I hired a gentleman from fiverr.com to make a quick video for my instrumental tune “Earth Mother Divine”.
I hired a gentleman from fiverr.com to make a quick video for my instrumental tune “Earth Mother Divine”.
Things are moving along relatively well with work on my latest album “Space People”. I just released another instrumental, guitar based tune called “The Returner” inspired by the Annunaki (the nice ones – not the “A” -holes). There is a listenable copy here http://www.reverbnation.com/kevinatwood.
There are two new tunes in the oven. One is almost done will be ready to mix hopefully this weekend. It’s called “Gold for the Gods” (also inspired by the Annunaki). It’s like three songs in one and is it’s fairly mammoth chunk of music. Actually I’m thinking of cutting out a bit of the middle section. Right now it’s about 5 minutes long, but all the tracks are done (which includes 3 E-bow tracks at end of the tune).
The other tune that is currently in the works is based on a some music ideas I had a few years back and is its finally reaching fruition. This one is called “In the Garden Green” (at least that’s the working title for now). I have the arrangement all laid out based on the drum tracks which are pretty outstanding (if I do say so myself). If I have any juice left over from “Gold for the Gods” on the weekend, I’ll start chipping away at it and record some more tracks for that tune.
Although there are some decent “scratch” tracks in place, I feel compelled to re-record all the guitar parts and add some new ones. This tune is also another opportunity to (as one person commented) “… for me to pretend that I’m Chris Squire”.
For the record I don’t think I “pretend” to be anyone. Back when I was in my 20’s lots of bands, musicians and composers influenced and inspired me. And to this day (some 30 years later) I still have some semblance of respect and reverence for what they have accomplished in their various careers. But it’s not like I’m daunting a homemade butterfly cape before I can sit down expectorate a bass line with my 4003.
Well it’s been a long time since my last post…
My day gig has kept me pretty busy, however I did manage to find the time and energy to get one tune close to being finished. I hope to polish it off this weekend.
So what’s been happening since my last post? Well I resurrected my old Mackie 32 channel mixer to use it as a preamp/switcher for some of my legacy gear to interface with my Duet D/A interface on my computer. My intention is to set up some of my old gear and integrate it with my new (relatively speaking) new stuff. I’ve got an old Toshiba laptop setup with Sound Diver to work with my POD 2.0 and the rest of my old gear. Eventually what I want to do is have two MIDI sub networks and have them function together. I’ve got other priorities right now so that project is on the back burner for now.
I just finished going through my entire Zebra 2 sound library and separated the wheat from the chaff. I plan on doing this for all my soft synth sound libraries. It will take some time but it will be worth it. It’s one of those things I work on when I don’t have the energy to create tracks but enough energy to click a mouse. (There are also some times when I don’t even want to be anywhere close to a computer – especially after being on one for 12 hours).
Back in the day when I had two rack-mount synth modules, memorizing what sounds where was relatively easy. Now with soft synths there thousands of patches available and it very hard to know what’s where and not spend a lot of time auditioning patches in the middle of writing a tune.
There are some interesting plugins I have come across lately but I will blog them another time.
On a quick side note: I came across an interesting video on YouTube http://youtu.be/_5C3tCufcnQ of Armin van Buuren in his studio talking about how he creates music. He is very talented and it’s worth a watch even if you’re not into Progressive Trance music. His stuff sounds good!
Another thing I will recommend while I think about it is this channel:
Dave Pensado has so much studio experience and wisdom it’s incredible! He’s like the “Gandalf” of recording studio engineers! He is truly awesome! (And I don’t use that word unless I mean it!)
The last thing I wanted to mention is that my old high school band “Paralandra” (from three and a half decades ago) are having a sort of virtual reunion. Four of the original members are going to collaborate on eight compositions (each one of us will write two tunes each and work each other’s tunes as well). So that it should be very interesting to hear.
I will be revitalizing and revamping the Paralandra website/blog this weekend and get it geared up for some new material.
Should be fun – Stay tuned!
Things are moving along with the creation of “Space People”, although not the speed I would it to be, but sickness and the day gig have made much more challenging than expected.
I have some things brewing on the back-burner of my brain. I’m trying to bring them in to practical, viable concept that I can make into a song, but there’s a bit of work to do and I need to keep it on the cheap and legal side as always.
I haven’t been exactly doing well with social media lately but I’m making an effort (e.g. this blog entry). I’m starting to get an understanding of what’s – that is “get it”, however I’m many miles from actually gronking it.
In my low energy level null I have been working on organizing synth patches and combing through new ones. I did write a korn shell script to help standardize the file name format of presets. It probably saved me a few hours or so messing around with file naming. Instead of doing one at a time I did about 100 in about 3 seconds (not counting the time it took to write the script which was basically a quick and dirty – one liner.)
Off topic – I believe how over the years, the TV has lost its place in socity to the smart phone as number one brain sucker of humanity. Technology has taken the brain sucker out of living room and put in the palm of your hand. I remember when color TV came into existance so I have a bit of persective.
It just struck me the other that maybe I’ve come at this all wrong. Maybe what I need is formulate the infrastructure and harden the concept as much as possible first before I go after a writing partner.
I will have to take care to be able to explain the project concept without “giving away the intellectual farm” as it were. Good quality people would definitely tend to gravitate towards a solid, organized framework as opposed to a cosmic, nebulous nerd (like me).
There’s only so much I can do at this point and whatever I do has to be done outside my day gig which has a propensity to chew up my time and life force. However that’s no excuse.
So what I think I shall do is write a one-paged treatment (just like a movie proposal) of the project concept. That way I can be consistent with everyone I talk to and help simmer down some of the fleeting ideas that keep haunting me everyday.
The other thing I can do now is start cranking out singer oriented tunes (bed tracks with basic arrangements and cord charts). In other words steer the reality towards the desired outcome by moving things in place as much as possible and facilitating the goal (hopefully).
Not that I’m trying to do a “If you build it, they will come” scenario. It’s more like a “If you build it, they will have something to do, if they come” kind of thing.
One thing I have found is that actualized intent can sometimes generate positive lateral results.
If only I could write lyrics. (Well I can sort of – but only someone in a comma would want to hear them).
Well after all the remixing and remastering, I finally got my new EP to the point where I can listen and enjoy it. That may not sound like a big deal but believe me it is. I am my own worst critic and I have a tendency to be more of a “Simon” and a lot less of a “Paula” when it comes to how I feel about my music. I would rather have my teeth drilled than release music I’m not absolutely happy with. Unfortunately I’ve never been 100% absolutely happy with anything I’ve produced but I do get to occasionally enjoy moments of less “drilling” and small pockets of pleasure for my 35 plus years of work.
So having another solo CD project under my belt is a great feeling and I can’t wait to tackle my next project “Space People”.
I’m kind of moving towards this melodic, iconic themed concept music style and it feels right so I think I will keep going in that direction (at least for now anyway.)
The other I wanted to mention is that for the entire month of February I will allow free downloads of my new EP/CD from:
If what else I’ve been up to then please go here:
There are also some free downloads there
Here’s the way around the “can’t-automate-the-mute-send-button” in LOGIC Pro feature, and I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before, here goes:
1) For the sake of example, route send 1 to bus 50
2) send the output of bus 50 to bus 51
3) Stick the echo plugin of your choice on the insert on the sub out channel that hosts the output of bus 51
4) Now by automating the channel mute on the sub-channel of the output of bus 50 you can control the signal going into the echo as an automated, rhythmic sequence.
Basically all you’re doing is adding an extra stage (bus route) to a send output and using the extra bus in the middle to control the output to the echo or plugin of your choice. And works great!
I used this technique on my tune “Red Cat” https://soundcloud.com/kevin-atwood-composer/red-cat
After thinking about it, dreaming about it and internally arguing with myself for years, I’ve decided to splinter and segregate into two different music entities. “Kevin Atwood” for the prog rock stuff and new pop synth stuff which will be under the psudo-band/brand name “Vamp 7”.
This will help keep both my emerging music personalities focused and out-of-the-way of one another.
How I’m going to work it out is going to be interesting. What pushed me to make this decision is seeing how much people are interested in my cosmic synth pop.
Something feels very “RIGHT” about this. Even my phone agrees. When I was typing this blog my phone suggested to choose the number 7 to complete the word when I typed Vamp!
Want a freak is that?
It’s nice to have another CD project done (even though it’s not in a physical CD form yet). If you like to hear it (it’s called “My Hat is a synthesizer”) or download (no charge) please click over to: https://soundcloud.com/kevin-atwood-composer/sets/my-hat-is-a-synthesizer-tracks
( … or do whatever you want!)
I got a few nice comments and almost 8 people actually listened to it (all in one day! – yeah I know – wicked eh?)
I got a message for someone on Soundcloud pushing this automated software to increase your play count on Soundcloud.com. I thought about it for a second and I got to say (in my opinion) no matter what you’re talking about, be it Facebook “likes”, Soundcloud “plays”, Twitter “retweets” … really – it’s all a bunch of crap!
My purpose on this planet, in this lifetime, in this timeline is to live and make music! Although I very thankful that my music can (potentially) reach a large amount of people through the Internet, that is not why I do it.
Without trying to come off as some stuck-up, taffy-nosed, self-adoring, narcissistic rock star I got say that it is the creative process and the end results that truly motivate me.
There are times while playing and writing music that I have felt a very strong sense of continuity with the universe. Nothing else in my life has ever made me feel this way! I’m not sure how to convey this feeling to you other than to say that there has been (and still are) times when everything makes sense for what it is and how it is. I don’t know if you have ever felt this way, but it is of stellar importance to me. I know what I’m saying is waaaay out there and sounds esoteric and all new age and stuff but it’s true.
So that being said, what hell do I care about a bloody “like” or a frigging “play”? If wanted 5 billion “likes” I could probably sit down and write a UNIX based script that would click whatever icon on whatever web page like theres no tomorrow, for days on end, at a rate of a couple hundred a second. What does that really do for anything that is art, music or love? NOTHING! Not a damn thing.
Well now that I got that off my chest (sigh-of-relief)!
So new CD projects! Ah-ya!
Well since I seem to have this split musical personality, one being an electronic mad synthesist and the other stuck in 1975 in art-prog-rock land, I’ve decided to work on two CD projects at once. To that end I already have one guitar based instrumental prog-rock song 95% done (i.e. tracks recorded) and two other instruments in the oven (half-baked).
The new art-prog-rock CD project called “Space People”. I’ve been working on a CD cover concept but I haven’t visually nailed it down yet. The other new synth based CD I haven’t done much with yet (including a lovely name). I will probably have more information on that by the next time I blog.
Until next time … “Don’t take any aluminum nickels!”