Thursday, December 11, 2008

Podcast Ep. 2

Podcast Ep. 2!

And google video is here:Google Video!
Now with audio version!
Subscribe (If you don't want video)!

We're gonna do a new one of these every month. This month is pretty exciting, but next month is going to be more exciting because I said so.
Just you wait.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


We started a video podcast.
Here is episode 1 that you can subscribe to with your feed subscribing program:

Here is the direct iTunes link:

Here is the google video link:
Google Video video

We will make a new (always video) podcast whenever we have anything insteresting to talk aboot. We're not sticking to a strict format, so they'll be however long or short we feel like making them. The only thing that's a constant is that we are definitely doing a live performance of a song at the end of each one.
So look out for more in the future, maybe with some guests stars (2 feline hip-hop enthusiasts, maybe?).

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Every day when I get out of the shower and have to navigate back to my room relying mostly on secondary senses (smell, hearing, seeing dead people) I am reminded of how miserable my life would be without glasses.
Glasses were invented in either the 13th or the 18th century, depends on who you ask. Their original use was to pop popcorn on sunny days, but when a pair fell out of a tree on to Sir Isaac Newton's head, their true usefulness was discovered.
It remains a mystery to this day who planted those glasses there, and who even invented them in the first place. Was it Nostradamus? He seemed to do a lot of stuff a long time ago, so it's a possibility. Maybe DaVinci, or Thomas Edison. Eli Whitney, George Washington Carver and Einstein are also candidates, but we may never know who gave us this wonderful invention.
What we do know is that glasses are great and nobody can ever take them away from us, unless they knock them from our heads.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Don't ask me to donate to breast cancer

because I definitely will.

It seems that Vons is always taking donations for one type of cancer or another, and since they don't seem to have a sense of humor about it (apparently prostate cancer isn't funny? nobody told me) I have opted to solemnly donate, as if a family member or loved one might have it and I am desperate for a cure.

The truth is, I am guilted in to donating. What if my five dollars pushes the research over the edge and a cure is discovered tomorrow? Well, then I better donate because I could be saving millions of lives. Or the alternative is when they are delivering the money sacks to the cancer labs, my five dollars flies out the back of the truck, maybe picked up by some kid to buy lollipops and boogers. Either way, five bucks doesn't hurt me, and could help save untold strangers (with breasts), unless...
What if breast cancer is a jerk? Breast cancer is clinically proven to be the sneakiest of all cancers. Seriously, what do you know about breast cancer? For all I know breast cancer could have a drug problem, and this five dollars I'm donating could be indirectly funding a new Cuban terrorist patrol boat. Five bucks may not seem like a lot, but in Africa you can buy 60 slave children for that much. That's definitely something to think about.

Anyway, that is all out of my hands now. Breast cancer, you have my money, what are you going to do with it?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

645 Spacetime

Nonsensical title aside, 645 Spacetime is probably the most serious, initimate song on the album. It starts off with me doing my best impression (it has fooled many) of a lady singing a reverby, angelic "aah." While that is fading out, the guitar, kick drum and cymbals fade in. The whole first verse and chorus and post-chorus are like this, until the second verse when everything kinda bursts in (including strings). Then during the last chorus everything fades out except for the lead vocals and the lead guitar, and following it's last strum are the oohs and aahs from Sleep, leading directly into that song.
I used a ton of reverb in this mix, but not really big expansive stuff, I just wanted it to feel like you were listening to it in a big, dark room. Once the full instrumentation is in, the vocals are drowned out, just barely peeking through. I don't know why I like it that way, but to me it makes it more ethereal and dreamy, because you can hear the vocals but you aren't exactly sure what's being said.
Overall I think it's a nice laid0back song before the noisier finale tracks.

Friday, April 18, 2008

For a Time

Today I mixed a few of the songs that I recorded with Moostache a couple of weeks ago.
In addition, I worked on For a Time. It starts out with a fade in of crickets chirping and night time sounds. I always imagined those in the song because to me the songs sounds like it was recorded at night. The songs is "lead" by the acoustic guitar, but the real attraction here is the bass. Chris took my idea and ran with it, making one of the bast bass lines on the whole album. It fits the song so perfectly it's like it was always there, or that I wrote the song around it.
It's a pretty straightforward arrangement, with various guitars and strings coming in for one verse only, something I don't do on any other song. My favorite are the double tracked electric guitars that come in the third verse, because they sound so unsure, like they might go away at any minute (one last fun fact: I broke my pick in the beginning of the acoustic track but kept playing. Listen close and you might hear it).
I also started 645 Spacetime, but I'll post about that tomorrow when I work on that as well as some Farewell to Ernest songs.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Doesn't Matter, What Could I Be, Instrumental, Asteroid

So, a few weeks ago I started mixing What Could I Be and Doesn't Matter, but I never got around to posting about them. They are both a great deal of fun to work with and listen to. Doesn't Matter is a pretty straight forward rock song. We have double tracked rhythm guitars, double tracked lead and intro guitars, double tracked vocals, a synth, bass, solo guitar, strings and drums. The big challenge here is that everything is double tracked and fighting each other for space (I usually do doubled tracking the old fashioned way and hard pan everything left and right). What Could I Be offered a more interesting challenge. During the choruses, the strings and flutes and clarinets kinda drown out the vocals. I had a tough time just EQing them and adjusting the volume, teetering back and forth between overpowering and buried in the mix. Kinda frustrating, but it was worth and is probably my favorite song so far.
The Instrumental (no name yet, I'm thinking about calling it "Goodbye Green World," but Nick has a name for it that I can't remember) is an interesting song. It is supposed to bridge the gap between the Rock-ier sounds of the first half of the album and the spacey sounds of the second half. It is basically just a reverb heavy wall of sounds. It doesn't last long; just long enough to get your mind into the place it needs to be for Asteroid.
Asteroid is in a way the centerpiece of the album. It's not single material, but it encompasses the second half of the album's themes of longing and waiting. It's also the longest song on the album at 5 minutes and 21 seconds. The song relies on lyrical imagery as well as musical imagery, painting a picture (hopefully) in the listeners head of the vastness of space. It is an intimidating task, because there are so many tracks and every single one of them (except for the double tracked stuff) is playing a completely different melody. The bass line on this song is ridiculously beautiful, and I'm pretty sure it could be a song just by itself. After a day of messing around extensively with panning and reverbs, things have begun to fall into place, but I don't think I'm gonna have this one done for awhile. Tomorrow I'll be working on primarily Moostache stuff, but I'm gonna start doing For a Time as well.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Organ Failure, Beached Whale

Monday and Tuesday I was busy recording with Moostache, and didn't really get to mix much of the Balloons is Fun!?! stuff. Today, though, that's all I did.
I finished up the Tapes mix, and moved on to Organ Failure. It's a simple song with very few tracks (especially for us), so it's kind of a lull before the multi-track storm that is the rest of the album.
The hardest part of the song was finding the right reverbs and delays to use. I ended up using the RVerb reverb for the snare and rhythm guitar, and the Tel-Ray Delay for the vocals. I wanted something a bit phasier and spacey sounding for the solo guitar's effect-double track, so I started playing around with different effects from the Sound Toys bundle. They have really awesome analog-sounding phasers and delays and reverbs and just effecty crap that makes everything sound awesome. I could spend days just messing around with different settings in just EchoBoy. I ended up using one of the FilterFreak effects for the snare drum on the track, too, because it made it so deliciously crunchy.
After that it was just as difficult/easy as any properly-tracked recording is to mix. I was using Skyway by The Apples in Stereo as my frequency comparison, because I think it's pretty similar sounding in terms of guitar and reverb stuff. One last note about this song: Chris's bass lines are every bit as insane (in a good way) as he is.
I already started to mix Beached Whale while we were here in January, so almost all of the effects were chosen, and the drums were pretty much done. This song has about twice the amount of tracks that Organ Failure does, so it took awhile just to get everything to sit in it's own place and not fight with something else.
The drums are panned completely to the right and use a heavy EchoBoy effect makes them sound "underwatery." As a side effect of this, the bass and kick weren't sharing the same space, so I made the bass nice and fat in the low end since it was the only thing there. The intro oohs and aahs and Nick's backing vocals are also heavily effect-ed and have and underwater sound. I was having trouble finding a good delay for the lead vocals that didn't make them stick out above everything else, until I tried yet another EchoBoy effect. This time I used one of it's tape delay emulations, and it worked like glue sticking together the vocals with the instrumental part of the track.
So, the first 3 tracks are done (pretty much, I'll probably be tweaking them until they're mastered). Tomorrow I'll be moving on to Doesn't Matter and What Could I Be. I already did volume mixes of them today, but that's about as far as I got. I'm really proud of these first 3, and excited to see how the rest are going to turn out (also, buy Sound Toys)!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


I started mixing a lot later than I thought I would, so I couldn't use the monitors for too long (neighbors), plus I'm tired. So all I did was start mixing Tapes.
Tapes is a song that Nick and I wrote together, so I never recorded a version of it on my own and had no idea what we were gonna do production-wise. There's only about a minute of the song that isn't on a tape recorded, but I want that minute to be as cool as possible to get the listener excited for the rest of the album, but not too big so there are still production tricks and surprises left for the rest of the tracks.
We originally had Nick's voice going through a phaser, but listening to it now makes me think it sounds like it was recorded in a closet, so I instead went with some amplitube effect and a Tel-Ray Delay.
There is also a theremin playing on the left channel of the track, and mellotron violins, both run through amplitube to give them a harsher sound that fits in with the rest of the song.
The violins are each playing an individual note in a chord and are panned hard left, middle, and hard right. It is a very cool effect because it sound like a chord, but a bit fuller.
That's pretty much all there is to that song.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Fun. Details

So, in the beginning of January we recorded our album at Paisley Daisy studios in California.
I had to go back to Arizona for awhile, so the recordings have been collecting (digital) dust on my hard-drive.
Now I'm finally back in California, so tomorrow I am going to begin mixing the album. Some of the rough (rough) mixes are up on our myspace, but they were mixed on my laptop in about half an hour and don't sound even 1/10th as good as they will when properly mixed (and mastered, but I'm not going to be the one doing that).
So as I go along mixing, I will be posting blogs detailing my work on the songs. Might be boring for most people, but it might be interesting to some, and it helps me have a grasp on how much I'm accomplishing.
Anyway, here's the tracklist:
  1. Tapes
  2. Organ Failure
  3. Beached Whale
  4. Doesn't Matter
  5. What Could I Be
  6. (as of yet untitled instrumental)
  7. Asteroid
  8. For a Time
  9. 645 Spacetime
  10. Sleep
  11. Dead Friends
  12. Tapes Pt. 2

Saturday, January 26, 2008

All Finished

Well, the website is all finished except for the different drawings that are going to go on each page. I put the menu bar on the blog too, so now it's just like every other page and easily navigable. I would say this is web 5.0 technology.

Friday, January 25, 2008

First Post

This is the official Balloons is Fun!?! blog.