Gods, Prophets, or Slaves

Dropping another new track: “Gods, Prophets, or Slaves”.

Click here for lyrics.

N. Toone - Gods, Prophets, or Slaves

Song Notes

The bones of this song have been around for at least five years; I’ve been messing around with the main bass groove 1 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”.

1: Fun note: The working title of this song was “Spy Hunter” because my main bass groove reminded me of the 8 bit music version of the Peter Gunn Theme from the 1983 arcade game.

Side note: An early version of this tune can be heard in one of the LBL YouTube videos (starting at around 03:35).

2: Tracks were recorded into Reaper, stems exported to Mixbus 32c for the final mix. I record in Reaper as it’s lightweight and easy with the latency. Linux in Reaper is not overly great for mixing simply because  it just does not like LV2 plugins or having ToneLib on more than one track.

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.

They Knew You Before You Were Famous – The Just Stop Messing With It Mix

Here is a song I titled: “They Knew You Before You Were Famous”

Click here for Lyrics (Yes! Lyrics!)

They Knew You Before They Were Famous

Song Notes

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”

When Something Appears

Here is the newest tune.


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.

Millbrae Exit

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.