This blog page will document the process of recording, mixing and making a music clip within a two week period from July 10 – July 24, 2020. The time frame is a challenge from BEMAC Creative Booster Pack Logan, who also provide funding for the video clip, some film gear and a facebook ad to promote this clip. Every day I will post here new details and developments for you to follow. Thank you for joining me along in this journey of the making of a new song.
I wrote ‘Ready To Go’ during the darkest days of lock down on this beaten up old 4 string acoustic guitar.
This instrument brought me so much joy during that time and the song ‘Ready To Go’ came out of it. It is, I hope, a positive, uplifting song that aims to share hope and inspiration to people during the next transitions of our lives after being in such dark and uncertain place.
Thanks to BEMAC Creative Booster Pack Logan for funding the music clip which will be made by Nigel Jones from NKJ Studios. I will be recording and mixing this song myself from my home studio space.
I hope this song brings you as much joy as it brought me.
Please keep checking this page, leave comments and feel free to share this. Make sure you are on my mailing list as only subscribers will get a free download of the MP3. The film clip however, will be available on youtube, facebook and instagram and, of course here. And those, who leave their emails in the sign up form to the right, will get a digital download of the new song (as well as others) when it is ready.
So let us begin…
Recording the 4 stringer! I love this guitar but I needed to make sure I captured the resonating and charming qualities of this instrument. I tried a few different things when recording which I have discussed and demonstrated in this video. The bulk of the song is driven by strumming but there’s also a harmonics part which starts the song, and resonates in and out of parts of the song. Sometimes it almost sounds like a mandolin, but the only guitar you hear on this track is this 4 stringer.
Paint it black!
After recording the guitar, it was on to film clip preparation. We wanted black newspaper to cover a window in the house for one of the shots in the music clip. I won’t say why but you can see for yourself in the final clip 😉
After preparing for the film clip shoot all day, I got straight into recording the cajon on ‘Ready To Go.’ I had 2 cajons to choose from. Which one do you prefer?
Today was another busy day! This morning I put down some guide vocals, painted some more newspapers for a scene in the shoot and then popped out to the shops to look for what to wear in the clip 😉
Following all this, it was time to put down some bass and a guitar harmonics track to add to the vibe of this song.
I am looking forward to the first shoot tomorrow. 🙂
Film clip shoot. Day 1!
We transformed my bedroom/studio space into a film studio.
It was a massive 9 hour day and we we captured some great stuff. We even set off the smoke alarm upstairs from all the smoke we were using. Oops!!..
Nigel Jones is directing and editing this film clip. We make a great team and we made sure we social distanced while working.
Film clip shoot. Day 2!
Today we did a 6.5 km return trip on bikes with all of our gear to the Daisy Hill Quarry to get some shots for the music clip. It was the coldest day we have had in quite some time! And it was so windy! But we are on a tight deadline so so we continued on.
We captured the lovely sunset by the quarry. There were a lot of people and many dogs to dodge in the shots at that time but we got what we needed in the end.
After a big sleep in, there was a lot of cleaning up to do from the film clip shoots the last 2 days. It has been non stop since this project started so took today had a slow start.
For 2 months over lockdown I had laryngitis and voice issues. I did not speak for 2 months! Just before this project began I went to the voice specialist and had a few sessions with the speech pathologist. it was nice to have a window of time to practise some of those exercises in preparation for the final voice take which I need to record in the coming days.
With one week remaining, today I had to crack on with the audio while Nigel Jones continues to edit the music clip. I ran out of time to record both of the cajons together on the weekend to compare that against the individual takes, so I enjoyed doing that this afternoon. After comparing the 3 different cajon takes between the huxley, samba and combined, I am leaning towards the samba.
I added tambourine to the track. I used two different tambourines. One for each speaker 😉 One tambourine was the larger tambourine with a few of the jangly things tied off with a shirt so it would not ring out too much. The other is a mini tambourine which I use on my foot.
I have been using the recording program pro tools for 20 years, but I am not primarily a mixing engineer. I have mixed various things over the years but I usually prefer to work closely with a mixing engineer for my music. For this project, I will be mixing the whole song myself. So I must say, I am a little nervous, but excited to develop some skills.
Today I did some vocal practise, emailed the local paper about the project and watched youtube videos on various pro tools techniques to scrub up on my skills. Nigel Jones is sounding very happy with the filming. I can’t wait to see the first draft after the weekend. Here is Nigel’s website if you would like to check out any of his other work. Click on the logo here.
After doing more vocal practise, I made a short promo video to share on my facebook page to let people know about this project. My facebook page is www.facebook.com/lecialouise if you want to take a look 😉
I tidied up the audio session today by colour co-ordinating and grouping everything. I have not gotten deep into the mix yet but I prepared a few things as well as did some edits such as cross fades and removing unwanted sounds etc.
After vocal steaming and warm up exercises, I recorded some vocals and began preparing the session a little more for mixing. I have been doing various things such as setting up auxiliary sends for effects, making subgroups for instruments, crossfading, and other bits and pieces.
Today was a very full day. I am a little run down but still excited about the project. I started the day with steaming and vocal warm ups. I recorded another few takes of the lead vocal to compare them to yesterdays session. I ended up using yesterdays session, so I continued comping together my favourite vocal takes.
After this I had a good chat with a couple of mixing engineer friends of mine for advice on mixing. Thank you Nyssa Ray and Rick Hollis. I continued working on the session and did some more crossfades and experimented with the reverbs and compressors.
Today I checked out the first draft of the film clip which Nigel Jones sent me. It is looking very lovely and I gave my suggestions.
I ended the evening by recording vocal harmonies. I love recording vocal harmonies because it adds so much colour and body to the song.
I started the day by looking through the vocal harmonies I recorded last night. You can have a listen here.
Last week I put a call out on my facebook page asking for any mixing tips. I had a lot of wonderful feedback and thanks to those who did so. I got to put into practise some of those tips. I even had a few people offer to mix the song for me which really surprised me and was very kind. I have not accepted any of the offers to mix the song as I want to learn more about mixing myself, however, I have decided to accept the help of Nyssa Ray as we can do this in a collaborative way where I am closely involved. Nyssa Ray is a wonderful musician, song writer and producer and it’s an honour to final to work with her.
I got the mix to a place I was reasonably happy with and sent it to Nyssa to add her flare and skills. We went back and forth with mixes and feedback through out the day into the evening. It’s sounding pretty cool but we are both tired now so we will sleep on it and get back to it tomorrow with fresh ears.
This afternoon Nigel Jones from NKJ Studios sent me another draft of the film clip to check over. The changes were good and tomorrow we will meet in person to make the final adjustments. It’s nice doing the final adjustments together in real life as I get to see all the options of shots in various sections and we can both make sure we are 100% happy. Nigel is very clever and so easy going to work with as well as being open to any feedback whats over.
This evening I came back to the audio session. After listening to various mixes today, I noticed that once compression was added to the lead vocal, the breaths in between the phrases stuck out too much and was distracting. So tonight I went through and turned down the breaths and added crossfades in between the vocal phrases.
Excited!! ……… (and very tired)
Today was another massive day! Nyssa Ray and I discussed the mix and then she made the adjustments on her computer and emailed me various mixes. Nyssa’s contribution at this stage of the project was awesome. We spent about 2 hours on the audio and communicating until we came to a final decision on our favourite mix.
After the mix was done, Nigel Jones came over with the film clip session and we went through various shots for about 7 hours until we came to a final version we both liked. Nigel had already spent many hours before today on the clip. He spent another hour exported a few different quality versions and a few little fixes that needed doing which he noticed on exporting. We have different file sizes for various platforms online for final release.
Watch this space!!! Make sure you have subscribed to my mailing list to the right to get free music and cool extra stuff.
Thank you for following along!
I am very happy with the outcome of this creative project. The mix sounds great and the music clip looks lovely. I can’t wait to share it with you.
The music clip will be release to the public after the weekend so please keep an eye on this blog and my socials. More importantly, make sure you join the mailing list so you get sent a copy of the song once it is released.
Here is the final song and clip!
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Howdy! This blog post could not be written any better!
Looking through this article reminds me of my previous
roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I most certainly
will forward this information to him. Fairly certain he’ll have a great read.
Many thanks for sharing!
Oh good stuff! xo
Great stuff as always Lecia 🙂
So good to see your two week journey, & all the cool tech stuff involved too. I am so glad you eventually got your voice back 🙂 Sounded smooth & nice in the video.
Oooop’s i not checked email for some time ? And managed to see your mail ! So all cool bananas & stay safe & well.
Thank you Marty 😀
This is so wonderful, Lecia!! Thank you for sharing your journey with us!!
Thanks for joining the journey Asabi! I appreciate you dropping the comment. I love your podcast ‘Wine and Sympathy’ by the way! Lots of love
Lecia I am really enjoying your blog especially as I am new to blogs. I never realised there is so much that goes into making a new song happen. What gets me is how hard working you are and how much you put into making it happen and now you will be mixing it yourself to help with the cost. I just know the mixing will be amazing because your heart and soul is going into this new song. I am looking forward to the end of production.
Thank you so much for leaving that wonderful comment. I put in full time hours for my music but fortunately I love it 😉 I am looking forward to sharing the final outcome with you. Are you on the mailing list? People on the mailing list receive a free download of the song.
Thanks again for watching along and for your positive words. xoxox
I am on your mailing list
Hi Jan. I really appreciate your words and I am glad I could share this journey with you. There is a lot of work and time that goes into it for sure. I learnt a lot about mixing and I ended up collaborating with Nyssa Ray at this stage as she was keen to help and I was honoured to have her talents involved. I hope you like it. Thank you 🙂
Quite inspirational, I like attitude, thankyou very much for for taking us for a ride in your future. Cheers Leica. O those couple of box’s sounded as good as any rythum drum.
Hi Ian. I was quite surprised how well a cajon fills the space of the song. This was my first time doing this. Thanks for following the journey. xo
WOW. Thankyou so much for the opportunity to share in your creative journey. Fascinating. Anticipation for the final product is already peaking which will make the journey all the more exciting. I’m hooked.
Thanks Veronica. What a journey this has been! It is close to the two week mark now, so I am on the homeward stretch. Sure has been a full and busy 2 weeks but I have loved every moment. Thanks for joining along 🙂 xo
Love it Lecia! I love the tone of your 4 stringer (although I’m not qualified to say if its good or bad) and just love what your doing. Keep it up, i love your sound and can’t wait to see the outcome of your 2 week project.
Thanks Shaun. It has a character to it, that 4 string guitar. Been really exciting to record it for the first time. The music clip is close now. Thanks for following and leaving a comment. xo
Looking forward to seeing this evolve over the next cupla weeks.
Thanks Jim… xo
I love looking through a post that can make people think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!
Oh good stuff. I am glad this journey has made you think. It has done the same for me. Thanks for leaving a comment. xo
I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This article posted at this web site is in fact pleasant.
We are good thank you. How are you? Thanks for following this journey. 😀 xo
Thanks so much for the blog post.
You are very welcome! Where are you from?
Like!! I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your information. The article has truly peaked my interest.
Oh that is fantastic. I am glad you like it. What do you blog about?