Song Progress

Remember that song I was talking about in Tuesday’s post? The one that was hard to find a melody for? Well, last night, I just decided to sit down and hash this thing out. Me vs. lyrics, here we go! Though honestly, if I didn’t already have a general idea for this song I would have left it be like I said I would on Tuesday. But I am half stubborn, half “What else am I going to use this melody for?” with what I’m working on now, and I am fairly happy with my end result.

Will I be when I go to mix it? We’ll see! I wound up only using a fraction of the lyrics I had written and I really liked how it turned out last night pre-mix. That usually doesn’t happen for me: I always think a song is meh until I go to mix it, so fingers crossed that this is a good sign! I…am a little nervous it won’t fit with the other songs on the EP, but as I said we’ll see after the mix. I mean, we are all our worst critics, right? So maybe after I show it to someone else I won’t be so critical of it (that happens a lot XD).

I was excited to just…get something recorded. Even if this doesn’t pan out with these lyrics, I have a backing track I can add to and build on for something else. So all in all, last night was a very productive recording night! Now off to mix!

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Working on Original Songs – Growing Pains

I’ve been working on original songs for an EP lately, and it’s been tons of fun! I’ve never felt happier just writing, working out melodies, and mixing my own creations. Honestly, I’ve learned so much just from mixing these three songs than I ever have mixing a cover – just having to wing it so to speak, and try and get the sound you wanted for each track, each vocal line is really challenging and invigorating in a way I didn’t think was possible! I have three out of four songs completed, and am aiming to release this before August is out woooo.

This journey hasn’t been flawless, in fact, it’s been a decently bumpy road. But luckily, I have awesome friends and family to help me with mixing advice. But, have you ever just hit a bump that has been difficult to hop over? This last song I have been working on has been that for me.

I wrote out the lyrics for all of my songs first. For me, that and coming up with the basic melody was the easy part for all…but this final song XD I have been fighting with placing these lyrics in a certain melody. I know the feeling I want to invoke with this particular song, but every melody or arrangement I can think of just doesn’t cut it. I really want this chaotic, raw feeling to this one, and no matter how much I look up different styles and try to rearrange, it just isn’t working.

Last night I realized: It’s not a big deal if I don’t use these specific lyrics! I was hashing out another melody last night while I was trying to sleep (as my brain likes to do oh-too-often) and I was just thinking “I…just may have to use these lyrics for something else and write new ones”. It’s a bit of a sad realization because I really like the lyrics and wanted to use them now, but honestly I just don’t think they will work for any melodies I can think of currently, and just trying to force this song working is both stifling my creativity and beating my head against the wall. Is there anything wrong with scrapping a song and moving onto creating something new? I thought it was for the longest time but now…I realize that no, it’s ok to have those lyrics on standby until I can give them the structure and arrangement they deserve. It’s ok for me to work on something else, put it on this EP, and use these for something else down the road.

It’s so interesting to me the things that I’ve been learning in these past few months just working on these. I am excited to take what I learned forward, when I start working on other things. It’s been a blast, and I don’t want this creative streak to go away anytime soon!

Mana Aeliria Casting News!

I am sooo excited about this, and I am going to assume that since it was posted on their Facebook page, I can talk about this. I’m not sure if I posted about this here or on my Twitter, but I was auditioning for a string of voice acting and singing auditions lately. Well, one of those things was a really cool opportunity to be the singer of an indi RPGs theme song, and if the name of this post wasn’t obvious, I got the job! I am really happy, this is legit a dream I’ve always had: to sing the theme song to an RPG, and I am just so so so honored that I was chosen out of all the auditions. The game seems really cool too, and I can just tell it’s going to be really fun to work on, and a great foot in the door so to speak!

Here’s the Facebook page to the game if you’re interested in looking!

I’ll keep you guys posted on this, defos 😀 I just had to gush about this it’s like ayaaaah so so so cool I am so ecstatic! Can’t wait to start working on this!

Jewelry Making Musings

Hi guys! On Tuesday, I was crazy busy and just didn’t have time to post. By the time I had gotten back home I had no time to write something substantial enough to merit a posting, so I apologize! Honestly it’s the first blogging day I’ve missed and I feel super guilty about it D: but I will make up with it today by posting twice, and then next week will be all on schedule again! But now, onto my post.

If writing my own music has taught me anything, it’s to stick to your own style. It’s easy to tell yourself that you need to do pop, or rock, or country because it’s popular, or because your voice tone is closer to ___ in said genres, but ultimately, you gotta do what’s you. I’ve fought with truly being myself in my creative endeavors for far too long, and am recently just figuring out that hey, it’s ok to be you in all aspects of art because surprise, people want to see the real you and hear what you love doing, not some pale imitation of your work because it”sounds hip” or “is popular”. It’s up to you to make your style popular, doesn’t matter what genre you’re composing or singing in. What matters is that you’re happy with your work, and can proudly show it to the world.

I said that because, it got me thinking. I can easily think that way with my music, but with jewelry for some reason, that premise just doesn’t click. Wouldn’t it be the same theory, though? Create a piece you like and can stand behind and sell it to the market it’s for. I was thinking today: What did I initially want to start creating jewelry for? I look at my pieces now and sure, they’re pretty, and I am proud of the work, but something is stopping me from posting them on Etzy, or trying to sell them. What I think that thing is, is my lack of love for my pieces. I am happy with the end result, but it’s nothing that I pick up and feel and am like “Ohmygosh, this is amazing I’m so happy I made it” like I am with listening back to my music.

So my question to myself is this: What did I initially want to make jewelry for? Below will be a bit rambly because I’m just jotting down my thoughts, so bear with me XD

I find it funny that this thought process started after I looked at a video for some dragon scale beads. The example shown in the video was a bead woven bracelet, and I just thought of all of the cool fantasy themed pieces you could make with those. Like, those cool, bib style scale necklaces with the nice oval pendant as a focal point. What I originally wanted to do when I first started making jewelry, was mystical or fantasy, or video game type pieces. I remember my first thought being “I can make a Kirby pendant, that would be so cool!” XD and I didn’t realize that making a pendant would take a whole other set of materials (crystal clay or resin). Knowing what I know now, however, I think I could make the fantasy themed jewelry I’d want to make, and have always wanted to make.

I definitely think my creation palette has expanded, though. Before I just wanted to be able to make video game themed pendants. But now, I’d love to make very medieval, magical, fantasy, and nature themed pieces. Lots of mermaids, ocean themes (my two favorite things) fairies, and that really cool scaled look, as well. Currently I’m most interested in learning bead weaving and resin casting to make my own things, because I already know a decent amount of wire work, and have done everything I can with stringing. Wire work is something I enjoy but, just can’t keep up buying all of the materials to keep it going sadly. Granted, can’t buy resin or bead weaving supplies at the moment, but both things are a tad more versatile when I finally can buy the supplies to do them.

I’ve always had jewelry making as a skill, but it was never something I super enjoyed doing, even though it was something I have always wanted to do ever since I was a teenager. I think this epiphany has a lot to do with that, though: I’m not a person who can do something she doesn’t love to do, no matter how lucrative it may or may not be. So what I plan to do is outline different themes or styles that I have in mind, and always have had in mind and go from there (much like I did in this post only far more scattered because that’s how I roll with my personal notes XD) I did that method with my song writing and it worked very well. Hopefully it will work well for this, and can get me on the right track with jewelry making because I love it so much!

The First Mix, Crystal’s New Technique!

Yes, the blog entry title is a Sailor Moon-esk episode name format because I have been watching it like crazy lately XD

It’s 1:24 AM over here on a Wednesday )well Tuesday but you know how that goes) and I have just spent the past three hours mixing. Why is this mixing session any different than all of my others? Well, because I was mixing an original song I wrote! I’ve mentioned this before, but yar I’ve been working on original works lately. For a few days I had to step away from this particular one, and start laying out the melodies and lyrics for the others before returning to polishing this one up. I listened back to my rough draft of this and figured out what I needed to layer and add to make it sound the way I wanted it to. After I recorded the new tracks, onto the mixing phase!

It was more difficult going into this song’s mixing, for sure: With other songs, I have a base mix to go off of. A lot of the times, I listen to the original for a basis to go off of and try to emulate that mix the best I can, or go off of how the instrumentation of the backtrack sounds and play off of that to process my vocals a certain way. With this track, however, not only did I not have a backtrack to work off of, but I was mixing my vocals, and my vocals only! I only added some very scarce percussion sections, and the rest of the layers were my voice.

I knew going into this was going to be difficult: After all, I had mixed some other a cappella covers before, and had never gotten the fullness and richness of tone that I hear in so many a cappella covers. I wanted it to sound like there was a full choir of Crystal’s in the background, and wanted it to not be obvious that there were separate layers, and spaces where I was breathing etc etc. I had yet to accomplish this, and from the get go I said “It’s not going to be how I want it to be, but I’ll try my best!”.

My awesome going-to-school-for-audio-engineering friend gives me tons of pointers on mixing, so I asked her how exactly to get that fuller vocal/choir sound. She said to tinker with reverb, and in my head I was like “Pshaw I have never had reverb be thaaat effective, but ok I’ll mess with it”. I usually just use a preset for my reverb on my tracks, because I don’t quite get the terms and things in the program, but tonight I figured hey, this is original, so I will tinker with an original not-preset reverb.

I was shocked! From the get-go, I had the sound that I wanted for my background layers! I had to tinker with things in drastic increments just to see what was affecting what, but after that point I really just set it to what I wanted, and bam! Nice, full, choral sound. With only four backing layers too!

I do the exact same thing with delay: slap on a preset and goooo. I didn’t do that this time, as well, because I wanted a specific sound. After messing with parameters on the default (everything set at a basic, not very effective setting) I got the sound I wanted for another subset of vocal layering, whoazah!

What I realized just messing with these plug ins tonight is something I should have realized a while ago. I needed to be messing with these things without presets sooner! The possibilities are so endless if you just tinker, and your creativity really flows when you’re not feeling like you’re restricted to a set of 10 or so pre-determined effects for your mix. I’m already planning some things for my other originals, and fan made works mix-wise via tinkering, and doing trial and error with these effects! This got me sooo excited, I just had to write about this before my excitement died via…falling asleep and not on the high of “Oh yeeeah, I did this and it didn’t come out crappy!” XD It needs a bit more tweaking probably, but I couldn’t be happier about learning the sky is the limit with these effects, and probably many more! I can’t wait to read up on reverb and delay more tomorrow!

Confidence is Key

I’ve done it, you’ve done it, we’ve all done it: Seen someone doing something either online or in real life that you’re all like “Pshaw, they don’t have half the experience I do in that subject!” “They don’t know anything about ___, they have no right to be doing that, the nerve!” and yet, they’re selling their services in said craft, or auditioning for things in your field. What’s the major difference between you and them?

Confidence!

No matter how much I poke fun at these people, I always admire their confidence. They’re putting themselves out there, with enough confidence and ego to not get the nervous jitters to stop themselves. No matter how misguided they may be about their skillset, the fact of the matter is, they are putting themselves out there and you’re not. So, of course they’re going to get opportunities’ and chances that you’re not.

The biggest thing that I’ve realized recently, is that you really need to put yourself out there. Not only that, but come what may, you need to have the confidence to do so. Lately, I’ve been auditioning for things (which I haven’t done in years) and recording things that I wouldn’t usually do. Why is that? I figure, if people with an over-inflated confidence level can do this, so can I! I mean, in the end what are you losing if you audition for something? Nothing but your time, really. The worst thing you can get is a ‘No’ and honestly, more people need to get used to hearing this so they can muster up the strength to do things they wouldn’t normally do.

The worst thing you can do is run from your fears, instead of fight through them. There is nothing more stifling than yourself: your brain is your worst enemy. Fight it, get a bit of an ego, be confident in yourself and your abilities and get out there and go get your dreams! Raaaawr!

Swimming Home Evanescence Cover and Go Fund Me Update

Hi guys…so, I have been trying to figure out what to post today and can’t think of much – I’ve been super busy this past week with other projects and just really…got blog burn out D: but I do have some news! My Go Fund Me Campaign has a few donations – thank you to all who have donated and shared so far! There are some new reward levels added to the page, and the video changes every so often, so it’s a fun page to check out (and share wink wink).

In other news, this is my latest YouTube cover! There are plenty of others there as well since I last posted, but since I update that so frequently it’s hard to keep up with posting links here, as well. If you like to hear me sing, subscribe to the channel!

And that’s all for this week! I will be back on Tuesday with another post. Have a nice weekend everyone! 🙂