Mr. Fastfinger anti-competition

SCARE US WITH YER GUITAR
This is not a competition, we’re asking your help and participation! This is an open invitation to take part on Mr. Fastfinger’s song “Daemons & Ghouls” which will be part of the album “In Motion” released later 2011.

DEADLINE
for sending your recordings is 18 of July 2011. Aaah, let’s continue this deadline untill 1.8. 2011. I have no chance to get deep with this until it turns to august.

ABOUT
As the title suggests this song is about facing demons, ghosts and other spirits. The song is pretty much all together, but we now need volunteers to play the parts of these spiritual creatures. We want you to take your guitar and record us the scariest sound you can imagine. Consider this more like a sound design assignment than music assignment. All level of players are most welcome. Simply perform the most scariest sound on the guitar you can!

IDEAS AND RULES
There are no actual rules. But here’s some suggestions to give you ideas.
First think what kind of creature you want to bring alive. More of a friendly little Casper or like a ultra bad dark demon. Okay, then imagine how this creature should sound like. Then make it happen with the gear you got available.

All effects, tricks and methods are allowed and recommended!
For instance you could:
- Scream at the pickup
- Saw the strings with an electric toothbrush
- Add the craziest flanger fx to your super wide doublebended note
- Turn the amps spring reverb to 100 and play the devils interval reversed
- Turn the amp to max and make your guitar scream in feedback
- Do the deepest dive bomb you can imagine

Etc. Use your imagination, go wild, do what ever it takes. Do anything, but don’t hurt yourself or your guitar!

We are not really looking for actual guitar solos, melodies,licks or riffs. Altough your part can include some musical content as well, we are first of all looking for sound effects and craziness. Different types of approached to creating monsters are welcome and needed. It’s time to do something out of this world and dimension.

You can do what ever you feel like. Single guitar performances  and not fully composed orvedubbed pieces of ready music. We want parts that we can be mixed into this composition.

BACKING TRACK
Here’s the primary part of the song where we would want the creatures to appear. ( altough the performance could end up in some other part / song on the album aswell.nevermind). You can download this backing and do your thing along to it if you wish. Just make sure the backing is not audible on the final mp3 you’re sending us. We cannot use recordings where the backing track is heard in the background.

Daemon Ghouls backingloop
In case you’re wondering the tempo is 205 and the meter 7/8
Note: if you feel your part is more like an free flow effect you just ignore this backing and do your thing free. It’s an option to use the backing for the feel and timing.

RECORDING GEAR
Use any gear you’re able to reach. We don’t care if you use high end studio gear, modeling amps or just the microphone on you mobile phone. If it sounds scary and innovative
It is what we are looking for. Use any gear as long as you can send us the final clip in mp3 format.

High quality 320kb mp3 would be most excellent, lower resolutions are okay aswell. Note: We want the guitar part you play isolated: you guitar+effect only. Again: please do no mix it with the backing track and max 20 sec. Give the mp3 file your own name, so we can make sure you’ll will get credited on the CD and website if the sound gets used.

WILL MY SOUND BE HEARD IN THE ALBUM
We want to get various demons to appear on the song. One at the time or appearing together. It’s hard to say how many will end up on the album, from 3 to 300. Please, understand that your parts can and most likely will be edited in one way or another to fit the overall track. It can be mixedin the very front or buried as part of a huge backing monster ambience. Have open mind, just do your thing and submit it!
Your sounds can be any length between 1 to 20 seconds. Please, no longer than 20 second recordings.

WE PAY YOU NO MONEY – ONLY HONOUR!
You will not receive any prices, royalties or payments at any point. If your sound is being used on the final track you will be properly credited on CD version of the album as well as on Mr. Fastfinger’s website. All submitters will receive a free download of the final track in mp3 once it’s being published along the album.

Looking forward hearing your contributions. Don’t take this too seriously. Have fun. Scare us with your guitar. Thank you already for helping out!
If you got any questions please ask them here in the comments.

E-MAIL US
E-mail to fastfingerup(at)gmail.com

Copy the rest of this instruction to your e-mail and fill-in all the requested info. Please, copy also the legal agreement to the bottom of the the e-mail.

(Please, write your name as the topic of the e-mail)

1. You full name:
2. Give a name to your creature or a title to your work:
2. Short explanation how you created the sound on the guitar:
3. Guitar / recording Gear you used:
4. Attach the mp3 file (give the mp3 your name, otherwise we cannot give you credits for the use of it)
5. If you want you can attach a making of image of yourself performing the sound. Or just an image of the gear. Please, keep the image file size small.max. 1MB. Jpg format would be the best.

LEGAL AGREEMENT
By sending the files (music/sound effect mp3, images and all information) I’m giving Elektrik Pyjamas unlimited rights to use my submitted work in any commercial or non-commercial publication in any format. I agree that what I’m sending was created by me and I hold all the rights to it. By submitting my entry I agree and warrant that it is my own performance I’m uploading and it does not contain “samples” of any third party’s content.
I also give Elektrik Pyjamas all rights to edit and manipulate my submitted work. Deadline for sending your recording is 11th of july 2011.


Go!

Daemons & Ghouls w/Bass&Drums

We got bass! We got drums!
Thought it would be time to update info about this song. Sharing some ideas on Bass and Drum recording with you.

Compare these two version of the song with the demo bass and drums and final versions. Oh and atleast some of the guitars seem to be re-recorded as well!

Daemons & Ghouls – February 2011 demobassdrums

Daemons & Ghouls – June 2011 Bass & Drums

This is still a rough mix from the recording phase. Drum mix is basically just triggered sample to the kick and perhaps slight high boost on snare EQ. then balancing all the drum and room mics. We’ll get most out of the tracks during the actual mix.

THE BASS
Last month we did several days of Bass session with Lasse. This was one of the songs we worked on. My original Bass synth lines dictated the lines quite a lot, but indeed Lasse came up with a good load of new ideas and definetly brought the song to the next level. When you compare the original demo synth and Lasse’s enormous bass it’s like comparing fart and thunder :)

In this song (and on many other ones aswell) I wanted some fuzzy tones with the bass. More edge and buzz to the tone. But using Fuzz or any such pedals they many times weaken the low end of bass. So when recording bass I always record two lines. One is direct from the bass unaltered and second one with the effects.
This way you can do freely crazy stuff with pedals with out worries, because you always have the clean version there anyways.
When starting to mix bass I usually have three bass tracks.
1. AMP. First track is clean bass line going into IK Multimedia’ss Ampeg plug-in. I’m using bass amp simulation here. I don’t like to use amp simulations with the guitar but with bass I’m not so picky. Ampeg plug is has many amps/cabinets to choose from and you can easily choose the one that suits the song best. With this amp tone track I cut low frequencies out (from around 100 Hz) because…
2. LOW END. Second track is (doublicated) clean bass line. But this time with only low end. All frequencies abobe 100 Hz is cut out. No amp simulations or whatsoever. You can get the most solid low end for bass when it doesn’t have any effects or amps involved. Also when you have the low end on a separate track it’s easier to adjust the low end volume of bass.
3. THE FX. Third track is the FX channel that was recorded during the sessions. Here I might have some serious Fuzz or chorus. When you have it on a separate track it’s easy to balance it with the overall bass tone.

THE DRUMS
The song was composed on top of Thomas’ demo drum tracks. The improvised drumparts were heavily edited. When the drums session was approaching I gave Thomas the demo of the song and he had time to checkit out and learn it in peace at home. Learn his own stuff that I had put together. So when we got to the studio he basically just banged the drums in.
The overall drums sessio was very quick to do this time. Previous time we did some time taking experiments with all the mics and everything. This time we just took the same mics and placed them there. Checked the mic levels and did few mic position tweaks and that was it. Thomas had different drum set this time so everything sounded a bit different. Actually much better than on the first session. I’ve finally realized the importance of room mics. Room mics are really the ones that can make the drums sound big and that’s where the power is.

This time we had to room mics for the stereo image. And also one Neumann in front of the Bass drum to capture whole kit in mono. This Neumann track is highly important and give’s a lot of power to the overall sound. Even if I use sample for the kick these room mics give the kick a little bit variation and makes it more alive.
FInally you can notice there’s a huge difference with drums that have been looped and edited together with the drums that have actually been played to the song.

WHAT THEN?

The thing that is still open is the middlepart. I’m sure there will be some soloing but something else aswell I’m hearing. I will need your help with this. Will get back to this in a couple of days and let you know more. Hatchaaa!


Go!

Arpeggios from the Ripples

Listen on SoundCloud

This is a teaster clip from something we’ve been working on these days. It’s from a track I needed to add to the album to give the album listeners a little break to breath before the action continues.

edit: here’s the 4 arpeggio shapes in tablature format in case you’re interested trying it out.


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Importance of overall drama and changes

BEGINNING – MIDDLE – END
Overall album has progressed forward. The whole album is very much getting together.
Like every book, movie, concert there is also beginning – middle and ending to an album. Classic way of doing rock album is to record a bunch of songs. Pick all or the best of them and then figure out in what order would be the best. I started working on this album in opposite way. I set a loose story and then started to illustrate it with the music. Basically it’s about Mr. Fastfinger leaving his safety zone aka island and moving to unknown territories. It’s about find a Lost World. This trip is most importantly about self discovery. The beginning is about getting to the lost world. Mid section is filled with different trials and adventures along the path. End is about discovering the essential, a little enlightment sort of.
Mr. Fastfinger’s debut album was sort of split into A and B sides (check the back cover) and had additional “Encore”. This new album is probably going to be splitted into 3 or 4 sides. Prelude . The first mid half . The second mid half. The Finale. Splitting album to segments helps to organize the order. I don’t want to see the album as just a long list of tracks.

Since mid-february I’ve composed a lot of music. It was clear  that once I get focused on composing: good stuff started to come out. The focus is on getting a good balanced album together. But it’s no surprise there’s a lot of (even good) music coming out that will not make it there. So in addition to the album there could be digital EP or singles releases in the future as well. How knows where they end.

THE CHANGES AND CONTRASTS AND COLORS
Here you can see the current setlist on my iTunes. The titles of the songs may and will changes atleast with some of them. Note there’s no track number 5. I’ve already left there a spot. At this point there needs to be a little more breathing and relaxe track in this spot. This is very Important for the sanity of the album listener. When working on music I try to set myself in the ears of the listener. The music is made for the people to experience. I try to make sure the whole thing stays stimultating and vivid throughout from the beginning to the end. It’s just the classic “rules” of drama that do work. If there’s many fast songs in a row,  the tempo  just starts to feel the “normal” tempo. The fast becomes medium. But if you but one slow inbetween it clears everything again. Notice in the movies how there’s always silence before the big explosion. Calm before the strorm. Contrats are what we are talking about. Contrasts are what makes things stand out.

When putting together an album, it’s not only the Tempo and rhythm. Key changes, mood changes are something to keep ears and eyes on.Key and Mode has a lot to do with the feel or color of the song. If these doesn’t change too often, it get’s easily very boring. There’s something I’ve spotted a little problematic. 4. Action Guitar and 6. Reveal are both in E mixolydian (Both do modulate but these are  atleast their starting/main keys and modes) . So now if I do my new song in between there in some other key, it should be safe again!

I’ve already created some nice continuity between the songs. More about it later.
This was a long writing any body still reading there? Any thoughs?


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The spring of sessions

I’m sure the image speaks: We’ve been having great time doing sessions for the album. As approx. 97 – 99% of the music has been now composed. We’ve been able to focus on the joy of recording the actual parts. Guitar sessions, Bass sessions, Jew Harp sessions, Keyboard sessions, Drums sessions, Soda straw sessions, Bass drums sessions. And it all sounds fun and great!
There’s still plenty of stuff to record. But we’re progressing!

Mr. Fastfinger in Motion

Still been keeping ears and eyes and mind open for the album title. Currently i’m feeling strongest with the title: “in Motion”. Motions or moving is one of the key elements of music and life. Notes become music when it moves the audience. And I mean it in it’s all ways. It could be from foot stomping to ass shaking to emotional waves. And  the concept story of the album is definelty about moving forward in life and music and guitar.
And in bonus addition when you spell it out loud, “in Motion” easily sounds like “Emotion” !

Later,
Mika


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There’s material allright!

Yeah, I already got nearly 50 minutes of songs that will most defineltly make it to the album. This is the stuff I’m happy and sure about. But I also got another 26 additional ideas, approx. 42 minutes of cut out ideas and parts, variations and actually some very nice potential jam tracks.

To put together a very strong album with no weak moments it takes a lot of work. Lots and lots of composing and working. A lot of “killing your darlings”. Need to think of the whole album and the listening experience. I want it to be super versatile, no two songs that are similar to each other allowed. This album kind of takes of where the last of left. I don’t want to re-do the same songs I did on last album eather.

For the sake of the album story and drama. I’m still missing a couple of compositions!!!
Wait: another folder found with more than an hour of material from last spring and summer with some songs and ideas that I left out very early.


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How to name the album? -that is the question

Still some music yet to be composed for the album. But I’m already thinking: How to name the album? There’s still plenty of time to develop the name. But lately I’ve started getting into this. Many times finding the “right” or “perfect” words can be very challenging.

I see the album as a sort of journey. It’s about getting out of the safty zone (For fastfinger it’s his home island) to be able to get real. To be able to find something new. The only way to develop self is to let go of safe. To find your own path, you just need to start moving.

At the same time it’s also a symbolic metaphora for fighting the personal demons. “you are your worst enemy” sort of thing. Mental barries. During this trip Fastfinger is facing various demons (but not the accordeon playing devil). So it can be seen as a personal battle. But there’s some good uplifting spirit there too for sure.

Today I came up with “HEAD CUT DRAMA”

If you want to throw some suggestions for a titles (even just words) Please feel free!
Discussion open here and at Mr. Fastfinge Facebook page:

Oh and “PASSION & DWARFARE” would not be a very good title. Right!?!


Go!

Wind Chimes – Song finally being composed

I’m really starting to believe in this ” Record drums first – compose music later.” method of writing music. I’ve always been kind of a junkie of recycling old stuff like drumloops. Getting real live rhythms and grooves can inspire yourself to totally something else than your programmed stuff.

So, I’ve gotten very lazy on programming drums. I’ve gotten quite a few new pieces composed with the help of the drum stuff we did in december. Super great stuff indeed. But it starts to look like I can’t get more out of those anymore.

So I went searching and found neat stuff from the hard disks. i remember that after the 1st actual drum session for the Exploding album, we did some drum tracks for “imaginery songs”.

I had written song titles on a piece of paper. We just picked up the most inspiring titles and thomas Improvised a full song. Some mode change jam tracks (http://mrfastfinger.net/index.php/mode-changes-a-mixolydian-g-dorian/) were done on top of this stuff. But non of that stuff was used for the actual album.

I found this Cubase multitrack session that was called “piece of chimes”. Hark and behold took me an hour of two, and  I’ve got a very, very beautiful track happening. I renamed it “Wind Chimes” like the Beach Boys song (Now there’s a truely beautiful song). I feels like a special song has been waiting for years to be written. And it’s happening now.

Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed composing more than now. This method is working for me!

windchimesclip
(No garentee this song will end up on the album)


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Piece by piece

Piece by piece, the album is getting together in a rough form. I’m already playing with the song orders ans stuff to really see what kind of material is missing from the whole. Concept / story wise there’s definetly some songs yet to be written. Past days and weeks have been absolutely great for the whole project. Many great songs have been written and also the whole concept and idea have cleared out. We continue our mission, in great determinance!

ps. The titles. Many of these are temp songnames. Music speaks clear message to me, but sometimes finding the words to describe these can be extremely hard.


Go!

Scary Arpeggio Sequencing – Daemons & Ghouls

Here's a transcription to the scary chorus part of Deamons & Ghouls. Here's the Guitar Pro file zipped.
Real tempo is 205 bpm, but listen and see how it's played in half speed on the video.

Here's some guiding notes for you. If you dare to try it out!

Bars 1-2:  Arpeggiating across the strings. I suggest pure alternate picking here. Note the eighnote rest in the beginning and 3rd beat of bar one. These humble rests make the music more interesting I think.

Bars 3-4: Again rest in the beginning. But this part feels slightly trickier for me to play. After experiementing I decided to do some economy/sweeppicking to make it smoother. But I can say I still needed to practice it a little!

Bar 5-6: Again rest in the beginning, it's a habit! This is more relax and fun. Try experimenting with some palm muting if you like.

Bars 7-8: Switch into melodic playing here. Put all your soul to these notes!

Bars 9-10: Here we want to get slighty more playful. Use of grace notes does the trick. Grace notes are tiny little ornaments. Quick passing notes played in front of an actual notes. Here we have a two part lesson on grace notes just for you! http://mrfastfinger.net/index.php/tag/gracenote/

Bar 11: Single note on first string, 15th fret. Use your whammy bar to dive, but experiement how you get more depth and feel to the dive!

Bar 12: A true surprise element for the ear. Cromatic decending line. Totally out of place but it sounds beautiful as it lands on the right note.

Bars 13-16: It's good to get back into simple melodic playing again. Until the Sweeeep! Sweep begins with more interesting F6 add9 arpeggio but returns in classic major triad. Modern and classic tones combined.

Bars 17-19: Revisit the beginning of the solo. Repeat is good!

Bars 20-21: This is tight and can be try to get it clean and nice. Practice slow and work the tempo. Patience, patience!

Bars 22-22: We end with a variation of the little theme we first heard during bars 5-6. The final note is finished with whammy bar vibrato!

Enojy, have fun and good luck! Write me any questions and comments here, youtube or facebook.


Go!

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