendell_backtrack_a.mp3
                                Saturday, December 20, 2008 (11:56AM)
        -   It sounds good in the car and the living room. 
    *   Mix B.
        -   Tweaks.
            >   Wait. I had an idea yesterday: tweak the delay on the
                T5 so that the dry sound is panned right, a 
                quarter-note delay appears in the center, and the 
                half-note delay appears to the left, and the average
                energy is centered. Not as easy as I thought. I had
                to study the Sonitus Delay help files--especially 
                the listen mode and mix controls. Then I needed to
                set up two of these in series. See t5_delays.png.
            >   More reverb on the dry T5 signal.
            >   I don't want the bass coming in so early. Boost the
                555 in V1 by 2.0 db.
            >   Wasn't that too easy? After so much toil on arranging
                and tracking, could I really just get the mix right
                in a couple hours?  Perhaps I do more "mixing" than
                I realize while I am "arranging" and "tracking".
                After all, I recall being unable to do either without
                a suitable ambience on which to build. 
            >   Automate the T5 delay send to drop 8db it at the end. 
                It sounds a bit tacky without the rest of the band.
        -   Capture seeking_rivendell_mix_b_console.png
            and seeking_rivendell_mix_b_tracks.png
        -   Process as before:
                seeking_rivendell_mix_b.mp3 at 192kbps
                seeking_rivendell_backtrack_b.mp3 at 160kbps
                                        production hours to date: 78.0

                                    Tuesday, December 23, 2008 (1:59PM)
+   Almost forgot: I have had it in mind to place a background vocal
    part toward the end singing one of the elvish hymns. 

    *   Sources:

    *   I struggle with this a bit, though. The hymns are generally
        sung to Elbereth (Varda, one of the Valar, basically an
        "archangel"), and I wish to avoid, as much as possible,
        the worship of angels since "there is one God and one mediator 
        between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim 2:5). I don't
        mind Tolkein's theology of middle earth, since it is
        fantasy, but I sing here of things very real to my heart and
        life and must therefore choose my "points of applicability"
        carefully. Varda's stars are a special metaphor for me, for
        they represent the things I see when given eternal eyes, as
        Sam got when, from Mordor, he saw a star:
            "There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high 
            up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a 
            while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out 
            of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a 
            shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the 
            end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was 
            light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach."
                                            LOTR, The Land of Shadow
        Indeed, having gazed on some through a telescope that I built
        with my own hands, I too have been "smote" by their beauty.

    *   Next is the issue of pronunciation. I have read the guide in
        Lord of the Rings: Appendix E twice, but I don't have it 

    *   It is a shame that one the hymns (or a portion of one, that is)
        is not given in elvish, for it appeals to me:
            "We still remember, we who dwell
            In this far land beneath the trees
            The starlight on the western seas."
                                            LOTR, The Grey Havens

    *   Another thought is, just sing Ah's. After all, I have no
        idea what the harmonies are or even whether I can make anything
        actually enhance the song.

                                Thursday, December 25, 2008 (9:05AM)
    *   Take another quick stab at it. 
        -   The passages under consideration are,
                        [The version Frodo hears in Rivendell]
                A Elbereth Gilthoniel,
                    (O Elbereth Starkindler,)
                silivren penna míriel,
                    (white-glittering, slanting down 
                    sparkling like a jewel,)
                o menel aglar elenath!
                    (the glory of the starry host!)
                Na-chaered palan-díriel
                    (Having gazed far away)
                o galadhremmin ennorath,
                    (from the tree-woven lands of Middle-earth,)
                Fanuilos, le linnathon,
                    (to thee, Everwhite, I will sing,)
                nef aear, sí nef aearon!
                    (on this side of the Sea, 
                    here on this side of the Ocean!)
                        [The version Sam "sings in tongues"
                        in Cirith Ungol]
                A Elbereth Gilthoniel
                    (O Elbereth Star-kindler,)
                o menel palan-díriel,
                    (from heaven gazing afar,)
                le nallon sí di'-nguruthos!
                    (to thee I cry now beneath the shadow of death!)
                A tíro nin, Fanuilos!
                    (O look towards me, Everwhite!)
                        [The version sung by the elves on the way
                        to the Grey Havens]
                A! Elbereth Gilthoniel!
                    (O! Elbereth Starkindler,)
                silivren penna míriel
                    (white-glittering, slanting down 
                    sparkling like a jewel,)
                o menel aglar elenath,
                    (the glory of the starry host)
                Gilthoniel, A! Elbereth!
                    (Starkindler, O! Elbereth!)
                We still remember, we who dwell
                In this far land beneath the trees
                The starlight on the western seas.

        -   I sang two harmonies, the second centered around A-440.
            But the third, a third higher, is beyond my reach. Even
            with falsetto, I don't have enough breath or tone. Is
            that just a function of the day? Furthermore, even on the
            lower parts, my breath will not last through a full chorus,
            and I don't like the effect of the breaths. Perhaps here
            I shall make the elves, instead of deathless, breathless!
            No, double the track, and stagger the breaths. 
            >   OK, I have four parts: A solo melody sings the hymn
                until the chorus where three other parts join for 
                the Ah's. One part joints in the first chorus (C2),
                a third joins in unison with the second for the
                second (C3), and the highest only sings the last (C3).
                They are rough scratch tracks, but I am satisfied that I 
                have written the part. My voice was quite clear when I
                started, and that was good because it captured something
                I liked and guided the part. Now to reproduce it
                under proper recording conditions (I currently just
                hold the Beta 87 at the desk and accept whatever I
            >   The portion of hymn I selected is,
                        silivren penna míriel,
                        o menel aglar elenath!
                        Na-chaered palan-díriel
                        o galadhremmin ennorath,

                                    Friday, December 26, 2008 (5:21PM)
    *   Get 'er dun.
        -   I have studied the pronunciation key in depth and believe
            I know how to do it now. But the key for "ch" is ambiguous;
            it uses "bach" as an example. The dictionary pronounces it
            as "batch," but the key says "ch" does not use the
            pronunciation as in "church," and "c" is used for "k"
            sounds. However, I did a google on "how to pronounce 
            na-chaered" and found a great resource:
            This is J.R.R. Tolkien, himself, reading the hymn. 
        -   I believe I have the parts recorded, but the ah's are,
            well, suboptimal. My falsetto just plain stinks. 
            Time to try V-Vocal to maintain pitch. Not bad; this
            technique works well for ah's. 
        -   Process as before:
                seeking_rivendell_mix_c.mp3 at 192kbps
                seeking_rivendell_backtrack_c.mp3 at 160kbps
        -   Screen shots:
                                        production hours to date: 84.0

                                    Thursday, January 1, 2009 (1:36PM)
+   Summary

    *   lyrics:
            there's a city
            where none can tell
            when I find her
            I will find myself
            by the water
            where wisdom dwells
            and I'll be singing
            in Rivendell
            silivren penna míriel
            o menel aglar elenath
            Na-chaered palan-díriel
            o galadhremmin ennorath

    *   Clean-up.
        -   The project folder is 2.6Gb--far too big to leave as it.
            But I don't really have an archiving system. OK, here
            is an idea: create a directory "archive" on the CD drive
            and the external drive (music resides on the S: drive),
            and always have one copy on each. That way the S: drive
            is maintained, and I can purchase another drive later.
        -   Delete all clips and tracks not used in the present
            mix (Mix C). 
            >   Leave the composite T5 clips, but delete originals.
                No, leave the rendered composite only.
            >   Delete the metronome audio, but leave the track;
                I can rebuild it.
        -   Close, reopen Sonar. Delete all audio not listed under
            File|Project Audio Files...  Close, reopen the project
            to verify that nothing is missing. Listen. OK.
        -   At this point, only the archived folders can open the
            previous mix versions (e.g., seeking_rivendell_mix_c.cwp)
            if any old data is needed. 
        -   The project folder is now 631 Mb. Much better.

                                    Sunday, January 18, 2009 (11:42AM)
+   Mix D. 
    Rob rightly suggested a deeper reverb for the Sindarin lead
    line, and I have thought the delay was usually too low for 
    the T5.

    *   Sindarin Lead. 
        -   It is submixed with the background vocals, and I think
            it may be time to separate it. Naaahhh. Just add its
            own send to a new reverb. I want to replicate Elrond's
            Hall of Fire. 
            >   Try PerfectSpace convolution reverb. I had to search
                manuals to find out where the impulse responses were:
                C:\Program Files\Cakewalk\Vstplugins\Perfect Space\
                Here is a great one: 
                    ...\Real Spaces\Large Sanctuary
                    \Sanctuary - XY Far Rear Center.wav
            >   But I would like to see what's out there. Google
                "impulse response stone cathedral". No luck. Tried 
                others. Altiverb offers their authorized users some
                great-looking files, but that is it. But the
                sanctuary that came with PerfectSpace sounds great
                                    Monday, January 19, 2009 (11:10AM)
        -   Move the convolution reverb to the Sindarin bus so that
            all Sindarin vocals are in it. Remove the sends to the
            delay and other reverb. See hall_of_fire_reverb.png.

    *   T5 delay.
        -   Now that there are no other sources to the delay,
            I can increase it at the bus fader, since the channel
            send is automated. 
        -   Delay fader is currently at -3.7db. Increased to +0.2.
        -   Add low-pass and high-pass filter to T5. Compensate for
            the volume loss with trim control +2.0db. 

    *   I recently bought Native Instruments' B4-II (an emulator of
        the Hammond B3), and I am tempted to fiddle with it, though
        I know an organ sound and the line played are heavily
        -   I read the manual. Again, I am really impressed with
            a Native Instruments product (the former being Battery 3).
            I am sure I want to switch to this now, but it will take 
            some time. 
        -   Presets of interest: 
                10      Captain Phlanger
                18      Woodstock (Variation)
                41      A Whiter Shade...
            I think #18 comes closest to what I want and responds
            best to the existing data, though I tweaked the rotor
            speeds, accelerations, and spreads, decreased the mic
            distance, turned velocity fully on, increased key click,
            and who knows what else. Saved preset to 
            See hammond_b3_a.png and hammond_b3_b.png.
            Still, I will have to edit some velocities and possibly
            some notes. The audio engine is having trouble staying
            on when editing. I can increase its reliability by
            turning off plug-in effects (reverbs, compressors,
            limiter, etc...), but that is mild hassle. 
        -   Edit a bit.
        -   Automate the rotor speed and brake.
                                    Saturday, January 24, 2009 (4:34PM)
        -   Spend an hour tweaking the organ setup, patch, and EQ.
            >   Save the preset as woodstock_variation_c.b4p.
                See hammond_b3_c.png and hammond_b3_d.png.
            >   The organ is shrill in the HD280s. Add a 3-db
                dip at 1800Hz at the synth audio channel. 

    *   Mix. 
        -   Process as before:
                seeking_rivendell_mix_d.mp3 at 192kbps
                seeking_rivendell_backtrack_d.mp3 at 160kbps
                seeking_rivendell_mix_d_128kbps.mp3 at 128kbps
        -   Screen shots:

                                           Sunday, May 30, 2010 (08:26 AM)
+   "I've put this off for too long." The time has come. Certain elements
    of the song are SCREAMING at me for revision. 

    *   Load the project. Not trivial. After the last PC crashed and got
        rebuilt, the song would not polay properly (the bass line was
        corrupted). But now I have the i7Win7 PC (an intel i7-920 processor with 
        Windows 7, 64-bit OS, 12Gb of RAM) and Sonar 8.5. No more excuses. For 
        some reason it loads and plays fine, but it gives a message that it is 
        calculating transients. The bass track, which includes some AudioSnap 
        editing, may need some tweaking.

    *   Start with the most major structural change: add eight bars
        at verse 4 to give it more time to develop. Use the 414 fingerstyle
        at this point, and crossfade to the 555. Play the 414 in 
        first position (no capo, in D), though the 555 plays in 3rd
        (capo 5th fret in A).
        -   Use insert | Time/Measures. Then slip-edit the clips.
            See insert_time_a.png. The song gains 11 seconds. 
        -   Track the 414.
            >   Setup:
                :   I am trying different strings: D'Addario EXP16
                    Coated phosphor bronze .012-.053
                    These strings are coated BEFORE winding. This seems
                    to make them warmer, but they may deaden quicker
                    than Elixir Nanoweb's because the gunk can work itself 
                    between the windings. But, for now, I like them.
                :   Use the Shure SM81 (which has been begging for the
                    opportunity since I bought it). Run through the
                    Aphex 207D straight to S/PDIF with MicLim on (but
                    never actually triggered). Gain at 3:00 (75%).
                    Position 7 inches from 14th fret.
                    See track_414_a.jpg.
                :   Bass roll-off: On the mic, I prefer the gentler
                    roll-off, but the one on the Aphex 207D sounds slightly
                    better yet.
                :   Solo fingerstyle! Shut down or mask everything that
                    makes any noise. If I remember correctly, the studio
                    gets down to 30 dBA. Oops, chair squeaks. 
            >   This is a surprisingly challenging part to play. The 
                right-hand fingerwork is hard, but it is also hard to
                nail the timing and track going into a meter change.
                As the guitars fade, it is hard to hear the ride cymbal
                that gives the tempo reference.
            >   After eight tries, I think the last two can be blended
                into what I am after. Yep, got it.
                :   Oops, recorded at 16-bit depth. Not serious enough
                    to retrack over.
                :   Odd, Sonar stored two takes in the same WAV file.
                    Interesting. I used a slightly different technique:
                    Place in loop mode and record takes back to back.
                    What I don't like about this is, The file contains a
                    take I am not using--not the most efficient use of
        -   Tweak the 414.
            >   Recreate the patch used for Eyes of a Child. Load the 
                VC-64 Vintage Channel. 
                :   Load patch "Press The Guitar."
                :   Treble is WAY harsh! Drop 7.6k gain down to 4.0 db.
                :   Compression too severe. Raise threshold to get
                    about 2 db gain reduction. Still need to tweak
                    attack and/or decay time. Yep. increase release time
                    to 153 ms.
                :   Save setup as 414_vintage_channel.fxb.
                    See 414_vintage_channel.png
                    I LIKE this sound! 
        -   Render seeking_rivendell_scratch_f.mp3.

    *   Retrack the T5. There are only a small handful of critical spots,
        but I think I can improve on the whole performance with subtle
        -   Reproduce sound. 
            >   Need to calibrate the pedals on the FCB1010.
                Hold SW 1 & 5 while powering up. Oops, this resets all MIDI
                channels transmitting to 1. Reset (CC, expression, and note
                set to channel 2). Much better. Now I can get down to zero
                volume during the swells.
            >   Not real happy with the delay. Tweak.
                See t5_delays_b.png.
                Rather complex. The output of one feeds into the other. 
                Basically, the right tap needed to be louder and the left
                dropped a bit. Remember, I am only monitoring the delay
                as I play and recording dry, but this is more inspiring
                and better reflects where it is headed.
            >   I just discovered: I have only played this song live once:
                On March 7, 2009, for the Peoria Rescue Mission.
                That needs to change.
        -   Begin practicing.
            >   I am in better shape than I hoped. Gamin With The Boys
                really got my fingers moving.
                                                Monday, May 31, 2010 (02:36 PM)
            >   I am having the time of my life working up the T5 part, but
                my fingers can only take so much. Certainly, the decision to
                expand verse 4 was a good one. The T5 line just needed more
                time to develop something that intimate. And it feels
                poignantly intimate. I want to play it over and over, but
                my left index finger is going to bleed! This song works it
                really hard.
                :   Oops, couldn't stop. Now my finger IS bleeding!
                    Nail separated from finger tip. Bummer! Or, perhaps I
                    should admit, I live for these moments! 
                :   New patch, Rivendell T5f.gsp1101p, routes through the
                    external effects (dbx266xl compressor) and patches the
                    volume swells to "Volume Pre FX" so that they do not
                    reduce the send to the compressor. This is an important
                    parameter for verse 4.
                    See Rivendell_T5f_fx.png and Rivendell_T5f_midi.png
                                            Thursday, June 3, 2010 (03:52 PM)
                :   The fingers have healed, and rehearsal is a blast again.
                    My first run-through was the best. 
                                            Sunday, June 13, 2010 (10:35 AM)
        -   Yesterday was the day--I thought. 
            >   Mike brought his camera and helped with all aspects of video.
                :   Upon Mike and Kim's advice I wore a dark-red shirt and 
                    faded blue jeans.
                :   I faced the computer monitor standing as far back as I
                    could get comfortably.
                :   The medusa lamp served as a "Galadriel Light" to the
                    right of the right speaker with the lights spread out as
                    much as possible. This made the T5 look better than I have
                    ever seen it.
                :   Another tall lamp with no shade stood next to the left
                :   The primary camera was near the left speaker about 5-1/2
                    feet high. Mike operated the secondary camera near the 
                    right speaker alternating different angles.
            >   We spent six hours recording four tracks with two video
                cameras. But, for some reason, I never felt 100%. I got
                8.5 hours sleep, but my eyes felt puffy and irritated, and
                I never felt completely awake and could not fully engage
                in the song. I was always struggling to play what I thought
                was needed, but there was no flow.
            >   I just auditioned the four audio tracks. It will require
                13 cuts, and three critical sections are thoroughly 
                unsatisfactory performances. I know the final result will
                not be what I am after. I am going to have to can it and
                do it again. 
            >   What did I learn? 
                :   A second camera is critical. It allows cuts between
                    different takes. Having Mike operate is very helpful as
                    he can find great angles, and the operator motion is a
                    nice compliment to the static primary camera.
                :   If Mike is not available, I need a camera that sends its 
                    image to the PC screen dynamically so I can see what it is 
                :   Mike's choice of lighting and colors was much better than
                    anything I could have done on my own. I am beginning to
                    rely on others' input for my art.
                :   A little internet search reveals, I need a Canon PowerShot
                    that supports RemoteCapture. These range from $500
                    to $1000 on Ouch. 
            >   4PM. I just played two run-throughs that were both better
                than anything I did last night. Yet this morning I felt
                out of it also. It comes and goes? 8PM Another two great
                                            Tuesday, June 15, 2010 (02:22 PM)
        -   Let's try this again. I am feeling great. I set everything up and
            did a run-through with the lights and all, and it felt smooth and
            strong. Mike will be here in a bit.
            >   Got some pics of the setup.
                                            Friday, June 25, 2010 (06:52 PM)
        -   I hardly touched any guitars for a week while the boys were here.
            But they are gone, and the journey now continues. The first
            question is, can I comp a good audio mix from the two-and-a-half
            takes and two patches I have from the video tracking? If not,
            then I need to track just audio until I have the song done,
            then build a mix for video. After a careful inspection, the 
            answer is yes. 
        -   Comp the T5 part for audio--that is, the best aural presentation
            available without regard to video editing. 
                        beg     end    take
                        1       23       1 
                        23      89       2 
                        89      132      1 
                        132     190      2 
                        190     244      2 
                        244     252      3 
                        252     257      1 
                        257     282      3 
                        281     289      2 
                        289     294      1 
                        294     303      2 
                        303     317      1 
                        317     320      3 
                        320     end      1 
            >   Automatic crossfades (fast-fast) fixes a hiccup.
            >   See comp_t5_ver3_a.
                                            Saturday, June 26, 2010 (01:19 PM)
            >   Wait. I missed a feature I really want: strong quarter-note
                modulation (bow-wow-wow-wow-wow) in the first verse. Insert two 
                bars from take 1 into the comp at bar 35-36.
                :   Sonar crashed before saving. Can't kill process, have to
                    reboot. Ouch. Recover from the autosave file. Some work
                    retained. Move on. 

+   Mix

    *   Audio version.
        -   Another crash. Post to forum:
                How do I kill the sonar process (sonarpdr.exe) after a crash? It 
                won't let me do so through the task manager (Win7, 64-bit).  I 
                have to reboot every time, and that is a REAL workflow KILLER!
        -   Tweak while monitoring on M-Audio DX-4's. Caught a segment where 
            the 555 had to be dropped a db. 
        -   Tears. Must be doing something right. 
            >   I did not think I could take a project of this complexity
                across changes in computer, operating system, and Sonar version
                and pick up where I left off. See:
        -   Screen shots:
        -   Oops, the guitar delay lacks something...the half-note tap
            should appear in the left speaker and doesn't. Oops, the mix 
            settings changed. Reset to match those in t5_delays.png.
        -   Bump the main vocal a bit.
         -   Process as before:
                seeking_rivendell_mix_e.mp3 at 192kbps
                seeking_rivendell_mix_e_128kbps.mp3 at 128kbps
            >   Rendering to WAV takes 1.4 minutes. Nice! This PC rocks.
            >   I can hear the degradation at 128kbps. Audiophiles will
                just have to buy the (real) MP3.
        -   Create a backtrack. Simply mute T5 and main vocal.
            >   Use the scratch MP3 preset (see documentation elsewhere).
                    seeking_rivendell_backtrack_e.mp3 at 160kbps
            >   That one is stereo. I also need one with a mono mix in the
                right channel (nothing in the left which is reserved for
                metronome-type information when I use it). Do it quick
                and dirty in Audacity.

                                            Sunday, June 27, 2010 (10:11 AM)
    *   Video version.
        -   How do I go about this? If I use all three takes from the audio
            version, I have six video takes to integrate. A primary task is
            syncing each video with audio. 
            >   I am using Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 9.0. It only
                allows up to four video tracks. So I need to plan the approach
            >   Do I really need track 3?
                :   Can't concentrate. Every time I start the song, I start
                    rockin' out to it and forget what I am doing! Another sign
                    that something is working as it should. There is only one
                    thing on this earth I would trade time like this for, but
                    I will not write here what I mean.
                :   Here is something I don't understand: When I manually sync,
                    the mix audio is delayed about two frames (67 ms) relative
                    to the camera audio. See sync_video_a.png.
                :   Uh-oh. "Vegas Movie Studio Platinum projects support up to 
                    four audio tracks." I have to use one audio track for the 
                    mix. Perhaps I can import video, sync, then delete the audio 
                    track? It does not look like it. Wait! It seemed to work 
                    when I popped up on the track controls area and selected 
                    "delete track". Save for later.
                :   Convert bars to times in compnotes.xls.
                :   I may be able to get all video in at once using "takes".
                    No, I don't think so.
                :   Problem: It won't let me add a fourth video track.
                    Oops, the "text" track is a video track. OK, it worked.
                    See edit_video_a.png. I now have an interface with which
                    I can see all camera angles between takes 1 and 2 
                :   Back to the original question: do I need track 3 video?
                    There are two aspects to the question: (A) can I use
                    video from takes 1 or 2 over the master mix without
                    mixing over again? (B) is the audio performance for
                    takes 1 and 2 so bad that I must use take-3 audio?
                    If the answer to (A) is yes, I don't have to investigate
                    (B). Here are the segments that use take 3 in the 
                    master mix with answers to these questions:
                          segment           (A)                 (B)
                        5:15 - 5:26     Yes. T1 Cam B           N/A
                        5:33 - 6:07     No!                     Yes!
                        6:55 - 6:59     Yes. T2 Cam B           N/A
                    Blast! The second segment has a downward slide in take 3
                    that caught my attention as a critical expression, and it
                    simply isn't present in takes 1 and 2. Lunch time.
            >   Here is the approach: Edit all segments involving takes 1 and 2,
                group them into one or two tracks. This will clear a couple 
                tracks to import take 3 for its segment. 
            >   Synching is actually pretty easy. Use a transient to line
                it up roughly, then nudge a couple frames at a time until
                it looks right (tracks can be shifted in integer multiples
                of one frame, about 33 ms).
            >   Place markers indicating the mix take to help select.
            >   Now, it is a matter of splitting and slip-editing. Done.
                See edit_video_b.png. Back this up as 
                "rivendellvideo - edit takes 1-2.vf" before collapsing into
                one track.
        -   Proceed to integrate take 3 in segment 5:33 - 6:07.
        -   Done. After a marthon 7-hour session, no mixing was needed,
            and all video has been integrated and edited. I think I like

    *   Effects.
        -   Here is what I want: 
            >   Beginning Swells: B&W, very faint. Fade to black before
                verse one starts.
            >   Verse one begins with a dark mask, like a spotlight, and
                brightens to full, in color.
            >   The end gradually applies a darkening mask that fades to
                black at the end.
        -   I have some studying to do.
                                                Monday, June 28, 2010 (02:57 AM)
        -   Can't sleep. I think I know what I want. 
            >   Add track effects to the video track. Include the 
                "Black and White" followed by "Film Effects". Both use keyframe
                animation.  See video_fx_a.png and video_fx_b.png.
            >   Use the "circa 1908" preset for the "Film Effects" during
                the introductory swells. Cut to black.
            >   Add a video track for the mask, which is the aperture
                (the "elliptical transparent to black" version of the 
                "color gradient" media generator.
            >   After the swells, Fade in from a small, dark aperture to
                a full frame while fading from black & white to full color.
            >   Reverse the aperture effect at the end, fade to black, and
                cut to the outro frame.
            >   Amazing how productive I can be at 3AM!

    *   Rendering.
        -   Now to fight with formats, aspect ratios, and all the &^@% that
            goes with video.
            >   stick with NTSC DV (720x480, 29.97fps). The output gets
                truncated to 655x480 (just like with Gamin With The Boys),
                but that is OK since the original video is only 640x480.
            >   Had to fight with title frame. It kept getting cropped so
                the video bleeds around the top and bottom. Use pan & crop
                tool to make it bigger than the output size, and tell it not
                to match size or aspect ratio of output. 
        -   Versions:
            >   YouTube: NTSC DV (720x480, 29.97fps), MPEG-2.
                This should work for DVD also.
                    rivendellvideo_720x480.mpg (344Mb)
            >   A sample for my PDA: 480x320, MPEG-1.
                    rivendellvideo_480x320.mpg (107Mb)
    *   Try burning to DVD.
        -   Create s:\will\songs\willsongs_burn_dvd.msdvd 
            for all willsongs videos. Copy from the Gamin DVD file.
            Add rivendellvideo_720x480.mpg to the set, and burn. 
        -   The DVD works, but the video leads the audio by approximately
            2 frames. I will have to create a new project file and shift
            the audio forward.
            >   2 frames did not cut it. Try 4 more (+6 frames, or 0.2 sec, 
                relative to YouTube version).
            >   Oops, I forgot: the renderer will NOT overwrite an MPG
                file; I have to delete it first. This means the 2-frame
                advance may have not been tested.
            >   The 6-frame advance looks perfect.
            >   The project currently occupies 8.0Gb, 6Gb resides in the
                video project folder.

    *   Upload seeking_rivendell_mix_e.mp3 to soundclick.
        songid = 9333225

Total Production Hours: 119