A One-Man-Band's DIY Production Journal.

Archive for September, 2010

Final Product

Since the wrap up of recording and mixing this past Thursday, I had to fix two tracks: I added an instrumental to the voicemail track “One New Message”. It adds an epic feel to the album and a better lead-in to “A Night on the Town”. Gotta love those rock beats in 6/8… Also, I re-tweaked “Payday”. I didn’t like my original vocal take during the chorus.

I handed the final version of King Friday to a few friends and family. The general consensus was positive, but the thing that was brought up often was the use of the phone/megaphone voice filter on a majority of the tracks. I’ll admit, I’m addicted to that filter, but the reason is simple: I’m recording these vocals in my room in my apartment, and the acoustics aren’t the best. In the solo-ed tracks, you can hear AC units running, as well as cars and sirens in the background. Had to help it out a bit.

So now that the album is final final final final, it’s time to design the artwork and plan out how to market it.

You can listen to the full album here:
kingfriday.richy923.com

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923

In honor of the numerical alignment of “923” that graces calendars once a year, I present to you the new album King Friday, streaming in its entirety for FREE on SoundCloud:

http://soundcloud.com/richy923/sets/king-friday

10 tracks, 9 songs. Story complete.

A bonus track or two coming soon when the album hits iTunes in a few weeks, to justify it’s $10 price tag.

A few production notes:

A song I wrote titled “101 Days” was supposed to introduce the album, but it was scrapped during the recording process… I realized the lyrics and the theme were a little juvenile and didn’t fit the album too much without compromising it’s point-of-view for late “20-somethings” crowd. It was a “Mom and Dad, I’m moving out” kind of a song and threw it off balance compared to the rest of the songs, in my opinion. Perhaps it’ll be a bonus track in the future.

Last night, I recorded the finale, “Payday”. A perfect ending, reflecting the whole album both musically and lyrically. I give a credit to John.M.Thirteen of The Backpackers, who suggested that I drop the drums during the verses of the song, to give spotlight to the lyrics. Thanks dude.
Also thanks to my parents for lending their voicemail as an intro to the album.

So, I spent a majority of the night doing some final tweaks to songs that needed it. Everything is to perfection.

Now what? Additional photoshoots and work on the album artwork with graphic designer RozLilia Friend of The Branding Iron, LLC… and live performances 🙂

Thanks for listening!


Can’t Rush Art

New song up for streaming: “A Night on the Town” !

http://soundcloud.com/richy923/A-Night-on-the-Town

I had originally posted the song on Thursday night, but pulled it down on the following evening after it gained 14 listens on Soundcloud. It just didn’t sound right. The vocals REALLY sounded like shit, to the point where I would cringe when I played it back. Everything from my tone to my annunciation was just off.

I guess it was one of those moments where it all sounded right at the time. Perhaps I was just burnt out when I was cutting this track and by the end of it all, my perception was all skewed. Plus I was eager to release it on a Friday, given the lyrical content of the song.

I spent Sunday afternoon retooling “A Night on the Town”. I fixed the lyrics up to make a little more sense, re-recorded the vocals and played a new lead guitar section so it gives a little more context to the melody of the chorus and the key of the verse that follows it. I also did more of the random adlibs between the verse and chorus… I feel like the little “uh! yea! ooh!” gives the song a little more UMPH during the chord changes.

Another song in the can and I got two, maybe three more to go. The infamous date of 9/23 is four days away, so I don’t think I can reach my goal of completing the album before then. After this weekend’s lesson, you can’t rush art.


The Home Stretch

First off, I love how Myspace’s “custom wallpaper” looks absolutely NOTHING like the album artwork for face:the.music.

Coincidence? Hardly.

Now as for the production for King Friday, I have 4 more tracks to go before I can start the mastering process for the CD.

-(untitled Intro)
-101 Days (Away From Home)
-A Night on the Town
-(untitled Outro)

Hopefully I can cut two a week, master by the third week and be ready for the release by the infamous date of Sept. 23 (9/23)! Not likely, since there’s more to be done after the mastering; new distribution methods, marketing, etc.

But in the event I am done before then, I’ll have it available for a free download for Facebook friends on 9/23 and plan a US release through iTunes, Amazon, Napster and Rhapsody by Mid-October.

In the meantime, I’ve been doing the typical “check out this song” posting on Facebook and Twitter. I’m sure it’s probably annoying to some of my friends on there (maybe they consider it spam or whatever) but shameless plugs are part of the gig being a one-man band. It’s just gotta be done. Some of my “friends” either don’t know that I make music or they’re checking their Facebook on mobile devices, so my music posts are pretty much hit or miss. But I do wanna say thanks for those who have given feedback, through FB Likes and retweets, your feedback lets me know I’m doing the right thing.


Two Brand New Songs!

I spent the day sick in bed Friday, so I decided to not be a total chump and work on some final mixes of some songs I’ve been working on. And now… two new songs!

“Her Name Here”

and

“Losing Myself”

Photo courtesy of Raphael Salgado.


Get funky.

Last night, I started work on a new track called “Losing Myself”. It’s one of the more funky sounding songs on the King Friday album, trying to steer away from the heavy bar chords.

Without giving too much away lyric-wise, the setting for the song is intimacy in a club, so it’s only appropriate to build the song with some groovy bass and drums to create the vibe.

Again, it’s been one of those recordings where I dive in with a certain idea, but then the end result is surprising. I laid down a bass line, supported it with a steady drum groove, then added some guitar licks. Now it sounds like some kinda weird Chili Peppers hybrid.

Pretty dope stuff so far.


New Music Friday: “Broke-Ass” and “Cameras”

Check out TWO brand new songs:

From my upcoming album King Friday, the new song “Broke-Ass” (featuring E.dot Fresco of The BackPackers)

And fellow musicians The BackPackers bangin’ new track “Cameras”:

Click HERE to download “Cameras”

Also check out soundcloud.com/richy923 for my previously released songs!