One, Two, Three, Four

It's a Musical!

I apologize in advance if this is long winded or contains typos. I am still coming to grips with touch typing, and that is making my life hell. Actually, lots of things are making my life hell. This includes a new co-worker who is simultaneously a know-it-all and kiss ass, an english class that I'm really having trouble with, and a healthy dose of clinical depression and insomnia. Truly a dark place. It is not without reprieve, however, as I have recently began to explore creating music again.

Generic outlet for stress? It is possible to perceive it that way. Plenty of people write and create music, and plenty of people are fantastic at it. Taking that into consideration, I view myself as an exceptional musician not because of how good I am, but because I'm pretty bad. That's not the typical "please compliment me because I need an ego boost" type of statement, it's a statement that stems from an exhaustive and honest look at my abilities. It's not meant to be negative either, as anything that is bad can be improved, especially when it regards talent in a particular area.

Just for records sake, I'd like to outline my musical journey thus far:

  • Age 10--Played flute in school band, was absolutely terrible at it.
  • Age 12--Parent's bought me a boxed guitar for christmas. I have no fucking clue on how to play it or why they bought is for me, but guitars are pretty cool so I was happy. =)
  • Age 13--Parent's sign me up for guitar lessons at local music store. Still have no idea on how to play that thing they bought me, so I agree. Walk into first lesson alone, and find my teacher (some dude named "Mitch") sleeping in his chair surrounded by whiskey bottles. He wakes up after 15 minutes, burns my a Guns and Roses CD, and sends me on my way. I decide that music is scary and I don't want to do it.
  • Age 15--Played guitar hero. Was awesome.
  • Age 16--Bought myself a bass guitar as a birthday present. I really wanted to be in a band because it seemed cool, and google said that the bass guitar was a pretty easy instrument to pick up. Went deep into the tablature world.
  • Age 16.5-Learned what notes are, and that the tuning pegs are not just there for looks. This unfortunately was discovered at a public venue, with me and a friend doing a cover at a school open mic. SUPER embarrassing looking back on it.
  • Age 17--Bought a ukulele, started strumming songs. Also joined the school choir around this time. This helped me learn a lot about music, and I started developing my singing voice too.
  • Age 17.5--Bought way too many different ukuleles, also joined a garageband. We were pretty terrible.
  • Age 18--Started a new band. It was just me and two close friends, I picked up guitar, and we wrote songs and practiced like crazy for our school's version of "Battle of the Bands." After about six months of hard work, personal growth, and tri-weekly practices, we rocked out hard. It was a pretty big high point in my life actually, people didn't think we were terrible, and I got farther then I thought I ever could.

And that pretty much brings us to present day. My band mates/friends moved away for college while I stuck around and got a part time job and started to attend community college. I thought I would probably not embrace music again, leave it as just an "adolescent phase" I went though. I sold a lot of my gear I had (almost five ukuleles o.o) and was ready to give it all up. Something happened though, and to put it simply, I had the urge to make music again. I had the urge hard.

Quitting my procrastination, I signed up for guitar lessons (not with Mitch), bought myself a keyboard and electric guitar, and invested in Logic Pro 9 for my MacBook. I'd like to point out that Logic is a ridiculous download (25GB??)

So I'm diving right in. Fuck it. Going to start recording some songs, starting with the one I wrote with my band mates, and moving toward more recent ones. I intend to keep this blog continually updated with my progress, and upload songs I finish and such. If there are members of the Giant Bomb community who have experience with these sort of things, I'd love some input. I'm at a loss on how to do somethings, such as making my acoustic guitar tracks fit in the mix (is it because the recording is tinny or my levels aren't high enough?). This is really just another chance for me to improve myself. I've got more gear coming in this week (Apogee ONE, WOOT), and am excited where this takes me. It might be slow at first (like this forsaken touch typing) but it will be worth it.

Little secret: All the goods songs are in mono

First up is a song about Kurt Russell, cause fuck it. Thanks for reading, it was therapeutic to write.

6 Comments
7 Comments
Posted by darkedhunter

It's a Musical!

I apologize in advance if this is long winded or contains typos. I am still coming to grips with touch typing, and that is making my life hell. Actually, lots of things are making my life hell. This includes a new co-worker who is simultaneously a know-it-all and kiss ass, an english class that I'm really having trouble with, and a healthy dose of clinical depression and insomnia. Truly a dark place. It is not without reprieve, however, as I have recently began to explore creating music again.

Generic outlet for stress? It is possible to perceive it that way. Plenty of people write and create music, and plenty of people are fantastic at it. Taking that into consideration, I view myself as an exceptional musician not because of how good I am, but because I'm pretty bad. That's not the typical "please compliment me because I need an ego boost" type of statement, it's a statement that stems from an exhaustive and honest look at my abilities. It's not meant to be negative either, as anything that is bad can be improved, especially when it regards talent in a particular area.

Just for records sake, I'd like to outline my musical journey thus far:

  • Age 10--Played flute in school band, was absolutely terrible at it.
  • Age 12--Parent's bought me a boxed guitar for christmas. I have no fucking clue on how to play it or why they bought is for me, but guitars are pretty cool so I was happy. =)
  • Age 13--Parent's sign me up for guitar lessons at local music store. Still have no idea on how to play that thing they bought me, so I agree. Walk into first lesson alone, and find my teacher (some dude named "Mitch") sleeping in his chair surrounded by whiskey bottles. He wakes up after 15 minutes, burns my a Guns and Roses CD, and sends me on my way. I decide that music is scary and I don't want to do it.
  • Age 15--Played guitar hero. Was awesome.
  • Age 16--Bought myself a bass guitar as a birthday present. I really wanted to be in a band because it seemed cool, and google said that the bass guitar was a pretty easy instrument to pick up. Went deep into the tablature world.
  • Age 16.5-Learned what notes are, and that the tuning pegs are not just there for looks. This unfortunately was discovered at a public venue, with me and a friend doing a cover at a school open mic. SUPER embarrassing looking back on it.
  • Age 17--Bought a ukulele, started strumming songs. Also joined the school choir around this time. This helped me learn a lot about music, and I started developing my singing voice too.
  • Age 17.5--Bought way too many different ukuleles, also joined a garageband. We were pretty terrible.
  • Age 18--Started a new band. It was just me and two close friends, I picked up guitar, and we wrote songs and practiced like crazy for our school's version of "Battle of the Bands." After about six months of hard work, personal growth, and tri-weekly practices, we rocked out hard. It was a pretty big high point in my life actually, people didn't think we were terrible, and I got farther then I thought I ever could.

And that pretty much brings us to present day. My band mates/friends moved away for college while I stuck around and got a part time job and started to attend community college. I thought I would probably not embrace music again, leave it as just an "adolescent phase" I went though. I sold a lot of my gear I had (almost five ukuleles o.o) and was ready to give it all up. Something happened though, and to put it simply, I had the urge to make music again. I had the urge hard.

Quitting my procrastination, I signed up for guitar lessons (not with Mitch), bought myself a keyboard and electric guitar, and invested in Logic Pro 9 for my MacBook. I'd like to point out that Logic is a ridiculous download (25GB??)

So I'm diving right in. Fuck it. Going to start recording some songs, starting with the one I wrote with my band mates, and moving toward more recent ones. I intend to keep this blog continually updated with my progress, and upload songs I finish and such. If there are members of the Giant Bomb community who have experience with these sort of things, I'd love some input. I'm at a loss on how to do somethings, such as making my acoustic guitar tracks fit in the mix (is it because the recording is tinny or my levels aren't high enough?). This is really just another chance for me to improve myself. I've got more gear coming in this week (Apogee ONE, WOOT), and am excited where this takes me. It might be slow at first (like this forsaken touch typing) but it will be worth it.

Little secret: All the goods songs are in mono

First up is a song about Kurt Russell, cause fuck it. Thanks for reading, it was therapeutic to write.

Posted by mercutio123

I've never used Logic, only Pro Tools, because of this Logic looks fucking terrifying to me. And are you using the software to directly record or have you invested in mics yet?

Posted by darkedhunter

@mercutio123: Everything I've done up to this point has been soft synths, I'm waiting for my new interface/mic to come in the mail. The AT2020 USB I have is definitely hard to get a good placement and sound out of.

And the software is actually surprising easy to get a handle on. Tracks and audio regions on top, MIDI editor on bottom, buses/effects/synths/gains/panning on left, and library of samples on the right. =)

Posted by Veektarius

That is a picture of Kurt Russell at the brothel in Big Trouble in Little China.

Posted by Ben_H

Get your woman on the floor. Gotta gotta get up to get down gotta gotta get up to get down.           (sorry I had to after seeing that title) 
 
On topic, I also have been meaning to get into recording music. I've played music since grade 3, though I have kinda fallen off the wagon lately as I don't have much time to keep up with practice. I also bought a synth a few years back to learn how to use it to record stuff but that never ended up happening because university started. This year's pretty relaxed so I might start actually learning all this stuff again.

Posted by dudeglove

@Ben_H:

Posted by Sploder

Well good luck and please post the song about Kurt Russell once you're done with it.