Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Outrageous solos

As previously promised, the sub-section I am working on "The Pride Of Life" features outrageous solos on various instruments.

First, classical guitar, then drums, then bass, then piano and finally electric guitar. then there is a build-up coda (in 7/8) featuring all but drums.

The drums and piano are performed through samplers and so can be programmed as MIDI instruments, which is how the solos were realised, working through slowly and adding the notes by hand.

Guitars and bass are a different matter.  There were two major techniques used - firstly breaking things down into short phrases or sub-phrases, usually a bar or two in length. Secondly, when I want fast playing to a) pitch-shift down an octave and b) resample to twice the speed.  This effectively doubles the speed without changing the pitch.  Not all the phrases have this done, sometimes I did it when I didn't actually need to (I could actually play the phrase) and for parts of the electric guitar I did it twice making it really, really fast.

Basically it's taken quite a lot of time to do this, each sub-30 second solo taking at least an hour to create, this has been one of the most work-intensive sections, but I believe it is worth it.

The other thing I have added is clapping to the flamenco guitar backing, for the first two times through the pattern before the drums solo (after both the drums and bass solos the respective instruments join the backing). I cheated and used clapping samples (I could have done this for real but fake claps often sound better than real).

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