MsP Production Blog


Posts Tagged ‘destiny soprano’

Black and Blue Ink.’s Lyricist Manifesto, “Left Hook,” and The Pro Tools M-Powered 7.4 Windows 7 Fix

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Before I begin, I’ll put the fix up:

ProTools M-Powered 7.4, Internet Explorer 8 and Windows 7 Fix

As I’m sure many people will be wanting that first. I don’t want people to think I actually don’t have the fix and I’m just leading them to my blog as a deception. For more info, read further down below about the fix because I did make some notes on it.

As a short note, this is the fix for the 0xc0000005 error you get when starting Pro Tools M-Powered 7.4 on Windows 7 32-bit, with or without Internet Explorer 8.  My guess is that you can probably apply this fix on older versions of Windows and it will allow you to keep IE8.

==

So Black and Blue Ink. has officially started work on “The Lyricist Manifesto,” the new album slated for this coming Fall 2010. Since you can count on BBI coming through with nothing but hard lyrics and hard beats, that’s what you will pretty much get out of this. No hooks, no fancy intros, no nonsense. Just straight up in your face lyrics with creativity and imagery, pushing the limits of rap lyrics. As soon as the beats hit, we’re off taking turns spittin a 16, 24, or even 32. If you’re a fan of metaphors, imagery, punchlines, and literary devices, and other rap/poetry/prose techniques, this is the album for you, combined with hardcore beats.

This is a bit of a departure for me, because I am more of a song/track oriented rapper than a lyrical rapper (though I used to be back in the days), and that’s because as of late I’ve been really pushing for my musicianism to materialize in my music in terms of the way beats are made, usage of music theory, different techniques in song form, etc.  However, the fact that it is a departure, also presents itself and a challenge, and a challenge I definitely want to take up.

The challenge now, involves a couple of things.

First off, for example, we just finished recording a song called “Left Hook.”  It’s called as such because we “left hook” out.  No hook.  Also, for some odd reason (though commonplace if you’ve ever had the experience of watching K-Maculate record), K-Maculate alludes to not being lefty but bringing it to you.  I don’t know why, he just did (it brought many a laugh between me, ADM, Harmony Speaks and Boy Gnyus who were all present at the time).  The song itself is 1:45.  Yes, not even two minutes.  We both spit 16 bars, and that was it.  As K wanted it, he wanted no hooks, no intros, no nonsense, spit and continue on.

It just seems a bit short to me.  However, we agreed that we could maybe spit 24s on future beats, just to try to at least make the 2 minute mark.  So that was resolved.

The next challenge, is making the entire album not sound repetitive, and giving each song a character.  Normally, every song has some kind of character to the beat, to your lyrics, some character by topic, and by the chorus you put in or other characteristics.  With this project, you’re confined to the beat and lyrics only.

The good thing about this is that it hones in my writing, and maybe it will make me more creative lyrically.

As a producer, I have to make the marriage between the vocals and the beat in a way that even if we are spittin our usual bravado for every song, I can make it so that each song still carries a character.

I’ll know I’ve succeeded if by the end of this project, the vocals and beat are so intertwined that mixing the acapellas and instrumentals would be blasphemous (tempo not withstanding).

This may not seem like a challenge, but when you’re dealing with these type of lyrics, those vocals can easily be moved to a different instrumental and it would be perfectly fine.  I feel that in order for this album to be stronger, the beats and vocals must be 100% complementary, and that may only be possible if the beat is tailored perfectly to the vocals.  I don’t want loose vocals that could go on any beat.  This means a lot more post-production work rather than pre.  Once K and I record our verses, I will go through the track, take notes on the vocals, then go back and add to the beat so that the beat fits the vocals as completely as possible.  I guess you can say it’s like a movie score.

Now that I’ve written all that, I feel I have a better grasp on what I need to do with these tracks as we move forward.  Let’s see what happens.  Watch our main home page here, as well as the BBI Facebook as I will be posting up “Left Hook” in the next few days.

Also, as indicated by the title, I’ve stumbled upon (no pun intended, I didn’t use stumbleupon) a fix for Pro Tools M-Powered 7.4 to work on Windows 7.  It drove me bananas for months since I got Windows 7 that my Pro Tools does not work, but now with this fix, it works perfectly on 7.  The original fix though had a lot of URL’s in it, most of which I remember as spyware related sites, so I deleted all of those (they were in the site zone entries and history entries written into the .reg file), and left the more appropriate registry entries.  Please feel free to delete any other suspicious registry entries and let me know so I can update this patch as well.

ProTools M-Powered 7.4, Internet Explorer 8 and Windows 7 Fix

Mind you, I don’t deal in warez, so that is just the fix, not the program itself.  Click the link if you’re having that problem with M-Powered 7.4 with either IE8 and/or Windows 7.  On prior versions of Windows, uninstalling IE8 would do the trick, but disabling it on Windows 7 (uninstalling IE8 is not permitted on Win7, just disabling) would not work.  This will get you around that.

As I said above, I’ve deleted the questionable entries (that I’ve noticed).  You may want to give the .reg file a once-over first before merging it with yours in case you have a better eye.

I’ll have more soon!  More projects, and this weekend I am excited for a FoRcE oNe beat selection/recording session, as he is taking the initiative to make a song and be a big part of the creative process.  I’m a fan of artist evolution, so this will be a very fulfilling project for me.  He has only one solo song under his belt completed, so we’ll see what the young gunna has to say.   Be on the lookout for that one.

Also, Cocoa has some demos she is looking to have me hear and work on, and Destiny and I have a few projects on deck as well.  You can’t forget projeCt inhalOr with ADM, and I’m sure you’ll be hearing a bunch from Brian Bullion soon as far as production is concerned.  The entire fam has got at least one project waiting in the wings, so as I’ve always said, 2010 is our year.  Watch!

-mnshyn

Half House, Half… Not Too Sure

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

I was just playing around, trying to come up with some different sounds.  I ended up with this little catchy thing at 130bpm.  The second half of the 16 bar loop sounds like House to me, and the first half sounds like… pop maybe?  Not too sure.

Anyway, I’m still trying to find a fresh sound for Phase 4, while keeping to my roots.  I’ve still got the Jazz/Swing stuff on tap, as well as some other ideas I want to try.  Nothing solidified yet.

I’m guessing part of this is influenced by my visit to Ultra (club in Teaneck, NJ) this past Friday for a birthday party, the fistpumping nature of the Jersey Shore (which I’ve only watched once, and since people make fun of the fistpumping I thought I’d try the music out), and going through some of mine and ADM’s old music in the Chamber[303] days.

It’s nice to not be limited by anything.  Hopefully I’ll get some traction, and maybe record a track or two that would be the foundation for my next opus.  I don’t want to release anything though until Phase 3 has gotten around for a bit.  Remember, it’s coming out March 1, 2010 on iTunes!

Drop comments with your thoughts.  ADM might have something to say about this because if that one half isn’t house, I’m sure he’ll let me know. =]

Project inhalOr and Wind Beneath My Wings with Destiny Soprano are both on deck, as well as a few songs from Cocoa.

More to come!

-mnshyn

MooN ShynE – The Bomb Squad feat. the entire MsP Family [video promo]

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010


Promo video, ya dig! =D Makes it real easy to share on Facebook and everywhere else. Hope you guys like it, even though it’s not an actual video where we’re acting everything out. That may happen in the future. Who knows?

Let’s see what the future holds. =]

-mnshyn

Hear it now! MooN ShynE – The Bomb Squad feat. The Entire MsP Family

Monday, February 1st, 2010

If you have been following this blog, you’ll notice that the first ten blogs were about this particular song which took almost 2 years to create when you include all the delays (no pun intended) and the different versions and iterations.

Well here is the final song, in all its splendor and glory, [at 96k though, CD quality available from iTunes on March 1, 2010 ;o) ] and I hope you guys like it.  Considering it’s the first song where every active MsP member’s voice is on it, this is a very important song to me and one of the ones I’m most proud of. =]

Order of performers:

0. GnP’s Takewun on the prologue.

1. Cocoa
2. DiMpLeZ (MooN ShynE and ADM in the background)
3. K-Maculate
4. Less with a cameo by GNP’s Boy Gnyus yelling “Aiyyo back the f*ck up!”
5. Harmony Speaks (on the walkie-talkie, talking to MooN ShynE)
6. FoRcE oNe
7. Brian Bullion
8. ADM (with MooN ShynE)
9. Destiny Soprano
10. MooN ShynE

Some blog posts of importance to this song, for anyone wanting to ask about production techniques:
History of the song
Robot voice used for DiMpLeZ
Vocal notes for Harmony Speaks
Comp’ing Destiny Soprano’s vocals

Hope you guys like it. =] Remember, to get the CD Quality version, get it on iTunes when it comes out on March 1, 2010 when “Phase 3 – L.Y.R.I.C.A.L. Without Fear” makes its debut.

-mnshyn

The Art of Comping, The Need To Upgrade My Mic, and Phase 3 is Finally Done!

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Last night, Destiny Soprano came over to re-record her part for “The Bomb Squad.”  She had previously recorded her vocals, but we both had gripes with that session. Her gripe was her performance, as she felt she could have done better. My gripe was that I felt I could’ve recorded her voice better.

My main issue with the recording was the fact that I forgot to change the preset on the Samson CCom16 Compressor from Aggressive Vocal to Smooth Vocal or just to bypass.  This caused her vocals to sound like they hit a wall, and I didn’t get the fullness of Destiny’s vocals.  That was my first conclusion, but by the end of the second session, I found out that wasn’t my only issue.

We met up this past Thursday to try to re-record.  Unfortunately, this time, Destiny had done her share of raising her voice a couple of times for various reasons throughout the day.  The result was Destiny’s throat hindering her performance.

Her part on this song (at least for the first half) was singing the first four bars of the chorus to “Alone” by Heart.  Anyone who knows this song and has tried to sing it knows that following Ann Wilson’s vocals is not an easy task.  Ann Wilson has a very strong voice with that definitive presence and the ability to reach very high notes.

Destiny’s presence in general when singing has a slight similarity in terms of strength that Ann Wilson does.  The notes on this half of the verse are relatively high, and after making quite a few attempts, we settled on a few takes, and moved on to the second half.  I wrote the second half, and it was slightly lower in range than the first half.  Problem is, however, after going at the first half really hard, she found it difficult to adjust to singing lower because she had already strained herself trying to do the first half.

To salvage the session, I ended up having to comp the vocals, using a combination of the first session and the second.

For those who don’t know what comping is, comping is taking parts of different takes of the same verse, and putting the best pieces from all the takes together in sequence so that it sounds like what would be the best possible take.

To do so, you just have to cut and paste the snips you need from the different takes together in your multi-track mixer on your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation [if you do your audio on a computer, that is considered a DAW]).  You have to listen to each take carefully, jot down which parts you consider the best, then do the actual comping.

Figure 2010-01-24/1: Comping vocals, notably track 2 and 3.

Example of comping

As you can see, what’s on track 2 and 3 are similar, except that track 2 has little snippets from different takes put together, and track 3 has a single instance recorded take.  Note also on track 2 that each snippet crossfades into adjacent snippets  slightly overlapped so that the transition between snippets are smooth.

Considering Destiny’s throat, this was the best option considering also that we were trying to meet the deadline for the 1/23 and a supplementary recording session would not be possible before deadline.  Also, because the takes from both sessions had very solid performances in various parts of different takes in different snips (the second session had 209 takes, each take having it’s solid points), it was very possible for me to find very good recordings of every phrase in different parts (it’s best to cut and paste by phrase, and not by words or syllables, because cutting in between phrases can sound choppy), and after comping, the combination would sound like a single instance solid take.

Aside from this though, there is still the issue of the recorded quality of Destiny’s vocals, as the second take also felt like some nuances of her voice were not being recorded accurately on the mic.  I concluded that it might be a good idea now to upgrade my mic to one that may be able to more accurately record Destiny’s voice and improve the recorded quality of others as well.

So right now, I’m eye-ing the Audio-Technica 2035, which is an upgrade from my Audio Technica 2020.  The Rode NT-1A is also on my short list, as well as one or two others.  I’m looking for the best mic under $200, and those two have been recommended to me.

Let the mic search commence!

Also, “Phase 3 – L.Y.R.I.C.A.L. Without Fear” was submitted today through TuneCore.  Looks like March 1, 2010 is the day we will publicly announce that it’s available on online through iTunes.  After five long years, it’s finally done! =D

And yes, there will be a Phase 4.  Tentative Title:

Phase 4 – Response.Redirect

As always, stay tuned for more!

-mnshyn

EDIT 8/23/2010: Phase 4 has a new name: SymboLYRICism.  Peep here for details.

One More Recording To Go and Phase 3 is Finished!

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

All the tracks on the album are done.  All I’m waiting for is Destiny Soprano to re-record her part on “Bomb Squad” and it’s a wrap!  She’s coming by tomorrow to record her part, and as soon as the mixing is over, it’s being sent over to TuneCore and it’ll be on its way to iTunes.  March 1, 2010 is the tentative release date, as it usually takes 4-6 weeks for iTunes to have stuff up via TuneCore.

I released “Phase 2 – Lyrics to an Identity” almost 5 years ago.  It took 5 years to make this album, and it’s gone through so many iterations and name changes that at one point, during a low point in my life, I didn’t think the album was going to come out.  I have to thank God for that one (and everything else), because ever since I started playing in the church band every Sunday and cleaning up some of the stuff in my life that needed cleaning, I became revitalized and re-inspired.  I’m not exactly making Christian music right now totally, though I have made Christian songs in the past, but He’s blessed me anyway with inspiration, wisdom, and freedom of creativity.

The acronym in the title of the album, “Phase 3 – L.Y.R.I.C.A.L. Without Fear,” stands for Leave Your Regrets In Christ And Live.  This is the basically the approach I took with the album as time went on.  The songs that were going to originally be part of the album were all pretty standard, and although I love every song I make, it was the songs that were different from what I’m used to doing that were the most enjoyable to make.  There were three guitar solos (“Mostly Boast,” “Found Me,” “The Bomb Squad”), a video game sample (“Call to Arms” from Final Fantasy VI), a symphony orchestra (courtesy of Project SAM Symphobia, on “Round and Round”), capoeira rhythm (“Roll Your Windows”), blaring choirs with my “Bleeding Heaven” technique (on “Devastator,” more on the “Bleeding Heaven” technique later),  multi-layer samples (“Roll Your Windows”), Beatles style build up and scream (“Mostly Boast”), live drums, bass and piano recordings (“Live Hip-Hop,” available on the iTunes version of the album) and other things.  Although some signatures of mine are there, this album sounds distinctly different from my past two, and I think it’s for the better.

As far as concepts go, I think “The Bomb Squad” was the most fun.  You also have “Found Me” and “Round and Round” which are both incredibly personal to me.   “Mostly Boast” was the record that I let loose on and I stopped caring about what people would say if I did certain things in my music.  “Call to Arms” was actually inspired by a crew of people I was running with that was finally getting over past beefs to go have fun again.  “4 My Ghostwriter” actually makes the idea of a ghostwriter a more positive thing (listen to the song and you’ll see why).  “Do Something” was my declaration that I wouldn’t just sit around and do nothing, especially after my best friend Rain past away in 2007.  “Every Move” was me slowly getting to the point where I wouldn’t let people dictate what I rhyme about.  “Handle Our Biz,” “Spear,” and “You Need To..” were getting my people involved with some 5fam love.   “Devastator” was simply me kicking ass and getting you to want to kick ass too; in some ways an “I OWN YOU” part two.

I had a lot of fun with this album, and about just as much frustration.  All the frustration was worth it though, and what resulted was an album that I’m most proud of and can’t wait to show the world.  I’ve even got a plan for the songs I will perform, and hopefully I can gain some traction with some new listeners.

I have to thank everyone who helped me on this album with their contributions: Harmony Speaks, Destiny Soprano, CoCoa, DiMpLeZ, Brian Bullion, FoRcE oNe, Less, K-Maculate, ADM, Boy Gnyus, Vincent, Takewun, JC and SL.  Each recording was a fun (and funny) experience.  Especially “The Bomb Squad,” which took two years to complete and everyone in MsP had a role and their voice recorded on it.

Hopefully, when you listen to it, you’ll learn some things from it, whether it’s personal to you or on a musical/lyrical level if you are a musician.  Either way, most importantly, I hope you enjoy the music when it comes out on March 1, 2010.

Thanks for reading also!  More to come!

-mnshyn

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