Sunday, November 18, 2012

expiringsun.01.036-038

As those of you who have been following my album writing project more than likely know, I was mutated into a disgusting mucus generating slime-beast with my head clamped in a migraine-inducing vice for a week and a half. That's how it felt anyway. Well luckily I started feeling functional again on Friday and was able to get back into action!

So needless to say, since I lost around 1/3 of my time I allocated for myself for this project, it's going to end up being more like an EP than an album. I know, I know, you can tell me I'm lame in the comments if you like ;)

But actually, this is probably for the best, because the path I've taken is uncharted territory for me style wise. You see, in the midst of my sickness I had time to ponder the things I was playing with before, and I was really liking the clean channel stuff I had going. So I decided to focus entirely on playing with that sound. So needless to say, if you're expecting some crazy thrash riffs and pinch-harmonics you're probably going to be disappointed...hahahhaa.

As a heads up, I wanted to record video of me playing while doing these recordings, but it causes too many latency and playback issues if I try to record video at the same time I'm actually recording into Ableton :( So no guitar videos this time around folks!

Now onto the first track! This one is still pretty short at less than two minutes in length. Out of everything I currently have going this is definitely the most "rock" oriented song. I'm using Ableton Live to do all the recording and mixing. For the drum sounds I'm using my trusty plugin BFD2.

I started by recording the base guitar tracks into Ableton by simply playing along with a metronome. I recorded each riff individually into the Session view. This is not how I normally operate. I usually write all my tunes and just record them linearly in Arrangement view. But this time around, since the name of this game is Trying New Things, I went for a different approach. Here's a glimpse of the base riffs in Session View:


For those unfamiliar with Ableton, each box is basically a riff, or in a few instances a pair of riffs. After I had this done, I was able to start playing around by triggering different riffs back to back to see what sort of interesting combinations and arrangements I could come up with. After playing around for a while I could then transfer these different arrangements to the timeline, which gives me something like this:



Nifty eh?

Then a rough sort of "skeleton" of a song I was able to start experimenting with drum programming. Drum programming takes f  o  r  e  v  e  r, but I've always really enjoyed it. It's like building Legos of sound!



After getting some rough drum beats down for all the different parts, I then picked up the ol' axe again and started to record additional layers of guitars, and then some bass tracks. These I recorded linearly in arrangement view. I basically just played on top of what I had going before. In all I ended up with 4 guitar tracks (2 for the left channel, 2 for the right channel) and 2 bass tracks (one for each channel). In the past I usually have 3 guitar tracks tops, and 1 bass track. But with this project I was really starting to  experiment with lots of layers of guitars. Here's what it ended up looking like when it was all said and done!


And now you can take a listen. It's still a work in progress, but I'm having fun and liking where it's going! *NOTE: INCREASE THE VIDEO QUALITY TO 720P FOR BEST SOUND QUALITY*



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Now on to track two. This time I'll skip the progress screenshots since it's essentially the same thing. This track still needs a lot of work and is not nearly as far along as the first one, but I'm really liking a lot of what's going on here. It's got a pretty haunting vibe. I started to experiment with some pitch shifting effects on the guitars, which you'll hear at about the 1:15 mark. The transitions in this track are pretty non-existent at this point. Once I program some drum fills and write a few guitar segways (and an actual ending) I think it'll be in good shape!



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The third track I have in the works is the most complete. It gets a little weird and needs some finessing in the middle when it "calms down," and the ending needs some refinement. But for the most part I'm really happy with it!



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This concludes tonight's musical diary. Now that I'm feeling better I hope to have several more updates throughout the week, so stay tuned! And as always, all questions and comments are welcome.