Subscribe to Remote God
Be the first to hear NEW MUSIC and PRODUCTION TIPS straight from the musician, artist and producer, REMOTE GOD. Enter your name and email below and click "Subscribe."
Note - with so much music production going on, I postponed writing these articles by a few days. But, all the important production notes were taken “live” on the day I was doing the work. So, this reflects an accurate state of mind at the time - and it was only a few days ago, anyway.
Started From The Bottom (The Bass)
Today I started work on the track by going back to bass-ics. I focused in on my Bass track in the MIDI editor in Ableton Live, and started adjusting individual notes and velocities.
As I mentioned yesterday, too much work in the MIDI editor tends to remove the humanity from sound. So, I also did a a healthy amount of re-recording live bass tracks through my keyboard.
Through the blend of new performances and detailed MIDI editing, I brought out more of the bass sound I was going for.
I didn’t really do any re-writing, just improving and clarifying what is already there.
It can be tough to stick to my existing ideas. I need to be clear about what improvement I’m trying to achieve, before I start making changes. Otherwise it’s so easy to lose the thread completely and just spend hours making things worse instead of better. Or, just making changes for the sake of change.
After tightening up the basslines and sound a little bit, I completely changed directions.
It was time to return to the lyrics, which were almost complete other than 3 very tricky lines that were giving me a lot of trouble…
Writing Lyrics and Creative Restrictions
It’s amazing how long it felt like it took me to finish the final three lines. Looking back, here’s how things went:
Around the middle of the day, I finally got the last verse lyric line written. It’s not perfect, but I’m pretty sure it’s the best I’ve come up with. I want to move on and finish the song, so I’m going with this final idea.
Then in the early evening I got half of the Bridge figured out - by which I mean, one single line. This was a major victory. I don’t know much about writing Bridges, as I’ve described before. But now I had an idea of what I can say in the Bridge that makes (a little) sense in the context of the song.
It’s interesting how restrictive your choices become when you’re so close to the end of the lyric. At the beginning of the song, you can say anything and make it work. But by the time I’m almost done, most of my lyrical ideas just sound bad.
So, I’m glad to finally have some idea of what lyrics to use for the bridge. Now I just have one line left to write in the whole song and I know what the last word of that line will be, because of the rhyme idea I have.
But, I was still stuck for a while…
Finally Finishing the Lyrics
Then, around dark - got it. After basically being stuck on 3 lines of lyrics for 72 almost hours, I think I nailed down the final line of the Bridge. Let me say it is definitely far from “perfect.” I’m not even sure I like the words of the Bridge. But it’s something…
I’m SO glad and proud to be finished writing the words. It’s not just the lyrics I feel proud of, but even more for setting a tough goal and finishing it despite resistance.
I’ll link the lyrics here to celebrate finishing them. (Note from the future: there were still a few small changes as I finalized the vocal performance.)
After all that wordy thinking, it was a relief to return to something more instrumental…
Returning to the Bass Sound
For my last bit of work today, I came right back to the Bass track.
I really didn’t want to worry it to death (that’s not ‘songwriting’), so I did a few live re-takes on my keyboard, took my favorite, gave it some light quantization to tighten it up and kept it.
The original vibe of the bass is completely intact. In fact, I think it’s better than ever.
I think there’s more I could do for the sound, though… OK, I’m going to try and leave it alone, though. I need to keep moving forward.
Oh, right - I also changed up the Bass synth sound for the Bridge. The octave range of the main synth wasn’t working out, so I found something I liked better.
As I did the sound design for the Bridge bass, I also cleaned up and edited a few of the specific notes and rhythms, but mostly I stayed hands-off, wanting to move forward.
By the time it was too late at night for me to continue, my Bass was sounding great and my lyrics felt complete.
Made Progress, But More to Come
That’s that for today.
After finishing the bass and especially the complete song lyrics, I feel good and ready for sleep. But there’s still plenty left to do before the song is ready for release…
Keep reading! Click here to read about the next day, focused on drum programming and energy levels throughout the song…
P.S. You can now listen to the finished song! Please leave me a comment - I’d love to hear your feedback!