Song #05 - Week of Jan 31st - Feb. 7th, 2011

"Shut The Front Door!"

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"Shut The Front Door!" - Song #05 - MP3 File

"Shut The Front Door!"

Length: 2:13

Track count: 8 Tracks

Instrumentation: iMac, Digital Performer, Peak Pro7, Storm Drum (Righteous H), Ibanez bass, Fender Stratocaster, walkie talkies

Original concept: I was doing a song for a client, and stumbled across this really messed up drum patch in Storm Drum (a softsynth I have.) I free-styled two tracks, one of which with minimal cleanup, will be the basis for the song. I've been doing more soothing music and trying to make pretty csounds, I will admit it - the goal here is for something raw and messed-up sounding. I'm going to go with the loose, lo-fi feel of the drum track and use guitar, maybe run my Casiotone through some cheap distortion pedalsÉ stuff like that. I am hoping to get single-track passes and do minor editing in the computer - just use the Mac for a recorder as much as possible.

Process diary

Monday, Jan. 31st: Found the drum track while I was working on a client piece (a world-beat kind of soundtrack for the Fulbright Foundation.) LOVE IT. Did a couple of passes, and tinkered with he sounds a little bit.

Tuesday, Feb. 1st: At the point in my day where I'd love to put in a couple hours on this, but it's almost time to go to a meeting. (Note to self - please, not so many meetings!) But I did run through the drums again and did some minor edits. Played bass along with it - now THAT is fun. HmmmÉ. Stupid meeting.
Wed, Feb. 2nd: Another quick session between client work and rehearsal - just trying out some guitar ideas along with the drums and bass. I was trying out some of the "virtual guitar pedals" and amp/room emulations in DP - pretty cool - but it makes me want to just run the Strat through the distortion pedal, put my guitar amp in a room, and crank it. I have an idea for that, but it will be another week's song. I'm going to do this one all in DP I think. No Live (and no "Large Space Chorus" reverb sound. I SWEAR!)

So, I have rudimentary bass and guitar ideas. The drum part is so odd and jerky that I think I will just play odd, jerky snippets over it live, and then cut out (rather than edit, comp or otherwise digitally edit or refine) the tracks. Got a good intro and some fun ideas. Cool!

I've got the Strat running thusly: Into the MOTU interface, then through Delta Fuzz, Diamond Drive, Ring Modulator, "Live Room G," and a plate reverb. It sounds awful- GOOD awful. This will be "Start Sound #1," I aim to have a different sound effects chain for the last few parts.

Thursday, Feb 3rd: Today I got some really bad news. I totally forgot about this project.

Friday, Feb 4th: Downside - too fresh and sad to mention. (Ebi. Cancer. Again. Still. These words do not belong in the same sentence.)

Upside - The Fed Ex man dropped (threw?) a delay pedal on my porch that basically allows me to play my guitar backwards. I got in on eBay for cheap last week. It's the little things. So - played my guitar backwards for a while, I didn't know what else to do. It helped me to escape for a bit.

Saturday, Feb 5th: I cannot concentrate. Just played some random guitar tracks into this week's session with the new pedal - but found that as much as I love it, for this track it isn't really adding anything. Will do next week's track with it. For now, I am just getting the nastiest noisiest guitar sounds possible, and using accidents and effluvia - distortion artifacts, slides, squonks, 60 cycle hum, pickup noise, fret noise - as musical elements, as much or more than I am using actual notes.

Sunday, Feb 6th: (goal - BASS) Before working on an e-card soundtrack for American Greetings, I opened up the session for STFD, and did a little work, mostly organizing and putting what I'd already done into place. Better get my paying job completed!

ÉOK. I set up one walkie talkie on they music stand in my recording booth, pointed the mic at the walkie talkie about two feet away, took the other one back into the main room, and recorded freestyle vocal sounds through the walkie talkie. I love that sound! Got some bass down after that, just need to add a few guitar bits now. Stayed up late having a blast.

Monday, Feb 7th: Re-recorded some guitar and bass bits, snipped out some measures and repeated one 4 bar section at the end, and did some special FX. Edited, mixed and out the door! Now I can shut it!

*** GEEK NOTES! This new stomp-box is the Digitech Hardwire DL-8 Looper. It's FUN. I never got into my Boss delay pedal, or the Loopstation - and I really did try - but the DL-8 captivated me as soon as I plugged it in. (Maybe I just really NEED to go backwards right now. Can you blame me for wanting to go back in time?) All that said - not using it on this song. Although it did get me going again.

Here are pictures of the walkie talkies in my recording booth, and parts of the DP session.

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