Almost immediately after posting Laika, I started a new project and got to work. My intent was to try an instrument or plugin that I hadn’t used yet. After scanning through the options, I decided that it sounded fun to do a chiptune track, and fired up Plogue Chipsounds. This plug models a bunch of sound chips from older computers and video games systems like the Atari 2600, Commodore 64, and Nintendo Entertainment System.
After playing around with sounds for 15 minutes or so, I found some fun, crunchy 8-bit drums. I set a tempo, hit record, and jammed for about 4 minutes. It was bopping along nicely, so I added the buzzy synth bass. I started playing around with other sounds, but was having trouble making things gel. And while I was struggling with that, something started to emerge… I wasn’t sure quite what, but a rhythm or a melody or something. Before I knew it, lyrics were showing up and a surprise song appeared.
- I Can See What's Coming Ray Toler 2:56
At this point, the chip drums were a fun bit of spice, but they weren’t going to carry a full song. I found some beefier sounds and… well, I wrote the rest of the track. The process for this one was really pretty straightforward pop production, and I’ve certainly described that many times in the past. The only thing of note is that I left a hole in the arrangment for the chiptune breakdown, wanting to keep a bit of what sparked the track in the first place. I used a slightly different vocal chain, in particular using the excellent Butch Vig Vocals. I’m not sure if I like the end result or not.
The end result is… good. Not great, but good. A solid B+, I think. And that’s not to say that I don’t like it, I do, I just have this sense that it’s not quite what I had in my head, and not quite as good as it could be. I’m not sure if that’s from the lyrics, the vocals, the production, or whatever, only that it’s not quite right.
But that’s the beauty of Song-A-Day. Tomorrow’s another opportunity to try again.
Sitting here just watching you I can’t believe what you do And who you’re doing it to And they might think that you’re through But, oh, if they only knew That bill will always come due I cannot believe my eyes I cannot believe your lies But can you see what’s coming? 'Cause I can see what’s coming You got your fingers in every pie You’re eating cake on the sly But you will always deny While you cry and testify You’ve got a tight alibi No mud, your suit is drip-dry Chorus The system’s full of rot rot It’s clear that you are bought bought And someday you’ll get caught caught The heat is gettin hot hot You got me sayin wot wot I’m thinking that I’m not not Expecting quite a lot lot Chorus I guess I’m just an ingrate To want to evacuate Will you please elaborate On how you exsanguinate A stone you anticipate Will love a permanent state of Hate and being irate Chorus Copyright © Ray E. Toler, Jr. All rights reserved. www.raytoler.com
Instruments & Samples
Omnisphere, Trilian, Hive2, Zebra2, XO, Chipsounds
Tantra, Butch Vig Vocals, Valhalla Delay & Vintage Verb, RVox, H3000 Factory, Thermal
Mixing & Mastering
Masterworks EQ, Gullfoss, Pro-C 2, Pro-L 2