Good question. :)
Some of our recordings are actually real orchestral instruments that we’ve personally recorded, like the string sections on Clockwork Vaudeville, but on something like Turn Back the Clock we’ve used something known as VST instruments.
They are real recordings of each instrument from a library of tens of thousands variations of the instruments. Using midi charts, we are able to drive the instrument (called VST instruments) and create the sounds you hear.
Things like velocity, after touch, and other modifiers allow the notes to be more than simply single recordings of the instruments playing certain notes, because each instruments holds a wide pool of samples for each note…played softly, loudly, with vibrato, etc…
There are tons of way to play violins, cellos, and tubas, and these VST instruments have an impressive range of samples in each note.
Some VST instruments are more complex than others, and the less complex ones are nothing more than a keyboard playing one sample over and over again but pitch shifting it digitally to be the right note….but those always sound like crap. You can definitely hear the difference between the two, and we think that making use of VST instruments when we feel it’s appropriate helps us achieve sounds we might otherwise not have access to due to our small size.
Given the chance though, we would totally let John Williams orchestrate an orchestra over one of our albums.
I think a show with a live orchestra playing along side us would be pretty sweet too. :3
Good question. :)
I actually just have degenerative disc disease.
Which is called a disease…but in fact everyone gets it in their lifetime…just not usually at a young age. It’s genetic, and sadly my lower disc are degenerated to the point where they are slightly bulging out and putting pressure on my sciatic nerve.
I’ve been dealing with it for a little over two years, and haven’t been to a doctor since trying some epidurals.
None of what I tried work accept for stretching.
So that’s what I do now…I do stretching, and it keeps the pain at bay.
It’s just something I have to be aware of for the rest of my life, but I am managing it pretty well.
I’ve only had three major events over the last two years where I’ve been incapacitated, but since I know how to deal with it now, I can usually recover within a week.
The best stretch that I do is the one where you lay on your back and pull your knees to your chest and hold.
That’s all the advice I can give on that.
They are pretty thick aluminum and couldn’t be damaged or bent by hand…or by dropping them or anything like that.
I simply hang them with my vest in a garment bag and throw it all in a suitcase.
Matt wasn’t in the band when The Two Cent Show album was created, but no, we will not be making any changes to it.
Nope, never had issues.
The costumes are always in our checked bags. We only carry on small stuff like phones and laptops.
However, a few times I was stopped because I had a carry on bag full of CDs and coin rolls with coins in them.
I guess the coin rolls looked like something else.
It wasn’t very humorous though.
I explained and went on my way.
I wish that story was more interesting…
Hm. But no, no, never had any issues. :)
Yeah, it looks like the cellular signal was very spotty and the stream dropped almost as soon as I started, oh well.
It never sold well and we literally sat on the first batch of CDs we ordered for two years or so.
So now it’s digital only :)
We record everything at our apartment.
It’s makeshift, but it works.
I ain’t paying no one for studio time. There’s a lot of people right out of college that think they know how to use the equipment and software, but they don’t.
I can literally wake up, walk a few feet and record a song naked if I want to.
Learning something yourself feels gratifying and is definitely great for your brain. :D
In the past I definitely had to be in the right mood and mind frame to write songs…I am not exactly sure what that was, but I did hit my fair share of writer’s block as it were.
However…for the past few years I have not had any problems writing songs.
It’s gotten to the point where I sometimes don’t even consciously think about writing songs and they just happen in my head.
I chalk this up to the years and years of trying to write songs.
I believe that just like any “skill” that you can develop and get into muscle memory, song writing can become automatic.
Granted I do focus a lot when getting down to brass tacks with a song….but I am literally overflowing with song ideas at this point and have no shortage.
This is the same with tons of other creative stuff in Steam Powered Giraffe..
I am sure some of you can relate…
It’s almost as if my brain has a mind of it’s own when it comes to creative stuff…and it’s constantly pushing out new things.
Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming too…as real life does not move as fast as thoughts…and I’ve totally found myself drowning in ideas.
Luckily I’ve also practiced good organizational skills and never procrastinate….
Sometimes things in my life can seem chaotic in the methods I do things…but I’ve rarely had issues in the creative realms…
The lame business side of Steam Powered Giraffe is my only obstacle, and without having to deal with that, I would be golden.
But yeah Bunny and I will always have a hand in the business stuff, even if it’s passed on to other people in the future.
It’s our company after all. Hehe.
My advice for writer’s block is to put down whatever you’re getting frustrated with or drawing a blank with and approach the same thing but from a completely different angle. Writing a sad song? Put it aside and do a happy one.
I find that sometimes the brain just isn’t malleable in certain specific directions sometimes. :/
This new folder on Steam Powered Giraffe’s recording computer is starting to fill up with the beginnings of our space album. :3
Just re-watched the South Park movie from 1999 with Gabi.
I forgot all about this song at the end credits.
I can’t believe Trey Parker and Matt Stone got Michael McDonald to actually sing it XD.
Due to technical difficulties, the SPG Half Hour is cancelled today. Sorry about that! We’ll catch up with you all when we’re back from Detroit later this month!
We just couldn’t get stuff working. :(