Friday, September 27, 2013

Music: "First Thoughts"

So since I'm going to use this blog to highlight my music as well as my writing, how about a music sample?

I've never been a digital guy when it comes to guitar effects, but as part of the process of getting back into it and joining the church band, I needed to upgrade my effects.  I wanted something small and compact that could give me multiple effects; be able to offer headphone, amp, and direct out; not break the bank; and give half-way decent tones.

I looked around, compared several options, and ended up buying a Zoom G3X last month.  I'll talk more about this later, but suffice it to say that for $200 it's a great deal, and it also came with the ability to plug it into a PC via USB, and they even threw in a free copy of Steinbeg's Sequel LE.

Wow -- the ability to do multitrack recording on my PC?  Sounds awesome!  Let's try it out!

Well, this was my first attempt.  I put together a short drum loop, added a backwards fade-in to the beginning, and repeated it 4 times with a 1-bar pause in between. Then I messed around with some MIDI bass (MIDI -- that's a whole new thing for me) using my PC keyboard as, well, a keyboard. Then I threw up a quick rhythm guitar and slapped on some lead parts, including a backwards-delay effect track -- I told you I had a new digital multi-effect, right?

So then I had my first PC-recorded multitrack thing.  Nothing too amazing in terms of playing -- I'm a little rusty -- but still a lot of fun.

This is is.  As a video.  For some strange reason Blogger won't let you upload an MP3 into a post, but you can upload a video.  So I had to experiment with Windows Movie Maker to put this together. The sound quality is compromised a bit from uploading it to Blogger, but you can still basically hear all the parts.

So, to summarize what I've been up to creatively in the last month or so -- a dust-off of the old guitar and playing enough to start building back the calluses, a new guitar multi-effect to play around with, the new ability to record digitally on my PC, new programs to learn (Sequel LE and now Reaper -- MUCH more powerful), the world of MIDI to explore, and now even a new toe-dip in video making.

No wonder I haven't done any writing... :)

Thanks for listening!


  1. Nice! I'm not recorded much of my own work. Nothing wrong with breaking out the guitar again instead of writing.

  2. Thanks, Alex! I'm glad you liked it, and I appreciate your support -- I'd love to play music AND write, and I'm going to try a way to balance those. I just need about 40 hours in each day, lol!

  3. Awesome! I've been wanting to do this for EVER! I've written so many songs on guitar... programmed so many songs on computer... It's time the two to meet!!!
    Some of your song reminded me of Ted Nugent's Stranglehold. Very cool.

  4. @David: Thanks! "Stranglehold", huh? That makes me laugh -- certainly wasn't intended, but that was my all-time favorite song back when I was 15 and 16. Saw Nugent live four or five times in high school and I now have the tinnitus to prove it. :) I guess some of those early influences never quite go away, huh? And yes -- you should definitely start doing it!!!


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