I do some things; write some songs, cook some food, watch some sci-fi, mess with technology, and live a life. Occasionally, I write about it. That's this.
Lazy Tablet Loop19/04/2012
I tried things a little backwards (for me) tonight. I wrote the drums (or drum loop in this case) and then built the song around the beat. I've actually done this before, but not in a few years. 99% of the time I write songs on acoustic guitar. Nice to remind myself that I am still capable.This is obviously a rough draft. Currently it is only 1 1/2 minutes. The fun thing is that wrote the drum loop on my iPad. See the pic above. It is the Korg IS-50 analog synth. Really cool app... and i think it was cheap. LOL. I added some live performance to the gig (bass, acoustic gtr, keys). DOWNLOAD HEREWell, I am tired. Hope you dig this little ditty... it is sure to show up somewhere on another tune. :)
I am trying to find a new sound for these tunes. So, I decided to deconstruct and rework a tune I wrote a few days ago (see, "Moody Take 1). I messed with drum loops, keys, a new guitar track, and a bass track. It is hardly recognizable as the same song. That's probably just fine.DOWNLOAD HEREI may or may not keep this one. But I definitely think it represents well the direction I am headed. Anyway, hope you enjoy. Time for sleep.
I didn't write anything tonight. Well, that's not entirely true. I did come up with a chord change, but i never got to the recording stage. I'll take care of that tomorrow. But, tonight, I was talking to a friend of mine about some tunes from the past... and then I went WAY into the past... listening. I found this almost forgotten gem that 18 year-old Bob Smith recorded. It is as good, and weird, as I get. There are at least three bass guitars in this song, all harmonized. Granted, Spinal Tap did it first, but here I made it kinda pretty. I play around with tape speed (one low vocal is obviously a product of that). And I wrote some awesome lyrics. I feel comfortable bragging about my past self from 24 years prior... he's not me anymore.... but, I am allowed to feel like a proud father. LOL. Honestly, it's a stupid song. But, a pretty good stupid song. I am impressed with my young self. 18? WTF do we know at 1
Moody, Take 2 (with bongos!)11/04/2012
If you read last night's post (and I trust that you did), you'll know that I am writing songs for a new project. I am writing moody songs for a moody girl to sing (her descriptor, not mine. LOL) In any case...this is the second entry. And, I think I like it. As often is the case... I wrote and recorded this one quickly. This time about 90 minutes. The tune will change over time, but I dig the germ that I have planted. I tend to listen to these little monsters obsessively for an hour or so after I write them. I did so this evening. Sometimes I hate them when I am done. That's not the case here. I think I really dig this one.DOWNLOAD HEREThe tune... much like last night, I recorded a single acoustic first, then played essentially the same progression on the second guitar with different voicings. I didn't have time to add other instruments... cuz it's like 2AM. So I added a percussion loop. This time, a tiny bit of bongo. &
Moody, Take One10/04/2012
I am taking on something new. I'm writing songs for someone else to sing. Of the hundreds of tunes I've written (I'm not bragging, only a small portion neglect to suck), I've only tried to write for another singer a couple of times. But, this new project I am a little excited about. So I am putting in the effort. I have one directive from my new collaborator... she said,"moody". So, this is "moody" take 1. I am not sure if it is moody. It's nice. It's slow. And I am sure that a lyricist could write some moody poetry on top of it. I could (...again, not bragging. Not necessarily good poetry. See previous reference to songs that sucked).DOWNLOAD HEREThe tune... there is so little to say technically. I wrote a chord progression. I played it and recorded it at a ridiculously slow tempo (70 BPM). I then played another track of the same chord change but with very different voicings. I stuck a rim shot loop undernea
Alright, I'll just come out an say it. I love this one! Again, like all others... it's not finished. At the moment it is just a rhythm track (no leads, no vocals). But, it is a pretty groovy rhythm. If Shu is ever to record new music again (and we may), this will be a Shu song. If not... well then, it's mine dammit! LOLDOWNLOAD HEREThe tune... I gave myself a two hour deadline on this one. 10:30 PM to 12:30 AM. That's from the time I started writing to the time I mastered the rough mix. I wrote a bassline on acoustic guitar and recorded it. I then built the other tracks around it. Eventually I added a real bass, but I liked the way it sounded with the acoustic double so I kept both. There is an acoustic rhythm guitar, a couple of drums loops, and three keyboard tracks. A real keyboard player would only have needed one, but (as it has been established in previous blog posts) I am no keyboard player. But gosh darn it, don'
I tend toward the cynical and self effacing in these blog posts. Before I get there, I would like to say that I think this is a really good tune. And a pretty cool performance. Okay... that being said.. continue Bob (you cynical and critical bastard!)....._______________________Well... I wrote lyrics. And a melody. Both had an actual direction and purpose... so I guess that's progress. This is probably my fave tune so far of the new ones. I mean, this is rough. No doubt. It was me, a guitar, a mic, a foot stomp, and my hippie idealist/defeatist attitude. A couple of the other new ones win as far as intricacy of composition and production go.... but this is a better song. There is a lesson in there i am sure. But, i am old and tired. Sick of learning lessons.DOWNLOAD HEREThe tune... not much to say. I wrote the words and music simultaneously. I didn't really want to go through the whole rigormaroll of making a multit
A Major Song27/03/2012
Tonight's song is essentially the A Major scale, harmonized. A, Bm, C#m, D, E, F#m, G#dim7. Not in order, that would be boring. There are some variations in there; a couple of Major 7th's, a couple of Minor 7th's, a couple of 9th chords. But the tune is essentially every note and chord of A Major. Not for any particular reason other than I was bored so I started messing around. For the non-musicians (and guitar players, heh heh) in the house.... the point is that every note, in every chord, is in the A Major scale (A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#). DOWNLOAD HERENo fancy multi-track production tonight. I was strumming my guitar and came up with this pretty little tune. I didn't have the wherewithal to add a bunch of instruments, or even use a click. I just plugged in the mic and recorded a single mono track. If I use this one... and I may... I'll have to re-record the guitar track. But then again... I could always sample it and loop it.
The Needle And The Song Undone21/03/2012
If I was feeling Kurt Cobain last night, tonight I was feeling Neil Young. Fortunately with much better results this time. I did this one fast... really fast. One hour of writing, recording, and mixing. Despite that, I like it. It is definitely rough. Most, if not all, instruments will be re-recorded. The lyrics are essentially non-existent. I just wanted to capture a decent melody idea. These exercises are not about completion, they are about germination. I might use one or two of the words in the final version. I think this one will have a final version. Good tune... maybe. DOWNLOAD HEREThe tune... acoustic gtr was doubled. One vox track in the verse, a different one in the chorus. I like the spacey reverb effect there. It deviates from the obvious Neil vibe of the rest of the song. The words, will change. Obviously there is a bass in there (which screws up the second chorus, but is otherwise okay). Simple drum l
Smells Like Middle Aged Spirit20/03/2012
Well, here's something stupid. If I could take the hour back that I put into this, I gladly would. LOL. Alright, it was fun, but pointless. This will absolutely never be a real song. I played my worst Kurt Cobain impression on an acoustic guitar, then ran it through a Sans Amp plugin to make it "rock" (term used loosely here). Added the most innocuous drum loop I own (apparently) and then played a lame bass line, with a pic! Cuz, I figured... if I am going to sound like a bad Kurt... I might as well sound like a bad Kris too.DOWNLOAD HEREI have only subjected you to 1 of the 3.5 minutes that this "song" actually occupies. So, if you choose to listen, you are only wasting 1/60 of the time I wasted. Of course, if the universe holds true to previous patterns, this turd will ironically turn out to be my one and only hit. ;)
It was late when I started, 11:00. But I picked up the guitar and wrote a nice little ditty that I liked. So, I had to record it. Due to the time constraints of sleep deprivation, I presented to myself a challenge: accept the first take of every track. No matter what. Once the red button was lit up, I was going to keep whatever I did... and post it. Well, the results don't suck. I kept the first take of everything... even bass and keys (which is usually impossible). You may say, "what keys?". They are low in the mix, because I suck, and because I did not use the computer to fix any flubs. Total production time, from the first strum (writing the tune) to mix, 2 hrs.DOWNLOAD HEREStill no vox. I just can't seem to find the desire to write lyrics at the moment. But, it'll come. Just happy to be making tunes again. Anyway... the track; the acoustic rhythm gtr is doubled, one lead gtr, bass, one track of keys, and two drum loops... one of
loops and the like13/03/2012
So, I was messing around with some drum loops and playing Bass. When I plugged the keyboard in I realized that my PC had somehow forgotten that I have a MIDI interface. More studio rebuilding. Anyway, an hour later I was able to get a MIDI signal. I use an $80 Radio Shack keyboard (pictured) and a $30 M-Audio MIDI interface (also pictured). However, with software like Protools and Reason, shitty hardware is just fine. Besides, I am possibly the worst keyboard player I have ever heard. So don't expect much.DOWNLOAD HEREAnyway... the short little number featured tonight is comprised of said shitty keyboarding, a looped distorted bass line that is a little funky, and Mick Fleetwood on drums. It's true. I mean,he has no idea.. but it is him. I just happened to have a bunch of Mick Fleetwood drum loops on my computer.Enjoy... or not. I can't blame you either way. These are exercises in reconfiguration and reeducation. I'll be writing some real tunes soon enough. Or not. ;)