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Everything posted by christofloffer

  1. i am honestly a little torn this month. i have one pretty much ready, which is a bit more balanced than my usual stuff and a little bit more lively. then i was messing about and came up with a nicer tune. a bit more of a "sad songs about dogs dying" vein but i do rather like it. so i have decided to wait for a bit and see which one develops best.
  2. ok, so i have curled one out, rolled it in glitter, shoved a sparkler in it and called it a tune. its not very good and its very simplistic. i wish i could have done something better but there you go, it doesnt always work. however i felt like it was worth dumping something in even it only serves to make everyone else's look better. i was sat watching footage of tornado's trying to find some inspiration but it always seemed a little dark. whilst they are amazing and beautiful things its almost always costs people their homes and sometimes their lives, which just made me rather miserable. so i just ran with that and attempted to make something pretty but miserable, and so here we are. https://soundcloud.com/christofloffer/pretty-misery perhaps next month i can do something a bit more lively for a change, my entries thus far have been more than a little steady.
  3. not really the crying type either but a few that tend to knock me into contemplation mode are: will the circle be unbroken - bioshock infinite soundtrack for a dancer - jackson browne (namely because it reminds me of my cousin who was killed in a car accident at 12) are you the one i've been waiting for - nick cave o' children - nick cave if you could read my mind - gordon lightfoot there are others, being a a fan of sad songs, but these seem to stand out. And the band played waltzing matilda is also one of my firm favourites, but it doesnt seem to get me for some reason.
  4. i think i will be skipping this month. i have tried all sorts but it all either doesnt fit, is too cheesy to be tolerable or i cant get the idea to sound like it does in my head. its a bit disappointing really as i like the picture and i thought it would be a good one for me. no point in flogging a dead horse though so i will just enjoy the listening this time round.
  5. [quote name='Skol303' timestamp='1457441579' post='2998556'] Fighting zombies? Please tell me there were zombies too... [/quote] that depends on your definition of zombie. i was there for my brothers birthday party so there were some pretty "dawn of the dead" type scenes when people were waking up the next morning.
  6. have to say i am struggling quite a bit with this one. i did have a fairly cinematic and planned out idea myself but it requires my acoustic and it has started popping for some reason. no idea why but its like the jack is connecting every few seconds and in my experience i really need a line in and a mic to get a good recording from it. so that is that plan out of the window. kind of a shame as it was using an open tuning for half of it and i was really liking the feel of it, perhaps it will surface in another comp where i can finish it properly. my other issue is that i am thinking of something a bit more rocky but i cant help but slip back into my metal head. which is fun as that side of things very rarely gets an airing, but it sounds cheesy because i havent written anything even remotely metal-ish for years. perhaps it will come out that way in the end, or maybe some new inspiration will grab me but for now i have got nothing. doesnt help that i only got home last night after three days stranded in the woods in a broken land rover with an exploded gearbox. absolutely exhausted now.
  7. a friend of mine is having some issues. he has a tablet, a mac (with a fairly old operating system from what i can gather) and a Boss RC-30 looper station. what he originally wanted to do was to use a drum sequencer app on the tablet as an instrument in its own right. the idea was to build up the drum sequence live so that he could drop stuff in and out, then use the looper to sort out some bass (by using an octaver on the guitar, although this is changing now), guitars and keys. giving a kind of live house lounge type of feel. however he has been having some infuriating issues with timing. he has been a musician for 30 odd years and still plays in a band now so its not like he is new to the whole thing, just fairly new to the tech. the biggest issue comes from the app and looper. basically when he tries to loop the drums it gradually wanders out of sync with the looper. so he tried uploading static drum loops into the looper itself and now it has a tiny little pause at the end of each loop. obviously this doesnt work if you loop other bits in time with the original as guitar and keys loops seem to stay in time. i am convinced that its the app he is using. i think that either it runs slightly faster or slower than what it says, but not by a whole beat. as if it is looping at 120.3bpm which obviously would slowly run out over each repetition, or would cause the Boss to correct it by leaving a pause to make it 121bpm in order to sync the track with its own timing. is this likely? i think its a free app so i figure it may have issues. its driving him up the wall though. it means he cant play the sequencer and has had to resign himself to uploading pre-made tracks to the looper. not the end of the world in my eyes but even this doesnt work. its a shame as he likes the app and the touch screen side of it. the alternative is to find a drum sequencer for the mac that will work on older operating systems. i use hydrogen myself and we are going to see if that steps too but it doesnt work on his mac. thought or ideas?
  8. well, it seems that the picture was a good one. it must have struck a chord somehow to spawn such an eclectic mix of styles. its really quite fascinating watching all the different tunes pop up with absolutely no idea what might come out of the speakers. its rather refreshing.
  9. i suppose it is more composing than writing. i very rarely write anything down, especially at the moment. given that recently i have been doing stuff without a specific idea in mind, its not really worth it as i just stick it right into the recording as i go and refine it later. i occasionally put drum rhythms on the back of my hand if i am out and about. its hardly proper notation but i know hydrogen pretty well so i can translate it into a sequence later. other than that i have never really written anything down, unless its weeks between getting to sit down at the computer i can remember stuff pretty accurately. actually doing it is a different story. i suppose that my current style is kind of like a pseudo-jam. most of the other musicians i have known tend to get on my nerves so i never jammed with people. there is one chap that i see fairly regularly, but most of the time i knock up a base and then we mess around and record over to see if we like the idea. as for chords, i have a fairly strange relationship with melody and chords. what usually happens is that the melody evolves, or devolves depending on your point of view, into chords with slight embellishments. i have a thing about single notes, they always sound horrible to my ears when i play them. i can listen someone else in the same room doing it but i hate it myself. i have a compulsive need to fill things out, so i suss the melody that was in my head and then it gets filled out and the original things is lost. sometimes i can kind of deal with it when i am recording but i find it impossible to do do when figuring things out. its very odd i know and i am sure there would be many psychological reasons for it, but thats how it goes. so i guess my melody is more akin to a chord progression. that why i like the idea of working with my friend as he is most definitely a lead man, which leaves me able to take a step back into a more comfortable place. we havent really gotten to writing anything yet though. at the moment i just make drum,bass and backing tracks in various styles for him to lead over. we are very much still experimenting. lyrics are a dark art though. i tried to write stuff a long time ago but it always sounded really stupid when i read it back, or sounded very overly ambiguous. i am hoping that once me and my friend have sorted out our various places and what kind of thing to start with he will bring some lyrics to the table that we can write around. he is significantly more articulate than me and he has the swagger to carry it off.
  10. i would like to refine my writing a bit, so i have been experimenting with different methods. some are definitely easier than others. for years i would think up a tune in my head and figure out the various parts in their entirety, but then i would really struggle to replicate them. then of course the end results would be similar but not quite what i had imagined and i would spend a long time trying to fix it. so at the moment i have broken down all my old tunes into the separate riffs and lines. then i write a tune based on a riff and see if it works. the main thing is that i dont have a plan for these kinds of tune so its always a mystery to me when it comes to how the final product will sound. its great in as much as it ends up making me try new ideas and instruments out, but rather labour intensive. a big problem is that everything i do is instrumental as i cant write lyrics and dont do singing. so i cant even follow the feel of the lyrics i find it best to come up with a melody first, then record it roughly. then i sit with it on loop and play along with the bass to find a line to suit. then i suss out the drums for it and re-record the guitars/keys and bass with the drums. then once i have the base in i can experiment with other stuff. so i end up redoing a lot of stuff over and over for the writing, and then over and over again for the final recording. whenever i try to write around a bass line i can get the drums ok but i always struggle to find a melody to suit. if i do find a reasonable melody then i always struggle to get it to fit. i dont think i have ever managed to write from a drum track either. logic would tell me to have a idea, do the drums, then the bass, then the melody. that would give me a reasonable foundation that is pretty solid, but i find it difficult to work that way. so i was wondering if there is any other ways of writing to try out. i am always looking to find different ways of doing things and different styles. the way i figure it, the more i can learn the more i can pick and choose the best bits.
  11. [quote name='Bilbo' timestamp='1455031700' post='2975209'] I guess it all depends on your definition of a concept album. [/quote] i think that is a great point. at what point would a theme become a concept? i mean, most albums follow some kind of theme to one level or another. would a concept need to follow or tell some kind of story? personally, when i think of concept albums i think of things that tell a story like The Wall. however i dont think of Wish you were here as one. it has a theme but it didnt immediately jump to mind as a concept album. i always think of them as being tunes all based around a single idea and written about it rather tightly around it so that all the tunes play against each other coherently. rather than being a group of songs that dont really follow a pattern but are all loosely based on an idea, for example Murder ballads by the bad seeds. then, if a theme does count as a concept then i would guess that about 80% of my CD's are concept albums and probably another 10% of odd songs are from concept albums so perhaps that is just my favoured kind of music. i think The rise and fall of ziggy stardust is worth a nod too. i know there is a lot of bowie around at the moment but its still valid in my opinion.
  12. ok i have changed mine a bit to try and make it a bit easier on the ear. my mum is not convinced and insists that the original version (now called Slightly Tanned Toes instead) is the better one, but i prefer the new one. i have tried the panning thing to thin things out a bit and chopped a couple of bits to stop it getting muddy. its still the same tune but i think this sounds better on the ear, though it sounds considerably better in Sonar than it does on soundcloud so i am not sure how much of my efforts will come through. either way here it is: https://soundcloud.com/christofloffer/sunburnt-toes2 i will leave it alone now, otherwise i will be altering it forever.
  13. [quote name='Dad3353' timestamp='1454862232' post='2973649'] Just sayin'. (Well, you [i]did [/i]ask..! ) [/quote] indeed i did, thanks. this is all good stuff to learn, its all trial and error for me so a nudge in the right direction here and there is good. i am pretty bad for putting it all in. its usually because i insist on playing a track all the way through without any section replacements or corrections. i think it leaves things sounding a little more human than some tracks where i have edited things to eliminate every mistake but left things sounding a little hollow. of course once i have done a section for the 15th time i get possessive and find it hard to cut stuff back out. but its better have done a whole track to thin down than cut and paste sections. i am slowly getting better at that though. i hadnt considered panning, i just tried it on the guitar. i had recorded it (electro acoustic) with a line in and a mic at the same time. thinking that i could mix in the scratching from the mic and the clean strums from the line in to strike a balance between the two. it sounds a bit better having them on either side though. less muddy, which lets the bass through better. i am going to split the tracks a bit too and bring things in and out a bit, see how that pans out (no pun intended). i get stuck on repetition with these shorter bits. all the tunes i have done before with multiple sections tend to break the time limit. hence trying to make it step up a bit halfway through. it does also tend to sound monotonous because i am not good at lead and nobody on this earth should be subjected to me singing. so i struggle to get things to stand out without sound busy.
  14. well, it looks like i am first in this month, not sure if thats a good thing. [deleted link] i couldnt think of anything at all for diving, so i focused on the pair of feet up in the top left of the pic. i figured that is where i would rather be in that pic so i tried to suss a tune that i would want to listen to whilst laying there. unfortunately i am not very good with cheerful tunes, so i dragged my mother in as a consultant as she is in possession of an incredibly sunny disposition. so thankfully i can share the blame too. it sounds really quite rough in places, which i am not too happy about. but i am still trying to get my head around the EQ in the recording software and trying to level things out a bit. the bass sounds a bit like its recorded in a bathtub. i might get it sorted out before the deadline though, in which case i will replace it. any tips on sorting out the mixing would be appreciated.
  15. maybe rather than a new competition, a new section would be better? something like "the noodle bar" where people can roll around ideas and bounce off each other. no need to worry about skill levels, recording standard or entering a competition. just somewhere that people would be comfortable to put up some ideas and get some feedback. kind of like a jam, but where you dont have people moaning about noise or having to get home soon. if its a competition then i really do think that a criteria would be best as it focuses things. even a broad one like, jazz month or 80's month etc. just picking a solo clean bass track over another with nothing to judge it by would be difficult.
  16. [quote name='Twincam' timestamp='1453941655' post='2964614'] Can I just say with all due respect. This thread really should be for people interested in the idea and to say there interested, so hopefully get something going. And not really for people who don't want to take part or voice there opinions on why and clutter up the thread. If not enough people are interested so be it. I Don't go on the composition challenge thread and say I won't be taking part and what my opinions are on why I won't be and why not many people take part etc. [/quote] no offense but that is a really skewed way to get feedback on something. to condemn or ignore any comments that dont agree with you entirely is pointless. if nobody says why its not their cup of tea then you can never develop an idea enough to build a really strong foundation. you say that you think the use of production is putting people off the competition, which is fair enough and is constructive criticism. i think that has a place, rather than just being "clutter". i'm not trying to be confrontational here but just saying that people should only say nice things and agree is one sided. i think it would be better to allow effects, but not multiple tracks or loops. that way people who write tunes which use wah pedals, distortions and the like can still stick their bit in using what they feel confident with. you would still have a solo bass track but people can do their usual thing where they are confident and comfortable. i would also say that two minutes would be a better measure as it would allow a bit of space to write a building riff without rushing it. would there be a rule on what is usable when recording? a recording on my phone would sound awful so i would still be using either a direct line/mic and recording software if i did enter.
  17. personally, i like it as it is. i would love to see some solo bass stuff too. i think if you can write something that can work as a standalone piece then it is just as valid as any multi instrument/track entry. i probably would be entering though. mainly as i have never recorded any solo instrument and been happy with it. whenever i record something solo it always sounds like senseless noodling or overly complex to me, so i prefer to write things into a tune. i have the utmost respect for those who can pull it off though. i think if a few tracks like that were to start surfacing then others would follow suit. which would just bolster the existing comp rather than isolate it.
  18. well i have been trying a few things out and i think it is half my own inexperience and half my under-par gear. i use a hi-fi system as my computer speakers and, so i use the amp to be able to hear what i am playing whilst still being able to hear the tune. i tried to plug the processor into the stereo but it just made a horrendous noise, so there must be some compatability issue with the cables i have. i also tried to monitor the sound at the processor but i dont have any 1/4 jack headphones and the adapters dont seem to agree with any of the others. some good headphones are on the list but my funds just got decimated and cost me the money i had saved for a new bass so headphones are down on the list now. i did find an equaliser in Sonar but i am not sure how to use it properly, so i am just using trial and error to figure it out. its all in Hz and curves which i have no context for yet so i am just trying something and seeing if i like it or not. i am coming to realise that up until recently i have been recording in a very rudimentary way. fine for sticking song idea together but trying to get nice sounding tunes is a different ball game. i have had to step back a bit and figure out a lot of stuff in more detail. i am frankly starting to regret buying the Boss processor. its fine for guitars if you just want a "close enough" kind of modelling, but my old Zoom GFX-3 eats it for breakfast when it comes to control. if i had known i would have gone onto this stuff more i would have got a usb interface/mixer, for less money. its not too bad but just not as useful as i wanted it to be. i am going to try and mic up the amp and use the Zoom as i can get the tone i want better from that. i want to get a pretty clean tone on recordings, no distortions or things like that. but the bass is largely lost at the moment and lacks a lot of definition. i'm hoping with a bit of practice that i can use that EQ on sonar to cure it as a direct line in makes life much easier than the mic, for me at least.
  19. always had a lot of love for "time" and "rock and roll suicide" myself. though i like most of his stuff, those two are right at the top of the pile for me.
  20. ok, so here it is. i wrote a tune for last month but didnt have the stones to actually post it as i was not happy with some things. in all honesty there are a lot of things i would like to redo on this one, i know there are a few mistakes in there and its a bit muddy, but i am trying to suss out getting better recordings from what i have. hell its recorded with pretty shabby gear, a foul mood and at the end of the day its just 3mins of nothing in particular, but perhaps if i get one out then i will be more inclined to do more on the next one. the one for last month was better in my opinion, if i could have gotten it right. however the pictures this month threw me a bit, didnt have a clue what to do with the butterfly one, so i stuck with the rain thing. [url="https://soundcloud.com/christofloffer/butterfly-hurricane"]https://soundcloud.c...erfly-hurricane[/url]
  21. good to know i am not alone. i am not fussed about sight reading or writing in the classical sense. or even anything like that to be honest, the couple of classical bits i know on the guitar are not correct, but my own version of them. i have no need or want of sheet music. the problem lies in more practical means. for example, i will come up with an interesting bass line, record it and then see if i can match it up with some chords. sometimes this works, but more often i get totally stumped and end up having to change it until i can match it up. or i will be writing with my friend and have to ask him what chords i am playing or what chords will match up. i know most of the open chords but after the 5th fret i am just guessing. on the bass in particular, he will start playing something and i hit random notes until i find the right area to work in. which would be cured if i could remember where things were. worse still is if it start on the bass, and he joins in with me as once he is playing too i dont know where to go. i either have to stop or just let him take over and try to catch up. i will take a look at the markers. i had them once before and just let them fall off in the end as it never matched up. but now that i am trying to get the bass down properly it might make more sense. i think i could make my patterns and movements work fine if i can just get a little further. if someone could say to me "blues - F#" or even just tell what they are changing to and i could just find that position and use my bluesy patterns then that would be fine. so markers may be the best way forward. even if it doesnt stick, maybe i could get the pyrography pen out and burn the positions into the neck. then i can just lean on an aid rather than my memory. i dont think strict theory is vital, but i think knowing where i am is pretty important if i want to play along and write with people. otherwise a jam is never a jam as i would have to learn the songs before turning up, then it becomes a rehearsal.
  22. do you guys think this is possible? i am not dyslexic but i have serious trouble trying learn music theory. i have a grasp of the fundamentals and i can play well enough for my needs. i used to be able to play classical gas at full pace without issue but i couldnt tell you what key it is in. me and a friend have been working together recently and i picked up the bass for it. i am thoroughly enjoying learning to play it properly, and finding all its little uses. it does seem to call for a bit more theory than a guitar though. perhaps its because its because its so important to linking everything together that a slight error is very obvious, but its something i am struggling with. now, i can learn a tab pretty fast and a few hours playing along to the tune and i am happy, but sheet music is voodoo to me. i can play scales fine (not my favourite thing on guitar but i can do it) but i have no idea as to what key i am in until it sounds like a match. to find my place when playing along with someone i have to work my way up the neck until i find the right spot. if you ask me to fret an F for example on a given string i would look at you like a puppy who p****d the bed. what i do learn well is patterns, movement and sound. so i can memorise a scale by ignoring the notes and learning the pattern. then i can associate that with a style, so i have a bluesy pattern, or a spanish pattern. i can also learn little tricks with relative ease as a movement. i can learn some things, but they dont relate to the guitars, for example i know that the root, 3rd and 5th are good harmonics, but i dont know how that matches to a guitar. it doesnt matter how many times i read it, or have it explained to me or shown to me, it just never sticks. its not just guitars, but piano too. all the songs i know are just patterns linked together, not chord progressions, key changes and scales. so now i am at a musical wall that seems insurmountable. all i can do is learn tabs, and write and record my own stuff. playing in bands never works as everyone else gets along so much faster than me or talks about things i dont understand. the friend i am playing with at the moment is being patient but its a big issue as i cannot follow a change unless we have agreed before hand as to when, where and how to do it. so its like having to learn a song before its written. we will get past it eventually i hope but it will be very slow. what seems to happening instead though is that i will write the tune myself and deal with all the rhythm section and just present him with something to lead over. which could be ok but it seems much less of a team effort. i'm sure i am not alone with it, but as yet i have not found any way past it. it just makes playing with others a very stressful experience. i have been told that it sounds like a fairly autistic way of thinking, which does make sense but it doesnt really help.
  23. ok so you may want to roll your eyes, sigh, tut, huff and shrug your shoulders in exasperation with this one. i have been recording stuff for my own amusement for a few years now. up until recently i have not been all that fussed about the finer aspects of it as my gear is very limited, as are my funds, so i just settled into a more basic overall sound. however since picking up the bass properly (and thoroughly enjoying playing and writing with it!) i am finding myself being left wanting for tone. i play away through the amp and i like the sound well enough, deep and low but reasonably defined. however when i try and record it it becomes muddy and poorly defined. its fine for doing house, downtempo and background stuff but i dont like it. i am trying to record things that are some way between deep house and funk. so i want a deep thud out of the bottom end but the short notes to be audible properly. through the amp i can get this but it is not the same sound as goes into the computer. on the computer the shorter runs and notes just kind of blend out or mix together into a vague warbling kind of noise. so i am recording with Sonar LE, Hydrogen drum machine, and a line into the computer via USB cable on my Boss ME-25. i know the effects processor is designed for guitars and it will have its limitations but through the amp its grand for what i am after. the processor basically splits the signal between the computer and the amp when recording. i have the amp set up entirely neutral with everything set to 0 (halfway on the knobs) to try and remove any alterations in sound. i try to keep the processor as clean as possible too, usually just the compressor on. it has no EQ settings and very limited tone control, so that is a problem. i tried to use my old processor (a ZOOM GFX-3 which i adored, but the pedal broke ) as an EQ before the signal hits the Boss, and i can alter the sound a fair bit before the amp doing this. but as i drop the bass some so clear up the tone it introduces hissing which is obviously not very helpful. even then, when recording it makes very little difference and it still sounds excessively deep and muddy. i tried running it through a marshall amp i have before the processor as again it has a lot of control but that made the whole thing either stupidly quiet, excessively loud or distorted. i have no other way of getting the sound into the computer directly and then Sonar has very little effective control that i can find or understand. i can record through a mic (Samson Q1U) but my room is far from idea with acoustics and the house is not quiet so i end up with a lot of background unless i make everyone shut up, which never makes me very popular. there is obviously a few things that would help, but all my spare money at the moment is going towards a better bass. so buying more gear is not really viable right now. its just annoying as i like the sound from the amp just running through the Boss, i just wish i could get it onto a recording. i had a tune i was going to put into last months composition challenge but i scrapped it as i could get the sound right. my apologies for the wall of text there, my i am not great with technical terms and things so its hard to explain well.
  24. my tuppence worth: at the drive-in, quarantined https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOnWgdHo2eY simple but i think very effective. nick cave, stagger lee https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nbe5RERDh4k
  25. thanks for all the advice, links and leads there chaps. i cant go straight out and buy anything anyway. i have a rule about ebay money that it stays separate until things have arrived and feedback is left. that way i know the buyer is happy and things got there in one piece. should only take a week or so but i think its better to err of the side of caution when selling stuff at distance. so its imminent but not immediate. i admit i have been a bit put off second hand instruments thanks to some bad experiences in the past. it makes no sense to tar everything with the same brush though, plus it seems that there are some good ones out there. will have a look in earnest when i have the cash in hand.
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