I went to church this morning to record the Rooted concert off the camcorder (it’s an old one that doesn’t have a firewire or USB connection), but the whole morning seemed beset by complications, as is usually the case when doing anything technical. To start with it was a case of finding the right leads to connect everything up – I had to go out again shortly after arriving to pick up my friend Anthony to show me how to connect it all up! We got there in the end and set it capturing, but because it does it in real time I had to sit around and wait an hour or so while it did it.
It wasn’t wasted time though – I used the time by going through a song for Sunday’s morning service, and playing the drums. Actually the drums were the highlight of today; I don’t normally get to play drums, so it was nice to be able to let loose with some rhythm without disturbing anyone. I had even brought with me my MP3 player with the beginnings of the recording of “Do I need riches”, the song I wrote earlier this week. It was quite fun playing along to that on the drums, and very satisfying to get the complicated rhythms right!
When I came back to the camcorder for the umpteenth time I found it finally finished, which just left me needing to get it from the computer onto some medium so I could take it home and fiddle with it. No problem, I had brought a DVD with me for just this purpose. The file size was 4.44GB, the label on the DVD said 4.7GB, so it should just fit, I thought. No such luck. The quoted 4.7GB refers to an unformatted DVD, but formatted to take files it only had 4.37GB. Grrr. Nero stuck its tongue out at me and said “nice try, sonny Jim, better luck next time”.
My next step was to try to remove the blank space at the end of the video file, where it had overrun while I was out playing the drums and had recorded a couple of minutes of nothingness. The only piece of software on the computer that I could find that was anywhere near the right sort of thing was Microsoft Movie Maker. Great, I thought, I’ll just load it into there and chop the end off. Yeah, right. Movie Maker recognised the file, and let me select it, but actually loading it so that I could edit it proved to be a challenge too far.
At first I tried importing the file as Movie Maker wanted to, chopping it into manageable chunks. No big deal, I thought, as long as I can paste them all back together again. Importing that file took 22 minutes. When it was done, the program crashed. Grrr. So I tried importing it all as one clip, rather than separate ones. This appeared to work at first, in that it appeared in the clip list, but as soon as I dragged it into place, everything froze again. Clearly it just didn’t know what to do with a 4.4GB video file.
In the end I gave up and went home. Still, at least it’s now off the camcorder, and all I need to do now is find a DVD with a large enough capacity (or an alternative) so that I can get it home.
This afternoon I decided to carry on in a similar vein, and recorded some more tracks to the “Do I need riches” songs I’ve been recording. I now have guitar, bass, lead guitar, two vocal tracks, and a drum machine track. I shall probably have to re-record the main vocal track because I think it clipped in a couple of places, and the lead guitar part needs some refining too. I also need to record some drums and put some stringy synth underneath too, and then mix it. It’s already sounding reasonably good though, which is encouraging. It’s strangely satisfying playing all the parts – it means I get exactly the performance I want!