Two Firsts

This morning, I attended the debut screening of the film I scored. This afternoon, I made my first experiment in editing and mixing tracks all by myself.

Instead of the usual Cornell Plantations luncheon, this year they had a mystery presentation followed by a lunch reception. The husband of a particular lady who has been very involved with both Cornell Plantations and the Lab of Ornithology made a donation to make this film project — a collaboration between the two entities — possible. Everyone managed to keep the project a secret from her until the presentation today.

A variety of folks associated with the two groups assembled in a campus theatre to see the two films in high definition. First was the one I scored, “The Wildflower Garden,” followed by the one Laurie Hart scored, “The Sanctuary.” Both are short nature films focusing on particular areas around campus. Natural sound is the primary score, with a narrative and an underlying bed of music.

It was pretty exciting to see my name in the credits.

The lunch afterwards was quite nice, too. Cornell makes good food. I didn’t get to speak with Laurie or the videographer David Brown who had hired me, but I sat with the woman who was next to me at the screening and another woman I knew from our old church, and I got to talk with yet another woman I knew from a local jam session.

(It feels odd to refer to people as “woman” — seems so old. “Lady” would be worse, “girl” doesn’t seem to fit, and “gal” is just silly…)

Not long after I got home, I started experimenting with The Hanshaw Trio’s recordings of a medley of “Star of Munster” and “Old Copper Plate.” Take 8 was my favorite, but I had a bum note in the middle, so I wanted to see if I could replace that section with the same section from another take. For my first attempt at editing, I thought I did a pretty good job, although I need more practice to really understand what I’m doing and how to do it better. I’ll also need to do the edit differently; the tempos between the two takes were different enough that the edit isn’t smooth. I could try taking the section from another take with a more similar tempo, or make the section longer (going to a natural transition point) or shorter (just the bum note) in order to make the tempo change less significant.

I also learned how to draw an envelope to control the volume faders automatically, and I learned how to mix down the three tracks to a stereo track.


4 thoughts on “Two Firsts

  1. Hi Marcy, what software are you using to do your mixing and editing? I’m just starting to play with GarageBand on my Mac.

  2. Hi Marcy, I tinker a little with an acoustic guitar and play a little piano, most of all though I love to sing and am considering making what I feel is a brave step to record some material. I’ve been producing electronic music for about 10 years now, but I’ve never done any work recording voice or other acoustic intstruments.

  3. Ben, Go for it! Especially since you’ve got the software, so the cost of recording yourself won’t be a hindrance.

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