Seasons Spiral Forth

Here’s only the 2nd new piece that I’ve completed in 2020, and the first thing I’m posting here in about 6 months.
Not sure how to categorize the music you’ll hear, but if you read the track description on bandcamp, you’ll get an idea of my thought processes and the possible inspirations for this track.
This was done in Cubase Pro 10.5, and the guitar track and fretless bass were done with the Line 6 Helix Native plug in. I duplicated the guitar part and processed the 2nd track with a little additional overdrive from the built in VST guitar processing in Cubase, so you’ll hear a combination of the Helix and Cubase sounds on that guitar part.
Hoping as always that anyone listening will enjoy what they hear, and I’ll certainly be happy for any constructive ideas you might want to pass along.

Hey Schwetz, I missed this one earlier; sorry; just saw it mentioned in your recent post for your new one which I’ll comment on later.

Definitely sounds like something from the middle ages as interpreted by the 1960’s. Have you ever heard Steeleye Span? Love those guys. Anyway, in your remarks on the other one, it seems you are trying to be as natural as possible. I think you can feel free to overdub and align to get the timing better. From my own experience, trying to play to a click perfectly is impossible, but if you’re in a room with a bunch of players, you will naturally align with each other much much better. There are studies on this. It’s a human superpower! They don’t know why it happens, but there is definitely a timing link among performers in an ensemble. Brains interlock somehow. It’s not just rhythm, but also dynamics. And you probably already know, it feels great.

So I would say strive for that not by trying to get parts perfect in one perfect take, but rather understand what an ensemble would have been able to do, and use the tools to make it sound the way you imagine an ensemble would achieve. You know the pros are altering recordings like crazy.

This is a really wonderful piece. I think you should feel free to align parts a little bit (using editing), and also alter the dynamics of each individual part to ensure the lead melody line comes out in each section.

Do you ever get to play this music with friends in an ensemble? I’ll bet that’s really a satisfying thing to do.

And I will mention that I listened to it too many times on Bandcamp, and I was cut off listening to it again!

Thanks, Early. I love Steeleye Span and am very familiar with them and a lot of other people in their “bag” from Fairport through the Incredible String Band and into more obscure people like Mellow Candle and Dando Shaft.
I totally agree with you about the benefits of punching in and editing and have known how much of that gets done in the “real world” by the pros. We only have to listen to a lot of the “deluxe” re-releases from just about anyone to get a sense of that.
Having done lots of gigging over the years mainly as a bassist, I think it’s a bit of an ego thing for me to try to play a guitar part through without punching or editing. I want to believe I’m a guitarist who can do that with a more challenging part, but I am a realist too, and I will be willing to put the technological tools to work when necessary.
Mixing is something that I often don’t have as much patience for as I should. That’s an area where working alone on these tracks is not always advantageous. Another set of hands on the faders and another set of ears can certainly help.
I haven’t really played any of my original compositions with others in quite a while. As we’ve aged, it’s gotten harder to get people together for that kind of project. I do agree that it’d be a blast to make something like that happen, and in that kind of setting all kinds of things can wind up happening to these tunes.

Yeah, your tunes give me an ache for getting a group together to play. I am really missing it. I remember a long time ago, Steeleye Span was playing upstate (NY) when we were passing through… I called and begged for two seats, and by some sort of miracle, I got them. It was glorious

Hope those of us who listen to your mixes provide some sort of minimal additional ears, but it’s not the same as in the room. I really hope that comes back. Until then, keep on!

Oops… i also missed that one.
Honestly this tune is absolutely great. I enjoyed the ending with the glitch bass (or guitar).


Thanks, Stephco. The bass thing is a sliding harmonic. It can only be done on a fretless bass (at least that’s true for me!). First guy I ever heard do it was Bunny Brunel back in the late 70’s. He was a French guy who recorded a bit with Chick Corea and others.

Interesting tune, good work! Was expecting a different approach to the fretless tone, something more thick and noticeable.

This is the soundcloud posting of this song in case anyone may want to hear it there (or is scared off from listening by what looks like a download fee on bandcamp).