Besame Mucho

June 30, 2018

It was a little earlier in this month 2 years ago that I lost my father.  It was a very sad time in my life.  Two months prior to that I started playing accordion and I took this song as the first song to kind of record and play for my father.  How was I to know that this would be the last song that I would get to play for him?

As homage to my father I made this recording/video in his honor.

Some notes.  On the technical side, this song was the first time that I had the opportunity to use the Zoom F4 to capture the sound of the Roland FR-8X and BK-7m together, and I liked the results.  At first when I was listening to the track in Reaper, the sound was horrible, and I was very unhappy with the results, but the error was mine, and not the captured music or Reaper.  Once I set the settings to match the quality of the file (96000hz @ 24 bit), the music came alive.

It was surprising at how fast this video came together. Normally I spend about 3 hours on the audio, about 5 hours on the video.  In this case, literally, I was ready to export a completed project after only 2.5 hours of work in Reaper and Pinnacle Studio!

The audio was super easy to post process.  I first normalized all the tracks individually, then added some light EQ on the 3 channels (Accordion was channel 1, centered, and the arranger had left and right channels both hard panned left and right).  Once EQ’ed, I noticed a little more volume fluctuation on the accordion than I wanted, so some light compression brought things right in line.  The final thing was that I limited the entire file to -0.1db output on the master channel and my music was done.  Easy peasy!

The video… this one came out different.  I used two cameras (my Sony and Canon units) to create “A” and “B” roll tracks.  The Sony for the main video and the Canon for the slightly closer right hand shots.  The lighting on this one was a lot different.  Instead of filling the scene with good quality light head to toe, I wanted a darker feel in this one, with a strong spot-light effect on my face.  Amazing what one can do with a $20 clamp-light and some aluminum foil… lol.  This single light setup along with some vignette in my video gave me the effect that I wanted.  The Canon was totally unable to handle the low light and the result was a lot of grain in the video.  I addressed that by simply making it black and white and applying very gentle noise reduction.  The result was black and white and a slightly soft look… quite dramatic for those brief scene jumps!

I think that I accomplished all my goals with this song, it is a lovely piece that I know my father would have enjoyed.

December 26, 2021

Because I bought a new Mac Mini, I remastered a few videos, this was one of them. Check out this video:

Not as heavy a feel but I feel it is still poignant.