Unfortunately, work and personal bullshit have been keeping me from working on as much music as I’d like, but I think I’m starting to get back into it again.
Last weekend I was messing around in the studio and came up with something I’m calling “The Coldest Day in Hell”, probably inspired by the fact that this is the shittiest winter we’ve had in years. It started out sounding sort of country-ish, and evolved into… whatever it is now. I fleshed it out a bit more today, and recorded this very rough draft of it to share with you guys. I need to work on the lead parts and write more drums for it, but I think it has potential. Have a listen (It starts about 8 seconds in. Forgot to trim that up before uploading):
I’m hoping to post an update at least bi-weekly from now on, with either something new I’ve recorded, or the next evolution of a song I’ve been working on over the past year. It’d be cool to have people follow along as these songs get more and more refined, since that’s not something most songwriters let people in on.
Maybe that’s with good reason?
Screw it. I’m no professional musician, so why not bring you guys along while I learn how to do this?
Luckily I’ve got a few other songs banked up that I haven’t shared on here yet, so if I don’t get a chance to work on anything new, I’ll be able to post one of those.
Last weekend consisted of some of the best recording progress I’ve ever made.
A few weeks ago, I made a CD of all the bits and pieces of the songs I wanted to record for the upcoming album, and had them playing in my car so I could work on them while I did my hour’s worth of commuting every day. Some of these were guitar and drums recorded in Audacity four years ago, some were just guitar parts recorded hastily on my home studio, with no regard for song structure, levels, effects or percussion. While it did work in terms of keeping me motivated about working on them, it bothered me that they sounded so disjointed and uneven.
Last weekend, my goal was to get drums and guitar parts recorded for those 9 songs to a point that they all at least sounded close to how they will end up sounding, and get them mixed down to a new CD.
With one of them, which for now I’m calling ‘Break Down’, while playing back the recorded rhythm track, I was idly playing along, and came up with what I thought was a pretty interesting sounding lazy lead part, so I put that down as well. I really liked the way it turned out, so I cut a little sample out of it for you guys to check out:
After giving all these songs the quick and dirty once over, the goal now is to focus on one song at a time. That will start this weekend.
More to come.
It’s been too long.
Needless to say, the whole RPM challenge did not pan out. I quickly learned that I didn’t have the recording experience nor the tools at my disposal to produce what I wanted to in such a short amount of time.
However, things are slowly but surely progressing toward an actual album being recorded.
A few months ago, my wife and I were wandering a mall, and she suggested we go into the music store just for the hell of it. I don’t usually like going into stores where I have no intention of purchasing anything, because then it’s just a torturous ordeal of staring at cool shiny things I can’t have.
After checking out said shiny things, I found the wall of home recording gear, and decided to see what was available. Of course, one of the clerks noticed this, and came over to give me his opinion, and attempt to sell me on something.
Which he did.
With my wife’s ever-supportive blessing, I walked out of there with a digital home recording studio, a condenser mic, headphones, and a set of professional studio monitors. About $1000 worth of gear.
“Holy shit,” I thought, as we carried all of it out to the car, “I guess I’m going to have to really be serious about this now.”
For the next month, I was busy with work, and travelling quite a bit, and didn’t get a chance to do more than crack the instruction manual a couple times. Eventually, though, I was able to get it all set up in the basement, and I’ve been spending as much time as I can down there, learning the equipment and doing test recordings, like this one, temporarily named ‘foundations’:
This weekend I’m devoting both days to getting guitar and percussion tracks recorded for 9 songs that have so far made the cut for my upcoming album.
Time to get started.
So, it’s the day before the 28 day recordathon that is the RPM Challenge.
I’ve spent most of the day on prep and setup. The room needed to be cleaned and organized, I had to locate my gear (still missing the power adapter for my Alesis drum machine) re-string my guitar, figure out what software I’ll be using (chose Audacity over Garage Band) and see if any of the audio files I’ve scattered around various computers will be useful for this endeavour (short answer: probably not)
In all that digging, I did come across a few mp3’s I made; really rough versions of song ideas that I recorded with the intention of playing in my car, in hopes that they would help me figure out other parts to be added, especially the lyrics, which seem to be a large stumbling block for me lately.
Here’s a little piece of one of those, that I actually have about half the lyrics for, called “Cellophane”, or “Cellofame”, depending on how much of a cleverdouche I decide to be about it.
As you can hear, there are some needs-improvements all over the place, but I figure it’ll be that much easier to share the good stuff with the wider world if the less than shit has already made it out.
Tomorrow the fun officially starts.
My name’s Chris, and this is the website for my music project, called secret identity crisis [sic].
‘secretidentitycrisis’ has been an online handle that I’ve used for quite a while, and I’ve had the domain name for a few years, and decided to re-purpose it as a name for my foray into music. I just created this new design today, it’s still a work in progress. I apologise if you find the colour orange offensive. As you can see, there’s a lot of it here.
I will be participating in the RPM Challenge this year (user name ‘sic’) which basically dares musicians to record an entire album (10 songs or 35 minutes) of previously unreleased material during the month of February.
Since this will be my first time seriously recording music, I’m planning to blog a little about my meager process, and the challenges, failures and (with any luck) successes that occur along the way.
I hope you come back and check it out.