Tag Archives: music production

A Little Update

Here’s a little update that’s been long overdue. Four songs for the new album are done now. For two more I still need to record and mix in some more vocals. It’s really just another day or two to finish them, but currently my live performance set takes precedence.

I’m very happy and extremely excited to say that I’ve been invited to the IndiEarth Xchange in Chennai, Madras to hold a workshop and perform live. I only got the first email about four weeks ago and I’m flying there already on Tuesday. Very unexpected and it will delay all my other plans, but who’s going to say no to such an opportunity? So I’ll be in India for a week, hopefully with some time to not only take in the Xchange, but also a glimpse of Madras. I’ve never been, but always wanted to go. So exciting!

Fingers crossed that I’ll have the live set ready and am well rehearsed till then. Panic started setting in a few days ago when it took me three hours to get the MIDI remote scripts working as expected. And that was one small part, not all the details. Charlie, my cat, helped me calm down with her purring. I can’t bring my array mbira, but will use Ableton Push to play and record. Quite a task, relearning all parts on the In key layout (from keyboard and array layouts).

Charlie's trying to help me or something
Charlie’s trying to help me or something

After I’m back, I’ll get right onto finishing Noise Machine and Tipping Point. One night, when I was supposed to work on something, I instead looked through all my little musical sketches and jammed along with the ones I still liked. I have at least four more ideas, vocal lines and lyrics. I only need to find enough time in a row to produce them. Not just a few hours here and there.

In case it looks like I never will (because there’s somehow always more work), I’ll postpone everything else. At some point the album simply needs to be my first priority. I feel like otherwise my head might just explode one day.

Anyway, I’ll be back with another blog post after my return. I’m sure there’ll be much to write about.


Gaining Momentum

About two weeks ago I listened back to all the songs and song ideas I have. I thought I was pretty much right at the beginning of the next album. Turns out, there’s quite a bit done already. So far I have 6 songs that are either missing only a few elements or are at least mostly mapped out as arrangements. Listening back has really sparked things off. Before that, I felt kind of lost, didn’t know where to begin and where things might lead. In short, I found an in and now have a plan.

Live & Learn, Together and Reverie already made appearances in my vBlogs (from *cough* 2012). Epicycle, an instrumental, as a rough draft:

And then there are two new songs, Noise Machine and Tipping Point. They’re both pretty danceable with fat synth bass lines. I’ve used the Easter holidays to record bass lines for most of these songs. With a Micromoog and a Minitaur (yes, I <3 me some Moog). Next up is recording all the instruments, refining the beats and recording vocals. I'm hoping to have the first 6 songs within the next three weeks or so. [caption id="attachment_2922" align="aligncenter" width="600"]My workplace at the nature reserve. Beautiful, isn't it? My workplace at the nature reserve. Beautiful, isn’t it?[/caption]

Last Friday, I felt very antsy trying to work in my studio. It was warm and the sun was shining. Finally I gave up, grabbed my laptop, lyrics notebook and cycled to the nearby nature reserve. I went through all my lyrical ideas there, again surprised how many I already had. I put some finishing touches on some. So now I have 8 more finished lyrics and two more half done. I’m so happy and relieved about it. Quite frankly, lyrics are the toughest part in the process and they need to be done early on or else I end up getting stuck.

Also I no longer work so much, but I’m able to have at least two days per week to work on music. Right now I’m just working off a to do list so that next week it can be all about music.

I’m considering to start up the vBlogs again, but I’m not sure if it will not eat up too much time. Maybe keep them short, sweet and simple. Let me mull this over… What do you think?

More soon one way or another.


Where I’m At

It’s been ages since I’ve been blogging or vblogging regularly. Over the course of the last year and a half I’ve started my business Sonic Bloom through which I teach music production with Ableton Live and mix and master other people’s music. Most of the time I did 70+ hours of work per week to get it off the ground. So much to do. In the winter of 2012/13 every day felt like groundhog day. The most boring and tiring version of it.

Charlie making music
Charlie making music

Now I’m at a point at which I can slow down a little. I feel pretty exhausted and empty right now. Have felt that way for about two months, but it’s gettibg better. After all this madness and such a high output I need some time to breathe, reflect, absorb and sort my head. Hermit style, mostly.

My vocal booth is finally fixed again after it had been broken by Charlie when she was still a kitten.

Currently I’m in a pre-production phase with my music. I have at least 5 song ideas roughly sketched out. Some are missing lyrics which I find crucial for moving forward in the production and arrangement. And I have plenty of musical fragments that could eventually turn into songs.

One of the synths
One of the synths

Overall, the songs so far seem to emphasise beats and bass more, so the next album might turn out more electronic and danceable. I’ve been experimenting a lot with analogue synths and I really like using them for bass lines (my boyfriend has a solid collection). That said, I reckon the new ideas still sound like me. There’ll still be lots of my vocals, field recordings and a wide array of acoustic instruments involved.

That’s it for now. I’ll be back soon, quite possibly with some soundbites.


vBlog #2 is up

After a delay of a week because I needed to recover from a Bronchitis, the next vBlog is finally up. Hear some of the now finished ‘Together’, ‘Aurelia’ and ‘Patchwork’ and see me play metallophone, vibraphone and the minimoog that was used for the bass line in Nena’s ’99 Red Balloons’ amongst other things. Enjoy! Comments of any sort are of course welcome again.

vBlog #1

The first vBlog is up. Hurray! The first of a long series. I’m already halfway into the next EP and album, but you can watch some of my previous work in progress in webcasts as well.

In this first vBlog I’m playing you bits of my new songs Live & Learn, Audacity and Together. There’s crazy kazoo, trumpet, array mbira, a strange whirly and of course vocals. I hope you enjoy it!