Friday, September 14, 2012

Quick Fixes for Slight Timing Problems

This Recording Hint reminds me of the Volcano Cake that I made for my child's birthday some years back.... everyone thought the lumps of red frosting on top of the piled up chocolate cake crumbles was a fantastic creative idea. In actuality, the cake fell apart when I took it out of the pan.... Sometimes our greatest creations start with mistakes. So here's a fun idea for fixing one kind:

Most of us have done it... feeling very pleased with a song recording, only to realize several months later that our timing "slipped" in a few places. Especially with vocals, where we focus so much on clearly singing the words (enunciating) that we might not notice that we're a tad off beat.

What to do? Trying to patch vocals later is very hard... must match the mic settings and your tone. Plus there's $$$ issues for recording the fix. It's quite tempting to say "Maybe no one will notice."

But here's a quick fix to try. It did "miracles" for my early 2010 song "Creator Joy" when I planned 3 distinct tempos within the song to match the mood.... but ended up with probably 7 or 8 tempos!

Just add a "flexible" background.... I used a Whirly Piano instrument background track for my song:
1. I doubled the instrument's pre-set reverb setting,
2. plus added more echo. These 2 changes really made the notes ring out long enough to distract from timing issues. Sure, musicians might notice. But the extra track also makes your timing appear intentional!
3. Pull in your FULL song track that you already have, into the project. Solo that track with your new track that you will create.
4. After selecting your background instrument, create the notes to play against the FULL mix. Then the only mixing needed is balancing the new track with the mix you already liked.
5. If your original notes are mid-range, play the flexible instrument at a higher note range. And in reverse, for "contrary motion."  Mid-range and higher usually stays out of the sonic range of existing bass and piano tracks.
6. Save, and Turn OFF "Control -- Snap to Grid".
7. Then play the FULL plus NEW track together with the MIDI track in your Notation view. As you hear new track notes come in a bit sooner or later than the original music, just stop the recording, shift the MIDI note a bit (extending length if needed), and try again.

The hardest part of this hint is that it's so much fun to do that you just might end up needing more time so you can add some other instruments and texture tracks!....
Much joy to you, enjoying even old mistakes for the game they can provide!
©2012 DianaDee Osborne, all rights reserved