well I did the unspeakable

NOVEMBER 16, 2020.

I recorded new bass for Ripcord and some extra drums for Compound Eye. We're going to talk about the second one because that's all I've been working on for the past week.

Joms recorded on their kit which was tuned for jazz music - the snare, especially, I just did not know what to do with. So like a year ago I doubled it. And then when I got into my space last week, I was like, man, all these mics are up from whenever Tom was last in here, maybe I'll just do a pass of drums, for fun.

So I kept it. Both drum kits are in there! Only kept the original kick drum. The snares are panned because there's some rhythmic interplay but I drop out in the instrumental. I like adding extra cymbals to things even though I know it's silly and half the time I usually wind up removing them.

So that was a big weird thing. I was able to de-emphasize the bongos, which was another spaghetti-at-wall idea from last year. And then... I recorded guitar.

I kept going back and forth between only enabling it at certain points, but no. It's nice to have it all the way through, I think. Except in the instrumentals. What a headache.

And then I redid the casio arpeggios on my other two keyboards, but wound up on synth, which I then later pitched up because it still didn't hit hard enough. Added lots of digital mellotron, had to double some of the piano bass in the bridge with fake piano because I didn't pound those notes out hard enough in like 2016 - certainly not when there's guitars on the track! Removed acoustic guitar in the bridge, replaced with high electric.

Removed lots of textural electric guitars that came and went very quickly, actually. Almost removed the clarinet but I love it too much. Backing vocals that seemed so important in 2017 are now buried. Might remove some entirely? Actually, might remove the BONGOS entirely.

Did some hammered dulcimer, just to thicken some moments. There's now a keyboard solo instead of a sax or just me singing in the first instrumental. I don't love it, I am kind of thinking about finding a stylophone and seeing if I can still get one to work.

But I've been processing the hell out of those new vocals and they're starting to sound at home. Really just throwing everything I got at this song right now, I tried it for SO LONG as like a power-trio song and it never got off the ground. Maybe with a more talented engineer/mixer than me, or maybe if I recorded it with a band, live. Maybe with an acoustic piano instead of electric! Maybe if we did it to a click. So many possibilities.

But this is good, I always wanted to, if nothing else, do a all-downhill kaleidoscopic remix of this song to support the message of the lyrics. I want it to be kind of futuristic and frenetic without being too overtly synthy, and I really like the way the current first instrumental blasts off into space, I want to capture that vibe for the rest of the song. I don't love the rest of that synth solo, timbrally. I don't know what I could put there instead that would work, I feel like I've nearly exhausted all my options, which is SO RARE. (I have access to a lot of instruments, you guys.)

I think the other big thing is tightening up the dynamics. There's a lot going on, a lot of sixteenth notes happening, especially at the end, and I don't know how to keep those front and center without letting the track become a big ol' wall of sound. The entire rhythm section is just hitting on every beat, and, it's not coming across.

what else

Work is exhausting. I find myself wanting to do little more than finish this album. It's been a real constant struggle with Compound Eye for the past week. Still have not done the bass for Austin. I had something more interesting to say here but in the time it took to markup my text document with paragraph tags I have forgotten it.