I attacked day 4 with a renewed energy that quickly evaporated in the angry heat of hardware issues. My momentum point from the previous train wreck of a day was writing the vocals, so began day 4 attempting to burn down the 3 hours estimated against recording a scratch vocal track.
My first attempt was to get a microphone working with the mic-in jack on my laptop, since this take was solely for arrangement purposes. I could get audio to record, but could not eliminate heavy bleeding from the output track into the recording. No matter how low I turned my headphone volume down, I could still hear the click track on the vocal take.
I knew that an audio interface was the solution and dusted off my Mbox 2. The next hour or two were wasted in a fruitless attempt to get an old, incompatible, unsupported piece of hardware working. As I pulled up a web browser to research affordable usb audio interfaces, I angrily conceded that Guitar Center guy was right. My miserly attempt to save $250 had put my sprint tasks in jeopardy.
I spent the afternoon wrestling with the bass patch problem again. But, just like Master Yoda warns, anger was clouding my judgment. With each failed attempt I could hear the call of my PS3 getting louder. “You know what would feel great?” Nathan Drake beckoned, “finding a priceless artifact then shooting some pirates. Right in the face.” He was very convincing.
The whole point of this experiment was to use scrum in order to finish product. The story of creative work is to ignite a massive ball of energy from the spark of inspiration, get it rolling at light speed and immediately collide into a brick wall of opposition. Scrum is, more than anything, a trainer shouting “You can’t give up. Reengage! Smash back into this wall. Eventually, it will crumble.”
Somewhere around 7pm, I broke through. It started with the bass patch. The lead and pads materialized in quick succession. With the patches programmed, the loops flowed out effortlessly.
For the first time that week, completion was in sight. Although I knew it would be impossible to burn down the 37 hours remaining, I would finish the sprint with my first completed song in over 5 years.
Day 4 Burndown