A Number Another Summer

December 30, 2009 12:42 PM

Instrumental demo written/recorded as first-takes after reading this post about the recording of The Cure's Disintegration album. Consider it a comment for the Disintegration post. And please excuse the mix, as it was hastily done. In keeping with the Disintegration theme, it begins with 8 seconds of silence.

posted by The World Famous (6 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I like that clipped, looped guitar part the best -- it sounds like there's a few tracks of that? There's some cool stuff, especially, in the right side around 2:00-2:20 or so. It's cool, the way those bits sort of dance around the rhythm.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 3:16 AM on January 3, 2010

Man, this is fantastic. It's really well recorded and mixed, I don't know what you don't like about it.

So, the guitar is sampled? You didn't actually play it?
posted by micayetoca at 1:29 PM on February 16, 2010

I'm glad you like it! I'm pretty happy with it, actually.

The guitar is real - I played it. There are three guitar tracks. One of them - which I think is the one that Karlos the Jackal is referring to - is the backwards guitar that first comes in right before the drums initially come in. It then turns into the choppy swell thing that fades out from there, which is a little section of that backwards guitar track copy/pasted on the quarter notes, then processed through two stereo flangers and an analog delay, and then automated so that it fades out. That's the part that comes in again at the beginning of the next "verse," as well. The other two guitar tracks are just straight playing with no tricky manipulation.

There are also three synths: A bass pad, a piano, and a sample/hold pad.

If I had done more with it, I would have added a bass guitar, probably mixed the snare drum a bit lower, micromanaged the drums a bit to make them a little more interesting, and probably mixed the noodly guitar at the end farther back in the mix, maybe by fading out the source and keeping the reverb on that track. Also, I don't like the piano sound. I played the part really loose and then quantized it and I think the quantization sort of ruined the part. It was played sort of like the part on the Cure track Homesick, but the quantization took out all of that feel. And the piano sound itself is pretty lousy. I just can't bring myself to pay for a high-quality piano plug-in.
posted by The World Famous at 1:48 PM on February 16, 2010

What a relief. I was thinking that it sounded pretty real and that if Reason -or any software's guitars- had gotten to a point where I couldn't distinguish them for real guitars I had been left waaaaaay behind.

I actually like the piece a lot. The guitars do have that curesque feel, which is not easy to do, in my opinion, as it is mostly "painting" strokes here and there, instead of letting yourself go with it, which most of us tend to do.

I like the drum beat, though the really bassy kickdrum feels more modern than what they used to do back then (that article even says that every single kick drum in the album was replaced with a sample of the guy's kickdrum-not because it sounded good, but because they could, which sounds pretty silly now, but it's easy to imagine one being carried away with new technology).

So, thanks for posting it and thanks for linking to the fpp. I had been away from the site for a long while and I would have missed it otherwise.
posted by micayetoca at 1:03 PM on February 17, 2010


Just FYI, in case anyone else downloads this in a batch with other tracks into iTunes and wonders where it went, the ID3 tags are different ... it's called "Moonbase 1 - 12-30-09" in the tags (and, consequently, in iTunes).
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:02 PM on July 18, 2010

I played the part really loose and then quantized it and I think the quantization sort of ruined the part.

Yeah, that happens to me all the time. I'm trying to de-quantize a bass line a little bit right now.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 1:59 AM on July 19, 2010

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