Monday, January 31, 2011

Day of Decision

I have to admit I've been doing a lot of thinking about the Pudge Song of The Month and the blog and all...

The big question being, do I want to keep on doing this? It's a lot of work. I only have a couple more songs in the tank and I'm not as excited about them as the songs I've already put out. I've gone through the "good" songs. So I should probably start writing new material. That's even more work.

and is it all worth it? Why am I doing this? Is it for fame and recognition? That certainly isn't happening. Is it strictly for me? Is this a totally self indulgent excercise? The bottom line in many ways is... am I enjoying this?

I think the answer is yes. I think... I'm going to go ahead and put out the song for this month that I have ready to go. I have a couple good ideas in my head for songs for the next couple of months. I may end up slacking more though. Not sticking to a song a month. We'll see... If I can keep it up, great. But I'm not going to beat myself up about it. If the muse strikes me and I get a creative spark I'll put out a song. If I'm super busy and don't have any inspiration or energy I won't bother.

in the meantime... today I'll be working on Dreamweaver and doing some updates.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mixing and my ears...

Sometimes I feel like I'm getting "old" and my body is breaking down...

I know my hearing isn't as good as it used to be. I have trouble hearing when there is noise in the background. Sometimes my ears get full of wax and everything sounds muffled. I'm glad I don't have tinnitus. My ears aren't ringing all the time. But I know I don't hear as well as when I was in my teens and 20's.

So what is my point? My point is that sometimes I wonder if I should be mixing my songs? I sometimes wonder if my songs sound horribly wrong and not mixed correctly to people have have good hearing.

When I used to work at Dr. Wax one of my co-workers would often comment on the mixing of certain albums or CDs. He would crack me up by saying, "this is a cocaine mix. the person mixing it used to much coke. There's too much high end." or, "this is a marijuana mix, too much low end." What?! According to him different drugs changed how you heard things.

I don't ever remember him saying however, "this is a hard of hearing mix"!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The sound of my voice

Do you remember the first time you ever heard a recording of your own voice? I remember it very well and thinking to myself, "is THAT what I sound like?"

I pretty much hate my voice. I wish I could be a better singer. I like singing. But I've never really liked the sound of my voice. I think I'm an OK backup singer but I was never meant to be a lead singer.

I've done about three or four different versions of this month's song over the years. Trying to get it to sound the way I wanted. At one point the beats were more "hip hop" and I really wanted to try to do a rap thing. I love rap. It was a horrible experiment. I really think I'm the worst rapper ever. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I've never found my rapping voice. I do this thing that sort of sounds like Chuck D but lamer. It's an obvious rip off. I wish I could be like Slick Rick or MC Guru in Gang Starr and just sort of talk and sound good. But I think that's the crux of the problem. I can't just talk because I've never liked the sound of my voice.

On that note, I think the vocals I recorded for this month's song sound great! Some of the best vocals I've ever done. Perhaps it's silly to even say that because they probably last for only about 20 seconds. I only sing in the choruses. But I really like the way my voice sounds in this song. and that's odd for me.

Stuffy nose

I woke up yesterday with a terrible head cold and stuffy nose. I had wanted to re-record a few vocals tracks for the song but I knew I couldn't sing in the shape I'm in.

It got me to wondering. Does this happen to "real" rock and roll stars? Has David Bowie ever booked an expensive session, had the band all lined up, and then gotten a stuffy nose? I'm guessing it happens all the time, but it's not the sort of stuff that rock and roll legend is made of, so it's rarely mentioned.

and I listened to the vocal tracks I recorded the other day and I think they sound fine!

Friday, November 26, 2010

What genre is my new song?

I suppose it doesn't help to ask this before I've posted the song but once again this month I'm asking myself... "what genre of music does my song fit into?"

It's not rock. it's not punk. it's not "indie". it's not hip hop. is it techno?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The whole mixing thing

I remember years ago reading an article in Musician magazine about how Camper Van Beethoven mixed their albums. They would do a mix and then create a cassette and pop it in their boom box and listen to it. They knew that most of the people listening to their album would be listening to it that way instead of a nice fancy stereo.

So when I mix my stuff I listen to it first on headphones. Then I put it in my boom box. Then I listen to it on my nice stereo. Then I listen to it on my car stereo.

My car stereo is important to me because it's the only thing I've got that has the "boom". Sometimes I listen to stuff on it and hear things in the low end that I just don't hear on my other stuff.

I make my mix in Garageband and burn a CD, rip it to iTunes, and then transfer it to my iPod.

I decided tonight that listening to it in the car stereo was the best thing because I really wanted to make sure the bass was booming in this track.

I listened to it the first time and thought the bass was too loud. Some of the tracks sounded a little distorted also. But it sounded great! and then to my surprise one of the older versions I had recorded of the song came on next. So I listened to that as well. There were some things I forgot about. Some good stuff, and some really bad stuff.

I had been trying to decide if I should keep this song an instrumental or not. I really liked what I did in the chorus in the older version I listened to. So I decided to try to add it to the new version.

I went down to the basement and tweaked the levels a bit and added a vocal track in the chorus. It only took me about 10 minutes. I burned another CD and went out to the car to listen to it again. I thought it sounded fantastic! It was so good that I started to sing along. I thought the sound of the double vocal sounded really nice.

So I went back to the basement one more time. I added another doubled up vocal track in the chorus part and burned one more CD. I thought it sounded amazing! I think I have my track. I think it's done for the month. I'm going to listen to it a few more times over the next day or two but I really like it.

Sunday Funday!

In between all the daily chores and grocery shopping and dinner etc... I worked on the song today.

As far as I'm concerned it's pretty much done. I "might" re-do the vocal tracks. but I might not. they sound great right now even though I recorded them with the built in mic in my MacBook!

I have such a hard time being objective with my own songs/material. I knew that the past few months were more "difficult" material. but I've listened to this month's song probably 30 times today. and I think it's one of the best things I've ever done! really. I think it goes straight to the "Best of Ted" album. one of my fave songs of all time that I've done.

I wonder if I'll feel the same way tomorrow? I was telling Julia earlier this evening that this whole experience sometimes reminds me of that King Crimson song about Adrian Belew's wife making a sculpture.

"I'm looking at it, trying to decide if I like it. I DO!"