Editing that video made me think of process. I think process happens when you do something for a while. A predictable pattern emerges. For example, tracking the drums first. So you follow this pattern and it alleviates some of the “not knowing” anxiety.
It’s a double edge sword though. Sure a defined process may be calming but it’s also kind of static.
I think it’s important to realize that progress doesn’t have to be linear, predictable, or have a pattern. That thought can save you some frustration.
During the video edit I started from scratch several times. It seemed like I was going nowhere. But when I finished I realized what was going on. I was learning each clip of video and figuring out where it best fit with the music. Each aborted attempt was progress in disguise. Unless you realized that you can get really frustrated. I know I did.
The same could be said of producing a song. This song is called “Screw Tonight”.
I originally recorded it as a joke. But given the theme of this album it fits right in. I just have to take it from demo-singer-song-writer land to album-land. So far it’s not going well. Let me list what I don’t like.
- The dampened guitar is too harsh. Try different mic placement, using thumb instead of pick, recording for samples and assembling them on timeline.
- Voice should be softer. Try different performances at different mic distances. Try adding melody line with piano under vox. Try singing it softer. Duh.
- It needs more interest. More changes. Listen to Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique for ideas. The Beasties are very good at adding interest but still sticking with a theme.
- Drums aren’t fitting.
I listen to music different then my own and think about how it’s put together. I think this is a helpful producer exercise. For example, Paul’s Boutique has all kinds of ambient sounds coming in and dropping out. They don’t grab your attention like the drums and vocals but they change the feel of the music.
Here it is so far.