I booked The Soundscape Studio for Friday night and spent about four hours laying down drum parts, much of which I’m planning to use for the Acro Camp soundtrack.
I like The Soundscape a lot. It’s in Royal Oak close to my house. It’s cozy without being cramped. Tim Smith operates it. He’s a drummer and really seems to understand how to mic a drum kit. And he gets how to manage a session and is a whiz on the console.
Mike Murphy, a fellow CAP officer and one of the guys who helped shoot the Greg Poe ride last summer, came along and helped shoot video and stills, as well as hang out to keep things loose. Really helpful.
I first pounded out the drums for The Last Pure Thing on the Radio, a song that I’m hoping will go a little viral among the airshow radio community (EAA Radio, Sun ‘N Fun Radio, Arlington Fly-In Radio, Flight Line Radio, &c.). A nice little warm-up.
Then I asked Tim to set up a 120 bpm click track and I spent 20 minutes or so just banging out drum parts that I can later cut into convenient samples for use in stuff for the soundtrack. I’ve never had a convenient set of my own drum sounds to use as a sample library. And, prior to switching to Pro Tools as a primary recording and editing platform for sound, I never had a need for a library like that.
I’ll probably ask ace New York sound guy Scott Cannizzarro to mix the samples into a good two-track file and then go in and cut it into samples. Then, once I have a sample set, I can set up a 120-bpm (or other tempo with elastic audio) and play with the audio to my heart’s content. I’m envisioning much of the music as being groove-oriented and non-melodic. Stuff like Thunderbird Groove and Goat Groove that will ride under the visual content, punctuating it from time to time but generally staying out of the way.
Truth be told, what I really want is to use a few tracks from the instrumental disc of Dream Theater’s Black Clouds and Silver Linings album, namely The Count of Tuscany and The Best of Times. But there seems to be little chance of making that happen. From what I understand of licensing deals, the Dream Theater music would end up costing four to ten times the total budget of the film that I have available right now. I might still pursue that, but it’ll have to wait for after principal photography when I start editing in earnest.
Do you know Dream Theater’s people? Got an in with BMI? Know the folks at Roadrunner Records? Tell ‘em that there’s a potentially great aerobatic movie out here in Michigan that could put that music to an amazing use that doesn't cannibalize otheruses of the music. And I’ll do a step deal if that makes it happen. Anyway . . .
So now it’s back to the pre-production grind. My primary concern these days is getting the camera mounts right. That’s one of the few things that’s genuinely out of my control but that I have to make happen. I’m good with the Citabria and the Super-D. I have good in-airplane mount sites and I understand how they’re going to work. I might also have an exterior mount or two that will work well and I’m excited about trying those as well, at least for some B-roll and/or trailer stuff.