JRock3x8's Life Musings

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Music Project Tweaked

I have a problem. My wife calls me obsessive compulsive. I think that is a bit harsh. It's just that every six months I like to rearrange the furniture...in every room of the house...on a rotating basis so that each room gets its own special month to be redecorated. It's not a sickness, it's about being creative. At least that's what I tell myself.

So why am I telling YOU this? Because I tweaked the song...AGAIN. And I retitled it "Revelation" consistent with my other songs (Renaissance, Genesis). I don't feel like I'm moving furniture so much with this version - it's more like putting a different color afghan on the couch or changing the drapes. The changes are subtle, but nonetheless it's slightly different.

And a tip for any others writing songs with Ableton Live. If you think of a change for your song, get to your computer as fast as possible or write it down as best you can because a week later you aren't going to remember what the heck you thought would sound good at THAT part of the song. Also, someone suggested I try a bass line and I tried a few different ones and disliked it intensely. However, I did tweak the EQ at certain points in the song to try and drive up the bass on the synths.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Saturday Sun Rays (Finished)

Although I reserve the right to make final tweaks, I think this is my final version of the June Muzik competition. The project has come a long way since June 22, when it was called Monster and I honestly have to say I like this song better than anything I've ever written.

If only I could get the lead and rhythm to function separately in Live, I would be happy as a pig in poop, but let's not be greedy, right?

Anyways, thanks to all who provided feedback (especially Cedric) - appreciated in the extreme!!!

Friday, July 04, 2008

(Second) Update to Current Project

Ok, so remember how I said Live was crashing a lot with this project? Yah, so I pretty much lost about half of the update from June 22nd to July 3rd, because the files wouldn't open anymore.

But I learned a couple of things along they way :

#1) Do NOT run duplicate tracks of the same plug-in especially if that plug-in is a large and complicated software synth (oxytocin in this case). The reason I did this was so that I could render the high notes differently from the rhythm track in terms of track panning and all that jazz.

#2) If you do crash your Ableton Live Set file, there is a way to recover it, but it doesn't recover it completely - delete or rename your .cfg files associated with the project and relocate your plug-ins so Ableton can't find them. In this case, oxytocin was causing all the problems so I really only needed to "un-plug" that one.

#3) If you think your file might crash, RENDER BEFORE YOU EXIT. The file I had last night at 10pm was just about perfect, much better than the version you hear on the web page, but I didn't render it and now I can't open the source file anymore, so I'm stuck. Bummer.

Back on the music side of things, Julie (my wife) said the beginning of the previous update was "boring". Ouch. So I snazzed it up a bit. The version you hear on this blog is still not 100% right but I have a barbecue to go to so it will have to wait. I also "fixed" the ending but it's still not quite right to me. Again, I really liked what I had last night but that will have to wait.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

Update to Current Project

Still working on the project previously known as "Monster". I shopped it around to some friends and family and I think it was my brother who said "You should add some high notes in there" and so I fiddled around with for a little bit and this is what I came up with.

The thing is once I added the high notes, "Monster" just didn't fit the feel of the song anymore. In fact, it sounds an awful lot like Moby's "Summer" to me which was never what I intended but here I am nonetheless. Anyways, taking a cue from Mr. Melville Hall, I renamed it "Saturday Sun Rays". Cheesy, but that's what the song said to me, so deal. :)

I need to fix that ending though, the music doesn't signal the end quite right and it all feels rather abrupt.

Oh, and I think I called the synth last time "oxycontin" which if I'm not mistaken is some kind of medication and not the name of the synth. The name of the featured soft synth is oxytocin.

Last but not least, this project is SERIOUSLY taxing Live. I have crashed Live about 6 times using this file. I think the strings you hear in the background are actually a rather large and complex instrument and I think that is causing some of the instability.