Car Music: Day Three

All eight songs planned for volume 1 of The Great 2015 Re-Recording Project have vocals! Are the newly recorded vocals better than the scratch vocals I recorded years ago so that I could just have them as a guide? No. They sound pretty much exactly the same. In fact, one of the goals of this project was to improve the performance over the original RPM/50-90/NaSoAlMo demos. Did I do that? No. The end result is going to sound exactly the same as all the other garbage I record.

I don’t care.

I did three songs today. I saved the easiest song for last. Mistake. The last time I sang that particular song was when I recorded a quick and dirty scratch take back when this whole thing started in 2015. I did the lead and the harmony. Today I cranked out the lead like I’d been practicing it for years (I haven’t. I literally just said I hadn’t sung the song since 2015). The harmony though….

It’s been five years. Was the highest note just a hair out of my range five years ago? It probably was. I probably had to squeak to get the scratch track down. Nothing in the intervening half-decade changed to make me be able to hit that one high note without hurting myself. If anything, my range is a touch smaller now and it’s even harder.

What is the moral of the story?

If you’re a musician………..

PRACTICE!

Here’s a picture of the clock from downtown, for no reason at all other than I drove past it 15 minutes ago.

More Car Music

I’ve got this window of time after finishing June’s music but before 50/90 starts and I’m filling it with The Great 2015 Re-Recording Project. This morning before work, for the second day in a row I did car vocals.

I went to the same strip mall but parked in a different spot. I was closer to the road and closer to the building, but much further away from all of yesterday’s distractions.

As was alluded to in the previous post, I tried to work out which of the remaining six songs I wanted to work on today. I was gunning for two but secretly hoping for three (he says secretly… as if there was some James Bond secret agent shit going on here instead of a dumb fat ass yelling at a microphone. Could he BE any douchier?). I picked my two and headed out.

When I parked the car I took out my computer, plugged in some headphones, plugged in the mic interface, opened up the GarageBand file, added a mic track, opened up the notepad to see the lyrics and… the lyrics weren’t there. What the ever loving unprepared ef?

For a second I thought about listening to the scratch vocal tracks and typing them out. Then I thought, screw that and moved on to the next song. I blew through it pretty quick and then picked another song. The melody was easy, but it’s very shouty. Much shoutier than I usually do. I finished it reasonably quickly and then figured I’d pack up.

But….

I still had time. I still had laptop battery charge. Most importantly, I still had room in my bladder (more often than not car vocal sessions end due to having to pee. Welcome to the magic factory, kids). What the hell, I could do one more. Is there something left that doesn’t have a lot of harmony tracks or overlapping goofiness? There’s one… it’s really shouty though. Maybe the shoutiest song I’ve ever come up with. Can I do it? I’m already pretty tired from the last one.

My mind thought back to The Beatles recording their first album, Please Please Me. They saved Twist and Shout for last because John Lennon wasn’t feeling well and they knew if he screamed his way though that song he’d have nothing left for anything else.

Screw it! I’m doing it!

I got three songs worth of vocals done today. That makes five in total. Quarantine Tunes Volume 1 will have eight songs. Only three more to go.

Monday Morning, Again

The bad news is, it’s Monday again. The good news is, thanks to Independence Day it’s only a four day work week. Bliss.

I did some car singing today. June Music is done, 50/90 doesn’t start until Saturday. What did I do? The Great Re-Recording Project. Actually, in my mind I still think of it as The Great 2015 Re-Recording Project because that’s what I originally called it. The old name doesn’t quite work anymore.

Anyway, I worked on vocals for two songs. I spent a little more than an hour. When I do album in a month or demo projects like I’ve been doing I don’t mind copying and pasting vocal tracks. If a song has two choruses I sing it once and paste it everywhere else. I don’t want to do that on The Great Re-Recording Project so it takes a lot more time to finish a song. I want each note played by a human to be unique. I did copy and paste the MIDI instruments. Drums I can’t really help because it’s the GarageBand Session drummer. I might do a unique tweak to each section. Bass… I’m really thinking about redoing all of the bass parts so that I don’t copy or paste anything. We’ll see.

Anyway, I did two songs. They both sound a smidge better than the scratch tracks I already had, so it was worth it. It was, however, definitely stressful. There were a lot of people around. No one actually close, but I was most certainly not alone. I pulled into a spot at around 7:30 and there was a “work” crew two sections away. I put work in quotes because they weren’t actually working. They were just hanging out and they were pretty clearly watching me. Could they hear me? Doubtful, but I was belting as loud as my meager voice can get. Maybe? Doubtful. I think they were on the 8:00 shift with the grounds crew and were just early. There were a lot of additional people on the crew wandering around and there were cars and trucks (and a crane?) driving in and out.

A second work crew showed up at 8:00. Three cars, four or five people. They were in the same lot I was in, but on the opposite end. They were much closer than the not-working peanut gallery, but they only stayed outside for a few minutes before moving into the movie theater. Still too close for comfort though. There was probably enough time, battery, and bladder capacity for me to start working on a third song, but I bailed. There were just too many people. When I pulled out of my spot I saw a third cheering section. Two cats in an SUV only two rows behind me. Way too close for singing comfort. They were okay by social distance standards but what the hell guys, there’s a whole string of parking lots. Pick one of your own.

I’m thinking I need a new parking lot for morning singing. Either that or I have to leave the house 60-90 minutes earlier. On the way home I went to another spot to check it out. I drove up to the Tenney Castle grounds. It was mostly quiet (one jogger in the middle of the driveway with headphones on who couldn’t hear my nearly silent Hybrid car until I beeped. It was pretty funny), but I had actually forgotten that there isn’t a parking lot there. The driveway ends in a rotary. Bummer. Maybe early mornings at the library? They have a pretty remote overflow parking lot there. Maybe.

Anything else going on today? UPS? My amp is back in Out for Delivery Status with a date/time of today by 9:00pm. Should I hold my breath? Look at me. I’m totally holding my breath. Wow, I might actually turn blue from all of this holding my breath.

We did some minor furniture rearranging in some of the bed rooms last week. Over the weekend we spent some time planning for future changes as well. Nothing to report yet, but discussions are being had. Maybe the quarantinie life might lead to a slightly rearranged house. Maybe not. We’ll see. We did add a bunch of new smart light bulbs to a lot of the rooms. Most of the house already had some. Now we have more. The Internet of Things and all that. Groovy. Just don’t hack my lights, dude. M’kay?

Welp, it’s 9:00am on a Monday morning. Enough of my yappin’, let’s boogie… and by boogie I mean start the work day.

Talk to you all later.