Comment

In THIS World

BuildingTwo years since I posted last? Hmph. :/

This somewhat creepy piece was inspired by my son who, out of the blue, from the back seat of a quiet car said “In THIS world, the clocks on THAT building, are NOT going crazy” referring to a building we were passing that had multiple clocks on it.

After we finished laughing at the unexpected absurdity of our son, I started thinking of what it must be like to be so young, when every experience is novel. What is it like to be able to look at things without the experience to know what things are supposed to look like and what they’re supposed to do. If trees started spinning in the ground or it rained light bulbs, to him it would just be something that happens. To him it’s just as reasonable to comment that that a bunch of clocks are spinning wildly as it is to notice and comment that they are behaving just as clocks do.

In this piece the occasional scratching, clicking and creaking sounds are the clocks and other mechanalia, everything else is everything else and the part of Declan is played by the piano.

Happy Listening

 

 

 

 

Comment

Comments (1)

Permalink

What a Wonderful World

I predict I’ll revisit this in the future. It’s existed on my hard drive, in one form or another for probably over 10 years.  It started long ago when I was playing with some text to speech software. I saw in the help file that there were special codes you could embed in the text to make the software sing.  So I started playing with the lyrics to this song.

Right away I liked the sound and the sinister feeling of hearing a computer singing about how wonderful it found the world.

Over time I tried different arrangements but none of them really fit the feel of the vocals. Neither does this one but it’s the closest.

Produced in Sonar X1 and Reason 6. There’s a couple of chunky guitar guitar tracks and everything else is synthed.

Happy Listening

 

 

 

Comment
Podcast

Comments (0)

Permalink

Unpleasant Gum

It’s been some time but don’t assume that this one must be really good because, look how much time it took.  Unfortunately the amount of time spent and how good the results are don’t always coincide.  I said “Unfortunately” but it just occurred to me that if spending more time always made things better, why would I ever finish anything?

Truth is it’s just hard to find the time and when I have a germ I really like, as I did with this one, and it won’t just become a song… well it takes a while.

So here it is.  A couple tracks of real guitar packed with generous helpings of digital icing.  I made extensive use of a plug in called Cheese Machine to generate some of the sounds.  I just thought it sounded cool.

That’s it.  It took 8 months and I hope you’ll spend 8 months listening to it.

Happy Listening: Unpleasant Gum

Comment

Comments (0)

Permalink

Fantastic Funeral Farce

This one is built almost entirely from samples I found on a CD that came with some music magazine.  I don’t remember which one.  Browsing the disk I was immediately struck with a couple of unique sounding drum samples.  I arranged them, and looped them.  Then I dropped on a few organ samples and I liked what I heard.

A couple of guitar tracks, a midi piano and a few more samples for salt and it was just about done.

It just needed some low frequency stuff.  Rather than add bass I tried just adding noise.  Some very deep rumbly samples which round out the lows towards the end of the piece.

It’s a short one, much like this post.

Happy Listening: Fantastic_Funeral_Farce

Comment

Comments (1)

Permalink

I Pulled That Thing Off My Head (Now It’s Bleeding)

HeadMy new years resolution?  Complete one song in 2010.  Done!

In the lengthy break between the last song and this one I got a new job and a baby and I don’t have the control over my time that I used to.  Anyway, enough about important stuff.

Also since last post I got a copy of Propellerhead’s new audio recording software called Record.   It integrates with Reason which was a favorite of mine and now together it might supplant Sonar as my go-to music production app.  I always thought Reason had the best synths and sound processing capabilities.  It’s only weakness was the inability to record audio and as a guitar player that was a big problem.

Now the problem is solved and the only thing I’ve found I’ve missed from Sonar is the ability to use a different device for input than I’m using for output.

With all that said there’s very little actual recorded audio in this track.  There was almost none.  As I was working on it I kept trying to add a guitar here and there but no matter how I tried to integrate it it always sounded worse than without.  Finally, I did the least imaginative thing I could do, I added a GUITAR SOLO!  so rad.

One last thing, this piece has some pretty deep bass on it so please don’t listen to it on a laptop.  Use headphones at least – or even a real stereo, if you have one.

Happy Listening

Comment

Comments (0)

Permalink

All the Rectangular Rooms

Did you miss me?

I couldn’t make it through the whole year on schedule but I’m catching up.  Here is my song for June and it’s already August.  Most of the summer is behind me.  And behind you too.

Most of June I was in Job search mode and although I’m not yet fully employed I’m at least bringing in SOME money and some money is better than no money.  Can you hear my desperation in the music?

The germ for this piece sat around for quite a while on my hard drive and was worked on in several versions of Cakewalk Sonar.  It was just the main piano riff and final guitar solo which had this sound of staring out a window.  I’ve finally filled it out with drums, accordian, more guitar and synth.  That’s what’s so great about having this blog, it forces me to, occasionally, get focused and give these snippets their due.

Rendered entirely in Sonar 7 it features 2 real guitar tracks along with a handful of sampled instruments.

Happy Listening:all the rectangular rooms

Comment

Comments (2)

Permalink

An Aesthetic Twilight

Toy truck hard at work while we sleep

I almost missed September! But here I am with hours to spare.

This piece was built around a vocal sample that I’ve had for so long I forgot where it came from but I really like it. Unfortunately it’s in a foreign language and I don’t know what it says. I don’t even know what the language is, but it sounds like something from the middle east.

As a consequence, I had to come up with a title that could possibly be completely inappropriate given what the singer is actually saying. To me the piece sounds like it could be the soundtrack to something that pops into your head while you’re not quite awake but not quite conscious either. Hence the title.

But for all I know the lyric could be the punchline of a dirty joke sung in Farsi. If anyone knows the language and can fill me in… awesome!

This started off in cakewalk’s Project5 but when I decided to add guitars, I added Sonar. You can record audio in Project5 but it’s more difficult to work with because it can only use one audio device at a time. So I can’t use a firewire device to get audio into my computer while using the computer’s soundcard to hear the song as it plays, which is what I like to do.

So this song contains the vocal sample of forgotten origin, a couple of real guitar tracks through a digitech GXN3 and midi programmed drums, percussion, string bass and violins.

Happy Listening! An Aesthetic Twilight

Comment
Podcast

Comments (2)

Permalink

Immigrant Song

viking shipThis is an instrumental cover of the Led Zeppelin Hit. I tried to modernize it a with a bit of an industrial accent.

It was recorded and mixed in Sonar, with Reason handling the synths and percussion. The only real instruments are the guitars of which there are 3 tracks worth. Although the guitars are real, they were recorded through amp and cabinet simulation.

The song was a lot of fun to do. I’m a huge Zeppelin fan and I like doing covers so they can be re-spun and possibly viewed from different angles.

I’m particularly happy with this one.

Happy Listening: immigrant song.mp3

Comment
Podcast

Comments (5)

Permalink

Newage Sewage

Monk Is this piece too weird? It came out of some free form experimenting with a free VST plugin called Delay Lama. It’s one of the most unusual synths I’ve seen. It simulates the sound of a human voice reminiscent of Tuvan throat or overtone singing. You have control over the pitch, the size of the vocal tract and the vowel being sung.

Of course I had to automate it in completely inhuman ways to make it clearly still a machine (am I threatened?)

What makes the plugin so unusual is that it also visually represents the singer. As you manipulate the synth’s output an animated monk’s face follows right along. It’s fun to play with and watch during playback.

It works on both windows and mac and should work in any VST host although I hosted it in Sonar. I used propellerhead’s Reason, in rewire mode, to do the percussion. I think the percussion options in Reason exceed that of Sonar by a good deal.

So I ended up with with a short, world-music inspired bit of electronic music.

Happy Listening: newage-sewage.mp3

Comment
Podcast

Comments (4)

Permalink

Just Out of Reach

A sensitive piano solo about picking one’s nose perhaps?

I can’t play the piano so this piece came about from just noodling around with a midi controller (M-Audio Radium 49, no longer available). I recorded the midi results of my halting, uneven playing into Cakewalk Sonar and through the magic of midi editing, I was able to fix it up and make it sound like it was played somewhat competently.

It was then rendered through a piano patch in Sonar’s DS864 software sampler.

Happy listening: Just Out Of Reach

Comment
Podcast

Comments (3)

Permalink