Saturday, May 14, 2011

Six Year "Blogversary": New Demo Recordings

Hard to fathom it's been six years this month since I started MMM, but it's true.

Had my first gig in nearly a year last Saturday, and it went great. It was a private party a bud of mine recommended me for because he couldn't do it. Amazingly, that was six months to the day since I picked the guitar back up and started rebuilding my set again after my mother's illness (during which I didn't pick up a guitar at all for about four months).

This also coincided with a transition in my practice regimen that has had me practicing for up to 6 hours some days, so it is time to start working on a new demo CD while I enter the next phase.

My MO for this is to just record three takes of each piece and save the best one of each, no matter what. In another few weeks, I'll do this again, and in a month or so a third time. This will give me three best-of-threes to chose a best of nine out of.

Without further ado, here are the first round versions.

Tears in the Rain - Joe Satriani

It's not as easy as it sounds.

Desert Song - Eric Johnson

This is about 85% of where I want it to be.

Spanish Fly - Eddie Van Halen

The first half sucks but the second half is about as good as I've ever played it.

A Day at the Beach - Joe Satriani

I'm pretty sure I'm the only nylon string player in the world who performs this. This is about 90% as good as I've ever done it, and I was actually amazed to capture this take. Recording this would be impossible without the RMC Polydrive because it filters out the percussion booms I create on the guitar (You have to beat the hell out of nylon strings to get them to ring, and I have large callouses on my right hand i and m fingers because of this piece). Flamenco guys hate not getting percussion through the pickups, but for recording - or performing - tap technique on a nylon string, a Polydrive is a requirement, not an option.

Eu So Quero Um Xodo - Dominguinhos

This is my favorite piece in my entire repertoire... that I didn't compose myself. lol. Not a bad take, but only about 75-80% of where I had it a year or so ago.

Stairway to Heaven - Jimmy Page

Yeah, yeah; but my demo CD just wouldn't be complete without it. The rock guitar solo section is rough, but not a bad single take, and I never put anything but single takes on CD's. Just weird that way.


You know what? I've pretty much completely ditched ProTools LE for GarageBand. Since all I record is stereo solo guitar and solo guitar synth (Not on these takes, obviously), and since all my effects come from the MPX-G2 and FS1R, I don't need the complexity and hardware limitations of ProTools anymore. The real reason this happened is the Lexicon I-ONIX FW801s recording units I got: They sound a bazillion times better than any ProTools hardware I've ever had, and they are a 1U device. If you want the most extravagantly cool interface for GarageBand, the FW810s is it. I just used a single stereo instrument track and hit "delete" after renaming and saving each take. It's an incredibly fast and easy way to work if you record yourself.