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Chappel

Kim and the Smilling Assassins (Instrumental WIP)

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I finally upgraded to Windows 64 bit from Windows 7 (it was free) and now I'm frustrated by my old computer's limitations, and my inability to work competently with those limitations. I'm freezing and bouncing tracks so much that it's hard to keep track of what is going on. I've been working on this song for weeks and no closer to finishing it than when I started. Hopefully, I will be able to build a new computer this year and I'm going to scrap everything and start from scratch.  The guitar is me through a Digitech RP350. The melody is doubled with TH3 and a couple of synth patches. All other parts are various virtual synths that came with Sonar, playing parts I wrote out using the Hybrid Staff.

 

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Very nice composition and I see what you are trying to achieve and can imagine it with played with real instruments.
well done on using the baisc tools that came with Cakewalk.

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1 hour ago, garybrun said:

Very nice composition and I see what you are trying to achieve and can imagine it with played with real instruments.
well done on using the basic tools that came with Cakewalk.

Thanks. I always try to make my recordings sound like a live band. I'll get it right one of these days. 🙂 I do have fun experimenting with things like layering instruments. It's pretty good mental therapy.

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2 hours ago, mark skinner said:

Chappel , Nice composition !  sounds like its' ready to drop the walking bass line a few db and lay down some vocals.    

Thanks. I've been holding off on vocals until I get mic stand with a smaller base.  I'm doing all this in my bedroom and space is at a premium. That, and I haven't sung in years.

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So all that distortion is the 350, or the layered synths? Pretty saturated. At times it sounds pretty heavily gated, or is that the synths cutting off? Keep it moving forward.

t

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32 minutes ago, DeeringAmps said:

So all that distortion is the 350, or the layered synths? Pretty saturated. At times it sounds pretty heavily gated, or is that the synths cutting off? Keep it moving forward.

t

I used the 'Satch' patch on the RP350 and a couple of distorted patches in TH3, all panned differently and mixed down to one stereo track. I recorded the direct guitar signal and the RP350 at the same time. I tweaked the TH3 patches a bit, mostly just to cut the low frequencies and all three had different reverbs on them. The guitar is also doubled by a couple of synth patches in Dimension Pro (that I wrote out in the hybrid staff), though I couldn't tell you which ones. I was trying things and changing on the fly and it's all kind of a blur now. I intentionally phrased the ending of the synth melody lines so you can hear the synths and guitar ending certain phrases differently when the last note slides down in pitch. I was trying to introduce the kind of randomness that one hears in a live performance.

All I kept were the audio tracks so I can't go back and check. I knew I'd be doing it all over from scratch when I have a better computer so I wasn't too concerned about it at the time.

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58 minutes ago, DeeringAmps said:

So all that distortion is the 350, or the layered synths? Pretty saturated. At times it sounds pretty heavily gated, or is that the synths cutting off? Keep it moving forward.

t

Ah, another thing I did that might have had a big effect on the guitar sound is that I opened the direct guitar audio track in Audition and used the hard limiter feature to knock all the big transients down, which is something I do with every direct signal from my guitar before I use a guitar VST on it. I also removed a lot of hiss at the end of some RP350 phrases which did result in an unnatural end of the envelope in some cases.

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"Billie Jean is not my lover" is pretty much what hit me straight away and once that happened it made it hard to unhear as it progressed. Maybe it would help to change the intro to something different so that thought isn't planted right away.

Or maybe it's just me? If so, it  wouldn't be the first time. :)

 

 

 

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Thank you very much! I played the guitar melody as close as I could to the vocal melody. I'll be redoing it soon, adding the vocal, and putting the guitar melody towards the end with guitar and synth harmonies, as well as adding a guitar solo. I can't copy and paste it, and have to play it again, because the tempo is constantly changing throughout the song. I don't think there's more than a measure where the tempo is the same. Everything is in service to trying to making it sound like a live performance. Some might say "A good band can play at a constant tempo" and they would be right, but most of my formal music training was during my years in various a cappella choirs where the the tempo can be quite fluid. I've always liked that 'feel'.

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Kazoo sound? I don't know what part that is. The title was originally inspired by a girl named Kim I knew a long time ago who said if she ever started a band she would call it The Smiling Assassins.  I thought it sounded cool and asked her if she minded if I used it in one of my songs. She said "go for it". Within the context of the song it refers to women who broke my heart, killing me a little bit at a time. Every time a girl broke my heart I would die a little more. Smiling assassins = heart breakers. I think Kim's idea was more literal where mine is metaphorical.

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1 hour ago, bjornpdx said:

Very good composition and performance! I really like it.
Not sure what you mean by "hybrid staff?"

Thanks. It's always nice to hear something positive. 🙂

The Hybrid Staff is the Piano Roll View. Sorry for the confusion. I think that's what Cakewalk called it a few decades ago. Old habits die hard.

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