Sunday, July 5, 2020

Visual songwriting pt 2

Hey all,

So this is a followup post to the first visual songwriting post I did a few weeks ago. I dont see this post being as extensive as the first, as its more of a short retrospective of how this songwriting method panned out.

In the past few weeks, I've recorded most of the elements of the song(s). There's a few things that I still want to touch up: I want to do some more atmospheric & sound design-y stuff, plus redo some of the vocals, but for the most part the 'songwriting' and is finished.

The main benefit I found was when I was playing parts in, I would have this sheet on full display, allowing me to really visualize the intensity and structure of the song while recording. On shorter parts this didnt change much, but for a part such as the main guitar, which plays for about 10 minutes of the whole 15~ minutes, I loved having this visual aid ready and available.

It was also very interesting drawing in the intensity and movement of a piece before actually working on the music itself. Got me into a quite a different headspace even before I picked up my guitar.

For such a maximalist instrumentation, I found it incredibly useful to have a rough outline of what goes where before recording (especially considering I only have 14 tracks to work with). I went through a few revisions of the tracklist sheet, and consolidated it to a smaller & more manageable single A4 paper. While the original tracklist sheet on the backside of the timeline was a fun thought, it just got confusing. I had trouble actually locating what instrument was where.

I've attached the final for your viewing pleasures:

After bouncing everything to digital when i finished the main instrumentation, I started re-recording over various tracks, such as the big DRONE track (14/15). I was able to do some cool effects, which included essentially 'resampling' the bass and screw guitar tracks through tons of effects onto these two channels. I'm planning on doing this more with other tracks, such as the xix drums, and probable some of the vocals as well. Doing this stuff on tape is a bit more exciting than just in digital, as there are so many more ways for stuff to go wrong, which always results in fun sounds.

Also, for any of yall who work with a 16 track and are in need of a similar sheet, heres the clean scanned version of it. I've already started using it with various other tunes, its quite helpful.

Overall, I've changed up a good few things from the original plan. Some sections I shortened, I've added & changed instrumentation. Although its still very similar to the plan, and to a degree I totally expected this to happen. Its hard to know exactly what something will sound like until you actually hear it. I also have plans to possible change the length of some of the middle section, as after consultation with a friend it appears to be a bit too long. I'll see what I do tho, Ive always been fond of lengthy and intense builds of sound. If I can make it work I will try my hardest to do so.

Unfortunatley, I dont currently have the song to share. Its still in a messy state, and I really want to polish it up more before it goes out into the world.

In general, I found this planning method quite helpful, im for sure going to try it again in the future. I hope yall got something out of this.

Peace n love,


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