That’s a Lot of Noise

I played a lot today. More than I expected.

When I finished playing on Thursday night, June Music had nine songs with all of the rhythm guitars. I had an idea for a 10th song, but it was just a single chord change. On Friday after work I found myself wishing that I had more to do. I’ll have to do leads eventually, but I like to save that for last, and I still have to write and record the vocal parts before I get there. What to do?

I wrote out music for two more songs, that’s what. I invented new stuff for me to do. Today I recorded the rhythm guitars for those two. Neither one is the 10th idea I had socked away, so now there are 11 songs with guitar/bass/drums and one that’s still only a snippet of nothing.

When I finished the second song today I saw that my MacBook’s battery percentage was still above 70. I didn’t want to stop. That’s when I remembered there was a song left over from April that had everything except lead guitar. I brought that up, finished it off, and now I have a song that’s ready to mix.

There was also a ton of battery left, and I still didn’t want to stop. What to do next?

I’ve mentioned about 100 times that in 2015 I started a project where I would re-record the least awful songs from all of my prior RPM Challenges and stuff. Every so often I try to get some work done but I never seem to finish anything. Screw it, thought me. I picked a song out of that batch, scrapped all of the guitar parts that were already done and did ’em again. When that was done I picked a second song. When that was done… my battery was below 10% and I had to help cook dinner.

In the grand scheme of things it’s all stupid and pointless and silly but damn if it didn’t feel good.

For the June and April songs I didn’t use my pedal board. I played the 335 into the RYRA The Klone and the Keeley Super Phat Mod. I had the gain dialed pretty far back on both, but with the Bassbreaker 15 that was enough for some good, chunky distortion. For the lead on the April song I just upped the gain on both pedals a smidge

For the 2015 Project songs I only did rhythm parts and I switched back to the pedal board. The most recent plan for this project was to use the same setup I use with Lizardfish. I followed that rule for the pedals but that’s it. Technically the 335 is still retired and not allowed to leave the house, so it’s not a Lizardfish thing. The Bassbreaker 15 has never been used with Lizardfish, though I still have the idea of pairing it with a Vox AC15 and using that with the band. Guitar Center’s website has a listing for a used AC15 for under $500. I am really tempted.

The signal path today was 335 to Klon KTR to Keeley D&M Drive (just the Dan side) to the Bassbreaker 15. The problems I was having when I first switched to that have been fixed. As expected, lowering the output level on the KTR by a ton really did the trick. No more mushy compression. Everything sounded clear and dynamic and great.

I noticed one other little detail. For one of the 2015 songs, a song that was written for the 2014 50/90 Challenge, I had previously added rhythm guitars to it. The song requires a clean sound and a distorted sound. When I recorded them before there was a little weirdness in the transitions that I hadn’t done on the 50/90 recording. I didn’t catch it until a couple of days after I finished the takes but it was reason enough to redo everything. Today when I finished each take I listened back to just the guitars, with everything else muted.

I don’t think I’ve done that for any of the recordings I’ve done since March, and I’ve only used the 335 on the most recent songs, so maybe it didn’t happen… When I had the distorted guitars solo’d and there were no other tracks playing, I realized that the microphone is actually picking up a little bit of the acoustic sound of the guitar. You can hear the pick hitting the strings. It’s really subtle, and you can’t hear it within the full mix, even when the guitar tracks are cranked. Either I was bashing the guitar really hard, or the amp isn’t as loud as I thought it was. I might go back to some of the old songs and see if it happened while playing a solid body guitar. Interesting.

Anyway, here’s a picture.


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