Finally! A proper unmitigated disaster of a recording! Finally! Something to struggle against! Something to win! This was the episode…that almost wasn’t!
I went to see Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit with Jon and Brooke, and a couple of Brooke’s friends, and we were all excited to record, but couldn’t get it done that evening. We converged in the Dayton Upstairs Recording Studio a few days later and set up to record with a template that I’d made so I wouldn’t have to set the project up fresh every time. And I firmly believe that’s where things went to shit.
I wound up with a metronome recorded over my entire track. I still don’t know how I activated it, because my attempts to replicate the effect later were unsuccessful, and I further don’t know how it recorded without me (or anyone) hearing it in the monitor, but, over a roughly 90-minute recording, my track had a “tap tap tap” going the entire time.
First I wrote the episode off entirely, which broke my heart because this was, I thought, one of our best ones yet. Brooke was finally speaking up more, and she and Jon were both on-mic just perfectly, without Jon being too loud or Brooke too quiet. It was funny and thoughtful, and we recorded twenty or thirty minutes of content that made me laugh so much I decided it could be a little stand-alone bonus episode. And to have all that gone to waste was so devastating that I simply pretended it was business as usual and said, “well, that sucks.” I was trying to “fake it til you make it” a cavalier attitude to protect myself from the great disappointment.
A few days later, the thought occurred to me that if I simply removed my track, you could still hear me in the background of theirs, and that perhaps that could be a good solution. I mean, not ideal, but functional nonetheless. And I tried it, but it wasn’t great. I wondered if it was possible to boost the background noise in their tracks so that I would come in louder, and that’s when I turned to Google and then Reddit.
I just want to thank the beautiful people over at r/Logic_Studio for their assistance. The first recommendation that was made me was that I look into a piece of software called iZotope RX, which is audio repair software, and I was excited at the possibility, particularly because it had a free trial. Once I got it open, however, I found that the trial didn’t allow saving, but I thought, if it could do the job, and if I couldn’t afford it (they were having some Black Friday deals I hadn’t yet looked into), perhaps I could use Loopback and route the audio out of it and into Audacity. You know. Workarounds.
It didn’t do the job perfectly, but it was a big improvement on my first plan, to simply cut my track out. This, I thought, would be my solution, until I read something about inverting phases. Science is crazy and so is sound, and apparently, one can cleanly record the sound they want removed, in this case the metronome, and lay it over the original track, and invert its phase, and get the effect of removing the sound completely. It sounded too good to be true, some real black magic shit. It would work like this:
So I tried it. It took some extremely precise lining up, and it wasn’t entirely consistent; sometimes I would have to cut the new metronome track and re-align it when it started to get out of sync. But. It worked.
This has meant that editing was not very easy, however, because my track and its matching track looked like fields of absolute nonsense.
But when it was all said and done, in the end, we got to good. I’m so excited and proud to announce that the Jojo Rabbit episode, as well as the bonus episode that will follow it, are alive and well despite what I thought only last week was a catastrophic, irreparable mistake on my part.
As for the movie itself, it is an irreverent comedy about World War II and a lot of people don’t think they’re ready for something like that. I wasn’t sure myself, going in, but tried to limit my knowledge of the movie going in by avoiding trailers, clips, reviews, and so forth, and just keeping an open mind. Our opinions on the film are contained within. So have a listen, won’t you?
Jojo Rabbit stars Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Taika Waititi, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, Alfie Allen, and Stephen Merchant. As I write this, it is, I believe, in its last week in theaters. So if you didn’t catch it, try to keep your eyes peeled for when it releases on VOD and disc.
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