Monday, 28 December 2009

Pando Saves the Day

Day Twenty Five.

Phil and my dad left early this morning to drive to Pembrokeshire to pick up more of my dad's boxes to take to the smallholding. I'm starting to see where my hoarder's personality has come from! My father finds it really hard to part with anything, much to my mother's dismay. I've promised her that I'll help my dad to go through everything if he's not already done so by the time we move in, probably sometime in March.

It was lovely to get up so early and feel the whole day stretching ahead of me, without any distractions. Finally I had the time to sit down and convert all of the individual tracks (of the songs ready to be mixed) from Garageband files into aiff files. Sounds boring, but is essential for the tracks to be imported into ProTools - which is how Chris (our amazing sound guy) needs them. When we were at his place last, we had a bit of a breakthrough after several difficulties raised their ugly heads. Non-techies can stop reading now...

To get my Garageband songs/files onto Chris' ProTools, I needed first of all to get them onto his computer. They are very large files, and so I thought I should set up an FTP directory on our website so that I could upload to there and he could download from it. Alas, FTP will not support files with anything other than numbers and letters as names, and Garageband seems to insist upon naming each track something like 'Recording#23.' Invalid filename, unacceptable to FTP.

Then I discovered - a programme which allows you to send large files (much larger than normal) in an email. I sent the songs to Chris, and despite his disgruntled murmurings about it taking hours to download, he was surprised that it worked... But... But it became an impossible dream when we opened the files with him in his studio and discovered (to our horror) that each recording was no longer in order, nor was it cut down to size, so that would mean we would have to go through every single track and a) try to place it in the correct place in the song, and b) cut it back AGAIN to cut out unwanted parts, which means that c) we would have to re-listen to everything to determine whether or not it was a wanted or unwanted section - argh!!!

At that point we thought the whole project would have to change course, and without Chris' expertise at that. There was no way we could afford to rearrange every micro-recording of every track of every song. 'If only we could get the tracks with the silences in between...' we muttered, glumly. And then suddenly I had a brainwave - if I could mute every track but one, I could send each track to iTunes and the silences in between would happen in real time! I quickly put my idea into action and was mightily relieved that it worked. So that's what I've been doing this morning. Saving each song with all tracks but one muted, one track at a time (naming them appropriately!), and sending every version to iTunes. I'll wait until tonight to send them all to Chris, as Pando takes up all of the bandwidth when it's sending...

I can't wait for the album to be finished, I'm so excited! :)

This afternoon I'm going to drive over to the smallholding to have a look around before Phil and my dad return from Pembrokeshire. Then I'll give him a lift home. I can't believe I've only really spent about half an hour there - that was when I went to view it before we all put the offer in - yet we're planning on being there for the rest of our foreseeable future... I'll take my camera, maybe I'll have some nice pictures to share when I come back :)

EDIT Here's one:


  1. Oh it's beautiful Emily, I can't wait to see more photos as you get settled.

    Happy New Year ;) x

  2. It looks gorgeous! And well done for your pando brainwave.

  3. I'm looking forward to seeing more pictures too:-) So glad you've had a good christmas and new year! xxx