December 31, 2006

Saddam Hussein Status Update

He's still dead.

Let's see here...


Yep. Still dead.

Posted by CD at 07:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 29, 2006

Another LP Demonstration

This guitar kicks incredible amounts of ass

I was feeling inspired last night, so I decided to do some experimenting. You may remember a song I've posted in a couple different versions called "Lost and Found." Well, over the summer, I attempted to use a cheap mic and the PODxt running into my Powerbook as a recording setup (the same thing I did for the Suspended Agitation demos I posted in July) for some drum tracks, one of which was LAF.

I still have the recording on my computer, and it's half-decent, so I added guitar to it, and the result is a pretty close approximation of this song as it originally sounded in my head (I wrote it when I was still in high school and all I could play was drumset), although it's a bit faster than the other versions.

For the guitars, I used the "Master of Puppet" preset in the PODxt, since I didn't feel like making my own. It's a variation of the Line 6 Spinal Puppet amp model that's supposed to sound like mid-80s Metallica, but it worked pretty well for the grunge-metal style in this piece. I only used two rhythm tracks as opposed to the four I always recorded with the Fender, and it still sounds thicker and more realistic. The clean track is my custom Class A-30 TB preset (which also sounds better than ever with this guitar), and the lead track is the Marshall JCM 2000 model with a chorus effect. Check this out:

Lost and Found w/Live Drums

I'm still working on my recording techniques (I think the guitars clipped a little), but this is more like what I'll be posting soon. However, I actually have access to professional quality mics for the next two weeks, so any live drum tracks will be even better sounding. And, let's face it, I'm actually good at drums (shameless self-promotion: Listen closely in the verses of this song for my triple ghost notes on the snare drum; I'm rather proud of those), so I'll spend more time on those when I get around to it.

I know not a lot of people listen to these, but I'm going to continue posting them because I have nothing else to do at the moment.

Posted by CD at 02:31 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 27, 2006

Introducing the Newest Addition to My Musical Arsenal

So, like I mentioned in the last post, I now own an Epiphone Les Paul Standard guitar. As you can see from the picture, it looks pretty cool, but what matters is how it sounds, so I put together a quick test recording. This is the main chord progression from "Lounge Pirate" (an original song I posted a couple months ago), featuring five tracks of Les Paul (two rhythm tracks each with the neck pickup and bridge pickup, and one lead track with the neck pickup) using the Marshall JCM 2000 model in the PODxt. I also added a bass guitar track for more low end. Check it out:

LP Test

I think it sounds decent considering the fact that I just threw it together in about an hour and had to compress it a bit to make it small enough to upload (trust me, it sounds even cooler with my custom equalizer settings in iTunes). However, that's not all. I'm home until January 15, which means that for the next couple weeks, I still have access to my drumset and my dad's recording equipment. Expect some higher quality stuff to be posted soon.

Rock on.

Posted by CD at 04:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone out there (seriously, does anyone still read this?) is enjoying the holiday. I've had a nice, relaxing day at home. Just me, my family, and my new friend...



Yep. I finally have a real guitar. And that crappy cell phone picture doesn't even come close to showing you how cool looking this thing is. Of course, it also sounds pretty sweet. I'll try to get some recordings uploaded at some point. Unfortunately, I'm going through a major plateau in my playing skills right now, and learning to use a different guitar with a different kind of electronics isn't helping. more twangy Fender bullshit. I'm happy.

Posted by CD at 07:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 22, 2006

Have I Mentioned Yet That I Hate Pennsylvania's Weather?

Current date: December 22.

Current weather: 54 degrees and raining.

Fuck this shit.

Posted by CD at 06:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 18, 2006

Guitar Recording of the Day

I have pretty much nothing to do for a month, so I can once again spend more time on music.

Today's recording is another original that I started writing over the summer and then abandoned for a while, but I felt inspired tonight and managed to write enough stuff for a full song. It's a fairly heavy piece (at least as heavy as I could make it with a single-coil guitar) with some interesting effects and a nice groove. One of the main riffs kind of reminds me of Alice In Chains, so for lack of a better name, I called the song "Chain Reaction."

Production crap that nobody cares about:

- Opening guitars = Line 6 Chunk Chunk amp model with Tape Eater modulation effect

- Distorted rhythm guitar = Same as above, but without the effect

- Lead guitar in verse = Connor 50 amp model with auto wah and some sort of delay and modulation effects that I don't remember now

- Bass guitar = Holy crap, an actual bass guitar (played with a 1 mm Dunlop Ultex rounded triangle pick because my fingers are too small to play bass properly)

Anyway, check it out:

Chain Reaction

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December 14, 2006

That Semester Was Entirely Too Long

It's over. I just finished my terrible anthropology report, and now all my work for the semester is finished. All I have to do is clean my room and pack now.

*Looks at clock*

Oh, good. It's almost 3 AM.

Anyway, this semester pissed me off. Really. It started off pretty well, and after a rough couple of weeks, I managed to get a ton of stuff done for almost two months. And then, of course, the whole "holy shit, I have social skills now and I don't have enough opportunities to use them" thing kicked in, and the last half of the semester sucked ass as I wallowed in my fucking self-pity (losing all my motivation in the process and probably severely damaging my GPA).

Yeah. Fortunately, the month-long depression is pretty much over, and I'm feeling like myself again, only now I have a brand new outlook on life and a desire to get out and try new things. I just hope that the next month won't involve sitting in my room all night and sleeping all day with no human interaction whatsoever. I'll only need about a week of that.

Only one more semester, and then...the real world awaits.

I should start getting my stuff together now.

Posted by CD at 02:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 13, 2006

I Am A Machine

The script is finished...mostly. 93 pages. I still have to proofread and add some info at the beginning, but the actual writing process is done. I think it's pretty good. It needs some improvement, but considering the circumstances, I'm happy with it. Even though it's a little on the short side, I was able to include every scene and every line I've come up with throughout the semester. That's a satisfying feeling.

Now all I have to do is finish my anthropology report that's due in 25 hours...and I'm leaving on Thursday afternoon. Woohoo.

And yes, I will be posting the script when I go home. However, it's really just a rough draft, since I plan to keep working on it and possibly enter it into a contest in the spring. In any case, it will only be here for a limited time (is this the Wendy's blog?), so be on the lookout.

Being nocturnal has its perks...

I figured that since this script is kind of about photography, it would be appropriate to show you a couple pictures of it.

Here's the professional looking title page, blurry in this shot because my phone takes terrible pictures.

And here is what 96 pages look like. Also, my arm isn't really as hairy as it appears in this photo.

I should go to bed soon. I imagine it would be hard to use "I overslept" as an excuse for not turning in something that's due at 5 PM.

Posted by CD at 06:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 12, 2006

More Script Musings

Screenwriting is freakin' magical when it works right. I love how I can watch situations developing right before my eyes and then choose which direction to steer the action while still giving the characters enough independence to make it interesting.

Incidentally, if you've never written a script, the above paragraph may make very little sense.

The stuff I talked about in the last post is still causing a little bit of trouble, but the character development in this story is actually going fairly well. There have been several moments during the writing process that literally (and yes, I mean that) caused me to jump for joy because they surprised me so much.

For example, there's a scene where the protagonist is telling a somewhat boring story about getting lost in New York City and finding a restaurant, and it somehow turned into a profound commentary about taking chances in life (which is one of the main themes of the film, inspired by my recent revelations). Also, the aforementioned story is based on something that actually happened on a high school band trip to New York. So, like I said, experiences matter.

I'm currently on page 39, and I've written another 10 pages from other parts of the story, so I've got approximately 50 completed pages. The average script is between 90 and 120 pages. This is due on Wednesday at 5 PM.


UPDATE (6:00 AM)
Up to page 51 (which means 61 pages total). Yay.

Posted by CD at 03:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 11, 2006

Screenwriting Teaches You About Yourself

So...I'm desperately trying to make up for the fact that I've been ignoring my TRF script for most of the semester by writing pretty much the entire thing in a four day marathon session. I've gotten about 12 pages written in the last 24 hours, which leaves about 70 to go. Fun stuff.

In the process, I've discovered how limited my background has made me. They say to "write what you know," and having not had much of a life up to this point, I sometimes have trouble figuring out ways to make the plot interesting.

Case in point: The story I'm working on this semester (which will probably be posted to the blog when it's done) contains a romantic subplot. Yeah. For the first time in my life, I'm trying to write a convincing love story. It's not the main story (which is much more complicated and can't be explained in less than a paragraph), but it is integral to the larger plot.

However, seeing as how I've never had a girlfriend or a date or a...non-platonic hug...or anything...I'm finding it extremely hard to write realistic chemistry into this thing. I think it's going pretty well so far even though everything I know about relationships is stuff I learned from TV/movies and observing others from a distance, but still...writing about things you haven't experienced is hard. I need to go out and live more. One of my main problems as a writer is that I have a really hard time coming up with ideas, and it hit me recently that it's probably because I don't have any experiences from which to draw inspiration.

Have I mentioned that I'd like to relive the last decade or so?

Incidentally, the mentally paralyzing depression that partially contributed to my inability to get any work done since October seems to be lifting, but that doesn't change the fact that I need to have more life experiences.

I think I'll try to find some fun stuff to do back in PA over the break. If I don't die of a stress-induced heart attack before then.

Posted by CD at 02:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 09, 2006

Weekend Guitar Recording

All I have left to do before I can go home is finish a report for anthropology and write about 80 pages of my TRF script. Luckily, I have until next Wednesday to do it.

Until then, here's something I've been working on in my spare time for the last month or so: The middle section of "Master of Puppets." I think I mentioned that I want to do a full-length cover of this over the break with live drums...except for the second solo, which is freakin' hard.

Anyway, check this out. It goes from the clean stuff after the second chorus to the distorted part before the big solo (I was going to go all the way to the solo, but as you'll hear, I got bored and stopped about halfway there). It's still not perfect (mostly because I suck at pull-offs), but considering the fact that I've only been playing guitar since January, I'm pretty proud of it. If nothing else, it's the most difficult guitar solo I've recorded so far.

MoP Middle Section

Posted by CD at 01:55 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 04, 2006

Brief Updates

1. I'm about to embark on a quest to cram all the work I've ignored over the last month into a week and a half, so don't expect much of anything to be posted here until mid-December.

2. For some reason, I haven't been notified by email about recent comments, so I just noticed that I've gotten a few, but know that I did read and appreciate them.

3. A life lesson, somewhat related to #1: Dealing with depression by avoiding all responsibilities and cutting yourself off from the world will only make your depression worse. I have now learned this from experience.

That is all.

Posted by CD at 10:16 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 01, 2006

An Observation

I use the word "seriously" too much on this blog.


Posted by CD at 11:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More Fun With Guitar

To counter the depressing previous post, here's something kinda cool.

Last night, I threw together a quick medley of some of the main riffs from "Simple Design," my favorite Breaking Benjamin song. It features genuine drop-C tuning and a seriously overdriven PODxt triple rectifier. Check it out:

Simple Design Riffs

If you want to compare it to the original (which obviously has a lot more to it), go here (ignore the anime clips; I couldn't find anything that was just the song).

Posted by CD at 08:56 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack