Tundra

This is a movie theater parking lot at 10:00 AM on a Sunday. The movie theater is open, Covid-19 be damned. Fortunately there is no one there. Granted, there’s another parking lot on the other side of the building and for all I know that one was full, but it still reassuring to know that I might not be the only person left in Massachusetts who takes Covid-19 seriously.

Anyway, I did some bad singing today. I had six songs ready to go but I only got to four of them. I’ll do more tomorrow. My throat wasn’t terribly cooperative today. Very scratchy and cracky. I tried warming up on the drive over but this time it didn’t help much. It was 24 degrees out when I started. I bet that had something to do with it.

Progress.

Car Music Complete… For November

Another day, another recording session in the car. I picked off the last three vocal parts for the re-recording thingie. I sang hard enough to give myself a headache again. Weird, my jaw is also feeling sore. I should probably learn to sing correctly no I shouldn’t. All of the vocals are done, and that’s the only project I’m still working on so all of the vocals are done forever… at least until December starts on Tuesday. I’m thinking December music will be one guitar and one pedal. Les Paul and Ryra? I think.

For the re-recording thingie, I still have to do lead guitar for seven songs, and a few songs need to have the midi tracks updated (that means bass, drums, and keyboards though only a couple of songs have keyboards and those are already done). There’s no way in hell I’ll have this batch finished by December 1st, but that’s okay because I never actually gave myself a deadline for these. It’ll be finished soon though.

The question that is spinning around my idiot head is this: Do I sign up for DistroKid, pay the one year fee of $20, and have some of this garbage posted to Spotify for a year? Probably not, but should I? No. But….

Rob Sing Bad

Yeah… car music… I had six songs needing vocals and I picked off three of them. It was rough. As in, I need to hire a singer for my crappy recordings. Six feet of social distance isn’t even close to enough when you’re screaming your lungs out. I think I’d need to be listening in Massachusetts while the singer is singing in… Cuba? Something like that.

Re-recording volume 3 is 10 songs. Three are done. Four have vocals and are ready for lead guitar. The other three still need vocals. More car music tomorrow.

I told this morning’s audience that I’d share his/her picture. He/She didn’t seem to into it. He/She just sort of stood there the whole time.

Car Music

Spaghetti:

All of the vocals for the November music are finished now. I picked off a re-record vocal too. I belted so hard for so long on that one that I had a pretty bad headache by the time I was done. Ouch. How do real singers do it? Actually, forget that. I don’t wanna be a real singer.

Car Music

I finished the vocals for October. Done and done. Just short little one line thingies. I added lots of harmony to some of them to make it more interesting.

I was joined in the movie theater parking lot by not one but two student drivers. One with an actual auto school and the other just learning on their own.

I just need to add some additional guitars to a few of the October songs and then all the tracking will be done. I also started mixing a re-recording yesterday but still have some work to do.

The last week of October will be very musical. Everything needs to be done before The Mandolorian season two debuts next weekend.

This is the way.

Twice the Car Music

It’s a good thing I never got a job as a recording engineer. I suck.

I had two songs left to sing for the second round of re-dos. The two songs are probably the shoutiest little bastards I’ve ever done and like a moron I saved them both for last.

As I’m getting to the last shouty bit on the first song I started to notice a weird little overtone type thing in my headphones. At first I thought it was a stray noise picked up by the mic, but it wasn’t. I thought maybe something weird was happening in my throat. I could hear it through the mic but I couldn’t hear it without the mic. I had my output levels up really high, and I was listening through an ancient pair of Apple ear buds (pre-lightning cable). I chalked it up to a little output noise and carried on.

The second song has a lot more shouting than the first, and the noise was getting worse and worse. By the time I was wrapping up the second song I couldn’t stand it anymore and I started ripping things apart looking for the cause.

What was it? It was LITERALLY the first thing I should have checked. I was peaking the input level on the audio interface. SON OF A !!!!!!!

I deleted everything on song #2 and did it all again. I deleted the shouty parts of song #1 and did them again. Then I deleted all of the non-shouty parts of song #1 and did those again too so that everything would be at a consistent level.

I suck at my job. Period.

Two Days Worth of Music

Lots of progress on the second round of The Great 2015 Re-Recording Project.

Yesterday I finished the rhythm guitars for the last three songs and added lead guitar to one. Today I added vocals to four songs. That makes nine with rhythm guitar, seven with vocals, and one with leads. I actually want to re-do most of the MIDI tracks, bass guitar and drums. A couple of songs have keyboard parts and those are more or less finished too.

My first car singing session was odd in that everything was much harder than I remembered it from the first time I recorded the three songs I worked on. Today it wasn’t so much the songs that were the problem, it was me. I did four songs but I probably should have stopped after two. My voice got tired really fast today. I brought up the first song and cranked most of the sections out in one or two tries. By the time I was wrapping it up though my voice was starting to crack and get a little froggie. The second song was more challenging, but by the end I was croaking on at least a few words on every other take. I don’t think that’s ever happened to me before.

I was hoping to get through three songs but I forced myself to do four. I’m guessing when it’s all said and done you’ll be able to pick that fourth song out without me hinting. I was at it for more than an hour and a half or so, not quite two hours, and my throat is sore from yelling. Do real singers go through shit like this, or are they just trained to avoid it.

Ribbit.

Car Music

I had six songs ready for vocals. This morning, while sitting in the movie theater parking lot, I cranked out four of them… poorly… as usual.

It was foggy out so it was a little harder to see people around me. I saw a couple of dog walkers and a jogger, but that was it. There was a tractor trailer parked near my usual spot so I went someplace new on the other side of the lot. A mall security car did a slowish drive by. I don’t think he was checking on me, I think he was just slow.

On an unrelated note, I have not had breakfast. The last food I ate was just before 9:00pm. I won’t eat anything until lunch at 1:00pm. I am officially trying this 16:8 fasting shit on for size. Also, I am really hungry. Four hours to go!

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.