The Great World-Wide
Play Sherman’s 2020 Inventions
Borrowing a technique that has been used in movie-making since its beginnings, I devised a method of recording music overdubs even at VERY long range.
- 1. I send a musician (anywhere in the world) an MP3 stereo recording that starts with a count-off and a sharp sound (like a hand clap) on the recording before the music starts. (i) The hand clap or snare hit is a substitute sync sound for the “snap” made by the movie-making clack board.
- 2. The distant artist imports the MP3 original into the free Audacity app. (ii)
- 3. A mono track is added.
- 4. Audacity is set to record mono.
- 5. The mono track is selected and the overdub is recorded.
- 6. A copy is made of the file containing the three Audacity tracks.
- 7. Using the copy, the original music is deleted past the hand clap leaving only the hand clap and the overdub recording—not the original music. Only the overdub audio is returned to the originator.
- 8. The overdub MP3 file is exported from Audacity and the resulting MP3 file sent back to the originator. If multiple overdub recordings are made, they are sent, one-by-one, in separate MP3 files.
For higher quality, much larger WAV files may be used instead of MP3 files.
- (i) Actually (from my book on recording techniques) in addition to the count-off, there should also be a slate (which take this is) and a tuning note—a single piano note in the key of the song which sounds all during the count-off. This note is very handy for tuning instruments to the recording later on. This is especially true if the pitch of the original recording is changed.
- (ii) Naturally, if the distant musician has a DAW (digital audio workstation) he or she can import the stereo mix, move the hand clap to a separate track, record overdub(s), make a mix featuring just the hand clap track and one of the overdub tracks and export this as an MP3 or WAV file from the DAW.
When the originator receives the email with the overdub file attached, he or she imports the hand clap and overdub into a new track in the multi-track master. The visual spike of the hand clap in the overdub is aligned with the spike in the original.
The overdub is now in perfect sync with the original recording.
Adding overdub recordings from a recording artist located anywhere in the world (or vice versa) was the plan. I have yet to find such an artist but I will, given enough time. I also look forward to being asked to record an overdub for another artist’s work using this method.