Friendships @ Howler

Every once in a while I’ll find something that’s completely outside of my musical umbrella, but also that I really enjoy, and Melbourne duo Friendships are one of these bands. The first song I heard was ‘Footscray 1989’ and it was something of a revelation, as was seeing them perform it at Howler In Brunswick on Thursday October 27.

 

 

The first half of the song is what draws me in. The delivery is so profoundly Australian, the mix so simple and the lyrics so relatable that it scares me a little, considering how dark it is. The piano (and tails of loops that trail off from the end of the last song), synth and the drums that close the song hide beneath a low-pass filter to make space for a mostly unprocessed vocal. The rest of Friendships’ release Nullarbor 1988-1989 is fairly different from this song, but that just encourages this song to stand out tenfold.

 

At Howler, the male vocalist was dressed in a leather trench coat, black akubra with a veil and his face was painted white with big black rings around his eyes to hollow them out and emphasise his cheekbones. He reminded me of a ghostly adaptation of a stockman.

 

In conclusion, I love finding new stuff that shocks me.

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This last week has been a really big one for me. It’s really hitting home what an immense undertaking it is, and will continue to be, to achieve everything I want to achieve in audio, sound and music (I might need to invest in some more I/Os so I can get more out of this).

 

I’ve focused this last week on listing and organising some resources and contacts, and have been literally checking them off my list and now I’ve got three bands to record over the next few months, and I’m working towards a new job. The bands I’ll be working with are all pretty different, and that’s cool. Some acoustic stuff and some metal. I’ll take whatever I can at the moment.

 

At the moment I work for a pretty big corporate bank, which I assume has a marketing/video/sound team for it’s advertisements. Therefore, I’ve been writing around to different contacts within the bank to find out where and if such a team exists. I’ve already got my foot in the door and a whole lot of references, despite working in lending. It’s harsh, but I see a lot of the people around me rotting away while working at their desks and that’s as much as motivation to get myself together as my passion for music is.

 

I’ll keep this site up to date with my progress on these bands.

Jezabels @ Croxton bandroom

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a professional band that wasn’t a drum-triggered, grinding, compressed and over-driven death metal or hardcore band. It was a little odd seeing a band play at less than 200bpm (whatever floats your boat I guess…), but I’ve been a fan of the Jezabels for a long-time and saw them for the first time at the Croxton Bandroom in Thornbury this week.

 

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I didn’t know what to expect from a four-piece band with layers upon layers or guitars and synth in their songs, but I really impressed. The massive kick drum sound made up for the lack of bass player, keeping the low frequencies tight but very present, as did the consistent synth. It was also great seeing someone front a band like Hayley Mary did, her charisma making her stand taller than anyone in the room, regardless of her literal height.

 

The band played songs from every album I’ve heard, acknowledging their hits despite touring to support 2016’s Synthia.

Atmos_spheres

Our post production class focused on sound effects and foley for our Star Wars this week, starting with footsteps and ending with me kissing my hand up close to a microphone. While the foley and other sound effects really made the short video clip feel more complete, it was the atmos(phere) and white noise that really interested me. We recorded a few minutes of SAE’s server room, with a 7 foot rack of cabling and patchbays with a noisy whirring fan at the top of it. We added some white noise at a low level to the entire recording, and continued to send different sounds to reverbs to create some space.

 

White technically we recorded a lot more effects and foley than atmos, and even with reverbs creating space, it was the atmos that tied it all together. With the help of the visual aid of the video, our brains can still psychoacoustically create depth and a sense of space. In recording music, we don’t have this. However, we still use room mics on drums so the drums don’t sound too dry and close-mic’d, and similarly on acoustic and even electric guitars to give different instruments different energy than a (usually) close mic that misses the way a sound does (or doesn’t) interact with the walls of the room it’s recorded in. Is atmos in music recording a technique? Similar to convolution reverbs or impulse responses? E.g. an atmos recording of a drum room with no drummer – or would this track be made void by the drum rooms mics?

 

I’ve got a lot to think about it and plenty of, ahem… space to think about it.

My mince was muted.

This first week of October has been a really big one, and the last hour of my Sunday evening has encapsulated it perfectly. While printing some final mixes before mastering, I started to chop up ingredients for bolognaise and listened back while (literally) stirring the pot. When I turned the sauce down to simmer and turned to boil water for the pasta, I realised I’d forgot to put mince into my sauce – and it was too late for it to cook properly. The finished printing – they sound great, and the vegetable bolognaise isn’t so bad either. everything was a mess this morning/when I started cooking, but it’s all really come together.

 

I’ve spent the better part of the last two months recording and mixing a small project for a friend – tonight is the deadline. I’ve been mixing and tweaking for close to eight hours, and while eight hours of work isn’t strange, I’ve never knuckled down and mixed for that long. I’m constantly telling myself that I need to manage my own time better, but I never learn. Food for thought I guess.

 

The mixes will be up here once mastered.