Tuesday, August 4, 2020

A Virtual Chorus in the Making

Seventy participants from California to Connecticut, Oregon to Ohio have provided recordings 
for the Joe Biden campaign song project. Seventy virtual recordings! Can you imagine how much mixing and editing needs to be done to complete this? The amount of time is over the top and I have dived in with great enthusiasm to complete and release Countin' on Joe. Here are shots of some of the participants while recording. They were instructed to sing along with an mp3 I provided of the song with vocal through headphones or ear buds while being recorded by a cellphone, camera or webcam.

Volunteer singers include professional singers, those who sing or have sung in choirs and people who simply like to sing in the shower. Some sing melody in various octaves while others harmonize. What a thrill and challenge to assemble the virtual chorus!

I have watched countless videos on YouTube, consulted with the head of the Audio Engineering department at Washtenaw Community College and explored grids available to construct the video presentation. The YouTube education clears the path to creating the video in Final Cut Pro X. The head of the Audio Engineering department confirmed some steps which I plan to take. And the grids... It is possible to create a grid on one's own. However, there are some apps for sale in the $50 range. There is even a free grid available, which doesn't have all the bells and whistles but appears to be quite serviceable and can be embellished in Final Cut  Pro X (if I decide that makes sense). Sometimes simple but elegant is the best choice.

I plan to include subtitles. No bouncing balls but the lyrics will be there for those who want to sing along and/or learn the song. 

I've also been working on a press release and a list of media to which to send it. Once the song has been posted on YouTube I will send it to all the participants in the project along with a release they can send to local media. But this is at least a couple of weeks away. 

Right now it is nose to the grindstone. I am mixing by vocal range. I will do a mix for sopranos, another for altos, one for tenors and one for bass/baritones. Once these are completed I will mix the four groups along with the instrumental section. Sound like fun? Well, it is work with an element of fun. And when I started this project I knew there would be a lot of work involved.

What else could I do during a pandemic?


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Time for an Update 9000 plus views on YouTube!

It's been more than a month since I have posted. Time for an update with two important announcements. 

First, Happy Birthday Baby will score its 9000th view on YouTube tomorrow. The views consistently roll in and there are a lot of positive comments. They say that slow and steady wins the race. OMG! Where could the finish line be?

The campaign song for Joe Biden has gotten legs. I was very unhappy when I learned that many of my emails to singer volunteers were ending up in their spam folders. When I discovered this I contacted all prospective participants through simple emails with no attachments and Messenger. I experienced dramatic attrition and then had to do more posting to boost the number of singers.

I'll share a little secret with you. I have sent out song packets to volunteers and have received 57 videos from participants so far. I expect to receive more through the weekend. And I will start mixing in Pro Tools on Monday.

When the mixing is complete I will move to Final Cut Pro where I will edit the video. What I am planning is a virtual choir where each participant gets their own square in a large grid. Since I don't really know how many people are participating yet, I have to wait to create the grid. Everything I've read suggests the video editing with an extensive grid is going to be very time consuming. I believe it will be worth it and am anxious to dive in. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2020

SINGERS WANTED for Joe Biden Campaign Song

Carol Dunitz has written a campaign song for Joe Biden and hopes to have at least one person from each state doing vocals for the song. "I am looking for volunteers for this project," Dunitz shares. I will provide an mp3 and lyrics for singers to sing along with." Participants can listen to the song mp3 on their computer with earbuds and videotape themselves with their cellphone as they sing. Dunitz welcomes volunteers to use any other setup that will provide video and a music track that has none of the backup music on it.
Once all the video/recording is done she plans to mix all the vocals with the backing track and do the video work that will include all participants. Everyone who participates will be included in credits at the end of the song.
Contact Carol Dunitz through Facebook or at cdunitz@gmail.com if you would like to sing. Please include the state you live in and your vocal range (soprano, mezzo soprano, alto, tenor, bass/baritone).

Things Now Have Gone to Hades to Premiere on CTN

Ann Arbor's Community Television Network has scheduled its premiere of Things Now Have Gone to Hades. The first showing on Cable Channel 17 is on Friday, June 26th at 1:10 pm.

Replay times are: 
Saturday, 6/27 at 4:58pm & 9:58pm 
Sunday, 6/28 at 2:55pm & 8:48pm 
Tuesday, 6/30 at 7:00pm & 9:58pm
Wednesday, 7/1 at 8:48pm 
Thursday, 7/2 at 1:00pm 
Saturday, 7/4 at 3:58pm

Can't get to the TV when 
Things Now Have Gone to Hades is being shownYou can see it on YouTube at:  https://youtu.be/iVU4BA4WQ94.

You won't want to miss this parody based on Billy Joel's We DIdn't Start the Fire.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Things Now Have Gone to Hades

Could Things Now Have Gone to Hades be a thinly disguised musical rant about 45? You decide – and if you find it meaningful, please SHARE.

Things Now Have Gone to Hades is a parody of Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire. It is a no holds barred representation of what a majority of people in this country feel about how our country is being run into the ground. 

The video for Things Now Have Gone to Hades is posted on YouTube.  It can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/iVU4BA4WQ94

Around the world, people are universally shocked by the actions of the United States. It is remarkable how our country which once led the free world can have plummeted into an abyss from which one wonders if it can extricate itself.

On November 3rd, 2020, it is critical that everyone vote. Republicans, Democrats, Independents. We must all exercise our privilege to vote to determine the direction our country will take.

My views are clear from the song. But every individual is entitled to his or her own view. Isn’t it wonderful we still live in a country where we are allowed to voice our opinions?

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Captioning From Now On

Recently a friend who is hard of hearing remarked to me that many videos on YouTube have auto captioning. This is a great feature that I had not been aware of. Today I learned about this feature and how to implement it.

YouTube has an algorithm that takes speech and converts it into text. It is constantly improving this. I'm guessing it works better for speech than it does for the singing voice because I had to spend a great deal of time making everything match up. But I believe the time was well spent. Everyone can now watch the videos and understand all the lyrics.

My last four parodies have been updated with this feature as well as the newest one which will premiere tomorrow morning, Things Now Have Gone to Hades.

If you missed some of the lyrics and want to check them out, here are the URLs.

Six Feet of Social Distance - A Coronavirus Parody

A Modern Icon Federal – The State of the Union
It's So Wonderful to Roam – A Coronavirus Parody
Do The Five - A Coronavirus Parody

Friday, June 5, 2020

Six Feet of Social Distance comes to Ann Arbor CTN

Six Feet of Social Distance is scheduled to premiere on Ann Arbor Community Television Network, Cable Channel 17 on Sunday, 6/17/20 at 9:00pm.

Additional replay times are: 
Monday, 6/8 at 1:05pm
Tuesday, 6/9 at 3:55pm
Wednesday, 6/10 at 10:00pm
Thursday, 6/11 at 11:00am
Saturday, 6/13 at 5:05p 
Sunday, 6/14 at 2:05pm & 6:35pm  
Wednesday, 6/17 at 12:29pm
Saturday, 6/20 at 5:05pm

Six Feet of Social Distance is a parody based on One Singular Sensation from A Chorus Line. The performance is humorous but the message is very serious. Maintaining significant social distance and wearing a mask is critical to stop the spread of COVID -19. 

The video can also be seen on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/ThAb6cbiNi8.