A track I’ve been working on these past few weeks. This mp3 of the midi version is pretty much its final form and an accurate transcript of what I’ll be recording in the coming days. I have some ideas for bass, chords and whatnot, but unlike Molten Dry Bips which sounded perhaps a bit too dry without the extras, drums only seems fine this time so not going to risk another disaster and shelve that thought. They’ll end up on my bandcamp page at some point. Feedback is welcomed, so are any tips and support sent.
The cymbals are close but not quite like the same as what I have setup on my drum kit. The hi-hat is mainly played half-closed or so most of the time, but here I don’t delve into the editor enough to give it more variety in sounds. There’s some more snare and floor tom rimshots and assorted accents here and there too that’ll come out once I get around to recording. 80bpm is my overall maximum currently, but it’s not quite the same at that speed. Although I think it sounds best around 72bpm, it’s where I’m at in practicing my triplets on it, it holds up okay at 60bpm too, like a similar feel despite a somewhat different personality to it. Haven’t decided for sure yet, though I’m leaning towards recording it at 60bpm.
So here is the result of one of the practice pad exercises I’ve been working on these past months. It will no doubt go through a few more transformations in the times ahead as I move over to practicing it on an actual drum set. It does use a few more cymbals and toms than I currently have on my kit, and obviously my original practice pad sticking will need to be modified slightly to accomodate for the fills, and for the toms’ and cymbals’ physical setup (no point in trying to fast-switch hands on the ride bell in-between snare hits, for example, when you can paradiddle them instead… duh). The placement of kick-bass hits might get tweaked a bit as well as I get comfortable with the groove, but mostly the main bass line’s modulations is where I’m thinking it could use additional changes.
In a no-doubt overambitious plan that’ll never get done, there’s also a few ideas for extra instrument add-ons floating around in the back of my head (like flutes, whistles, horns and trumpets or other wind/brass, etc), potentially making it much longer. I’m open to suggestions, so send your collaboration ideas, comments, feedback and such. It will be greatly appreciated.
In any case, it’ll join the other tracks in my experimental drum album on bandcamp sometime in the not-so-distant future
Molten Dry Bips:
Morsels of specialty engineered V-Drums and E-Bass carefully melted dry, and meticulously blended together in self-contained bips to strengthen the teflon in your brain and keep it safe.
like most of my work this track is licensed CC BY-NC-SA, so you’re free to do with it as you like as long as it’s not for commercial purposes. Just drop me a message if you do end up using it in any of your own projects
So it’s been over a year now since I started to learn to play drums and I wanted to revisit Traffic Jam, a track that basically got it’s start when I was hitting various objects laid about in my living room. With some relative success I managed to transcribed the beat, melody, or whatever it is, into a midi file to use as a trainer for the drum kit I had by then already decided I was going to be getting. Never did learn it on the actual drums though, beyond the basic groove and trying out bars a couple at a time.
Listened to it repeatedly these past weeks. At some point I was thinking of fixing it up, rearranging parts here and there, but one year later I’m still stumped. This’ll remain its final form I guess: the same track, basically identical but for a few details here and there, repeated five times at different tempos pasted together starting fast and slowing down to the middle section (the part with crickets and such in the background, the speed at which bar by bar I was trying it out on the drums) before then speeding back up again and fading out. Traffic Jam, the full commute.
Apart from rudiment practice, exercises, basic motions and licks, fills and whatnot, most of my time spent playing on the drums has been dedicated to Liquid Volts and, to a lesser extent, Ride Muffins. The mid section of Ride Muffins is a tad (cough cough) out of my reach right now, to say the least, so I’m not putting that much effort into it. I do very much enjoy its feel though, and playing around looping its variations much fun.
Liquid Volts Pie (or Liquid Volts π) has in 3/4 a target tempo of 90bpm – actually I initially wrote it in 120bpm, using triplets and the odd shuffle on the bass. So far, I’m quite consistent and very comfortable with it at 72bpm, reading off the 3/4 notations, and getting better at 80bpm although that pretty much seems to be where I’m capped out for now. Warmed up and in good shape I can manage up to 83bpm, slowly bumping up the ticker as I repeat it over and over. I still have much ways to go for a tight and smooth take at 90bpm. Not so much in the first half which is very much in my reach, but particularly in the second half where… eh…. yeah. Getting better and better however, every time I feel up to the challenge.
This is the best record I got for so far, not bothering with the slower tries. Beside the obvious timing issues, my by problem is with loudness and hit detection on the cymbals, which is why I’m peaking at around 80bpm where I’m currently having a hard time keeping their hits consistent and even, with appropriate accentuation while also keeping the snare crunchy. I’ve tried tweaking the kit’s sensitivity since I seem to find myself often riding the mid point between soft and hard hits (seeing as they are an electronic drum’s virtual cymbals), but it’s mostly just a question of practice.
Speeding up the video by about 15% would produce the result I’m looking for here, as in a 3 minute 14 second playtime. Getting there, 1 bpm at a time :)
It would be fair to include, and perhaps serve as a warning to those not familiar with this kind of beast beautifully drawn animal, that Capicorn horns are stimulated by tearing into flesh and other squishy bits, allowing it to filter in blood and such juicy life fluids, creating that chemical reaction in Capicorn’s brain which, giving it much pleasure, increases and accelerates the process while nutrients in its own system are converted into currency, which is then evacuated as a waste-byproduct.
So yeah, no, again. To preempt any such ideas as to somehow compare this to a sex thing. No. It’s not a phallic symbol. Not technically, theoretically or what have you. There’s no if but and or gender about it. It just isn’t.
I’m not making a theme song for that thing. But I did clean up the bandcamp page some.
Capicorn really wouldn’t care about impaling someone it likes. After the killing frenzy willfully overwhelms them, they are no longer themselves. Mechanically driven only to satisfy its urges: it becomes its single purpose. Its mind otherwise just ceases to function. They’re incredibly intelligent and don’t take long to understand that.
DISCLAIMER: The following dialogue is a work of fiction and not by any means an accurate representation of anyone. In no way does it reflect actual existing Capicorn’s, nor the possessed’s for that matter… er, the haunted object of its love’s… I mean, the owner’s, personality. Using the wholly fabricated mystery which is Capicorn’s gender, it meagrely seeks to entertain by expressing a few things in a hopefully funny manner. Capicorn is obviously way smarter than that, and of course by now has long since matured out of its adolescent erotomania. Gender, as with the many other things not applicable to Capicorn, and others such like, is very much so in the eye of the beholder. Or beholden, whichever works fine. Beholded?
Looking back at the younger years, the usual was having to think real hard about things to say at confession. Now, having unapologetically rejected the afterlife, in firm disbelief of deities and supernatural follies, I wouldn’t need long to recall, for example, the many harms I have wished upon seekers and havers of power, upon those who can afford greed, abusers and the hungry tools who idolize their authority. The things I would condone, the fates laughed at contemptuously, the so many other ways or directions in which I eh … might look… And I suppose I could confess some of those if recounting them would not fill me with such delightful and intense joy as to fervently want them seen reenacted or accomplished.
Not to mention no will to refrain from pursuing or engaging in them any further. No recognition of guilt or acknowledgement of it as being reprehensible behaviour of some kind or another: they’re just thoughts. I’m being honest about what I want here. You know how it goes about people and the things they want, right? Oh dear, curses so sweet to behold, as succulent as any dish, more satisfying than any pleasure the flesh could covet, of the taste to extinguish any and all other desires. And these aren’t even the things I’d do to them myself if ever given half the chance… but, let us not get into that for now.
Anyway, sometimes it’s just up to the timing, line things up correctly, at just the right price… and…
Bah, after all, what do I know I’m just an old fool, a poor old fool who hasn’t even managed to sell one single damn money shitting magic unicorn in almost a decade. Nothing to see here.
This one has been ready for a couple of weeks already, but I’ve been wanting to post two of them at once again. The last details of the next one however are proving quite tedious, so I’ve gone back to paper drawings and earlier drafts of different eh… specimens. After the initial digital phase things tend to get to be more of a grind, my next bout of motivation for that kind of thing should end me up with several more entries to the gallery.
In the meantime, I might roll back the next one I was intending to post here to a previous, simpler variation on the drawing, but more likely that I won’t though. Rather, I’ll just move its number down the list. #41 was going to have more colours, I had altered it to be balanced around 3 colours, but waiting and staring at it a lot I went for the lighter design instead. Read more details on that below the thumbnail, which you can click on for the full image, which is also up on the gallery page.
Felt like making a much longer blog entry than this, but whenever it comes times to commit to typing anything … well, right now anyway, thinking about it there isn’t anything I want to get into. Posting this mainly because of the new Badly Drawn Animals. Continue reading →