Ugh, losing steam. Don’t know how much longer I can hold onto consciousness. Here goes anyways…catchup time!
Tonights theme is “To Give.”
I’ve been at home without a speaker/subwoofer setup (okay, admittedly the ideal is to use monitor speakers, but come on, you expect me to have -those-? Granted, Kimball does have the studio but I’m not about to use that for OHC because I do OHC using my desktop and…well, long story short, it’s not feasible), so I mixed this one on headphones, and thus don’t know how the bass sounds. Apologies if it’s mixed poorly. I do most of my “main” mixing on phones and all, but I still always rely on my subwoofer setup for determining bass balance (and even then it’s not really that great because it doesn’t get the low, LOW frequencies that monitors can, as I noticed once when I was listening to one of my songs in the Kimball studio).
AHEM. Anyways, this time around I figured the theme was probably going to be something Christmas-y, so before the round started I gathered together a bunch of sleigh-bell/hihat/shaker-type sounds, as well as a bunch of dingy mallet-type sounds. I didn’t have any church-bell sounds but that’s okay because they probably wouldn’t have fit anyways. I wanted to go for an “ice” type mood, and not so much a “winter town” type mood.
So, 6:00 rolls around and the theme is “To Give”, and I’m like “UHHHHHHH”. And it definitely takes me a few minutes before I figure out how I want to spin that. I end up deciding on the idea of starting out cold and then being “given” warmth somehow. It wasn’t until the last few minutes when I was scrambling for a title that the “blanket” idea came into play.
Anyhow, things start off with…the first sleigh bell sample that I found, but…reversed! And then some other one-shot sounds. Notice the heavy reverb used here to give everything that echoy “ice cave” feel. Then we get this bass drum that really reverberates (again, intentional), along with short bell riff and just a hint of a bassline. Things build from here steadily with more bell sounds, a hi-hat pattern (which is glitched every 4th measure via dBlue), and then we get a short moment of silence before getting to the standard “funk beat section” of the song. I actually like this section the most out of the entire song–the pluck-sounding arp here really matches well with the chords from before, and the soundscape is kind of “thin” compared to when the pads come in, but still very interesting. It’s more “sparse” than thin–in a good way.
After that, I add in the pads and we start getting some actual chord changes. I use C to Ab, which is the same chords used in the Secret of Mana ice level song, and has a sort of “forlorn” sound to it.
I initially thought this song wouldn’t turn out to be quite as long (it did anyways) because I was trying to make things less repetitive. Notice how even though there’s a lot of elements that get repeated here, each phrase brings about more than simply one new instrument adding on–there’s either 2 instruments adding on, or there’s two adding and one dropping, or there’s a pattern change in one of the existing lines, etc. So I tried to make things evolve more intricately this time. I didn’t do an exceptional job at it, but I’d like to think it shows at least a -little- (the drums could have used more variation though).
After the “funk beat section” we get a breakdown, first with just pads and a whistley triangle synth, then again with low strings on the bottom to add to a sense of “epicness”.
At this point I think it was past 6:40 and I was like crap, I really need to make the “warm” part of the song now. So I do a not-very-interesting transition and just bring in some “warm” instruments with a high-pass filter. There’s a gated pad sound (with “wind” sweep) as well as the brassy synth lead–both from Alchemy. The end part is kind of cheesy but does the job of conveying the “hey, we’re warm now” message, with the bright pad sounds and such. It’s not extremely well-done and the drums are a total bleh because I just copied them over, but hey–it’s all I had time for!
Overall, not really the best entry I’ve done, but still an interesting listen, and there are some parts that really have some good things going on.