Archive for January, 2010
Hellpellet and I had an awesome experience at Podcamp Pittsburgh this past October. Unknowingly, as I enjoyed various discussions and made some new friends, I was filing away some songwriting inspiration about the nature of online notoriety.
The (interim) end result is “Next Big Thing”. It wound up being a ska-flavored tune that brings up flash-in-the-pan celebrity both online and on television.
Ironically I have to thank Tom Smith for the kick in the ass to finish the tune. In mid-December I helped him make a quick video, and he wondered if lots of people would check it out. I told him I was working on a song about that kind of “social media” kind of stuff, and after I wound up sofa-bound I finished most of the tune because it was suddenly on my mind.
I still need to write lyrics for the bridge, and we have to track all the instruments for reals tho (it’s all ACID loops and Fantom horns except for the vocals and guitars), but I’m excited about busting out a new tune.
Of course she’s already sold more records than we have, and they’re calling her album stiff. Hmm, come to think of it, maybe some plastic surgery would do wonders for our marketability…
With the new Pro Tools setup, I can finally use some cool virtual instruments. Thank goodness, or some of these songs would never be finished.
I got a virtual horn section called “Mojo” from Vir2 instruments (B&H Photo had the best price, by the way). I finally had a chance to install it and try it out. It does not disappoint. In fact, it’s pretty kick ass.
It uses the Kontakt player to access its massive library of horn sounds. There are a set of core instruments (saxophones, trumpets, trombones and more) that have all kinds of play and release articulations, all controlled by MIDI messages. I connected my Fantom to the DIGI 003, created an instrument track in PT and went to town.
Mojo is definitely tweak-friendly. There are tons of options for making the horns sound and perform the way you want. It was a little tricky getting used to hitting the keyswitches for setting articulation while I was playing, but I was able to manually write in MIDI notes to do that if I fouled it up while performing. Same goes for release articulations, which are the things that you can set for when the note is released (like falls, doits and slurs – sounds like things that happen after you’ve been drinking, doesn’t it?)
I put together a three-piece horn section for an upcoming tune. I had previously used the Fantom to lay down horn tracks, and while the Fantom’s horn sounds are pretty good, the difference between them and the Mojo horns is definitely noticeable:
First the Fantom “horns”:
Now the Mojo version:
Righteous. I had been trying for eons to get a real horn section together and schedule a recording session, but it was always logistically difficult to find players, coordinate schedules, chart the horn parts, blah blah blah. For less than what a single session would have cost, I can use this plug in for every tune that needs horn parts. It’s sick!
Now I must return to writing horn parts for every song ever. If you need me I’ll be working my Mojo, baby.
Another album title/concept. Hey, it’s brainstorming!