With some steps forward, there are some steps backwards. Such was the case this past week. Despite the setback, I’m happy to relay that the seventh song finalized is “Love Takes A Holiday”.
Yes, I had managed to spend a little time away from my release to work on a film trailer track in a dubstep style. I mentioned in the last post that initial reaction was awesome. Even the client finally got back to me stating I nailed it. That’s enough to put a smile on the face. Still awaiting word from the studio…
LTAH – for short, required a fairly good amount of thought. The original demo was a little on the dragging it’s feet side. That doesn’t stop it from being a really good song, but it did stop it from being a great song, or even a possible hit. Thus I reworked it with a faster tempo. This gives it a livelier vibe that bounces a little more – without taking out the nature of stomp it has. I also reworked the lyrics, shifted the verses around and gave it a more focused perspective.
In the re-recording of the track, I reconfigured some of the guitar parts and added more elements to it. One of my favorite new bits is a “talking bass” sound that I picked up from doing the dubstep track. I think it’s going to add some cool character to compliment the Clavinet I have in it.
You’re probably wondering, what the hell was the setback? Well… I have a really nice microphone that I’ve been using to record the demo vocals with. It decided that right now, or rather last Tuesday, was the perfect time to crap out and stop working. That’s rather unfortunate for such a pricey mic to do. Good thing I’m on good terms with the company. They’re going to give it a checkup and get it back to good health. In the meantime, I’m picking on songs that I need to tweak with more than just vocals – gives me time to really think through the arrangements. That’s always a good thing.
Even LTAH got a slight change in the arrangement of things too. Added some cool stops to two parts and also gave the intro riff and reprise. Keeps the song from motoring too fast through the parts now that the tempo has made a pretty good jump. These changes signal that the seventh song finalized is “Love Takes A Holiday”. Stay tuned. I’ve got another 11 more to tweak before studio performances and perfection are up to bat.
Talk about being a little too busy sometimes. Turns out that I actually got this latest track dealt with back on Tuesday. However, I got called in to create a song for a film trailer and I’ve been working around the clock for a couple of days to get it done. I’m happy to say that the sixth song finalized is “Till We Meet Again”.
The great thing about this song is it’s simplicity. I wrote it with Jesse Stern, the infamous bassist. I had the idea for the guitar and what I wanted to have happen, he came in with a great bass line, then we cobbled some words together and voila. A very very catchy diddy that gets people right from the get go and holds on fast.
I’m ready to hop on another song after I deal with doing a live performance for Grant’s Advent Calendar today at noon. I’ll be doing a google hangout with him and performing my song Christmas Brought Me You live.
What did I do for the past couple of days? Well, I was knee deep in doing a Dubstep track for a film trailer. I can’t say what trailer it’s for. However, when I dive into something that I don’t have a ton of experience I have to do a lot of research to make sure I’ll do it the right way. Thus I got a chance to watch a couple of tutorials on creating the appropriate sounds, then spent time, writing, twisting and manipulating sounds to make a solid track. Early feedback says: It’s a hit. Which is pretty cool, considering it’s only for a film trailer.
Time to get back to work and get the next song tweaked and ready. Until the next update, thanks for stopping by to find out that the sixth song finalized is “Till We Meet Again”.
Productive weekend for a working musician. The most important thing for the wrap-up is that the fifth song finalized is “Careful”. Additionally I started a track for a film trailer and I recorded some children doing a spoof on 12 Days of Christmas for yet another film trailer.
Getting right down to it, I put the demo of my version of Careful together yesterday. A song written by Warren Sellars, Mark Luna, and myself. A couple of amazing writers right there allowing me along for the ride. It was a fun set of writing sessions. Leading to a delicate but strong song.
Thanks to a call from late Friday afternoon, I had a couple of extra things thrown on my plate for film trailers. Thus, I couldn’t get an additional song finalized yet. Though I predict by tomorrow, I’ll have another to announce.
In the meantime, my quote of the day for yesterday was: “You won’t know sleep until your head is on a pillow.” [Jody Whitesides]. The great thing is, I got two more tracks ready, and that fifth song finalized is “Careful”. Plus a couple of film trailers equals a bingo couple of days.
Get out your stick of digital chalk, the proverbial classroom chalkboard and mark yet another tick in the finalized category. This time around the fourth song finalized is “Thump Thump Thump”. There is no doubt that this is a veritable smash of a song. Super catchy is a phrase that comes to mind.
Not a lot of tweaks were needed to be made to this one. In fact, there is really only one decision left in terms of the arrangement. It has to do with how long I’ll make the intro. I’m debating on cutting it in half. Come to think of it, I might need to do a radio remix version – with a shorter intro, and then leave a longer intro. Who knows. That’s a decision to be made once I’ve hit the mixing stage.
There was a slight delay in getting to this one as I was hired to write a bit of music for a film trailer the other day. Then I got hired to record a special little choir for yet another film trailer – I’m working on that one right now actually as it’s due in tomorrow morning.
I’m heading back into the fray with yet another song to be announced shortly. I’ve been rerecording all the parts and thinking about the instrumentation. I may actually have news up as soon as tomorrow. Until the fifth is posted, the fourth song finalized is “Thump Thump Thump”.
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving in the States. I got to spend time with friends and family which is always a bonus. I got a little sidetracked in getting this demo done (I’ll explain in a bit). However, my third song finalized is In Disguise. Got it done last night.
First off, last week one of my best friends, Jeff Scott Soto, was in town for a couple of days. He’s on tour with TSO (Trans Siberian Orchestra) as one of the lead singers. Nothing like getting a call to come hang out with him and then meet several of the other awesome singers (Nathan James, Dustin Brayley). Monday night was a fun night of bar hopping, some alcohol, and hitting the stage where a blues night open jam was going on. I think we freaked out the band. They took it in stride and we had a blast on stage. The TSO show itself was a sonic and visual spectacle. Go if you can!
Then the holiday and a couple of days of down time. Leads me a couple of days behind where I thought I’d be.
In Disguise was a co-writing thing that involved myself, Johnny Elkins, and Lindy Robbins. Being the musical guy in a room with a couple of lyricists that I had just met was a great experience. I played traffic cop on all the words they were putting together, along with coming up with the music parts and helping with the melody. We got a real winner of a tune that came of it. The original demo was sung by Lindy herself – who is no slouch of the singer: She Got Pipes!
This tweak for my version ended up taking two days. I can’t sing quite as high as Lindy so I had to figure out what key I was going to put the song in. I tweaked the tempo slightly. Then I had to lay down all the parts again in the new key. I put in my vocals and mapped out some of the extra parts that I’ll be bringing some of my TSO singing buddies to sing background on this bad boy in the studio. It’ll be a bit more beefed up, a little more ballsy, and a hair faster than the original demo. In listening back I can also hear some additional parts of some horns and maybe in the bridge a bit of dub bass. Hmmmm…
Anyway, consider another one down and ready for final flight. Because the third song finalized is In Disguise and it’s a super keeper. Tomorrow has me choosing another song to dress up for pre-production goodness. Stay tuned to find out what song it is and… how soon I get it done.
If you were keeping tabs on the song order, you might have noticed that I started alphabetically. However, today I’ve already broken ranks. The second song finalized is Femke. No rhyme or reason why on that, it is what it is.
In this song I made lyrical tweaks to the second verse. I also made a lyrical change to the first line of the chorus. It now makes a bit more sense to an outsider view about someone you might know and the changes all recorded on the demo. Musically I didn’t find a need to tweak any of the melody. I will be adding a few elements in the studio that are beyond what is in the demo. I keep the arrangement fairly sparse. But instead of drum and orchestral samples, I’ll be bringing in the real thing. More human that way.
What song will come next and when will it get finalized? Only the shadow knows. For now, you are in the know knowing that the second song finalized is Femke.
The tweaks are beginning to flow. My first song finalized is American Mayhem. So far I’m going in alphabetical order. No rhyme or reason it was the first on the list.
I got the verses tightened up and made some changes to the lyrics in the chorus as well. I recut the vocals on the demo to closer represent my final goal and to have the new lyrical version around for practice. I’ve added some elements to the music part of the mix as well. I’m looking forward to getting into the studio to cut the final vocal and get the mix completed. It’s gonna be a nice slammin track.
Stay tuned as more songs are getting tweaked. Which one will be next on the list? Check back and find out. For now, you know the first song finalized is American Mayhem.
The light at the end of the tunnel on a recent project is opening wide. A project I’ve been doing for John Michael Kane has been completed today. I’ve been mixing it up and down with a large selection of songs for John and now it’s over.
The beauty is, a lot this music will be getting heard relatively soon on sports programs and other things TV related. John is part of a library that gets his songs licensed on TV. It’s a beautiful thing.
This particular song is called “Won’t Stand Down”. Seems like I went alphabetical in the song order or I could been saving the best for last. Either way, I’m happy, he’s happy. We’re all happy with the end result. May the music grace your ears before too long.
Here’s a question that I’ve been getting recently: What songs are left? Meaning, what of the 72 songs that I started with for the next CD are now being considered for the next release. No need to ask any more. Why? Because the list is here [in alphabetical order]…
Love Takes A Holiday
Stand My Ground
Things Left Unsaid
Thump Thump Thump
‘Till We Meet Again
Vaporize Your Heart
Waiting On One Thing
You Can’t Hear
Of those 18, there are a few more that I’ll axe from the list to get it down to the final group. I’m spending time pouring over each song. Debating on the arrangement. Making necessary lyric changes. Ending with any transitions between parts that need to be made. After all that, it will be time to assemble the proper crew to help out with the recording process.
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Here’s my thanks to everyone that took the time to vote on the songs. It started with 70. Then came to 32. Now it’s down to 18. From here on out, I’ll be tweaking and massaging the songs that are left. Of the 18 left, at least 6 will fall by the wayside. They might become b-sides to singles. What will be left are 12 super potent songs that will be sheer awesomeness.
I’m excited to have brought fans in on the process of picking out the songs. The beauty is allowing all to see the process we songwriters go through to create words and sounds you get upon final release. A process that can take a ridiculous amount of time and effort.
I appreciate the time and effort that was put into the listening and voting as well. I know it takes a good chunk of time to listen to 70 songs and give an opinion on them. Then to do it again on 32 songs.
My next step as it goes is to take time going back over songs with a fine tooth comb and make some adjustments. Figure out if the key of each song is the best it can be. If there is a need for anything else in the arrangements and how they need to transpire. Once this is figured out it will be time to head into the studio and begin the recording process.