I took the opportunity to work on Alex Mills song as a side project with instrumentals already done by him before whilst vocals were tracked in the S6 studio at SAE. Alex has a great voice and excellent skills on the acoustic guitar.
Now the idea I had was to redo the instrumentals for the song since its more of a ballad style genre & I felt to do a reggae style genre. Why I chose a reggae feel was that the song is soulfully sentimental & reggae shares the same values. I used this song as my reference track as I try to emulate the aesthetics in it to create that sentimental feel.
Now the challenge I faced was the stems for Alex’s song did not tag at all with the tempo within the DAW. The default is 120 for any Pro tools session. I even wondered how his music was recorded without a click track & therefore I had to create a new strategy of self mental click track (just a word I thought haha). Honestly that is a very brutal idea as I tried my best to recreate the drums particularly, drums do carry the rhythm for the song. I really did not like that idea why because I spend too much time trying to get the right take just the kick drum & still had more to do on the snare and hats since all instrumentals were programmed.
I left the guitars play along as I continued to create other instrumentals but I noticed that they were not befitting the genre. I am thinking to either automate them coming in at regular intervals or to remove them totally so we keep that reggae solid style. That would mean I need to add a reggae guitar in which is pretty much a major challenge to have one of my mates coming in to do the guitar with all this social distancing restrictions. If only my mate had a studio at home but unfortunately he does not have one. My only alternative is create a midi one though that is absolutely not easy to do.
All instrumentals I will create them in the DAW using Pro tools plugins & a midi keyboard. I also will will work with Roy to do guitar work & learning together has really challenged me to think outside my comfort zone. I hope to learn different workflow with this project on recreating instruments without a click track. I will decide later on whether to add female vocals depending with how things go in this current situation. I hope to edit & mix by the end of week 10.