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Sleigh Ride

I am proud to say I work for a great company and this year they put out the call to all the employees for the virtual Winter Showcase where employees that are musicians and/or singers can show off their musical talents, compose a video of their favorite Christmas tune and upload it to the company portal. They reached out to me and I was totally onboard! My song of choice was "Sleigh Ride".

I have to admit it was a little daunting at first as all the versions I've heard were the big orchestral productions and I didn't have time to gather a bunch of symphony players nor was I capable of doing that myself but I wasn't going to let that stop me.. no no noooo! I was bound and determined to make this, make it my own, get it sounding/looking decent or die trying! Ok, maybe that's a little dramatic!

Any whoo... I got to work - I put together a cool drum part in Toontrack Superior Drummer and started playing piano over the dum part... okay, sounds good.. let's record it. Next Bass guitar - yep, came up with a groovy bass line, no problem, record and done. Now... what.. what other instruments would go with this... hmmm... Organ..yeah that's it, a Hammond B3 with a bit of distortion to give it some "bite" - very cool - recorded the track and done. Now what.... Horns!! Wow, yeah, let's put a horn section, sounds to me, my Yamaha MODX has some awesome Horn patches - recorded the tracks and done and right after that, I recorded a simple guitar part on my Fender Strat.

OH CRAP!! There's a key change at the ending chorus... WTH!!! OK, don't panic... Studio One to the rescue - this is such an awesome recording software! I was able to create the key change parts in another session and merge the two together - NICE! Now for the Vocals - lead vocal track done (recorded five lead vocal tracks to pick and choose parts and create one good one and have some extra for doubling). Next up, Harmony parts - simple two part harmony ought to do it. Mix it, Master, done! OH but wait... there's more!

The video! Right, I have to present a video - okay - let's video me playing all the instruments - thank goodness I picked up a really nice Canon EOS DSLR camera - this camera is so awesome! I managed to get all the video parts done in just a few hours and brought them into my video software Movavi Video Editor. Shameless plug alert: If you record/produce your own videos and you want a simple to use but yet extremely versatile video editing software, check out Movavi . This software is so easy to use and the results are magical. Not to mention, as a "present" to myself, I updated my aging iMac 27" (2012 model) to a beast custom Mac Pro. Two 8-Core Processors and 64 Gigs of memory really make a huge difference when doing video editing!

I imported six videos into Movavi, edited them down, added the mastered audio track, synced up everything ... and here's the final product:

This was a ton of fun to do and I will definitely be doing more of these.

If you would like to see how I did this, reach out - I will be more than happy to go through the steps and equipment I used!

Take Care, stay safe, stay healthy and be good to your fellow peoples!

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