Sunday 1 July 2007

Well no one told me about her...

So once more it has been almost a week between posts. Still, that all might change now...

Wired for Sound

I finally got things happening studio wise this week. Apart from the carpet being ripped up and the new drums, there's the matter of the tascam and Vista. As my USB Midi interface only has 2 inputs, the lack of the two on the tascam has been an issue of concern, but I managed to succeed through a but of a jury rig: Have the controller keyboard and piano go into the tascam, and then have the one of tascam's outs go into the USB Midi. The drums then go into the other USB input. I don't have four, but at least I have three.

Downsides mean I need the computer on or a rewire to control the synth, but I found an added benefit when I accidentally made the drum kit control the piano. I have been intending to use my digital delay on the drums for both a bit of fun and to help my timing - I was dreading having to swap the pedal all the time though. Because the drums control the piano though, I can trigger the on board drum sounds and delay them. It doesn't sound that great, but its good enough for practising, that's for sure.

The Blues

Paul gave me some useful feedback on the16ths problem. I realised that it was the continuation of nothing but 16ths that was losing the feel of my blues tune. Breaking it up was the key. I've developed that this week by putting more consecutively repeated notes as well.

I have been encouraged to jam out a 'motif' and repeat that to get more of a song feel going on.

I hope to sequence something up soon. I had also hoped to get something recorded tonight, but this blog has taken way too long to write. Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesdays and Thursdays

Last week I posted that piano piece in E Minor. I took it to the lesson with the view of finding some "strategies for making those slow ‘pianoy’ songs more interesting".

The problem I presented was pretty much shifting between two octave notes on the left hand and doing nothing more. Paul suggested I move the left hand up and just find some combinations in they key - more complicated two hand chords. Interestingly, this reminded me of something I did with Jing the friday before where I played a silly little thing using a cheese organ and only the black keys, all up in the higher register. I wish I had recorded that.

Anyways, I tried to take it on board and recorded this song last Thursday:

I didn't break away from the bass notes as much as I'd have liked, but I felt they gave it all structure. Later in the piece, though [1:30+] I do get more into the two handed stuff I was planning on doing.

I like the little piece of niceness I get in the first 10 seconds after 2 minutes. Loses it a bit until 3:40 where I find a pair of chords I really liked. I wish I'd written down what they were, coz now I can't remember them. Another night I'll figure them out again.

Yes, I really like that up and down bit - I do go a bit nuts with it though? God! I have to get MIDI going again! These bungs notes are killing me.


In between getting frustrated with various things this week, I've tried some interpretations. The first was Sigur Ros' Hoppiolla.

I've got a few ideas that sound close, but they are impossible to check against the song - it sounds out of tune no matter where I play it. I suspect a band that sings in a made up language would have no qualms about playing in a made up tuning. I've tried retuning my piano and even playing in some different tunings, but I can't get it.

I've got this going now, at least:

Its close, but not quite there. I know the 'bass'line changes when the second piano comes in, but I can't pick it. They've got some really complicated changes going on there. Even now as I hear it back I am picking things that should shift slightly up or down.Its getting late. Maybe another time.

It almost seems to me like they are fitting new notes in the spectrum. Take the rise on the piano, for instance. I think I've found the highest note for the first run, and the high note on that third run, and there's no semitones between them, yet on the second run in the original recording, it goes higher, but not as high as in the third run. Very confusing. I need to train my ear more.
Another one I've been working on is based on the Zombie's No One Told me About Her. The other day I was sitting and having a listen to some music on random when Malcolm Mclaren's About her came on. I had forgotten about this tune, but when the Kill Bill II Soundtrack came out, I had really enjoyed it.

The two songs are quite different, but I've managed to nut out a bit of the vocal line.

I am getting closer on the first part, but not quite there yet.

I suppose the real challenge is to work on the music itself though. I just don't have enough of an understanding of it all yet, I think. Its like I don't know where to look...

This week I would like to:

Re-record the cheesy organ thing I mentioned above.

Keep working on the Sigur Ros song.

Find an old piece of something that I abandoned to work on again.

Get a final recording on that blues piece I am happy with.

Now we'll see if I can do one of those things!

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