The Rockula Update December 2015 pt 1- The Ramone

Green Screen drums
This is a picture of my umpteenth attempt at capturing drum video for my One Man Tribute Band “The Ramone”
I started to work on the mechanics of recording the audio and visual drum parts in the beginning of November
The following weeks were a mixture of trial and error whilst trying to overcome equipment/program issues
The first round was with the kit fully mic’ed by Mario, who seems quite excited about the concept, so he’s lending his producing skills
My intent is to have basic tracks that can be sent “flat” to the mixing board so that the sound person can mix each individual instrument for the room
Sound people hate it when you have overproduced tracks because you can’t un-bake the cake

I had a successful run through the set and was listening to the playback and there wasn’t enough separation
The mics were visually distracting as well so I decided to play the songs live with the original tracks over the PA
The audio didn’t have to be good because I only need it to synch the original track to what I’m playing on the screen
* I am playing along to the songs from the 1st Ramones album (with a few crashes and bass drum parts altered for my own tastes)
*I will then go back and record a score for the video by completely replacing each piece of the drum set one by one
A successful run through the set list was recorded and ready to synch to original tracks
That’s when the Equipment Gods and the Cruel Hand of Fate teamed up to slow my progress

My first successful run through the set list was thwarted by my biggest dis-advantage
And that is working by myself
Not only is it really hard to frame a shot but you don’t notice stuff like pressing the record button and double checking to see if the remote actually triggered the camera
“Chainsaw” and “Boyfriend” did not make it onto the camera and I had since moved things around, so the continuity would be screwed because I couldn’t set the drums up in exactly the same spot
I had to delete an entire album’s worth of separated drum tracks because they wouldn’t synch up with the next video recordings
I found that trying to fix things can usually take longer than just going back and re-doing the whole thing takes less time and frustration
Besides, it gave me an opportunity to really figure out how I wanted to play the parts so that they made the best background tracks
Back at it and record the whole set again, only this time, the camera files suddenly become in-compatible with the editing software

David Lee tried several re-installs and fixes from different message boards but nothing worked and it was days between times when I could get him to help get past the next roadblock
No matter how much code was altered or fixed, we couldn’t get the camera files to work in the editing program
The next path was to see if the files could be converted to a different format that would work
I tried all of the formats and went through several attempts until the .avi format finally worked

This brings me back again to the photo
The angle is crooked, the lighting of the green screen is uneven and there’s a spot on the lens
I am going to eat lunch and make another run at the set
At least I can play it with confidence after the constant repetition
Once the drums are done, I can start the Bass recordings

On a personal note, things like this used to stop me cold and I would quit
It seems like my ideas are finally starting to gain some traction
Look for me to start playing out after the start of the new year

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