The Deep RavineAugust 21, 2016
A new song that began when I took on the Open Source Musicians Podcast Tunestorm Chanllenge #15 (that’s a big name). The challenge was to create a song featuring these two riffs proeminently. I started playing around with the riffs and slowly this massive song came to life amd I’m really proud of it!
The lyrics are a collage of several small verses I had, mostly about the ethical conumdrums of automated warfare. The different themes and riffs in the song try to represent these dillemas.
I rushed to release it because of the Tunestorm, It’s still not ready, you can expect a new verse and a few more chorus runs in the end of the song. Super busy with non-music-making life right now, but I hope to finish it soon.
Back HomeFebruary 6, 2016
I’m back home after 2 months abroad in Toronto/Canada with my girlfriend. During this time I didn’t do a lot of recording but worked on
making Musical Artifacts better and interacting with the Linux Audio Community.
I also did a bit of composing, learned to use some new software, started studying jazz guitar and stocked up sounds and soundfonts. While in Canada I bought an awesome used guitar from a cool shop filled with vintage stuff. Here’s a picture:
I’ve used a Stratocaster for so long and really love the clean and lead tones I get from it, but I really wanted something with a Humbucker.
This Yamaha has P9 pickups which are a kind of compromise between single coils and humbuckers and it sounds really good on the styles that I play. It also plays like a dream, really fun to just jam around for hours.
I’ll leave you with 2 little recordings I made while I was away. The first is something I felt inspired to write with some electronic sounds from this
amazing soundfont called Vintage Dreams:
The second is a kind of arrangement of the song Gravemakers and Gunslingers of the band Coheed and Cambria, but with instruments from the Megaman X1 and X2 games. The guitars and drums were written originally in a Guitar Pro tab by ‘K. Pratt’, but I’m rewriting and arranging the bass, vocals and backing vocals by ear so that’s why it’s not finished yet. This concept is equal parts ridiculous and fun so I’ll probably try more of it in the future:
A SongOctober 26, 2015
I’ve finished tracking all the electric and acoustic guitars on ‘Summer Comes After’ but I’m not happy with the mix I’m getting. In few days I might have something to show and I’ll probably start recording the vocals.
I’ve bought a new audio interface to record guitar sounds and I’m still waiting for it to come in the mail so I’ve been using most of my free time NOT recording music. Mostly I’ve been working on my free software projects, and singing and playing random songs.
In the meantime, I thought I might post this little song here:
My pitch is off in some parts so this is a ‘blog exclusive’ track just for the more dedicated fans :)
Layering guitarsOctober 6, 2015
Here’s another work in progress sample from the song ‘Summer Comes After’. It does feature some heavy guitar riffs and I’ve struggled a little to make them sound “full” enough. Take a listen:
What I did to get this effect was using 4 guitar tracks, 2 panned left and 2 panned right. The closer to the center you pan the guitars the more your riff will sound like it has some kind of “chorus” effect and the small differences in each recording will be more audible. Moving them far apart to the left/right makes the riff sound more spacious, like it’s filling the metaphorical room where the listener is. Right now I have 2 of them panned almost 100% to the left/right and the other 2 approximately 70%.
I want to layer some other instruments here too, so you can hear a little mellotron, bass guitar and a bassy synth. Mixing this much stuff and all these guitars is hard and I still want to tweak this a lot and find a better tone, but as you can see it’s a good way to get a thicker and heavier sound.
If you want to try it’s important to record all of the guitars as different takes as you won’t get the same effect just duplicating the audio. When recording the multiple tracks you can take the chance to play small variations of the parts or experimenting with different pickup positions. I recorded 2 slight variations of this riff, some in the bridge and some in the neck pickup.
One of the secrets is not having a massive amount of overdrive/distortion on your guitar which is the quickest way of drowning yourself in noise and making your mix sound muffled. When you’re playing around and jamming as the only guitar player you’ll always be tempted to boost your gain and overdrive, but when layering you’ll see that it’s not needed and 2 or more less overdriven tracks will sound better. That’s why I recommend you record all your guitar signals dry and process them in realtime with Guitarix (or you favorite guitar effects processor) as a plugin or connected as an external application into your tracks. I’d also recommend connecting all the layers to a bus so you’re able to apply something like compressor or reverb after the tracks if you want.
Layering is fun and I probably won’t stop at four guitars, but that’s what I could make sound good for now. On the way to becoming a layering master like Devin Townsend :)
My OwnlifeOctober 1, 2015
Hello everyone, I’m a Brazilian musician/programmer and this is just one more place on the Internet where I’ll write about my music.
Ownlife is a name for a progressive rock band, BUT it’s really just a side project where I put all the music I’ve composed by myself and try to make it really weird. Some things you should know about Ownlife:
- The name comes from George Orwell’s 1984 and it’s awesome. Go read the book if you haven’t. 11 Five minutes in and I’m telling you to go read a book, OMG so intellectual and EDGY!
- I mostly use Free/Libre open source software and the Linux operating system to make music. The motivation is a mix of idelogical with creative reasons.
- Progressive Rock means: I like rock and heavy music, but also mellow stuff and will be mixing it with other styles of music. 22 … and wrapping it all up into an unconventional time signature which sounds complicated but is actually really easy to play.
- I’d like to be able to perform these songs live, but I’d also like to go all out on the arrangements and layering. When presented with the choice I’ll chose the latter.
So, if you’re on board with all this you’ll like to know that this is a kind of log of my activities regarding this band/project. Truth is I’ve been composing songs which fit the Ownlife “theme” for 5 years now and I’ve got so many pieces and fragments which I could develop into full songs, but just didn’t. Sometimes I forget that I got caught up into my routine, into my job, into other interesting projects and days will pass without a creative moment, but these melodies and stories always come back to me. So let’s get them out.
Have you read it until this point? Here’s a small fragment of something I call Summer Comes After which is utterly incomplete and needs more work.