I’m Alive!

acoustic album updates

Wow. I haven’t posted in a super long time. Since the last time I posted, crazy things have happened. The world is shut down, and I’m recording acoustic songs. What in the eff is going on?!

If you want to know more about why Earth is in quarantine, look elsewhere. If you want to know the status of my acoustic album, keep reading.

I’m not quite as far with the recordings as I’d like to be. But I’m far enough to be able to say that my hypothesis that once I figured out how to record all the instruments I’ll be using, it would be smooth sailing is looking to be correct. It would be untrue to say I’ve never recorded acoustic guitar, but before these current recording sessions, I’m pretty sure the last time I attempted recording acoustic guitar was literally 20 years ago on a karaoke machine.

Anyway, I’m at the point where I can make some recording guidelines, I think. I’m close to being done with an acoustic version of “Everyone I Know Is an Alcoholic.” The music is comprised of 3 guitar tracks: one rhythm track panned left, a more lead-style track panned right, and then a bass-ish part down the middle. It’s not perfect, but I am somehow satisfied with it. I think it sounds awesome. Note to self: I should do this sort of thing more often. I rarely have more than 1 layer of guitar at a time. Note to you: “Something Awesome This Way Comes” has like, 7 layers of guitars or something.

For vocals, I also have 3 vocal tracks going on, but for the most part, all 3 recordings are pretty similar, so it’s just giving a fuller sound. I’ve double-tracked vocals in the past, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never triple-tracked vocals. It’s pretty tough. I’m not sure if I’ll continue to do 3 rounds of vocals for all these songs, but I’ll try to do at least 2.

And then we have drums. I’m using an evolving, natural-sounding, virtual drum kit. Once I nail down the done of the guitars I want, I think that will influence the sound of the drums. I’m liking how it sounds now, but that may change the more I tweak things. A battle I’m having at the moment is figuring out how close to the original drum patterns these new ones should be. The beats for the verses of “Alcoholic” are way different, but I like them. The other sections of the song follow the original pretty closely. I’m considering doing a version of “Around the World,” and as of writing this, I’ve programmed the drums to be very similar to the original patterns, just slower. I don’t like it at all. More on that another time.

As for other instruments, I bought a pretty nice tambourine and also a harmonica. The tambourine is a simple instrument, obviously, but it took some time to learn how to play it. Even with the drums sounding authentic, I believe having the real tambourine adds some actual realness to the percussion. Funny thing about the harmonica: I got one in C-Major, which apparently is the most common key to have. An idea I had a long time ago, when I first dreamed up this acoustic project, was to buy a harmonica and learn how the play the main riff of “Alcoholic” on it. Well, it turns out this variety of harmonica doesn’t even have 2 notes in the riff. Maybe one in another key would have it. I don’t know how music works, obviously. But don’t think that means you won’t be hearing that harmonica anywhere…

So I think I’ve said here or there that I’m not sure what this acoustic project really is. From the start, I didn’t really know how many songs there would be. I didn’t know if they would be all new versions of my old songs, all new songs, or a combination. Now that I’m about knee-deep in it, I think it will be a mixture of old and new. Ten songs is what I’m shooting for, give or take a couple. If I can get into a flow of recording these songs, I might do more than 10. Or if I find myself getting frustrated doing it, maybe I’ll only end up getting 8 done. I don’t know. We’ll see.

What else is happening? Oh, robbysuave.com moved hosts a while back. My last host was good for years, but definitely went downhill lately. I would be getting all these timeout errors on the back end, and the host would tell me that it was because of things that I needed to take care of. But then when this other host bought them out or whatever and I talked to them, they said it was because I was on a slow server. My god, I spent so many hours trying to optimize my setup before I was told that. But yeah, I haven’t had any issues lately, so that makes me happy.

What’s up with you guys? Let me know in the comments below.

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