Sunday, June 24, 2012

"Sing Free:" the track that insisted on re-writing itself (with MP3 sample)

"Sing Free" is the first track from the album "Hydrogen" I began recording, and it's the track that was giving me the most hell. Perhaps that is because I was trying too hard; trying to make the beats too aggressive, trying to sing too high, trying to drown the whole thing in too much electricity.

So after a month of ignoring the half-completed track and letting it sit on my hard drive, I decided to turn it totally upside-down. I've heard other musicians say they sometimes like the results they get when they totally strip everything down, so that's what I did. And here is a snippet:

This snippet is far from perfect from a performance standpoint, but in a way I think that's part of its appeal. When I originally thought to record "Hydrogen" I said to myself "this is the album that will be more perfect and precise than anything I have done before."  This turned out to be nonsense. Of course, nothing is ever perfect unless it is generated completely by computer (and that right there can present its own set of problems).  So what I now realize is that "Hydrogen" will be appealing for the mixture of the organic and the exact, and hopefully I will be a skilled enough musician to keep up with the exact. So far it's been a tad questionable.

Another issue I've been having recently also emerged here. For some reason, my singing voice always tends to record better and richer when I'm playing guitar along with it instead of overdubbing the voice over a pre-recorded track. I still haven't figured out why this is so. It could have to do with feeling more connected to the rhythm of the piece, but that is all speculation. As a general studio rule, vocals should usually be overdubbed and not recorded live with other instruments, so I'm breaking that rule here for the sake of getting a recording that sounds "real," whatever that means.

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