Tag Archives: Protools

Our Father, Vindicate – Finished!

On May 28th, 2008, I jotted down the first few notes of Our Father, Vindicate. I stared with the melodic theme (E – D#, F# – D#), and the sound of that flat 6 suspension in bar 26. One year and one month ago today.

A few minutes ago, I just finished the final mix of the recording. It’s such a huge feeling of accomplishment to see this thing come together, and to have something solid in hand, something people can hear and respond to. I’ve loved writing this piece, I’ve hated it at times, I’ve put more hours into it than anything I’ve ever done, and I feel like I’ve grown a lot as a musician because of doing it. I’m glad it’s behind me, but I’m very glad to have done it.

So, here it is.

Our Father, Vindicate
By Michael A. Lee
our-father-vindicate.mp3

Downlod the chart: Our Father, Vindicate.

The vocalists are, in order of part from top to bottom:
Anthony Maglione
Brent Froelich
David Loucks
Jessie Bullock
Kyle Campbell
David Kress
Lucas Short
Phil Nash

Additional vocals by Michael Lee, and Harold Clousing.

Feeling Incompetent

This week, I’m recording the last few pickups on “Our Father, Vindicate“, and editing the whole thing down to a final mix. I’m doing this in Pro Tools.

I am a Logic guy. On Logic, I can fly. I can bend it and tweak it and make it do anything and everything I need, and I can do it with my eyes closed. But, this project was tracked in Pro Tools, and I need to really understand that software better, so I’m forcing myself to finish the whole project in Pro Tools.

Yesterday, I spent 90 minutes figuring out how to remove the basic volume automation that the tracking engineer had used to make a rough mix. I just about put a fist through the monitor.

I own a house now. Last week, I needed to fix a few small gaps in the brick around out pool. 90 minutes later, I was covered in mortar glue (which does not wash off), unable to touch anything without coating it with thick sludgy stainy cement glue gunk, the bricks were permanently stained with huge swaths of the crap, and the initial problem was still not solved.

I hate, HATE, feeling incompetent. I just want to scream “I am an intelligent, skilled, and valuable person … I just SUUUUUUUUCK at THIS!” I have to fight so hard not to give up, to force myself through to the other side. I know that someday, I will be able to set mix groups for Pro Tools in my sleep. I know that someday, I will be able to repair masonry without permanently damaging myself or our home.

It’s just that today, that someday seems eternally far away.

Student Projects

This is the first of a two-parter (updated below). Last week my students turned in their final projects for the class “Production Techniques”. It’s a group-based independent study kind of course. They work together, over the course of a semester, to go from song-writing demos all the way to final mixes. They manage everything; budget, timeline, contracting the players, producing the session, engineering (mostly), mix, the whole shebang. We toss them the keys to the ProTools HD room for a few nights, and they go nuts. For most of them, this is the first time they’ve walked through the whole processes, from beginning to end.

So, here are the 3 songs done by the first team (Paul Stephens, Cindy Hayward, Julia Dedmon). Paul is the vocalist, and the primary songwriter on all three.

“All I Want to Know”
All%20I%20Want%20To%20Know.mp3

“Free”
Free.mp3

“Just Walk Away”
Just%20Walk%20Away.mp3

(updated: decided to add the 2nd team to this same post)

Here are the 3 songs done by the second team (Elizabeth Rickman, Jocelyn Danque, Scott Ryan Ingersoll, Mike Rains).

“Buried” by Scott Ryan Ingersoll
Buried.mp3

“Leaves” by Elizabeth Rickman
Leaves.mp3

“Don’t Leave Me Behind” by Scott Ryan Ingersoll
Dont%20Leave%20Me%20Behind.mp3

Demo-lition Derby

I need a little help from my friends. Remember this class that I’m teaching?

It’s the one where the students produce a short album over the course of a semester.

Well, I’m meeting with the students for the first time on Monday night, to talk through the details of the class, and to get them headed in the right direction on the project. I’m going to hand them a sample packet of what a final project should look like, to give them something to shoot for, and I decided to use a song from The Dailies’ record as the model (totally violating the sanctity of Chad and Erica’s intellectual property of course. Suck it up. It’s for the children). I’ll put together a microphone input list, a budget, a timeline, a recording schedule, everything they need to do for the course, around that one song. The cool thing about this is that I have actual demos tracking the progress of all of these songs from The Dailies record, so the students will get to hear everything from first demos all the way through to final masters.

So, here’s what I need from you – which song should I use? Picture yourself as a 21-year-old music student. Then, go here and listen to the 30-second clips (or better yet, buy the album!). Then, tell me which song you think would most capture the interest and creative attention of the students in the class.

15 Hymns: Hark The Herald Angels Sing

From the Stick Man himself, featuring his own glorious singing in it’s international worldwide debut!

Hark, The Herald Angel’s Sing, a 15 Hymns exclusive. (Until he releases the Christmas record that he originally recorded this for.)
stick_hark.mp3

christmas choir

photo by drp

Class Intro

So, this was kind of fun. I started classes on Thursday, and I opened up my first lecture for “Intro to Music Tech” by playing this video. Picture 20 kids in a room, with the speakers turned on full blast, and this rolling. It was very fun.

I apologize for the compression of the video – it looks awful on the upload.

Also, for any of you interested in following along with the class lectures (nerd!), the whole semester is being podcast.

Jury Duty in LA

I sacrificed 8 hours for Lady Justice today. I got up at 5:45, rode the metro to downtown LA, went through metal detectors and a body cavity search in order to sit in a cattle-car room with 200 other people, waiting to see if we got asked to serve on a jury.

There was a tense moment when the superviser announced that they were calling names for a 30 day, sequestered trial, and we all held our breathe praying that we didn’t get called. Beyond that, the day was pretty dull. I sat around until 3:30, at which point they sent us home, our duty served.

So, here’s why I love LA. I was sitting in a room with 200 randomly selected people, including

Dakin Matthews

Dakin Matthews

and

Bernadette Peters

Bernadette Peters

Also, I sat next to this guy:

brian joseph

Brian Joseph, and we argued about MIDI integration in Protools 7 vs. Logic 7. I love that you can plop down next to some random guy in LA, and there’s a pretty good chance that he will have a deeply passionate and well-reasoned opinion on which production software environment works best for a given project.