WARNING: Boring thoughts of a recording musician/engineer below. Also noted, there is very little substance and it is mostly rambling. You’ve been warned.
I’ve been toying around with pretending to be a musician these past few days. I doubt it will see much more than a snippet here and it is just another abandoned piece that I resurrected and cleaned up.
It doesn’t have a name, and I abandoned it because I couldn’t seem to think of any at the time that I started recording it, so I named it like I imagined it sounded: Curelike. If I were to date it to a Cure album, I would place it in the area of Disintegration. Multi-layered: two guitars, a bass, three keyboards, drums. In other words, probably overdone. In fact, I pulled off a track of backwards-playing guitar because it was just a bit too much.
Nothing meaningfully new has been added to it since the original recording. However, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time sequencing the guitar tracks to clean up the live guitar tracks that were there originally. It sounds much tighter now and less muddy. And… I got rid of some of my oopsies related to my arthritis.
The nice thing about digital audio workshops (DAWs) these days it that, instead of having to bounce a limited 4-track to death to get a single track to record vocals (or, better yet, two tracks for vocals), you can add as many tracks as your CPU can handle. Having an older top-of-the-line CPU means I have zero issues with adding multiple tracks. It is not uncommon for me to have 20+ tracks so I can keep things like drum fills separate from the main drums.
The other thing about modern DAWs is that quite a few of the sounds embedded in the software are sampled instruments and not emulations of instruments, which means they retain some of their “real” feel to the sound — or they can be modified to hell to sound completely different, either with messing with the sound envelope, or applying emulated rack effects to the sound (distortion, make it sound like a tube amp, phaser pedal effects, etc.). Plus, I have a few virtual instruments (synths) that sound better than some of their hardware cousins. Have a live recording that is perfect except for that “one” note, change the pitch on a single note, or eliminate it entirely as if you had never played it. Again, 4-track (or 8-track or 16-track) recordings usually meant endless re-dos until you got the sound perfect (because once it was bounced, you couldn’t fix it).
Anyway — so, I’ve been replacing the live guitar with sampled/sequenced guitar and liking the song a bit better. It may be that I’ve listened to it far too many times to tweak a whole minute of music, but I think I made it fairly hooky.
Or I could have just listened to that phrase far too many times.
Well, I may go back to it today, but I’m tempted to try something more along the lines of a Skinny Puppy/NiN/Frontline Assembly thing and give it a rest for a few days. More outright hardcore synth and sequenced sound. At least I can distort my voice and sound like Ogre to overcome my lack of vocal talent if I go that route.
Lock me up.