(Continued from the previous post)
Celka Ojakangas: Celka, you were a dream to work with. I'm so thankful for you holding up the viola section, even when you were the only one in the section. There were weeks that went by where you were the only viola in the entire group, and you still held your own, and played with the force of an entire section. Thank you. (And you tore it up on that solo!!)
Paula Vives: You were another one that had to deal with the stress of coming into the group later on. But you handled the workload (all 19 songs!) like a pro, and never got overwhelmed but it, or at least you never let it show. I'm so thankful for all of your hard work.
Cathy Atkins: Cathy, by the time you joined the group, I was being pulled in a million different directions trying to get everything done for the show. You came in, and with virtually no guidance from me, learned all of the music. That's not easy to do when you are reading the reading music written by someone who isn't too sharp at writing string music. Thank you.
Kieran Ojakangas: Yet another prodigy from the Ojakangas family. Kieran, thank you for being a strong leader within the cello section. You completely nailed that solo, and created one of the most beautiful moments in the show. Thank you.
Katie Westenberg: Our concerto competition winner! I never did get to hear you perform your piece... Katie, you shocked everyone with you amazing talent. Who knew such powerful playing could come from such a shy sweet girl?! Great work.
Erin Alden: Erin, you have been such a good friend to me these last few years. You've played for me several times, and you always play beautifully. I feel honored to share a stage with you. I love how much you LOVE the cello, and it shows in your playing. I hope I can return the favor sometime.
Natalie Butler: Natalie, you were such a wonderful addition to the cello section! You had such a good ear (which is really important to me) and played with great intonation. You are a real pro at performing in "band" situations. Thank you.
Javan Daugherty: You held up this section all by yourself! Great job man. You learned the music in a matter of days. Now that I'm thinking about it, I don't think you missed a single rehearsal! I'm not sure anyone else can say that... Thanks for holding down the fort all by yourself.
Honorable mentions: Erin Swanson, thank you so much for helping to put this group together! At least half of the people listed came from your recommendation. Sorry you couldn't be there with us. Melissa Dudley, we really really missed you at the show! I was so bummed out you couldn't perform with us! We will have to try again some time.
Looks like I will have to introduce the "band" in another post. Thanks for reading.
Time has kind of slipped away from me. I've been meaning to do this for a while, but am just now getting around to it. I'd like to introduce/thank the members of the orchestra for my album release show. This show would have surely been a HUGE flop without the help of some really amazing musicians. I am honored to also call these people my friends. I should mention that I didn't actually know any of these people before the show. They did this show (and many rehearsals) for FREE and put up with me week after week. This post will be divided into two parts. First, the violins:
Erin Hefta- Erin, you were a strong leader from the beginning. You always came in with a smile, that goes a long way with someone as high-strung as myself. Let's work together again soon! Thank you.
Kera Newman- Kera, I felt like even after meeting you one time, that we were friends. And it was a joy to see you perform the other night with your band! Thank you.
Tony Dissmore- Tony, you were soft spoken, but such a STRONG player! You play with feeling and sophistication; you were a wonderful addition to this section. Thank you for helping us out.
Lian Ojakangas- Lian, you are an amazing talent. One of the youngest players in our group, yet one of the best. So, how did you memorize all of that music, when I forgot to ever give you any music?!? Simply amazing.
Chaski Dye: Chaski, we didn't even meet until the day of the dress rehearsal. But you brought so much life to that rehearsal! The night was going on and on, but you kept such a positive attitude; it was contagious. Thank you for that.
David Sutton: I can't believe you drove all the way from Minnesota to play with us! Not only that, you stuck around after the show and helped me move everything back to the studio. David, I could never thank you enough for all of your hard work and your kindness. You are truly one of the most gifted players I've met.
Ross Donaldson: Ross, you also drove from out of town to play with us. You even drove down for several of the group rehearsals! I feel like I've made a good friend, and I know we will work together again. I am LOVING your CD! Good work my friend.
Brianna Cline: Brianna, it was such a joy to be in the same room as you! In stressful situations, it's always good to have at least ONE "Brianna" in the room. I'm thankful you are a Red Velvet fan, and that I still get to see you on a regular basis. You are such a talent, and a gem.
Greg Dissmore: Greg, you are such a solid player, and a strong leader. Thank you so much for helping to lead the 2nds. You seemed to have a way of calmly, and quietly getting everyone on the same page with bowing, and trying to figure out what I was trying to say in the music. Thank you!
Tessa Hull: Tessa, I am so thankful we met! You joined us late in the game, but you worked overtime to catch up. There's nothing more satisfying than seeing people in the group take initiative and work things out on their own. Thank you for all of the time you put into this, it didn't go unnoticed.
Tomorrow I will introduce the rest of the band. I was afraid if I did it all at once, the list might get a little long. So, another round of applause for my violin section! Thanks eveyone.
I've bombarded you with nothing but album release, and DVD stuff for the past few weeks, so today I will give you a much needed break. Elsie found this AMAZING little collage a few days ago. I'm a huge David Lynch fan, and I dream of having hair as cool as his.
Thanks for reading.
I've gotten a small clip back from the DVD video footage, and it's looking stellar. Very excited about this. I've been working away on the audio at my studio. There are always a ton of things to consider when you are mixing the audio for a live DVD. First and foremost, I want to attempt to recreate the experience that we had at the Gillioz. That means, I want to try to make the absolute best with what we have. But there are complications to that. For instance...
As I mentioned in the last post, there is a very excited baby in the crowd. Throughout the first two songs, you can hear him (or her) letting out some very loud baby squeals while I'm singing. So, first question, should I edit this out? I'm not totally sure I want to edit these things out. It was part of the experience of that night, and it's also a part of almost any concert like this that you've been to. Plus, it sounds kind of cute. But on the other hand, I don't want it to distract people watching the DVD from enjoying the music. Second question, can I edit this out? I checked the vocal track, and the baby is definitely coming though, but it's not all that noticeable in the mix. So I check the drum overhead mics; it's in there too. I can copy the drums from another part of the song and paste it into the part where the baby is. But when I do this, there is vocal bleed and you can hear that I'm singing verse two- which won't work if the vocal track is on verse one. Same goes for the string mics.
Believe it or not, I actually really enjoy working through these challenges. I hope that didn't sound like complaining, because this is what makes working on live recordings so much fun. A string player drops their bow; the drummer sends someone back to the sound board to ask for more click track. When I solo the mics, I can listen to all of these other things that were going on around me during the performance. I get to hear a little bit of everyone else's experience.
Well, I'm off to work for now. Thanks for reading.
This weekend I started working on mixing the audio for the live DVD. I think I mentioned earlier that the kick drum mic did not record during the performance. There are a lot of reasons this is a problem, but I will go ahead and move on to the solution. After listening to each individual mic on the drums, I found that there was one that had a decent amount of isolation of the kick drum; it was the bottom snare mic. This mic was basically ONLY picking up the snare drum, and the kick drum. This was great news for me. Never mind that the kick drum sounded terrible in that mic, it's not actually relevant. So, here is what I did:
1. Duplicate the "Snare Bottom" track, so I can leave it as just that, a second snare mic.
2. On my new (duplicated snare bottom) track, I did a massive cut on all of the high and mid range frequencies. Basically everything above 300 hz. This pretty much eliminates the snare drum on this track completely.
3. I made a huge "spike" in the low end between 100-200 hz. So now my new track is just a low end blob. It sounds terrible, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that the speakers are making sound every time that kick drum hits.
(brief recap: the "Snare Bottom" mic was picking up kick and snare, and I EQ'd out the snare, and exaggerated the kick by boosting the low end frequencies)
4. You now have several options of how to make a kick drum track!
a. Use Drumagog or Sound Replacer on this new kick track.
b. Do it the fun way! Send that new kick drum blob signal through a bass or guitar amp with a bass drum in front of the speaker. The sound will actually interact with the drum, and you can put a mic on it. Ok, that may have been really confusing, but I did a little tutorial on this last year. I was doing it with a snare drum, but it was the same technique. It's called "re-amping drums". But the way, I just found out when you google "re-amping drums" my blog is the second thing to pop up! Here's the old video:
So, that's how I got my kick drum back into the mix. I REALLY didn't want to have to try to do it manually. This was much quicker.
Next obstacle to tackle, a very excited baby in the crowd. Thanks for reading.
The last bit of album art.
Yesterday I started working on mixing audio for the live DVD. We had some minor setbacks with the recording, but nothing catastrophic. The biggest obstacle, was that the bass drum mic did not record. I was able to create one though, and next week, I'll teach you how I did it. Hope you're having a good weekend. Thanks for reading.