Friday, March 30, 2012

"Bohemian Rhapsody" police cruiser singer gets remixed

You may have seen the video of the drunk guy singing Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody in the back of an RCMP cruiser. If not, scroll down. If so, check out my remix of the drunk guy plus Queen, with some slicing, dicing, tuning and timing mixed in for good measure. (All done in Reaper with included plugins.)



And here's the original video:



And if you have the urge to do something like this yourself, I'm not going to hoard my secrets. Here's how I did it:
- Fed both the original RCMP Cruiser Drunk video and a Queen Bohemian Rhapsody karaoke video into a Youtube-to-MP3 site online and downloaded the tracks
- Imported both files to separate tracks in Reaper
- Applied an effects chain to the RCMP singing guy: First, a channel mix plugin to isolate just the right channel, since the left channel was only static. That moved the Right channel to center.
- EQ to cut the mud and boost around 3k.
- ReaTune set to tune the vocal to B Major. In hindsight, I think that might have been the wrong key for much of the song, but it's the information I had at the time.
- Reverb on the vocal -- ordinarily I'd use a good reverb plug-in, but all I had was the stock Reaper verbs, and I was in a hurry.
- The laborious part was going through the RCMP guy's track phrase by phrase. I sliced it, then moved it to match the instrument track. Where the drunk was off-tempo, I used time-stretching (Alt-drag) to change the pace.
- Smoothed the ins and outs of each slice with Reaper's simple fade-in/out
- Adjusted the levels for proper balance
- Put a 'glue' compressor on the master bus and a limiter just in case.
- Mixdown to WAV and that was all! Took about half an hour, and I did it while still doing my day job!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It's award season, and we scored big!

It feels like it's been a while since I've won any awards for my work -- number-one chart rankings at onlinemusicnetwork.ca aside -- but today some big news came down from the RTDNA (formerly RTNDA, in a name change I've yet to make sense of).

My colleagues and I in the Rogers Atlantic news-radio cluster cleaned up in a large way this year!

Byron MacGregor Award - Best Newscast
• News91.9 Moncton for The Afternoon News (Small Market)
• News 95.7 Halifax for The Morning News (Medium Market)

Charlie Edwards Award - Spot News
• News 95.7 Halifax for Ships Start Here

Dave Rogers Award - Short Feature
• News 95.7 Halifax for Will and Kate on PEI (Medium Market)

Gord Sinclair Award - Live Special Events
• News 95.7 Halifax for Canada Votes 2011

Peter Gzowski Award - News Information Program
• News 95.7 Halifax for Stand Against Bullies

Ron Laidlaw Award - Continuing Coverage
• News 91.9 Moncton for Romero Cormier on Trial

As far as my role, well, The Will and Kate on PEI piece (Best Short Feature) was mine, so yay for me. I'll link below to the YouTube video I did after the PEI trip. Ships Start Here (Spot News) was Amy Arts and me reporting from an eventful day at the Irving Halifax Shipyard when it was announced that Halifax would get the biggest part of the national shipbuilding procurement contract. I worked on Canada Votes 2011 (Live Special Events) at the regional desk. And, chances are, I had some hand, however small, in the Best Newscast.

Congratulations to everyone in the News95.7 Halifax, News88.9 Saint John and News91.9 Moncton family for a job well done in 2011.

The Atlantic Region RTDNA conference will be held April 14th.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Trimming your own eyebrows? Don't overdo it!

I waited too long to get a haircut, and when I finally got it cut, I forgot to ask them to trim my eyebrows.

Then I forgot to trim my eyebrows. Really, I didn't forget, but I didn't have a comb at home to facilitate the trimming. I went to the nearby dollar store and picked up a comb for $1, and headed home to give myself some over-the-eye grooming.

I used the skinny side of the comb, put it right up against the skin, and used my beard trimmer to cut it nice and close.

Too close.

Yeah, I kind of overdid it. Not only that -- Amanda says the cut wasn't exactly even.

So, advice to any man considering trimming his own eyebrows (and I say man, because most women know better already):
  • Get a professional to do it,
  • Get your wife to do it,
  • Get your cat to help,
  • Use the THICK side of the comb
  • Be careful
  • Don't go too short
  • Don't try
That is all. They're growing back now. I think I look quite fetching, actually.