DAY TWO: Beats and Snogs
Let’s talk about titles. I don’t plan a title ahead of time unless something comes down from Heaven and says, “Hark, ye. See ye this song title!” Most of the time I just type some word salad into the “New File Name” space when I first start. Sometimes, that word salad just usually ends up becoming the title in one form or another. So, let’s not get our panties in a bunch about Beats and Snogs, especially since there’s no beats or snogs in it. It’s what it wanted to be.
Today I will be addressing Garageband. Why, you might be asking, when there are so many other awesome programs with which to record, am I using Garageband?
a. It’s “cheap”. MUCH cheaper than paying millions of Emily dollars to buy protools (and the techie laptop you have to get to sustain the kind of memory you need for it) or other some such hardware. And to those bootleggers of you: I’m just too lazy to hunt for it and a bit overly aware of the guilt that might come afterwords for not getting the legit copy…
b. It’s easy. I have a Mac. There it is.
c. It doesn’t really matter, right…?
Now, I don’t LOVE Garageband. It’s super limiting when it comes to the detailed tools necessary for mixing and mastering, but it works for my purposes most of the time. My frustrations only grow to larger proportions when I work on projects like I posted yesterday (…and today’s, actually). I had huge sections of poorly recorded and old material that I wanted to use but couldn’t make it cleaner or louder. Part of this is my limited experience but some of it is the actual program I’m using. Regardless, I’m doing a song every single day for 365 days. I have to accept some of the imperfections that come, no?
I am returning to my “musical roots” of sorts with Beats and Snogs. After moving from Pittsburgh to Utah, I found myself without a job and home all day with a new Mac computer. I started experimenting with sound, recording, and sampling. The instrument samples in Garageband are okay, especially if you tear them apart and put them back together micro-beat by micro-beat. My main reason for using pre-recorded samples is because I don’t have free access to the real instruments or people that can actually play them (i.e. sweet-ass vibraphone). I created a bunch of songs back then using this same deconstruction process in Garageband. I stopped doing it in favor of more acoustic songwriting and real-time looping (which I’ll do later on, I’m sure).
This entry is a perfect example of me needing to let go while in the creative process. I started this at 7:30 am and finished everything but the vocals at around 12:30 pm (It being the very end of the holiday season, I found I had some extra time). I did another 2 hours on it just coming up with levels that only annoyed me a little bit. To an engineer this probably doesn’t sound like much time, but I must remind myself that I’m doing this every single day and have a “day job”. Perfectionism might become a problem, so I’m setting myself time limits to record and call it quits. To be honest, I didn’t like this one very much at first, feeling like I copped out a little by using more deconstructed samples again and deliberately choosing not to spend much time on finding a great vocal melody line; but the more I listen, the more I like it.
As time goes on, you, my friend, will discover that Emily Hope Price loves movies. I love seeing movies, and I love watching my favorite movies over and over. The best part about a good film is the visual and emotional residue it leaves on you after it’s over. Some of my favorite movies are ones that most people hated, but I love watching them because the cinematic feel of the piece as a whole is so great. This song is like that for me; in fact, most of what I write tends to lean the way of color and texture…Headphones are recommended.
In this entry you will hear more of the Rick Gribenas recordings (see Day 1) towards the end. In this example I had asked him if he had anything with words or people talking. He pulled out some great moments, and I only wish I could find the whole session.
Beats and Snogs
Admittance of a deeply ingrained guilty pleasure: Record scratches & pops are some of my favorite sounds in all existence. I’ll try to keep it at a minimum.