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S.E.N.T. – Week 6

What the hell is S.E.N.T.?

If you’ve no idea what we’re talking about you can catch up with previous weeks over on the S.E.N.T. page.

Foreword

Lordy lordy, here we are, the final week. What a rollercoaster. It’s all becoming very emotional as we drag these tired, battle worn musical ideas over the finish line. Below is the usual weekly self deprecation and chirpy one liners but before you delve into that, we need to let you know that next week we’ll be releasing all this as an EP. We decided to take one final day to dot the ‘I’s and cross the ‘T’s and give them all a little bit of Eds mix love so what you hear below isn’t quite the final product but you’ll get to hear the FINAL FINAL MIX VERSION 6 FINAL MORNING OUTPUT versions of these ideas next Tuesday September 1st 2020!! Tell your friends!

Thanks to everyone who has followed along, all 3 of you. We hope you’ve loved it as much as we have and who knows……maybe we’ll do it all again soon.

xxx

Week 6 – Ripening


IDEA #1 – HUX

Wow, sounds like a song on first opening of the project. Super vibey, and lots of pleasant surprises. Ooh deep synth bass, subby, a chunky guitar from Fletch, loads of great sounds. Cool kit, lovely vocal. Lots of fun.

What to do? Well, I was leaning over the band glockenspiel with a jack lead and it fell, dangling across the notes, and sounded cool. Recorded that, and it’s still cool, but not cool enough, so I super time-stretched it and now it sounds super coooooooooooooool. Like air, and grunge.

That’s some high end added. Must attend to the bottom end. I know, let’s double the sub bass with a flanged bass guitar. Aaaaand Fletch’s (I presume) guitar sounds ace – Yeah, I’ll double that with something else low. That just made things a bit too symmetrical, so that’s been messed with, fuzz, panning, delay, saturation. All the usual gags.

Not enough top end now, and needs something to build in certain sections. More glockenspiel then. 3 tracks, panned left, centre right,. Not scary enough, let’s pitch shift that with Logic’s “in the box” “Whammy” pedal. Yep, now it’s warbley, and weird.

Tick. Send.


IDEA #2 – JAMES

Initial thoughts

This is brilliant. It’s all about the last section, massive pay off for sitting through the first half. I listened to it for ages trying to figure out what it needs doing to push it forward a bit. My feeling is the verses before the last section is where I lose interest and it gets a bit saggy. The delete key is going to get an absolute hammering this week.

What actually happened

Well, I started off well with the best of intentions. I spent most of the day figuring out what I could delete and carved out loads of space. I dared myself to strip it back to as little as possible. It sounded great with just the vocal in at one point. Unfortunately my ego got the better of me and I ended up filling all that new found space with strings and fancy toys. I even found a bar where Fletch and Hux hadn’t sung any B.V.s and filled that in too. At least I fulfilled my promise not to touch the basically perfect last section…………..oh no, wait, I put strings on that too, ah well, next time I’ll not make the same mistake. Is it finished? Well it’s the end of 6 weeks and my dinner’s ready so I guess it is.

If that last section doesn’t make you kick off your shoes and throw some chairs around the garden then you’ve got no heart.

1 week later…..

Ah balls, just listened back, I totally broke this. The build into the last section doesn’t quite work the way I thought but with a bit of tweaking I recon this can be fixed……..


IDEA #3 – GARY

‘Fighting On My Mind’. Well i’m fighting MY mind not to just delete this track and replace it with 40 seconds of Gabba or Hardcore. ‘Gary gave me an elaborate metronome’ – that’ll teach you Simon Wainwright. Just kidding!! I did have to double-check it was Si’s idea though as it’s in G Major, not F.

At this stage the songs are pretty much full to bursting-like Augustus Gloop stuck in the pipe after drinking the chocolate river. Some nice little Hamilton Celtic Choir (or Qwohr as James would say) going on in verse two. I was going to sprinkle some percussion on the track but seeing as I got the piss FULLY ripped out of me last week for doing just that on almost everything, I thought; ‘No. I’ll just beat-box over it instead’. That, some backing vocals and some hi-string guitar. Job done. The End.


IDEA #4 – SI

Thank the stars, the last week has delivered me a great song. Fletch’s original idea with a verse by both Hux and Fletch to kick it off. Loads of beautiful instrumentation and sort of Gomez/Elbow vibe to it – very reminiscent of that first Gomez album where it all felt very lazy and slightly wonky. This is a gif to end on and it’s a very enjoyable couple of hours just working around the melodies that are already there and pretty much singing the first words that come to me – not in a slap dash way but it’s just really obvious what the song wants, like there’s a me shaped hole in the middle of it. Thank. Goodness. I end with a verse questioning why we do this, why we write these songs…seems appropriate enough.

That’s it, we’re almost there – I’ve loved this project, absolutely loved it. Bring on the next one.


IDEA #5 – FLETCH

I don’t think it’s fair to tell off the whole group when some of you haven’t done anything wrong so Ed, you can go outside and play, good job fella!

The rest of you. What do you think you’re playing at??? Is this supposed to be a joke, cause I don’t find it funny. Ed made a great start to this song and look what you’ve done to it!!! I’m not interested in you pointing fingers, nobody stopped it from happening so you’re all to blame..

I’ve spent some time on this now and lucky for you I’ve managed to turn it into a MASSIVE BANGER but I still think you all owe Ed an apology next time you see him. 

I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.

NO MATTER WHAT I DO I CANNOT GET THIS AUDIO TO UPLOAD. YOU’LL JUST HAVE TO IMAGINE THE AMAZING STUFF THAT FLETCH DID AND WAIT FOR THE RELEASE NEXT WEEK!!

Sorted it for ya! I will not be silenced!!!!!!


IDEA #6 – ED

It’s really great. So SO many great things happening. This being the last week and this track being FULL and given that the fact that I may have to mix 6 songs in a day purely in the time that the kids are at nursery I decide to just mix it. Dive straight in and import my template which is lots of auxes for groups of instruments and then all the music routed to a music bus and all the vocals routed to a vocal bus. It’s an Eric Valentine trick so you can do stuff to the music to make it kick and pump and still keep control of the vocal sound and level. After a boring 40 minutes rerouting stuff I have at it with extreme predjudice. I am super enjoying mixing at the mo and it’s purely selfish pleasure at the moment. 4 hours later I realise that I’ve just been making micro adjustments to the same four things for 30 minutes and call it a night. Listen the next day and think it sounds pretty cool but have some fixes. That night apply fixes very carefully. Think I’m a god. Next day realise I’ve broken mix. Sigh. Apply less fixes (cos first mix has a vibe) VERY carefully. Break mix. Sob. Start again. Just push vocals up 1db, pan verse guitars in 10% and edit the noise on the last sample. Break mix. Too tired to sob. Pull my shattered ego together and send everyone the first mix. Try and learn my lesson. 

This has been a lot of fun. Just the final polishing now!


4 Comments

Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Mark Parrinireply
August 26, 2020 at 9:49 pm

Well, these tunes have come along way! It has been very interesting catching up with progress each week. I’m sure many of us have been quietly anticipating the next instalment. The creativity and technical know how is stunning, and well as that SENTinal wizzing around between your brains. Top work chaps.

Vicsreply
August 27, 2020 at 11:51 am

I’ve really loved this project, been great to follow and see it blossom! (The songs I mean…Although I’m sure it’s helped you guys too!) Keep up the good work :)

Chris Powellreply
August 27, 2020 at 11:30 pm

Some time I’d like to discuss the ideas of SH Foulkes with you. Specifically his Basic Law of Group Dynamics: The group provides the norm from which the individual deviates. This project is a total demonstration of that. It’s kind of like ‘the whole is greater than he sum of its parts’ but with added deviants.

Lovely deviants.

Chris Powellreply
August 27, 2020 at 11:32 pm

I also love that you can manipulate the tracks so extravagantly but I can’t even edit a typo on my commme t on the blog

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