The Making of 'Broken Record'

Hello friends!

Well, well, I have finally completed another project. Phew! It is the most challenging and ambitious one to date! Here it is if you have not seen it yet:

Background of the song 

Broken Record is a song by Korean singer GSoul! (He changed his stage name from GSoul to Golden and back to GSoul...) He has a smooth, beautiful voice that I would really call 'golden'. 

Fun fact: He trained under JYP for fifteen years before he made his debut! He later also signed with Jay Park's label, H1ghr Music. 

After watching SMTM I have been discovering Korean artists left and right. (My favourites are now GSoul, pH-1 and Mirani!)

I've actually watched a video of GSoul with Jay Park in some video challenge, but only delved into his songs after he performed Hero with Khundi Panda on SMTM. 

'Broken Record' is one on my favourites of his album 'Hate Everything'. I also listen to End of the World, Tequila, For You and Stay:tempus a lot. 

Producing the song

Usually I use Mixcraft on my Windows PC to record my songs. This time I tried recording it on Garageband on my new Macbook. I played with a lot of samples! Finding the right sounds and textures was really challenging.

Starting with a blank canvas.

I changed the main idea of using keys and added in a lot of bass and electric guitar. I also added a more electronic feel to it though I retained the 'funkiness' of the song. I tried my best to keep each recording and layer  as clean as possible!

After I laid down the instrumental track, I got started on recording. Sounding 'cool and relaxed' is actually very difficult ! x__x 

My favourite part to record is probably the last chorus - where I allowed the singing to be more 'free'.

Some of my notes. I mostly recorded in July whenever I had time before or after work!

Sometimes I record a good take and realise that I didn't even plug in my mic. 🤦

When music production was done, I started brainstorming for the next stage - video production!

Planning the video

This time I roped in my friend Chloe (Hui yi) to help me with the styling for the shoot, and Si Min to help me video and take photographs. 

I drew a storyboard and we came up with concepts and plans for the scenes. Also sourced for a bunch of props though we didn't use some in the end! (Balloons, cookies... etc)

Production Day

We had a tight schedule of 2 hours for the shoot, and I'm glad we managed to make it! Big thank you to my team! 

Some of the pots you see in the video are in fact sculpted by Huiyi! 

Group selfie after wrap!

Going forward I would improve on:

  • At least 4 takes of the same scene for more editing choices
  • More angles
  • A stabiliser for the camera for smoother (moving) shots
  • Remember not to block important styling objects like this gorgeously styled table....

The main takeaway from editing is that Adobe Premiere Pro is indeed superior to iMovie. Why? Mainly because Premiere allows multi-track editing while iMovie restricts you to a pathetic two track editing! That includes transitions and music, omg please. How frustrating! (Trusfating, lol)

I first selected clips and figured the general flow, trimming clips and etc for about 2 hours. (2am-4am)
I somehow managed to wake up at 7am to continue editing till 10am. I then edited from evening till about 10 p.m. when I published the final video. Phew! My eyes were burning. Why the rush? Well I have an upcoming busy week with my day job and I already burnt a lot of time on this project, so it was important for me to finish this. 

The total time taken is about ~10h, including render time. I hope to be more efficient next time!

Things I learnt:
  • How to avoid 'dirty frames'
  • Using the warp stabiliser
  • Doing the reverse video shot cleanly.
I still suck at color grading but that''s an entire job on its own so I'm not too sad about it. Maybe I'll get a newer version of Premiere so I can use the color presets...

Thanks to my BF for watching the video countless times with me to check for any problems. 
Also, the fact that I'm not annoyed with this song even after listening to it so many times is testament to the fact that it's a really good and catchy song. Good choice for a cover. HAHA! 

Most people found the video funny and entertaining! My family liked the silly dancing the most (last chorus). 

Honestly sometimes I felt stressed or uncertain about the project but it's very typical of me to have cold feet symptoms before events or projects like these. I'm glad I still bit the bullet and persevered to the end though! 

What's next?

I am probably going to work on some smaller projects and find inspiration for my own original music! Maybe next year I will attempt something like this again, with a bigger team? We'll see!  

Thanks for reading and for being here!

Till next time,