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A/V recording is an esoteric art

I finally managed to create an mp3 of "It's About Time," a song I wrote for Carolyn. The song title could well describe how long this took me from start to finish. Doing the piano part on my midi keyboard wasn't too difficult, although my lack of precision as a player meant several takes and a fair amount of manual editing in Cakewalk. Bless Cakewalk for providing session drummer riffs--I found just what I wanted there. The bass was easy, but I had to tinker with it to make it sound anything at all like a bass guitar. The really hard part was recording the vocals and blending the digital audio track with the midi tracks. I could not get an un-noisy sound from my analog microphone/headset units, so I tried installing my Plantronics USB headset on the computer I use for music editing. I think my operating system didn't like something about the combination of audio drivers, and it kept crashing like crazy. So I tried installing Cakewalk on my laptop and using the Plantronics set there, where it was already set up. I had to monkey around and reboot to get Cakewalk to accept the Plantronics input, but I eventually got the vocal track recorded. I then tried to create an audio track from the three midi tracks and couldn't get it to work. So I moved the entire project back to my first computer, where I found that the vocal track was out of sync with the midi tracks. So back to the laptop. More tinkering and rebooting and I finally created an audio version of the midi tracks and mixed it down with the vocal track to create an mp3. From the moment of composition to final product was about 10 weeks. It's about time.

Right before I finished this project I had two other mini-marathon A/V recording projects. The first was recording a streaming video from the Internet through my laptop into the ATI All-in-Wonder card on my other computer. I had forgotten how I had done this before (doesn't that always happen?) so it took me hours and hours before it worked. It involved using the dual-monitor setting on my laptop and working the controls of the program by watching a tiny, blurry image on the monitor connected to my desktop. I'm about to try this procedure again today to get a streaming video. The other project, which I never did finish properly, was to copy a dv-cam video into Pinnacle Studio, do some editing, and output the result to VHS tape. This should have been easy, and the copying and editing part was. Then I tried for many hours to get the result on VHS tape, but never succeeded in getting the sound recorded properly. I think. After I had given up, it occurred to me that maybe the sound was recorded properly, but did not play back through the labyrinth of patch wires between my VCR and ATI card. Maybe I'll figure it out another time. For now, it's another attempt at copying a streaming video.