5:52 minutes

ROACH video montage

Project Description

This video montage is about self-harm caused by low-esteem and anxiety disorders. These people sometimes compare themselves to a roach — dirty or unwanted. They feel alien.



There is no voiceover on this video.


Music Source

All soundtracks are music videos downloaded as MP3 audio files. I used free online YouTube downloader tools. There are many downloaders and they often advertise porn (so watch out!) Sometimes there is a copyright claim. But often when using stems, there is no restriction for monetization. But monetization is not our goal. I use YouTube only for hosting to conserve server resources. And keep our home site loading fast. I use a WordPress video lazy-load plugin called Embed Plus Plugin for YouTube Pro ($39). Others are available but this premium one prevents recommendations of competitor video content. We want to keep people on our site and not on YouTube. YouTube has thwarted this feature to a degree with the inset “View on YouTube” non-feature link.

Michael Jackson – “Dirty Diana”

Four pieces of music are used for this video montage:

  • “Dirty Diana” by Michael Jackson
  • “Dirty Diana” Cover By Valentina Scheffold
  • “Dirty Diana” orchestration arranged and performed by: Roberto Fusco Di Maso
  • G major – E minor Ambient Pad by Odir Ruano

Audio Editing and Vocal Stems

I stripped the intro and outro vocal “stems” from Valentina Scheffold’s cover of “Dirty Diana”.

Stems are stereo recording components extracted from many audio tracks. I created the vocal stems using and Both free online tools. I cleaned up the downloaded MP3 stems afterward in Audacity. I used: the high pass filter, transformed the stereo into mono, and added audio compression.

Audacity is a free and open-source digital audio editor. It’s available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. We’re using open-source Linux Mint Cinnamon as our computer operating system.

Music Modules
Modular music is the combination and overlapping of different compositions. One over the other. The compositions are also called modules. For me, those modules are covers performed by one or many different artists in different moments. You can add or remove new modules to create new work, a new composition, different from the original one. You can expand and extend a modular composition in time, space and size.


The video is built around Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana” song released in 1988.

Atmospheric Backing Track

I added a YouTube G-major (E minor) chord ambient backing track. These are called “pads.” Ambient Pads are atmospheric tones designed to fill out the sound of any music. You layer them under any major or minor chord progression. Pads are ambient, sustained sounds characterized by heavy reverb and delay. They are a staple in audio productions from pop music to film scores. A pad is a sustained chord or tone generated by a synthesizer. It’s often used as background harmony or for atmosphere. Like a string section, it’s used to pad out the sound of an orchestra or film score – or in our case, perhaps a vocal stem.

Music heightens a video’s emotion. It creates an aural mood for each scene, along with sound effects and dialogue. Film scores are custom-made and often performed by orchestras. Today a video score might feature all manner of sounds and instruments. A video soundtrack is already-written popular songs featured in a film or video. In a two-hour movie, there is about an hour of music. My videos are often music videos. And so the music is 3 to 5 minutes long – on occasion, 7 minutes.

Giant alien roach — MidJourney AI

Open-source Video

We didn’t use any stock video. Instead a montage of AI generated still images are used. They were created using Midjourney AI Bot. The tool used to create the video is open-source PhotoFilmStrip software on Linux Mint. PhotoFilmStrip creates video output of still images in 3 steps. First select your photos, customize the motion path, and render the video.

Rainy alley at night – Midjourney AI

Video Editors

I do video production using Kdenlive open-source video editor version 21.04.3 on Linux. There is a newer version available 22.04.3 as of July 10, 2022.

Titles are made in Kdenlive. The free-for-personal-use font is Big Noodle Titling, a display uppercase movie-poster font ($15 to buy the font family).

Kdenlive video editor for “Roach.”


There are 8 tracks. 2 video tracks and 6 audio tracks.

V2: logo and title clips

V1: AI motion video

A1: 9.75dB, female vocal stem

A2: 5.81dB, logo sound

A3: -4.07dB, Dirty Diana orchestral track

A4: -5.94dB, MJ original “Dirty Diana” accompaniment stem

A5: 0.00dB,

A6: -10.64dB, G Major (E minor) backing track (pad)

I didn’t use a microphone or camera to make this video montage. All components except music sound track are free web assets. The final video is a 186MB MP4 file.