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Operator


drathbun

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Hey gang. I've been working on this one for literally months. A while ago I recorded my cover of Croce's "I Have To Say I Love You In A Song" which is simple in comparison to "Operator". I remember hearing this song when it came out. I was just starting to learn chords. Back in the early '70's you were lucky if you caught a fleeting glimpse of Jim Croce and his marvellous side man Maury Muehleisen on a TV program like the Midnight Special. Even if you saw him, the cameras were focused on his face and not his guitar. I didn't even know Croce HAD a side man! I thought it was one guy playing all that on ONE guitar! So, suffice it to say, I never even attempted to play it.

 

I can't say enough about this YouTube channel "Jerry's Guitar Bar". He has tons of song tutorials and many are free. One of the free ones was "Operator". He has the tabs print in PDF for you as well as a full play through. It took me a few weeks but I learned it!

 

Then, the tough part. Muehleisen. There are videos of him playing live but nothing focuses on his hands. I can tell he's capoed at five though. A long search on YouTube turned up this guy playing the part in detail. Thank the internet gods!

 

 

I recorded the audio track in Sonar Platinum, mastered in WavePad. The guitars are recorded with a Rode M5 condenser mic and the vocals with a Rode NT1A medium diaphragm condenser.

 

Jim's part guitar is my Martin 000-28vs and Maury's part guitar is my Gibson SJ200 Golden Age. The bass was played on my Squire JBass. All the other tracks are individually edited from Karaoke Version MP3s.

 

I played back my pre-recorded WAV file and recorded the video using my iPhone 7 Plus. The video was put together in Camtasia 9, stripping out the iPhone's audio and synching up the WAV file with the video.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJTS0ugUfaU&feature=youtu.be

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Hey gang. I've been working on this one for literally months. A while ago I recorded my cover of Croce's "I Have To Say I Love You In A Song" which is simple in comparison to "Operator". I remember hearing this song when it came out. I was just starting to learn chords. Back in the early '70's you were lucky if you caught a fleeting glimpse of Jim Croce and his marvellous side man Maury Muehleisen on a TV program like the Midnight Special. Even if you saw him, the cameras were focused on his face and not his guitar. I didn't even know Croce HAD a side man! I thought it was one guy playing all that on ONE guitar! So, suffice it to say, I never even attempted to play it.

 

I can't say enough about this YouTube channel "Jerry's Guitar Bar". He has tons of song tutorials and many are free. One of the free ones was "Operator". He has the tabs print in PDF for you as well as a full play through. It took me a few weeks but I learned it!

 

Then, the tough part. Muehleisen. There are videos of him playing live but nothing focuses on his hands. I can tell he's capoed at five though. A long search on YouTube turned up this guy playing the part in detail. Thank the internet gods!

 

 

I recorded the audio track in Sonar Platinum, mastered in WavePad. The guitars are recorded with a Rode M5 condenser mic and the vocals with a Rode NT1A medium diaphragm condenser.

 

Jim's part guitar is my Martin 000-28vs and Maury's part guitar is my Gibson SJ200 Golden Age. The bass was played on my Squire JBass. All the other tracks are individually edited from Karaoke Version MP3s.

 

I played back my pre-recorded WAV file and recorded the video using my iPhone 7 Plus. The video was put together in Camtasia 9, stripping out the iPhone's audio and synching up the WAV file with the video.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJTS0ugUfaU&feature=youtu.be

 

Holy cow, Doug, that is great, fine job, you got it down! Wow, you did a lot of work to produce that! Thanks much for posting your details.

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Yeah that’s some level of home recording mister

I’d love to be able to make videos like this

 

Any tutorials I could study ?

 

I still haven’t figured out how to embed a quality recording onto a video

 

I've been putting together my own recordings for so long, it has been trial an error - which is the best way to learn. I should put together a tutorial video on the basics or multitrack recording/mixing and video editing! :)

 

The best advice IMO is to get a good recording interface and the best microphone you can afford.

 

As to putting quality audio on a video, I did all my recording/mixing and mastering first and created the audio track. This is many, many takes and edits and tweaks. Once I had the final WAV file of the song, I played it back over my recording system monitors and recorded a video of me playing the two main guitar parts. I use a "click track" in my recording software to keep everything lined up, so I left that running throughout the video recording. This gave me audio markers to line up the video to the WAV file. I imported the videos and the WAV file into Camtasia and lined them up. Then I separated the audio from the video tracks and deleted them. So I was left with just the WAV file studio recording and me miming my "performance" for the video. There's one spot where I play a bit where I wasn't supposed to and there is no audio - whoops. :)

 

There are a number of video editing programs out there. I've been using Camtasia lately but I've also tried PowerDirector and iMovie.

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Holy cow, Doug, that is great, fine job, you got it down! Wow, you did a lot of work to produce that! Thanks much for posting your details.

 

Thanks so much Bill! This is such a fun hobby!

 

PS: I posted this in the Martin forum as well and one of the first comments was "why do you have a J200?" LMAO

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Thanks so much Bill! This is such a fun hobby!

 

PS: I posted this in the Martin forum as well and one of the first comments was "why do you have a J200?" LMAO

Fun hobby ??? Makes my head spin just thinking about figuring out even a simple recording routine. This was fantastic ! [thumbup]

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Fun hobby ??? Makes my head spin just thinking about figuring out even a simple recording routine. This was fantastic! [thumbup]

 

Awww thanks, Dan!

 

It really isn't all that difficult.

 

I really can't recommend Karaoke Version high enough. If you go to "custom tracks" and enter a search for the song you wish to cover, you can get multitracked versions of these songs. They have thousands of the most popular songs in every genre. The multitracked songs are all $3.99 US which is really quite cheap for the quality of the individual tracks. All of the drum, keyboard, bass, strings and guitar parts are professionally played - very close to the originals. The lead vocals and backing vocals are usually pretty awful but I replace all of those anyway along with all the tracks I want to play - guitars and bass.

 

Once you have paid for the song, you just turn on/off the tracks you do or don't want and then download the MP3. You can do this unlimited times and the tracks stay in your account's folder. So for me, I will pay for a track like "Operator" then turn off everything but the click track and download that. Then turn off everything but the drum track and download that as a separate MP3 and so on. With "Operator" there were eight tracks from the click to the lead vocals. I sometimes use a track as a guide - like for the bassline. I just listen and play over it with a separate track and then delete the Karaoke Version version. I ended up with only three of the KVersion tracks; drums, piano and backing vocals.

 

I think a lot of people get intimidated by all the buttons and knobs on a multitrack recorder. Most of the bells and whistles on software like Cubase, Sonar or ProTools you will never, ever need. If you can just focus on the basics; gain, volume, tone, EQ and pan most everyone can do this. I don't have a Mac anymore, but GarageBand is a wonderful piece of software because it helps the user focus on the basics. Play, track, mix and produce.

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This was fantastic Doug. I love your 200 too!

 

I remember my at-the-time hippie sister playing this whole album every day from her room, and so it will always remind me of her. Thanks!

 

And I also see how much work went into this. Very enjoyable.

 

Thanks Sal!

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Most people don't know how much diligence is involved in putting together a fine piece of work like your version of 'Operator', thanks many times over Doug.

 

Jim Croce/Maury Muehleisen were one of the finest acoustic duo teams ever. When their plane went down in Louisiana it was a tragedy for all who love acoustic music. best regards

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Most people don't know how much diligence is involved in putting together a fine piece of work like your version of 'Operator', thanks many times over Doug.

 

Jim Croce/Maury Muehleisen were one of the finest acoustic duo teams ever. When their plane went down in Louisiana it was a tragedy for all who love acoustic music. best regards

 

Thanks, Tarrr. No the process isn't really simply and yet it isn't beyond the range of most people who have some aptitude with computers. I've developed multitracking skills over the years by just doing it. Of course, I taught sound and lighting at a university theatre arts program for many years, but the stuff I am using at home is really only home/hobbyist calibre software/hardware.

 

I have created a video demonstrating the process I take to create a multitrack like "Operator". I used to use MIDI tracks to create the drums, keys and strings I needed for the backing tracks I needed for the instruments I don't play. Finding www.karaoke-version.co.uk was a real godsend. The video shows, in a very glossed-over way, the process of obtaining the backing tracks from Karaoke Version and then bringing them into my DAW (digital audio workstation), Sonar in this case, and adding my own tracks and mixing and mastering the final WAV file.

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So here is the video that I created just to demonstrate (in very simple terms) my process of creating a multitracked recording using Karaoke Version MP3 files as a base.

 

I'm not claiming to be an expert at all. This is just what I've learned from fiddling around at home over a number of years.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilSeJk6C6-w&list=PLZ3Pir1J67Yw9i94S2WUYxbEziHecWXjg&index=6

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