In the wake of Covid 19 and the restrictions set in place in the efforts to reduce its spread due to the mortality rate, has led the entire world’s lock down. This has changed the dynamics in terms of how we communicate and has hugely impacted the interpersonal relationships. Life must go on and so does learning and working which have turned our lounge rooms to classrooms and workspaces respectively. It has been a rather interesting and challenging journey overall in terms of our academics, long hours attending lectures on zoom and liaising with my colleague Roy as well as the artist Nick Holmes during the production of his 5 track EP.
One of the greatest things in this new development has been working in realtime. We have used an app called Zoom for all communication between Nick , Roy and myself. Roy and myself have had moments of trouble shooting, sending or receiving work and having meetings to plan way forward in our work. We mentored Nick via Zoom on things that will affect the post production especially due to the limitations where we rely on pre recorded vocals. We trained him on room choice, how to position his microphone, the importance of a pop filter and the volume gain to reduce external distortion. The importance of involving and empowering Nick to monitor his vocal power during recording is to ensure that he is actively present and involved in the entire project which have a huge impact on the outcome. This process has challenged me to work and respond promptly to set activities but has also made me greatly accountable because it is hard to slack off.
A great example is when I struggled with file transfer between Roy and myself. Roy discovered that he did not receive the files in order and were all over the place. Zoom allowed me to share my screen with Roy who patiently worked with me to find the root cause which was lack of rendering the files. This was identified and fixed due to the real time advantage. I have also checked on Nick’s progress of the project, giving him live updates and feedback as required making it an effective workflow.
We have also met challenges working virtually. I can no longer have a school/life balance. I am a father of three beautiful children, two school age and one newborn. Shorter nights due to the newborn and increased demands during the day by the older kids want time with their dad as the schools are closed. Multitasking is the latest fashion and is becoming the norm. Unlike the classroom which has set times and I could balance my two worlds, I am home and my family knows no different.
The other disadvantage is the frustration of the internet. During for example sending files to my peer, the internet would drop out. Before the lockdown I had never had a problem with my internet speed or connectivity however I have had multiple dropouts even during zoom. The uploading of files on google drive to share with Roy, I must say recently took over 7 hours. This caused interruption to the workflow and drew us back as opposed to the computers at SAE which do not have dropouts and are fast.
The other thing I noticed during sending of the rendered files was it not only took long but the process used a lot of space on my hard drive. I had to device a means to save the files transferring to an external hard drive then open protools sessions. Thats when I began rendering the files which took forever and a day.
On a brighter side, I am glad that the COVID-19 has pushed us into early futuristic preparations. The world is currently a global village, and working remotely is going to be the norm. I do not have to fly to a different city or town, I am building my confidence in communicating effectively, and know what and how to ask a client for what is required. It is also family friendly as I can be around the people who matter most to me in the world-I just have to fine tune work and home hours to get the best of both worlds.