Sunday, August 14, 2011

Working in Anya-log

Soon, the new Buffy ballad -- "Love You... with a Vengeance" -- will look like a video on YouTube. Right now, it looks like the picture you see above. I know you all have been waiting forever for this new track. (I bet you're all at home right now on this beautiful August Sunday saying to yourself, "Man, where the heck is that new Buffy track? Just kidding...) Well, there are couple of reasons why this song has taken longer to produce than the others. The main reason is probably the fact that I've been working two jobs, but that's pretty boring so I'll talk in more detail about the other ones.

As I mentioned before, I had used a different musician -- a guitarist named Gary -- for "Love You... with a Vengeance," the country Western ballad that sings the praises of your favorite vengeance demon and mine, Anya Jenkins. Gary is a little more old-school than David Bickford, who did the tracks for the last three songs. Whereas David works in digital, Gary works in analog. (Or as I like to say, Anya-log.) With David, we would record music on one piano or keyboard track, possibly adding or splicing an electronic percussion line or different keyboard voice. We would then sit down together while he fiddled with the volume levels, swapped takes, and polished the whole thing up in Pro Tools. This could take hours, but we usually knocked out in the course of a single session. With Gary, on the other hand, things took a little bit longer. First, we recorded the main guitar line. The actual recording took a very short time -- maybe about an hour from start to finish-- but I knew he wanted to bring in a drummer, which would be another session. (For him, it would take more time and energy to find and incorporate an electronic beat than to actually do it with a live drummer.) So we had a session with his drummer Cyrus, which was pretty freakin' cool. (Collaborating one-on-one with an accompanist is awesome, but having a drummer brought in on your behalf really makes you feel like a rockstar!)

After the drum session, I expected Gary to mix the two tracks onto a CD and that would be that. But Gary decided he wanted a fuller sound in some parts of the song. "I think I'll add an organ, a slide guitar, and maybe a bass," he said. Who was I to object? When it comes to music -- especially this project -- I consider myself pretty easy to please. So anything more than the bare minimum is really icing on the cake. Well, we ended up with a pretty amazing sounding song that has SEVEN (count 'em, seven) live instrumental tracks!

Now that I have the tracks, I have to figure out what exactly to do with them. I've got to mix the levels, choose what to keep and what to cut, and before I do any of that stuff I have to actually learn how to use the free audio mixing software I just downloaded off the Internet. So yeah, I've got my work cut out for me. But let me tell you, before I even lay a finger on it, it sounds GOOD!!!

Also, once I mix the audio track, I've got to find a new cameraman, since Andre is leaving tomorrow for a shoot in Puerto Rico. But something may be conspiring on that front even as we speak. I'll let you know the details once I get a clearer picture, so to speak...

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