June 28, 2007

Open Letter to the Media



- CD

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June 26, 2007

Rough Recordings of the Day

I promise I'll start writing regularly again as soon as my life stops being so uneventful. Until then, here's some more music stuff.

I mentioned in the last post that I'm trying to learn some classic Metallica songs in order to improve my guitar skills. To give you an idea of my progress, I threw together a quick sample of the parts of "Fade to Black" that I'm working on. These also demonstrate the MIDI drum technique I mentioned before.

Incidentally, I had to reduce the quality of these a bit in order to upload them, but it's not too noticeable.

The first sample is the intro and pre-verse. The clean guitar is the PODxt Line 6 Piezacoustic model with analog chorus, and the lead guitar is the Marshall JCM-2000 model with analog chorus and Tube Screamer. Everything else is computer-generated.

I'm pretty proud of this one. I messed up a little in the middle of the solo (I recorded it about a dozen times, and this was the best take), but considering I learned it less than 24 hours ago, that's not a huge deal:

FTB intro

The second sample is the last part of the verse and one chorus. I used the Marshall JMP-1 amp model and the Marshall 4x12 with Celestion Vintage 30s cabinet model for the distorted guitars. Other than the obvious differences in technique, I think it sounds really close to the guitar tone of the original song. Check it out:

FTB verse & chorus

I'm also working on "Leper Messiah" and "...And Justice for All" (which is really, really, really fucking hard to play), and I have rough recordings of some of that stuff, but I'll leave those out for now.

Posted by CD at 04:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 11, 2007


So, uh...if anyone is still reading this (how many times have I said that now?), you may be wondering why I haven't posted for almost a month.

Quite simply, there's been absolutely nothing worth writing about. I've just been living my nocturnal lifestyle (I haven't been outside during the day since commencement) and trying to survive the odd limbo between college graduation and full-time employment. In case anyone cares, however, here's a rundown of current happenings:

- My brother, who I wrote about in my last post, ended up having to spend a weekend in the hospital, but all the tests led to the conclusion that the still unidentified thing in his brain "doesn't present as a tumor." They think that it's probably a calcium deposit or something. Therefore, other than having to take seizure medication and not being able to drive for six months, he's back to normal. Hooray for medical science.

- I'm almost positive that the cause of the odd sounds from my laptop is a defective fan, because they always seem to start when the computer gets hot and stop when I let it cool down. I should probably look into getting that fixed before the hard drive catches fire or something, but I managed to tweak the energy saver settings so that the problems only happen a couple times a week rather than several times a day like before.

- I need a job. This is a bit of a problem seeing as how I have no outside experience in my desired field (TV/film post-production). I have a bunch of contacts from the Newhouse alumni network who I can ask for help, but I haven't gotten around to talking to any of them yet because I am incredibly lazy. Once I get the ball rolling, though, things should happen.

Also, I've basically decided at this point that I want to work in New York City. That means I have to start looking into housing and figuring out how/when I'm going to move out of my parents' house. This is some scary shit, people. I realize that I'm 22 and shouldn't still be here anyway (hey, at least I'm not living in the basement), but...wow. I still haven't quite come to terms with the fact that the place that's been "home" for my whole life, even when I was in college, will soon be just a building that I visit a few days a year. I'm sure any of you who have gone through the process can relate.

- Other than the *cough* job search, I've been spending most of my time working on my guitar skills. My epic song, "The Messenger," is now almost 18 minutes long, and I haven't even written most of the final section yet. Fun stuff. I also have a few new riffs/songs that I've been tweaking (tentative titles include "Rocket Surgery" and "Supersonic"), and I may post them if I ever get around to finishing them.

In addition, I found out the other day that if I write out a drum part in the guitar tablature program I'm using, export it as a MIDI, and then import the MIDI file into GarageBand, it plays back as a much more realistic sample-ish thing that makes the songs sound more unique and live. As soon as I figure out a way to make the bass drum sound good without causing the rest of the audio to clip, I'll probably use it for all my songs. I could just record the drums myself, but I'm terrible at mic placement, and this method still allows me to customize parts rather than using loops like before.

Oh, and I can also use this method for bass guitar so my nonexistent skills on that instrument don't detract from the quality of the recordings. The computerized bass even sounds better than the cheap bass I have (although this may simply be the result of my inability to play bass properly). This is very good news.

Also, I've been listening to a shitload of old-school Metallica over the past couple weeks in an attempt to somehow absorb their collective abilities (except Lars. Fuck that guy). I can now play about 90% of the rhythm and a couple of the leads from my new favorite song, "Master of Puppets" (not all at once though, because I get debilitating hand cramps), and I actually recorded a cover of it over spring break with live drums. I'd post it if I still had a way to upload large files to the blog...

I'm currently trying to learn "Fade to Black" and "Leper Messiah." Both songs are kicking my ass and reminding me how much I still suck at guitar, unfortunately. James Hetfield is a fucking rhythm guitar machine...or at least he was back in the '80s. I don't know how it's possible to keep up that kind of intensity for two hours when I can barely keep a solid palm-muted riff going for 30 seconds. I need to start lifting weights again.

Anyway, that's about it. Look for updates in another month, if things keep going the way they are...

Posted by CD at 11:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack