Thursday, May 30, 2024

Techbobabble Acoustic


I am currently in the process of recording an album. I'm not going to say much about that right now because it's pretty early in the process and my plans might change as the work goes on. One thing I knew I wanted to do, however, was include bonus tracks. The idea of playing Techbobabble on acoustic guitar had also been floating around in my head for a while, and it felt like a perfect fit. And of course, because it's a bonus track and not part of the album proper, I felt like it would be okay to post it to YouTube.

This recording went very quickly- it took just a couple of hours. I have been playing this song as part of my guitar practice ever since my 2024 re-recording, so the lead part was under my fingers already, but I also had just recently recorded the bass and rhythm guitar parts for my album. The sax parts were easy enough to transpose over to acoustic, and the drum part worked surprisingly well too. 

For the drum loop, I recorded the kick drum by hitting the soundboard of my guitar with the palm of my hand and the snare by hitting the upper bout with my fingers- classic 2010s acoustic flair. The clap sounds in the original were changed to snaps and layered up to fill out the sound, and for the outro I added a muted strumming sound as a hi-hat. With the exception of that hi-hat part, all of the percussion was recorded as a two bar loop that repeated for the length of the song. 

Also new in this recording is the addition of an outro solo which I felt was needed to add interest to the outro. Normally, the outro features heavy use of modulation effects such as phasers or flangers to provide movement and keep the repetitive riff from feeling too static. On acoustic guitar, I didn't have that option, so I instead chose to layer another part on top. Besides, the outro changes modes from natural minor to phrygian so I had a different tonal palette to play with which kept the solo interesting. 

That's really all there is to it. Most of the parts were played pretty much exactly the same on acoustic as they would be on woodwinds or electric guitar. The bass part didn't even have to be moved up an octave or anything. I did also bump the bpm up to 210 from the original 208 just to inject a tiny bit more energy into this recording to make up for the thinner texture, but the affect is hardly noticable unless you listen to both back to back. 

As mentioned, this recording of Techbobabble is intended to be a bonus track on an upcoming album of mine, which will also feature a rendition of the song that is more true to the original but with changes informed by my recent re-recording projects. The ethos of this album is to take existing songs that I've written and polish them up to the point where they're worth publishing more widely than just on YouTube. There's a couple of brand new songs, as well. No release date or title have been decided yet.