Uh Uh

February 13, 2010 8:31 AM

Another RPM demo, this one a super-upbeat thing about neurotic fears about what one's ex is getting up to.

This is a case where the instrumentation I used for the demo was just loose best-fit stuff rather than anything like what I have in mind for the final product.

There's a big canyon between where this is and where I want it to be:

- the driving piano left-hand disco bass thing should really be either an actual bass or more likely some nice fat synth bass;
- the drums need to be practiced and practiced and miked a lot tighter for this I think, and tied in really strongly with the bass;
- the harmony "uh uh" bits should be super tight instead of sort of breathy and pitchy as they are now (and I should probably cut them back some too so they don't get super repetitive and don't fight too much with the main vox);
- guitar stuff should largely be electric, not acoustic
- the breakdown part in the middle needs to be a big frenetic changeup—explode into a wall of bright noise and then fall off a cliff into the big open chords, and back and forth like that before building back into the main structure of the song.

I have ideas at least for how to pull most of that off but I really need to put them into practice and see what works and what doesn't. I'm gonna steal sleepy pete and his Mini Korg one of these days and try to pull of the synth stuff that way, including some vocoder stuff (the harmony "uh uh" bits would be fun to do that way).

I'd really like the finished product on this track to be a genuine ass-shaker. I don't really record those, it'd be fun to pull it off.

posted by cortex (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I love the driving piano, shame if you change it. You have a knack for that piano stuff.
Interesting that you called it Uh Uh instead of "She Don't Miss You."
Also, completely bizarrely, not an hour ago I heard this band called Jets Overhead do an acoustic version of their vaguely similarly-themed song Where Did You Go? on CBC Radio2.
posted by chococat at 3:13 PM on February 13, 2010

It may turn out the piano bass is better than the bass stuff I'm imagining; I'm not afraid to fall back on it if that's the way it goes. But in that case I'd need to cut some of the reverb off that my piano throws on by default and tighten up my playing a bit too. As it is it feels a little too much to me like Snoopy is going to come in dancing from stage left, I dunno.
posted by cortex at 3:15 PM on February 13, 2010

I see what you mean about Charlie Brown but I still like it and didn't notice that 'til you pointed it out. I think it will be less about that when you layer more stuff on. Also, if you play that piano part with a synth or a slappy, plucky bass it's going to turn into this.
posted by chococat at 3:25 PM on February 13, 2010

posted by cortex at 3:26 PM on February 13, 2010

Damn! This is what could have happened if Roger Miller decided to play some Kraftwerk in a washtub. It's definitely got a solid drive pushing it along at a nice clip- I agree, some of that would be lost if you got rid of the piano.
posted by pedmands at 10:38 PM on February 13, 2010

Well, in my opinion, it's the tch-tch-tch-tch hi-hat that will always give it that disco feel. You can still have it be one of those songs that just make you stand from your seat and dance without having the disco base.

How about recording the different parts of the drums by themselves instead of as a drumkit. Imagine you lose the hi-hat and play the snare drum a little bit like this. The constant snare make up for the hi-hat and the TUM TUM TUM of the bass drum just drives the whole thing.

I guess that samba-reggae rhythm might be a little too evocative of Paul Simon around your parts, but if you change the accents a little bit to fit your song, you might have a thundering rhythm of your own.
posted by micayetoca at 9:31 AM on February 16, 2010

How about recording the different parts of the drums by themselves instead of as a drumkit.

Yeah, I've been contemplating that, partly for isolation on the tracks where I think it'd be useful and partly because I have some ambitions for the drum tracks on this that outstrip I think my actual capacity to execute cleanly on the whole kit at once.

I think I'm probably going to try a bunch of things on this and see what sticks; I don't mean to be dismissive of the "the piano thing is good" angle, because I don't dislike it either, I'm just curious how my original idea will play out. It may be that I end up going with something like a fakeout intro in more classic disco trappings before bringing in the piano and etc to fill out and genre-fuck the mix a bit.

I really need to stop talking about my intentions and start actually making the final recordings. This last week has been kind of a procrastinatory wash, some lyrics and arrangement refinements notwithstanding.
posted by cortex at 9:52 AM on February 16, 2010

This last week has been kind of a procrastinatory wash

Shouldn't be a concern for you. You usually turn out immaculate recordings in humbling-for-the-rest-of-us times.
posted by micayetoca at 11:48 AM on February 16, 2010

I just had a mini-dance party to this song. Really fun. Thanks for sharing!
posted by peachykeen at 11:46 PM on February 18, 2010

I posted the finished product yesterday, by the by.
posted by cortex at 9:51 AM on March 4, 2010

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