Behind the Enemy Lines

Besides the band I occasionally like to compose and record some of my own pieces. I just so happened that we were about to release an update to our little game project Killing Engine (which we never actually did) and so I decided to record a couple of songs as a background music for the game.

The thing is that I had already written a ton of riffs for these tracks back in the summer but never finished them since the future of the game started to get bleaker. Well, I asked the programmer one last time to make a few tweaks to the game to just make it a little bit more appealing and he agreed! So as I got my hopes up once again (stupid me) I figured: “I’ll finish one or two of those songs for this release!”

I actually had about twenty basic riffs done for twenty different songs and three ones that had a more fleshed out wire frame model. I took one of those three and started to write drums and bass tracks with Guitar Pro. It’s really impossible for me to record actual live drums and I don’t own a bass guitar. Luckily Yellow Tools Independence hands out rather elegant sounds when you input a midi track through it.

I wrote the tracks in a day or so and got them laid down in Audacity which is my free editing software of choice. I just had to get my guitar pedal back from our band’s training facility which meant I had to wait a long time (six days). I was worried that I might lose my inspiration. NONSENSE!

The next week I got my fancy Zoom505 and started to lay down the guitar tracks. The weather outside was cold so my fingers were like fish sticks as I scribbled the first background riffs together. “Oh, man!” I thought. “How am I ever gonna play those lead lines with these?” I turned out to be easier than I had thought. I just let my worries go and played anything I wanted WITH those frozen fingers.

Finally, after recording two rhythm guitar tracks and one lead guitar track I started tweaking the amplitudes, compression and effects. I was pretty pleased with the end result and thought this track might actually work pretty well.

My mixing abilities aren’t anything to brag with so I just did a few tweaks and finished the track off with some mastering MAGIC! (Meaning: cut middle, boost bass and treble and also add compression looser than grandma’s nightgown.)

It was a fun project to say the least. By doing this stuff I’ve actually developed some skills to make the tracks sound not entirely horrible. Still, I think I’ll have a little break from my own songs for now and start practicing our band’s set list. Who knows — maybe we’ll actually get a gig some day in the future.


About IA

Ex Super God, composer, 2D/3D/pixel artist and animator, writer, and C++/C# programmer. View all posts by IA

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