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Frank: Fresh Air

This week has been the best I’ve experienced in what seems like a very long time. Health-wise I have made major improvements, and in regards to the music for this project I have made a very welcome change of pace. Early last week and during the latter half of the previous week I was getting bogged down with the Shadow. I spent lots of time adding tracks and changing things around, only to end up changing them back after being dissatisfied with the changes. It seemed to come to the point where adding more things didn’t make it sound better, and usually made it sound worse. But still there is something missing. I did (and am continuing to do) some research on mixing and mastering techniques and these have helped some, but after a conversation with Hadi I am starting to think that the instruments themselves just don’t sound that great. No software instruments or bank of sampled instruments is ever going to sound as good as the real thing, and it is very difficult to accurately imitate things such as trills, tremolos, hammer-ons and pull-offs, changing over from legato to staccato and vice versa, etc., while composing exclusively using MIDI. However, a high quality sound or instrument will make these things much more doable, whereas it is pretty much a waste of time to even try with a poor quality sound. I have begun searching for instruments that are professional grade and much higher quality than the ones I currently have (labeled “high quality” by the person who posted them, for free… I guess you get what you pay for!).

Early in the week I decided to take a step back from actually working on Shadow because my ears were beginning to become saturated with it. I was losing perspective and beginning to dislike it because I was listening to it so much. I switched gears and did a lot of research on producing electro swing, I have been listening to nothing but 1920s-40s swing and jazz, and I now have a rudimentary understanding on how to chop samples from these songs and sync them with a tempo of my choosing. I’ve started a song with these chopped samples, but it is still not in any shape to be shared as of now. It has been refreshing to work on something different and more upbeat. When I return to Shadow in a couple days I’ll hopefully have some new ideas and a reinvigorated enthusiasm for it.

As usual, apologies for making my journal so long and sloppily-organized. Also, sorry for not checking in and out on the daily scrum lately. I’ll try to be better about it moving forward.