Archive for the ‘Cover Videos’ Category


Slice has been working on his main guitar for the last couple of week. this is a project to take his main axe form its original look and sound to a complete new level. in this first phase he has removed the original colour

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And repainted it Black.

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The neck has be repaired and smoothened out. A complete fret levelling, re-crowning  and polishing was done. There has been some minor work done on the electronics but majorly to clean the wiring in the back, the nut needed a bit of scarfing, the instrument has been reassembled with the original pickups, neck and tremolo. because of the work done on it it was re setup. the intonation was checked and needed no further twitching.     

DSC01709DSC01778(1) Before and After.

Only on thing still to accomplish, we need a name for her.

Thanks for reading.

Checkout slice’s channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/inside71slice.

© Ian A. Burt 2012


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Hi everyone, for those followers and for those newcomers this blog is dedicated basically to Slice and the STW project. today instead of a post talking about stuff, I am writing to deliver a request for support (not money so please read on).

This is a home DIY project and I am trying to cover all needs on a 0$ budget. So far we are very much on our way as you can read bellow. But there are some areas where I could do with a little cooperation from anyone willing to give a hand. This is a formal request for help to anyone in the photography, video or film worlds (amateur or professional). I will explain in more depth what it is we have not fully covered on private correspondence via email.

All the final material will include credits to all collaborations.

Pleas reach me at iaburt@hotmail.com         

Last upload by Slice.

Coming together.

Thing seem to be falling into place, in a slow but constant rhythm. to explain why this is true I need to give the background first. We started the STW project beginning of August last year 2011. At that time we only had a rough idea of that we wanted to achieve. One of the first things we did was buy a large size note pad so we could get everything registered and down on paper.

So we had an idea and a pen and paper, and off we went into moulding the idea into the shape of a project. Slice who is the original generator of the idea, needed to mature it a bit before getting down to detail. Slice is a musician so he gave it the all musical approach. I was left to take care over all rest of  tasks, of managing and producing the project.

follow the link Initial Blog posting for STW..

So here we where with a master piece of rock and roll, we had a pile of songs that said a story and Slice was going to cover them. We would put them up on YouTube as a  collection and as a single track. But what where our goals.

    1. Engage you tube visitors, with appealing music, covered by a 16 year old.
    2. Try to be true to the original story, music and authors.
    3. Attract people to share this work and expand the music & videos as much as possible.

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We could approach al these as Slice had approached his earlier videos, live recorded in his room with the original in the background and him playing over it, where sound was all ambient. This would be a problem, since recording different dubs and instruments in this way makes it very hard to get a good audio quality. On top of that we had the issue with the video. Video presented a few problems the light, the takes where going to be very uneven different light and day times, making later editing a headache. The screen real-estate was an other issue, since we had as many as 6 videos of different takes on screen at the same time in some places. with raw video this would be unmanageable, meaning that we would have to use some of the editing techniques of the many available in this field. Finally a 100 minute video needs to provide more video dynamics than just a group of musicians (all the same person) on still camera. The video needed to engage and maintain the viewers interest for a long period (we still need to see if we can achieve this).

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Ok, Goals set! Now we needed to set the requirements. What do we need to get to these goals. Slice was in charge of learning all the songs and their parts and nailing down his performance. So I was left with all the logistics, the audio recording, the copyrights, the video recording, the audio and video editing and the video script.

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The first thing I needed was to have a clear idea of how I was going to do all of this (audio and video) For audio it was clear from square one. I would record all the track’s one at a time and mix them in the box against the original. For this I had all I needed except for some cables and minor details. For the video part of it, it was a complete different story. My choice was to do video in Chroma Key and then add a background this would help me use up my screen real-estate better and have more flexibility. I also decided to take several shots at different angles simultaneously so I could play with the different perspectives. Finally I decided to have a parallel video that was telling the story and use it as a resource to maintain the viewers attention high throughout the full movie.

follow the link DYI Chroma.

So! what has worked so far. It is always good to be ahead of schedule. Specially when schedules are based on estimates and estimates are good will judgment.  Well we have a the recording rig working and already have around 30% of the tracks recorded and some 3 or 4 Songs completed including the mixing and mastering.  On the video side we have done some trials with a DYI home studio and the results where more than acceptable (see video) but this week we got lucky and we have been offered a pro Chroma Studio fully lighted and 5 m. Chroma wall. We have 3 cameras, only one is ours but some friends are helping out. Slice has managed to get some of his friends to provide with some instruments we still require for some tracks. We have some of the Copy Right and are waiting on the rest, we hope they will be OK.

Thanks for reading and I really hope you enjoyed.

Please visit Slice’s channel @ http://www.youtube.com/user/inside71slice

© Ian Burt    


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Hi everyone, and welcome to 2012, happy new year to all of you. I don’t know about you but I have no new resolutions, only a continuation of the ones I couldn’t complete last year. 2011 was a grate year in many way’s for me and I have a lot of hope placed on 2012. I have big plans for Slice and some very interesting professional projects I am hoping to get into. It will be a year of changes in many things and I am really looking forward to the challenge that change brings. When I say there is no new year resolutions what I mean is that I prefer to think on planning and moving along as things come and go. New year is a milestone between two calendar years, but that is not necessary related to how planning and goals are established. if December 31st is the only day we can plan ahead we have put a great limit to our own capability to achieve.

Many of you may not know that I as a professional I earn my money as a Software designer and project manager. for the last 18 years I have Designed, Developed, Managed several large software projects. I have dedicated 11 of the 12 years of this century to Fleet & Asset Management and Stolen Vehicle Recovery Systems. with the new year my current contract with a large multinational has come to an end we delivered the Version 1.0 of their new AVL or Fleet Management System (codenamed IKHNAIE) over the next 6 to 12 months they are going to launch the product throughout there international branches and start with the ROI of this 3 year project. I am sure it will go just fine I will be actively involved in supporting them in this trial to come. This however has left me jobless, not that I am worried I will find a new project in the new year and get back to work. But it gives me an opportunity to open other markets and kind of projects. So all I can say is that I am very excited on the prospect of moving on and doing new things with new people.

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On my personal plans, there is one main thing I have been working on in the last year or so. It is actually a goal I set out last year as my 2011 new year resolution and is to loose weight. Not because of esthetical reason, I am not that kind I enjoy being myself in every way even when it gets in other peoples nerves. It is for health sake I have come up with a little diabetes (not much) but it is due to my overweight and can be solved by loosing weight. So that concern is still in my to do list, or must I say my to finish list. Confused smile  

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An other project is the STW Project with Slice that I have mentioned a few times in other posts. This is far from finished and we are doing good progress, but it has proven to become a colossal task and very time and energy consuming, more than what we had bargained for in the first place. This is actually more of a motivation than a setback as Slice and I see it the more we put in the grater value it will have. We don’t expect STW to be more than what it is per definition, A Cover of a Musical Master Piece.  As such it will be a pulley amateur job, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t put in the same effort and illusion as if it where a professional or commercial product. The idea is to put it up in You Tube for anyone that want’s to see it. no commercial interests involved. At this part of the project and after 5 months of work we have completed over one third of the recording and should finish recording by March. We have done the mixing and fixing of some of the main songs but still have to record the base guitars for most songs, and all pianos. On the video editing I have been trying to get the right help and resources to finish the task and this will be monumental since we have a minimum of 4 takes of all parts of every song and up to 12 takes in some of the more busy parts. Almost al in Chroma Key, except for some resource footage that will be used to add the dramatic content to the video. 

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Here is a callout for help, If anyone has time and will to help out on this please contact me at mailto:iaburt@hotmail.com every piece of help is appreciated. It will have to be in remote since I live in Madrid and this is a call to the entire international community that may follow this Blog.

One final Project is we are refinishing and moding Slice’s main red guitar. we are asking everyone to send us name proposals for the renewed axe.

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Please follow Slice at http://www.youtube.com/user/inside71slice

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed.

!!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR ¡¡¡¡¡

IAN


Garry Moore The Prophet Cover

Slice has a very long way to go. he hasn’t got an exceptional technique as a guitarist, he is well within the average and will not shine in this region without hard work. As a performer he has got the feel, but needs to work on his expressiveness, musically and theatrically. He has made progress and we are helping him to find the way to his style. But this is a journey that he has to do on his own. As a guide to his personal evolution as a musician. I am going to review some hints in his channel uploads.  

My personal review of Slice’s channel in You Tube and the covers he has uploaded. To this day Slice has uploaded 14 covers since March 2010. As you may say he is not very productive, and you are very right to say so. so lets see what he has shared with us.

Looking at his playlist there is one obvious artist that stands out over the rest, that is Pink Floyd. Slice has done 4 covers of 3 songs or parts, these are the earlier covers and are dated from March 2010 when he opened the channel. This first cover was for the David Gilmore “Comfortably Numb” second solo, as recorded live for the P.U.L.S.E. Album during the tour of the same name. Here Slice is 14 years old, his performance is not the cleanest and he does make a few minor mistakes, but listening to the cover you can hear that he has managed to find some tone and a feel for the solo. The sound is not that good since he recorded it with a small Casio camera and there is far to much ambience noise. One thing to notice is that he took the video so that his face was not visible.

Comfortably Numb cover number one. 9 March 2010

He later repeated this cover in a second video in July the same year only 3 months later, this is a much more mature video. He uses the Sony Handy Cam, this improves the video and audio quality. He performs a much richer solo with much more feel and intensity to it, cleaner in performance and with a more responsive and adequate tone. He also appears full headed so that the viewers can see him from this video on will be the standard.    

Second cover of Comfortably Numb Jun 2010

Following the Pink Floyd Covers are a Money solo cover from the Dark Side of the Moon and a full song cover of Shine on you Crazy Diamond Part One from the Live P.U.L.S.E Album. this is a 13 minute and 25 second cover and was recorded on December 2010. This is a long cover with several parts. This is song has a lot of dynamics, that the player has to keep the right mood and feel through the various stages.  

Shine On You Crazy Diamond Cover

In between these two last covers Slice added a Guns N’ Roses solo from the “Chinese Democracy” Album This I Love song originally played by Dj Asbha. a very emotional piece with lost of bends and vibrato 

Slice has done a few rhythmic covers, where no solos are involved like “Sum 41” With Me full song cover, Green Day American Idiot full song cover, “Disciple” After The World full song cover and “3Doors Down” Here Without You full song cover.

With Me Cover for Sum 41

One exception to the rest of the covers is the “Jimi Hendrix” Little Wing intro cover, this cover is different since Slice plays it there is no backing track. This is a Classic and there are many grate covers in the Tube.

Jimi Hendrix Little Wing Cover

As Slice has been making progress in his performing techniques he has also started refining the video and audio recording quality. Note that as he added more covers he started editing the footage using several frames for different instruments played simultaneously a good exposure of this can be the cover Slice made of “Dire Straits” Sultans Of Swing song from the Dire Straits album. Here Slice uses the same hand picking technique that is so characteristic of Mark Knopfler. this is also one of the videos that has received a high rating since day one. Further progress has been the sound mixing on the early videos Slice would play the original song on his PC though his external speakers and played in to his Roland Cube amplifier and matched the volumes of both. Se other post that can provide further info on how we are doing it now.

Dire Straits Sultans Of Swing Cover

The final step has been the inclusion of Chroma Key video recording and editing to provide a better visual experience. The main goal is however to maintain and centre the attention on Slice’s and his performing and not that much on the videos. However there needs to be an appealing video with motion and character to keep the viewers attention.

Don’t Cry Guns N’ Roses Cover

So far we things have been slow but the new project STW that Slice is working on is a major change in direction and we are working for your enjoyment. 

I will be on vacations for a week so I will skip some posts but will be back the second week of January with new stuff that I hope you enjoy.

Remember to comment and subscribe if you have liked this blog. and please follow Slice’s channel on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/user/inside71slice

Thanks and Happy New Year to everybody. 

Open-mouthed smile


As musician’s and an artists, ¿what are we willing to trade of for making it? Some would sell their sole’s to the devil like in the movie Crossroads, ¿But is this true? Not quite. The devil doesn’t want your sole he is after your integrity (bad word). Integrity meant in the terms of commercial compromise. Long since, music more than an art is an industry, musician’s have soled their soles to record companies in return for the use of there marketing machine. Yet it is the ego of the artist that burns in this trade not the sole. When an artist wants to make it  in the music scene, the first thing he need to realise is that he himself and his art are going no were. This only means that while he may have the talent and the art, he lacks the resources, connections and machinery to put it altogether. Getting anywhere nowadays requires a potent combination of both. The tricky part is that the combinations have to mix ingredients like ego and profit, to often a musicians ego will stand in his way, “I am the artist and nobody tells me how to do my art” well fine, but wrong. there is some one out there spending money making others work for you so that you can use your art, but there is a price to pay. This doesn’t mean that you are a musical prostitutes, it is a give and take compromise and most of times seen afterwards the give is not that much of an ego thing as you tend to make it. What the record company wants is to add some commercial value, Most of the times very subtle changes introduced by experts in the business that know more that you  do of how to make a song hit. I have always thought that it is best to listen and talk to each other and try to se what is the purpose and how it can be achieved, you can be surprised at how close you can come and how easy it sometimes becomes to reach a compromise. 

On the other hand what kind of an artist is oneself, if he cant bring his personality and ways onto everything he does, no mater what. This is one of the flags musician wave all the time. Some will agree with these words “I can play 3 blind mice and you could still tell it was me” and naturally they would be right. Try to imagine Jimi Hendrix, or SRV or Prince or Eddie Van Halen on a guitar, or Steve Wonder or John Lord on the key boards. how about Freddie Mercury, Robert Plant, Sting or Sneer O’Connor on the vocals. They would simply make the tune their own and print their style and signature on it. If you can make your self distinguishable as an artist in any discipline there is no compromise it is a signature, not anything to fuss about. So any musician that can come across as such will find a way to accommodate the commercial requirements without losing his self esteem and originality. Being flexible also gives you the opportunity to be stubborn at real critical things. it is as I said a give and take.

What is my purpose in this post? well really I see Slice and other young musicians very concerned in the bravado mega ego aspect. This is my song, my music, my playing I don’t allow any body to tell me, I am the artist, the creator and I won’t listen to anybody. I thinks that they need to re think this attitude and learn that everybody is on the same side, everybody wants him to succeed because his success is everybody’s success. What is worse his failure, is everybody’s failure and failing costs a lot of money, time and resources.  At the same time a musician wants to sell his music as much as the record company does. This binds both interest and differences in the same tie, levelling thing in everyone’s stakes.  

To keep it short Ill stop here, Please send you comments I am really interested in all  different perspectives if any one has any.

Please keep track of Slice at his You Tube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/inside71slice

thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed.

Ian.


Mixing in music is a procedure where we blend different tracks with audio content to make a musical piece. The general idea is to merge them together and make one resulting peace where everything is balanced. In a way, all instruments create a pleasing result. In this scenario a producer or engineer try’s to combine different techniques to obtain a uniform result where all instruments are matched, and they all have their room and place in the mix. There is a hole array of tools that help in this task, being the Mixing Console the most obvious but not the only one. With all recorded instrument or vocals tracks assigned to one channel each on the console, the engineer set’s the input gain and output father so all are combined in the way wanted. This is being simplistic and it is what I want for this post at this point, I will work down the post providing further detail and I will complement with an other post soon.

For now let’s say that the relative volume of all parts have a necessary matching amplitude between each other. This requires attention to all parts. Finding room in the frequency spectrum, the stereo image and the depth picture for every instrument is a planning and exercising task. On top of this the producer needs to provide room to make one or another predominant at different time when they have the lead roll on the track (vocals, guitar, keyboards etc.). He also needs to glue them al together in a way that they are tight in a musical sense.

Mixing the STW project is different in many ways. I mean different not harder or easier. The goal for the STW mix is different and the approach changes, Slice is covering a song and will be predominant over the backing track. The first peculiarity is that we use the original song as a backing track, this source has already been mixed and mastered, there for we have little headroom there to work with. Specially if we want to keep as much as possible of the original as possible. So we already have a mix that has been maxed out in frequency spectrum and layout, Stereo image and Depth. In other words our box is full.

Second we want to put Slice’s performance on top in the most respectful way and at the same time provides sufficient performance data that the listener can distinguish Slice form the original. It is obvious that the first approach will be decrease the level of the original just enough to provide room for Slice.

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Amplitude Diagram

This however has a flaw to it Slice is not covering the full spectrum range so we need to work in two dimensions amplitude (volume) and tone (frequencies). This leaves us with a moral issue, How? I don’t want to alter the original, so I intend to introduce no effects or mods to the original and EQ would be just that, so ruled off.

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Frequency Spectrum Diagram

A third dimension is the stereo image, this has an easier approach, the solution here is to widen the stereo image using stereo enhancement on the new performance and play with the stereo gaps of the original. the same as with Depth it seems reasonable to bring the added performances to the front and widen this dimension.

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Stereo image and Depth Diagram     

Also to be considered is the fact that not al songs on the STW project are in the same style or mood. While not a limiting fact it does need to be brought through on the cover mix not just in the performance done by Slice, but also in the production part. This also requires planning and getting the hole picture in to scope before you even start recording. If you don’t get the mood right and this is some times not that easy you may end up with an out of place cover and have affected the mode of the original song.

Some mixes are very busy the same as others have more room and are more disperse, This variation in the amount of instruments fighting to get room in the mix is an additional over head. They can’t be treated in the same way and it is not always the case that less busy mixes are easier since you in theory have more room. Silence is one of the hardest instruments to work with, and some times calm and clean passages can give more work than expected. having a full idea of how you will treat a specific song and how you will use the space or lack of it is key to getting your desired results.

The first cover we have done, putting all this theory together is the Cover to Gun’s ‘N’ Roses ballad Don’t Cry form the Use Your Illusion 1 album. Here Slice only performs 3 different guitars, and only 2 simultaneously at any time. This is a Ballad and mood is very important and predominant in different parts of the song so this had to be accounted for. Also this song builds form a relatively relaxed mix to a busier one during the chorus, the solo, and the finale. so two different approaches where necessary.Finally the original song used as the backing track is a potent one and the Vocals by Axel Rose and the Guitar craft by Slash mesh in a dramatic mix, this made a big difference sin Slice had to com in on that same mood and not lose the effect. Yes we needed to overpower Slash at some part, but still wanted to keep the presence of his mastering sound.      

I have to admit that there are some things that can be done to this mix to improve the result but it was the first attempt and I was also a bit overrun by the video and Chroma key part. Yes this is my excuse, but lest see what comes out with the next covers.

That’s about all for now on this. I will get some more stuff coming soon.

Pease comment Winking smile and thanks for taking the time in reading.

Follow Slice in his YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/inside71slice

Ian Burt


 

Effects are the last part of this brief series of 4 posts, effects are a world on their own and there is too much to say on this subject. I am only going to explain what we have used, where, how and why. This is not a tutorial or a guide of any sort. I am convinced that better use of effects is certainly possible and this is an area that I am learning and always will be.

One thing that is common knowledge is that effects serve different purposes. The most obvious is that they enhance the audio that they are applied to. They also solve problems with the original audio, they provide spacing queue info, depth and contour to the audio in a way that we can thin or thicken a sound, There is the artistic use on top of all these resources that can be provided by effects. Normally when it comes to effects there are two distinct groups, Sound processors that modify the original sound and produce a new one and Time based effect that don’t modify the signal as such but manipulate it’s timing. The former are more common use in the instrument scenario and the second are common in both mixing and instrument signal treatment. that however doesn’t mean that they are limited to these worlds, moreover there are certain cases where we can find them in several stages of the signal chain and mix providing different solutions to different situations. I am not going to review effects in this way since it is a huge topic.

In the STW project and starting with guitars, base and piano, Slice play’s into a Digitech GNX4 sound processor and modelling emulator, we use this “Pedal ” as a processor to get the sound we are after and also to drive the Stereo outputs to the 2 amps and the 2 line balanced outputs to the console. The pedal is in front of the amp rather than in the effect loop.

This is an fairly old multi-effect pedal but it does it job and it does it fairly nicely. the Pedal has an effect bank of over 100 pre-sets that can be customized, directly on the pedal or via a midi software called xEdit32. 

The Pedal comes with 6 different effects banks, models 2 different amp and 2 different cabinets for each pre-set, it also emulates a conversion from HB to SC and vice versa. while playing you can recall a specific patch with the tip of your foot or you can toggle between A or B amps and cabinet digital emulation or a Wrap of both that you have predefined. Turning it in to a AYB selector on top of the effects. The next picture shows the UI for the amp and cabinet selection and tuning, as does the wrap positioning of the mix of both.   

  

Once we have the amp and cab settings we move on to page 2 effects, In this part of xEdit we configure the stomp box effects. In this section they are lied out in the natural order you would arrange them in a regular pedal board loop.  from top left moving across and down the first option is a pickup selector HB/SC I don’t like this option and regularly I disable it. the first effect is the Wha, for every effect there is a choice of a number of digitally modelled and emulated well known stomp boxes. Second are the modulation effects Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, etc. Next the compressor, forth the distortion, followed delay and reverb. you can combine and adjust any combination of these. these Stomp Box effects can be toggled on/off form the pedal during performance, for maximum flexibility.

There is also the possibility to assign different functions to the expression pedal. where it can be assigned to the Wah, the volume or any other parameter that you may like to manipulate on a given patch.

MarshallFront

Ok from here we travel to the amp, we try to keep things easy on the amp and use the clean channel maybe with a little boost on the gain to beef up the tone. We also twitch the EQ if necessary to get a balanced signal from the cab, but try to remain as close as possible to 12 o’clock on all bands. This is where we finish what I call stage 1 (recording) if I have the sound I am looking for I have completed a great step forward. 

Stage 2 is the Mix-down here it is common for me to use reverb and delay to arrange position of the tracks in the spatial context. Stereo image and depth. I also use these to try and clean any masking or un noticed problems during the recording. also the compressor and shelf compressor to bring some parts to the front and make them more present.  You have to think that I am using the original track recording for the cover and this has already been mixed by a pro, so it is very lightly going to be a busy mix. this leaves me with less head room and with the added difficulty that I may end up masking the original and losing definition in the overall mix. In Stage 2 it is a lot about experimentation and failure, you need to test different things or use you own bag of tricks. One thing I have learnt is, that if it can’t see the clear need for any effect the best choice is to leave it as is. Don’t use effects just because you have them, the clearer the track the better the result.

OtherEffects

Mostly the effects added at this point are inserts in to the effect bay via plugin or on aux buses, depending on the need.

EffectBin

The last stage or Stage 3 is the Mastering. I have said this before and I can’t express how much I would love to master this stage but it is beyond my competence.  So as sad as it may seem I use the Vintage Channel VC64 plugin using the pre-set Master Mix and play with some parameters but the less the better. It dose give the mix an extra shine and I am sure that there are many ways to improve it but at this time is what I use. I have been following some grate tutorials on this subject but not quite there yet.

 VC64

Remember to follow Slice on You Tube at http://youtube.com/user/inside71slice

Thanks for reading and leave any comment you may have. Open-mouthed smile

Ian Burt.