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Bob & Lorie Gray
Bobsongs Creative Media

Killer Queen

I came across this while I was working on a project. I was waiting for some files to load, and the files loaded just as I pressed play… so at first, I was only listening to it.

After I was done, I went back and played it again, only then realizing the multi-part harmony was all the same guy, overdubbing himself.

Very cleverly done…

Helping Out A Friend…

One of the many folks I’ve met on Twitter is a reporter.  On Twitter you can find him at @RickRake

He “grew up” working in traditional media, but has recently come to embrace Social Media.

He is working on a project and wanted some “station identification” sound byte promos.

I don’t particularly care for the way my voice sounds… I have always been aware that I have a tendancy towards SSSSSsssssibilance, and when I attempt to deepen my voice, in my head, I hear the dulcet tones of Sam the American Eagle, from The Muppet Show.  (And, as soon as I think about that, I start to get the giggles, and it devolves from there…)

Sam The American Eagle - The Muppet Show

So we had tentatively planned that we would get together with another friend (@OwenGreaves) who worked for years in Radio, and record these promos using his voice, in my Studio.

As I was working away, today, I was looking at the projects piled up, and the dwindling slots available in my schedule… and it wasn’t looking good… so I went ahead, and flew solo.

A couple of the voice bits, and just because I had all the machinery powered up, I threw together a “Weather Network” style musical blurb version.

The reason I’m posting these… (other than it is 2:30 in the morning, and I am unable to sleep…) is that we sometimes forget that the skills that we ourselves have, are not universal, and each of us brings different tools and skills to the table.  I have a small recording studio in my basement, and sound editing software on my computers, which apparently not everyone has.

The joy of Twitter, is that we were able to connect, and in a relatively short time, I threw together some preliminary promos, that will allow him to work and move forward on his project… (and after Christmas, can be replaced by professional vocal talent)

TNN Voice Promo

TNN Theme Musical Blurb

Again, I’m not expounding about how wonderful they are… for they are literally thrown together.  What I wish to draw attention to is that sometimes we forget that things that we do are different than things OTHERS are able to do… and folks don’t know we can do them, because we just don’t toot our own horns enough !!!

Beep Beep !!!

Songwriting with a Co-Writer…

For songwriters, people keep saying to me that co-writing is essential, and yet I had not found much success in co-writing.

The efforts seemed disjointed, and while each person contributed something, there was no flow.  Different sections that while “technically” meshing… don’t fit together well. Flow is important in a song.  It is a story that you are telling, and you have to get the listener, from the beginning to the end without them jolted out of their seat, by a sudden twist in the story.

A lot of my previous co-writing experiences had those problems. Earthquake cracks and fissures that the listener had to leap over, to make different parts of the song connect.

As a result of these experiences, I have tended, in the last while, to write alone.

A friend kept pushing me to get together and write, and we got together last week, and it just flowed.  In three hours, we bashed out the basis for what we both feel has the potential to be a hit song.  We are still working on it… doing tune-ups and tweaks.

BobSongs Studio

Over the weekend, I was thinking about it, and wondering “what was different THIS time?”

It occurred to me that in this case, I already knew the guy, knew his personality, as he knew mine. We were comfortable with each other, and maybe more important, we were comfortable saying “I don’t like this section, I think it needs to go a different way.” Rather than just accepting it as good enough… we pushed each other, and got a better song, as a result.

I think that because we were both going for the same thing… and our strengths are complimentary… (I’m a lyrics guy, and he already had some musical ideas in his head) …even if we didn’t know each other, we would have “clicked.”

So I finally am able to truly understand what everyone says… Finding a co-writer does make your songwriting better.

But I also realized that finding a co-writer is a bit like dating. You don’t necessarily “connect” with every person, regardless of how people think “you are perfect for one another…”

Just keeping trying, until you find someone you “click” with. And, until you find someone you click with… remember… It’s not you… it’s THEM !!!

Keep writing, and keep looking !!!

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