Archive for the ‘ Presence of Mind News ’ Category

Although I’ve been getting stuff done slowly this year with the Presence of Mind project, I haven’t been progressing as fast as I’d like.  This is for a number of reasons, though one of them being a clear plan on WTF I need to do next.  Taking a hint from my own day job, I decided to go full retard and build a scrum board, a tool often used in Agile project management.

So far I’ve managed to get the bass, keys, and drums done for Parts 9-17 (the end).  The drums are complete for Parts 1-8, so I’m currently working on re-learning all the keyboard parts, which I’ll record next.  Then comes the bass, which should be pretty straightforward as I’ve got most of it mapped out already.  For guitars I’m going to shoot to record all the rhythms from start to finish, in hopes of giving it some more continuity (instead of the “reverse” recording I’ve done thus far).  Then I still need to sort out the vocals…it will all get done sooner or later ;)

I decided I’m recording all the guitars for PoM myself, at least in the capacity of rhythms. Most likely I’ll farm out the solo stuff and/or create new string parts or something.

I’ve taken the initial stab with a mic’d and direct approach. I’m happy with my playing, but not real pumped about the sound. I mic’d my Vox AD30VT-XL with a Sennheiser e609 into my Avalon. I used a Radial Big Shot ABY True Bypass pedal to send a direct guitar signal into my Event Layla, then processed it with Guitar Rig and Amplitube. It sounds OK, but is still a bit lifeless and buzzy in the mids in my opinion. Here’s a clip:


I’ve decided I’m going to build a real live all tube rig and throw a double mic’d cab in the basement in a home made isolation environment…more to come on that soon.

Well, the Presence of Mind project appear to be on hold for the moment.  I haven’t done much with the vocals recently, and Mr. Brown has gone into hiding. 

On the other hand, the J. Williams Band should be slated for a show on Friday June 25th, I believe at the Relay for Life in Stratford, CT.  We were supposed to have played at the Relay for Life in Shelton, CT recently, but got rained out.

Also in the way of “new news”, I’ve begun working on a new project with two other guys, Dave (guitar) and Hal (drums).  It’s sounding kind of like a slightly progressive Mudvayne in my opinion, which is hella cool.  Concise songwriting though, and tasty riffs.  We’re entertaining the idea of me singing and playing bass together…I’ve laid down two rough tracks thus far.  I’d still need to learn to play bass and sing again at the same time :-)   We’ll see.

Back on track

Vocals in progress, Part 9 guitars are done…things are back in action.

More soon…!

Time flies

I was just looking back at some of the posts, and noticed two things; I’ve been bad about making updates, and it’s already over a year since I started.  The latter isn’t all that surprising, considering this whole thing has been dragging on for at least 10 years at this point…so many things have happened in the last year, most of them don’t seem terribly good.  Anyway, enough of that bullshit.

The drums for Part 1 are done, and I’m half way through Part 2.  Drumtracker has proved to be quite difficult in my opinion.  I’m making it work, but it’s not at all like I expected (and taking way longer than I had hoped).  I did however purchase Superior Drummer 2.0 a month or so ago.  WOW!  The quality of sound from EZDrummer (which I was obviously already impressed with) is night and day.  I really had no idea just how different the actual sound was with SD2.0 (as opposed to the tons of features I knew about).  Anyway, I built out a kit similar to what I had with EZD, and I’ll be moving all the drums to SD2.0. 

I’m hoping to get through Part 2 this weekend and start on Parts 3 & 4…then recording re-begins for bass and keys.  Still having challenges with the vocals.  I like the recorded sound I’m getting now, I’ve just been incredibly inconsistent.  When I’ve got time to record, I don’t seem to perform too well, and when I’m performing great…I don’t have time to record!  Need to work that out…

I talked to Chris recently and I’m hopeful that he will have time soon to start cranking through the material.  He’s recorded Part 9, and that’s it.  It sounds great, but obviously there’s a long way to go.

On a separate note, I’m supposed to do some recording this week with J and Eric from the J. Williams Band.  We’ll be doing some acoustic stuff at my home studio.  They are great guys and I’m looking forward to it.


I’ve gone and (hopefully) joined another band :-)   Check out and  They are really cool guys and write great music.  Obviously different that what I’m up to with Trya, but good none the less.  I’ve been to a few practices, so hopefully it all works out and I can get out and play live again (on bass), which I definitely miss.  As much as I love being locked up in my studio Han Solo into the wee hours of the morning working on PoM….

which is in fact coming along!  I’ve been pressing forward, albeit slowly lately, with Parts 1-4.  Still trying to hash out the drums with Drum Tracker, it’s all proven to be much harder than expected.  Once I’m through it though, I imagine that I can tear through the keys and bass pretty fast.  The vocal parts are all written for that stuff as well, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

I’m still having some issues writing the melodies for the vocals on the 9-17 stuff, and I’ve had to change some of the lyrics around.  But I’m hoping to have something down soon and will post it up.  No more allergies…no more excuses… :-)

I managed to get through all the bass and keyboards for Parts 9 – 17 (the end) this past weekend.  No small accomplishment there.  Some of the vocals are done for these parts as well, but that’s still in progress.  It’s been getting harder and harder to sing with allergy season in full swing; sucky.  I’ve also been trying to work on a more aggressive vocal style for some parts…I can’t stop listening to Lamb of God these days :-)   if you haven’t heard Wrath yet, you’d best get a copy of it NOW son!

So the next task is to head back to the beginning and nail down Parts 1 – 4.  As mentioned before, 5 – 8 are ready to go, so it’s just a matter of cleaning up the earlier stuff.  It’s kind of strange working backwards like this…but hey, as long as it gets done and sounds good, what does it matter I guess?

So I’ve been extremely lax in updating, which I know I need to get better at.  A couple of things:

1. Chris has actually laid down some parts; all of section 9.  We ended up recording him at his place with a laptop.  The set up is:

guitar –> Morley A –> FMR RNP Ch1 –> Presonus 1394 Ch1

                  Morley B –> Gtr processor/amp/cab  –> Sennheiser e609 –> FMR RNP Ch2 –> Presonus 1394 Ch2

Thus far we are getting some good sounds.  I’m working on blending his processed signal from Ch2 with the clean Ch1 signal through Native Instruments Guitar Rig 3.  It’s kind of a PITA as I’ll then need to export/import everything from the laptop to my desktop….but we’ll see how it goes.

2. I picked up an Avalon VT-737SP.  Amazing!  All the vocals will be headed through this unit now…and thus far things are sound great.

3. There’s some preliminary unmixed, instrument only samples here:  Ignore the shitty virtual guitars; they are just placeholders for the time being whilst Chris gets his geetars parts done and I can export them to the main project.


All parts finalized!

So the lyrics are almost complete…I’ve finally named all the parts appropriately, and I’ve only got to finish the lyrics for the last section.  It’s been incredibly difficult to write a semi-cohesive story to 80 minutes of music.  I hope in the end that it’s actually intelligible to people :-)

Part 1 – Timeless
Part 2 – Déjà Vu
Part 3 – Intent
Part 4 – Fate
Part 5 – Ragnarok
Part 6 – Isolation
Part 7 – Solace
Part 8 – Between
Part 9 – Far Away
Part 10 – Signals
Part 11 – Higher
Part 12 – Presence of Mind
Part 13 – Pestilence
Part 14 – Impulse
Part 15 – Skepsis
Part 16 – Victory
Part 17 – Children

Recording has begun!

Chris and I decided the best place to start was actually in the middle…so I’ve got the project split in two; 1-8 and 9-16.  I started tracking keyboards in Part 9 (Far Away) a few weeks ago.  Besides my usual hardware setup, I’ve started using Arturia’s Analog Factory.  All I can say is WOW!  The sounds are absolutely fantastic.  I’ve never heard analog modeling sound so real, so good before.  Needless to say I’m quite excited about how the keys are coming along.

I spent some time over the last week or so trying to get a bass recording sound that I’m happy with.  After a bit of trial and error, I’m running the Godlyke Deity 10 string through a Hartke VXL Bass Attack, set for a standard mid/bass sound, running direct into the board.  From there I take a parallel out on the Hartke into my Vox AD30 VT guitar amp, which runs mostly mids and highs with some serious gain, which then runs into a different mixing channel.  So I’ve ended up with a really aggressive sound that I think fits the music well.  Time to start recording bass!