24/03/2010

Day 3

Yesterday i got the vocals for another 1 and a half songs tracked and started on the lyrics for 2 songs, so "i'm cookin on gas!"

I guess i should really explain what i'm doing here:

100% of : ( songs start with the music, that may be a drum beat or a bass line or whatever, then either a synth line or a vocal line will be added and the rest of the song kinda writes itself around that. Very rarely will i write lyrics on the spot, occasionally i'll have a lyrical idea when i'm singing out the melody, which i'll write into a text file...and i'll keep adding to it over time. Most often though i never write the lyrics at the same time as the music, so i have to write the lyrics out to match the syllables of the vocal line just before i start recording the song properly.

So, music wise, once i think i've got the song as it should be, each element of the song gets mixed down onto it's own track: the kick drum, the snare, the hihat, the bass, each synth etc....gets turned into its' on wav file (i'm using 24bit at 48k). All these tracks are compiled and mixed down into an instrumental track, which is then opened in a fresh Cubase file and i start adding the vocals. There are usually about 3 or 4 tracks of vocals, 2 leads and 2 different harmonies. Each vocal track is usually comped in small segments, but i try to keep crack each verse and chorus in one go. The vocals usually get tuned on the spot, Cubase has it's own autotune system, which is actually awesome! Once i'm happy with the vocals i've got, each track gets mixed down (with no effects) to it's own file and added to the Cubase file with all the instrumental tracks (All audio, no midi) and i'll do another rough mix, this will include adding effects to the vocal tracks, usually some delay or reverb.

I'll listen through the song with the vocals included a bunch of times, usually a few times at a higher speed (this might sound like a dumb idea, but it puts the song in another perspective and opens it up for new ideas) to see if there's anything else needed in the song. This can be some percussive stuff, or extra synths or just random noises. This is probably the most fun thing to do in the whole recording process, it's kinda relaxing...also, adding these embellishments gives the songs a depth that i think was missing from our older recordings. So, this gets done in the same file that the vocals were tracked in, various effects are added to get the right sound depending on what sort of vibe i'm going for, percussive stuff is usually kept quite dry, but synths and other noises might have a lot of reverb on them, these will then be compiled into 2 or 3 Wav files and added to the mix file. Then it's time to mix the whole song, which takes a bit of time and will probably involve someone else helping me to get the balance right.

At the end of it, the finished track should sound a bit like this:



That's pretty much it, other than each song getting mastered, i'm still thinking about how to do this, mastering is quite an expensive process...and usually it's up to the record label to pay for, however i'm doing this all without a record label, so all costs are mine to cover.

I'll speak about the release of this album another time. :)


Last night I was forced to watch New Moon, it actually wasn't as bad as the first film, but really....I don't get those films. Well, I get what they're doing, but how films with stories as bad as those actually get made is insane. But people are absolutely crazy about those films huh! I'm pretty out of touch!

Mart xx


p.s...anyone have any questions?