Friday, December 23, 2011

Other Uses for a De-Esser


Was a bit intrigued seeing a producer run a de-esser on some guitar tracks. After all its name does leave one to assume it is meant to be used on vocals. So, sure that is its primary purpose, but it seems there are loads of other ways to get some use out of such a tool. Instead of de-esser it may just be better to think of it as a 'tamer.' And if there are harsh frequencies u want to control it could be just the trick. It can be especially useful to lessen harsh distorted guitar frequencies in the 3.5-5k range allowing u to get more volume without irritating the ears. Have read of others also claiming to have had success using it on other occasionally harsh sources like cymbals, hi-hats, and percussion, fret squeaks, etc.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Happy Avenue - mp3

Here is a track we just finished up...has a lot going on so it took some time but think it was worth the effort. Happy Avenue by galaxyswan

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Kick Drum Madness

Wuz analyzing some songs and found some tracks that totez rely on the kick drum to move the song forward. A good example is 'Suffocation' by White Ring where dubsteppy busy offbeat patterns play during the verses and then it mutates to a firm four on the floor in the chorus while the rest of the instrumentation stays basically constant. So analogously the more random kick work plays the role of a fragile chord progression, and then the steady kick in the chorus acts as the equivalent of a strong progression. So if ur looking for a good source of inspiration it may be found by giving the kick a larger role in the song construction game than normal while treating the additional instrumentation as a continuous drone.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hooray For Earth - True Loves - Indie Guitar Tab

Feast ur ears on the atmospheric beauty in the swirling heart of this track by Hooray for Earth, and then If ur feeling adventurous grab a guitar and knock off the chords below if u feel like having a go at it.

Performance Note: for the main part play 8th note upbeats a la reggae/ska and the G and A get 3 upbeats while the D and Bm get just the last upbeat

Chords: | G D | A Bm | play this for everything but the bridge

Bridge: This is played by a synthesizer on the album but kick in a chorus or phaser pedal and play the tab below and u should be fine

E|  8     7      5      3      2     8     7     7      5      3
B|  10    8      7      5      3     10    8     7      5      5
G|  10    9      7      5      4     10    9     7      6      5
D|
A|
E|           

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sculptural Musicism

Been digging on the idea lately of working with music the way a scupture would work with stone. In sculpture the object is revealed not by putting things together, but rather by chiseling away at what is already there. One way of doing this with music is to have a kitchen-sink type track layout with tons of tracks and everything playing from the beginning of the song all the way to the end. This is naturally going to sound rubbish when you play it back, but like a sculptor you are now free to remove things until you have something that makes sense to the ear. Another way of applying this idea is for example taking individual tracks like drums and having say the kick, snare, hi-hat, and some textural glitches filling up a couple bars with 16th note hits on each running throughout. Then start randomly or methodically removing hits as you see fit until you get a groove that is really working. This can be good for coming up with patterns you might not think of otherwise.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Moon In My Sky - Galaxy Swan

The Moon In My Sky by galaxyswan Here's a studio version of this nice little tune. Got 2 break in a new acoustic guitar on this one and will probably do another with it b4 the next synthy track.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Moon In My Sky (Acoustic) - Video


Here's a new track done up acoustic-back-porch style should have a
studio version of this song 2 post soon.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ur Gonna C My Baby - New Galaxy Swan mp3 & Review Sonimus Satson Console

Ur Gonna C My Baby by galaxyswan Just finished up a new mp3 so check it out. Mostly a synth-based track with some dubsteppy drums probably do something more guitar oriented next time around. Also, gave Sonimus Satson Console Emulation a rip on this one. Is subtle almost unnoticeable on individual tracks but once u add it 2 all the busses and channels it brings out nice punch and clarity. Posted a snippet w/ b4 and after so u can listen and c its effect on a track. C My Baby Satson by galaxyswan C My Baby Satson Bypassed by galaxyswan

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Songwriting Tip - Tempo Based Phrasing


Had a go at a song and it seemed to be dragging a bit in the verses. The problem turned out to be a slow tempo combined with lengthy vocal phrases. Once the single phrase was chopped up into 2 smaller more rhythmic phrases, suddenly the song became much more powerful. It's not always the case, but often u will find that slow tempos benefit more from shorter phrases and faster tempos from longer phrases. This way they can counterbalance each other and play yin to the others yang. So, if a song is not completely clicking for u check to see if this is where the problem stems because it may be an easy fix.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Logic 9 MIDI Editing Tip


This is something 4 the other Logic users that can help speed up ur flow when editing MIDI with the piano roll editor. If what u want is a techy robotic feel giving the notes identical velocities and lengths may be desirable. U can accomplish this quickly by selecting the appropriate notes and then while holding both the option and shift keys change the length of one of the notes. All of the other selected notes will now conform to this precise length, as well. Next, use the velocity tool and change the velocity of one of the notes using the same option/shift keys and all the notes will strike at the same velocity. It's sort of the opposite of humanizing, but it could be just the effect u r looking 4.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Songwriting Tip - Harmonic Structures

Writing a few songs right now and this form occurs in the verse of one of them. It is an 8 bar harmonic structure that could be labeled as such: a,b,c,c a,b,d,c. What this means is whatever chord u play for the 1st bar you should also play for the 5th bar. Similarly, whatever chord occurs in the second bar gets played again in the 6th bar. For the 3rd and 4th bars u want a single chord to last for both bars. During the 7th bar u should play a chord that has not yet been heard within the progression. And finally, in the 8th bar the chord that filled bars 3 and 4 should return. Here are a few examples of what this structure looks like in practice:

| I | V | IV | IV | I | V | bIII | IV

| V | IV | I | I | V | IV | ii | I |

| I | bVII | IV | IV | I | bVII | bIII | IV |

This structure is very effective for verse sections, but u can try it in other song sections if u prefer. So, give it a go and see where it leads u.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wild Flag - Future Crimes - Indie Tab


Heard this song the other day and was totz digging it, so here's a little tab so u can jam along 2 it:
rhy. guitar

E|
B|
G|3 5 7 5 (partial chords implying Gm, F, Bb, F )
D|5 7 8 7 
A|
E|

lead gtr

E|
B|                6 6    6 6
G|7 7 5 5 7 7 5 5    7 7     5 5 (play 4x)
D|
A|
E|

E|
B|    6   6   
G|7 7 7 7 5 5 (play 2x)
D|
A|
E|

E|
B|6 6 8 8 6       6   6   6 6 8 8         6 6 
G|        5 5 7 7 7 7 5 5         5 5 7 7     7 7 5 5 /7 
D|                                       (/ denotes slide down)
A|
E|
So these parts pretty much repeat throughout the song so play each as needed.

Usually something 2 b learned from good songs and this is no exception. This song demonstrates the power in having a couple of simple parts that compliment each other nicely and form a cohesive unit. One is nice and steady while the other part provides the motion and fills out the chords a bit. Also of note is how both parts r panned 2 opposite speakers which is a good technique when u have a couple of distinct guitar parts.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Songwriting Tip - Double Rhyme Variation


On the latest track 'Before the Aliens Leave' a technique was used which may b of some benefit if u aren't familiar with it. It's sort of a variation on a 'double-rhyme' which is simply a rhyme where the last 2 syllables rhyme like taking/breaking instead of the typical single last syllable rhyme. In the song something similar was done but the double aspect was created thrU a differnet process. Here is the line in question to make things more apparent (rhymes r underlined 4 clarity):

Before the Aliens Leave
I'll get ya 2 believe me
Before the world becomes undone
And the next one's begun

So 2 summarize on ur second line u simply end with two words in a row that rhyme with the last word of the first line, rather than rhyming only one word. This provides some extra emphasis on the rhyme itself and can bring something unexpected 2 the listener since they r probably not expecting two rhyming words in rapid-fire succession.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Before The Aliens Leave - Galaxy Swan mp3


Finished a new track its like a lo-fi electro bedroom pop thing. Thru the new Waves MPX tape sat plug on it and was really pleased with it especially 4 the intro price. Posted a short clip of the song without the tape emu so u can c how it might affect whatever u may have programmed n2 the laptoppy. Before the Aliens Leave MPX by galaxyswan Before the Aliens Leave No Waves MPX by galaxyswan

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bass Loop - C 132bpm


Here is a little Moog Little Phatty bass loop for u 2 fool around with if u want. It starts off with a real fizzy cutting sound and then looped it again a bit cleaner. Bass-C-132bpm by galaxyswan

Monday, May 16, 2011

Songwriting Tip - Tag at the End of Rhyme

Here's a little lyric writing technique that can add a bit of magic if things become stale: simply add an extra word after the rhyming word at the end of the second line. This sort of tricks the brain because it anticipates the line ending on the rhyming word and when it doesn't u get a little "a-ha" moment. Pretty simple, but effective in practice. Because it does draw some attention 2 itself u don't want to be zealous with the technique, but used sparingly it's a staple of many great songwriters. Here's a random thrown 2gether line in case u need 2 c an example.

When it's all too late and the glasses start to clink
I've got too much time to think about

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Peter Bjorn and John - Breaker, Breaker - Indie Tab & Lesson

This song is quite a bit less dark than the song these guys are most known 4 'Young Folks' but give it a listen and experience the brighter side of their songwriting sensibilities.
* note '| |' represents 1 bar

Intro 8 bars of A

Verse |A D|D|A|A|A F#m|D E|A|A|


Chorus |Bm|D|A|A|
E|
B|--10---      *lick that introduces second verse
G|9--
D|
A|
E|

E|9--9--7-7-7-7-5-5
B|10-10-9-9-9-9-7-5   *riff that leads into second chorus   
G|
D|
A|
E|

E|
B|-----7--10 
G|--7--           *lead riff over chorus 
D|9-
A|
E|
From a songwriting standpoint something u can take away from this is the concept of using 4 bar phrazes consisting of 2 bars musical motion followed by 2 bars at rest on the tonic. They use variation on the first 2 bars throughout the song both on the chorus and verse while consistently landing on the 'A' chord during the last 2 bars. This type structure works especially well if u want something that has a garage or punk type feel.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Galaxy Swan - The Reaper.mp3 - Review CamelSpace

The Reaper by galaxyswan

New song available 43v3r. Used the CamelSpace plugin extensively on this track & was extremely pleased w/ it. It's like a gate/filter/panner/delay/verb thingy that can be used 2 transform sounds dramatically. U can hear it in action on the lead vocals giving a flanging delay sound that was quite nice and the little outro needed a little something of interest so threw it on the guitars and it worked some wonder there as well. Very creative tool 2 have in ur arsenal if dance/pop production is on the agenda and reasonably priced as well.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Technique - Amp Simulator on Drums

Sort of came up with this thing unintentionally, but it sounded good so they probably call this a happy accident. Was working on a new song and noticed after a couple of hours that the drum loop was on a track that still had a guitar sim on it; TH2 2 be exact. Bypassed the plug to see what was going on and it sounded subjectively much worse without the amp. Uploaded a file so u can see 4 urself. The first half of the loop is with the plug-in and the second half is bypassed. So experiment with these sims on drum loops or drum buss and it may be just the ticket 2 the sound ur after. Ampdrumbuss by galaxyswan

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Reading Rainbow - Wasting Time - Chords and Lesson

Check out 'Wasting Time' by Reading Rainbow it's a real-good feel-good song. If u want 2 strum the guitar a couple of times along w/ it here's the chords:

Verse |C|C|G|G|F|Bb| x 2 (after the second repeat play 2 bars of 'C' which serves as a lead in for the change)

Chorus|F|Am|C|C| x 4 (Wasting Time Part)

Bridge |C|C|F|F|G|G|F|F|

Okay couple of quick things abt this track. They do a little deceptive thing on the verses where it feels like they are going 2 give u an 8 bar progression but since bars 7-8 end on the 'C' chord which is the same as the chord on the opening 2 bars they use it much like a pivot to jump ahead right into a repeat of the verse early. This is a good one 2 add 2 ur bag of tricks. Another thing 2 take note is how they end the song with repeats of the bridge rather than the more traditional approach of ending with repeats of the chorus. These small jabs of unexpected direction allow the song to remain interesting even though they keep things really simple in other ways.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rhythm Guitar Lesson - Using the 4th

When u have a guitar that's strumming a long to big, fat open chords a nice way 2 build up the arrangement is by having a guitar play some double stops and single note riffs alongside the chordal material. A note that works really well here is the fourth of whatever chord is playing. It provides nice harmonic color but not so much that it starts to throw off the melodies, at least most of the time. If u do notice it drawing yr attention away from the vocal or something more important then it would be wise 2 simplify things. Here is an example riff in Em @ 160bpm that uses the fourth 'A' to get some mojo. Strum an Em chord alongside it and see how it fills things out nicely. Riff - Em 160bpm by galaxyswan

Friday, April 8, 2011

Songwriting Tip - Extended Chorus

Often when u reach the end of a song a single run through the chorus will cause the song 2 feel like it ends too abruptly. This is often overcome by making the final chorus longer than the ones which have proceeded it. However, on occasion the cure is worse than the disease because if no additional information is presented as this longer chorus unfolds listeners can become bored. This issue presented itself on the song 'Before We Both Break' which is available here . And the workaround served 2 enhance the finished product and u may find it usable on yr own songs if u r so inclined. The typical progression during this end chorus is |F|F7|Bb|C Bb Am Ab Gm| as the chorus continues the momentum is maintained or even increased by dropping the third bar completely leaving u with a repeating three bar progression. Now with the chorus cycling in 3 rather than 4 bars it feels as if it is gaining steam and energy as it approaches the end rather than sputtering out. It didn't serve the purposes of this song but u could even experiment with having the repeats decrease by one measure each run thru. so u would play the full 4 bars, then 3 bar chorus, then 2 bars, and then one bar and end after that. This could make the songs energy feel like it's abt 2 go nuclear. And another suggestion 2 consider would be stick with 3 bars during the chorus extension but change which bar u drop. So in the example above u could drop the 3rd bar the first time thru, and then bring it back 4 the next run but lose the 2nd bar instead and so on. The important thing 2 remember is don't take it 4 granted that a simple extra chorus tagged on is enuff to keep a listeners attention and u should consider options 4 keeping the interest level all the way up 2 the final chord.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Gauntlet Hair - Our Scenery Indie Tab

Had a couple of requests 4 more guantlet hair tabs so here's another song by these guys. Didn't get 2 spend a lot of time on this cuz really busy on other stuff right now so it's not perfect but should get u pretty close. Listen to the examples for timing cuz the notes in the tabs are played as rhythm parts just didn't feel like writing each hit down. Played the first couple riffs @ half speed to start with before adding some tempo and the third one is held out strums so no slower version 4 that.
riff 1 This is the muted part that plays 4 most of the song
E|
B|
G|   8 10
D|10 8 10 
A|10
E|
    Riff1 Scenery by galaxyswan 
riff2 second guitar part that plays through much of the song.

E|
B|
G|
D|15 13 11 10
A|13 11 9  8
E|
    Riff2 Scenery by galaxyswan 
riff 3 This is the guitar part part for the end section.

E|
B|9 13 16
G|8 12 15
D|6 10 13
A|
E|   
Riff3 Scenery by galaxyswan

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro Headphones Review





Killed a pair of cheap phones recently, so popped out 2 pick up a nice pair and purchased these DT 770 cans. It came down as a choice between these and the Sennheiser HD 380 model.
The Senns seemed a bit more balanced of the two but these had more low energy and a little more of an exciting sound which
could be helpful for getting good takes 4 tracking. They are super comfy out of the box with the soft fabric around the ears but b 4warned the padding on top band is thin and where it meets your head will get achy after a couple hours. So, abt perfect 4 short uses but 4 long listening or mixing sessions, not so much. After listening 2 lots of stuff thru them and comparing w/ other speakers they are definitely colored in the low end and cymbals and hi-hat land is pushed, also. Midrange, however, seems relatively smooth and flat. Pretty revealing 4 doing audio editing heard some glitches I hadn't noticed b4 so good in that department. There was a little bleed n2 the mic when recording vocals but not too bad. All in all, really great comfy cans 4 doing tracking and short editing/listening sessions. Going to be saving up 4 a pair of sennheiser HD 650 though 4 late night mixing because these are just a bit too colored to trust w/ an eq.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Eq and Compression - Which Order?


Been doing some research 2 determine what preference ppl have concerning the order you should place comp/eq on your channel strip. Of course, each situation is unique so there is no setup that works every time. However, a good starting point 4 many situations is to place the eq first when u are cutting frequencies; that way the frequencies you don't like in the first place aren't making the compressor work harder than necessary. Then if there is a frequency that needs boosting you can boost it after so u can be sure the boost is audible and not just getting smashed n 2 compression. So 4 ex. say you want to remove rumble from a vocal and add a little presence. U can put an eq on with high pass set to 100Hz then yr compression and finally another eq after with a little boost in the 3-5kHz area. Should work more times than not, but trust yr ears and if it sound right it is right if not keep experimenting till yr happy w/ it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Guitar Lesson - Half step and Whole Step Bends


A Technique That is really clever 4 guitar solos/riffs is 2 bend up a half step and then follow with a whole step bend. The half step bend and even quarter step bends get overlooked sometimes in favor of the tinnitus-inducing larger interval bends but they really add a lot of color when used appropriately. Here is an example riff thrown 2gether with softube's vintage amp room plugin. Note: b = whole step bend b* = 1/2 step bend s= slide. Just listen to the file for timing 1 time thru is done slowly and once with some tempo. Notice how the half and whole step bends combine 4 some nice flavor. 1/2 n2 whole step bends by galaxyswan


E| 15 12 14b*14 11
B|14b*14 15b15 12 12 12 13s12
G| 14 11b*11 12s14
D|
A|
E|

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Songwriting Tip - 10 bar Verse


The Strokes have a new album coming out and was listening to one of the songs from their glory days 'Last Night' and noticed the verses have an unusual bar count. They do 4 bars of 'C' 2 bars of 'Dm' and 2 bars of 'G.' Normally, this is where u would either repeat the section or move on to a different section but they threw on a couple of extra measures: a bar of 'Em' and a bar of 'Dm' making for a 10 bar progression. This isn't a trick that u want to do on every song but it's nice to have in yr arsenal. So if u r a songwriter try coming up with something that follows this form and maybe something good will come out of it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bandwidth Ducking Tip


Was having trouble getting a shaker 2 not get swallowed up by hte hi-hats n a busy mix and eq was not doing hte trick. So started researching and found this selective bandwidth ducking technique on a logic pro help forum from fader8 that saved hte day. Put a send on hte shaker with unity gain so that it went 2 a bus (volume is all the way down on hte bus so u can't hear n e shaker). Then set up two more busses and set hte output of hte overhead drums 2 go 2 both of them. 1 of hte busses has nothing on it and the other has a linear phase eq with bandpass around hte frequencies that will disappear (so hte shaker can stick out n this frequency pocket) followed by a noise gate and lastly a gain plugin. Set hte sidechain of hte noisegate 2 b hte bus that hte shaker was sent 2 and hit invert phase button on the gain plugin. So what happens is when the shaker isn't playing the overheads play normally thru hte bus with nothing on it (because hte other bus it is being output 2 has a noisegate on it with sidechain set 2 the shaker which is not yet playing) until the shaker hits. Then this triggers the sidechain of the second overhead bus so sound comes out but since it's phase reversed and the eq is only allowing a small frequency range thru this frequency range is ducked on the overheads 4 only hte time that hte shaker is playing. it is more subtle than eq because as soon as hte shaker dies down overheads r again playing at hte full frequency spectrum. Here is a link to hte original post for n e additional clarification u might need http://logicprohelp.com/viewtopic.php?t=18921

Monday, February 28, 2011

Stellar CM-6 Tube Mic - Review


Recieved a Stellar CM-6 tube mic a few weeks ago and had a chance 2 give it a go. It's inspired by but not a clone of the Neumann U47. So if yr looking for mic that faithfully reproduces that sound it may not be exactly right 4 u. But if u don't care abt how close it is 2 some other mic and just view it as its own thing chances r u will be extremely pleased 2 own 1. Very smooth and neutral sounding with a top end that avoids being dull but doesn't veer into harsh and sibilant territory. And another thing is it takes eq beautifully. Ran it against 3 other mics in a shootout for lead vocal duties on a song and it won hands down. Ebay is abt the only place 2 find them and if u find it hit the buy it now because they seem 2 only be available sporadically and will sell out the day they r listed. Probably 1 of the best mic purchases going from a dollar/value standpoint as it can easily compete w/ mics 3 or 4 times the $350 price tag. So far only had a chance to use it on lead vocals 4 the song 'Signs' so give that a listen if u want 2 hear it n action. It will definitely b getting a lot of use around here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Indie Tab Gauntlet Hair - I Was Thinking...


Heard a couple of songs from the band Gauntlet Hair and was really taken with them. Here is a guitar tab for the reverb lathered masterpiece 'I Was Thinking.'


Verse: *note play chika-chika 16th note funk strums between actual
notes. (/ denotes slide)(h denotes hammer-on)

E|6/13 13 6/13 13 13h15 6/13 13 6666 6/13 13 13h15
B|8/15 15 8/15 15 15 8/15 15 8888 8/15 15 15
G|
D|
A|
E|

repeat this riff until change

B Section:
strum the double stops indicated for the amount of time in
parentheses.
E|
B|8 (2 bars) 4 (2 beats)11 (2 beats)4 (2 beats)11 (2 beats)
G|7 5 12 5 12
D|
A|
E|

Always try 2 take something away u can use when learning a new song.
A good thing u can take from this one is funk style strumming of
two-note chords while dropping the first 16th note as they do in
the chorus. U can then play with this rhythm over different chords
and mix and match it with other rhythms to good effect. Here's an
example of it in practice.
16th funk strum drop the 1 by galaxyswan

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Simplifying Musical Changes


Just a little tip here some may find useful. When u r writing a song the number of choices available at any given moment can seem overwhelming. One good way to circumvent this information overload is by viewing the potential choices from a perspective that simplifies them. While it may seem like you have a lot of different options, on a certain level only 2 chord changes can possibly occur: predictable or unpredictable. Simply being consciously aware of how many predictable and unpredictable chords u r using can greatly increase the likelihood that yr song stays on track. Ideally, u want a mix of both. The predictable to bring the listener in with something they r familiar w/ and the unpredictable 2 keep them from becoming bored. So say u have a progression like C/F/Am/G/Em/F/C/G7. These are all predictable chords in the key of C and it's a good idea if u need another section 2 carefully consider adding some spice with an unpredictable chord like Bb or A7, or some other chord that's not entirely diatonic to C. There is no law that u have 2 take the song down one of those sidestreets, but the more predictable the song is the more weight u should give to the idea of venturing n2 more murky waters.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Galaxy Swan - Signs

Signs by galaxyswan Took a trip with Kubla Kahn 2 Xanadu and all we got was this lousy 50|\|9. Cheers.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Complex Rhyming Schemes

Almost finished with a new song called "5ig|\|5." Lyrics seem somewhat decent.

Sweetly swaying in the breeze
of dreams and memories
we swore to never love in vain

Long ago before
We landed at earth's door
We planned a private rendevous

Somehow I knew that you would not recall
After we took the fall and all
my tears would burn and stain

Now I don't want to follow signs
Or read between the lines
cause premonitions are too vague


A big reason the lyrics have a nice flow is hte rhyme structure. Here it is 4 yr perusal: aab ccd ddeeeb(* the dd r internal rhymes integral 2 hte rhyme scheme, there is also an extra e internal rhyme not as important but fit it n if u can)fffb

might seem a bit confusing so here r the words matched 2 hte 1etters
a:breeze memories
b:vain stain vague
c:before door
d:rendevous knew you
e:recall fall all
f:I signs lines

hte rhyme scheme helped a lot on this song, so give it a go if u dabble n the dark arts of songcrafting and maybe u'll shape it n2 something u like.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Layering Reverbs - Technique

Have been writing songs long enough to develop respectable skills but not producing or mixing for very long, so always searching high and low 4 techniques other mixers and producers graciously share that can help 2 improve song quality. This is one recently stumbled upon that u probably have used b4 but if not give it a go and c if it works 4 u. Set up a vocal track with 3 sends on it to 3 aux busses. Then set up yr favorite reverb on each aux as an insert. Makes sure the reverb signal is 100% wet. On the first aux set the reverb 2 have a short decay, on the second a little longer call it a medium decay time, and on the last buss use an even longer decay time. Now by working the faders on yr aux busses u can have a good deal more control over the character of the reverb than if u just had the vocals feeding a single verb. U could also do variations of this idea such as just the short and long verb or adding a fourth extra long verb, endless possibilities basically.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Puro Instinct - Stilyagi - Tab & Chords


Verse Tab:
E| 7 7 7
B|
G|7 h 9 7 9 7 9 7 9 7 h 9 *h denotes hammer-on
D|
E|

Pre-Chorus:
E| 12 12 12
B|
G|12 h 14 12 14 12 14 12 14 12 h 14
D|
A|
E|

Chorus Chords:
|C G|F Am|G|C G|

Solo Chords:
|Em|Em|D|D| x 2
|Em|G|C|D|

Bridge Chords:
|Em|G|C|D|

Now 4 a lesson on symmetry based on this song. As we can

see from our tab hte verse arpeggio begins and ends with hte

same two notes. This isn't something that is "necessary" 4 hte

song 2 function, but it does provide an inner beauty 2 the lines

that may not exist otherwise. The ladies n this band further hammer

this point home when they continue this motif n hte chorus.

As u can c, it begins w/ 2 beats of the "C" chord and 2 beats of

the "G" chord and ends with the same. This is an important concept

2 familiarize yourself with if u enjoy making music since u will

come across it often and it can help u sculpt an aesthetically

pleasing sound.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Toro Y Moi - Still Sound Tab & Chords

Toro Y Moi has an album coming out soon liking hte feel of it so f4r.Here's the main bass riff that repeats w/ slight variations 4 most of hte song:

G|
D|
A| /10 *slide down
E|8 86 44 xx 6 88 86 44

4 the verse there r some very sparse root/5th guitar hits
that go along with hte bass riff revealing hte chords Cm, Ab, &Bb.
He also likes 2 play a couple of quick B6 chord strums on hte last
eight-note b4 hte riff repeats.

Section Change
"It was a finer life..." 8 bars of Bb
"alone..." |Cm|Cm|Fm|Eb|

Main riff 4 next 16 bars

"It was a finer life..." This time only 4 bars of Bb
"Cuz I don't..." |Cm|Cm|Fm|Bb| x 2

Musical Bridge |Fm|Fm|Ab|Bb| x 2
oooh...|Fm|Fm|Bb|Bb| until main riff resumes.

Now 4 a quick lesson. The coolest part of the song is how on hte
second time he plays hte Bb change it shortens to 4 bars and brings
us 2 the Cm sooner. This provides forward motion in a way that is
strangely both subtle and dramatic. This is a sleight of hand that
any songwriter can use to spice up an arrangement if it begins
2 feel stale and predictable.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fever Ray - Seven - Tabs Chord & Lesson

Starts off with just the following riff for the verses

E|
B|
G|
D|3 3
A| 5 3 5 5 3 5 3 3
E| 5 3 5 5 3 5

E|
B|
G| 3
D|5 5 3 3
A| 5 5 3 5 3 3
E| 5

The chords for the verse r only implied by the riff, but here they r:

( "| |" denotes one measure)

Verse: |Dm|Dm|Am|Am|Gm|Gm|Dm|Gm CF| *note the C and F chords are quick hits on the last

couple of notes acting as a turnaround

In the B section keys make the harmonic progression more clearly defined, it is:

Chorus: |Gm|Gm|F|F|Cm|Cm|Bb|Bb|
|F|F|Eb|Eb|Bb|Bb|F|F|

Okay so 2 get up under the hood of the song it seems like a harmonic change occuring
every two bars is an important theme. There is that little turnaround on the verse which
breaks it up a little, but not much. For the "B" section this harmonic rhythm
somewhat surprisingly continues. An easy way to add energy to the song and get some
lift would have been 2 move toward changes every measure or so, but she chose
differently. She instead uses 2 other tricks of the trade to keep the song from
stalling out. Firstly, she changes key, and this provides some movement that the
song is calling 4. Secondly, she changes the length of the harmonic phrase from 8
bars to 16 bars. After it reaches the 1st Bb in this section yr ear is
subliminally expecting it to move back to the Gm and cycle the progression again but
instead she takes a zig when you are expecting a zag and composes a new 8 bar movement
2 end the section. If you listen to the song a few times you'll feel a nice warm push
when the song moves to that "F" chord and this is why. So, 2 summarize there r multitudes
of ways 4 adding variety 2 yr songs and sometimes it pays to pursue the less obvious ones.
If you have a simple three chord progression 2 jam on u may feel like u need to throw some
different chords in there for variety, but this is not necessarily the case u can play
those same three chords till the strings fall off but just do a little digging and find
other ways 2 keep the listeners interest.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ariel Pink - Round and Round Lesson #2

More with our in depth look @ this Ariel Pink number. The first bridge section consists of the following chords: D F#m Bm and C#m. The more straightforward way of viewing it is as being in the F#m(i) key which makes the other chords D(VI) Bm (iv) C#m (v). This does work theoretically but sometimes theory and how yr mind interprets what u hear r 2 different things. This section seems on some esoteric subliminal level 2 consist of an invisible "A" chord. An invisible chord exists as a chord u somehow sense belonging 2 a progression even if it is never played just by the relationship that exists between the chords that are played. This can set up an expectation that this chord will make an appearance eventually and when it occurs all that built up tension is released dramatically. So viewing the progression in this light the chords serve the following function F#m(III) D(IV) Bm(ii) C#m (iii). The only thing missing is that invisible "A" chord and when it emerges in the chorus it really jumps out of the speakers @ u. Another example would be a progression that goes Dm/G/Em/F if a song with this progression ever moves solidly to a "C" chord u have the perfect setup for a powerful chorus. So the next time yr writing a song and at a loss 4 where a change should take u think about which missing chord looks like it could potentially b a part of that progression and try moving toward it.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Focus and Priority in Songwriting

These are the basic elements of songcraftiness: melody, harmony, rhythym, lyrics, structure (also perhaps tempo variance and dynamic variance but irrelevant for modern music since they have been all but eradicated). When sum 1 is attempting to shape these elements logically n 2 what we call a song it is done with the understanding that they should have a heirarchical relation 2 each other. Priority, not always, but generally is based on the genre of music. e.g. folk music typically places lyrics at a higher priority than dance music where the rhythym is usually more important. 2 ignore this will be a detriment to n e musical composition. If u disagree try writing a song where the lyrics are challenging and complex; the melody intricate with a wide note span; the harmony rich and full of harmonic surprises; the rhythym syncopated and driving; and the structure takes many twists and turns. U will quickly realize ur song sux. 2 avoid this disaster decide b4 or as yr writing a song what element is most important, second in importance, etc. and sculpt the song so each element understands it's role and fulfills it. Otherwise u will get the musical equivalent of a room full of voices shouting @ the top of their lungs 4 the listeners attention simultaneously and human attention span is limited so this is not desirable.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ariel Pink Round and Round Lesson #1

Tried putting this 2gether but is more info than a single lesson can cover, so breaking it up like Lykke Li. First thing 2 note is how the title is worked n2 the music. U c this n the intro chords which indeed go round and round in an interesting kind of way. This theme continues 4 the verse as the riff doesn't move anywhere harmonically just keeps cycling between the same few notes like on a merry-go-round. He does it again brilliantly when it's chorus time he hits the word "hold" on a held upbeat. If u imagine ne other word n that spot u can feel the drama that this specific word choice provides. Try singing it while changing the word to come on instead of hold on and the difference is obvious. Other more overdone examples of this technique include having the music stop when the lyric has the word "stop" or "quit" and singing high notes on a word like "up." Basically the idea is 2 analyze your lyric and musical choices and make sure there is some synergy involved. Also this is the kind of spice that a little goes a long way overdo it and it will hurt yr songs more than u help. On the next part we'll look at the wonderous world of the invisible chord.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ariel Pink - Round and Round Tab & Chords


Feel like this was the best song of 2k10 and couldn't find a tab anywhere so here it is:

  Intro: nah, nah... F#m/C#m/E(stabs) 
nah, nah... C#m/F#m/E (stabs)

C#m
E|
B|
G| Main Riff
D|
A|9 11 7 9 11 7 4
E|
change
You (D) play (C#m) air guitar (Bm) for a band (F#m)
and I (Bm) I will break (F#m)eardrums (Bm)in the back (F#m)
and I'll (Bm) back you up (Fm) as your front (Bm) man (F#m)

E|7 10
B| 10 (lead gtr. over change)
G|
D|
A|
E|
B Chord
E| 7 7 7 9
B|9 9 7 9 9 9 9 9 (phone ringing section)
G|8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
D|
A|
E|

Now that sounds.. (B chord with some G# and A notes thrown in)

Chorus
Hold (E) on (A) I'm (E) coming (B) (progression repeats)

Next section (lady....)
Chords: E/B/A/C#m/C#m/B

E|
B|9 9 7 7 5 5 5 9 7 (played with a slide feel)
G| 8 6 4 6 6 4 6 8
D| 6
A|
E|

(E)sentimental (C#m)heartbreaking (B)everythings my fault

E|16 17 14 16 12 14 9 11(note: use hammer-ons)
B| 12
G|
D| (lead before last chorus)
A|
E|

finally, last chorus same as before and make sure you
time the E chords right on the chorus since they act
as more of a passing chord. Will give a proper
songwriting lesson on this one soon since there is so
much interesting material here, so keep an eye out.