Friday, July 31, 2009

Song031_Checks and Balances

This song took shape early today with an initial guitar idea. The vocals are partially borrowed from a song I wrote years ago. Once again I used 4 tracks of vocals for each section of the song. The unique way each track is effected and panned makes the vocals very full. There are only a few keyboards, but they expanded the song in a big way. I layered multiple guitars, added cymbals, added tambourine, etc...the song ended up being 28 tracks.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Song030_2nd Home

I structured this instrumental in hopes of illustrating the layering process. It starts with a single instrument (keyboard) and I added a new instrument every 2-4 measures. The song is the fullest near the center, and then I tear it back down again one instrument (sometimes more) at a time...ending with the same solitary keyboard. This idea struggled to take shape, but the plan seems to have worked in the end. I started the song with a guitar picking idea that took about 35 seconds to complete one round. I recorded that section then copied it 5 times in a row (making the song around 4 min 20 sec). Then, I approached it as a math equation...divided each segment into 4 sections which (divided by the number of measures in each section) meant I could have about 16-20 instruments playing during the fullest section. As I recorded other parts I cut the appearances of the initial guitar to fit the energy of the song. Of course, I broke a few of the above rules during the final edit and mix.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Song029_Low Hum

The opening section of this instrumental sounds like something from Kermit's iPod, then it switches into distorted guitar madness. I like the energy of the center part. If you'll notice, the intro/outro and the center section are the same chords played at the same BPM. Instrument choice and style of playing dictate more than the chord choice.

Today's song gave me an idea for tomorrow. I'm going to record a song with the sole purpose of showing (through sound) the layering process that I go through. I will start the song with one instrument, then add one other instrument every 2-4 measures.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Song028_Another Try

This album, Mazes, will end with an instrumental (Song028_Another Try). This song is best enjoyed with your eyes closed. There are two main acoustic guitar strumming and the other picking (same 'open' bar chords). They total 6 tracks (3 per part), and each is panned and effected to create the fullest sound possible. The bass guitar is consistent and moves around, but it's the collection of guitar sounds that I enjoy most about this song. There is one particular guitar sound that reminds me of another band I like, Slowdive. It fades in and out in a few places.

I will be posting a new album for sale tonight, which means a new album begins tomorrow.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Song027_If Only

This song began around 9am with lyrics (see below), and the chord progression came shortly after that. Fortunately I was able to make the words fit the progression without altering either too drastically. The drums, electric and bass guitars came next. I layered the vocal tracks (similar to previous songs) by recording each part 3-5 times, selecting the best 2 or 3 and placing them on top of each other (in separate places in the stereo field). I like the natural reverb/chorus effect created by that technique, but it also strengthens the overall quality of the vocals (since I sing light and 'breathy' most times). I used the word 'inevitably' in this song...that's impressive, right? I can't think of many times that I've sung a word with that many syllables.

LYRICS: "If I were taller, I might get tired of bumping my head, but things would be smaller, and wouldn't slip as easily from my hands. If I were smarter, I might get tired of being right, though things would make more referencing manuals every hour. If life were longer, would I get bored with being alive, and could it get stranger? Inevitably it tries."

Another album will be available tomorrow for $5. If you're not already, then sign up for the FREE song every day and you can vote for your favorite each week.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Song026_Where Did You Go

I got this song uploaded at 11:27 in the PM, but I'm pleased with the effort. I started around 5:30pm, and I only had an idea for the "feel" of the song. I layed down some drum loops, added an organ, then I spent about an hour writing lyrics and a melody. The rest was simple to fill in (strings, slide guitar, delayed picking guitar), and these ingredients made the meal I was hoping for. Sadness with rhythm.

LYRICS: "In the silence that comes at the end of each day...just before the midnight hour that takes the day away. I need a place to hide, some darkness and some quiet. The edge is rusted dull. The cut is too deep to hide. This sadness, served with rhythm, this vacant home. Has left me cold and empty. Where did you go?"


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Song025_Can't Steal Purpose

I am now 25 days into this project, and I have been fortunate to be able to arrange my work schedule so that I write/record in the mornings. This relieves some of the stress of having to complete a song by midnight each day. Today was a little different. I taught a CPR and First Aid class from 8am-4pm, and I started on this song around 5pm. I wrote lyrics until 6pm, then tracked each instrument as fast as possible. I had thought of this chord progression earlier in the day (it worked best in 3/4 time), and I shaped the sound by selecting all the instruments that I'd use first (before writing the parts for each individual instrument). The only percussion in this song is a single tambourine, but it seemed to work.

LYRICS: "Just say the word, then start the timer. Wind the propellers. Lock the hammers. Don't cut the line. Don't call it over. Don't burn any bridges. Keep a hand on the throttle. But it's a high wire with no net to make up for falls. My feet are on fire. Just don't think past the next step. I have discovered from scratching the surface. No weapon can kill us. No thief can steal purpose."

See you in the morning.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Song024_Confusion is Contagious

This song, written this morning, is fairly simple. There are two main guitar parts using my a few of my favorite distortion settings (very gritty, big and full while retaining some clarity in the individual notes). The structure of this song builds to a peak then comes back down...very little repetition. I chose a dirty synth to fill in the drum-less section, then a section of soft strings enter when it breaks into the triumphant (yet still melancholy) section in the middle. The lyrics of this song fit the title (Song024_Confusion is Contagious), and the title fits the album concept (Mazes).

LYRICS: "You say it doesn't matter, though you want to believe it. I know you think there's something keeping earth from spinning deeper into space. It's hard to guess when all your leaders follow fading trends. Confusion is contagious and deep pain equalizes humans. You blame science for your struggles and emotional earthquakes. But the floor is stable, it's just you and I that are shaking."


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Song023_Your Eyes Reflect My Smile

This song began with the acoustic strumming part (4-6 chords that I shaped based on sound...not sure what to call them). I added analog bass next, then percussion. In the past, I have typically recorded 90-95% of the music before recording the vocals. This time I wrote and recorded vocals to the foundational tracks (about 6 of them), and then I filled it in with keys, electric guitars and other noises (there's a chime in's subtle, but appropriate). I had no preconceived idea of how I wanted this song to sound, so it took shape as the day progressed. Somehow, like others in the past, this song became two different songs. It's smooth pop that switches to rough rock. I laughed when I thought of the lyric, "I'm as old as I've ever been." That's always true. I tried to consider my audience as I wrote this one, so (Susan) I hope you enjoy it.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I'm finding it a challenge to write lyrics and a vocal melody every day, but unless a song is specifically structured to be an instrumental the lack of vocals will create noticeable voids. Vocals are obviously the easiest focal point for a listener, so the message and the melody are critical. I've been writing as I record during this project, so some of these things are "first takes" that could be improved upon. However, if I continue experimenting with lyrics/vocals then they should improve with time like everything else, right? This song, Song022_Mazes, it the title track on the upcoming album. My mom would like this one. It's got hints of Neil Young's acoustic sound...simple guitars with character. I like the Grand Piano sound, and it's nice having a full keyboard to pound on. I'm going to follow this direction for the next week.

"The path within the mazes...battling lines that often change. The odds aren't in our favor...only the right way isn't a dead end."


Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I like the final version of this song, but this is one that I could've taken a few days to get right. I started with the electric picking guitar, then added acoustic guitar (experimenting with direct input through Guitar Rig 3), then analog bass and percussion. Once again malleted cymbal swells and tambourine both seemed appropriate.

This song completes another full album. "Gravity is on Your Side" will be available after today for $5 (7 songs plus artwork). I have not selected the new album title or artwork for the next album (which begins tomorrow). I have a few designs on stand-by, but I usually make some musical decisions before getting into the details of packaging.

In my weekly "Newsletter" email I will be offering a FREE song every day (for the entire month of August) to anyone that's interested. All you have to do is send me your email address and vote once every week on your favorite song. More details coming...

Thanks for listening.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Song020_Static Jumps

This song starts with a crunchy electric guitar picking 3 strings. The drums (when they appear) are also choppy and driving which contrasts nicely with the lofty keyboard noises. There are only 12-14 tracks total (including: analog bass, 2-3 additional electric guitars, etc). I've been thinking about my previous skydiving adventures lately, so I created some lyrics that fit that theme (which also fits the theme of this week's album, Gravity is on Your Side). My friend, Rick Eckart, was living in Oklahoma when he first invited us to jump with him one weekend. I had done a tandem jump before, but jumping solo required more instruction and a series of initial jumps made on a static line. The static jumps are intense for a few reasons. One, it's still sort of new to you when you exit the plane by yourself for the first time. Also, to exit properly (without tangling yourself in the static line) you must climb out onto the wheel of the Cessna C-152 and then hang from the wing strut (feet now dangling) before you get the signal to let go. Once your chute opens you (hopefully) hear a voice coming through a small speaker built inside one ear of your helmet. There were transmission problems occasionally. Towards the end of this song I tried to imitate the old man that stood at a wooden CB-radio post outside of the airplane hanger. He usually smoked a cigarette and had other conversations going while guiding student jumpers to the ground.

One step closer to this
Takes us one step further from that
Exit the plane from the back (that's military-style)
Your static line is attached
Check your wrist to calculate need (i.e. altimeter, but you don't need that for static)
Then activate your switchblade wings (i.e. parachute)
So come on and take your big chance
The horizon line is closing in fast
Before you break apart
The rush goes straight to the heart

PS: The weather report in this song reflects current conditions outside Threebynine Studios.

PSS: A new album will be completed and for sale online tomorrow evening.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Song019_Keeper of My Heart

Today's song was a collaboration between myself, Thiago Silva and Brandon Steach. Thiago brought the foundational guitar idea, the lyrics and a rough melody. Brandon took care of the drums. This song was fun to create, and we worked well together. We didn't get together today until 3pm. By the time we chose a song and started recording it was almost 4pm. 3 people in one room for 6 hours trying to write and complete an entire song could easily be disastrous, but it worked.

'Song019_The Keeper of My Heart' is now available online. Hope you enjoy it.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Song018_The Wire Walk

This instrumental has a driving beat, one electric (picked) guitar, a wash of keyboard noises and dueling trumpets. The synth bass part is very simple and the electronic drums are purposefully puny so that the electric guitar sits on top of the mix. The background keys create a full sound, and the trumpet part was only played once...copied into another track, moved a few measures forward and panned to the opposite side of the stereo field. The bulk of this idea happened a few years ago, but it was re-worked and finalized today. I started the day working on a different song, but after 5 hours of effort I decided it was not worthy of completion. I suspected that might happen occassionally, but hopefully it's a while before it happens again.

Thiago Silva will be joining me for tomorrow's recording session. We have never worked together before, but we met earlier today to discuss ideas.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Song017_Stronger Than Science

This is another instrumental...a simple, but rhythmic and melodic tune. I started building this session with drums, then distorted guitar (choppy "power chords"), then analog bass, then icing (i.e. keyboards, noises, horns, etc). Each track was spontaneous...filling in the gaps created by the previous track. Of course, sometimes I record a track "spontaneously" all the way through the song (without stopping), then it's a matter of editing to create the proper gaps in each track. If everything plays all at once then it's not as interesting, it's not as dramatic, and sounds get covered up by other sounds, so I try to introduce new sounds throughout the song (even if I'm repeating a part of the song you've already heard). The electric guitar (clean picking with delay and reverb) was fun to record and I found that there wasn't another guitar part that complimented does fine on it's own. I prepared some lyrics for this song early this morning, but it worked better as an instrumental (so I'll save them for another song). I finished this song around 4pm today, but I didn't post it until around 8pm. I had some trouble getting the final mix that I wanted, so I "bounced" a few versions until I was satisfied...hope it sounds good coming out of your speakers.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Song016_Jettison Three

Today's song is an instrumental where delayed electric guitars mix with a wash of keys. The noise sits on a foundation of drums and bass that makes me want to drive somewhere. Recording this song reminded me that simplicity goes a long way. It's more about where each layer is placed and not how many layers there are. Also, choosing the right sound (i.e. guitar effect, bass tone, keyboard preset, etc) will often determine whether or not the part being played fits with everything else...especially on an instrumental where there are no vocals to take the spotlight aways from what's happening in the background. This song has about 12 tracks (previous songs in this series have had around 18-30 tracks). It sounded ready after 8, but I stopped before I got too carried away. Song016_Jettison Three is now online.

I haven't had much time to go back and listen to the songs I've already created, but I listened to a few last night. I heard a few things that I would've done differently, but I'm not going to go back and change anything from previous songs. Part of this project is to show what I can do with one idea in one day. I would like to go back (at the end of the project) and Master the final tracks all at once (for the sake of consistency in volume/E.Q), but I don't want to alter them creatively. Once I upload the song at the end of each recording it is part of the OTTO archive...for better or for worse.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Song015_Day of Launch

I got the album for Week 02 uploaded last night. It's now available for sale ($5). I just finished the first song on this next album ("Gravity is on Your Side"). This song, "Song015_Day of Launch" is mostly spontaneous. There's a section that plays an open 'A' then slides up and down (B, D, F, G). I made that part up during a soundcheck while rehearsing with the full band (2003?). Today's idea started with those 4 measures, then I added a simple 'E,D,A' change for the verse which made it a complete song. The analog bass was fun to play (I like sliding notes and alternating from high to low on the fretboard). The distorted guitar (and 1-2 keyboard parts) make for great "filling," and the overlay of 2-3 electric (solo) guitars were the inspiration for the singing melody (which is why they match in certain places). The lyrics came to me all at once...simple, but I like them.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Song014_People Like You (the end of Week 2)

I am still recording today's song, but I thought I'd go ahead and make a few notes. This is one that I wrote years ago while living in Seattle (originally titled "Accidents"). Brandon and I recorded this song once (2002?). In fact, it was one of our first efforts on a ProTools system. His mom, also a good musician, built a room above their garage so her gospel quartet would have a place to rehearse. She wanted a new album recorded, but renting time in a studio can be expensive. She paid for a ProTools unit, we produced the album at no charge and got unlimited use of her computer/room. It was a pretty good deal for everyone. Anyway, I've made a few changes to this song (the new title is "People Like You"), but overall it's still a 3-piece rock song. I thought this song fit the theme of the album, and I wanted to end it with energy (like the previous album).

I have some updates to make to the website, and I'll be uploading a new album to my online store later today. The "newsletter" email will be sent later tonight also. It will have a link to the FREE song-of-the-week, so go to the website and join the Mailing List if you haven't yet. If you got the email last week then you're on the list.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Song013_All At Once

This song was written late last night on the piano. It's a fairly simple pattern using 3 chords, but the texture was created from layering choppy acoustic guitar parts against a backdrop of smooth sounds (strings, trumpets, organ). The vocals are sparse but heartfelt. "Common sense says this is more than a feeling, but all of my thoughts come at once when you're near me."

Tomorrow's song will complete another album, so tonight I will be getting things ready to upload. I still haven't decided on the FREE song-of-the-week...will have to wait and see what happens with tomorrow's recording session first.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Song012_Surface to Air (w/Brandon Steach)

Brandon came over today around 9am, we talked for a few minutes, he picked up the acoustic guitar and strummed through a few ideas, and we had our song structure within 20 minutes. We outlined a few things on paper such as: which instruments might work well for this song idea, the chord progressions for the 4 different parts, and the order of the song (i.e. verse, chorus, bridge, etc). We both agreed that this song worked as an instrumental, so we didn't scramble to create lyrics and melodies. Brandon recorded the acoustic guitar, the bass guitar and a keyboard to create the foundation for the song...I played Producer. Then, I added the piano, the distorted guitar and harmonica while he played Producer. Brandon finished it off with drums (mallets on toms!) and an acoustic picking part. This song is in 3/4 a waltz, and it uses 4-5 standard chords (but each played in a non-standard way). We finished our final mix around 5pm and considered it a successful day.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Song011_Sink Phase

I enjoyed created today's song. I wrote it early this morning before Brandon and I went for a long bike ride, and I enjoy the mellow intent groove. I sometimes layer too many instruments, and this one was close. The guitars blast and have heavy reverb, but I was able to pan everything into its own space...I don't think anything got masked. Also, I think this is one of my better attempts at mixing and mastering.

The title, "Sink Phase," is in reference to a sensation experienced during Freediving. I've never actually done this, but look it up online if you're interested. These adventurers push the human body to incredible extremes. Anyway, a Freediver swims unassisted (no air tanks) and goes as deep and as long as possible underwater on a single breathe. When they first begin their descent they have to kick and contort their body like a fish (head first towards the ocean floor). Once they've gained enough momentum the force carries them effortlessly for a period of time. Some divers say its like freefalling into deep space.

The lyrics were last-minute, but they fit the mood..."I'm bleeding out from the inside. I am dying just to feel alive. I've thought it over, and eventually push comes to shove. I never saw it coming, now I'm upside-down in love."


Friday, July 10, 2009

Song 10: Sound Existence

The foundation for this instrumental song is 2 separate acoustic guitar parts. There's lots of strumming, one is double the speed of the other, and there's quite a bit of syncopation built in...I like the rhythm it creates (since there are no percussion tracks in this song). I recorded each acoustic guitar part with 3 separate mics for a full stereo effect. The instruments in this song battle each other (smooth sounds vs. harsh sounds), but I think it creates an interesting mood. It fits the dueling themes of this week's album, "Offense/Defense" (i.e. using weapons for peace, etc).

The quality of my mixes (overall) is getting better, but it seems to vary based on the instruments used in each song. Some mixes have been easier to hear than others. One day I wore out my ears recording with headphones and my final mix suffered. Mastering is a separate art form, and it's that final step that is the most noticeable. If it's done right, then the E.Q.'s and levels should match on every song. I'm making note of every detail so I can perfect the formula, but until then please be patient with the quality of my final product.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Slow Jukebox

I am using a 3rd party to host my individual song downloads (SnoCap). I like that they allow you to preview the song before purchasing, but it seems that they have not been able to keep up with demand lately. The songs from the past few days have not yet posted, and I have contacted them about the problem. I am searching for alternative (long-term) solutions if you have any advice. Thanks for your patience...


Song 9: Finger Touching Trigger

I love music, but I rarely listen to music when I'm driving...especially if radio music is the only choice. I prefer NPR talk-radio (National Public Radio: 90.1FM in the Texas area). Anyway, today's song, "Finger Touching Trigger," was lyrically inspired by all the recent NPR news about talks with Russia. It's an interesting human chess game where every move counts. It's also pretty silly.

"Scheduled talks, smooth as glass, a life-size chess game board full of actors, but I suppose you'll discover, the sense of urgency to the matter. Take a seat, tape this lesson, it's best to hope for peace, and have the biggest weapons. Let's have some patience, everybody. Start the day without your finger on the trigger. There's bound to be a better way."

When I was mixing this song I pictured all the world leaders being forced to watch the video for this song (not yet created) before they were allowed to talk business. It would be an instructional video titled, "International Defense Precautions for Dummies." The intro would have a cartoon figure pointing at the "red button" and shaking his head 'no.'

I had originally written the guitar for this song in 1996(?). The original 4-track recording was called, "Senator Frisbee," and it's quite different. All of the re-recording (and the lyrics) for this song happened today. I had to re-learn the chords since I haven't played it since the 20th century.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Starting a New Week (Song 8)

It was a long day yesterday, but everything pertaining to work and this music project was finally completed. I am fairly organized, so I have created check-lists for my daily, weekly and monthly tasks (for 'A New Song Every Day'). Finishing the first full week of recording meant taking care of a hand-full of website/marketing chores. The machine is running smoothly, but I'm still working out a few of the kinks. I'll outline my responsibilities below...

DAILY: format and activate live broadcast
DAILY: write and record an original song
DAILY: blog / twitter updates
DAILY: mix, master and upload the new song of the day
DAILY: gather materials and ideas for the next day's song
WEEKLY: new album concept (title, artwork, etc)
WEEKLY: add a new album to the online sales page
WEEKLY: archive/backup all computers (PC/Mac)
WEEKLY: create/send FREE song-of-the-week email (thanks for doing this one, Carly!)
WEEKLY: update website with new content from previous week
MONTHLY: download and evaluate site statistics (video viewers, site visitors, etc)

Today's song, "Foreign Tongues," represents the first song on the new (upcoming) album. This idea actually evolved from two ideas that I crammed into one song (I've always liked doing that). I wrote the lyrics today, "I would say the words you want to hear if I knew your language, dear." Also, I realized during today's recording that playing timpani drums in a symphony would be fun! Granted, some songs could be boring and require little participation from that section, but when they play it's always dramatic. The pair of mallets that I bought recently have become a favorite toy.

The next album is titled, "Offense/Defense" and I should have the artwork posted on my site later tonight. The first album was mostly driven by the rhythm section, so this album will be centered around acoustic guitars.

Thanks for listening...


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summary of Week 1

I am taking a quick break...still need to mix today's song. In about 1-2 more hours I will have completed the first full week of recording! I should have the first album (Network's Unseen Pilots) uploaded by tomorrow. Also, I will be sending out the first FREE song to everyone in an email later tonight.

The first week was a good learning experience. I feel like I've worked out most of the equipment issues, and I'm starting to hone in on a daily process. I've realized that the recording sessions are much smoother when I have planned adequately the night before. I woke up today without any sort of plan, and it cost me some time.

Today's song, "It's On," started with a very distorted punk-like guitar progression, but I gave it a rock-and-roll hairdo and a pair of techno pants. It evolved into something strange. The lyrics of this song are simple/funny..."I went to a party just to be seen, Put on a suede suite and wore my new sneakers, baby. The party was full of people waiting to be seen. But when I started dancing, they started leaving."

I was originally going to title this song "Iron My Punk Shirt!" (on behalf of the modern "bubble-gum punk" bands), but I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

More tomorrow...


Monday, July 6, 2009

Song 6

This instrumental might work well with the right video. My goal was to capture a mood, give it a chance to evolve slightly, then leave it pending. I would like to write music for t.v./film again someday. It's always a creative exercise to put in a good movie, turn the sound to "Mute," and try to write my own soundtrack.

Song 6, "Tumbleweed," is now available online for you to preview and purchase. After tomorrow's song I will have completed the first full week of recording. I should have the entire first album (7 songs plus artwork) available for download by Wednesday.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Song 5

I made up this piano part early this morning (along with everything else). This is a pretty basic pop song, but people like these for a makes the feet move. I haven't had access to a piano for a while, so I feel like I'm still getting used to keys on my fingers (instead of strings).

I took a break from recording to go to church. The guest preacher was very excited. He looked like Martin Scorsese and talked like Ricky Ricardo. Very was the fireworks show last night that was only 300 yards from our house. Best finale ever, but this paragraph has little to do with today's song.

I had loosely planned on sticking to certain musical genres for a period of time. So far there have been few rules to follow, which is what makes this project so much fun.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Song 4

Brandon came over early today to help me record. We started the session with his acoustic guitar idea and spontaneously built on those 3 chords. It was a challenge sharing space at times, but it was nice having extra creative input as well as extra hands on the control center. Brandon can do everything I can do, so it's less of a juggling act when we can share tasks. We finished around 2pm.

I'll be back tomorrow...


Friday, July 3, 2009

Song 3

In today's song I used a guitar strumming pattern from years ago (the song idea was originally labeled "Skimming the Globe"). However, it turned out differently than I expected...that's what happens when you write as you go. The tamborine and shaker were recorded live, and I added a few electronic loops to fill it out. The bass was done on the keyboard since the flow of the song didn't allow for the transients of an analog bass.

Brandon Steach will be joining me for tomorrow's session. The town where I live is having a "Groovin' 4th" party with a complete hippy theme. Maybe we'll re-record a Grateful Dead song...that's patriotic, right?


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Song 2

I completed Song #2, 'Waiting for You.' I had the idea for one of the guitar parts last night, and the rest of the song was built today...about 18 tracks (2-3 takes per track). The picking part turned out to fit with the chord progression, 'C' to 'Em.' Those chords made for a 'moody' sound that inspired the vocals. I also like the uncommon chord progression at the end: Am, E, F, A.

The new software is great, and it's nice having easy access to multiple instruments. The quality of my mixes has improved with the purchase of monitor speakers. No more mixing with headphones.

Other highlights: I used my sleigh bells for the first time and this song has two endings.


Day 2

I am pleased with the way things are moving. 'Day 1' was a success, and I'm ready for 'Day 2.' I spent about 30 minutes last night gathering some ideas for today's song. I'm approaching the writing process very loosely. I have a BPM (beats-per-minute) set and I know which instruments I want to use first. It makes it interesting when the ending is a surprise to me.

Since my mother-in-law prefers that I explain what my songs mean, I will try. The first song, "Be Advised," was about the uncertainty of life (a theme I'll probably use again). The weather alert noise means panic for some and it means preparations and planning for others. The last time I heard that noise (prior to a recent tornado visit) I heard the rhythm and bass along with it (in my head, of course). I changed the purpose of the noise to be for the sake of the noise itself (it was funny to me). The narration delivers the message in a way that's very formal and informative (and hiddenly sarcastic). If you are accepting of the temporary nature of life it makes living more fun, which is why I sang the secong half of the song's message in a way that doesn't quite's pretty bright and motivating considering the news I'm delivering.

I still have a few technical challenges to clear up today. My new CPU should've come with an iLok key (which allows me to use half of my recording plug-ins), but it is nowhere to be found. I will need to dig through old boxes again, then I'll have to call Sweetwater with the bad news. The codes from the software they installed are specific to that key. Also, I still need to soundproof my windows so the neighbors can't hear me when I do my amazing drum rolls.

Thanks for reading my mind. I'll have more updates today when the second song is complete.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Song 1

I have a small stack of (very) rough ideas lined up, but today is all about experimenting with new toys. I have a variety of new software programs that I opened for the first time yesterday.

Game on.