Song #03 - Week of Jan 17-24, 2011

"It Just Might"

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"It Just Might" - Song #03 - MP3 File



- "It Just Might" - Length: 5:33

Track count: 11 Tracks

Instrumentation: MacBook Pro, Korg Radias synthesizer, voices and whistling, BeBot, Peak Pro, Ableton Live.



Original concept: I wanted to do something hopeful, I have a hopeful feeling. (Things with Ebi are looking up, for one thing. And hope is better than the alternative.) The Radias synthesizer has been really inspiring lately, and I've been enjoying just playing it. So I am going to do something based on this shivery, hopeful arpegiated patch I found. I want the feeling of coming out of a dark place and thinking that anything good might happen.

The only thing I have for sure is the Radias patch K05, an urge to do this around a core of C major, and a feeling. 120 BPM.



Process diary

Tuesday, Jan. 18: Played the synth a lot, and solidified the direction - which is actually sort of a lack of direction, as this is just going to be a short "on the verge" evocative mood thing. It's not really designed to "go" anywhere. (Kind of nice to not have to worry about the destination. Maybe one will occur to me, maybe not.) Decided to do the bass line on Radias, and the first melody line on another synth, so it's not all hard wired into one track (learned my lesson with the last song and that drum part.) Vague ideas of other instrumentation, nothing really solid. I might do the whole thing on the Radias, actually, maybe with the MicroKorg. I want to try and author a nice windy lead sound for it using the editor, but I love this sweet propulsive sound right now.


Wed, Jan 19: Exhausted - been composing since 5am, and also had rehearsal at OBT today - but a deal's a deal, even if you make it with yourself and no one would really know. Opened up the Mac editor for the Radias patch - the editor is a godsend, but it's also pretty inscrutable - and played the synth some while editing. Will have to play the melody line with a different instrument, I think - although I like the unpredictability of doing it with the K05. We'll see. Session devolved into mindless tinkering. Pretty fun, actually.


Thursday, Jan. 20: Had an all-day studio day planned, but jumped at the chance to go meet Ebi's surgeon and set up her treatment., WIth only 45 min to kill, I did a quick vocal recording session for the project.
Friday, Jan 21st: Small edits to voices, and a bit of synth wiggling


Saturday, Jan 22nd: Played with the Radias and the editor more. Recorded some lovely synth parts, they're in the right key and tempo, but - meh. Not for this tune. I keep trying to add fancy stuff to this concept, and end up stripping it back. The voices may not even make it on. Might just keep it to the original synth bubble in C with the simple melody line over it, and MAYBE some ethereal voice snippets flying by.

I did something weird and paid down some synth parts for the END of the thing. Now I just have to get there! Some of the Pluggo "Space Echo" tape emulation sounds are pretty amazing. Really wild.


Saturday, Jan 22nd: Played with the Radias and the editor more. Recorded some lovely synth parts, they're in the right key and tempo, but - meh. Not for this tune. I keep trying to add fancy stuff to this concept, and end up stripping it back. The voices may not even make it on. Might just keep it to the original synth bubble in C with the simple melody line over it, and MAYBE some ethereal voice snippets flying by.

I did something weird and paid down some synth parts for the END of the thing. Now I just have to get there! Some of the Pluggo "Space Echo" tape emulation sounds are pretty amazing.


Sunday, Jan 23rd: While Townsend watched the Packers play the Bears, I sat in bed and layered the vocals I'd recorded in Live on the laptop. I especially like the whistling I did - a nod to my song "Fetch," actually. Exported and edited them. Now time to just record a raw take of the synth bubble and find a good sound for the melody line. I should be able to knock it out fairly quickly since I've been working on it all week!

OK, back to the studio. Recorded the main synth bubble on the ol' K05. Used the ending tracks I made yesterday, and led up to them. While recording a drone on a sound with a lot of portamento, I played the high key so the portamento would swoop down when I played a low key, began recording, and played the lowest key - made a nice swoop intro for the song. But then the sound resolved into a nice backing drone, but I had to go upstairs - so I put my cell phone on the low C key to keep it held down so I could run upstairs for 3 min! Reminds me of the old days when I would hold down synth keys with my nose so I could use my hands to do other stuff in the studio.

The whistles and vocal layers sound good - but very sparingly. I love where they are and am (successfully, for once) resisting the urge to overdo 'em. Yay me!

The thing is roughed in now - just need the melody line. I have been dialing through Radias looking for a lead sound I like, but I may just use my old friend BeBot (an iPod app) instead.


Monday: Sound check and publish day! I decided to re-do a couple of the tracks, and ended up dong some major editing, too. I'm using another arepegiated line for the melody, and really like it, even though timing the two parts is a bit tricky. They end up bouncing around a lot and having a lot of energy, which I like. And a little chaos is a good thing!

So - I went in, added 32 measures in the middle of the song, re-recorded the intro, and went for the melody line. I tried a call & response between the Radias melody and the BeBot.... which I love! Added more, made more parts.... This is working.... the hard part will be stopping. But stop, mix and publish I must. This one might be a keeper. It's noodly and sloppy and bouncy and hopeful, and right now I'm loving it.



NOTES: So... maybe next week or so I should go totally acoustic, maybe just banjo and dulcimer, for a change of pace. I might need a break from all this synthesizer stuff. But I think I might have to do a cover of a cheesy old 80's synth tune to get it out of my head first! What cheesy 80's synth tune will it be, you ask? Stay tuned.....


Here are some pictures of the Korg Radias and BeBot.


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