I performed this a month or so ago at CAST2009 in Colorado Springs, where Becky Fiedler recorded it. The intro to this song went, “This song is written from the perspective of a piece of bloatware that used to be sleek and clean.” I did this during a Lightning Talks session, meaning I had to bring it in under 4 minutes. That’s why there’s little time for dramatic pauses…
Archive for new song
Listen to Black Box, my newest song about software testing.
It has 4 tracks: vox, guitar with the shaker egg, straight rhythm guitar, and djembe. I’d like to have added more vox tracks and bass, but enough was enough in terms of time. I’m actually pretty happy with the way it sounds. I sent all the tracks through a bus with the Logic Space Designer reverb on it, and did nothing to it other than turn down the intensity. Then I compressed the shit out of the djembe and vox, and put some EQ on the shaker guitar to turn down the really cutting highs.
This was my first use of the multi-take recording feature in Logic and it really kicks ass.
Johnny Pat is very simple – 7 tracks of me, compressed. Six tracks are completely dry, and one track has a little reverb on it.
Listen to my latest Nats song. It’s a decent performance, though I still have some more work to do to get it sounding really awesome. It’s a capella, I have a noise gate and compressor on the center channel, then I send to 2 busses and pan them left and right and put slightly different reverbs on them. I’m trying to get a nice shimmery sound, and I don’t have it yet really. It sounds all right to me, though I’m very open to suggestions.
I posted a new song on the Testing blog, “Rapid Tester“, done to the tune of “Someday” by Steve Earle. Â It’s the first song I’ve recorded and mixed myself in quite some time, and definitely since my PC DAW bit the dust in, oh, September or October. Â I’m using a new platform (iMac 2.0GHz Intel dual core running Leopard instead of AMD running XP Home), a new DAW (Logic, no longer Cubase), new microphones (AT2020 and 2021), new interface (MOTU Ultralight, instead of Echo Layla) and new monitors (Yamaha HS50M instead of ATUS multimedia speakers), so I’m just feeling my way.
For those interested in the nitty gritty stuff, I recorded the 3 guitar parts over a guide track and click track, then sang the vox. Â All 4 tracks are essentially full-length takes, with a few minor bits of surgery. Â I recorded each guitar track with a slightly different placement of the AT 2020, and new strings. Â The opening riff track was recorded with the mic pointing straight at the 15th fret, since it’s played in G in open position. Â The arpeggio track was recorded with the mic close to the bridge on the high-string side. Â And on the rhythm track the mic was pointed at the low-string side of the bridge, just behind my picking hand, and placed a little further away. Â They all sound a bit boomy to me, I didn’t get a good “ping” on them. Â I’ll try using the AT 2021 on my next recording.
I’m using light compression and reverb on all the tracks, some distortion on the rhythm track, and some 1/16th-second slapback echo on the vocals. Â I’ve EQd the guitars down in the low end, and boosted my vocal bass and midrange a little.
I’d love comments on how to improve the quality of the recording and the mixing, given the gear I have. Â I’ll make a gear page soon to show what all I’ve got. Â And trust me, I understand that 99% of a good song is a good performance – I’m definitely working on that too!Â