My second composition for the year (the 3rd recording, if I include the last one from the mashup with Vanessa).
not broken, fractured, or damaged
I was inspired by the heavy bass track from “Dry”, by Singapore band “Lunarin”. So I picked up my guitar and whacked a few typical barre chords:
Em/ C/ G
D/ Am/ C – D
Then it was simply building up the song in layers. Along the way, I added the synths via GarageBand. Essentially, it’s still a rock piece. Quite a fun project, but also a challenging one in terms of engineering the sound. I wanted to get that full sound of the distortion/ overdrive effect. The original recording was in mono, and sounded flat when I compared the sound with the Lunarin CD. I think I eventually achieved something close enough, by overlaying the recordings and boosting the bass.
Highlights of how it was done (click on the images to view larger-sized pics):
I found that I could get a heavy-stereo layered sound by repeating the tracks as layers with slightly different effects and equalizer settings. The mix included Overdrive, Chorus, Equalizer (boosting the bass settings), Compression etc. But GarageBand had limits to the number of effects for each layer (e.g. I wanted to experiment with overdubbing). So I did the next best thing — I exported the tracks as MP4 files (in orange colour), then imported them back in to add different effects. It worked quite well.
For this piece, I wanted to add as many variations to the sounds as possible. For instance, the guitar lead for the first stanza (after the intro) had seven layers in total, each with slightly different settings.
As always, the sound engineering part is the most time consuming. Like previous songs, I identified the parts where the sound levels “red-lined”, set that segment as a repeat-loop and adjusted the levels.
I’m learning that sound engineering is part a science and also a skill, ‘cos there’s more than one way to achieve roughly the same effects. E.g. to create a fuller sound, I could add a Chorus effect to one layer, or have more than one layer of the same track with slightly different settings.