Serial band and project starter, synth player who considers himself a guitarist, compulsive weekly composer.
Guitar trio again, but this time with Danelectro baritone. There's some high- and low-pass Auto-Filter with drive on the bridge pickup, and some EQ-8 with low-end reduction on the neck pickup. And two convolution reverbs, in addition to the usual Wide&Warm preset for finalization. No outboard effects.
The title comes from US Highway 491 (formerly 666), which gives access to Shiprock, NM.
Two very late, very short tracking sessions of three tracks of PureSalem Mendiola. Still similar working methods, but a slightly different harmonic/melodic approach in places. (Still with the barre chords, not that that's a bad thing.)
Convolution reverb and the Ableton Wide & Warm compression/eq setting on the stereo bus.
The title comes from Carthaginian navigator Himilco, who apparently reached the northwestern coast of Europe from the Mediterranean in 490 BCE.
Much of my free time over the last week has been directed toward migrating my websites to a new cloud instance, which also (due to the age of the codebase) means redeveloping them. So it's a work in progress.
Even so, I found some time to track a little guitar-and-pedal-steel thing. PureSalem Mendiola and no-name 10-string 1970s pedal steel in E9 tuning. There's the usual convolution reverb and mastering plugin, but otherwise no funny stuff.
The title comes from the minor planet 489 Comacina.
An exercise in bringing a piece together with edits. I'd tracked a number of compatible melodic and chordal bits against each other, but there wasn't a defining idea, other than the first theme's emergence in 3/4. (Surprisingly, that theme does appear near the middle.) There are the usual choices here: three parts, no inline effects, but a send to a convolution reverb, and the stereo bus compression/eq.
The title comes from NGC 488, the Whirligig Galaxy in Pisces.
Another intensely busy week, so here's an attainable three-guitar piece. PureSalem Mendiola, a bit of convolution reverb, the usual compression/eq on the stereo out. This one has a middle section with a chord progression that's five beats long, which mixes things up a bit.
The title is from the minor planet 487 Venetia.
This was mostly written late Saturday night, when a little arpeggiated figure came to mind. Turns out it was in 7/4, so the next several parts followed suit. Then I came up with some other parts in 3/4, so there's a different time signature in the middle. It pretty much works, I think.
PureSalem Mendiola, one track for bridge pickup, on neck, one both. A little convolution reverb, and the usual wide & warm compression/eq on the stereo out.
The title comes from the minor planet 486 Cremona.
There's a little more life left in the guitar trio approach. This one started spacious, but developed some chordal motion and melodic interest. PureSalem Mendiola, no inline effects, but some send to a convolution reverb, and the usual compression/eq on the stereo.
The title comes from Emperor Xiaowen starting the equal-field system of agriculture in 485 CE.
Expanding to four tracks of guitar this week. I'd wanted to do something with more spaces, along with a bit of fake sustained/freeze by looping very short sub-clips, so in tracking, I allowed more spaces and wrote fewer melodic lines to make room for those. The melodies that came through anyway, though, were worth writing. There's also chordal motion in here as well. On listening back, it's kind of surprising I'd got through all these sections in such a short time.
Four tracks of PureSalem Mendiola, no processing, though there's a bit of convolution reverb send on each track, and the stereo-bus Wide&Warm preset.
The title comes from the dedication of the Temple of Castor and Pollux in 484 BCE.
This weekend, I had time for only a short tracking session late Saturday night, with one or two bits dropped in Sunday. The changing temperature and humidity are reflected in some of the timbres out of the Res-O-Glas guitar here--a few notes sound like they're bottoming out.
With the short tracking session and no immediate sense of direction, it was a bit hard to bring this piece into focus--it needed a lot more attention in the editing than some. That said, this one did end up with a structure and some emotional content.
Maybe it's time for a radical departure next week. Let's see--until tax time, I might be treading water a bit.
Three tracks of home-built Res-O-Glas guitar, with some convolution reverb to add some resonance to those rests. Some of the usual compression/EQ on this one as well.
The title comes from celestial object IC 483.
For this week, rather than the counterpoint-over-chords approach I've been doing lately, I wanted to have three guitars interacting in a sparser way. The structure's pretty intuitive, with a lot of rests in there.
This one uses home-built Res-O-Glas direct to the converter, some larger-space, more-present convolution reverb, and a bit of eq/compression on the stereo mix,
The title comes from NGC 482, a spiral galaxy in the Phoenix constellation.
A three-guitar thing presented itself for this weekend, and here it is. Same PureSalem, minimal processing, touch of convolution reverb, wide&warm compression/eq audio effect rack.
The title comes from the southern terminus of PA 481, which is on the Old National Pike (where it merges with the National Pike).
Still on the three-tracks/one-guitar approach, though this one is a bit quieter, with more partial chords and fewer barre chords. One channel's bridge, one neck, and one both, There's some convolution reverb on all of them, and the usual Wide&Warm multi-band compression/eq on the stereo mix.
The title comes from the route of Ohio's I-480, which goes through several "Heights" towns on its way around Cleveland.
Three tracks of guitar again, but this time with the home-built Res-O-Glas. The Lace Alumitones have a kind of Danelectro-lipstick quality to them. There's a slightly larger reverb (with less send) and the usual Wide&Warm multi band compression/eq on the stereo mix.
The title comes from the former highway 479 in Pittsburgh, Crosstown Boulevard. (It was renumbered a couple times, finally becoming 579.)
The guitar-only approach is still speaking to me. For this one, I'd started with a sparse intro, and responded to it intuitively. There's a lot of space in it, a number of pauses...but emotion as well.
Guitar: PureSalem Mendiola, three tracks (bridge, neck, both). Convolution reverb. The usual Wide&Warm audio effect rack preset.
The title comes from a chain of association starting with the formation of the Delian League in 478 BCE. Delos is an historical site, and according to wikipedia, this is the name of the harbo(u)r.
There's apparently still some life in the three-track/one-guitar approach. I did all the tracking on Saturday in a couple sessions, afternoon and night. The first melodic motif came out in waltz time, so I went with that. There's the usual convolution reverb send and audio effect rack with multi band compression/eq on the stereo out, but otherwise no funny stuff.
The title comes from the historical fact of Shaolin Monastery being founded on Mount Song in 477 CE.
Stepping out of the recent guitar-only restriction. This one needed some bass for focus and grounding. Guitar is the usual PureSalem Mendiola--three tracks. The neck pickup needed some high-pass filter with drive, but otherwise it's straight into the box.
Bass got the usual EQ-8, though I experimented with the preset. Instead of rolling off -12dB below 120 the way I usually do, this one uses the "vintage bass" preset.
Everything gets a bit of convolution reverb. And there's the usual Audio Effect Rack with the Wide&Warm compression/eq on the stereo.
Much of this I tracked as snippets against other snippets in Session View, but in editing, some parts clashed a bit, so I took them out and tracked into the gaps in Arrangement View. In some cases, there's a bit too much elasticity in the guitar playing...but it pays off in the middle, I think.
The title comes from the route of EuroNight 476, from Budapest to Warsaw.
It looks like there's still some seam material left in the three-tracks-of-one-guitar approach. I started this one Friday night and wrapped it up in a second session Saturday night. Three tracks of PureSalem Mendiola: both pickups, one bridge, and one neck. There's some large-room convolution reverb on them, and the usual audio effect rack on the Wide & Warm preset for compression/light EQ.
This one's named after a tiny Pennsylvania town near PA-475.
This week's track started out of an impulse to do something sparse and improvisatory like the last couple of Talk Talk records, but inevitably I made it denser. I'd started with a sparse syncopated drum line that didn't make it to the final mix, but the guitar parts are in response to that.
Saturday brought us the awful news of Tom Verlaine's passing, so one of the guitar parts has a heavy vibrato in tribute. (Tom's playing is a fundamental influence for me; I've been a listener and fan for decades, and I've been fortunate to attend several performances over the years as well.) RIP, Tom.
Guitar: inevitably, it had to be the Jazzmaster-shaped PureSalem Mendiola.
No inline effects, but there's a room-sized convolution reverb on everything, and the usual Wide & Warm audio effect rack for compression/eq.
The title comes from the galaxy NGC 474, which has dramatic glowing shells that might be tidal tails.
This one's an example of what happens when I'm not feeling as though there were ideas, and then finding at arrangement/mixdown that there are musical ideas here.
I'd started late Friday night by tracking some bass, which...didn't work. Saturday night, I tracked three different tracks of baritone guitar parts (bridge pickup, neck pickup, both pickups) and wasn't sure how they were working--the 6/4 meter seemed good, but there's a pause at the end of some phrases, and some parts played with that start/stop quality, coming in at different beats, rather than regularly.
Listening back to it all just now...it kind of works. So I'm going with it. It's kind of an unexpected gift from the process of sitting there and tracking.
The title comes from the Ōmiya district of Saitama, where Hikawa Shrine was founded in 473 BCE.
For this week, I'd thought of doing something with bass and percussion to switch things up a bit. Having put down some MIDI drums and tabla, the bass parts were suggestive of some guitar parts...so I added two tracks of PureSalem Mendiola for something more fully arranged than recent pieces.
There's EQ-8 on the bass to roll off low end, and a touch of M4L humanizer and M4L velocity randomizer on drums. Everything gets a bit of send to convolution reverbs, and there's the usual Wide&Warm preset for compression/eq on the stereo.
The title comes from Octoraro Lake, over which PA-472 travels.
First track of the new streak! Welcome, everyone!
This one continues the one-guitar approach from last year: this past week and weekend have been rather busy, and a one-guitar approach helps me finish a track. For this one, I tried a faster click tempo, and on initial recordings used a pick. I used to play with a pick exclusively, but I've come to dislike the tone of them with my recordings, so much of this is fingerpicked. (Though the pick is audible on some sections.) The guitar is my very comfortable PureSalem Mendiola in standard tuning, with a track for the bridge pickup only, one for both pickups, and one the neck pickup only.
There are no inline effects on the guitar lines, but I've used a convolution reverb as a send, and multiband compression (via Ableton's audio effect racks) on the stereo mix.
The title comes from the venerable 741 op amp.
I'm ending the year with yet another all-one-guitar piece: four tracks of Epiphone Moderne, some with Balls Effects KWB + Vox Wah, and some straight into the Focusrite. There's a little echo on one track, and some room-sized convolution reverb on everything. Nothing too fancy, and most tracking was an intuitive response to other little loops.
The title comes from the fact that the Temple of Olympian Zeus had 104 columns, only 15 of which remain standing.
And we've made it to 52 weeks! Thank you to everyone who uploaded and listened! (I think the first Weekly Beats uploads will be due this coming week. I'd say check there for timing. I might just upload one extra here,)
Another of the all-one-guitar + resonator network pieces. This one uses the Danelectro baritone, with one channel going through the resonator network. I tracked some compatible parts, and putting them together...didn't work. Rather than scrap the whole piece, I started over with arranging the parts, relying less on repeating one chord progression and keeping parts a bit shorter. Then I tracked a few new parts in each of three tracks to fill in gaps.
There's a convolution reverb on all three of these, and Wide & Warm compression on the output.
The title comes from what may have been the meaning of the Onojutta-Haga word that was the source of the name for the Juniata River.
Still mining that guitar-only thing with the recent resonator network, though this time I was using the PureSalem Mendiola. Through the resonator, it sounded a lot more like a banjo and less like a rubab, so I leaned into it. This one's very banjo-friendly front-porch picking music. I'm kind of digging the vibe here.
Rhythm guitar got a bit of low-end rolloff with EQ-8, and the mix got the Wide & Warm audio effect rack.
The title comes from two towns in VA and WV near RT 102, which kind of echoed the country-ish flavor here.
Continuing my solo-guitar thing, this week has a fretted instrument (Univox Effie Hollowbody in Fahey C tuning) going through the Afghan Rubab resonator network I put together last week. There's also a send to a convolution reverb with a large space impulse, and Ableton's Wide & Warm audio effect rack on the output.
Recorded live with no edits--you can hear some notes against the side of the frets...but it seemed honest to leave it.
The title comes from M101, the pinwheel galaxy, and the dedication is to a friend who would have been celebrating a birthday today, had he not left us earlier this year. (I raised both a glass and a guitar to Russ today.)