Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Computator drawerings and what have you.

I made these.  Not much to say here, other than "I really need a Cintiq."


For the next 2 things, these were made for 2 music subreddits' banners.

First, /r/progrockmusic. A subreddit for, well, Prog Rock music.

See it in action HERE

Second, /r/epicmetal.  A subreddit for, well, epic metal.

Background was done really hastily, but the guy turned out pretty cool:

See it in action HERE
These were done in the spirit of the /r/progmetal banner I made some time back.


And now for the music portion of tonight's broadcast:

Here's a sloppy recording I did the same night I wrote this part.  It was made more out of boredom than anything else.  Solo is improvised:

Here's a sloppy clip of a song I wrote a short time ago.  Done as a proof-of-concept for myself.  Solo at the end is improv:

Here's a not-sloppy, but computerized version of the song the previous clip comes from.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Wedding Invite Design

My brother Scott and his now-wife April asked me to design their wedding invitations several months ago, giving me mostly free reign over the design.

I wanted to try a cut-out construction paper-type look, but I wanted to do it digitally.  I initially designed the parts of the card in flash so I could easily readjust them as needed, export them as an image sequence, and import them into photoshop as layers.  From there, I added the paper texture on individual items, added drop shadows (so. many. drop. shadows.) to give it depth, added the text and little squiggly bits (with even more drop shadows), and tweaked colors until I got it all right.  I ended up with well upwards of 100 layers, methodically sorted into a bunch of folders in the most well-organized photoshop file I've ever made.  It really had to be, because it was madness sorting out all those pieces.

The Reception invite and RSVP cards were simpler from there.  I took assets from the first card and repurposed them into the new cards.

I'm rather proud of these, and I know Scott and April are really happy with them, and I got many compliments from guests.  It's good to see it came a long way from the first draft I sent them:


In unrelated news, here's a song I did.

The first fully electronic song I've done in a long while.  My guitar string broke, and I felt like making music still.  Lots of fun sound experimentation in this.  The main thing is messing around with distortion.  Most noticeably at the end, obviously, but almost every track of this has some amount of fluctuating distortion.  Also, a sort of mistake resulted in the drum climax near the end.  I accidentally left a more rock-oriented drum loop I had started with in, and forgot about it after placing it way later in the track to save for later.  It ended up playing on top of the electronic-oriented drum track, and after a few tweaks to make it fit better, i decided to leave it.  The electronic track still has the punch in the bass, but the rock track fills in gaps with energy, and more prominent cymbals.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Oh look, more songs.

Posting a couple things I recorded in the past few weeks:

This one turned out pretty cool.  Started with a simple chord progression (well, deceptively simple.  Lots of sus2 and 6 and 7 chords and whatnot) to which I added the atmospheric track.  I recorded some improv solos, and then another atmospheric effect track that comes in at 3:00ish.  The end of the solo track was sort of a half-mistake that went somewhere cool.  I bent a pitch to the wrong note, so I had sort of given up on that take and just messing around kept playing that wrong pitch bend, but then started to notice it could work.  In post, I faded it out, and faded in the same track with some spacey distortion, and faded that into the atmospheric track.  Kinda neat.


This was interesting.  Using a drumbeat and synths pretty unorthodox for what I usually do, I created a quick loop and went ahead and recorded a solo track.  This is one of those loops where it's bouncing back and forth between 2 different scales as the chords change, giving a bit of a jazz element to it.  I followed that pretty strictly for most of it until the ~4:00 area where it devolved into controlled noise and nonsense.  Brought in a rhythm guitar section towards the end and the lead track began to match the clean guitars.  Between this, the track at the top, and some older stuff, I've been looking more at the electronic/heavily processed side of things.  I'm thinking about getting a small MIDI controller keyboard in the future to mess around with more synth stuff.


Pretty simple, just a loop of fake drums, fake bass, clean guitar, and an improv track.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Crapload of Doodles

A bunch of sketches I had strewn about on scratch paper.

CLICK HERE to zoom in.  It's a rather large image.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Airport sketches + some music

Didn't have a lot of time in the airports this time around, only a handful of sketches.


Written and recorded in a couple hours.  The solo is probably the best I've recorded in my opinion.  I added a second playthrough without the solo to better hear the backing track which came out pretty cool.  6 guitar tracks: 2 low rhythm, 2 harmony rhythm, solo guitar, and faked bass guitar.

2 covers of the song Perpetuum Mobile by Penguin Cafe Orchestra, done with my loop pedal.  These are two separate takes of 8-ish second layered loops (without an undo button, so essentially all the takes had to be recorded in one go without mistakes).  For the first take i was learning the song as I went along, and the second one was a bit cleaner since I already kinda knew what I was doing.

A sort of experimental piece I was toying with a few months ago and forgot about.  Posted it online very recently.  Has some really cool ideas.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Trailer Park Boys caricatures + a random song

Quick song.  The backing track is looped to save time as this was just a little progression I wrote to solo on top of.  The solo is improvised up until ~2:00.  That section was sort of written and layered as I went along.

Blew through watching Trailer Park Boys recently.  Did some sketches during an episode in season 7 (I think)

Also as requested by my brother, Bubbles as "The Green Bastard."

Both drawings done in pen, scanned, and levels adjusted in photoshop.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Making Up Blog Post Titles Is Tedious Work: A True Story

Made another song yesterday.  It's pretty drastically different from what I usually make.

It started with playing with my loop pedal, but I decided to try and make something listenable out of it instead of the monophonic unmixed mess that is the usual result (see previous post).

All of the sounds (aside from the drums) are made with the guitar through my Line6 Pod, and straight into the computer.  The only post effects are EQ balancing and panning of individual tracks.

I was relatively smart about the EQ this time around.  Each track has a different EQ balance (there are 9 guitar tracks/1 drum track playing by the end), and each track has a range of frequencies boosted and a range that has been nearly removed, and the other tracks fill in the gaps so each track has its own frequency range to really come through.  I would normally do this, but I'm usually lazy about it.

Drums were a bit of an afterthought but they work really well with the song.  Made in Reason.

All in all a pretty neat experiment.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Loop pedal stuff and other music

Two small things I created using the loop pedal function on my Line 6 Pod.

Both were recorded first playing through my amp.  When I was satisfied with the loop, I sent it to the computer and added a lead part over top to give some variety.

Both came out pretty cool, with a Mass Effect soundtrack kind of vibe.  All the sounds are from my guitar, even the really synth-y stuff.


And here's a song that needs a good deal of work in the mixing department:

Sort of a post-rock thing that I've had written for a while now.  I need to do a lot more work on it and re-record a lot of it, but it was a decent test.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

2-04-2012 Sketches

Some sketches I've had lying around for a while.

Also, new profile picture:

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A song, an animation, and another animation.

First, a song.

I wrote this as I went along so it's largely improvised.  Actually, it had no drums until about 30 minutes after the rest of the song was recorded.  Just had a weird 2:30 AM impulse to try something different with some electronic-y drums.  I admit to a lot of looping of guitar parts in this.  I normally don't do that, but my intention when starting wasn't to record a whole song. just to write the arpeggio part.

Overall I'd say it's kind of sloppy (should have started with drums, in hindsight), but I like some of the ideas going on here.

And I'm not sure what genre this falls under.  I wrote and recorded it as an ambient thing with some post-rock elements, but added the electronic drums later.  Now I dunno what.  Not that it matters to much.

Added a bassy synth.  Kinda neat.

Now, an animation:

My work is from about 0:16 to about 0:36.  I had one more shot that appears to have been cut (probably for the best, it never felt right.)  That's the last one I worked on for this show.

And another animation:

(posted this to facebook a little while ago, haven't done anything to it since) Work in progress, obviously.  There's going to be a beginning and end to this that I haven't animated yet.  I'm pretty happy with the direction it's going.  Somewhere between cartoony and realism.