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Tuesday, May 5

Locked Down

So, the world's gone mad...

This blog doesn't get much attention; usually I write an annual post-Fringe-visit review of why I like going to the Fringe and forget that I used to be an avid blogger, with myriad self-interested posts about my life.

I'm still a blogger, but not on this platform. I write technical blog posts and edit for another technical blog. It somewhat saps the creative juices to be doing it all over the place, so this blog has somewhat been neglected. It's unlikely I'll resurrect it in any meaningful way, but there are things to be said at the moment.

Now's a good time to write a few notes about life in lockdown.

Perhaps I'll take to writing a self-interested, mewling, post about how weird it is to be shut in the house for about 6 weeks with no sign of the world going back to any semblance of normal. This is not that post.

In fact, this isn't even the post I came to this platform to write.

I want to say something in this post. I made something. In fact, I made a few things.

I've even just committed to buying more kit so I can make more things in the future. Why not, eh? Now's the perfect time to devote time to doing things that I've put off.

I have released a couple of comedy albums online. They were home recordings to support the two major Edinburgh shows I did myself. Back in 2004, we recorded the album of our show The Musical!, released on CD (spoilers, it didn't sound great, because I'm a terrible sound engineer). However, it was better than not releasing one.

I've intended to do something much more sophisticated with home recording since. There have been occasional tracks, but nothing serious.

In the last few weeks, I've recorded the following songs:

  • Only One Song - a spoof of La La Land
  • How Far I'll Go - from Moana, with my daughter singing (54 vocal takes and a lot of editing)
  • The Basic Necessities - a parody song based on The Bare Necessities
  • Lockdown (as above) - another parody song
  • (half of something else I'm not going to mention yet)
I also wrote a Covid 19 song about having a new great fire of London (not especially good, but it was a bit of fun).

Given that my previous output was basically nearly zero, with one new song written a year ago, performed to an iPhone, rather than recorded properly, this is quite a change in my circumstances.

I've also quickly learned the ropes with video editing, having bought Movavi to enable me to make the Only One Song video, for which I wanted a montage of the performances of the actual takes that went into the video.

More importantly, I've started using GarageBand. In 2020. I bought my Mac in late 2017 with the aim of getting into GarageBand. I then installed Windows on it (dual boot, I'm not a monster) and used Mixcraft, which I'm more familiar with... I even upgraded Mixcraft rather than use GarageBand.

I'm an idiot.

I'm now a GarageBand user... though I can imagine upgrading to something more sophisticated if I keep up the output.

I'm also committed to solving my vocals recording issue, some of which I think comes down to not understanding the dilemma of gain, proximity, and apparent loudness before compression... nobody cares but me, but that's not the point. I'm trying to perfect a craft here, and that's fun.

I just bought a new microphone and other associated bits for better recording. All of this is great fun...

The lesson here is not to neglect one's craft. It shouldn't take a lockdown to teach that, but learning the lesson counts regardless of how it's taught.


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