Tangled in intestines. Yesterday I went to bed confused and a bit concerned. I think the main cause was because when the shit hit the fan I wasn't fresh. I had mastered "Coming back" and uploaded it, and then took some time to decide what to do next between two options. On one hand, I thought to master "Murder Christmas", the other impromptus song for the album; it would get me a new cheap win, with a new song ready to go in one sitting. But as those impromptus songs don't have (logically) the same recording quality as the full fledged stuff, I was afraid that it could bring me down, plus, I just came from doing some mastering and didn't feel like starting another cycle.
Discarding other songs that no way I felt like getting into, the other option was "Now you're talking". This song got interrupted halfway the recording stage by the big breakdown. In fact, I was still able to advance a bit on the drums with computer B; but the sonic chain needed for doing drums was three programs (DAW (Ardour)-MIDI editor(Rosegarden)-Drum samplings (Hydrogen); so the day I added a third change of tempo to the song, my faithful old computer popped up a message that said "I don't work miracles, baby".
I choose this later option; at the end of the intestinal tunnel I was going to create music, new music, so good to hear after so much "knobbery"... However things turned wrong very quickly, and in several places at the same time.
I fired up the drum track to find that the hihat had been replaced by a low tom, the crash cymbals where missing in action, etc...
"Oh well, it's a royal pain in the ass but this has happened before. It's something you have to do only once and then the workflow is very comfortable."
But then I found it was worse than that. It wasn't only a question of instruments being in the wrong locations. The instruments I was using were not there at all. The Hydrogen version was different from my previous, and this one ships for some reason with different drum kits. No decent crash was to be found, not even installed from repositories.
After some more disaster movies (for some reason, Ardour always loses some audio file along the way whenever you change equipment), I decided to try to see this as a blessing in disguise; for a long time I've been wanting to graduate from Hydrogen and try Drumgizmo (a program that even simulates mic bleed, how cool is that?). So I downloaded drumgizmo and I had it installed in a jiffy.
Then I downloaded the drum samples, and it never ended. Two and a half Gb! You can tell the sound quality is going to be great, but oh boy...
Under such long download process, I had time to take a better look at my options. Something I've discovered while listening to the Bandcamp playlist is that "Coming back" has a very different vibe to the other songs. It's not because it is a ballad; I think it's more because of the low pitch vocals, Danzig style.
This song was thought out initially for the other band, Maple Dye, and maybe it is where it belongs (but I'll keep my mind open until I have the whole playlist). However, this touched the same point as a change of drumming chain at this point: consistency.
The drums in the album are currently of two kinds: single layered and multilayered samplings, both by courtesy of Hydrogen. If I now add a different program, isn't there an even bigger risk of making a "Frankenstein" of a record?
Hopefully, this morning, with my head clearer, I've seen a few options more I didn't have. I've even made peace with the idea of taking "Coming back" out of the album, if need be; I have this power ballad that has been traveling with me for around 10 years now, and it will take some time of rehearsal, but I feel it could be a good substitute.
In any case, my uninformed guesstimation for today is: I'll prioritize and try the different options, and hopefully end the day having got past the intestines, with some new sounds generated or in the very worst case scenario, with everything ready so I can resume making actual music tomorrow...
I have a guitar and I'm gonna use it