March 27th, 2007

full life

On Vox: getting real paid

It's been an obscenely busy last 72 hours; work's been nuts, as usual, but more importantly I've finally started work doing some musical scoring for 2 new Six Characters shorts.  The 6 were comissioned to do two short films, so the stakes here are somewhat different than in previous collaborations - for one thing, I'm finally getting paid, and for another, there are some pretty strict deadlines I have to obey.  I didn't even see any of the footage until Sunday afternoon, and ever since then I've spent my evenings tooling away.  I've not really been terribly excited with the sketches I've been submitting, but I've gotten enough positive feedback to at least know that I'm on the right track, and now that the edits are getting very close to final, I have a pretty good sense of what I need to adjust and how to embellish what I've already recorded.

This is not the first time I've written music for Six Characters (Exhibit A, Exhibit B) but it IS the first time that I've used the computer to record it.  Those 2 pieces above were done with my old digital 16-track, which could sorta do the job but was incredibly awkward to use, especially in terms of editing, and my whole composing scheme was totally ridiculous since my process would require me to view the edit with a stopwatch and write down how long each musical idea needed to be.  Now, that could very well be how doing film scoring is supposed to be done, but my machine, for all of its digital-ness, more or less functioned like a cassette-driven 4-track, so this process was INCREDIBLY long and annoying.  And, ultimately, the sound quality is pretty shitty all around - I'd do all the drumming live on my crappy drum machine, and I had no real way of putting any EQ on a track once it was on tape, so the mixes are all bland. 

I'm not saying that the stuff I'm doing now sounds incredible or anything, but it certainly sounds better.

One of the bonuses in this current project is that it's forced me to learn how to use Reason.  Most of the stuff I'm composing for this project is orchestral in nature, and I knew that I didn't really have any decent plugins in ProTools - but I did have a ton of great sounds in Reason, and MIDI editing (which I still don't really understand) is at least relatively easy to work with, which means that I've been able to save myself a ton of time and takes by simply clicking and dragging things around.  So that's nice.

The deadline for this thing is coming up pretty quickly, and it'll be posted on YouTube shortly thereafter, so I'll refrain from posting anything right yet.  (Especially since it won't necessarily make any sense without the video.)

Originally posted on

full life

(no subject)

I've come around on the new Modest Mouse, which is to say that whereas last week I was struck by how unremarkable it was, I'm now totally in love with it.  First of all, a thousand kudos to whoever had the brilliant idea to get the dude from The Shins to sing backups - good god, he sounds incredible.  I'm also now reasonably certain that Johnny Marr is the guitar in my left ear, which gives me something else to intensely focus on, and the more I listen to him the more I realize that he is a natural fit with what MM does, guitar-wise, except he makes everything sound 100x better.  Anyway, good job, boys.  It's no Antarctica, but then again, if the progression from the last album to this one is any indication, I'm not sure they'll ever make something like Antarctica again anyway.