My multi-track adventure!
In my final year of high school, I discovered multi-tracks on YouTube. These were mainly covers of Disney songs by singers, or the occasional brass player. I fell in love with these. I tried googling “how to make multi-track videos” but nothing really came up. I knew of the app acapella, but couldn’t really figure it out as an instrumentalist. So, I started recording audio of clarinet quartets I found online in Garageband, and posted them to sound cloud. Unfortunately, my mac was really slow, so any piece that was longer than a few minutes would end up having lag and glitches, and it all became quite frustrating, so I stopped.
In my second year of University, I discovered a musician on YouTube called Josh Plotner. Josh is a woodwind doubler who records multi-tracks of movie themes, choral music etc., and adds quite a bit of video editing. I. Fell. In. Love.
I told my teacher how I really wanted to start creating these videos but didn’t know how, and he mentioned acapella. I decided to give this app another go. I created a simple cover of the Pretty Little Liars theme, posted it on my newly created Instagram account, and people loved it! And I also loved creating it! So, I did more. I made longer videos, added costumes, used more than 4 parts, and it became a hobby of mine.
A few months in to creating these videos, I started having issues with the audio quality. Unfortunately, clarinet doesn’t record very well into iPhone microphones. It ends up sounded really distorted, as if the gain is too high. So, I did my research to find other instagrammers who seemed to be having better luck with the audio. I found a trumpet player who had high quality multi-tracks and sent him a message. He told me that he used acapella, but used an iRig, which allowed you to connect a mic lead to your iPhone. So, I bought one of these, a mic stand and lead, and the only mic I really knew anything about, a Shure SM57. I recorded with this setup in acapella for over a year, and it did the job. I no longer had any sound issues, but getting a long piece such as Bohemian Rhapsody perfect in one take was close to impossible, and these videos became very time consuming, and frustrating.
Fast forward to a couple months ago, and my partner Tom as extremely good at recording. In fact, he gets paid to record orchestras, recitals, and audition tapes. Tom gave me suggestions for a new microphone, as the Shure works best for snare drums, not clarinets haha. So, I went out and bought a RodeNT1A microphone. I decided I was no longer going to use acapella, and instead learn how to make them properly. I already knew how to use Garageband obviously, and Tom helped me with my recording setup. So now, I plug my mic into my interface, which goes into my laptop where I use Garageband. My headphones are plugged into my interface where I can hear a click track, parts that are already recorded, as well as live feedback.
Learning how to do the video part was my biggest issue. I messaged Gina Luciani, and did some googling to find what people used. The answer I got from Gina, and the internet, was Premiere Pro by Adobe. So, I watched a million tutorials, have made a lot of mistakes with editing, have gotten very frustrated, but am slowly improving with my editing and recording skills, and I have never been more motivated to do what I love.