I spent 2-3 hours listening to my music today. I was wondering if it would sound worse than I remembered but other than the rushed tracks I’m actually really happy with them.
Here’s a link to the playlist for reference.
It’s hard to say which are my favorites. The electronic ones are the cleanest but I think there’s some hidden gold shining through on the two country-ish ones (14 and 15). I like how 15 goes into the weirdest song on the record – the one with a generator and some kind of african drumming starting off the song.
The country ones make me want to dig out all those many snippets of ideas I’ve had for country songs and make them into full songs. The tough part is the lyrics. I need an ICS day for that. As much as I can write blogs and ideas, lyrics tend to stump me. But then again I haven’t really spent a lot of time practicing. Maybe the hill isn’t that high.
The order of the album is nice, as-is. It starts strong and ends strong. The middle is a bit weak. I love the way the last song is so anthemic. Despite being done in the 12th hour and after midnight (way after my usual bedtime), it comes off as an excited “woo-hoo! I did it!” feel.
Things I learned/experienced:
- Less is almost always more. Often the solution to crappiness was to remove notes, a region or an entire track. It’s amazing how often removing something is the magic ingredient I’ve been looking to add.
- As I mentioned in earlier posts, I was trying to speed up the recording process and get it down to under 2 minutes of creation time per 2-minute song. However once I got around 15 minutes, the song quality really started to drop off. I could make them simpler but there seems to be a (current?) top speed that I can get out creative content that I like. I did manage to get one song that was recorded in 4 minutes, had 4 tracks and was 2 minutes long. But it was crap.
- The idea to record them at 2x tempo and then halve it in post didn’t work too well. It’s hard to record any “swing” or human feel at such a fast tempo. You just sound like a dorky robot playing constant downbeats. Like if a video game was a marching band. It’s also hard to double a melody you are improvising in real-time. It seems to write itself for the tempo you play it at. It just doesn’t sound right at the slower tempo. There was SONG08, which I thought worked ok but overall this tempo idea was making things too artificial aod forced sounding. Perhaps I could work on that but I’m not sure I want to since it becomes too much about the goal and not enough about enjoying the process.
- I can sit for 12 hours and crank out work if I enjoy doing the work. I only took short breaks of 5-10 minutes to pace around or eat or get coffee. Otherwise I was writing music. The total time I was recording was 601 minutes. The end-to-end time was 728. I was working on songs for over 50 minute each hour – less than a 10 minute break per hour. Wow. I wish I could do that with everything I work on.
- For some reason many Mainstage sounds weren’t being found in GB. I noticed there was a recent update to Mainstage so maybe that was what was causing it. I didn’t catch this in my testing.
I’m very glad I did this project and am excited to see what others think and the work they made. I’m sure a year from now I’ll have forgotten these ephemeral creations and not have the slightest clue what was going through my head. I may even doubt that I was their creator. I know I’ve looked back on music I’ve written over a decade ago and can’t believe it was me.
As a side note, as a matter of pure coincidence, while I was live-blogging the experience, the total words of my blogging hit the 100,000 word mark. TWO AMBITIOUS GOALS ACHIEVED AT ONCE! That was very rewarding to realize.