Saturday 25 May 2024

What's happening May 2024

Earlier this month I recorded a Jawmunji Talks video. I enjoy doing them, I have a lot to talk about. Unfortunately I don't have a good setup for recording them, and I'm not great at them either. Interestingly about the same time I recorded it Rick Beato put out a video talking about his obsession with the perfect look for his talking videos. I could relate to evertything he was saying. My computer is under a staircase, it's pretty tight but I make it work. It doesn't however give me much room to create an ambience. It would be nice to have a big room with the background filled with all my musical stuff, with warm lighting, and a set of cameras and microphones set up permanently so I can just go in and record whenever I felt like talking about something. One day one of my kids might move out and I will repurpose their bedroom into a music studio...

I need to work on my talking videos, I need to articulate more, and possibly plan what I'm going to say if not script it. I like the idea of being able to just talk without scripting, but when I watched that video back I realised that I missed saying some things I wanted to say, and said some things that were unnecessary. This media we are on right now - text - so easy, I can just go back and edit anything! And I do! And sometimes, when I'm a consumer, I prefer text, but sometimes I prefer video, so it's nice to have both.

It was good to dust off OBS Studio, I hadn't used it in a while. It's such a great program for staging AV productions. I had plugged in two logitech C920s, a Zoom H1N as audio input, a knock-off Behringer USB interface, and two display captures. It handled them all live, the USB interface was slightly more laggy than the Zoom H1N, so I had to mute the Zoom when I was playing the guitar (I was using the electric). I be honest I should just play the nylon string guitar through the fact a dynamic mic for voice and a condensor for the guitar. Mmm, maybe dynamic for the guitar, but I do love a condensor for the guitar, it captures everything, if not a little too much everything. I should look into being able to capture all audio feeds and all video feeds at the same time to do post production on - so all video angles and all audio streams, but I doubt my little laptop could handle that.

Anyway, something to chip away at in the background.

Meanwhile, I've had an obsessive dive into a Tame Impala song I first mentioned I should cover back in 2013. "It Feels Like We Only Go Backwards" has been in my to-do list for a while, it's a nice psychedelic rock song, and Tame Impala is from my home town of Perth Western Australia, I need to have more Perth band songs in my setlist. It won Single of the Year for our local music awards in 2013, it has a nice high melody with a very groovy bassline.

I'm at a stage when the basslines in my arrangements are starting to get a bit more complex, which I am really enjoying. My thumb is starting to know where to go, both in rhythm and note selection, rather than just sitting on the root note for the whole bar.

It does make for playing it quite complicated though. But that is a good thing, it's how you progress!

The song is in F, but I'm just tired of needing a top string A over a bottom string F in arrangements, which it would have a few. So inititally I dropped it back to E, which ends up with the main chord progression of E-B-F#m. The latter two aren't trivial chords for arrangements.

I bashed out the melody and the bassline into Musescore with very little playing the guitar. I wanted "the actual" melody and bassline to be there at the start, after that I can grab the guitar and work out what I'm prepared to tackle and what I won't. There were some great sounds but some unusual fretting, and I've worked out that if I don't keep it simple then the songs won't stay with me, so I dumbed it down ever so slightly.

I came back to it the next day and considered instead of dropping from F to E, going from F to G. This created a much easier chord progression of G-D-C, but I needed to drop the melody down an octave to fit, otherwise it's a high B over a low G, which is slightly easier than a high A over a low F, but then I may as well stick to E.

The lower melody over the higher bass is also easier to put together on your left hand, but you've now compressed the song together in the middle frquency range. It gaves a warmer feel (it's how the Artic Monkeys play their cover of it) but to me it turns it into a lullaby. So I'm wrestling with "do I make it easier to play but more frequency compressed, or harder to play and a wider range? Not to mention that G-D-C is such an overused cowboy chord sound.

I know what Naudo would do :-)