JohnnyLucas.com

JohnnyLucas.com

The days and the life of a freelance composer

The Ring Goes South......To the Caribbean!

          Well, after weeks of mixing and editing, my solo release is almost complete! (The key phrase is almost...) One of the main challenges I find in working as a composer, is that when you have all of the available technology and resources infront of you, it is virtually impossible to not become highly inspired by it all. Far too often I find myself caught up in the middle of several different projects at once, all with pressing deadlines just around the corner; and then somehow I find myself getting sidetracked or re-inspired if you will, to completely digress and start working on something new! Sound familiar to anyone? In North America, we call this the act of "procrastination." In musiking terms, we call this "the affecting presence." Simply put, an artist's creative growth and higher developement, can actively become stimulated by their surroundings in which they work in. So needless to say, before the near completion and set release-date of my highly anticipated record, I became inspired in my surroundings and decided to immerse myself in something new! Not that I wasn't happy with the way things were going. Let's just say that my efforts will be well worth the wait in that regard! Now as promised, let's shift directions a little bit, and take a sneak preview into some of the challenges that seemed to occur during the recording process while creating my record. 

          One of the greatest challenges in working with VST plug-ins, is attempting to make them sound as authentic as possible. (Easier said than done.) In an effort to overcome this common occurance, frequently I find myself spending hours of manual labour and un-justified time; tweaking each and every subtle note duration, enhancing the overall performance velocities; only to find that I still need to adjust everything all over again when I bounce down to stereo pair. The science behind this? Is that in each and every time you adjust a level on a solo instrument, you have to take in consideration that every little adjustment is going to have an influence on the overall performance within your master session. A good example is: "I'm not happy with the articulation in my viola section, so I'm going to accent the off beats a little more on every second eighth note. Well, now when I listen to my master playback with all of the orchestra, I can't hear my viola striking on the downbeat. So I'll boost my overall clip-gain on the viola section. As a result, now my viola's are sitting far too high in the overall mix, and everything has to come up in volume gain to counterbalance the orchestration." A simple solution?! Reference people! Always reference and audition your overall orchestration during and while you enhance your VST performances! One question that keeps popping up and that I always forget to answer is: Why do you bouce midi tracks to a stereo  audio pair? The main reason why I choose to bounce, is to reduce your overall CPU load, avoiding any conflict against session latency. My other reason in bouncing everything down to a stereo pair, is that with the new feature in Protools10 called "clip-gaining,"  I can now work within a session on each and every wave formation- all in real-time editing! This feature is cutting down on my mixing and editing time by at least 50%. I'm not trying to upsell Protools by any means, but this is a function that I have been waiting on for years on end! As a result, I'm quite pleased with how intuitive this new interface has recently become! I would highly recommend Protools10 to anyone who is in the beginning stages, or wants to start out in the audio production/ recording industry!

          Well, in a few more days I'm off to the Caribbean! As the life of a freelance composer continues, I'll be sure to keep you all updated as to what adventures occur along the way! Thanks for stopping by!

 

With warm regards,

 

Johnny

                                         

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