We got our weekly music theme today from Two Hour Track Sunday. We played a (really complicated) game where you had spies and non-spies and the non-spies composed a song according to a "location" and you had to guess first who the spies were and then the spies guessed what the location was.
I ended up spending maybe an hour and a bit on it in total.
The theme was "Cemetery", though part of the game was that you were supposed to make it a little ambiguous so that the "spies" couldn't guess the location!
This was live-streamed also - https://twitch.tv/emeraldarcana on June 6, but look out about an hour and a half into the stream for the beginning of this particular track, since I started doing some stuff and then started over.
A short instrumental track for this week, which stemed from a bass / drums groove I jammed around. I added some guitars and synths, all mixing into a somewhat dreamy / groovy piece.
Lineup is bass guitar, guitar, Spitfire Audio LABS for the drums, UVI for the SY-77 (pad) and Ensoniq VFX (bells).
Soundcloud for higher audio quality:
This week I finally went full-on industrial metal. Everything but the bass and guitars were done on the Polyend Tracker. Bass is recorded direct and amped with Duality Bass Studio from Audio Assault. Guitars are recorded direct and amped with Reamp Studio from Audio Assault. Not my usual gear but that's all I had today. Mixed in Harrison Mixbus. It's been a real challenge to play bass and guitar at 200bpm with quite a few months with no practice. Amidst the noise and chaos the mistakes may be ok. Making this track was both exhilarating and drained me of all this week's remaining energy.
Spiritual successor to last week's track, again taken from our jam session this week. It's long but it's 2-3 tracks seamlessly blending to each other so I feel it makes this OK, right? :)
High quality on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/trent-hawkins/20210601-feat-lagoon-city
Also check out the full jam session on Youtube or Soundcloud.
Now that I have a bit more time I did a more complete track this week reminiscent of my spring experiments. Over a drone and 12-string looper based guitar melody I added a drum & percussion subtly morphing pattern and a section with electric guitar plus some short wood flute pieces. Again I am happy that I managed to bring more development to melodies, even if I feel like some small changes could still be added when the loop is repeating as and testing a midi controller for better fading in and out of it.
Have you ever been stuck at an airport in the middle of the night? Either you have a night flight at 2am or you just arrived at 4am and waiting for a correspondence that goes 5 years later. This is the dead zone of airports, you meet other zombie voyagers stuck there, people mopping up the floor. If you're lucky, you can find somewhere in the concrete maze a small open café. There is the smell of smoke lingering in the air, the ceilings have a yellow tinge and there are a few insects dead in the corner. You get a coffee that has a slight taste of bleach and feel like you're in the purgatory, drifting between worlds.
That's a bit of the atmosphere I wanted to capture in this track. Drifting between worlds. I had this melancholic and simple guitar chord progression. Recorded a one take solo - not super clean, a bit off here and there, but I felt that if I tried to capture the soap bubble it might pop.
The guitar is an Epiphone explorer. Done in FL Studio with Sakura synth for the stand-up bass, FLEX for the piano and some cool jazz drums samples and other atmospheric and jukebox samples acquired on Splice.
Actually wrote something atmospheric this week :)
I feel like some of the elements (particularly the percussion loop) might have been a bit too repetitive, but I tried to add some variation throughout the song to keep things interesting.
Here's one I recorded in a few quick, improvisatory sessions, but it needed a bit of attention to edit together. My initial thought was to emphasize toms and kick, avoiding the snare if I could, and then respond to that. (There's a snare rimshot sound every so often, but no overt snare hits.)
Recording the guitar went quickly, though once I'd settled on which key I preferred, I did need to go back and record a bit more. With bass, I'd recorded a bunch of parts, and ended up throwing most of them out, going instead with lines I tracked last in arrangement view.
Guitar: PureSalem Mendiola straight into the Focusrite. (Each channel got inline Auto-Filter for drive/coloration). Bass: 80s Epiphone Embassy II (neck pickup only). EQ-8 for some low-end rolloff. Drums: Ableton 64 Pad Kit Special, with Max Humanizer.
Sends: Valhalla Supermassive, Ableton Delay, convolution reverb with Auto-Filter to roll off lows.
Title comes from the lenticular galaxy NGC 74.