(2/7/20) Since the start of the new year, we’ve been working on a new project to sing, translate, and teach Chinese songs, popular and original. The goal is to produce 4 videos based on one song, per week (Chinese, English, Karaoke, Teaching), and the final week will be an original song plus a teaching video on a language-learning related topic.

In January, we did 3 songs, although a few of them were re-dos, not complete 4-video songs (Zhui Guang Zhe, Quan Shi Jie Dou Zhi Dao,  + original: Tao Yan Zi Ji) and a Chinese alphabet teaching video. For February, we are on schedule to do another 3 songs (You Dian Tian, Zhui Guang Zhe, Piao Xiang Bei Fang) and another teaching video (not locked in yet, perhaps

Other note: I was gifted a new ipad with pen capabilities, so hopefully I can get more into art. I also purchased another Youtube course in Chinese on Hahow, which will open in March, so hopefully that will increase my skills in the latter part of the year. I finally started using my Lynda subscription, (starting last Sat) although I have been using it more on content marketing rather than art. I’ve found out that Lynda creates “paths,” and I’m trying to follow their paths to stay organized, rather than skipping around in my content.

Week 1

What I learned this week:

A good way to work on music production learning is to find the karaoke track of the target song, play it at 0.75, slow my own DAW to 0.75, and attempt to listen for all the instruments and do my best to approximate them with the instruments I have.

Areas to improve (1% at a time, each time!)

  • Microphone technique: Currently using a chair and a large blanket “fort” to mute sounds in my echo-y room. Need to come up with a standard audiobox setting, and microphone/mouth position so that if we have to re-record bits, they don’t sound different. This includes voice over techniques…speaking clearly, at a good pace, with personality.
  • Double-check details: Need to double check scripts and music, so I don’t waste time redoing things
  • DAW skills: Need to learn more basic keyboard shortcuts and capabilities. Need to make some time to read the handbook.
  • Singing skills: Pitch, especially with harmonization.
  • Guitar skills: Most important skill to work on is rhythm. A slight deviation in the guitar creates a ripple effect in the MIDI instruments and creates a lot more work and makes the sound sloppy.
  • Streamlining upload/share/archive procedures: Come up with a standard for visuals and written descriptions and a process to shave down time. Our longest video took over 8 hours to make (8 hours in one day, something like 6+ on another day, perhaps there was a 3rd day in there too. That’s far too long. For now, it’s okay because we’re learning, but we need to be more efficient in the near future or we won’t be able to keep up this publication schedule!)

If I was to put this in order of urgency, it’d be:

  1. Double checking details
  2. Streamlining upload procedures
  3. Microphone techniques
  4. Guitar skills
  5. DAW skills
  6. Singing

They are all important, but I’ve listed them in order of time saving and make the biggest impact on our time/process/life and (eventually, hopefully) on our audience.

The goal is to create 100 projects as soon as possible so that we can “fail quickly, learn quickly” and improve rapidly. But haven’t decided yet whether that 100 is 100 songs (which will take about 2 years if I keep up this rate), or 100 videos (which I will achieve by June if I keep up this rate). Also, I know I need to take time to rest/consolidate learning, and to seek out material to learn, and then actually make the effort/take the time to implement what I’m learning.

And I’m not just doing this for music, that’s the exhausting thing. Which is why art has taken a backseat for now, although it’s something I want to pursue. Writing and music production first.

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4