Friday, 4 February 2011

Physics, no wait, Chemistry, no wait...

So my next challenge was 2.2.1 Physics. I am leaving the previous sub-section with a D chord, and I had this kind of slightly metally guitar thing in my head I wanted a go at. The problem was - how was that physics?

It's not.

Hang on, heavy metal - that's chemistry surely? SO I change the order of my sciences section around, no biggie.

So there's a bass undercurrent pedal, a bit like right at the start of the first track, oh then there's a tinkly synth bit... like the very start of the first track... OK so if it's a good idea do it more than once. Then there's a guitar doing rythmic chords, sounding like it's played through a bullhorn, then in comes drums, bass, and multiple guitars.

I have a problem with guitars, in that I have a really nice suite of guitar effects called Guitar Rig that will run either standalone or as a plug-in for Cubase. However, if I run it standalone, and record my playing, I can only seem to configure cubase to record without the effect on. Well this is OK because I can take the same effect and apply it as an after-effect to the track. No problem, except if I want more than two guitars, the poor computer starts to struggle. SO I have a method - I record into cubase, isolate that one guitar track with the after-effect on and mix down just that one track to an audio file, which I then load back into cubase as an audio track... confused yet?

The end result is that I spent aaages on this track mixing down individual tracks because I have used about 10 guitar tracks in total.

The heavy metal thing takes nearly half of the track time up, and then I played around with some of the more extreme sound effect settings of guitar rig - getting a nice spacey background. Seeing as I am in chemistry I might as well embrace acid. I have made a fundamental decision that instead of aciiiiiiddd as it applies in the early 90s I'd rather emulate some of the more late 60s/early 70s acid-related music.

There's a problem with this, I start playing with the guitar on a setting called "superfunk" and I have come out with a funky rhythm. I love it, but it's not really the spacerock sound I'm after. Yes, spacerock is a recognised genre. I found another sound that complimented "superfunk" which also was funky. I played a bassline on the guitar (oh I did that for the first bit as well because my bass is at church again). By this stage I have abandoned the spacerock and shrugged my virtual shoulders.

However, once the rhythm is laid down I start looking for some soloing to go over the top. It turns out I can make it quite spacerocky by doing spacey soloing. I spent ages on a lead line, repeating bits, re-recording, and the pinnacle, a genuine tap-on part (that's fast fingering - often I fake this stuff, this time it's not absolutely perfect but I'm happy that it's real). When I played it back, I still had my guitar on my knee, so I started fiddling along to the music - a perrenial guitarist habit. The thing is, it seems that sometimes two guitars are better than one, and harmonising is fun. The first line took ages, the second was on the second take, fully done. And by now the spacerock thing was firmly back in play so I played up to that. I added a bit of minimal spacey drums and Bob's your auntie.

I kind of glossed over the first part - it has a complex, non-repeating rhythm and is in no particular time signature. It actually took ages, and a lot of care to make it work. In fact this may be the most intensely worked-on 3 minutes of music I have ever made, but hopefully it doesn't feel like it.

In the meantime I have a new problem, this was designed to go straight after the jazz section and it works well in that position, but I have a plan for sections 2.3.1, 2.3.2 and 2.3.3 which are all about music: rhythm, harmony and melody. I plan to carry a beat at 120bmp through all three, and the first one of these is funky. This chemistry section ends perfectly to go into it. So it could become 2.2.3 instead of 2.2.1, but the transition was good at the beginning...oooh dilemmna!

No comments:

Post a comment