This isn’t a scholarly analysis. – It’s an article which may well precede an apology or an excuse for being late in releasing a track, an EP even. I’m creating a very long-time-coming track, which has turned out, after what appears to be ages, as my coming track entitled * Up To Your Eyes *. I was going to make it the title track of my next EP, but I’m not so sure right now. I’ll see how I feel about that in the future.
I’ve been in the studio on and off throughout this entire week just gone by. Normally I make so many attempts at recording something, and then put a cap on the number of attempts and choose a recording to proceed with from what I’ve made available.
This was a ‘production-line’-type strategy. I wasn’t in all honesty that happy about it; but on the other side of the coin I looked at it as more productive and I didn’t have the time – bearing in mind my age – to be overly fussy.
This time, however, I wasn’t happy to choose the best of the rest: This time the best was important and was all that was acceptable.
I’d spent the best part of a year – on and off – creating the tune alone. Why so long?
(Jurgan Klinsmann – ex-West Germany football (Soccer) player -was distracting me on the TV, and I had to kill the sound so that I could carry on writing at this point. It makes me remember Gerd Müller. He was my fav West German player as a kid.(It’s now Germany; but back when I was a kid the Iron Curtain ran through Germany, and there was the capitalist Western-styled West Germany, and there was the Communist, segregated, hidden, East Germany: A place that was a part of the Soviet Bloc, and at the time no-one knew what went on there.)
Well it wasn’t that I’d been creating , or attempting to create, the greatest tune ever all that time. – In fact I’d set out to create something similar sounding to the tune of Kate Bush’s * Hounds of Love *; and I kind of did, including all the harmonies, background tracks, effects, as well as adding my own touch to it. In fact it was all my version of it – my own rendition of it. The original’s already been done – so why re-invent the wheel exactly as it was originally invented?
(I’m now imagining different designs for the wheel, while being distracted by the Germany v Ukraine game on the Euro 2016 tournament. Spherical wheels are probably the best in terms of performance, despite there being a lot of logistical anomalies with regard to their practical application in many real-world applications.)
Anyway I’d hoped that – having created the music – lyrics would flow from me like a babbling stream after a thunderstorm, as often happens. Unfortunately when I looked to my lyrical-creation-streak, rather than inspired poetic run-off I was instead met by the sound of crickets. Try as I might I couldn’t put together any lyrics to go with the tune. – Other than: –
“Wash-ing ma-chine – Keeps your clothes clean.
Your whites will shine bright like a dream…”
And there are other patterns in the tune – which can also be lyricised in a different way, even synonymous to the chosen melody – something similar to a Queen number; but no lyrical inspiration was forthcoming.
That wasn’t exactly the hit-song I was hoping for. I could see so many possibilities, with double-harmonies, multiphasic effects, beat/phase changes… but to pull that kind of thing off properly and in a good amount of time I’d need a fairly long amount of time in a professional studio. If I went for that I’d spend all of my budget on it and there’d be nothing remaining when it came to promotion. – So I was either going to have to go in over my head and literally “up to my eyes”, or I’d have to re-think and re-assess the situation.
There was a way I could make it work; but it meant adding a second main-harmony as a foreground-instrument. Doing so would have the effect of nullifying many if not all the possibilities but simplifying the rhythm whilst allowing a single, definite chorus-line. In a way this was taking the easy way out; but on the other hand unless I somehow managed to launch a large crowdfunding campaign in a short time I’d be running out of funds while taking far too long without producing anything: I have fans, and my fans want me to produce something.
So I went that “easy route”, and I wrote some lyrics too. From those lyrics I decided upon a title; that being * Up To Your Eyes * I’m not the type of person who can just chuck out a load of lyrics straight off and create a hit song. I don’t write articles like that either. If the truth be known I intellectualise every word, by itself and in relation to the other words that I’ve used. When you read my written articles you’re, in most cases, almost literally reading a piece of me. I totally immerse myself in my writing, and I output what my intellect combined with my personality decides makes the most sense in light of said personality and intellect. I nearly always do same when I produce poetry too. When writing song lyrics, however, I usually find that I have to adapt and water-down my usual output.
Back in my teens I used to write extremely wordy intellectualised songs; even. Someone once commented that I seemed to have swallowed a dictionary after one of my performances. I intend to write that song in question again BTW. (It’s nothing like * Up To Your Eyes *) – This time I’ll dumb it down quite a bit, considering my opinion that the average intellect has fallen at least 50% since the early 1980s.
So this last week I’ve been in the studio recording and re-recording the lyrics tracks for * Up To Your Eyes *. The chorus-lines, which take up just over half of the entire * Up To Your Eyes * track, were fairly simple, and were more than acceptable on the second take. It was the vocals of the verses that were a problem. On the first take I sang them in a D# in a higher octave then the chorus. After compression and other attenuation I could hear that I’d wandered off key a tiny bit, and was in places seemingly almost venturing into a C, even though the readings indicated that I was at most a couple of semitones off. – I even scoped it just to be sure.
I recorded it again, but still wasn’t happy. After so much DSP that the music appeared as flat as a pancake I finally got something near the result I’d wanted, even though I’d ruined it. Back to the drawing board: sing it all again, in the same octave as the chorus and in D this time.
(The Germany v Ukraine match just ended: Germany won 2-0 with a second goal in extra time. I had that on while writing, and multitasked between watching the game and writing this – killing the sound at times; hence writing this has taken a bit longer than it usually would.)
I processed the vocals before dubbing them onto the track including chorus lines. I found that the semitonal differences had been caused by adding a mild choral effect which had somehow made the vocals sound slightly off-key along with the music. – I didn’t add choral effect this time, and I went lighter on the vocal compression too and filtered out some unwanted audible frequency bands. I added the verse lyric tracks to the mix at a slightly greater level than before, and produced an EQ file in mastering. I allowed the studio computer to logically add a little extra overall compression at given frequencies, before adding Dolby AGC and stereo-balancing attenuation: * Up To Your Eyes * appears to at last be properly taking shape.
I think I’ve cracked it; but I’m not counting on it yet. I’ll run * Up To Your Eyes * through a digital-audio-spectrum-analyser shortly, and listen by ear too. I want to get * Up To Your Eyes * right: I’ve spent a lot of time on it, so I may as well do just that.
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