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About chumpy

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    United States of America

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  • Musical / Songwriting / Music Biz Skills
    I can computer. Like good, real good.
  • Musical Influences
    I have probably not influenced anyone musically, ever.


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  1. Heya JH, You need an audio interface that lets plug your guitar into your computer. Typically it's a a box box that on one end has a couple of quarter inch guitar jacks, and on the other end has a USB connection. You plug the guitar into the one of the jacks, plug the USB cable into your computer. Here is an example of one of these interfaces that a lot of people seem to like, you can get cheaper ones, but this one has a lot of fans. Once you've got this thing plugged into your computer, you should be able to configure Reaper to use it as an audio input. Then it's just a matter of making a new track, setting the input of that track to be whatever port your guitar is plugged into, and hitting record and rocking out. You'll want to take a look at a visualization of the waveform that you get from recording your guitar and make sure you're getting reasonably sized set of waves, and you're not clipping all over the place. You'll want to adjust the gain, or your guitar's volume knob until you get a sound that doesn't clip or distort. Now that sound you get out of your guitar is going to sound pretty boring. You'll want to download a free amp simulator to get some better sounds out of your guitar. You can get some free simulated amps from products like IK Multimedia's Amplitube 4, when you download their "custom shop" application. This will be a VST plugin that you can load onto the track that you recorded your guitar on. Other companies that sell virtual guitar amps/effects I think also have a free version that you can try out. Good luck!
  2. This sounds fun, I'd play along. I assume you're just going to make the stems available at some point.
  3. There ya go Jenn, you got yourself a vocal melody, nice! Sometimes you just need something, anything to get started. After that it's just a matter of refining things until you're happy with them.
  4. Hey Jen, I assume you're talking about a vocal melody, but I guess it doesn't matter either way, a melody is a melody. It's definitely possible. What I do is just start singing random lyrics (they don't have to make sense at all) over and over again over an existing chord progression until I come up with something I like. I sing, because with my voice I don't have to think about it, notes just come out without me having to figure out where they are on the guitar or keyboard or whatever. Other people who are really good on the guitar or piano can use that instrument instead of their voice to pick out melodies. So it usually takes me about 15-20 minutes to come up with a "first cut" of a vocal melody, which usually isn't fantastic, but it's a starting point for further refinements. Because I liked your song, and to try to better describe my process, I actually spent 15-20 minutes singing stuff over your song until I came up with something that I didn't mind too much. This time I didn't start singing nonsense, I tried to take the words from your post as a starting point. For the chorus I noticed you titled your song 916, which I realized was also 916 upside down, so I ran with that. I hope this serves as an example of how one can come up with a melody by just singing some stuff on top of an existing bit of music. Please excuse my singing, this is a bit high for me Good Luck!
  5. Thanks for the feedback guys, I appreciate it! @ImKeN: A lot of our songs have a manic intensity to them. This one is at 180bpm which might be what's making you feel old, heh. One common complaint I've heard a lot is that our songs have no dynamics, they're all full blast all the time, which can tire out the listener. This time I made a conscious effort to try to add some. In the penultimate chorus we dropped out the rhythm guitars and drums which had the nice effect of quieting things down just a bit, and then adding more punch to the final chorus. It also let us do a cool L->R panned pick scrape sound on the rhythm guitar when it came back in, which is probably my favorite part of the song.
  6. I just rewatched that SM57 video again, and I noticed something interesting. A commenter asked the band what preamp/converter they used for the song and they responded: "Portico mic preamp, LA2a compressor, and Lynx II converters, mixed in a treated room using Cubase 7.5" So for those of you playing along at home, that's a $100 mic with with a $1,700 preamp, a $3,500 hardware compressor, and a $1,000 PCI audio card. I'm thinking that video as an argument for how great the SM57 sounds may have just had some of the wind knocked out of it.
  7. I'd think twice before discounting the SM57. There are reasons it's one of the best selling microphones in the world and has been a staple of professional recording studios since its introduction in 1965. It's reliable, nearly indestructible and sounds good. It's incredibly flexible, and can be used for things that generate a lot of sound, like drums and guitar amps. It also does a pretty solid job on vocals. For $100 you can't get a better all round mic. Here is a song recorded using 2 SM57 mics on drums, guitar, vocals, and tambourine. It rocks and sounds great.
  8. Two enthusiastic thumbs up Pyrian! I really enjoyed this, great singing and performance, nice composition, excellent production. My only complaint is that some of the instruments (strings, horns, piano) have an obvious synthesized sound to them, which seems out of place in an otherwise very natural sounding song. Something about the piano part is off, a couple of the notes sounded a bit sour to me. Your voice and feeling overpowers these minor issues. I really liked the video too, very creative! Great thick sounding guitar solo too.
  9. I really thought this would make a good song title too. I recorded a little demo for my chorus idea. I would have put it up on Soundcloud, but they're having issues today.
  10. Nothing like a deadline to focus the mind. Our band, Jerkatorium, is back with another single. This time around the title is Ace in the Hole and here is our take on the title. I hope you enjoy it! You’re sick Sick and tired of this town Let’s break loose, there ain't no use in us hanging around Maybe we should up and burn it all down But I think that you've got a Nihilistic soul But I truly believe You've got an ace up your sleeve You're tired Sick and tired of this place It's a shitty little city and a total disgrace here You never ever ever wanna show your face here Again, I think that your anger takes its toll But now I understand You've got an ace in your hand You've got an ace in the hole When the chips are down, you just skip town and go you don't even care, you'll go anywhere you just GTFO You've got an ace in the hole when your world gets tough you pack it up and go You can't even deal, when the shit gets real you play your ace in the hole You're high High and mighty, complaining Love's a lame little game, or so you keep saying Been dealt a good hand, but you keep overplaying I'm not the bad guy But I can play that role So now I'll tell you what You've got lodged up your butt Kiss me I'm sick Kiss me I'm tired Of your dirty tricks And your dumpster fires When you figure out you love me anyway And you figure out you really want to stay You're gonna figure out it doesn't work that way ‘cause I got my own ace that I'm gonna play
  11. I think he has one video with 50k views, and the rest are all pretty small, I doubt he's making any money at all. I really like arrangement of the song I posted, he's got kind of a Ben Folds vibe going on too. I posted him as an example because he's like a modern version of what Rob Ash was talking about his opening remarks. Even if you don't make any money, YouTube is great for building an audience, and like somebody else mentioned, that's valuable in itself.
  12. I think kids these days who want a career in the music business start YouTube channels, work their asses off to get subscribers, and publish new music there all the time. I'm not exactly sure what the end game is, but getting fans on YouTube is a good way to start I think. Not everyone can be a big YouTube star like PewDiePie, but I think there is room for folks to make some decent money on the platform. Like this young man Colin Burke, who I just discovered. Putting out great, well produced and recorded demos. He just topped 1000 subscribers. Since he's young, talented, and not bad looking he might have a shot in the business.
  13. With a USB mic and Audacity you can do quite a lot, it's a good place to start. You can grab some beats in either mp3 or wav format, load them into an Audacity track, and then rap on top of them with your USB mic. Because Audacity is also a great wave editor, you can chop up beats and samples however you see fit.
  14. That's right. Unless you buy a mic that is designed for plugging into a computer (like a Blue Snowball or a Blue Yeti) you'll need an interface. If you'd like to save some money, you can go that route. For example a Blue Snowball mic is only $50 and you can plug it right into your computer. I like the SM57 + Interface setup because it gives you a lot of options, if ever in the future you want a more complicated setup that involves a guitar or bass or something.
  15. Hiya! I think it'd be totally worth it to buy a decent microphone. It would be a huge step up in terms of quality from the mic on your computer for not very much money. A good first microphone for folks just getting into recording is a Shure SM57. This microphone is a classic, and has been used professionally for many years both for recording instruments and voices. The microphone itself costs around $100 US, but you'll need an audio to USB interface to use it with your computer, which is another $100 that you'll need to spend. I recommend a Mackie Onyx Blackjack, because it sounds great and has a rugged metal design that I find aesthetically pleasing. This is what is known as a 2x2 interface, because it has two inputs and two outputs. The input jacks are "combo jacks" can accept either an XLR cable (like you would use with a microphone) or a 1/4 inch instrument cable like you'd use with a guitar. Good luck, and I look forward to hearing your songs!