Jacob Haller (jwgh) wrote,
Jacob Haller

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Interrobang Cartel: F*** The Bees!

(I already posted about this to ARK, but here's more information about how the recordings came into being.)

As previously noted, I got Apple's new "Garage Band" program in the mail the other day, so I decided that the first major project I should attack on it was a recording of 'Fuck The Bees'. I wrote the lyrics a while ago for Interrobang Cartel, and the original idea was that it would be your basic crappy punk song. (I've determined since then that I have no idea how to approach recording a punk song, which probably says a lot about me.)

And there it lay for many a month, until someone (Daniel Buettner maybe?) brought a song called 'I Got Cash' by Brooklyn Funk Essentials?. This gave me an idea for a different approach to the lyrics. (Not that any blame should accrue to that band for the association!) I selected a bass line and drum beat on my PS02 and recorded the vocals, basically to see if it would work. It seemed like it would, but I wasn't all that close to the goal yet. (If anyone wants to compare this version to the final, I do have it online.)

Then Garage Band arrived. I imported the vocals and solo into it (I converted the track containing that into an MP3, then just dragged and dropped). I programmed in the basic bass line, which was basically the same as the one I used on the PS02, and found a drum line I liked. Then I went nutty and added fake horns and a cowbell and stuff, and put a filter on the solo I had recorded (which is supposed to be faux Theremin, but I'm not sure what it sounds like at this point).

Finally, I ended up with this recording of Fuck The Bees. It is dedicated to lots42.

Then I thought, "But wait! I say 'FUCK' about a million times in that song! Some people might want to listen to this at work, or they might have small children listening, and of course there's the radio play issue!"

So I put together Swat The Bees, which is rated G and probably isn't dedicated to lots42. In some ways I think it's funnier than the original version.

To make this toned-down (?) version, I used the PS02 to simultaneously listen to my previous recording of the vocal and record me saying the replacement words ('swat' for 'fuck' and so on). Then I imported the original vocal track into Audacity and blanked out all the naughty words. Then I created a new copy of the original 'Bees' project in Garage Band, deleted the old vocal track, and imported the two new ones.

Finally, I split the track containing the replacement words into little pieces and adjusted the timing on the bits so that they sounded OK. (I think it's still pretty obvious most of the time that the replacement words were recorded separately from the rest of the vocals, but I think that just makes it funnier.)

So after all this I have to say I like Garage Band a lot! There are certainly some rough edges here and there, the most annoying being that if you copy a segment of music you can't control where it will show up when you paste it and it may well appear over another recorded segment (which destroys it), but in general I found it both easy to use and very powerful. I've still got lots to learn, and it's exciting!

Whether the two resulting tracks should stand as a monument to what you can with Garage Band or as a warning about what you can do with it if you're not careful I leave to you all to decide. (It strikes me that 'Fuck The Bees' is probably one of the first thousand or so reasonably complex songs put together with Garage Band since its relief. Steve Jobs would be proud!)
Tags: interrobang cartel, recording

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