Week 1 - Ready or Not

Well, Week 1 came and went pretty quickly.  It feels great to have the first song out there.  Thanks for all of your feedback.  Sorry I was a little slow to follow up the song with this blog post.  Song #2 is taking up a little more of my time this week than I expected.  Frankly, it’s been a tough nut to crack.  But it’s getting there.  Going forward, I hope to post at least once per song sharing some of the song’s backstory and maybe a lesson or two learned. 

I started Ready or Not on New Year’s morning feeling a little…no, a lot under the gun given the shortened week.  But I was committed to finishing it up and posting it by end of day Saturday.  It began as it often does with some strumming around on the acoustic guitar.  I had the capo up on the 4th or 5th fret.  I kept coming back to a little lick I had stumbled upon a day or two earlier.  It’s the lick that opens the song and starts the melody.  That was my launching point and the opening words – ‘I’m starting something here…’ – seemed to flow pretty naturally.  I spent a few hours working out the rest of the lyrics, melody and chords on the acoustic and was feeling pretty good about it.  I liked ‘Ready or Not’ as a theme for the first week’s song.   I worked at it in Pro Tools for a few more sessions over the next few days and finished it up.  It definitely came along a lot more smoothly than this week’s song.

The big challenge I ran into with Ready or Not involved some technical issues where my computer froze mid-playback.  In all three instances, the project file became corrupted and could no longer be opened.  I lost about 2-3 hours of work that I had to go back and recreate.   Not fun, especially that first week. 

The lesson learned…Have a backup system in place and make sure it works.  I was hitting CTRL-S every few minutes prior to that first crash, thinking I was safe if anything went wrong.  However, when that project file became corrupted, it didn’t matter that I had saved it two minutes earlier.  It wouldn’t open and everything I found on tech support websites confirmed for me that it was a goner. 

I now have Pro Tools save a copy of the current project file to another folder every three minutes that I’m working in the program.  It might seem excessive but I was pretty distraught after that first crash.  When the other two crashes happened I was able to recover fairly quickly.  And from those two crashes, I figured out which plug in was giving me grief and I’ve been good since then.  (Knock wood.)  Let’s just say bounce your virtual instruments down to audio tracks. 

Enough of the tech talk.  The end of week 2 is rapidly approaching and I need to get back to work…