it's been a tough month or two of loss and challenges, but as part of pushing past that feeling, I made myself sit down and actually finish a track the other day.
I stuck to my easiest comfort zone, which is generic industrialish rock with some random lyrics forced out using whatever was on my mind or in my eyeline at the time (in this case; politics, crypto markets, and the horrifying realization after shaving for the first time in a decade that I look a bit like a certain politician)
I've been loving the Spitfire LABS strings so very much, I decided to try writing a semi-conventional piece, intended to be a little modern in structure ad flow but also directly referencing some of my mom's favorite Vivaldi when the second solo kicks in.
rolling with what feels like a consistent sonic style for this month.
shout out to @thawkins, I spaced on replying at the time, (not sure this site even notifies on replies?) but your comment a couple of months ago got me thinking about headroom a lot more, which was key in mixing this one (and also I'd never heard of Six Organs Of Admittance but now have him on my spotify and I appreciate that as much as the comparison)
this went in an entirely different direction than I planned, but who am I to argue with the music..
it was supposed to be a sort of discount daft punk bit, but ended up being a weird glitch + "chiptune" piece.
I'm not super excited about this one, but it was fun to make.
I'm also having feelings about hitting week 49 =(
I didn't manage to finish this by yesterday, so while I am on time for my streak, it kinda messes up my "November Noise" theme.
I still had a lot of fun with this one. I wanted to play with tonality and implied rhythm while remaining adjacent to pure noise.
Unplugged signal cable via Hysteresis set the flavor and flow, then freeform electric toothbrush bass and synth on top of it
Noise for November #2
Title from a random facebook yardsale ad I saw right after I woke up from the dream that inspired me to do this subproject (I think it's an automotive thing, fuel injection controller maybe- but it ties into my immediate plan to use the furnace noise)
Noise sources: furnace kicking on, jenky old deep freezer, unplugged instrument cable, electric toothbrush bass
I grabbed a couple photos of said furnace for the song graphic, and accidentally got "MORE POWER" (the logo says Kenmore Power Miser) but that seemed too on the nose. Still amused myself for a few minutes :)
i had a dream that i did an ambient (industrial) noise EP so it seems i have a theme for this month!
Nothin' (but) Noise November!
this one was done with an unplugged instrument cable, an electric bass played with electric toothbrush (and also the sweet effect of the motor near the pickups) and the cliche cordless drill (but pitch shifted to be "in key").
i made pretty heavy use of hysteresis and fracture by glitchmachines (both free). for when you absolute want to mangle your sound!
i've been trying to make individual cover art for as many tracks as possible, but this week i was feeling extra art-y so i made a whole graphics package and started a new soundcloud for this sub-project.
cover graphic for this track attached here also, as an experiment
no trope tickets, i'm just going to do spooky stuff for the month.
this one shaped up a little differently in process, although the results are similar to what i often produce. i almost always start off with a beat of some kind, but this time i recorded all the instrument tracks with the metronome and then arranged and added a couple suitable grooves from MT power drummer after the fact. i was really feeling the piano and bass working together, everything else just got layered on for flavor.
stock ableton 'grand piano', bass thru some simple eq, guitar through Guitar Rig5, and both synth voices from SymptohmPE.
no trope tickets this week, i think i may need to improve them to avoid burnout- and it's also been a bit of a week. quick concept jam in ableton. title will hopefully make my wife smile after spending her day off doing rather intense automotive repairs.
random generated themes:
industrial, no vocals, beat=random loop, ambient flavor
title is a nod to the random loop i grabbed from looperman to build around:
Disturbeats 256 of 666 by flsouto
trying a new design strategy to generate weekly themes.
mt power drummer for beats arrangement, then swapped out for "abuse kit" and the midi tweaked. symptohm for synth bass and lead, sidechained gate and stock amp emulation on the guitar, bit reduction on the bass.
this concludes a quartet of songs which share the same conceptual theme and tools, enough to toss 'em on an EP together for the fun of it (weeks 29, 32, 33, plus one track i did outside the weekly project).
as a result of this theme, this one once again had the core elements built in fruityloops, starting from and centered around a Sakura string track run through dBlue Glitch 1.3 and then a beat and some Sytrus and Toxic Biohazard pads and synth bass before dumping to Ableton for some more freeform synth bass and pads and overall arrangement.
a sub-theme, if you will, this week came from a conversation with a friend about making soundtracks for fun- so i was aiming for something of a traditional cinematic soundscape sound on top of and leading into the glitched string theme i'm rocking.
the beat drop ins feel a little harsh and it could use some tweaking in the arrangement and mix, but overall i had fun and like the result.
title comes from one of my go-to plugins, Sakura string synth; since the whole song was built around a little melody using that and then run through dBlue Glitch (even though you can barely hear it now, everything sprang from that)
beat, strings, arp, and one pad all sequenced in fruityloops and then exported to ableton for arrangement and some tasty synth via Symptohm and some more pads.
week 30! woooo
this week started out swinging pretty hard away from the previous week stylistically, mainly because i was already playing with a new drum tool (MT Power Drumkit, highly recommend for anyone doing more conventional music- it lets you build from common groove / fill / etc patterns that sound natural without hours of detailed sequencing but then produces a MIDI clip you can overdub or edit. and it's free!) so i ended up with probably the most conventional and most rock-like track i've ever done (i thought it sounded kinda like the black keys, if they had just learned to play).
then i needed a lyrical theme, and my wife suggested the goofy area 51 raid thing that's going on currently.
i liked it pretty well, but it didn't seem to all fit together and the music style didn't really mesh with the topical content, so! a few days later a light bulb went on, and i scurried down to my basement workshop lair and made some changes (pretty much all reductions; "walk softly and carry a big eraser"!) that produced a completely different sound.
i got rid of the guitar tracks completely, cut/gated the real bass with the beat as sidechain to get that choppy hooky sound, left the organ and synthbass as they were, added heavy autotune and bit reduction to the vocals for that robot sound, and probably most importantly, copied the PowerDrum midi track to a new MIDI kit set up to get that sweet 80s drum machine sound and mixed the original almost all the way down (i left a little of the acoustic drums to soften the hard drum machine sound just a tiny bit).
Everything in Ableton this week.
Synth bass and organ both Symptohm PE
Guitar tone in the original mix from Guitar Rig 5
Drums arranged in MT PowerDrumKit
if your curious what my take on second rate "Black Keys" sounds like the original track is here:
(original completed mix with vocals)