Parkinson’s law

Working on project Void, I should have learned about Parkinson’s law a long time ago.
“work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”
What a wise man!

This must be the title of our next album 🙂

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Timing, is everything

Tonight Philippe and I edited the vocal parts of our mystery singer in the song “Make me whole”. The takes were recorded last monday and really put the icing on the cake.
mystery_singer
There are also spoken parts in the song that needed to be positioned just right. This proved to be a job for Philippe. He has a talent to sense why a phrase should start or end at a specific position. All my cynisism went out the window as he unintentionally repeated the exact same timing for one of the samples that were recorded more than a year ago. This is a science I do not understand…

Yesterday I edited the vocal parts of the same mystery singer/rapper in “The Fool”. The song definitely could use the added girl power, neutralizing the high testosteron levels of the rapper posse 🙂

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After 10 years…

Difficult to believe that after 10 years working (with ups and downs) on this project it seems to come to a finish this summer. At least the audio is. Not worried about a great ambition, we started a musical search and challenge which soon destilled to a potpourri of coherrent and experimental songs. Not always according tot the pop-rules (max 4 min, couplet-ref-couplet-ref-bridge-ref-ref) but in a way seperate songs that have a surplus as their sum adds up to more.

At this moment we let go of the video-project as it is too much work. We are continuïng the small films and it will be a next great challenge. Here a work-in-progress to ‘early bird’:

After finishing the audio we’ll need some help with:

  • mastering
  • adding the music on streaming services
  • promotion (ideas)

Anyone?

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Beware of the Void posse

Yo, yo, listen up y’all. Me and my main man Phillip B was hangin’ out in da studio with hiz posse. Featuring them clowns on da track cuz I is not shaking off them leaches, ait!

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The last mile is the longest…

I thought that we were only crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s now, but the last mile turns out a fun ride. The last 3 sessions felt like we just started fresh from the beginning, but now with 10 years of Void experience under our buckles. I know for sure that I’m going to be very proud of the endresult, and yes… we’re really, really, really, really, almost there 🙂

almost

Most recent actions:

Philippe laid down the brilliant lead vocal for “Early Bird (nothing in my way)”

Philippe added his background vocals to “Let it go” (formerly known as “my Heart”)

We both started to write a shocking Q & A rap for “the Fool” and Philippe has redone his vocal lead

Philippe added a “whispered lead vocal” track to the existing lead vocal in “If Heaven”.

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Makeover time!

Now Void almost reaches completion, a few songs no longer fit in. So it’s makeover time!
The song “My Heart” is transformed from a low energy standard ballad to a full blown “Beatle” song. 3 minutes of ear pleasing harmonies and, of course, the mellotron 🙂

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Bottleneck

Don’t worry. It’s not about the project timeline 🙂
This weekend I played my first guitar part with a glass bottleneck.
And there it is, that swampy feel we needed for the song “Make me whole”.

Thank you for the basics Tom Feldmann!

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“I did it in December, but it felt like it was May”

Yes! Finally!

In the first and last week of my recent vacation I spent more hours editing, arranging and mixing than the rest of 2014 all together.
This long overdue 3 week vacation , gave a large momentum to the long run project of VOID.
Ok, in a 10 day break of snorkeling in Bonaire I did not lose my Mojo. It is a joy to dive into the warm and crystal clear waters of the Carribean and the sounds of this great album. Maybe there was a prophecy in the lyrics of the song “Just Goodbye”, singing “I met her (did it) in December, but it felt like it was May” 🙂

The editing of virtually all audio takes proved to be a tedious job.
Removing every, click, tick, pop, crackle, humm, hiss, and other unwanted noises.
Fortunately some subtle breathing noises and musical overtones found their way back into the mixes again.

Then there was the editing of midi tracks.
It became painfuly clear that the “feel” of live drum ‘n bass instruments was not yet achieved.
Paul Coster provided the part of Lotte with a damn funky beat, played on the studio’s midi drumset.
I didn’t know what was in there Paul 🙂 Cudos to you!
The rest of the midi drumtracks where manually larded with snare and hi hat variations, ghost notes etc. etc. The midi bass also has an option of using variations like glides, mutes, vibrations and simply different samples to spice things up. I think where there now, Philippe 🙂

Then it was time to apply a thing called “Vari Audio”. What a great tool!
It is fixing timing, pitch and vibrato in most of the singing parts. But let me be very clear on this one… you basically need a minimum of an alright track but preferably a very good track. You can modify a track to a fantastic result, but you can’t cheat your way out of a bad singing performance. And that’s when I rediscovered the excellent quality of Philippe’s singing performance. He already recorded multiple takes on many songs with different interpretations of the melody, timing and dynamics. Peace of cake selecting the right ones 🙂

After all these enhancements, I had to revise the mixing approach.
Let me say the 93 part Youtube video series “5 minutes to a better mix” by Graham Cochrane changed my complete perspective on mixing and payed off big time. Thanks Graham!
In a few words, its all about (really!) balancing levels using very low levels,making the song musically progress, using just a few tools instead of losing yourself in all the options. Less is more in every way! When the mixing is done you use your master fader to bring everything up to the final level and/or use a master compressor/limiter to change the song dynamics in a utterly controlled way.

Ok. Some techno mumbo jumbo for all the Digital Audio Workstation users out there. The x major improvements in the mixes are achieved by:

  • compression on a dedicated drum subgroup
  • EQ on a dedicated band subgroup, leaving all solo parts out. This EQ is called “Final fatness and air”. It adds a bass foundation by doing the exact opposite, cutting off bass and it corrects the normal tendecy to add to much mid in every mix, also by removing it. Funny how your ears work 🙂
  • in the master section, adding a master limiter and a dynamic maximimizer to make your mix sparkle.

So far for now…
I think 2015 might be the year for the Void release.

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Lotte van der Broek

6 years ago, we (Dick Pijnacker and myself with al little help from Peter Batink) recorded a song when Lotte graduated. This was the first time a student wanted to tribute. She has a beautiful voice, a bit shy, but then again, it was very lovely, a bit R&B with great potential.

And now… 6 years later… she graduated from musical arts, has grown up and still is the wonderfull woman she was. But now with a mature voice and so much more  sofisticated.

Besides some addlips in ‘tried to be me’ we recorded a between-song: ‘you move away from me’. Listen to it know, I don’t know houw long it will be available on the site as it is a rough (really rough) version.

And… My god, what a voice…. listen to “You move away”.

nov13 158 nov13 161

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LTA and ballet

Today I recorded a ballet-video with the ladies: Kimberly, Janet and Zefanja. The music of LTA (long time ago) begins with a piece of piano, soft and gentle, ballet comes to minde. So I asked 3 ladies of my class to preform and they were willing.

WP_000406

 

We filmed at Baken Park in Almere. There was a dancestudio. They did their ballet, I filmed it and it was great. Special regards to Zefanja (who wants to go to Lucia Marten’s school for tallented girls). She directed the girls to make samething beautiful.

The results will follow!

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