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Eat. Run. Sleep.
"You need strong emotion, whether it's fiery or depressed, an extreme
state of mind. I think in any art form it's the case."
-- Daniel Ash
Maybe it's my lack of experience. Maybe it's my lack of talent.
I tried to sit down and write music for the song known as Ravage in the
new naming scheme, but I failed miserably. When I try to force it, like
I did tonight, nothing comes out right. I have ideas, I can hear them in
my head, but without that inspiration, without that emotion, nothing I
produce sounds right.
I've been too happy recently and it's destroyed my creativity. I get the
urge, I have the inspiration, to write when I feel negative emotions. I
need anger; I need depression. It is in dealing with these emotions that
I am able to write.
I have tried several times to force myself to feel this way. This
usually buys me a few minutes in which I can write, but it often fails.
Because the emotions are artificial, the results are mediocre at best.
I find this situation to be quite frustrating. I want to move forward
with this album, but without that inspiration I am unable to do
In the meantime, I'm slowly teaching myself to play guitar and, to a
much lesser extent, a keyboard-style synthesizer. I've also been going
through materials my music teacher friend gave me to learn some basic
music theory. Hopefully once I find that needed inspiration, or find a
way to work without being angry or depressed, this new knowledge will
make things easier.
One could argue that this should be filed under the Unix category, but
this post is more about the album than it is about the Concurrent
Friday night I created a CVS repository on this server to manage album
related files. After discussing it with rskutins, we agreed on several
First, with changes being made a little more frequently than before, it
would be best to have some way to track what was going on, and to be
able to roll back to a previous version if the changes don't quite work
out. Second, we wanted to have a way to organize several files for each
song, for instance, lyrics, notes, bass tabs, drum tabs, etc. Last, and
maybe the most important reason for the reorganization, we wanted to
move away from the numbering scheme that was in place. Each song was
numbered from 0 to 17. This was fine until we realized 11 was likely to
be the first track on the album.
Now the album is stored in a CVS repository. This will keep a version
history of each file, allow us to simultaneously work on parts of the
album, and merge our changes.
Within this repository we now have a tree structure where each song has
its own directory. The directory will hold any and all files related to
that song. In an effort to move away from the numbering scheme, an
arbitrary naming convention was mutually agreed upon. The songs are now
known by names such as Soundwave, Ravage, Frenzy, and Rumble.
The album is starting to come together. I feel motivated to work on it
and recently I've found myself inspired to write. Now if only I had
Omlette listened to the Accidental Mix I posted (of the song now known
as Soundwave) and gave me some feedback.
It sounded ominous. I don't know how else to describe it since I'm not
familiar w/ either artist. Oh wait. Were you mixing your own stuff?
Ominous seems like it could be a good thing given the current direction
of the album.
If anyone else takes the time to listen to it, I'd appreciate any
comments or suggestions. If you don't have it, my contact information is
on this page.
Another Demo Update
Two weeks! Ha! It's been closer to two months.
A few days ago I had some time so I sat down with the ProTools set up
again. After considering some advice from jlight, I decided to record a
second track of the bass line. I decided to use my Yamaha for the second
track, as I had used my Fender for the original recording back in June.
The two instruments have different characteristics in their sounds and
the two playing together seems to add a "fullness" to the sound.
So all I had to do was record 24 seconds of bass and put together a mix.
This should take, what, 15 minutes? It took 45 just to record. Once
again ProTools repeatedly crashed. When it wasn't crashing, it would
report an error and stop recording. Does anyone know if there are
updates for ProTools LE 7.1 that will fix this issue? As it stands now,
I can't run ProTools for more than a few seconds without disabling
multi-core support on my CPU. I have multiple processors. It is a
multi-threaded application. It should run better... But I'll save this
for that upcoming ProTools rant I keep promising.
Anyway, after about an hour and fifteen minutes, I got two mixes
complete. One of them was accidental and sounds, "interesting." The
other is closer to what I had in mind. While I wait for feedback on the
actual mix from certain people, everyone is free to enjoy the accidental
mix found here.
If anyone actually listens to it, I'd be happy to accept any comments
Demo -- Update
Rskutins recorded his drum part and sent it to me via the wonders of
TCP/IP netowrking. On Friday night I finally had enough time (and
motivation) to start recording.
I spent a lot of time fighting with ProTools. It repeatedly crashed.
Often, when it didn't crash, it simply stopped recording and reported
that an error had occurred. I'm remembering this for the ProTools rant
that will be coming in the future.
After 45 minutes I had recorded about 6 seconds of vocals and the 24
second bass line. The next block of Copious Free Time(TM) I have, I'll
begin the rough mix of the three parts. Hopefully ProTools won't crash
as often during that phase.
With any luck, it'll be mixed in the next week or two.
In the next few weeks we are going to attempt to record and roughly mix
a demo of a short track which will serve as an introduction to the
Currently known as 11, it is a very short piece in 4/4 time at
80bpm. It is in the key of B minor and the spoken words are taken from a
quote attributed to Nietzsche.
What upsets me is not that you lied to me,
but that from now on I can no longer believe you.
This short demo will hopefully get me motivated enough to put more time
into the album.
More information will be posted when it becomes available.
A Brief History
Last Summer, my friend, rskutins, and I decided we were going to write
an album. He got out his drum machine, being smaller and easier to store
and carry than a full kit, and I got out my bass and we started putting
together some pieces that were... not good.
We had little direction, I was afraid to play things outside of my
comfort zone, and we had some problems communicating. This project
quickly fell apart, but we never completely gave up the idea.
In March I found the inspiration I needed. I talked to rskutins and we
started working on an album again. This time, fueled by strong emotion,
both fiery and depressed, I started by writing lyrics.
Not all are complete, but there are about 15 sets of lyrics for us to
use as a starting point. Rskutins has tweaked the lyrics in some places
to make them fit a better rhythm while still maintaining the intent of
the words. I am quite pleased by what he has done.
Based on these lyrics we have begun writing short pieces here and there
when we feel inspired. Rskutins has laid down some pretty good beats to
start with. I've been attempting to learn some basic music theory and
trying to apply those ideas to the layers on top of what rskutins has
And that's where we are now. Still learning, still writing. Our day jobs
have slowed down our progress considerably so it could very well take
until the Autumn before we're ready to record and mix the album.