Tag Archives: singing

On the road again

Opened computer: no piano, no sound; read lots of internet forum advice about software instruments; eventually realised I had to load Garage Band sounds; loaded Garage Band sounds; piano worked; realised I didn’t need internal speakers to work as sound went through interface; rejoiced; made music; sang; was pleased with result – back on the road again! Woo Hoo!

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Paid by those who learn by our mistakes

Sang last night…and Tuesday night.

In fact every spare moment I have had in the last nine-ish months has been used to record or sing or guitar or harmonise or mix or tweak, or do the artwork, which is proving very difficult to nail!

Did the main vocals on Tuesday for ‘Moments’ and the harmonies last night. The main vocals were hard work but they were nothing compared to the harmonies last night. Maybe it’s the winter weather but I feel like hibernating rather than singing, especially after a seven and a half hour working day, but I somehow managed to get enough energy to start last night and subsequently got focussed and determined to finish before the night was out, which I did.

Lots of mixing to do now. And still a few guitar parts to sort.

And as for the artwork…EEEEK!

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Wow, man…like, far out…

I was tripping again today, tripping like I was gnarly to the dizzy, rad to the sick, swaying like a dandelion. It was moving, deep. I was on a magical journey…

…actually, it was immense pain and a headache as I tried to open my mouth wide enough to sing whilst not exacerbating the aftermath of the root canal work I had done last week. But I got another lot of singing done, and it sounds GOOD!

“You” is the song. Going to try “Moments” later, after painkillers and antibiotics!

Far out!

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Where in the dickens have you been?

So I’m aware that I haven’t been on here of late. Searched for a guitarist (still doing so) with not a huge amount of luck so far. But also have been fairly vigorously attacking a set of songs which include that E song I mentioned a time back. Let’s call the song I was on tonight ‘The Flower Song’. You’ll know it when you hear it.

I’ve had a few recording setups in my time. My current one surpasses the previous in numerous ways. There were a few plug-ins on the old one I still miss (echo and delay) but apart from them, I’m pretty impressed with the ‘studio’ at the moment. I have a new wardrobe which isn’t doing too badly as a vocal booth and my headphones are (just) long enough to reach it.

One of the fantastic things one can do on this software is set a certain length of any song to play repeatedly. I did this tonight with ‘The Flower Song’ and then recorded perhaps nine takes of the main vocals one after the other. It’s great because I’m seldom happy with the first take and the more you sing repeatedly, the more you get into the vibe and swing of the thing, remember where to breathe (or not) and when to anticipate a heady bit of falsetto (there’s quite a lot of that on this one). I’m kind of surprised that this is the first time I’ve used this repeat record thing. What it then does is store all the takes and visually puts them one after the other, oldest at the top, newest at the bottom. I’m a bit picky about vocals and I’d love to say I chose one whole take to use in order to make me feel like some virtuoso but unfortunately this was not the case. Instead I cherry-picked from all the takes because I was determined to get the very best vocals on this track. The singing really is key on this track and anything that makes me even slightly unsure is going to have to be edited or resung. On first listen though, it seemed to be all there – present, correct, pleasant. While I was singing, on perhaps the third take, I squinted my eyes and started to become somewhat light-headed. I think it was singing take after take that did it, but it also helped me get into a certain state of mind, perhaps you could describe it as trippy. I was on a little journey beyond being totally in the room and into a world without really any sight but the sensation that I wasn’t quite balanced on my feet (I remember swaying slightly) and I felt my voice getting more intimate as I went on, sounding more like I meant it each time. I paused during one to drink the cup of tea that I realised I had abandoned and it broke the spell, I could feel my throat was less willing to get the notes and I had to go through several more takes in order to get that slightly disorientating feeling back. When I finally stopped to listen to what had been recorded, I opened my eyes, sat down and it felt almost like waking up in the morning – my eyes needed to adjust, the dizziness subside – it was an unusual and, I have to say, rather lovely feeling. Who needs drugs, eh?

And I came to a conclusion. When I put my mind to it, I’m a damn fine singer. And a damn fine songwriter too. And to celebrate, I watched The Thomas Crown Affair. As you do.

So where the Coo are currently at is hoping a guitarist comes along or says yes soon, hoping also to finish this collection of songs by January and then hitting the live trail again in order to actually communicate all this with people.

Stay tuned…

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Singing in the shower

Do people who sing for a living sing in the shower?


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The riff from hell

I’ve been working on the recording of Umbrella Head this week, one of our most popular songs. The riff has been recorded about five different ways – I just couldn’t get the sound I wanted. Started with some kind of phasery sound and realised it was too much, too wavery, not direct enough for the song, so proceeded to throw loads of distortion and overdrive and fuzz in and then took all that off and added a bit of reverb. Sounds right now. Just lots of tweaking to do and the singing needs to be redone. I don’t mind little mistakes in the singing (gives it character) but the overall feel has to be just right. Don’t know when I recorded the vox that are on there at the moment but they just don’t sound quite 100%. So incredibly subtle, no one else would question it I’m sure but there’s just a feeling in there that I could sing them with a little more confidence and attack, maybe.

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When life gives me umbrellas…

Really enjoyable night on Thursday of singing and trying (with about 85% success) to get some timing issues right on Something About Love. Again, I was quite laid back about starting, didn’t sing (on Umbrella Head) until about 9.15pm. It went swimmingly though. The first singing I tried to do on Umbrella was a couple of weeks ago and I did it as the original demo which was a gentle, breathy kind of voice. Thursday I sang it as I do live, loud and raucous and crackly and it filled the song up so much better. Then kept finding bits I wanted to improve so sang loads of odd phrases with varying degrees of success. As ever I won’t know how well it went until I listen back. Felt on a slight roll though so I carried on and sang a few takes of Something… I think the third take was good and I left it almost intact. Nice!

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