Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Medley (XIII), Riff of the Day #3


Today is a bit of an experiment in that I have been editing moving images when I normal put a couple of pictures together and be done with it. I was furiously trying to get my Easycap to work to record some game play just for the sake of curiosity. An Easycap if you don’t know is a capture card device which enables me to record my Xbox game play onto my computer. So once I realised I could only record in 50 pal and therefore most of my 360 games wouldn’t run on that setting I searched for my favourite Xbox game. XIII! Or thirteen if you can’t do roman numerals... I believe it’s a comic book adaptation and you play as an amnesiac who begins to unearth a conspiracy. It’s very good.

Anyway, I used footage from the introduction of this game as the video for my new Riff of the Day challenge (etc). The riff itself is aptly named Medley because it is comprised of four parts. I made it as a bit of a joke. It’s just a simple, largely improvised, on the spot thing that is edited quite crudely edited but I thought it was quite fun so I would upload it. 
Well I won’t ramble, here is the new riff of the day, Medley:

Thank you!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Riff of the Day number 2! Dusk

‘Youtube crashes as the second riff of the week is uploaded.’ Well not quite... This new riff is called Dusk. There’s not a large amount to say about it. It was originally called midnight because I couldn’t sleep as it was in my head and had to write it down at, of course, midnight. I then called it dusk because I had a lovely photo of the pink sky to put with it.

This riff is quite indie in its style. It is a simple gradually layering piece that has atmospheric noises in the background and a climatic melody to finish it off. I used looping of lots of riffs together to make it repetitive and trance like. Also it is only using guitar, no bass or drums or crazy vocal effects. It maybe sounds a bit too much like Foals or The xx but it’s only a minute and a half of plagiarism if that is the case.

So this is Dusk:

Monday, 19 September 2011

Riff of the Day #1: Scene Panick

Hello again,

This week I have set myself a personal challenge, a challenge that no man has faced and come out of alive. Basically I am going to upload a riff or instrumental piece of music everyday for the next week. I thought it would be fun and, well, challenging. So now that the challenge has been set and the first ‘riff’ has been put onto Youtube I suppose I had better start writing a new one.

There isn’t really a lot to say about this piece. I was messing around with scales and trying to develop something to practice my fingering because my hands were all slow due to only playing chords.  So here we have it the product of practice strangely enough.

There were the usual technical problems with making this. I finished the bass part and therefore finished the whole song when suddenly the software crashed losing all I had recorded that didn’t have mistakes in it. I almost gave up on the idea of this extreme challenge altogether after that. Eventually however I redid it and went to upload it. That took me about five times.... Bad day!

Without further ado and such, here is the ‘riff’. I hope you like it and tomorrow there will be a new one with different noises in it:

See you tomorrow!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Welcoming new software!


I have recently acquired a new piece of music software called Sonar X1. It far surpasses my previous software with sound quality and gadgets to use. This would partly explain why it has taken so long to upload a new song. I was intending to upload at least one song a week so maybe in the next couple of weeks before I go back to university I will practically puke out a multitude of songs regardless of what they sound like.

Horror struck a couple of days ago when my amp refused to work on its clean setting. Whether it has blown or what I’m not sure but the distortion setting still works so everything I do from now on will either be plugged straight into the sound card or be played with overdrive. Also when trying to record my bass it came out really quiet so I used a synth (thanks Sonar) instead of a real bass guitar. The irony is that it probably sounds better than my playing.

I might start incorporating more electronic sounds into my recordings thanks to the software I now have. Dabbling in a bit of drum and bass won’t hurt anyone.

Stating the obvious my voice has distortion on it! It got me excited anyway... Here is my new song; the name is in the title (a pointless sentence):

Thanks and will post more pretty soon I reckon!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Sing for the first time...

Why hello,
And this week is a spare of the moment upload called ‘Silo’. It is the first song with lyrics that I have uploaded onto youtube and an acoustic one with my face up and everything. As I say in the description it is a bit of a work in progress but I think it has some pretty nice chords in it.

I have been thinking a lot about the theorising of music and how different combinations and approaches could change the outcome in a piece of music. If I was to write a song, for instance, with the guitar as the melody or tune and the bass guitar as the repeating structure of the song then I could swap the roles of each instrument to see what would happen. It’s not exactly mind blowing stuff but it forces you to look at music in a different way and not to fall into old conventions. Even the song that I’m uploading here is using open strings on the guitar to create a different chord sound from the standard E minor progression.

Vocally I have a plan of warm ups and exercises that I haven’t been keeping to... Well it can be awkward to lip roll your way through the evening especially as I’m preoccupied with the other things I neglect to do. Lyrics are often a problem for me. I just do not spend enough time writing and constructing them. The theme of this song ‘Silo’ is supposed to be about someone who can’t find a place in society and now even his dreams are getting over taken by the mundane and misfortune of life. Whether I was able to put that forward is only for others to say. Other people’s opinions is probably the main reason I have started this blog so hopefully I will start to hear what people have to say!
Here is the video, enjoy:
As a side note I have been listening to a lot of ‘original’ artists on Youtube for obvious reasons of comparison and curiosity. I thought Reina Del Cid had some really nice acoustic stuff, she warms your heart-

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

New Ideas, New to Blogs

I was at a friend’s house the other day and we were ‘jamming’ together, my friend on keyboard and me on the guitar. This atmosphere, along with some easy to use music software (Logic Pro 9), can lead to some creative output. However, when you’re at home and the Xbox is screaming out to be used or the endless trail of cables leading to nowhere or even some technical fault with the computer can make it hard to motivate yourself for the recording process. So I conferred with my friend the idea of a ‘1 Hour Song Challenge: It works!’ Aside from the convincing slogan, this would make for some short sample like songs and ideas that don’t require five hours of re-recording because perfection isn’t important.

I’ll admit my software is limited (Adobe Audition which is not too bad) and the drum machine I’m using is genuinely awful (DT-010), but then it’s in place of a real drum set that I don’t have.

In the last week I have gone all experimental with various reverb and echo techniques which are essential for anything experimental. This song is called 'Glooming':

I have also gone a bit ridiculous with computerised voice samples that seem to be reciting a robot bank robbery. Inspired I know! This song is called 'Put the Money in the Bag':

Thanks for listening, more updates coming soon.