Emptyeye.com- Week 3

Time for another weekly summary.

The big thing is…I finished a new song! Well, the unproduced version anyway. The song is called “Arrowsmash“, and it’s an extremely heavy song about playing Dance Dance Revolution and its ilk. Check it out here, and leave some comments right here in this entry.

The other main thing is that I got past that stupid mission in StarCraft. My strategy was to first build a solid defense for my base, then begin amassing Battlecruisers (If you’re not familiar with StarCraft, Battlecruisers are the most powerful aerial unit I could’ve built at the time. The drawbacks are that they’re expensive, as well as slow to build [Both in building up the tech to be able to do so and in the delay between “Build Battlecruiser” and the time it actually comes out]). Even then, I had to very carefully maneuver the Battlecruisers–long story short, kamikazeing toward my goal would’ve resulted in eight effectively paralyzed and helpless Battlecruisers and a bunch of wasted resources. It took awhile–and I’ll admit it, multiple saves and reloads–but I finally destroyed the Ion Cannon after (Official in-game time; it was probably closer to an hour taking into account the multiple saves and reloads) about 44 minutes. Whew!

Finally, thanks to those of you who texted me wishing me Happy Halloween. I appreciate it!


    • James on November 5, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    First off, congrats on passing another StarCraft mission. Are you playing it on the PC or N64? Good times…

    As for Arrowsmash, the one thing I would have to say is that–albeit a bit silly on purpose–playing the guitar like a bass leaves the sound thin. Even moving to power chords from single string riffs is an improvement (since I’m sure more complex chords are not going to come easy without some practice). Or think–Primus style: if the guitar is thin, the bass has to be thickened with chords. And vice versa. Of course, this isn’t a hard and fast rule but it helps with the overall sound. I’ll forgive the fact the drums are way loud for now :) I ALWAYS do that with my pre-mix recordings too!

    Keep up the good work though–April will be here before you know it.

    • emptyeye on November 5, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    Heh, thanks for the StarCraft kudos. I’m playing it on the PC…despite the fact that I once played Dune on the Genesis (One of the first RTSes), I couldn’t imagine trying to handle StarCraft on the 64 (Though I did know it was released on that system). I need me my shortcut keys, even if I haven’t quite memorized them all yet. Incidentally, I’ll be coming up to another trouble spot soon (Though it’s meant to be played in a linear fashion, going from Terran to Zerg to Protoss, you can actually play StarCraft’s campaign with each race in parallel. I tried this when I got stuck on Terran 10 many moons ago; all that resulted was that I got stuck on THREE points [One for each race] instead of ONE. After one more mission, I’ll be at the point where I got on the Zerg section). Oh well.

    As for the song, thanks for the advice, I’ll keep it in mind. I actually have to edit the Arrowsmash page itself, as I forgot to mention a musical reference to a DDR song in there. A couple questions for you, since you’re knowledgeable in this stuff: What did you think of the guitar tone? I wound up going with something that emphasized the mids on this recording, but I’m not sure if I actually like the sound or not. And how did my cookie monster vocals sound as compared to my screaming (For that matter, how do EITHER of them sound as compared to my SINGING?)?

    And yeah, I’m definitely feeling the time crunch already, even though it’s about 6 months off. I got the idea a month or two ago, and I was like “Close to a year, that’ll be plenty of time to write an album’s worth of songs!” Now…I’m not so sure. I’m not going to give up on this though; I’ve done that with way too many projects over the years.

    • James on November 6, 2007 at 10:56 am

    As much as I joke around about it, I know how hard it is to finish and record a song (and I can’t even sing, which is a whole separate issues!)Stick with it! And hey, if you don’t finish by April that’s ok too (ask Axl Rose– ok, well maybe not HIM!) Now, onto the meat of the question–

    Guitar tone is really tricky with home recording stuff. The harsh reality that without a good head or amp outputting your sound, you’re pretty limited. Even my set up is lacking a good pre-amp, so that my tone is good for less heavy stuff but has no bite or crunch (the new job should fix that soon!) If I were you, here’s what I’d do to boost the guitar tone:

    *If you want to keep the distortion level where it is, add a little echo or delay (just slight) to thicken the sound a bit. I would set your equilizer (for now) to emphasize mids and lows.

    *Changing strings before your “serious” recordings is a good idea.

    *If you have a guitar amp (not sure if you do) it’s better off running through the amp before going into the soundcard if you have a decent model, as opposed to running line in or through an effects box.

    Also, if you want I have a really nice mixing board you can use for recording the final mix–it makes a huge difference in tone on my stuff. When you’re ready to go, I can mail it to you (it’s HEAVY though!) — Oh and the cookie monster singing DOES sound like cookie monster and admittedly, captures the less-serious nature of the song just fine :)

    StarCraft on the N64 is actually a solid translation, though I’d rather play on the PC too. I never got too deep into the game (the same goes for Warcraft)–I think partially because you’re stuck with “main characters” and don’t retain units between scenarios. I always liked Panzer General and even Final Fantasy Tactics for the ability to create your own characters and use them in lieu of the “main” characters if you so choose.

    Keep up the good work! And maybe you’ll inspire me to finish my Bayou Billy FAQ–

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