Working on new tracks is always difficult at first. Finding the spark that spurs you on to produce more is dependent on mood, time available and what’s going on in your life. And so, though I’ve got time (plenty of it at the moment), the other two factors seem to be affecting my output.
And so I’ve returned to some older tracks to reinterpret them in the hope that they’ll light a fire under my sorry ass. The tracks I did with Pixieguts which formed the album, ‘Pixiegraf‘, are good tracks, but there are areas of the production which I think need more work…..the bass sounds thin and (apart from my poor bass playing technique) isn’t punchy enough. This has been helped, though, by my new effects unit…I can now add proper compression, etc instead of having to make do with the Fusion’s effects.
Also, elements of the instrumentation seem to swamp Marie’s vocals. So, instead of trying to recreate the tracks, I’ve started from scratch, building a new track around her vocals. They’re not so much a remix, as a re-record.
Anyway, I’ve been a bit more sparse with the arrangements and pushed Marie’s vocals more upfront. The improvement is immense, I feel.
A few vintage synth sounds and less dense effects have given the voice more room to breath. In some ways I’ve taken a step back to my older tracks where I had nothing more than an old battered PC with an Awe64 soundcard. I was limited to simple effects like room reverb and chorus, and my sounds were all meticulously constructed out of samples and simple waveforms to approximate old skool synths.
Don’t get me wrong, but sometimes, the more kit you own, the less easy it is to work. My Alesis Fusion is a great keyboard which does everything pretty well. Its a great sampler, and a superb synth and sequencer. The HD recording function is OK too. But sometimes, it sounds too slick, and it gives you way too many options, when sometimes the best option is the first one you happen upon.
And why sit for hours creating great original sounds, when there are thousands loaded as presets?
One thing I have done is load all those old Soundfonts into the fusion, so now I have all the old original sounds I had on my soundcard.
Anyway….this was a rumination on…er….something. Not sure what though!
When the new tracks come online, please check them out here .
Also, Marie’s own albums contain the originals of these tracks, plus her collaborations with other musicians. That is here.