Thursday, April 22, 2010

Contemplations (C64 eats Kenny G)

I created this song over Easter.

Listen to Contemplations

or download Contemplations.mp3 (5mb)

This song came out of a few things coming together...
  • I wanted to do some palm muted guitar because I'd just started fiddling around with that technique, and I had a chord progression that I'd just come up with in the past few days, so I put them together.
  • I wanted to try a bunch of VSTs (virtual instruments), using my new and beloved Novation SL37 ReMOTE controller keyboard.  Amongst these were a Commodore 64 sounding bleepy bloipy thing, and some strings that I wanted to use.
  • The saxophone came out of nowhere!  That's a lie.  My mum used to listen to a Kenny G tape on repeat in the car, for many years.  I think he crept into my brain.

I recorded everything into the computer direct.  No mics or amps!
I put the 606 drum machine through a Vox Amplug AC30.

Then I played in the guitar (on Blue Meanie, a Teisco SG copy), also through the amplug.  The whole concept of the song was made up on the guitar, and I was using palm muting for the first time.  It's got that Ratatat sound, with layered palm muted guitars.

Then I got to work with the Novation ReMOTE, just opening up various VSTs and seeing how they sound in the song, and recording those that worked best.  I'm trying a whole bunch of free ones.  There's some gold out there.  

These are the ones I used in the song:
  • DVS Saxophone for the sax.
  • Basic64 for the chippy Commodore 64 sounds.
  • Abakos for the big bassy sound in the choruses.
  • Matnitron Strings for the background strings sounds.  Nice and simple, and sounds fairly realistic.


  1. You are a massive. music. nerd. And i love it :)

  2. It definitely seems POSSIBLE to call that a positive comment. Thank you Jen.

    Go the saxophone. Just not enough of it around these days. NO idea why.


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