Tracking is Done

I have finished all of the tracking for this year’s RPM Challenge. I added really crappy lead guitar parts to the last two songs and I am done with the recording. Finished, babie!

181/365. The focus point is on the pickup switch, I think.
The focus point is on Baby Yoda, babie!
The focus point is the word “Fender” on the amplifier.
The focus point is on the guitar, which I think was pretty obvious.

RPM Challenge: The Last Day

Technically the RPM Challenge rules allow you to work on March 1st, but I prefer to stay within February so today is the last day for me.

Four songs left. Two are ready to mix. Two still need quick lead guitar parts before they’ll be ready to mix. I can do it all today. I also need to come up with a running order and drop anything that’s not up to snuff. This year that’s pretty much everything so lots of weak songs are going to make the cut.

I have a doctor’s appointment at 10:00am so I took sick time for the first half of the work day. That should let me get the guitar tracks in once Jen is out of bed. It’s snowing though. There isn’t much more than a dusting right now but we could get eight inches. I may have to shovel this morning, and I’ll definitely have to shovel after work. I also need to do my exercise this morning and I over slept about an hour so… yeah. Dumb ass.

Okay, Robert. It’s motivation time. Get to it. Get shit done!

2023 RPM Challenge – Day 27 of 28

As posted on the stupid tumblr page……..

I just mixed and uploaded song #10. I still have four more songs to work on, but if I wanted to stop and call it a day now I could and still submit a completed project.

That sound you hear is me breathing a sigh of relief. I am going to bed now. I’ll finish the last four songs tomorrow and come up with a running order. I made cover art earlier today. I am really close to putting this one in the rear view mirror.

Time to Get to Work

It’s the second to last day of the RPM Challenge. I have seven songs mixed and finished. Five more are ready to mix. Two additional still need a lead guitar track. I just finished dinner and I am in the middle of a first season episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine (the one with Q). It’s time to get a move on, Robert. Let’s get to mixing!

The Pain The Pain

I told my beloved wife Jen that I was going to take a page out of the Brian Adams playbook today and play it ’till my fingers bled. I didn’t go quite that far, but I am in so much finger tip pain that I had to stop a little early. I put lead guitar parts onto five of the remaining seven songs. My playing on the fifth song was atrocious, not because I suck (though, naturally) but because my finger tips hurt so much I couldn’t make them do anything. Ouch town, population me.

I will finish the last two songs, but it won’t be for a while. I might try again after dinner. I might wait until tomorrow. I can’t say yet. What I do know is that I have finished tracking a total of 12 songs so I am at the point where I could stop, apart from mixing, and call this year a win. I am pleased.

As always, I went into this year’s RPM Challenge with a specific gear setup in mind. Pedal-wise I was going to use my Klon KTR to push my Keeley Super Phat Mod. I never got on with that Keeley pedal and I was going to force it this month. Then the Marshall Bluesbreaker hype hit. Marshall released a pedal called the Bluesbreaker, which was supposed to make your amp sound like the amp Clapton used on the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton record from 1966 but doesn’t, in the early 90’s and discontinued it after a couple of years. Fast forward to the 21st century and John Mayer uses the pedal on one of his records and suddenly the used market prices are through the roof and every boutique pedal manufacturer on Earth is either making a direct copy of it, or cloning it and modding it. I own a direct copy.

There was a rumor a year ago that Marshall was going to reissue the pedal. That rumor appeared to come true last week though it wasn’t until a day or so ago that Marshall actually verified the rumor was true. All the talk made me want to use my copy. I put it on the board and used the shit out of it. Today I was using it like crazy. Sometimes with the Klon KTR pushing it and sometimes just by itself. It’s not the kind of sound I usually get up for, but I have been seriously digging it the last few days, and for some reason using it with the neck pickup on my Les Paul today was a little slice of bliss.

What does that mean? Nothing. I just thought I’d share, that’s all.

I used my Les Paul on four of today’s five songs, and my SG on one. I was planning on using the SG for the two I didn’t get to as well, but now that I need some time to heal I have no idea what I’ll actually use on the last two. Probably the Les Paul. Either way, I took some obligatory pics.


Also… selfies… because I suck at being cool.


Also, I am rearranging how I keep my work and personal laptops on my desk. My desk suddenly feels very small.


Okay, now I can break for lunch. Maybe watch a TV show for 45 minutes or so and then start mixing again.

Progress, babie. Progress.

Oh yeah, here’s a video on the Marshall pedal. Just so you know what I am talking about.

Vocals are Done

Last night before bed I added quick and dirty lyrics to two of the four outstanding songs. This morning, after exercising, I went out for some car music. I recorded the vocals for those two songs and then improvised a vocal part for a third song.

That’s it. I’m done with the vocals. I mentioned a few days ago that I was thinking of dropping songs before they are finished. That’s what I am doing with that last song. Song #3, if you must know. It’s just too crappy to continue. That’s going to leave me with 14 songs which, years ago, would have given me a complete FAWM. I don’t do FAWM anymore, but it’s still as good a goal as any, right?

The exercise this morning has a funny story to go along with it. Last month, thanks to walking for hours around Disney World, I doubled my 30 minute exercise goal nine times. This month, my Apple Watch activity app challenged me to do the same in February. On Friday I doubled it for the seventh time. That gave me four days to do it two more times. I had every intention of making yesterday the eighth but I failed miserably. This morning I decided to get it done right away and not leave anything up to chance. I ran for a full 60 minutes. I set a bunch of personal work out records on the various Watch apps. I need to do it one more time over the next two days. I mean… I feel pretty lame getting worked up about stuff this stupid but… there you have it.

Episode seven of The Last of Us airs tonight. Three more to go. The serious is stellar. Absolutely fantastic. The Mandalorian season three kicks off on Wednesday. I started watching Star Trek Deep Space 9 from the beginning the other day. As I am typing this I am eating breakfast and watching the first episode of The X-Files. I guess you could call it binge watching season now.

Back to music, but this time guitar gear, I have spent the last couple of years trying to find a suitable replacement for an overdrive pedal that I removed from my board because the designer/owner of the company that makes it is a racist piece of trash and I can’t in good conscience use his products anymore. I have two pedals that are damn close and I think I found another one that I want to try out. It’s a very small pedal builder somewhere in Canada called KO Amps. How much is 140 Canadian dollars in US dollars?

Okay. Let’s finish breakfast, let’s finish this episode of The X-Files, and then get some serious work down on the ol’ RPM Challenge. Three songs complete, between seven and 11 left to go.


2023 RPM Challenge – Day 25 of 28

I posted to that useless Tumblr page again…

Okay, how much did I get through today?

I put vocals down on four songs, mixed two songs, put rhythm guitars on one song, put lead guitars on four songs, and wrote lyrics to two songs.

Looks like more vocals in the car tomorrow, assuming the weather holds. Still a ton of mixing and guitar soloing to go, and still a couple of songs that need lyrics. I’ll make it to 10 songs for sure, but I don’t know if I will get through all 15 songs that I’ve started this month.

So much still to do.


I’ve already mentioned putting vocals on four songs this morning, and I’ve already posted two songs that I mixed today, but now I am posting about putting lead guitar parts onto four songs. My fingers are killing me. I still don’t have calluses on my left hand and good heavens am I feeling the repercussions of that right now. I still have four more songs that are ready for leads but I have to take a break for a while. Maybe for the rest of the day. Jen and I might be going down to Cambridge for some tech gear after dinner tonight, so this might be it for guitar on this fine Saturday. I still have to write melodies and lyrics for the last four songs as well.

Soooo much left to do.

Baby Yoda? That’s Grogu to you, punk.

Three Songs Down

I think I like this one. In fact this might be my favorite of the bunch. That’s not saying much. My heart hasn’t been in it this year and I’ve been just going through the motions and as a result everything sucks even more than usual. So I guess this is in the running for song that sucks the least? I don’t know. It doesn’t have a “track #1” vibe to me though. It might end up as track #2. Maybe? We’ll see. There’s still a long long way to go before I have to worry about stuff like running order.