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Casio SA76 song in the style of Harold Faltermeyer's "Axel F."


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This is actually a reworking of a video and song I put together a few years ago. At the time I was new to video editing and also audio mastering, and in hindsight I could've done some things better. So recently I re-edited and did some enhancements to the original video footage,  plus I also did some tweaking to the mix in Audacity and then re-mastered it with Reaper. Both the video and the audio are now a little more crisp, and the audio is better balanced across the frequency range.

The song itself was modelled on Harold Faltermeyer's "Axel F.", the theme tune from the 1984 movie Beverly Hills Cop. I took the basic structure of the song and rewrote the melody and the bass parts. The objective was to achieve a "one synth, one song" goal, using a very inexpensive consumer grade "toy" keyboard, and also using only the free Audacity audio recorder to do all the recording, effects and mixing.  I then  processed the final stereo mix from Audacity with Reaper just to get the overall balance right and the final volume levels achieved.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

  

 

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On 4/23/2024 at 9:52 AM, Jay C said:

Nice video! :D

 

Question: Did you record the music as audio first into your DAW and then recorded video of you playing the keyboard afterwards?

 

Yes, all the audio was multi-tracked into Audacity, a track at a time. I also used the cut/ edit tools in Audacity to break up the drum pattern so that each drum part (kick, snare, toms etc.) had its own track. This allowed me to turn on and off the individual drum sounds to add more variation to the drum pattern throughout the song. I also used some of the basic effects in Audacity to add things like reverb, delay, auto pan and chorus into the mix. I wanted to see how far I could take the mix using a free and somewhat basic audio "DAW", which isn't really what Audacity is meant to be used as. That's not to put Audacity down as it's an excellent, free and open source audio editor that can do a heck of a lot. It was an interesting challenge, though it would have so much quicker and easier to do it with a full on DAW. But as mentioned, the challenge was to see what I  could come up with using a $20 used Casio keyboard and a free audio editor - I feel it came out quite good!

 

As for the video, it's all playback. I set the camera up at various angles, played the finished track out loud through my studio monitors, then mimed along with the audio I could hear. I did ensure that I was playing the correct notes and also that I selected the same Tone that I was appearing on the SA-76's display as the sound you could hear.  This meant that the camera recorded the video and also the actual audio of the song that  would be used to align the different video takes with a master audio track. Then I imported all the video clips into my video editor, added the full finished master copy of the song as a master track, and matched up the individual video tracks using the audio they recorded to align with the master audio track. Then I made cuts and used some creative effects to make the video more interesting.   

 

It's actually quite a basic technique, though it is also quite time consuming!

 

 

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