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Q&A with Steve Robb: Producing “Over You” Music Video

Profile: Steve Robb. Singer/Songwriter on producing “Over You”

We’re very lucky to have a strong music community here in the western suburbs of Boston, and one of people is very active in that is Steve Robb. He hosts open mics and performs locally and writes his own songs because of all the social distancing that’s  going on he’s also now gotten into producing videos and recording music at a distance and you just produce one called Over You and I thought it be great to get a little bit of his input as to what he learned in that process. 

What software did you use to record the audio and what did you use for video?

The audio was recorded on in almost every case on the phones that were used to record the videos, with two exceptions. The bass was live recorded directly into the Desktop Mac that was right there, into GarageBand. That bass was hardwired to the Mac. Then also to get a little bit better track better sound quality, we re-recorded the main guitar and main vocal also in GarageBand, and those were then added to the to the program. The videos obviously done with their own cameras, and that was all assembled in DaVinci resolve.

In what order so you add instruments?

The instruments were added primarily with the main track. In this particular case, it was me playing guitar which had both vocals and guitar. That was that was first. And that was something that everybody could then add their parts to. Kept the tempo, had a metronome. Everyone else was added as I received them, which, in this particular case, because of our situation, was done at different times. I think the drums came and then bass, which was good. And then the vocalists sent me their tracks and the mandolin player sent me his.

What would you say are some of the key lessons you learned from producing the “Over You” video?

Well, I think the key lesson I had I learned was make sure your computer has enough RAM because as you move the pieces around, if you don’t have a set storyboard, which which also might be handy,  you’re designing as you’re creating, and that can take up a lot of time watching the computer wheel spin as the computer processes all the changes that you’ve made. There is a lot going on from moving the files, not just the video playing, but because you can zoom in. You can reposition.  There’s all those all kinds of tricks, and you can make  endless things and also being careful not to over do all those little tricks, because then it can get a little little tacky, sometimes by putting in all kinds of little gimmicks. So,  the RAM and I think it does help to have, if not a a storyboard on paper, to at least have a visual idea of how you want this to look. Some instruments photographed better horizontally. Others photographed better in a vertical format. Mostly, singers with heads are in a vertical format. You want to bear that in mind, but if you’ve got a guitar player who’s facing the camera, you may want to see both hands. And, of course, with guitar or with bass, that’s a wide photo. And so you want to have that in mind as you design your storyboard. So taking a lot of that into account and then the pacing,  when to add somebody when to take somebody away. But all that could be done in the in the program, as you do it. As long as you have enough RAM, which I’m not sure I had enough of.

Q&A Produced with AnswerStage.

The final production:

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