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covid songs sound

Get busy living

Coronavirus lockdown day 43

A cold and clear morning with snow on the Double and the Grampians and Mount Richmond, and a dusting near Motueka.

More work, delivered a couple of eps of a radio programme; more taking the ums out of videos; more music, more life.

Redid some tracks that I had been casually murdering. They’re now only half awful, maimed, you might say. Guitar break was great though!

THe track we’re working on is in triple time, 6/4, and it has this odd, rolling feel, where you can be perfectly in time, but at the same time feel hopelessly at sea. It’s weird and magic and wonderful and I can’t wait for it to see the light of day.

Categories
covid sound stories

The ballad of Jessie Dredge, or Stay the fuck at home

Coronavirus lockdown day 41

Some stories seem tailor made for a country song: This one could be called The Ballad of Jessie Dredge.

Related:

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audio sound stories

It happened again

Coronavirus lockdown day 36

Here I am three days in the future looking back… A busy day, tidying up loose ends, admin, nothing special

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covid sound stories

Or is it level down?

Coronavirus lockdown day 34

Who can tell any more? It’s Level 3, anyway. It was a slow day. Work meetings got postponed, so I did some audio editing, some coding and other tasks. Lots of things are in the nearly finished pile. Made a bit of a plan for the month ahead.

Already the city is busier. More sirens, more traffic noise, more shops open. Not heaps, but it felt more normal, which was great. Bit of port noise, although some of that was a person loudly pleading not to be handcuffed which we overheard whil on our walk.

More rescue helicopters, and a couple of planes overhead. I’ve noticed the lack of planes the most from our place. Nelson’s airport is usually busy and we are on the northern approach flight path.

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covid sights sound stories

A stand at dawn

Anzac Day 2020

Dawn over Nelson on Anzac Day 2020.

We don’t usually go to the official services on Anzac Day – while we commemorate, we don’t celebrate. Don’t get me wrong, I am eternally grateful to those who served and fell, the pomp and ceremony isn’t my cup of tea.

This year we did. We all got up and stood at our gate at dawn, looked at the stars, got uncomfortably cold and reflected on history and the stupidity of war. We felt the sadness of all those lives lost and the damage done to ordinary citizens.

We heard the last post played a few times from the surrounding neighbourhoods, as well as on the RNZ broadcast on our phone. Maybe half a dozen neighbours stood on our street, sharing a historic moment before all retreating to our bubbles.

Coronavirus lockdown day 31

I guess we wanted to mark history – the first time there haven’t been services, is the time we should remember.

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audio covid sound stories

You’ve yet to have your finest hour, radio

Coronavirus lockdown day 13

In the blink of an eye, I missed three days? Where did that time go?

I mean it’s Easter, so you could use the joke about disappearing for three days and then coming back and taking all the credit … but that isn’t the case here 🙂

Instead it’s been rinse and repeat days of a little work, a few chores, shared meals and catching up with friends and colleagues over video channels.

We’ve used Zoom, Skype, Teams, Houseparty for about 5 minutes, Facetime, facebook and probably others. But at the same time, one of the teams I’m in is preparing to use radio.

Recognising that some people don’t have access to the technology others do, or reliable broadband, and the geographical reach of radio is wide, it seems to me that there’s a chance for local media to shine here, and get back to what radio does best – connect people. Hearing a a friendly voice can be very soothing.

It might not be the finest hour for radio, but it could be the start of something great. As commercial stations struggle with advertising drop-off, some have already disappeared. Local access stations could fill the gap and offer different programming, different voices and most importantly, local content.

So How did we spend day 13?

It’s probably time to stop asking that question, but for the historical record. One of us went to the supermarket for the first time in two weeks. It was relatively normal.

Categories
audio sound stories

Solved: H6 interface and DAW on a Mac

So I’d been having trouble getting separate tracks into Garageband, Reaper and the like when using the Zoom H6 . When the H6 was in Multi-track mode as an interface, I’d select input 1 and get nothing. Same on input 2.

When I switched to setero mix I got level through – but only one track. This was not ideal – separate tracks make life much easier for error-prone musicians like me. I couldn’t figure it out – the software could see the h6 – but I couldn’t get a level through.

The answer lies in the way the DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) treat the combined L R inputs on the H6. Essentially, even though there isn’t a mic capsule in use, they count as inputs 1 and 2, they are not ignored.

So the XLR input labelled 1 on the H6 is actually input 3 in the DAW software even though it’s labelled 1 on the recorder. Input 2 is channel 4, 3 is 5 and 4 is 6.

The solve is described by Jen Edds in this video – it’s something no-one else on the internet has mentioned (that I could find, at least).

Input 1 on the h6 = input 3 in the software, as Jen Edds explains in this video. Although this is for Garageband it worked for me in Reaper as well when using a zoom h6 as an interface.

The moral of the story is: don’t trust your eyes … it might be labelled input 1, but that doesn’t make it channel 1. Ain’t that a trap for young players!

Categories
audio covid sound

ninjam, reaper and a stack of wood

Coronavirus lockdown day 10

So another beautiful autumn day in Te Tauihu began with a cooked breakfast, before settling into some serious wood stacking. We got about 3 of the 4 cubic meters done, so pretty happy with that.

Saw approximately half the neighbourhood walking around, and plenty of smiles, giddays and waves.

They say you should learn something new every day. Today I learned that the audio interface I have – while it has six inputs, and is awesome for field recording, will only word with Reaper as a stereo mix. Which means I can only input one track at a time into any live session.

I can hear you falling to sleep already, but this is a bit annoying as I can’t separate tracks. If I play guitar well, but muck up the words, then the whole track has to go… I can record separate tracks, so we will make do.

On the upside, after the jamkazam fail, it looks like ninjam / reaper will work as a jamming tool. So drums / bass in Tauranga, one gat and lungs in Melbourne, the other in Nelson. Gonna be interesting!

Catching up with some friends from around the world in about an hour or so, looking forward to that.

So how did we spend day 10?

Working together then reading and relaxing apart. Vege soup out of the freezer for lunch, toasties for tea. All in all a good, no complaints kind of day.

Categories
audio covid songs sound stories

The first death

Coronavirus lockdown day 4

News today of NZ’s first death from coronavirus on the West Coast. Not unexpected, but still very sad, and it makes everything that much more real, especially for the front line workers. In a small community it will be especially difficult.

Hopefully it will also reinforce the message we have to stay home and stop the spread.

So how did we spend day 4?

Mostly on calls to family and friends around the place. Everyone is keen to keep up contact. Most seem to be prepared and ready to make the most of the break. What else can you do, right?

Getting ‘the banned’ back together

So one unexpected consequence is getting the band back together. We’ve set up a shared workspace and we’ll share some files and see what happens! Should be a hoot.

Oh and I found this and ‘released’ it.

Categories
audio songs sound

Aotearoa It’s Christmas

I entered the Radio NZ Christmas song competition. It didn’t go well; the song resoundingly failed to make any impact on the judges.

But no matter – this is a Christmas song for those of us in the Southern hemisphere where the whole snow thing makes little sense. It’s silly and cheesy and fun – hope you like it.

Buy Aotearoa it’s Christmas on Bandcamp – pay what you want

Play along to Aotearoa it’s Christmas on chordify

You can also play along using chordify. (Hint: put the capo on one and play in D)

Buy Aotearoa it’s Christmas on CDBaby.com

Different formats available

Download Aoteroa it’s Christmas in .crd format or view on chordie.com

I use chordie.com a lot. It’s such a great way to learn and play songs. It’s also got this awesome songbook feature where you can create lists of songs and combine them in a songbook. You can then access it when you’re out and about make it public if you want and print to pdf.

So I made a crd format file for Aotearoa it’s Christmas so that in can be included in the database. (Note: It’s not there as of 8 December NZ time)

Aotearoa it’s Christmas

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Categories
audio sound stories

Not a winning ticket

I’ve mentioned how I entered the RNZ Write an original Christmas song competition. The results are in – and my entry is out! Not a winner.

There was an amazing array of entries, all very different and most of them sounded really well recorded and produced.

Mine was one of 250 or so entered, so it least it was in good company. I might post the song a bit later.

And the winner is …


Listen to the winner being announced on RNZ

And the runners-up were…

Listen to other songs featured on air in the follow-up piece.
Categories
audio sound

Old loops

Found these when digging in the ashes of some previous sessions.

Short tracks, silly ditties and auto-generated songs. Which is your favourite?

You can find more over at Soundcloud