Nine 2 Five

Two things I've learned about electric guitars:
1) You can change the sound in an amazing number of ways.
2) The best physical modelling synthesisers, amps, effects boxes and speakers can, with a great deal of tweaking, give you exactly the sound you want. But they can't play like a guitar.

I've been trying to create a simple chugging Texas blues-rock rhythm line. And after a day's tinkering I can configure the various plugins to give a pretty good approximation of the unamplified guitar sound, the distortion pedal's softclipping, the amplifier's "warm" tube response, the 70s 12x2 speaker cabinet and the condenser microphone next to it.

And the result sounds like an authentic recreation of a period sound system, but with the guitarist replaced by a clunky robot. Everything from the vibrating strings on the guitar to the vibrating membrane in the mic is there, with lots of authentic variation like in the real world. But...something about the MIDI triggered playing is jarringly unsubtle and mechanical. And this is a rhythm line, which is supposed to be a bit mechanical.

I've only been doing this for a day, so I'm obviously missing out on a lot of the software's potential, plus I'm probably oversensitive to minor problems. But it does seem like the only way to sound like I've got a real to get a real guitarist.

Name this flower.

12 hours later, I've got a passable grungy guitar backing - what was meant to be ZZ Top became Weezer, but hey, that's okay. My usual graveyard tones won't cut through that kind of soupy sound, so I'll have to force my singing up an octave, into the realms of breathy campness. Which sounds okay if given loads of chorusing and reverb - I'm thinking My Bloody Valantine in ethereal mood.

However, by playing around with a defunct Steinberg plugin called Voice Designer, I can shift the recording up another octave. Which makes me sound like...guess who? Dolly Parton!

I am so so tempted to use Dolly as a trio of backing singers.

Name this sheep.

Yay! I'm on the Infomaniac, Stronger Medication and Minge blogrolls. My little semi-private diary, kept to be read in my old age (should I have one), is part of that online community thing that hip and trendy people talk about.

Watch out, there'll be a Kapitano myspace pretty soon. Well, there would be if there wasn't one already. Humpf.

Name this backing singer


  1. That guy is hot, too...

    damn him for stealing your name, tho.

    I must make out with him and then kick his ass.

  2. If you weren't already on my Blogroll I'd have to put you there simply for posting a pic of Dolly.

  3. Parton. Not the sheep. Although I suppose the sheep is lovely too.

  4. Tony: "There's someone I know who wants to use your myspace name. How many shags would it take to persuade you?"

    I reckon his male friends are pretty hot too.

    MJ: The flower is also of the species "Dolly Parton". Yep, the hardy flower of the south has a hardy flower named after her.

  5. I would have thought they'd have named a line of brassieres after her.

  6. Flower: Cass
    Sheep: Delores
    Backing singer: Parton-clone

    I love your sounds/mixing/music commentaries. I've just been messing with Minimal on U-Myx. It's terribly simple and the things I come up with are terribly naff. I could never speak of chord changes, riffs, guitar sounds. I'm such a dead beat. But you, my dear, are fabulous.

  7. Minge:

    Awww! Why can't my boyfriend be more like you? Why can't you not have a boyfriend already? Why can't we...erm...


    It probably shows my age (34 whole years) that I had to google to find out what Minimal and U-MYX are. And to think I was such a fan of PSB.

    Loops and remixes can be fun, but they're not a good way to be creative IMO. If you want to know what the possibilities are within a song, do a cover version on whatever instruments you have around.

    More musical stuff coming up soon. And with luck a link to the finished product by the end of the week.

  8. I can't wait!

    Oh, and I'm 34, too.

    I want piano lessons for Christmas.

    Wanna teach Minge how to tinkle?