When the lockdown was announced, it shook everyone’s world. This goes without saying. As artists and performers we all immediately wondered “what is next”. So many of us quickly and naturally started to jump onto Instagram live and Facebook live and began performing for the world. Then we started getting a little more creative and got into projects that were a little more time consuming but a much better production … as you saw on the Global Citizen concert. Those were not actually live, FYI.  Spoiler alert. Just sayin’.

We started producing live videos – virtually. I call these ‘Quarantine Sessions’.  It is quite a process and in the end it is truly rewarding. We are grateful that our musicians are willing to take the time to create with us from afar.

All of this downtime has enabled me to seek out a video editing software that was user-friendly, so much better than iMovie, and not as difficult as AdobePremier or FinalCutPro.

My friend and amazing drummer, Brian Delaney in New York City put out a video on his Facebook page with three other guys and it floored me not only because of their incredible rendition of a Thin Lizzy tune, but the video looked gorgeous. I reached out to him and asked him what they were using and he told me Filmora9 (it’s only $70).  His guitarist Emmett O’Malley was nice enough to do a screen share with me on Zoom to show me how he edited that particular video.

All video editing software will be glitchy AF if you have an old computer with a slow processor. So you have to remember to turn off all your other applications when running this program. 

Once I began putting out these newer videos, more musicians were not only contacting me to collaborate, but many wanted to know how I was making these videos.  So I made a quick tutorial and posted it on my YouTube page.  Musicians also wanted to know our complete process from beginning to end. 

Here are our steps in simplest form!  You’re welcome.

Dropbox Folder 

I share a dropbox folder from the very beginning and that’s where everyone dumps their audio and video.

Recording Audio

We all use either Protools or Logic, but even Garage Band files are fine!  Everyone records on their own and sends 24bit .wav or .aif files for Mike to mix in LogicX.  All files are raw. No fx! No Autotune!  Mike Holowatch works all the magic on his end. But let me repeat – NO AUTOTUNE! We keep it real.

Video Yourself    

While everyone is recording their audio they simultaneously record a phone video and dump the corresponding video with audio file into the dropbox folder that was shared with them from the start. 

… Mike sends me a final mp3

… I bring the mp3 and all videos into Filmora9 and create the finished product.

Voila!

Our goal is one song per week and so far, I think we’ve averaged more, but I’m slowing it down to 1 song per week.  It’s a lot to coordinate in one week!

That’s actually the quickest explanation and education I can give about this process to keep the blog short. 

I hope the blog finds you all happy and super healthy.  Keep creating!  This craziness will be over and you will be glad you made some art in the interim.  Staying productive will keep you a bit more sane.  See you on the other side!

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