It’s been an odd day. I woke to a feeling of not wanting to get out of bed, which isn’t common for me at all. Likely it stemmed from lack of sleep and a developing issue of an eyelid with irritation. The one thing that brightened my morning was a random tweet by Lisa Loeb. She appreciated my tweet about Ed Cherney passing yesterday (Tuesday). I wrote a tweet to her in appreciation and she responded. That little gesture from her was super sweet.
Mind you, she doesn’t follow me on twitter. It’s highly likely she doesn’t remember me auditioning to play guitar for her on a tour. She also probably doesn’t remember when we bumped into each at NAMM talking to a mutual friend. Either way, she’s a lovely person and it brightened my day.
I felt like a task master getting rolling. Chris Hellstrom and I got our second podcast/broadcast recording in the can today. Compared to the first episode last week, this episode went substantially smoother. I pretty much had the outputs of the audio and video within an hour of finishing the recording. Compared to the 8 hours it took last week. that’s a huge savings in time. Massive creative time cut.
My goal for next weeks episode is to have everything output and ready for releasing within 30 minutes of getting all files. But that might be a little optimistic, as it does take time for Final Cut to export the video. Then for me to upload it to YouTube. And we’re only doing episodes in 1080. Imagine if it were 2k or 4k. It’d probably take a bit longer.
As I was waiting for Final Cut to export the video and Logic to export the audio for the podcast, I worked on yet another lyric video output for the vertical lyric video version for Hero Unexpected.
Once all those outputs were done, I shifted gears back to checking the mix for another single. A song that I co-wrote with Manda Mosher. I made a couple of minor tweaks to my mix and deemed it done. Thanks to some new mixing templates, I was able to output multiple mixes at the same time. Passed it over to mastering and got a master back shortly thereafter.
I sent a copy of the song to Manda and another friend Jesse Stern who played bass on the recording. Both of them enjoyed the mix and the song. I’m looking forward to getting the song into the release schedule for next year. We’ll see when. I’m also looking forward to hearing Manda do an Americana version in her style. I think she’d do a killer rendition of it too.
No, I’m not using something like LANDR for mastering, I think that it’s a joke and I don’t believe in it – and no I wouldn’t recommend using it. But I am working with a mastering setup that can do a fairly quick turnaround with a great sound.
When I look back at the work output for this day, a podcast, a podcast video (both of which are an hour long), a lyric video, and a song single. It feels like a pretty damn productive after a late start for a day where I didn’t want to get out of bed. That seems pretty impressive as I’m looking back on the day. And I’d like to thank Lisa for the kind words and response that helped set the day on a good path.
When Good Monitor Goes Bad
A couple of nights ago I was working my way thru the re-recording of a song demo. It started with a guitar part that maybe 2 people in this town could play, me being the other one. There I was going knee deep into the studio zone of percussion. I had finished the drum parts when I started to take on adding additional epic cinematic drum hits. Midway thru the 3 track of said epic drums there was a sudden quick drop in volume and low end.
Where Did It Go
I tilt my gaze over to the left side of the studio thinking that maybe a Gremlin, or quite possibly a house elf, had taken the monitor speaker to another dimension. Alas my eyes weren’t being deceiving as the monitor speaker was still there. Dammit.
Nothing like losing half the sound right in the middle of the take.
Next up was an endless series of troubleshooting steps. First thought was, hey, maybe the power went out. Flip the switch on and off, still no sound. Maybe something went out in the monitor volume device. Nope. After switching the cables between speakers it was still showing as working out of both outputs for the remaining speaker.
Call A Friend
Pensive, not quite panicked, phone call to a fellow studio friend. Explain the problem of the monitor speaker. Words come drifting back thru the speakerphone saying “Did you check the fuse in the speaker?”
I take another gander at the speaker’s enclosure. Search high and low. Up. Down. Left. Right. Front. Back. Nada. There is no fuse for the speaker to blow. Dang it.
Knowing that the speaker is no longer manufactured, I grudgingly pull up the website to see if there’s information about getting repairs and to peruse the what-replaced-this-model version of their speaker line.
After drooling over what could replace the model I have in the studio, I make a note to Siri to remind me call the company in the morning to get a repair ticket going.
Here Come The Headphones
The disappointment of a monitor giving up soon abates. How do I proceed with my next recording session? A recording that needs to be recorded, mixed, and mastered before 11 am the following morning. Hmmm. In come the headphones. There is no other choice after a certain time of night when all normal humans have gone off to visions of sugarplums and cherries.
Producing high quality recordings via headphones isn’t the most ideal means. However, when the chips are down and the music must go on, you make do by crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.
It All Works Out
I got the session done. Turned it over to the co-writer for the purposes of submission to a distant land for a commercial use. When you get feedback stating “It sounds great.” You thank your stars that you didn’t have to attempt to mix without some form of stereo sound.
The beauty of it is, the speaker company is able to repair the monitor for a price considerably less than the new alternative. The added icing on the cake is that you now have an in to chat about possible endorsement. That’s priceless.
I can’t wait for you to hear the fruits of this labor. Unfortunately you will have to wait until sometime early in the new year of 2017. There’s still more recording and production that needs to be done. Ooh, and mixing it. Finally mastering it. Its a process that will be interrupted by a little thing called Christmas and New Years.
Thumping right along… That’s what I’ve been up to with getting these singles done and finished with my co-producing friend George Leger III. We put the final touches on yet another song called “Thump Thump Thump”.
That put’s the count at 3 songs completely finished.
The excitement is building as the impending release of single #1 draws nearer. Amazing and magical is how I describe it. The word that those few who have heard it is: Wow!!!
Pretty cool responses. Most of the time, music doesn’t make people say “Wow!!!” Now it does.
How do I contain the restraint to releasing it? Good question. This is by far the absolute longest I’ve had to sit on a finished product. Main reason is not for building hype. No, it’s more simple than that. I really want to make sure the song gets the best possible launch it can have. That unfortunately takes time. Time, that a lot of people don’t have the patience to control.
Heck, I’ve had moments where I’m like, Fuck It! Lets do this!
Then the moment passes and I remember that there’s a plan. It’s a good plan. A winning plan based on those who have been asking and talking with me about it.
At this point we’re on to single #4, it’s so close to finish I can practically taste it…
Timber is the word I need to be yelling as I’m finally getting my head around Twitter in a positive way that is building momentum. I’m starting to play around a bit with their video service known as Vine. As part of my New Years vows I told myself that I’d start to take more pictures on Instagram and do more videos on YouTube and start up with more Vines. So far, most of that is going well. Though I’m still working on the Vine thing and getting up to speed with creating more of them. Below is my first 6SecondCover. I recently heard this song a couple of weeks ago and really dug the hook, the flow ain’t bad either.
“It’s going down. I’m yelling Timber. You better move. You better dance.”
It was pretty fun knocking that out. In the process that took a few minutes due to my voice being nutty early in the morning. I think some ‘viral’ Vines were missed with me hacking up some phlegm. Dang it.
Thanks Pitbull & Ke$sha for a fun tune.
I’ve recently finished writing a song with the lovely and formidable Manda Mosher. It’s our first foray into doing a co-write and I’m hoping it leads to many more. She’s a pleasure to write with. I’m here to give you a sneak peek at The Truth lyrics which is the title of the song we penned.
Without further ado (on the day of the release of #MuchADo):
I was reading back through the pages of my history
I found you there – so innocent
Your eyes your hair the way you smile the way you touch
It all inspired me – to trust you
Those conversations you were having always hiding
All came back to me – those conversations
You were always searching you were feeling all that loneliness
When you’re with me – have you filled it
Your side my side
The Truth it can not hide
You once were mine
Those stars they weren’t aligned
Your side my side
The Truth it can not hide
I don’t regret all the time I shared because I cared
So much for you – every moment
Go and bleed me out of your heart and let it beat again
For someone new – I’ll miss you
Your side my side
The Truth it can not hide
We’ve got a demo recorded and I’m sure we’ll be sprucing it up before too long to present to the world in fully finished form. In the meantime make sure you follow her band Calico on twitter or Facebook. On that note, do the same for me Twitter <– follow Facebook <– follow. If for no other reason that to stay up on other sneak peeks either of us may be unleashing into the world. Why would you want to be the last to know? Be the first, it’s so much better!
Looking at the featured image for this post, I’d posit to say that if Taylor Swift actually saw the video I’m talking about – that would be the reaction of her face. Then again I could be overstating it just a little.
In January I saw an internet meme going around that stated something to the effect that one of Taylor Swift’s ex boyfriends should write a song called “Maybe You’re The Problem”. Well, I haven’t dated Taylor, but I thought, what the hell, I’ll write a song as if I had. Thus “Maybe You’re The Problem” was born.
Check it out:
(since this was posted – it seems that YouTube decided to pull the video at Swift’s request – not to worry, I’ve updated and rerecorded the song. It will release to all digital services in 2017)
I did this strictly for fun. Then I told a few friends and within a day it kinda started to viral. It got liked on the Geek & Sundry youtube feed – that led to a bunch of views and comments over on my YouTube page for it.
Regardless, I’ve never met Taylor. I actually do like a bunch of her songs. I don’t hate her, I don’t harbor any ill-will and in all fairness, many of us have been a problem in one relationship or another. Who knows, at some point it would pretty rad if she and I penned a song together.
Until that happens, enjoy the song. Leave a comment. Share it with your friends. Who knows, I might actually hear from her. Or at least I might hear that she saw it, much like Lady Ga Ga apparently saw my cover of her song. I have no delusions that once I hit the ‘fame’ plateau on this forthcoming release I’m doing – I’ll likely get parodies and responses to my music as well. So be it, and I look forward to it.
On a roll at this point. Yesterday marked a moment where I had a chat with a co-writer about a track. We made some additional tweaks to our song. After that writing and tweaking session it was time for me to put the axe down on yet another one of mine. This has me saying the tenth song finalized is “It Burns”.
This song is a bit of an exploration into a very quirky area of Pop Rock for me. The song structure is vastly different at the end from pretty much every song I’ve written. It doesn’t really end on the chorus, but it’s still got a hook. I did end up taking out one part of the song as it wasn’t propelling it along like it should have. Removing the part helped keep it moving along.
There were some minor tweaks to the lyrics which I also re-sang today as well. Made some additional notes for the studio when it goes for final recording.
Get the forks out because it’s done for now. Song number ten finalized is “It Burns”. More than halfway home. Soon. Very very soon.
Getting the new year off to a productive start. Day one had me making some re-records of vocals from songs already finalized. But yesterday found me getting yet another song’s vocals re-recorded as well. After that recording my ninth song finalized is “Touch”.
I got some additional vocals layered in on it. More for the addition of a couple of female vocalists to do some backgrounds to add spice. Once I hit that, I ended up scrapping the original bridge lyrics. In their place is a large flow of words that require bringing in a rapper to spit it out. The bridge is now way more over the top, blunt, rhythmic, and slammin. Got me saying to myself – Fuck Yeah!
No doubt this is going to hit the charts when it’s released as a single. I’m confident of that.
Another thing that I’m confident on it is, I’ll have to mix a radio-friendly version or bleep some of the bridge vocals. Not the first time I’ve had a song that would require bleeping, but it is the first time on a hit calibre one. Let’s see if I’m right this time.
I’ll be back at it later today getting the next track pre-flight ready for hitting the studio. New fire in the sails for this new year has me feeling gung-ho, ready let’s go! With that, I’ve got my ninth song finalized and it’s called “Touch”.
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”.