muted tones

december 05

this entry is from december 05. click here for more information about the curator, and to hear the finished work if it's available.

here’s where the snares came in

january 01st, 2006

Dear muted tones,

I try to keep a generally clean tongue. That makes a genuine collapse into obscenity a sharper tool, as it was meant to be: scissors on the social fabric, or a truly powerful curse against a powerful foe.

That said, recording live drums is a motherfucker.

As promised, Brent Piepergerdes (aka El Peeps) spent hours, and I mean hours, trying to match his beautiful human drumming to the both inhuman and irregular beat programmed for him to follow. As you know, canned drums are nice placeholders and occasionally perfect instruments to express one’s cold alienation or icy despair, but in the hot funk sea we’ve already created, they sound like like pure ass. So, El Peeps to the rescue.

After much cussing, cutting, and pasting (and realizing that we hit a button on the compressor for a certain part and forgot to put it back on), we dubbed our way through some loopable patterns. There were also some instruments in the way, namely a single note piano line that was interfering with the new timing of the song. It was a mess, and it took hours of painstaking effort – with Peeps playing and replaying, us recording and rerecording, and then the mixing. The mixing! We don’t like to complain, muted tones – the fact that we’ve received competitive prizes for it in the past should not fool you, we don’t choose our gifts, we are chosen by them – but our recording/mixing station is, again with the language, a large odorous pile, as from the hindquarters of a Yeti. Files take 10 minutes to open, hours to offload to backup, the monitor is wavy and headache-inducing – it crashes crashes crashes as predictably as surf against the shore – it hurts our tender feelings every damned day.

But the song, muted tones. The final result. It’s almost done, we can feel it, and Hiram’s been singing and I have to say I’m in love. With him, as always, but also with his voice, which I loved the first moment I heard his songs. He’s sleeping in the other room now, after spending a day fighting the glitches and anti-funk forces. There’d be none of this without him, muted tones, so I’ll give him a kiss and tell him it’s from you. I know you’d want it that way.



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