An album-making journal

Making music after my day job.
A guitar, some effects pedals, a couple of microphones, a room with warm light.
Back to basics and keeping it simple.

Deambul 28jan2018

Recording homemade percussions, 28 jan 2018

Homemade sound sources

jan 28, 2018

Apart from (the composition of) the music itself, this project also works for me as a DIY exercise. A kind of demonstration that it is possible to record an album at home (I did it before, but it's always demanding), when you don't want to spend a fortune on professional studios, and don't intend to make drastic maneuvers nor radical changes in your life. There is some fatigue, of course, some ups and downs, but there is also a stimulus to invent ways of circumventing 'impossibilities'. And that, to me, is half the motivation.

Do you have to record percussions on a Sunday night? It's doable: the kitchen, for example, is full of sound material. This time there were drums made with tupperwares and a shaker with a sugar packet. The capture? By the laptop built-in microphone. With some little tweaks you get an unique percussion that doesn't sound like the same old 'usual' beats. And of course, it's pure fun.

Deambul 28jan2018

Mixing, 28 jan 2018

Pause and... Play, goddammit!

jan 28, 2018

After a few days without being able to put my hands on the recordings, I finally got to sit down for a few hours and work on them. It's a bit frustrating when over the week I get tired or with other priorities at hand and find myself pushing this project to 'when I have time'. But sometimes, after a break, other stuff in the way, or even being out there for a while, you return with better focus.

So, on Sunday night I sat down. The focus came, but before I started I still did this photograph. Is it possible to take photos illustrating yourself being focused and be really focused at the same time? It is not. Well, then I stopped fooling around and got the mixing of the first track almost done!

Deambul 16jan2018

Listening to yesterday recordings, 16 jan 2018


jan 16, 2018

Spent a couple of hours listening yesterday recordings and testing some quick rough mixes. Well, not bad. I think I got enough stuff to mix the first music. Though slightly forced at first, the recordings turned out to sound cool.

The worst of it: sometimes I find myself humming some of the melodies distractedly, annoying those around me during the next days.

Deambul 15jan2018

Recording layers session, 15 jan 2018

First melodies after troubles

jan 16, 2018

After playing around with loopers and delays on the previous sessions, last night I committed myself to record guitars over the first song base that I have already structured. I was tired and not very motivated, but I recorded it, against the urge to sit and watch an episode of a series I follow from time to time.

It also did not help to be surprised with device incompatibilities and had to invent some 'alternative' connections. It was an excruciating extra hour just to finally be able to start. I hope the quality of the recorded material is proportional to the amont of swearing and cursing until the recording gear was running properly.

Playing around, 8 jan 2018

A kind of procrastination

jan 8, 2018

I should have been recording. Instead, I decided to make a short video playing around with the guitar and the looper pedal.

First I felt bad for wasting precious time and energy filming just to put a 'cute' video on social media. But then I realized that I ended up recording an improvised melody that fits this project very well. I'll use it for sure.

Deambul 2jan2018

Recording session, 2 jan 2018

A lovely accident

jan 3, 2018

Last night I recorded the second and final session of electric guitar with looper, delays and other lo-fi stuff from my home studio. The idea was to gather recorded footage (improvising without any pressure, almost as if I was absentmindedly playing on the couch while watching the TV news) for further manipulation in the studio: raw material to work on and transform into music structures.

But the 'raw' gone too far. Half of the tracks were only picked up by the laptop's microphone due to a bad contact on a cable, or any other sh*t I may have done. But this accident, as so often happens, actually came in handy. The sound of the guitar is unexpectedly usable, sounding like a Balkan lute on a battery-operated radio.

Deambul 27dec2017

Recording session, 27 dec 2017

First recording session

dec 27, 2017

Day one:
recording session of I-really-don't-know-what-to-do-with-it-yet material.

© 2018 Miguel Feraso Cabral