T minus 2

So over the last couple of weeks I’ve been able to basically get “More” (I have no idea where that name came from) into its nearly final state.  I call this “T minus 2” because I think there are two more efforts to do before it is completely done.  I need to go through and do a mix/EQ pass, where I make sure the volume levels throughout are good and consistent, and the equalization is nice.  I know there is at least a couple of places that need some real EQ tweaking.

The final and last thing to do is the drums.  That part is killing me, because what is there is a stupidly simple placeholder, but it seems to work for most of the piece.  I think I can keep it, and add some fills, do some EQ work on the kick, and a little reverb on the snares… and it may be good after that.

Anyway, here’s where it is now.  I think it is pretty listenable…


Long road back

Spent a few hours this evening working on getting the automation in the song back.  Some parts I got close to the original, and some I think I made better.  It’s tedious and exacting work, but it’s these details that make the music so good (to me at least).

For instance, here’s a section where I’m automating the filter on one of the parts:

Screenshot 2016-05-10 23.47.55

Here’s what it sounds like alone:

Here’s what it sounds like in the mix (so far):

Oh no!


While working on part of “More”, somehow all the track automation in the entire song was deleted!  This means all the volume changes, filter sweeps, effects… all the automation – gone.

For some things, like volume, this is easily fixed (have to do that for mixing anyway), but for the filter changes this was hours of work gone.  So today I started working on putting it back.  I’m trying to get it as close as I can to the original, and even make some parts better, but it’s trying work.

More progress

More progress this weekend on “More”.  I finished laying out the basic song structure, and added a couple of layers to the middle break.  I started playing with a solo guitar, running though Guitar Rig, trying to see if I could come up with a heavy sounding solo part – but nothing was coming together.  While running through the Guitar Rig presets, I found some cool ambient and spacey sounds, so I layered one of them in.  Then I added a vocal part using Heavyocity’s Vocalise – and I think it will sound really great once I can really do the mixing.

Before I do the mix, however, I’m going to compose the entire percussion track.  Not yet sure how I’m going to approach it – some parts in my head sound like they could use a basic kit, and other parts feel like electronic kits, and yet other parts sound like they want an orchestral percussion section.  I’m thinking of using 2-3 instances of Polyplex, however, and doing something more creative.  That will take some time, but I think it will be worth it.

Once the percussion is done, I want to tweak and clean up the transitions between the sections.  Then I’ll start working through the song getting all the final levels and volume automations in place.  I will also EQ the individual parts as necessary, add compression (sparingly) where necessary, maybe a touch of reverb to add some space where appropriate.

So, still a lot to do, but here’s where it is at the moment.  It’s not very listenable yet because of the muddy mix in some parts, but maybe you’ll get the idea.

Feedback and suggestions welcome!

Some More More

Ok – some more “More”.  Right now, I’m trying to not just get “stuck in the loop”, and get some more ideas down in the song.  This is very definitely a rough work in progress!  I’m not even sure where it’s going at the moment… but here’s where I’m at right now.  Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Standing around

I wanted a second tier to my keyboard stand, and shopped around online for one that would fit the stand I have now.  The only ones available were all overseas and sold for $160 and up.  Then I found at one online store, Musician’s Friend, another stand identical to mine with the second tier included… for only $77!  That’s cheaper than what I paid for the stand by itself over 10 years ago.  So it was a no-brainer, and it arrived today.  Now I have both keyboards off to the side and a well-organized workspace.

Now I just need to start working on some music again!




A little less ghetto

Brief update on setup.  My last post showed my new Komplete Kontrol and everything getting put into it’s new place.  Well, my wife is also setting up her own studio, but hers is for art and painting.  A couple of days ago, she found a couple of desks on Craigslist, very nice and very inexpensive.  So, we got those and she then bequeathed her 6-foor table to me to replace the little 4-foot table I was using.  With that, I can fit the computer and one more screen on the table along with the two studio monitor speakers.  There was also a small desk left behind in the house from the previous tenant, so I’m using that as well to hold the third computer screen.  I also bought a chair.  Here’s how my room looks now:


As you can see, I have the studio monitors on their acoustic isolation pads, and I moved the Kontrol keyboard in front of the computers… but I’m going to change this setup one more time into what I think will be the final configuration: I bought another keyboard stand just like the one I have now, but with a second-tier extension.  This one will hold both keyboards.  So I will have them both on my left, with the speakers and two screens in front, and a third screen and some empty desk (for notes and writing) on the right.

And just for fun, here’s a picture of my wife’s studio:


We are having so much fun!