Share your songs!
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it's coming along nicely!

I've mastered an album in Studio One's project page before,
but this is the first full length album i've done 100% in studio one!

Now, i've posted every song i'm working on for this album, here, in this song forum. i've gotten some great feedback from some of you,
and i'd like to say 'thanks' for that!

so, for what it's worth,
i thought i'd post about it as i'm wrapping it up...
all mixes are done, it is being mastered now,
cd artwork is happening,
and discs will be ordered in about 2 weeks.
it will be distributed through cdbaby, and be available on Itunes, Amazon, streaming, etc.

my very first album release back in 2006, called "Trouble".
it was recorded on a roland VS-1880, and mastered by Falcon Eddy studios in new hampshire.
it went out of print, and i re-recorded most of it, and re-released it last year, done in Sonar, and Mastered in Studio one by Moi.
i came to Studio One when Sonar went belly up, and i'm glad i did!

2nd album, "The Time is Magic", started on the 1880, then migrated to Sonar and finished and mastered in Sonar by myself.

3rd album, "Stay", recorded on Sonar, and mastered by Falcon Eddy.

now i've fully migrated to Studio One, and every session i work, i'm learning something new.

This album will have a different flavor to it, than the first 3.
so there's that.

It's mostly brand new material, with the exception of a couple of tunes that developed from demos done many years back.

I'll post info about the album when it's ready...

if you all do not mind, i'd like to share the backstory of several of the songs

The songs on this album are kinda all over the map, in terms of inspiration.
Last edited by robertgilliland1 on Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

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by robertgilliland1 on Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:27 am
"On Your Way"

I would have thought that starting what will be my 4th full length album would be easy.

you know, just sit down, and start writing.

but of course, these things never seem to start out the way you envision...
and ultimately, you wait for 'a muse'.

in this case, the muse for me, started in the weirdest place...
watching the documentary on Tom Petty, called "Runnin' down a dream".

i was home from work, recovering from an epidural spinal injection i had just gotten that morning...
i made a pot of espresso, caught a buzz, and started watching this show.

I just love tom petty, but i don't write anything much like him.
like most of my other influences, i don't wear them on my sleeve, but i am surely inspired by them.

and it started the gears working for a song, that ended up being number 7 on my song order list,
called "On Your Way".

the groove and vibe came from hearing all that TPetty music, and i thought i was going to sit down and actually write a song that was in that sort of arrangement and sound...
but the lyric and arrangement pretty much ended up going in a completly unforeseen direction.

"On your Way" ends up being about a friend who is struggling with addiction.
it is a hopeful song, hopeful of recovery, hopeful of having strength, self determination, and bit of luck.

On your way

Blue, is the color I see, If I look to the sky
Green, is under my feet,
Tears of joy I cry

If you can open your eyes
And make the world stand still
See your own path ahead,
It is free will

On your way, (to a) better day, (you can) step away,
And don’t betray
On your way, (to a) better day, (you can) share your love,
And smile today

It’s so easy to talk about it,
It’s much harder to take the hit, and move on.

On your way
Better day
Share your love,
And smile today

On your way…….

Blue, is the color I see, when I look to the sky
Green, is under my feet,
Tears of joy I cry

ended up using two guitars for this song,
a custom built USACG strat build, and a vintagy '77 Ibanez Artist 2618.

everything was miced up on this song; even tho the palmer PDI-09 on top of the amp is shown routed, and it was recorded, it wasn't used on this recording.

i used a Carvin LB70 bass into a Sansamp bass di direct to interface on this tune.

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by robertgilliland1 on Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:32 am
"Michael's House"

this is the 2nd song on the album.

One of the songs, "michael's house", was a rowdy romp that i wrote back in 1998, for my friend who had recently moved into an older house, in a neighborhood that had been a very nice family neighborhood back in the day,
but had fallen into disrepair over 30 years time, and was known as a 'crack' neighborhood when he moved into it...

he truly thought he would turn the neighborhood around, one neighbor at a time, and pull all his friends that were wanting to buy houses, into purchasing a house near him.

when i wrote the song originally, it was really just a demo, but a celebration of his audacity and belief in the 'good' of people.

he died in that house, about 8 years ago. i'm not sure how, but he had been hospitalized previously, a health issue, i think it was an accident.

now i've written a new version of it, to basically celebrate his life, or as a kind of 'thank you' to the ether.

song specific info:

bought a new fuzz around the time i started working on this song,
made by Barber Electronics, it's called the "Exacta".
great fuzz, i use it quite a bit in this song.


Michaels House

Michaels house, used to be
Kind of place, yeah, you want to be
Now it’s got a new friend,
Going to be the place again.

Michael is a trusted friend
Favors given, to the end
Road trip taken and he took my queen,
All the way to New Orleans!

Michaels house, was party town
But a friend in need, could hang around
Michael left without a sound
In the afterlife, he’ll be around.

Michaels house, used to be
Kind of place, want to be
Now it’s got a new friend,
Going to be the place again.

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by themaartian on Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:23 am
Really looking forward to this one!

I checked my copy of Trouble and it is, indeed, the reissue. Bet I'd have "Trouble" finding an original!

I still keep the CD case front cover art upside down (the way it was shipped to me). The bat looks like he'll keep on truckin'! Very cool!

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by robertgilliland1 on Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:20 am
themaartian wroteReally looking forward to this one!

I checked my copy of Trouble and it is, indeed, the reissue. Bet I'd have "Trouble" finding an original!

I still keep the CD case front cover art upside down (the way it was shipped to me). The bat looks like he'll keep on truckin'! Very cool!

oh yea man!
upside down......LOL,
still cracks me up.

those guys,
i took that whole batch back to those guys, they made it right.
but not until the first ones went out!!

you know, if you want a download of the entire first version of 'Trouble',
just hit me up. gratis.
maybe it'd be interesting to compare the two...

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by robertgilliland1 on Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:22 am
"Lost Dream"

This one was based on an instrumental i did way back when, on a cassette-based multitrack machine.
it was originally called "Pali Face".

i always wanted to do a song version of this, and once i got the lyric idea, the arrangement came together nicely.

as it is, i've done two instrumental versions of two of the songs that are on the new album,
one, "Michaels House (a slight return)", is an instrumental version of michaels house, and the 'slight return' is a nod to hendrix, because i quote '3rd stone from the sun' during part of the song.

the other is "pali face", which is a full on fuzz pedal experiment!
again, using my new Barber Exacta pedal, i was looking for new tones, and found some really cool hi def fuzz tones by stacking the Exacta with my Fulltone Fatboost III pedal. Fatboost into Fuzz....

i used a Demeter Silent Speaker Isolation cabinet, loaded with a celestion V30 for the lead tones.


Lost Dream lyric:

Here’s the dream that floats along the ceiling,
Out the window, lost into the breeze.

Walking in the dark there is no seeing,
Fight the fear that brings you to your knees

You stand along the edge to nowhere,
You slowly fall into the sea.

You run as hard as can, to something,
A brilliant light envelopes all.

That’s when you learn you found the answer,
It came to you in a dream….
It comes to you, in another dream….

in another dream.

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by robertgilliland1 on Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:45 am
#04- Secrets (of the songs and dance)

the story,

I got to thinking about aboriginal beats, for some reason....
something in the music that Virtualan (co-writer) offered up, drew me to this....

anyway, i found an aboriginal story, that has a tie-in to telling stories thru songs and dances....
the aboriginal people have this thing they call the dreaming:

The Dreaming  --   also means to 'see and understand the law' 

the Aborigines believe that the Ancestor Spirits came to the earth in human form and as they moved through the land, 
they created the animals, plants, rocks and other forms of the land that we know today. 

They also created the relationships between groups and individuals to the land, the animals and other people.

Once the ancestor spirits had created the world, they changed into trees, the stars, rocks, 
watering holes or other objects. 

These are the sacred places of Aboriginal culture and have special properties. 
Because the ancestors did not disappear at the end of the Dreaming, but remained in these sacred sites, 
the Dreaming is never-ending, linking the past and the present, the people and the land.

one of the most famous of these stories is the "Wagilag Sisters"....

The Wagilag Sisters
 The story goes that the two Wagilag sisters, one of whom was pregnant, were fleeing their home and were being followed by clansmen. On their travels they come across many animals and plants and brought them in to life by naming them. Eventually, the Wagilag sisters set up camp beside a fertile waterhole at Mirarrmina. There, one of the sisters pollutes the waterhole and the pregnant sister gives birth, which causes Wititj the python to wake up angry and insensed. Wititj creates a storm on emerging from the waterhole and attempts to wash the two Wagilag sisters in to the well with his downpour (the first monsoon). The two Wagilag sisters dance and sing sacred songs in an attempt to diffuse the situation and keep them safe, but when the sisters become too exhausted to continue, the python is able to swallow them up (including child and dog)! However, soon after, Wititj develops stomach pains and groans skywards above the land where he attracts the attention of other great snakes who also rise up in to the sky. The great snakes talk and they discover they all have different names but they wonder why the python is ill. Realising he made a mistake, Wititj lies about what he has just eaten but the pain becomes so unbearable Wititj falls back to the land and vomits up the sisters who regain their life from the stinging bites of caterpillars. Undeterred, Wititj beats them with clapsticks and eats them again. Later, the Wagilag sister's clansmen, asleep in the hollow left by the python's fall, were visited in their dreams by the sisters who revealed to the clansmen the secrets of the songs and dances which had been performed in an effort to stop the rainstorm.

leads to my version of the story:

"the secrets of the songs and dance"

2 sisters, 1 with child
runs away to trees and water in the wild
birth of a child brings out the snake,
and both their lives it will take
rain and song to no avail, both are swallowed inside the tail
snake does lie about the meal, the caterpillar bites to heal
eaten again, and snake is gone,
the dreams reveal before the dawn---
the secrets of the songs and dance...
secrets of the songs and dance...
the secrets of the songs and dance.

recording specific stuff:

i used these two guys for the guitar parts,
the clangy clarity of the koa carvin, with Duncan custom Custom in the bridge,
and the old '77 Artist, just seem to blend really well together.
Alan (virtualan) did all of the keys and drum programming; i chose a different kit, to fit with the sound i ended up crafting for this one.... and i wrote the lyric and added all the rest of the instruments and arranged the tune...

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by robertgilliland1 on Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:14 am
song #05- Middle of Nowhere

ah, the middle of nowhere, is the center of everywhere~!

just when you think you are lost, you're not. that is, if you are where you want to be.
sometimes i want to be in the middle of nowhere.
it is compelling.

this tune came about as a direct influence from listening to an older Queens of the Stone Age tune...
or rather, an album: Songs for the Deaf.

i had been listening to this album, and when i was done, i had this beat in my head.
nothing i had heard from my listening experience,
but still, this beat was in the head.

it's almost like a backwards shuffle!
like if you turned it around, played it backwards, you could jam to La Grange or Tush.

i guess the message is, when you are with who you want to be with,
anywhere you go together, is the center of everywhere.


Middle of No where

Stand, in the middle of no where
Fly, to the center of everywhere

Look around and get your bearings,
Your moving on the path i'm sharing
We're looking out for each other
You are my only lover

Middle of no where is the center of everywhere

Center of everywhere,
Center of everywhere
Middle of no where,
Middle of no where

Center of everywhere,

No where, everywhere,
No where, everywhere,
No where, no where,
No where, everywhere,
No where, no where.

recording specific stuff:

the drum track was written in superior drummer 3.0, with a custom kit where every piece was taken from multiple kits and edited for sound.

ok, pulled out all the stops on this one, as far as guitar stuff goes...


guitars used, left to right:
'82 Carvin DC200K, with duncan custom custom in bridge;
'77 Ibanez Artist 2618, stock;
"86 custom build, strat/paul/explorer hybrid, with bill lawrence pickups and a lil 59'r in the bridge;
'04 custom USACG strat build, with bill lawrence pickups.
Demeter silent Speaker cab with celestion V30; used for clean rhythm track.
(2) Roland 1x12 cabs, closed back, one with celestion Heritage G12h-55, one with Carvin British series;
Avatar Vintage closed back, with old celestion G12C-30
'82 Mesa Boogie Mark IIb.
Palmer PDI-09 for one of the rhythm tracks; miced roland cab with 57 for other rhythm track;
Shure sm57 miced onto Avatar for the solo;
PDI-09 for solo harmony track.

every track used a different guitar,
with the white strat used for the solos.

i used a little ibanez short scale bass, a Mikkro model, thru a Sansamp Bass DI.
surprisingly enough, the little short scale bass sounds BIGGER than my full scale Carvin LB70.

Vox were done with a ADK Hamburg, being driven thru a ART DPS preamp.
percussion done into a Shure KSM44.

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by robertgilliland1 on Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:37 am
#01 The Wild Animals

this song became the title track, based on the strength of it as an opening number.

the sequencing of the album became important after my decision to use this one as an opener,
because of how intense this one is,
and the 2nd song (michael's house) had to equal it in temperment.

This song was probably the 5th or 6th song in order of writing...
i wrote the drum track first, and immediately locked onto the main rhythm riff...
it was an exercise in stripping down a more progressive riff, to it's most basic elements.

again, this was an influence of direction directly from Queens of the Stone Age, which i had been listening to quite a lot at the time...

i like the way they write things almost as if they are little symphonies,
lots of parts, but never more than a couple at a time,
like directing a choir pit full of punk rockers that have taste and timing.

the message in this one is simple:
it's my public service announcement about the opioid crisis.

the "wild animals" can be whatever you think they should be.

The wild animals

Just because they smile, and grease back their hair,
Doesn’t mean there’s any kind of heart in there
They’ll give you pellets of poison to put in your tea,
They say there’s nothing phucking wrong with me

Please, do not feed the wild animals
Better left alone, the wild animals

It’s a kick back, kick you, nothing you can really do,
If you give em a chance, they’ll chase you into the
Afterlife too!

“lets book a trip to the riviera, sarah, bring the doctor along”
“nobody will miss us back home”,
When the sh!t goes wrong

Please, do not feed the wild animals
Better left alone, the wild animals

It’s just the modern chemistry, the artistry of grabbing by the short hairs,
They stay awake at night, and they count their money til the
Morning light

It’s a cautionary tale… that we all can relate
It’s a taste of a real time devils delight
At the cocktail party, or the local church family affair
The poison pellets are playing truth or dare.

Please, do not feed the wild animals
Better left alone, the wild animals

recording specific:
this song takes full advantage of superior drummer 3.0, and especially it's internal mixer and effects.

i have roughly 24 channels of drums and room mics, and had the luxury of trying no less than 6 different kits for this song.
it's a simple stereo out from the mixer into my DAW, so i have only one single drum buss fader to deal with.
i used a Pultec EQP-1A emulation across the drum buss. it sounds good on the drum buss.

guitars: williams strat hybrid, Ibanez Artist for rhythms,
custom USACG strat for the solos.

i used the Budda Wah quite a bit on the guitar solo track, it just seemed to need that vocal quality to the little melodies.

most of the guitar amp feeds were direct on this one, via the Palmer PDI-09, except one:

i miced the inside back of the roland 1x12 open back cab with a sm57, for a funky tone on one of the Ibanez Artist rhythm guitar.
Bass was a Carvin LB70, active, into a Sansamp Bass DI set for stun.

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