Participating in a 72-Hour Album Jam

April 25, 2023, 12:50 PM · Last weekend, I participated in an online album jam for Video Game Music! This 72-hour Album Jam was a challenge where participants have to try and create a joint album all in the span of a single weekend - for me, this included arranging, playing, and mixing a track to be sent off for mastering for a full charity album release sometime in the next couple months! I won't share any specifics here, but I did briefly just want to talk about the process.

As you'd expect (and I feel in a similar manner to real video game orchestra sessions), everything moved super fast through the weekend.(I should also mention this was all done online!) I came up with an idea for a track I wanted to arrange for. On Thursday night after work (teaching violin and piano) on April 13th, I had a slot opened on our Discord server for my track pitch, and in the morning I could see who was interested in playing.

On Friday, I started working on the arrangement, writing for those who indicated they wanted to play on it (and myself). The arranging process went incredibly fast, simply because it had to - I was forced to focus and get it done as soon as I could so I could send parts to people. I even put in a few cue notes to help out the people with more rests.

I devoted Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning to recording - I didn't only record my own track, but I also recorded violins and cello (!) on a couple other tracks. My cello-playing definitely needs some work, but for these quicker arrangements where the parts weren't too difficult, it wasn't so bad to plop a track down. Finally, Sunday afternoon was dedicating to mixing my track in Logic, first taking all the audio files I received and putting them together. After the initial details were set, I spent as much time as I could fussing over the sound mix so those with the melody would be louder, as well as some EQing and a few effects on the side. Again, none of this is any different to how I'd mix a normal cover - I just had basically an afternoon to complete this task!

And with that, Sunday night by 6 o' clock, it was done! We had a small listening party where we got to hear everyone's tracks all together. I can't believe the quality of work for just a few days - I didn't do as much as I could have because I was also teaching, but I really enjoyed the weekend overall and I've made a few connections to play in some orchestral game arrangements in the future for those who need string players! Exciting!

While the clock was against us the entire time, it just goes to show if you put your mind to a goal and really focus on it, you can get some pretty special results. I will definitely share those results once the album has been released - I plan on releasing a video as well for my track, and I can link other videos where I'll be featured as well.

Thanks for reading! Happy playing!


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