A New Challenger Emerges! Video Editing Blind?

I have been so curious about this and have found no answers via google, which was surprising to me. But, I’ve been wondering: Is it possible to do video editing without seeing the footage? I do just use a picture and copypaste it throughout my songs, but I am wondering like…would I be able to take footage from say, a movie or TV show, and use it with the effects of Movie Maker? And section frames off into different parts of the screen, use brightening and different effects on Movie maker, that sort of thing. Of course you’d have to have a sighted person look over your work, but is it possible to play the clip by ear in a sense? Use the audio queues of the clips to at least know where the clip is playing/where the frame is placed, manipulate it, and then mute the sound of what you don’t want heard so your music can play over it?

I haven’t seen any blind forums or anything talking about attempting this, so I figure, I shall try it! For science! I don’t know why I have the urge to even attempt video editing, but hey if I can do it without seeing, it’d be cool to know that I can right? I still wouldn’t a lot because I know people who do a far better job than I, but windows movie maker is already fairly accessible, so I feel if I could do it in any program, it would be that one!

I’ll be keeping you guys updated on my progress! This is going to be a fun little project XD


Singing Practice Session Obvservations

Singing coaching is great, but what do you have to do in-between sessions? Keep at it and stay focused on keeping your technique up to par. It’s difficult sometimes: Keeping everything coordinated, both in your head and with your body so every singing muscle is working together, and it’s something I’ve struggled with throughout my lifetime. Feeling tenseness in your throat? Your throat hurting after practice? Then you’re probably using some section of your vocal cords or body muscles not to their fullest potential. I’m not saying these tips will help everyone, but I just find it interesting how my body is working these past few weeks with my vocal warmup sessions. Before, I would feel minor throat strain, and was trying to get that out hardcore. But now? None at all, and the ease at which I’m switching registers, and flowing from note to note honestly has been astounding to me and I do notice I’m doing different things than usual! Here’s the differing things I’ve noticed myself doing, as opposed to beforehand:

– The first thing I noticed (well two things I noticed at the same time but this one was more apparent to me because I didn’t do it at all before) was, movement! Not just like, shaking your body out before singing, and then standing in place while singing but like, moving while singing. I like to sway back and forth just as a discharging of energy, and doing it while singing, with my feet firm on the ground really helps me focus, and keep every other part of my body and my cords focused on keeping my technique proper. It also helps me be less nervous about hitting certain notes, and not tense up as much. I am really self-conscious about moving on stage for some reason, and really want to get over that, because it helps me so much!
– The second thing that helps me tons is a little hard to explain, but here goes! Every singing video, or teacher, has always told me to keep your throat open so the sound of your vocals will be fuller, and your cords won’t strain. I’ve found that, just keeping all of your resonant space in your throat and facial area open does wonders! Like, keep the top, softer part of the roof of your mouth open, as well as your throat. What that does for me is like, instead of when you hit a higher note, and opening up that softer section when you hit it, keeping all passages open at all times just gives the sound easy access to the places it needs to go, and gives a more cohesive, fuller sound then trying to transition with one section of your singing passage open, and one closed. Man I hope that made sense haha.
– Diaphragm support is a no brainer, but using the muscles above your diaphragm to sort of keep the air in there when you need to has been helping me a lot with breath support issues I’ve had in the past. It also makes me feel like I’ve had a cardio work out, so win-win! Still gotta start a workout program though T_T
– When I’m worried I am doing the wrong technique, I use these weird quirks to make sure I am doing the right ones: If I feel like yawning, or do yawn, then that’s good! It means that I’m keeping my throat open wide enough. If I feel my sinuses clearing in my nose after a certain warmup, I know I’m resonating in the right places XD and hey, clearing sinuses is always great! Lastly, and most importantly, if I feel no vocal cord/throat strain, I know that my throat is both open wide enough, and that I am resonating in the right places. Feeling a buzzing in my forehead, sometimes the nose, and in the vocal cords also helps me with that.
– I like to visualize my resonant spots as holes which sounds….weird I know haha. But like, I like to imagine the bottom of my throat as this giant black hole that my voice needs to be sucked into to sound right, and I imagine my nasal-soft pallet area as this like, tunnel a car has to drive down and my voice as a wind tunnel going through it. It’s both fun, and helpful!

I think that’s about it! But yeah, I find it really cool how like, you can use all of these tricks to get a nicer sound from your voice, and keep up with making sure you have proper vocal technique. May not work for everyone, but works for me!

What about you singers? Do you have any wacky but workable vocal tricks?

YouTube Growing Pains

Deciding to start uploading covers on YouTube and promoting my channel has been really interesting the past month or so. I originally had planned to just make it for a central place to have all of my live performance videos, and put all of them up there, but then I was like “I also do recording and fully mixed covers, so why not post them there?” hense, doing so once a week came to be! It’s honestly been really fun keeping on this schedule, and fun recording and having people listen, no matter how little my viewership is currently!

But what have I learned so far? YouTube marketing is a lot different than business marketing! Well, let me take that back: It is and it isn’t, but the differences in YouTube marketing are really interesting and more…tech modern than doing so for a business. I’ve learned that having a banner, and avatar are important to show your viewers that your channel is both active, and to make sure it looks interesting enough to listen and watch. I haven’t gotten to this point yet, but I want to start doing music videos for songs, or some sort of video editing instead of just posting a picture – because also, what I’ve learned, is that people will keep their attention on something moving more than just a stagnant picture. Sounds obvious, I know, but as a blindy it never crossed my mind! I’m a little nervous about putting my face on a YouTube video, but I will eventually to get more visually eye-catching videos.

Thumbnails matter! Which, I didn’t really think that, either. I…am not sure who I will ask to make thumbnails for me, because I sure can’t, but once again a step that I will hopefully take in the near future! It’s a little daunting to me, and I am not one to ask for help…but I know for these visual aspects of YouTube, I’ll need to reach out and ask for assistance. But, then again, seeing how much time and effort it takes to do the visual aspects, as much as the audio, I’d rather pass that task onto someone far more knowledgeable on the subject.

All in all, so far YouTube has been a really enjoyable experience, both participating in the community via comments, and posting. It’s definitely something I am looking forward to growing, and continuing to do, so hurray!

Basically, I want my video’s to go from this

To this!

The Top Four Things You Don’t Want to Hear When You’re Troubleshooting an Installed Computer Program

You know them, you’ve heard them anytime you’ve ever been troubleshooting a computer program you’ve recently installed, or that you’ve had installed but isn’t working. Heck, you’ve probably even said these things at one point in your life. Are they helpful? Nope! They are just really, really annoying to hear, because they are common sense to anyone who has ever owned a computer. And yet, the human species feels it is very important to tell you to do these four things when you’ve asked for a specific troubleshooting question. What are they?

1. “Did you try restarting your computer?”

Of course I did! That’s the first thing I did after installing this thing. In fact, the program told me to restart right after it was installed, so yes, yes I restarted the stupid computer!

2. “Did you check to see if your drivers are up to date?”

Ok, this one isn’t as annoying because it is something that may slip your mind. But still, the installed program usually checks to see if your drivers are up to date, and will tell you if something isn’t when you are trying to run it. Or, your computer will be updated just because it likes to do that stupid shutting off when you are in the middle of doing something important thing.

3. “Call support, or live chat, or google the answer!”

Yeah, cuz I didn’t try that before I asked my social networks for help? Because I didn’t say “I tried to Google the answer and found nothing” in my post? Of course I Googled! If I’m coming to my Facebook, or Twitter, for help, it’s because I’ve been looking for an answer I can’t find and am trying to ask someone who could help me with more streamlined info than google, or some live chat support person will give me. And with my experience with live chat, the IT customer service will be giving me the same, annoying answers you are giving me!

4. “Maybe your sound card is messing up? Maybe your graphics card is messing up? Try updating it!”

Siiiigh. I use my sound card all day, every day. I’d know if it wasn’t working. I’m sure a sighted person would be just as annoyed with a graphics card question: You notice pretty quickly if these things are amiss on your computer!

This rant is brought to you by Pro Tools First! I was working on installing it this weekend, took 3 hours to just download the installer, and after I downloaded the installer had to have my Mom read everything to just install it. After that, the program didn’t even open and said I need to pick another sound driver, and still haven’t found how to do that. After help from an actual uh, helpful person, still no go. I am not surprised, but very bummed that Pro Tools still isn’t accessible on a PC. On Macs, it has Voice over support, but I don’t have a Mac, and won’t anytime soon. I mean, is it hard for you to make it accessible on PC too? Work with the NVDA developers maybe, because it’s donateware? Ugh. I have been looking forward to Pro Tools First all year, and I guess I shouldn’t have kept my hopes up with it even being remotely accessible on PC. I have an audio friend who says that it’s hard to use on their PC too, so like…why even offer it on PC if you don’t want it (or make it very difficult to use) on a Windows OS? Splaaaarg!

I plan to get a Mac, so I am just trying to be positive and tell myself “Well at least when I get a Macbook, I will have a free version of Pro Tools to work with” But like…aruuuug nevertheless XD I am curious to see if Pro Tools First is accessible on Voice over, however, so will be looking that up!

That felt good to get off my chest XDD Have you ever had any installer issues, and been annoyed at your friends who mean well with these Troubleshooting tips?

Music Theory for Dummies

About a week ago it came to my attention that since I am a musician, I should, you know. Know music theory. Shocking, I know! But I always steered clear of music theory because I always pictured it as math and math hurts my brain like, a lot. I never passed the point in music theory that wasn’t just counting beats, and after talking to a friend I figured, I better fix that if I want to get serious!

So what did I do?

Go to one of my most trusted reference guide companions!

I know people make fun of the “For Dummies” books, but I’ve never read a bad book. I love how they break down things that seem like they’d be very difficult and present it to you in a very straight forward, common sense manner. Music Theory for Dummies was no exception!

I had previously tried to teach myself theory through watching youtube videos. It…didn’t help really, and scared me away from trying any theory for a while. What Music Theory for Dummies did, that helped me a lot, was splash some real life examples with the technical, more theoretical side of theory. I read the entire thing in a week, and what are the results?

I am hearing music in a different way! I’m putting things I read in the book into practice: being derpy and counting beats to songs I listen to, looking for different chord progressions, and just really enjoying music a bit more than I used to. I’ve been working on a cappella pieces, and simply just knowing time signatures has helped me leaps and bounds in the arrangements. And, when I finally get an instrument, it will be easier for me to grasp it I think! That was the original reason why I picked up this book: because I want to teach myself keyboard (and the ocarina once I get my hands on both of those) and I feel like just reading this book, keeping up with the theories, and keeping at my music will keep me primed and ready to tackle these instruments more confidently when I am ready.
Needless to say, I loved this book! It was a great launch pad for my music theory 101 intro course. Do you have any good music theory, or music themed books you could recommend? I’d love to read some more on the subject!

Go Fund Me Campaign for my first album – Details and Link!

Hey guys! So as you may or may not know, I’m a singer by trade. I have been working towards making my first EP/album for a few years now – and it’s been one of those uphill battles, to be very honest. I get a break, the opportunity falls through, I get steady work, I get a life-stifling house fire…so yeah, been powering through some stuff that has been putting road blocks into my journey, boo! But now, I’m getting back into the flow of my career, which I am super grateful for! Yay!

I’ve started a Go Fund Me Campaign that will have all of the details there, but basically, I’m raising funds to make my first EP/album. The donations will go towards traveling fees to a recording studio, paying for instrumentation, paying for room and board, food when I get to the recording studio location, etc etc.

If you can’t donate, I’d appreciate if you could just share the link on any social media you frequent, share it to friends, whatever you can do to help me out, thank you! I am grateful for whatever support you can give, no attribution is too small!

Once Again, the Go fund me link
Have a great weekend!