Thursday, July 26, 2007


Going to St. Louis for a couple days....I'll be seeing the Cubs game while I'm there. I'd like to put a brave face on, but just looking at the starting pitchers is making me a little sick to my stomach.....

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Chris and I spent a night back in May laying down several different drum loops. The one I did is very weird sounding....snares off, playing on the bell of the Bronze Scim hihats, some unusual miking, and Chris' 24" kick. Then all that is compressed pretty heavily.

I made the loop (24 bars) and then wrote a series of chords on the Rhodes....after several demos I still wasn't exactly sure where to go with the basic idea...I think on the third attempt I managed to get through the chord sequence twice, and threw in a couple curveballs, so I decided to keep it, chart out what I did, and try adding bass.

Now I'm not a bass player, but with relatively simple, slow-moving stuff, if I spend a few hours learning it I can kinda-sorta fake my way through it. The new amp helped a lot....I barely had to touch the strings at all and still got an enormously loud sound.

After that, I recorded a heavily smeared, semi-improvised synth track over the top. Sort of halfway between a lead and and a pad (ambience).

The chords (nearly all of them are 13ths) keep going up and up....typically I have a tendency to write chords that go down, down, down. The bass keeps going up too....I tuned the lowest string as far down as I thought I could get away with (B-flat!)....the bass moves from that low B-flat all the way up to near the top of the neck on the highest string. Between the extended harmonies (most of the chords are voiced root/5th/9th/#11th/13th), the parallel voice leading, and the fact that the roots keep resolving up by step (C G D F# A resolves to D A E G# B, etc), hopefully the effect is like being weightless.

This is my favorite track out of all the stuff I've done in the last year that doesn't have anybody else playing anything on it (along with Antares).

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Don Cab/band incest/mics/demo next week

Going to see Don Caballero at the Record Bar tonight....opening are two local bands, This Alibi and Sentient, both of whom I've seen before and both of whom rock the fuck out.

Interestingly, Sentient features a guy named James playing guitar....he used to play in a band called Lafayette with Chris and Kevin, the two guys I've been playing with recently, so this should be an interesting evening....a little band incest never hurt anybody.

I feel confident in saying there will be a truly significant amount of ass kicked tonight.


Just picked up some new mics at Big Dude's yesterday....they were having a big sale, so I figured better to strike while the iron is hot. Got a Superlux omni/figure-8 at 100 bucks off and a couple Audio Technica 2020 condensers....these should help with the "live in studio"-type demo I'm doing on Wednesday for a unique jazz band (that's traps, bass gtr, gtr, trumpet, sax, and a manic West African-style hand drummer).

I think these are going to become my room mics, and the mics I already have can be my close mics. I have to spend some time with them and do some A/B comparisons before I can use them properly though....

Speaking of band incest, former I guitarist Adam, swell guy that he is, will be lending me some additional mics and gear, including his sound card (!). I have 8 channels of in/out, and Adam's card will make that 16....with 6 players and multiple room mics, I'm going to need the extra channels. Hooray Adam!


OK, I was going to post a new track from the end of June, but I have a lot to say about it and this has turned into a longer post than I wanted it to be, so I'll save it for later. Check back tomorrow.