Jam on toast...

Jam on toast...

Dragondreams's picture



Liner Notes: 

This. This is how a Dragondreams track usually starts. This is here so I remember to come back to it, but also because I've been asked a few times how my tracks develop. Well folks, this is the raw process in action.

The equipment here is a Schecter Omen VI straight into my pedal board, into a Dragondreams custom-built valve amplifier, into a Crate 4x12, miked up with a Samson C01 condenser (hence the hiss). The guitar is fitted with a Roland GK3 hex pickup running into a Roland GR20 controller. The Samson and the GR20 are running into a tiny Tapco Mix50 mini mixer. From there into the soundcard. All recorded in Reaper. The guitar and synth parts are live, improvised, simultaneous, and full of mistakes. Wink

The drums are a loop I've had kicking around for a while, just dropped into Reaper. Bass is my Ibanez 5 string, running through a slightly modified Dragondreams T'Watt valve amplifier. One cycle through, then copied and pasted along with the drum loop.

Then I hit record, stop thinking about what I'm going to play, and just let my fingers move where they want to go.

What would normally happen next is I sit down and listen to the results a few times, picking out bits I like. I'll loop those parts in Reaper and try to learn them. Then I'll consider where I want the track to go next after this bit. And pretty much rinse and repeat all the above until I have various parts I'm happy with.

The next step would be to build the backing track based on all the ideas that come about from this process. Then the last thing I usually do is set it running and attempt to drop my guitar part back in, live and in one pass to get the "feel" and "emotion" into something that otherwise could start sounding very clinical because of all the production stages.

It's quite long... Wink

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


cts's picture

Wow, man...thanks for letting us into the process. You're worlds beyond what I do, but man this is more than just an invite into the castle, but a tutorial as well. And yeah, I stayed for all 10 minutes of it! Smile This is why I still consider you The Master.

Oh, this is fun. I'm particularly taken with the coda where the synth comes to the fore and starts to govern your harmonic choices. Spooky, atmospheric stuff.

It's always fascinating to gain insight into another person's creative process - thanks for the comprehensive liner notes! I'm guessing that you're fading the GR-20 pad in and out of the mix with its pedal, because it doesn't track every note (hmmm, I can use that technique...) That bass sound is gorgeous, by the way. Enjoyed this one a lot!

kahlo2013's picture

Cool to be on the inside of one of you productions. Love the vibe you create here and the awesome guitars with the different solos and riffs. I like the different sections. Good bass thread to. This has a wonderful trippy feeling in parts. Brilliant start to an awesome piece!

wobbie wobbit's picture

nice to get and insight to your way of working. I love how much variety there is around these parts! lovely sunday morning listening. washy and groovy... and epic

phoenixash's picture

Well, at first I didn't get the title, but then it became obvious as you went on very progressively into the many wonderful sections. You stitch the many ideas really well together and the playing is superb. I'm always afraid instrumentals are gonna just sound like long overdone solos but this is a full on voyage helmed by that bold guitar, compelling and luring until the end.

Amanda West's picture

As usual a very beautiful, smooth to listen to sound, full of corners and herbacious borders in full bloom. Please let me know when the completed track is listed, as I would love to hear it Smile