Blog posts

  • Sometimes, I just set an audio track to record and sing the first thing that comes into my head. In the case of this track, it was the “I need a beat…beat…beat….beat” line. After that, it was pretty much inevitable that this was going to turn into one of those songs that’s just about writing a song.

  • If you look through the track listing for the average 90s FPS soundtrack you end up with a combination of slightly trying-too-hard-to-be-tough titles (“Kill Ratio”) and stuff which is obviously just the name of the level (“Big Gun”). To stick with the boom-shoot theme of the SHAKE project, I’m trying to go with song names that sound suitably aggressive but aren’t really.

    This track was one of the first things written with my Solar A1.8 and it seemed only appropriate to try to make it chug as hard as I could. I’ve already sung the praises of the Evertune system elsewhere, but this whole track would have been a complete mess without the near-perfect tuning and intonation it provides.

    Mixing music which goes this low is a real challenge. It’s hard to keep the guitars and bass separated and sounding tight when they’re constantly intruding on each other’s part of the frequency spectrum. The high-pass filter got a real workout on this one.

  • I’m not a good lyricist. If anything, lyrics are probably the biggest source of delays in getting my music into a finished state. Sometimes, the best thing to do is just open my mouth and see what comes out.

    What’s this song about? Nothing.

  • One of the tracks in the SHAKE project. This is an attempt to replicate some of the magic of 90s FPS soundtracks, when everything was metal/industrial. Although everyone – rightly – loved Mick Gordon’s modern DOOM soundtracks, I’m even more of a fan of Sonic Mayhem‘s original Quake 2 OST.

    I’m sure it’s been done before, but I really like the contrast between the spooky clean lead and the groove-metal rhythm. Imagine Dimebag shredding in a giant subterranean reservoir.

  • A motivational song about tidying the house. No actual tidying occurred.

  • This song dates all the way back to the nineties. That version had really wild, more dance-oriented drums and plenty of guitar histrionics but it was way too complicated for its own good. I decided to revisit and simplify the whole thing a bit.

    The keyboards are heavily influenced by the Tron soundtrack by Daft Punk. I love the “futuristic city” sound of that film, evoked by all those huge sounding pads and strident brass instruments. Some of Mike Oldfield’s Ommadawn seems to have got in there as well.

    The main guitar used for recording was my Ibanez ARZ800. Or at least that’s what I think it is; Ibanez model numbers can be hard to work out. The ARZ series doesn’t have a great reputation but it’s a relatively rare example of an Ibanez with active EMGs and that active sound suits this track perfectly. It doesn’t hurt that this thing sustains basically forever.

  • I love the guitar and drum parts in David Lee Roth’s “Skyscraper”. I don’t really like anything else about the song, which honestly seems as if it doesn’t know where to go after it establishes that great opening riff. So, I wrote something rather similar and didn’t even try to add a vocal part. A song that could only really have been written using an Ibanez JEM; it’s a perfect instrument for both in-between single coil sounds and scooping up to a note with the whammy.

  • I bought an Ibanez JEM 7VP, and this is the first song which came out of it. For anybody unfamiliar with the JEM series, they’re basically like playing a really awesome tremolo unit with a pretty neat guitar attached. This guitar has a beautiful satin-finished neck which encourages slippy, slide-y Vai-style melodies. The JEM put me in a good mood, and I think that comes across in the music.

    This track uses the base Logic Audio plugins for guitar, bass, and drums. The quality isn’t quite up to the standards of your Neural DSPs but I rather love the sound of the basic midrange lead tone.