You wave the barkeep down, order a stronger drink;
Two parts aversion, three parts apathy
The colours are dialed low and the communal lip sync
Is written on the social marquee
Where you talk of cowering at supposed beastliness with fleeting hope As you torch your broken bridge And hang the crown with its own rope Then endlessly commiserate about how you can’t cope The anger comes and goes in waves, Our choice between gods, prophets, or slaves
The world was promised once, yet no one led the way
Out of childish infinity
It’s the empty space that you refused to fill
Far removed from sensibility
And your avoidance of the harsh realities on which you choke Stare at your blackened bridge An watch the crown swing on its rope Live constantly indifferent, vagabond misanthrope Vexation comes and goes in waves Our choice between gods, prophets, or slaves
You think that no one can see
The petty crimes you believe will never amount to anything
You cry out “servile!” but what’s not controversial
Is the saboteur on its knees
Arms raised and begging absolution like the past was but a joke You can’t just fix the ruined bridge or cut the crown down from its rope You never seemed to comprehend how slippery was your slope Cold reason finally crests the wave We choose to live as gods and prophets…
The bones of this song have been around for at least five years; I’ve been messing around with the main bass groove1 since early 2017. It’s been through a few variations over the years and last fall I decided that this was the first one I was going to record entirely in Linux.
I scrapped the original takes I’d done in Windows and re-recorded everything in Fedora on Reaper and Mixbus 32c using native plugins. 2
As of the beginning of December last year, all it needed were lyrics and vocal tracks, which were all completed in the past few weeks.
Main plugins used:
ToneLib GFX. My god I love this plugin. “Gods, Prophets, or Slaves” was the final test; once I had the guitar tracks laid down, I bought GFX without a second thought.
Flying Delay by SuperflyDSP. While it sometimes forgets its settings after you close out a project, this is a great delay, especially for vocal effects.
EQ10Q LV2 Plugins. I use the EQ10QM Equalizer on most channels as a compliment to the Mixbus channel strips. I also use it, along with the CS10Q Compressor on my “NYC Compression” bus.
All in all, Linux is pretty solid for recording something from start to finish. While there is not as many options for native plugins as there is for Windows or Mac, it’s a reminder that it’s always better to use what you have rather than spending your time looking for “the perfect plugins”. Remember: it’s not the plugins alone that make the song, or the sound.
So here it is in all its nerdy glory: “Gods, Prophets, or Slaves”.
For mixing, you just can’t beat Mixbus 32c. Not only is the inline EQ and compression on each channel strip so damn good you could get away with not using plugins, Mixbus just sounds better. While I don’t have “golden ears”, I do hear a pretty big difference between the output of Reaper and Mixbus.
I’ve been working on this track for far, far too long. My problem is that I just can’t settle. I tweak and tweak and re-do and tweak some more. “If I just add this one more little bit…”
I need to learn to stop fucking with things and just get the songs done. Less is more, as they say.
So here it is. I finally just stopped where I was and decided to put it out there. Maybe there will be another mix at some point but, for now, it’s done.
This one was started on Windows and finished on Linux. I really tried to get the song going in Mixbus, but ended up making a righteous mess of it all. No matter, Reaper was here to save the day. The final mix was done using Reaper Plugins (mostly ReaComp and ReaEq) and Room Reverb from ElephantDSP.com.
The big thing about this tune is that it has vocals. This is the first time I’ve written lyrics and actually sang anything (other than backing vocals) since early 2013. It took a while for the words to come, but once an idea formed, I put pen to paper and it all came together.
Now that this one is done, I’ll work to complete the next tune, which is only lacking finished lyrics and recorded vocals. I’ve promised myself that I’m not going to keep tweaking and just get it done. Hopefully I’m not lying to myself; especially since there are another thee songs in half finished states that need my attention.
For now, enjoy “They Knew You Before You Were Famous”
This track started out as a silly little guitar thing I came up with last April while I was drinking beer. It then morphed into the GLS Test I posted back in September. Over the course of the past few months, it was reworked it and recorded from scratch using the following:
For mixing I only used the EQ and compression on the Mixbus channel strips and the only plugins used were the included ACE reverb and delay. I wanted to keep it as simple as possible and see what I could get without relying on a ton of plugins.
All in all, I’m pretty pleased with the end result. Hopefully the next one won’t take as long.
So I did this thing. It’s pretty off the cuff and rather ridiculous. It was born out of practicing recording techniques and trying to remember anything I learned while taking drum lessons. I setup a Soundcloud account because I think I’m going to do more ridiculousness.