MsP Production Blog


Posts Tagged ‘wind beneath my wings’

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

Phase 3 Nearing Completion… Future Plans

Monday, January 18th, 2010

With “Bomb Squad” in its release candidate phase (I recorded my part yesterday), and “Intro III” recorded (done yesterday as well), this only leaves “My Thoughts Exactly III,” “Thank You III,” and “Outro III” left to record.  These last three would only take me an hour all together to record as none of them are songs.  After that point, the album goes directly into Tunecore and FINALLY… on its way to iTunes.. hopefully by March 1st. =]

Now comes the planning for the future.  I’m looking to promote this one more than I have promoted the past two albums, and I have a lot of confidence in this album.  I feel that there are many strong tracks that will be alluring to different audiences, and with the melding of unorthodox elements within these songs I feel that I am bringing something quite unique to the table.  Promoting will include performing in some open mics and a video.  I may do some YouTube tactics as well, but I don’t want to use the same tactics everyone else is using.

Hopefully, I can bring in some iTunes sales.  Although the numbers haven’t been anywhere near stellar, the fact that I have been regularly selling a song here and there means that there are people who are interested.  This album, I believe, has the power to bring some more people in at a much better rate.

Here are the projects that are currently in progress:

1. Project Inhalor [adm/mnshyn]
2. Wind Beneath My Wings [dstnysprn]

I will most definitely be working on a Phase 4 once Phase 3 has gone to iTunes.  What will Phase 4 be?  It will definitely build on the ideas of Phase 3, but I want to bring in some other elements as well that I have not used.  Different time signatures (5/4 and 6/8 being possibilities at the moment), different keys and chord structures (particularly more use of diminished chords and other 4 note chords aside from dominant 7th), and new sampling techniques.  I want my music to still have the feel of a hip-hop rooted foundation, so it still won’t strive too far from that.  Some people strive to get the old sound back (those still wanting that 94 boom bap), while others are trying a new sound that do not sit well with the traditional heads (snap/crunk/hyphy/signature dance).  I’m trying to forge a new direction that would seem logical and fitting to everyone yet still sound fresh and innovative.

I still would like to do an MsP compilation album to really show what we’re about.  MsP’s got such a lovely array of talent, and people need to see (or in this case hear) what we can do.

With that being said, I would like to help all the members create at least 1 or 2 songs this year at the minimum.  It would be interesting to note whether or not that goal will be achieved by December 31, 2010.

There’s also Flight, who we will finally get to see again after 3 years!  I don’t know if he will be interested in making music again, but you know I will have to ask.

MsP will have an informal meeting on February 6, 2010 over Chicken and Rice, so maybe we can trade notes there.

Interesting times!  Let’s see what this year has in store for us.

-mnshyn

Flying hybrid on “Wind Beneath My Wings”

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

For Destiny Soprano, she requested to make a cover of the Bette Midler classic, “Wind Beneath My Wings.”  This is my third try at it (the first covered in the blog), and so far I’m pleased with the results.  The drums are not totally studio quality considering my lack of microphones and recording inputs, but we’ll manage.

Both previous attempts involved me using FL Studio fully as a sequencer and using VST’s.  Sampled drums were used, as well as Nexus for various instrumentation including strings and piano.  First try came out too overdramatic, and the second iteration was too loose and modern pop/R&B.  I felt if I strayed too far, I’d be doing the original an injustice.

So this time, I figured I would rely on a hybrid of acoustic and synthesized instruments, using the same key and arrangement of the original.

The drums are a mix of sampled drums and live drums.  The live acoustic drums I have here at Lunar Base Studio are from a 5-piece Ludwig drum set I bought off of Brian Bullion a few months ago.  The sampled drums come from a batch of different drum sounds supplied by a DJ in one of the rap boards I frequent.  Since I only have two inputs on my E-MU 0404 card, I was restrained to recording the kick (Shure Beta 52) and a mic that encompassed all the other drums and cymbals (Audio Technica 2020, overhead, through a Studio Projects VTB1 preamp and a Samson CCom16 Compressor).  I have a Samson MDR6 mixer I use sometimes to get multiple signals that feed into a mono signal, but Cocoa has my other boom stand and PG58.   I do have an Audio Technica PRO37 that I use to record acoustic guitar sometimes, but I don’t have a spare mic stand.

The electric guitar used was an Epiphone Les Paul Special II (cheapest Les Paul they make. lol) recorded direct through the VTB1 and Compressor.  It was then fed into the free Amplitube plugin (only had two different amp sets because it was free via Tunecore).

The bass used was an Epiphone Viola Bass.  This bass is in the similar shape of Paul McCartney’s bass which was a Hofner.  This was plugged into an Acoustic B20 amp, then recorded with the Shure Beta 52 through the same preamp and compressor.

Piano was reFX Nexus, Ballad Grand Piano.

The result came out very juicy, with a good mix of live and sample.  It’s nowhere near completed, since it’s just the first verse and chorus.  I will post this one as a single however when this is done, so you can refer back to these notes once you’ve heard the final project (free because it’s a cover. =])

Destiny can really kill songs like these, as her best asset is her powerful voice.  Out of the four MsP girls, she has the  most power in her voice.  I don’t necessarily mean volume, but more along the lines of a presence that just commands attention in the best way.  DiMpLeZ is very soft, acoustic singer style.  CoCoa’s voice is smooth and soul-like.  Harmony’s very technical with her singing and covers a slightly lower range, with a well-rounded vocal quality for different genres and harmonies (hence the name).

So the style we’re looking at for this is almost like the original, but I would like to shy away a bit from the ballad-y over-reverberated atmosphere.  I want it to be a little more dry in terms of spacing, but rich in instrumental sound.  I’ve read from different sources that on ballads you should give the singer a decent amount of reverb to give that solo feel of being in a room singing.  I’m going to go against the norm on this one and try to be more dry on this one.  I don’t necessarily mean NO reverb, but definitely less than what was on the original.

I also refuse to use any kind of synth-like instrument for this one, and will stick to real instruments or VST’s that simulate real instruments.  I would like to take some of the lead parts of the piano over in the second verse with a smooth slightly-blues distorted guitar to give it a small edge to the instrumental.

Considering this is the first live recording of drums I’m doing here in Lunar Base, I’m quite happy with the results so far.  Let’s see where this goes from here.

More coming soon!

-mnshyn

Project Inhaler (name pro tempore), Wind Beneath My Wings, and.. you guessed it.. Bomb Squad!

Monday, January 11th, 2010

To start off, I wanted to say that this past week was very productive in getting this Bomb Squad project finished with Cocoa, DiMpLeZ and ADM all supplying their much needed vocals.  This means that only Harmony Speaks, Destiny Soprano (re-recording) and I are the last ones left.  Hopefully, this week will be just as productive.

Some interesting tidbits about the ADM recording; ADM voice-acts pretty well, and I’m guessing this has to do with some of the work he has done on radio and his video/movie classes.   As he put it:

“This sounds like an episode of 24.” – ADM

That should give you some insight on the song. =]

On to Project Inhaler.  Project Inhaler is the project that ADM and I will be working on.  It is geared to be a Prodigy style song, so pretty close to Drum-N-Bass.  We originally thought it would be classified as Jungle until we re-evaluated the speed of the beats and realized that it was WAY too slow to be jungle.  We were able to clock “Breathe” (The Prodigy song) in at about 127bpm, whereas Jungle is typically in the upper 100’s, upwards of 150bpm, I believe, if not faster.

Based on the research ADM had done, he found that a handful of producers suggested using breakbeat templates on the FPC in FL Studio to create the breakbeat needed for this type of project.  Some suggested layering the breakbeats as well.

We were lazy though, so after going through the kicks and changing each sample to a more suitable kick drum from stock, we nixed that process and decided to make our own breakbeat using regular sequencing methods.

A welcome addition here is the use of the Glitch plugin.  Boy Gnyus and Brian Bullion both suggested Glitch (or something similar) to me as it was the same plugin that Timbaland used in his songs to do his mid-bar reverse effects (Listen to ending of Jay-Z – Dirt Off Your Shoulder, and The Game – Put You In The Game for reference).  ADM suggested we try it after he had downloaded it a few days prior, and so we downloaded it and put it into use.  We haven’t gotten the total benefit of using it yet, though we used the Gater and Crusher in different parts of the break as well as the rhythm synth we used and the results were very gritty and we’re definitely looking to extend the use of the plugin.  For you producers out there, you can find Glitch here.

For anyone who is familiar with the song “Breathe” or other songs from Prodigy (more notably, the Fat of the Land album), then you know vocals are involved.  We are looking to have K-Maculate drop some vocals on this one, and I will try to as well.  I felt the British accents of both the people in “Breathe” helped that track, so I don’t know if our voices will make the cut.  We always make do with what we have though, and I’m sure we can figure something out to make it nice and greezy.

We employed Sylenth (or was it Vanguard?  I’ll have to re-open the project) as the ryhthm synth; using a distorted guitar type of synth preset.  Coupled with Glitch, it came out pretty juicy.  We don’t plan for this song to be too melodic as we want it to have that really aggressive feel.  The song does have a nice sounding base (foundation or low octave?  see what I did there? lol) in B minor, and we won’t be using too many notes to keep the aggressive tone.

With that foundation, we finished this phase of work on the project with some next steps being outlined:

– Map out the song arrangement, and what to break each section with
– Gather ideas for lead synths or instruments.  “Breathe” used a non-descript plucking of something as well as some guitar usage; both clean and distorted
– Come up with an actual name for the song
– Bring K in for some vocal input

I’m actually starting to wonder now what Harmony Speaks would sound like on something like this.  Maybe for a 1 or 2 bar break?  It would serve as part of the separation of sequences in the song.  I’ll run that through with ADM and see what he says.

I’ve also re-commenced work on Destiny Soprano’s “Wind Beneath My Wings” cover.  I’ve gone through two different iterations of it and through both I haven’t been comfortable.  I do feel however with the addition of the acoustic drumset in the studio, it may open some things up.  I’m thinking of now giving it a more rock feel in the recording (low to almost dry reverb with more guitars compared to the rich reverb-filled original with synths/keyboarding), and maybe some R&B elements in the arrangement.

Exciting time in the MsP world.  Keep checking in for more updates!

-mnshyn

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