Hella Gems | Original Music Blog

As usual, my hellagem snuck up on me. After the Biloxi madness and the requisite Christmas visits, I found it was Sunday already (and because I consider Hellagems to be based on the West Coast, I also consider this to be on time as far as Pacific Standard Time goes, so neener). Lindsey, who is residing in Indiana currently in the pursuit of becoming a Doctor of CS Majesty, is visiting Atlanta to see Alex, so I decided to try to conscript them in helping me. Thankfully, they agreed. Lindsey already has some experience with this format as she has a music blog she posts songs to every month (or so) called Shoebox Full of Tapes. Feel free to add her blog to your regular rotation of panicked music blog posts.

Lindsey and Alex wrote most of the structure of this song on guitar and piano whilst I whacked on Alex’s e-drums (all of which were hooked through my audio interface into my laptop, my first attempt at mobile recording with my laptop is a success!). Gradually the structure was hammered from the verse and chorus figures. I sort of wrote some chords to a bridge, then we proceeded to play the song a few more times until it gelled. The drums, piano, guitar and vocals were recorded simultaneously after the lyrics were written by Lindsey with an assist by Alex running a shell script to find words that ended in “ify” (oh yes, they are both CS ninjas). For the final recording Alex played drums and I played guitar. Later I overdubbed the lead guitar at the end and the bass, the latter which is buried in the mix just to add a little low end. Then we recorded backing vocals using a stereo microphone that LZQ gave me for Christmas, which worked out about as well as hoped. A little reverb here and there, a little compression, a check of the rendered wav to make sure none of the samples had dropped out… oh gods, dropout is the enemy of using samples for songs. I avoided it this time by installing a second drive in my Thinkpad and streaming the Piano samples solely from it since they are the most prone to drop out, particularly when one uses the sustain pedal a lot (which Lindsey and I both abuse).

It took about four hours to write and record the song start to finish. Not too bad!

Lyrics:

You already had bigger plans
to undertake with some chosen friend,
and anyway, it isn’t like
I was ever going to qualify.
I take your books to bed at night,
but where you wrote your name inside,
I can’t remember who that was,
or how, or what, or when, or why.
But your mythology leaves something to be desired,
so if I’m distant now, you won’t need to wonder why.

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5 Responses to “Bigger Plans (feat. Lindsey Kuper & Alex Rudnick)”

  1. ravelite

    Nice job dudes and ladies!

    It all fits together really well. I like the sproingy sounds.

  2. Lindsey Kuper

    Thanks, Graham! The sproingy sound is actually the pitch bend on Rob’s keyboard. I was messing with it and discovered that it shifted the pitch a fifth, which was exactly what I wanted for the chord change there. I was hoping it’d come out sounding like pedal steel.

  3. Erik Peterson

    Sounds fantastic! Keep the great music coming, fellas.

  4. Kelly Vines

    I’m so impressed! Great job, guys! It’s hard to believe that this all came together in a day!!

  5. gojirra

    very cool, amazing that this was done in one day. powerful vocals.

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