The Def Guide to Zzap!64

The Zzap Rrap

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:05 pm 
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Well, I'm going by The Manual, by the KLF, I guess:

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secondly, it must be no longer than three minutes and thirty seconds (just under 3'20 is preferable). if they are any longer radio one daytime djs will start fading early or talking over the end, when the chorus is finally being hammered home - the most important part of any record.

Then again, most of my tracks have fairly odd arrangements, so they're not "standard" pop songs anyway: I rarely use middle eights, and I sometimes run the same chord progression through the entire track (with variations, of course).

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:18 pm 
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Well I have been sweating and listening in no particular order this evening to

Krafwerk : Minimum Maximum
Emerson Lake & Palmer (best of)
Gary Numan (The Pleasure Principle)
Rammstein (live Aus Berlin)
Brian Eno (Another Green World)

and currently on the cd player is Jean Michel Jarre (new live in China cd)

Pretty eclectic collection methinks,apart from the slightly Electronic edge :P

Oh the Smiths are great (last night I dreamt somebody loved me, no hope, no harm, just another false alarm) only Morrisey could do a lyric like that :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:18 pm 
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Hey, I was :wink: -ing! :D

Eurovision song contest 'songs' have to be under 3 minutes, but then, we wouldn't exactly call that music. :shock:

Btw, there's a couple of impressive 2 minute tunes of Elvis and the Beatles. Or Tim Hardin's 'how can we hang on to a dream', clocking at 2:01! Lovely tune too Image

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:21 pm 
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Your songs remind me of a friend's musical project a few years back - Similarly he did all the writing, production, and playing (except the Bass!) himself. I hadn't heard any of his music till his first live gig (supporting Muse when they played Middlesbrough Cornerhouse, in their early days) and I was knocked out as I expected the usual 'local band syndrome' but I was knocked out by the quality. He sent off the demo tape and was being courted by an ex-Sony A&R executive who was starting his own label - Sadly I think he couldn't handle the idea of any kind of success and it went downhill from that point (leaving abusive messages on the above guy's answerphone, recruiting a female vocalist when there was no point). He messed up an earlier band by refusing to move to London when they were on the point of being signed to Virgin, so I guess it didn't surprise me.

Anyway (!) I do think your vocals have promise, so it might be worth persevering - Have you thought about double tracking them, so they come out a bit more powerful? (I'll have a listen to the previews)
Good luck anyway! :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 11:32 am 
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I did flirt with creating a band at uni, but it never went well. Oddly, despite me being at art college, few people had the same level of enthusiasm as I did. I'm also something of a musical dictator—I want things done like this, which isn't very appealing to musicians (unless you're Tom Vek's backing band, apparently). It would also be slightly odd to hear someone else singing my words—although I write lyrics that are pretty ambiguous, they are all actually very personal, and just handing them off to someone else would be strange for me. (Plus, in my experience, singers usually want to write their own words anyway, and most people aren't great lyricists!)

As for the vocals, thanks for the encouragement. As I said, I know I'm not a great singer, but I was hoping with "Release" to actually become a competent singer (think "Moby"), and, to some extent, I think I've achieved that. The main change in what I did was to make the vocals more "honest" than in previous CDs I've done (where everything was drowned in reverb and chorus effects)—now, few effects are used (a delay, mostly, and some EQ), but that has the net effect of weakening the vocals, too...

What do you mean by "double tracking"? If you mean overlaying two vocal takes to "thicken" them, I've done that one a couple of tracks ("Automatic" and "Started") and had also used the same technique on a few others, but the result sounded like a total mess. If not, do tell!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 1:39 pm 
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CraigGrannell wrote:
What do you mean by "double tracking"? If you mean overlaying two vocal takes to "thicken" them, I've done that one a couple of tracks ("Automatic" and "Started") and had also used the same technique on a few others, but the result sounded like a total mess. If not, do tell!


Yes that's what I meant - I haven't (as yet) listened to the other previews of your album (quite a busy day), but if some came out messy, then fair enough.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 1:57 pm 
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Yeah, we used that in a band where I was in, Crapjam. (very good band btw, with three cd's and a couple of singles as well) The singer had quite a thin voice, so we double tracked it, and it sounded excellent.
When you don't know it, you hear *something interesting* about the voice, but you won't have a clue. It was done in a professional studio, btw.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 11:38 am 
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Rather than leaving it four years until the next one, I've already started working on ideas for Release's follow-up. So far, I have about five tracks, one of which has a definite nod to C64 music, hence why I'm posting about it here. The track (currently only backing) is Assist/Persist and the "nod" I'm mentioning starts at around 1:09, and it's most noticeable in the additional noise that comes in at 1:22. Anyway, enjoy!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 11:53 am 
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Yes there is definetly a SID feel there Craig :)

Very good backing track! 8)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 1:46 pm 
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I'm taking your comments regarding vox on-board, too, Lee. I'm currently experimenting with multi-layered stuff (although not double-tracking). One song has a dry vocal track, one with track echo, light chorus and reverb, a third with additional phase, EQ brightener, echo and reverb, and a final one that knocks down the vox by an octave. All overlaid it certainly sounds a lot stronger and the effects don't sound too much, if you know what I mean. I guess also that it's partly down to singing with confidence and just giving it your all... It'll be interesting to see what happens with this one, although it'll likely be a year or so before it's finished!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 2:28 pm 
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CraigGrannell wrote:
The track (currently only backing) is Assist/Persist and the "nod" I'm mentioning starts at around 1:09, and it's most noticeable in the additional noise that comes in at 1:22. Anyway, enjoy!


I like this one! A very good dance track with highs and lows! (ie dancy bits and chill out bits)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 2:57 pm 
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CraigGrannell wrote:
I'm taking your comments regarding vox on-board, too, Lee. I'm currently experimenting with multi-layered stuff (although not double-tracking). One song has a dry vocal track, one with track echo, light chorus and reverb, a third with additional phase, EQ brightener, echo and reverb, and a final one that knocks down the vox by an octave. All overlaid it certainly sounds a lot stronger and the effects don't sound too much, if you know what I mean. I guess also that it's partly down to singing with confidence and just giving it your all... It'll be interesting to see what happens with this one, although it'll likely be a year or so before it's finished!


I'll meet you back here in 2006 to have a listen! Good luck...

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 4:12 pm 
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Iain wrote:
CraigGrannell wrote:
The track (currently only backing) is Assist/Persist and the "nod" I'm mentioning starts at around 1:09, and it's most noticeable in the additional noise that comes in at 1:22. Anyway, enjoy!


I like this one! A very good dance track with highs and lows! (ie dancy bits and chill out bits)


Yeah, this is excellent!
I automatically started brainwaving about lyrics and a vocal layer, hehe.
Who knows I'll record it and upload it one of these days! :D
The next step in the Craig/Rob partnership. :P :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 5:35 pm 
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Yeah, this is excellent!

You may well like the next album more than Release, then, because, so far, most of it is like the MP3 I put up.

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I automatically started brainwaving about lyrics and a vocal layer, hehe. Who knows I'll record it and upload it one of these days! :D The next step in the Craig/Rob partnership. :P :wink:

Well, sure—why not? :)

Actually, there is a set of lyrics at the moment for this track, although, like all my lyrics, they are very likely to change somewhat before the final recording:

6. ASSIST/PERSIST
I don’t know what I’m doing here, no
I don’t know what I’m saying, no
I don’t know what I’m doing here, no
I don’t know what I’m saying, so
Help me to divide the highway
Help me to survive this my way

Anything that’s not unusual
Everything that’s individual
Anything that’s not unusual
Everything that’s so damn sensual
Help me to divide this my way
Help me to survive the highway

Help me to divide the highway
Help me to survive this my way
Help me to divide this my way
Help me to survive the highway

Help me to survive this my way
Help me to survive this my way

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:50 am 
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LeeT wrote:
I'll meet you back here in 2006 to have a listen! Good luck...

Looks like it could be sooner than I thought, too—I have almost an hour of "nearly finished" material already, and I'm well into a totally different vocal style, which is much stronger (and, yes, double-tracked). Way more electronic (and more "me"), too.

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