Domain problems

Yesterday you were probably met by a message from ICANN instead of our blog. Due to a new ICANN policy every domain owner has to verify/update contact information on registered domain names periodically. Some confusion emerged about the process resulting in enchantedduo.com being locked down for a day or so. Everything should be ok now.

ICANN domain verification message

Songwriting & studio update

There’s been some progress with the ongoing songwriting of “Live Life To The Fullest”. We’ve now made the full structure of the song out of the smartphone recorded samples and also drafted some lyrics/vocals.

To the category technical difficulties we can add a malfunctioning microphone that had to be replaced with one that we’ve been using earlier. Just like the other it’s a multipurpose microphone that you have to remember how to set up correctly because of the different characteristics on each side.

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We’ve also started to clean up in tonfällan (our recording booth) which lately has become a storage area for different equipment. I’m building a shelf now for this purpose. When tonfällan is accessible we can start the recording of guitars and vocals.

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Putting a face to feelings

I’ve started to write down how I feel about doing certain tasks. Maybe it could be used to do more of the things that makes me feel happy, but I don’t know, I haven’t done such an analysis yet. For now it just feels god to put a face to the feeling while/after completing the task. It’s obvious that feelings are related to a certain time aspect. Therefore I evaluate while I’m doing the task and then reevaluate at least two hours after finishing the task, as well as the next day.

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Singing Success – Review

The vocal traing course called Singing Success is divided into two parts: one about technique and one about style. I’m about half way through the technical section. I’ve been doing the exercises for about 2×20 minutes 4-5 days a week.

The tone of the course is helpful and encouraging. It’s not extensive in technical/physical explanations as of breathing and relaxation exercises like I’ve found in other courses. It’s more like listen and learn. The demonstration of the exercises are performed by singers with amazing skill and range. Something that might make you feel “Wow soon I’ll be mastering this myself”, but it also makes it difficult to get confirmation that you’ve got the right approach.

The concept of the course is to develop head-voice and blending it with chest-voice while keeping it at speech level. One thing that I have found useful is to focus on the release of the tone to avoid pushing while reaching the high note. I find the concept of speech level singing a bit harder to gasp.

I’ve almost ditched the exercises called the lip-rolls as the morning and afternoon car ride is my environment for daily practice and not being able to support the exercise with my fingers makes me feel woozy.

A few days ago I had the chance to try and apply some of those techniques while singing with a band I’m occasionally rehearsing with. Thinking stay relaxed, speech level etc. Though I immediately didn’t notice any advances in my singing you also pretty soon loose focus while competing with other instruments to get heard in a rock band.

I think I will start on the style section soon as well to get some more practice on real songs, sing along to some songs played on guitar and even with an unplugged electric guitar to further explore the concept of speech level singing.

Minor issues

We’ve recently had some crashes on a few modules in wordpress related to the caching of the site. Now after removing this monster the contact form and event manager is up and running again. We’ll  be looking into some gzip compression to hopefully reduce some pageload on your browser.

Songwriting patchwork

There’s not just one way of writing songs and as time flies you discover new ways. For quite a while now I’ve been using my smart phone for capturing new ideas. Sometimes even a whole song with piano or guitar. Just so we can listen again later.

The latest is to import these clips directly into Cubase and (when needed cut them up to fit the beat were it decided afterwards). This way you get a draft to improve gradually. And you can work on the song wherever you are. Below is the draft vocals for the bridge on our new project.

Lost in the woods

Ever since we decided to work on our image and the “Indie Forest” theme I’ve been dying to take some new pictures. So for over a year now I’ve been collecting items and accessories for those pictures. Of course, we meant to take them a year back, but life sort of got in the way. As autumn draws near and the temperature dips at night and fog lies thick in early morning we got a bit inspired. Why not do it now?

It’s pretty much like this: A complete nuisance trying to ensure everything is packed and getting ready. Lesser things can drive anyone mad I think. Getting there takes an eternity. Upon arrival everything looks perfect. Then realizing that little (%&!!??##!) clip to attach the camera to the tripod got let behind. (Some not so nice words here). Rushing back to collect missing items including a pacifier because we forgot that in the leaving chaos too. (Good thing the selected spot for the pictures isn’t more than a 5-10 minutes walk from the house!) Then we’re super focused and working hard at taking pictures. When our baby girl is fed up and crying it’s time to get back to the house (keeping our fingers crossed we got at least some good pictures). Completely exhausted we change back to casual clothes as we don’t usually wear circlets and tiaras for breakfast. Then a brief picture preview and we can relax.

It’s the kind of activity that is rather trying to both plan for and execute, but I think a few days later I will feel happy we did it. Now it’s all about gathering up some energy to sit down and work with the pictures in Adobe Photoshop. The final part, turning them into digital arts (resizing and such) is perhaps the most boring. Just administration really.

So now, look out for new profile pictures for Enchanted Duo!

Dansning

Studiorapport

studiomossgubbe1000px_wI sommar har jag passat på att uppdatera vår studiomiljö. Främst för att vi har dragits med en del tekniska problem och ett onödigt komplicerat arbetssätt. Att greja och åter greja med utrustning som man har är förvisso väldigt lärorikt men även om du är tekniskt lagd kan det periodvis bli jobbigt. När hårdvaran uppenbarligen inte längre fungerar och man inte längre problemfritt kan uppgatera mjukvaran är det dax för något nytt. Nu gör vi detta för att skapa en studiomiljö vi båda förhoppningsvis kommer att trivas med.

Tidigare har vi i princip använt oss av två inspelningsdatorer. En windowsdator med musikprogrammet Cubase. På denna har vi haft problem med ett tjutande USB-ljudkort vilket har gjort att vi i princip bara har använt den till MIDI.

Den andra datorn har varit en linuxdator med musikdistributionen Ubuntu Studio. Denna har vi främst använt för inspelning av audio dvs riktiga instrument och sång. Ubuntu Studio är fri mjukvara och innehåller musikprogram som i den kommersiella världen skulle ha kostat tiotusentals kronor. Det är därför jag blir lite förvånad när jag hör Alexander Bards beskrivning av musikvärlden:

musikvärlden består inte av finniga tonåringar med ett crackat Reason

Om det syftar på att allt kostar pengar, så har han inte haft koll på vad som har hänt inom området Linux Audio de senast 10-15 åren. Mjukvara som faktist har tagit oss ända till radio och tiotusentals spelningar på youtube.

Det nya systemet då? Det blev en Mac med ett thunderbolt-ljudkort och en återgång till Cubase. Vi känner också att vi har växt ur det här med att jaga gratis plug-ins så en vettig sampler och 12 dvder med instrument på det. Huh, tänkte inte på att iMac inte har någon dvd-läsare men det löste sig efter två dagars installation över närverket.

Det kommer säkert i fortsättningen också att finnas saker att greja med men det känns skönt att få greja med något nytt.

Mitt Soundblaster16 ligger nu i kassen för släng. Det var tider det när vi spelade in albumet Waterlilies. Allt var så okomplicerat, bara koppla in mikrofonen och dra på en ratt. Ljudkortet kommer jag nog inte att sakna. Skulle man lyssna på Waterlilies igen så inser man nog att vårt ljud har utvecklats en del sedan dess. Men det är lite av den känslan vi vill tillbaka till.

Song – I See You Now

Our new song is finally finished and released (today!). We hope you’ll like it!

It’s a cosy and meditative song with Indian influences (mainly the drums), creative guitars, soft vocals and a rock inspired bridge (just because we couldn’t resist the urge… Especially when we came up with the melody, lyrics and the guitar for it).

As some of you will remember we wrote the song in front of the camera and you can watch the process on youtube:

I-See-You-Now_cover2wTitle: I See You Now
Genre: Pop/Rock
Lyrics: Available on lyrisk
Available On:  Spotify, Rhapsody, iTunes, CdBaby
Released: 7/6 2014

 

The master of I See You Now

We decided to have the new song professionally mastered by Digitalfabriken. The master arrived a couple of days ago and we spent the evening listening and comparing.

Things we like about the master:

  • How the distance between vocals and guitar vanished
  • Well of course, the volume
  • For some reason we always manage to mix with too much base, that was nicely leveled out, but without loosing the drums or the base.