MsP Production Blog

Posts Tagged ‘phase 4’

Another Phase 4 Track! MooN ShynE – Circles

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Two songs this month! We’re starting 2012 correct!

More coming your way, very soon!


New MooN ShynE track! Kids Games!

Friday, January 20th, 2012

I know it’s been a while since the blog has been active, and what better way to get back into it than a new song? =]

After debating for a while on how to attack a new album, I’ve finally come up with some really good ideas I want to put down. This is the first of a number of tracks that will be coming out in the next few months.

Here’s the new album name: Phase 4 – Take the Lead

You can dissect that one however way you like. =]

More coming your way, very soon!


Phase 4 and The Intrigue of Hidden Messages and Symbols, like Paul McCartney Supposedly Being Dead

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Most, if not all, people love puzzles to a certain extent.  People like the challenge and being able to boast that they had figured it all out when people couldn’t have.  Give somebody a riddle, and they would dare not walk away without an answer, whether they figured it out or whether they ask the person giving the riddle for the answer.

Looking back in the history of music, there have been a number of instances where people have put symbols and hidden messages behind people’s music whether it was the intention of the artist or not.  How many stories have you heard where if you play a certain record backwards at a certain point in a track you will hear some hidden message? People love it, the speculation, the guessing, just for the privilege of saying “I told you that’s what it was!”

One of the biggest hidden message stories had to do with the biggest band to date, “The Beatles.”

Is Paul McCartney dead?  That was the question.  Was he replaced with a body double by the name of William Campbell who won a Paul look-alike contest?  Fans and conspiracy-theorists alike have speculated over this for years, and have given the following as some of the “evidence:”

  1. On “Strawberry Fields Forever,” John supposedly says “I buried Paul” near the end of the song.  (John says he said “Cranberry Sauce,” not “I buried Paul”)
  2. Play “I’m So Tired” backwards, and you’ll hear John say “Paul is dead, miss him, miss him, miss him.”
  3. Play “Revolution 9” backwards, and the droning number 9’s, turn to “Turn me on dead man.”
  4. The order in which The Beatles are walking in Abbey Road put Paul in position to be the one in the casket during funeral proceedings.  John, dressed in white is the preacher, Ringo is the pallbearer, Paul (who is smoking, barefoot, and out of step with everyone else) would be the corpse, and George is dressed like a grave digger.
  5. A walrus is symbol of death in certain cultures, and coincidentally, Paul is the Walrus on the Magical Mystery Tour cover.  He’s also wearing a black rose instead of a red rose as the other three are wearing.

Now are these coincidences?  Or was it planned by The Beatles?  These are just a few of the many instances on music and on pictures and album covers that people have found and speculate that the Paul we have heard over the years since roughly around 1965 is the not the original Paul.

If this “Paul is Dead Hoax” stuff interests you, click here for a more detailed rundown of all the “hints.”

Of course, backmasking (the real term for using reverse-playing sounds on a forward playing track) has been the subject of notoriety when it comes to hidden messages.  Stuff by Ozzy Osbourne, Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”, and others have been said to have evil messages when played backwards, though they have denied any evil doing.  More modern bands such as Slayer and Cradle of Filth have had their share of admittedly backmasking messages.  There have been good messages also, such as by the Christian band Petra, who asks why people look for the devil instead of seeking the Lord, and others who have made parodies by placing funny messages backwards just for people to play it and have a good laugh.

And with that, I embark on my fourth solo album, with all of that in mind.

Phase 4 – symboLYRICism

More to come soon!


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!


More Phase 4 Jazz, Mixdown of the 2nd Draft

Friday, January 29th, 2010

So this is the results of the first second draft.  Not too bad.  The scratches you hear obviously won’ t be part of the actual song, they’re just meant as a tag in case somebody wants to try something slick.

Here’s the rundown of what’s in the recording:

1. Sequenced drums
2. Snares from “Hit the Road Jack”
3. Recorded drums, live: Beta 52 on the kick, PG58 on the snare, AT2020 overhead (mostly the ride cymbal with natural reverb)
4. Live guitar, Epiphone Les Paul Special II, direct through a Studio Projects VTB1 preamp with tube injection at 12 o’clock, through a Samson C-Com16 compressor, IK Multimedia Amplitube DUO on the Bluesy Combo setting5. Cakewalk Studio Instruments Bass Guitar (later to be replaced by an actual live bass [Epiphone Viola Bass])
6. ReFX Nexus on Ballad Grand Piano
I’m enjoying this so far, and I can see where I can take this and maybe add in some hip-hop elements.  I may employ the vocal talents of one Harmony Speaks to join me on this.  We’ll see. =]

More coming soon!


Starting Phase 4… Adding Some Jazz

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010


A couple of semesters ago, Fall 08 to be exact, I signed up for Jazz Ensemble I, which was the intro class where you would play Jazz music and learn whatever you could in the process.  It was a great experience, because since I was used to playing pop/rock or making beats, being introduced to jazz was overwhelming at first.  I thought I was pretty good at guitar solos until I took this class.  I ‘m used to just following the scale that my ear picked up, and going with it.

I was taken aback though by these jazz guitar soloists, and when I was asked to solo, I was pretty much embarrassed. =]

For those who don’t know, Jazz for the most part follows this format (at least this is how it was in the class I took with the songs we played, and I only took 1 semester out of the 4 possible):

1. Head (the introduction, some kind of melody with the chord structure) once or twice
2. You go to each soloist where they would improvise their solo on top of the chord structure that was prototyped in the “head.”  You may hear the chord structure quite a few times dependent on the soloist, but because each soloist will play the parts different (either because of the different instruments or just different playing style), the song is very dynamic even though the chords repeat.
3. Play the Head again with some kind of ending

A few reasons why it took me a bit  to get used to playing jazz:

1. Although I know how to play all the majors, minors, 7’s (majors, minors, and dominants), I couldn’t think of how to play diminished and dminished 7 chords on the fly (though I knew what they were in theory).
2. I also didn’t know what a minor 7 flat 5 was until I took Music Theory I during the Fall 09 semester.
3. I had no idea that there were Blues scales, so there were many times I played where I was either sharp or flat on a note because I was following regular scales.

So every time we’d go around the room and it was my turn to play a guitar solo, I’d shake my head letting Professor Krikun know that I wanted him to skip me.

The last few times I played though I started to get the hang of  it just by practice.  My solos just became based on the chord rather than the scale.  If the chord changed to an Eb minor then I would play in Eb minor, for example, rather than trying to guess what the overall key is and play to that.

I ended up shifting to bass almost halfway through the semester, and had a blast doing that.  What made it even better was that I bought a bass specifically for it: The Epiphone Viola Bass.

The Epiphone Viola Bass is in the same shape as Paul McCartney’s Hofner bass.  It’s hollow body, so it has a nice round tone to it that is usually absent from solid body basses.  I’m a big Beatles fan, so playing a bass that had that look and feel to it was great.

At that point, I started really grasping the basic rhythmic points to a bossa, a 12-bar blues, and so on.  I learned how to properly do a walking bassline.  A walking bassline is a bassline that you hear in blues songs and other jazzy tracks where you can hear the bassline consistently throughout the song, giving it a nice little thump that keeps the rhythm moving every eighth note or so.

The only successful song I ever did a solo for in that class was a bass solo, and it was for a jazz rendition of Sam Cooke’s Summertime in D minor.  The song’ll be forever embedded in me because it was the first time I felt like an actual jazz player playing that walking bassline then performing a cohesive solo that fit and sounded decent.

Now that the history lesson has been given, let’s bring it back to today for some relevance.

With Phase 3 completely done, it was time to, as Jay-Z and Swiss would put it, go “On to the Next One.”

I see Phases 1 to 3 as a trilogy, and I want to start Phase 4 with some new ideas.  Plus, I started to find the track listing format that I followed for three albums to become limiting, so I felt it’s time to start with a clean slate.  Maybe Phase 4 could even start a new trilogy.

So what I want to do, is somehow make a jazzy rap track, with the rhythm of that Summertime rendition.  Even something like Ray Charles’s “Hit the Road Jack.”  The basic points being that the drums are fast and the bassline walks.

The drums play in double time what most rap songs are at.  Figure a good range for rap (NY style) would be somewhere between 80 and 100bpm give or take a few beats.

I did some experiments, and I found that the tempo for this particular project would sit well around 180bpm.

I did a quick a rendition in FLStudio of that version of Summertime, and using that as a template, I will morph it into something original with the same type of rhythm.  I’ll post the results in the next few days. =]

This is just the beginning of course, so let’s see how far I can push the envelope before it breaks.  I don’t want it to stray TOO far off; as I want to stay faithful to the hip-hop roots.

Stay tuned!  And remember, March 1, 2010.. Phase 3 will be on iTunes!





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