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Wednesday, August 7, 2013 Hitting The Song Wall

After a somewhat unsuccessful "off-grid" week, I'm back to my normal schedule and in the thick of song production again. This week my focus is a song called "Mercy", featuring Saolos and the Sanctafi (in the form of a men's choir).

Songs tend to have much longer stretches of monotony during production compared to working on scenes. Most of my work on Mercy this week involved editing together multiple passes of my own voice to create an ensemble of men.

This is trickier than it sounds, since I have to make sure consonants and note cut-offs match up as much as possible, but not so much that it loses the sense of being an ensemble. (I also use a different "voice" each time I record a pass to give the final product a variety of voice types as you would hear in a real ensemble.) Then there is auto-tuning to do and volume adjustments to make in order to decide which voices will stand out and "lead" more than the others.

All of that is just to complete one voice part of one ensemble in one section of the song. Afterward I rinse and repeat about a dozen times. If that was boring to read, just imagine doing nothing but that for hours at a time. Bleh. The result can be a "wall" that I hit (which I did on Monday) that sucks the creative life out of me and makes it very hard to keep going.

However at the end of the day yesterday I managed to get through the worst of it, which means the next time I sit down to work on Mercy will be much more creative and interesting. Today also marks the beginning of the school semester, which means that our oldest son begins Kindergarten and working at home becomes just a little more doable during the day. Of course it all also means I will start getting called for subbing gigs soon, but you take the good with the bad.

-Paeter Frandsen 

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