Last month I released the season finale Ace Tucker Space Trucker Season One. It was a bittersweet moment when I finalized the MP3 and hit upload. I had spent roughly 500 hours of the past several months recording myself talking in silly voices, editing, scoring, more editing, etc. to create the greatest feat of audio creation I had ever done. Before that, I had spent more than a year writing a novel that would later become the scripts for season one. So, long story, short, I had devoted a huge chunk of my time and energy to make this wild show and it was now over. At least temporarily. Ace Tucker will live again in Season Two. But first I need a little break because making this stuff is @$^% HARD.
You might be asking, “If it’s so goddamn hard, why do it?”
Well, Chachi, I do it BECAUSE it is hard. Making cool stuff is hard (see my previous post about how I went around a giant tree for 20 years to get to where I am today). I do it because I get to use almost every color in my creative spectrum. Writing, acting, editing, audio engineering, songwriting, scoring... I smear it all on a digital palette and use it to PAINT with sound.
As made famous by Bob Ross, I live and die by the “happy little accident.” I take hundreds (some sometime thousands) of individual snippets of sound and combine them to make a logical, (hopefully) entertaining and immersive story.
When I decided to tell this story as an audio drama, complete with sound effects, music, scoring and multiple characters all performed by myself, I decided to do it 17 individual episodes. It takes me anywhere between 20 to 40 hours to create each episode of Ace Tucker Space Trucker. I might do another post or maybe *gasp* a podcast in the future where I break down my process from start to finish but for now, just know I do it little by little, layering things on top of each other one by one until it sounds “right.” It’s almost all educated guesses and happy little accidents. I have to experiment with everything at almost every point in the process. Since this project (Season One) is so massive, I have to move FAST.
You might think 20 - 40 hours per episode is far from moving fast but let me tell you, if I succumbed to my inner critic at every step of the way, I’d STILL be working on episode one! I have to get things to where I assume they make sense and sound good, then move on. End of story. There is too much to do to allow for second-guessing.
I am fortunate in that I do have a bit of a safety net if my manic decisions send me over a ledge. I make my wife listen to every episode, to make sure everything sounds right and makes sense. She has a great ear and is a casual sci-fi fan (far from the super dork I am). She’s made critical suggestions along the way to make things more understandable for listeners. She also lets me know when I have the music too damn loud. I tend to mix it way up because, ya know, I like to ROCK.
Speaking of music, here’s a little fun fact about Ace Tucker Space Trucker: both the first and the last episodes of Season One featured a cover of the classic Ramones song “Rockaway Beach” recorded by my band, Red Hot Rebellion.
Our version is a little rawer than the original, as we tried to inject our signature rawk n roar style in the song. Ivan Chimpanov, the Ramones-loving Russian cyborg chimp, would approve of our version, I think.
Right now, the only place on the planet to get the song is on The Music of Ace Tucker Space Trucker.
But check it out. I am running a special now, where you can get the entire first season of Ace Tucker Space Trucker AND The Music of Ace Tucker Space Trucker for over 30% off.