This will be our sixth attempt at this RPM thing. Sixth? Crazy! There was something magic in the water in 2007 and now a February cannot go by without me wanting to fully immerse myself in musical creativity. Get dirty in the musical creativity, It's like the best love making.
After RPM 2011, I did not make any music for the rest of the year. I always record year round but 2011 was a sort of lost year for us. Post RPM-2011 most of my thoughts, emotions and efforts were consumed by buying a house. Yep, BUYING a house. We ARE crazy. It took 9 months of dealing with banks, agents, contractors, inspectors and appraisers but now we are finally in. I now have a whole room set up for music . This is major. The only reason I went to college and got a good job was so that I could afford the space, time, and instruments to make my own joyfulnoises. After living in apartments for the last 6 years and recording/mixing with only headphones, this is a huge leap for me. All my amps, effects, basses, synths, and percussion are all out, plugged in, and ready to record. Needless to say, I'm very excited with where my life is right now. It seems like all my work and efforts for the last 10 years have been building towards this era.
We now have a 5 acre lot with a seasonal creek, huge granite boulders, a giant oak tree, and about 2 acres of forest. Our closest neighbors are horses. I can just sit on a boulder, watch the creek, listen to the birds, and soak up inspiration from the mother. She is telling me that it is time to get loud.
Even though I am a very shy and introverted person, I feel a great connection to all of you out there toiling away in February. We are all brothers and sisters in this shizzz. Spread the love!
Smokey Quartz is the tentative album title and the new name of our house band!
Suddenly January is upon me. Last years effort was a total fail as my hard drive took out my work halfway through and I couldn't recover things in time. This year, as I say every year, will be different.
I've got ideas. I've got a working computer. I've got a new toy to use.
I still haven't practised enought - but I do have 25 days until it all kicks off.
In a spirit of optimism, I'm feeling good about this year, and I hope all you lot are too!
I've been listening to a lot of female artists lately; Amy Winehouse, Mary J Blige, and the quote is from Macy Gray. Evanesence has been on the jukebox regularly. Man, I love Youtube! So, I am torn between doing a slower paced melody-based jazzy kind of thing OR the spandex filled 80's style metal ala Cinderella, Living Colour, and Bullet Boys. I'll probably wait until the last minute to decide....like always.
Finally forced myself to mess with Reaper last night. Starting the whole "pre-production" thing, I guess. I can record basic tracks... haven't tried to do punch-in yet, so I don't know how hard that will be. After about half an hour of pulling my hair out, I finally figured out how to enable my MIDI input device and record MIDI to tracks, so that's good. I never got MIDI programming to work in Audition... although I guess I could try recording it instead and see how that works.
On the other hand, everything seems SO LAGGY with recording the MIDI. At least, I don't think I'm playing that badly out of time on the drums... Maybe I should just do a test of playing only drums to a metronome and see how "wrong" that sounds.
On a semi-related note, I'm clumsy and broke my headphones that I've been using for recording and mixing for the last couple years. I accidentally sat down on them and snapped the piece that holds one of the speakers in place. I've tried superglueing it back into place, and I've tried duct taping it into place, but neither worked. Last night I was just using my monitors to play along to, but that's both loud and probably a good way to piss off my neighbors. May have to just bring my work headphones home.
But I did get myself a Tascam DR-07 Mk II portable recorder as a late Christmas present to myself. I think it should be fun. Also, my wife was trying to conspire to help me get my Chapman Stick, so she emailed a Stickist in Vancouver (about 3 hours from me now) who said we could probably work something out with me getting a one-off lesson or otherwise trying his to see if I still want one after playing it. I don't know whether I'll be able to arrange that and get one before February, and even if I did I probably wouldn't be able to play it at all. I'm also thinking about getting a 5-string bass, if I can find one on the cheap.
I think I might be partnering with a few folks from JPF land this february. I hope they let me post it under cville ramblings! I hope you are all doing well and are getting enough rest this January.
Yep, I did it. Curious to see what I come up with this time around. It's always a surprise... to me. Don't really have much in the way of new equipment, with the exception of a new mic. May try fooling around with some odd time signatures.
So, after skipping out on last year (the now wife returning from a 6 month stint in England, wedding planning, Philadelphia generated rage, and a nasty case of the flu), I've decided to once again grace RPM with my... er... talents...
But what to do? So many options. Those of you who remember my first album may recall that I kicked around the idea of a trilogy of John Hodgman themed songs (see: Certificate of Acheivement's The Ballad of John Hodgman and #f8811d's Resident Expert. But, I've also been kicking around an entire Hodgman themed album which would involve those older tracks re-recorded and a couple covers, so that's probably out.
How about something nerdy... like a game? That could work. I've been playing a lot of Starcraft II lately... how about....
An album of Protoss songs?
Oh yes. It's happening. The draft lyrics to 6 songs have been written, and one is below as proof:
Happy New Year, Everyone! 4 weeks till RPM!
This year I'm not going to be able to participate in RPM for the first two weeks due to work obligations. This basically equates to high stress days, and long hours on both the week days and weekends. If I'm able to pull off anything RPM-wise, it will have to be extremely simple tasks. I'm planning on keeping a todo list of things with minimal amounts of energy and time - like making patches, creating incidentals, and field recording.
Myself, Bruce "The Black Bob Haircut," and Michelle have formed an unnamed band for RPM. My best guess is that it will be a mix of pop, soul, and electronic. We are using the RPM rules as loose guidelines, as we have come to the decision that we'd rather make a few awesome songs instead of many mediocre songs. So far we have about 4 tracks in writing process, but will decide how many we want to finish once the end of January rolls around.
I am still moving forward with my yearly solo album. This year (my 5th RPM) I'm going for a more abrasive electronic sound. I've wanted to make an aggressive album for a while now, however I normally lack the drive needed. Not sure if this year will be any different, but I'm aiming high. I've already begun making bits and pieces of things for February. I have roughly 7 ideas so far.
Finally, I'd very much like to incorporate some of my new found love of video editing into RPM this year. I think it would be awesome if I had a video collage of some sort by the end of the month that was a documentary of my RPM. I don't want to put any unneeded stress on myself, so the plan is to record ANYTHING each day and just piece it all together at the end. I imagine it will be lots of clips of me eating sandwiches and twiddling knobs.
Unfortunately, due to work commitments I'm only going to have 18 days to do an album, but I don't have the hassel of neighboring bands rehearsing while I'm trying to record, so that should speed things up a bit.
I've been testing out my new recording studio. Due to the earthquakes in Christchurch last year I don't have any electricity in my new shed, so with lots of AA batteries, and mixing at home (where I do have power but can't make any noise) I've managed to make a few demos that show promise. Hopefully by the time I actually get to begin I'll have enough ideas in the pile to get on with, and enough of an idea of how to work 2 minisidk recorders.
So, like a glutton for punishment, I'm all signed up and ready to create an album in 18 days by ping-ponging drum and piano tracks using a small homemade mixer. This is going to be interesting...
I just finished installing my Xmas gift to myself (Komplete 8 ultimate), it should be about 2015 when I figure out how to use it. I have also signed up for this year. I'm not much for blogging (2g's?) so good luck to everyone this year.