Recording Heat Stroke, Pt. 12

rechs-12
You may have noticed a delay in this going up. Nobody reads these things, but I’m sorry anyway. Last week, one of my eyes got super irritated from my contact or something and so I was half-blind for the whole week. Not being able to see inhibits my ability to see a computer screen. So I couldn’t work on music or even comfortably type about working on music. And to be honest, I haven’t done a lot of music-producing this week either, but I’ll report what I have done lately.

It sounds lazy, but the brunt of what I’ve been doing musically is simply listening to the songs on Heat Stroke. Doing that helped me figure out what changes still need to be made. For example, “Wildfire” was originally a little awkward and short sounding. I’ve made some changes to it, but it’s still not quite right. And the vocals in “Burn It Down,” sound a little tinny. In short, pretty much every song needs at least a little touching up. Whether it’s something as quick as EQing the vocal track or repeating and/or moving around musical sections, something needs to be done to each one.

Oh, another thing I had to do was figure out which audio samples I’ve been using are actually legally mine to do whatever I want with. It turns out that a lot of them weren’t available for commercial use. I’m still not sure if I’m going to even entertain the idea of making Heat Stroke available for purchase, but if there’s even a chance, I can’t have those sound samples in there. So I had to go in and get rid of all of those, and that changed a few of the songs, mostly just the intro. And really, I think it sounds better now. You can actually make out what is being said, for the most part.

I have a lot of other things to say about how things are going, but I want to do a super in-depth retrospective on the recording process when everything is completely done, and I don’t want to repeat myself. One new thing I can announce is that I’m considering putting another song on the album, an outro of sorts. Why? Because out of all the songs currently in the tracklisting, I don’t like how any of them end. They don’t sound like an appropriate closing to the album. I’ve made about 5 different versions of the CD to listen through, most of them with “Countdown to a Breakdown” as the final track, and it just doesn’t sound right. I’ve also tried using “And So the Ice Melts” as the closer, and it seems a little more appropriate, but it’s kind of a sad song. I want it to end on a more positive note I guess. I’m not sure if I’ll utilize some of the music I’ve already recorded for the album that didn’t make it to any of the other songs or just create something completely new. I don’t know. Plus, it’ll make me feel better to have 10 tracks on the album instead of just 9. Nine sounds so much fewer than ten.

To make up for the delay in this posting, and to make it a little more interesting, I leave you with an excerpt of a “live” version of “Burn It Down (Repetition of the Competition)” that I recorded a couple weeks ago.

4 comments

  1. I just went through and read all of your updates on this album. I have been checking your site quite a few times a while ago, but every time I checked, I guess it was down. I downloaded the few songs you put out on Rock Band and fell in love with them. I always looked for a place to buy them and download them so I could listen to them whenever, but could never find anything. But it is awesome to see you are working on an album. Hotter Than A Mothereffer sounded pretty awesome. Countdown To A Breakdown was cool, and Burn it down is sounding good. If you do eventually release this album, I would definitely pay for it. But if you have your Rock Band songs, Electro-Heaven, Everyone I know Is An Alcoholic, and Around The World, which is probably my favorite, I would definitely pay for those,too. I played them so freaking much on Rock Band just to listen to them. Keep up the awesome work!

    1. Hi there! It’s pleasantly surprising to get a comment after what appears to be a lull in album-development. I’m glad you like the tastes of the new songs. Hearing that you enjoyed the songs in Rock Band is also nice to hear. Those 3 songs are all from an older album of mine called Boobs, Butts, and Feets. Once I get Heat Stroke finished up, I’m definitely going to consider touching up and older album, getting it mastered, and officially releasing it to the world.

      The problem with Boobs, Butts, and Feets though, is all the movie samples and other uncleared audio bits. I’m obviously not going to be able to get clearance to use samples from Robocop, for example. I mean, maybe if I paid for it, but yeah.

      Anyway, follow my Twitter (@robbysuave) for updates, if you’re interested. I’ve been tweeting little nuggets of information. There’s going to be one or two more Recording Heat Stroke blogs here, and then I’ll probably start doing another string of somewhat regular articles. Out of all my albums, Heat Stroke is getting the most attention and seriousness. I’ve been trying to get the songs mastered for a few weeks now, and I think I’ve tracked down a good guy who’s going to do it for a good price. That will probably take a couple weeks, and then I’m going to go through a process to get the album everywhere (iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc.). I don’t really know how long that takes, but since I know it’s not much work on my part, I haven’t really looked into it yet.

      1. I will have to make a twitter to keep up with your updates on it, then. Never been much of a social media person. But, that is awesome you found a guy to master the tracks. Also, I saw you mentioned Bandcamp in the earlier blogs. I have bought some of Chaotrope’s albums (If you have ever heard of him, he also made a bunch of Rock Band songs), and he usually lists his albums like $7 or so a piece, but like you said, that is just the minimum, and you can pay whatever you like above that. I usually chip in a few more dollars to help him out a bit more.

        Anyway, I bet once you get your foot in the door and start getting known more, you will take off. I hope the mastering goes well and it is a smooth ride to the release of the album.

  2. You don’t technically need a Twitter account to read my updates, but it’s the only way to reply to the tweets, if you wanted to. Plus, there’s surely dozens, if not hundreds, of other accounts you’d want to follow.

    I am happy about the mastering situation. It was actually more difficult than I thought it would be to find someone to do what I need. Then again, I’m on a shoestring budget, so I can’t afford a high-profile engineer or something.

    I have heard a few Chaotrope songs. I can’t say I enjoyed it even though. It’s a little too fake and computerized for my tastes. However, I feel like that sound isn’t entirely removed from what I normally play…or used to play, so…yeah.

    I don’t see myself taking off. Maybe I’m just being negative, but it’s logical to believe any fanbase I could build off of is rooted in the Rock Band community. And since the songs I released on there sound so much different than what Heat Stroke sounds like, I doubt there’s going to be many people latching on to this new stuff.

    Thanks for the kind words though. I hear about other small time bands/artists getting their songs everywhere, and it seems so painless for them, so I sometimes wonder why it seems like so much trouble for me now. But maybe it’s just because this is my first time. Depending on how well the release of Heat Stroke goes, I may work to get my previous album, Punk Rebel Renegade out there. And then probably Boobs, Butts, and Feets, which I fear is going to be a pain to get sounding good enough to officially release. In my opinion, it’s definitely the most dancy/poppy album I’ve ever done, despite the name.

    Speaking of which, that reminds me of a funny RBN story. So back when the Rock Band Network started, there was a lot of talk about what lyrical content was going to be allowed in the songs. Believe it or not, the name of the album, Boobs, Butts, and Feets was contested a little bit. I didn’t even think there would be any disagreement about that, but I do remember there being some talk about it. Anyway, what’s more surprising to me is that my utterances of the word “mothereffer” were never questioned. I don’t know. I still think that’s a little bizarre.

    And to wrap this up, I was very close to getting a new (at the time) song of mine into the RBN called “Punk Rebel Renegade” that was I super proud of. It’s still one of my favorite songs I’ve ever done, and I think it would have been semi-popular. As to why it didn’t get released…I can’t remember. It might have been just not being able to get anybody to test or peer review it.

    Anyway, since I’m officially in the beginning stages of mastering, I’m going to continue with another blog post on here that I would like to get posted sometime this weekend. Ever since I started the blogs, I envisioned one or two retrospective posts about the overall experience and whatever post-recording things I was doing.

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