Staccato for high notes

A difficult high phrase can be more easily sung in an ‘urgent’ pulled-back staccato. I wouldn’t do this too much though.


How to download mp3 files in Firefox (Mac OSX)

For about 2 years I wrongly believed that Firefox had disabled this function.
In fact you can do it like this:

1. Go to the file you want to download (i.e. see the usual Quicktime play bar).

2. Go to Tools menu/ Page info.

3. Click Media.

4. Click Save as. (it is saved as iTunes document but you can change that using apple I).


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Little details of music process you might forget

32bit files can be exported out of Quicktime as 16bit.

Stereo files can be made mono by exporting out of Quicktime.

You often feel while doing a vocal that you have got nothing and later find that this was not so.

Edit deeply. Be ruthless in discarding stuff. It doesn’t matter if you lose good takes.

You can compile longer takes from snatches sometimes.

I think it is good that ultimately you will probably actually use only three vocal samples in the final track. This is not an absolute rule of course. But it makes the hypnosis work. It makes for minimalism. It helps create the spaciousness.

You still need 20 or more usable vocal samples to play with.

Never keep something for funniness. Stay serious.

Stay loose when creating takes. Mess around.

Bounce pads. You can use loads of pads recorded in a duplicate gband file and then bounce back a playful stereo mix from which you can choose notable sections. When this is back in the main file you would normally give these pads a quite narrow amount of frequency bandwidth (lose top and bottom) to keep them subtly out of the way of everything else. You will have reverb on many of the original pads but none on the bounced back track in the main file.

Work with pieces of audio as much as possible. You don’t have to always convert any use of sequencer into audio via Peak but for some reason this appeals to me. It means decisions are taken and you then work with whatever you have.

Try to stick to having most instruments dry and as far as poss only one thing in the cathedral reverb at a time. Break this rule now and then.

Your clouds are an element of percussion which like the primals have an emotional element. Very often this is anger but doesn’t have to be. Works though. Clouds are to add humanity to rhythm.

The clouds are often the only track to use FX. Everything else but the main focus is dry and FX free. The main focus only ever has cathedral.

Record vocals to laptop to avoid G4 noise. Export the locked freeze files. Convert to 16bit. Edit on G4 in a separate gband file. Mix out keeper-samples via iTunes (start on the half). Name all samples. Edit in Peak. If wanted convert to mono out of Quicktime.

Make the non-main gband files (TO RECORD, TO EDIT) start at the same bar as one another. So that the freeze files will be in the correct position when brought in.

You know that some parts of the process are what you call logical and some what you call intuitive. Remember to change your brain appropriately. I mean e.g.: After recording some improv. vocals (INTUITIVE) you next go on to choose snippets (INTUITIVE). Perhaps you then need to wait until next day before making them mono (LOGICAL) and then tidying them in Peak (LOGICAL? INTUITIVE? (DON’T KNOW)).

Keep breaths here and there when tidying. But make them ramped and very much quieter.

You have lost your old tendency to maximise every take. This is a very good thing. Keep things low both when recording and when tidying. Don’t flatten samples too much. Rise and fall is what makes things listenable. Make different vocal samples have different volumes relative to one another – decided by how you feel they should be.

Know when to abandon a track. You sometimes find after making the vocal snippets that the track isn’t moving you. So just leave it. No matter how much work it was. Have a high standard. Tracks work when they touch you with that regret feel. I think you get good vocals when the chords have worked, but also sometimes you can’t tell until you’ve recorded the vocal. Does it feel like late night in the car alone?

YOU NOWADAYS KNOW when a track is not giving you the confidence to sing over it. You have learned to recognise that. SO maybe don’t go ahead with singing over tracks unless you feel something for them. Unless you want to.