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Oh man, “Poppin Into Pies” is REAL dumb, but I think it’s the funny kind of dumb, right?
So this was the first time I’ve ever worked with sampling a song, and it was a bit of a challenge. I got some inspiration from watching Rhythm Roulette on Youtube - here’s one with Mannie Fresh.
For starters, “Worst Pies in London” is a fucking WEIRD song. There’s no instrumental portions of the song at all. Everytime the vocals stop, there’s a large orchestra hit, then she picks back up singing. So during the chorus of the track, the music you here is the very end where she’s holding out a note with some slight vibrato slowed town and compressed a bit. After that, I tried to find a few small clips to use. The obvious one is “popping pussies into pies” that’s the whole premise of the joke, but I wanted a few other hits. The “pop” was an easy choice, but there’s also this gasp that she does towards the beginning that I thought would add some hits every once in a while.
Because there’s no clean instrumental sample, I had to reinforce the main chord of the sample, so there’s a string that plays the chord during the verses. After that, it’s just some 808s, bass, snare, hi hats, etc. Nothing special.
I’m still relatively new to producing (this is probably my 9th or 10th song producing) and I clearly suck at mixing. So I’ll have to get better at that. Also Alex Wallace still has my microphone (yeah, I called him out!), so I had to use a lav mic to record the vocals while my daughter was sleeping in the other room. I could have spent time making those better, but honestly why would I invest time into improving the vocal quality of a rap about fucking pies?
Overall, it was fun and silly. That’s the whole point of this Create Each Week challenge - be creative, learn stuff, and enjoy myself.
Cleaned up the Poppin Pies track now that there’s lyrics for it, started brainstorming ideas for a video. Hoping to record/start making the video next week.
Didn’t really do much during the week due to the last few Mardi Gras parades. I worked on the neural network lottery project a little more. I’m leveraging a Java project called Neuroph that can make & train networks out of the box. I started fleshing out the training of the network with the data set I got from last week.
Follow my progress here.
Agh, more Carnival. I started a github project for building a neural network that can try to predict Powerball numbers. Mainly because 1) I want to learn some neural network frameworks (Java is easier for me), and 2) I want to test how a neural network will perform when trying to predict what should be random numbers. It’s no better than the random numbers that quick picks make.
I scraped the list of winning numbers here, but only from October 7th, 2015 (last time they changed the number ranges). From there, I made a file that has one week’s numbers along with the next week’s numbers for training the network, then testing to verify its accuracy (or lack thereof).
Anyway, click here to see the project in github. I’ll make a post once it’s actually working and I can feed it a set of numbers, and it’ll try to predict the next batch.
It’s Carnival time, I made a beat
* Finished the nap tracker that I started last week. Check it out here: https://output.jsbin.com/gasefiw
* Started planning out & researching a project idea to make an artificial “spidey sense”. Tired of stubbing my toes in the dark! It’s a pretty big project (should take about 16-20 weeks), so if it’s going to take that long, I might as well make it a video series!
The plan that I have so far is have a bunch of distance sensors around either a hat or a belt, run those into a Raspberry Pi, then output to some sensors on a shirt or vest to give me haptic feedback. If it works, it’ll be awesome! If it doesn’t work, then what a waste of time!
So sleep training is over (yay!) but it didn’t come without difficulty. One of the problems we encountered is trying to figure out when our kid’s naps will be. So I decided to throw together a simple JS/HTML page that can handle this. Made the layout here.
Some minor display bugs, but it works from the start to spit out ideal times for whatever you want for your baby. Once it’s completed, I’ll host it on here.
Sleep training went way the hell better than expected. So much so that it’s the parents that need to adjust to the sleep schedule. Anyway, getting some time to write in the evenings. Wrote a little bit more on a song for my musical adaptation of A Confederacy of Dunces. The song is from the perspective of Mrs. Reilly thinking about her son. One of the challenges with adapting something is that you need to make the justifications for the character that may not be in the source material. Ignatius is such an an awful human being, he's the opposite of Paddington, who like Ignatius does not have a character arc, but makes those around him make the hero's journey. Paddington inspires change in those around him through optimism and support. Ignatius prevents change in those around him through his negativity and criticism.
Mrs Reilly putting up with Ignatius' bullshit is the flaw she overcomes in the very end once she's damn hear lost everything. So I want some foreshadowing towards the beginning, but also justify why she allows him to treat her the way he does. I decided to do a song about the son she hoped he'd be. I’s fun to take these feelings of being a new parent and give the audience that experience. See the innocent baby that Ignatius was, wonder about what he'll grow up to be. And now that he's the monster of the man he is, do we want her to realize she went wrong somewhere? Even realize that something's wrong with him?
So, this week I created some concepts and ideas for a song in a musical adaptation, and a few phrases that stuck out, like "Spent years praying that they'll be what you want them to be instead of spending time to be there for them". I'll need to find the chorus/theme that hits the emotions I want to convey, and from there we can start writing lyrics & music!
So I’ve been toying around with a ton of ideas for DJing, making remixes, sampling, etc. Lot of stupid ideas, lot of fun ideas but way out of my skill range (as of now).
Anyway, I wanted to get into what it would take to do this. My friend Kaye the Beast has a track from his album SALT that I thought could fit in with “She Drives Me Crazy” from Fine Young Cannibals, so I threw this together in 15min:
Not terrible, right??? Granted, I did this in Final Cut Pro X (a video editing program) instead of something where I can better equalize the audio mix, but still it works.
I also started slowing creating playlists for me to eventually start mixing together to make some DJ sets. I probably won’t actually get into the mixing part until I get a controller (spoiler alert: won’t happen until we move later this year), but at the very least I can get familiar with controller software like Digital DJ or Serato.
Oh man, we're getting ready to start a sleep plan for our baby, which means "I plan on not sleeping while my child screams every 45min in her crib". Anyway, I made some dumb tweets week:
Watched Aladdin an couldn't help but think: https://mobile.twitter.com/bobmurrell/status/1086710472546664448
Dad joke #1: https://mobile.twitter.com/bobmurrell/status/1086088778790461440
Dad joke #2: https://mobile.twitter.com/bobmurrell/status/1086065997348589568
Here's what I created this week:
* I made a super basic logo for this series. I used Adobe Spark Post on my phone with some templates. Super quick, nothin fancy.
* A very dumb Marvel joke
Ok, so I set my goal of creating something each week mid-week, so not much to report on.
* I watched a video about Machine Learning (ML) in 3D animation. There's a particular part where he describes ML spitting out a bunch of objects based on some parameters, which enables him to pick from a set rather than build from scratch.
I thought this was a pretty clever way to leverage ML as something to seed inspiration and to make the creative process more efficient by reducing how much time/effort is spent on dicking around with ideas and jump right into creation. This gave me a good starting point.
Google's ML library TensorFlow is pretty cool, but it's still way over my head in terms of building stuff, but their Magenta library is awesome. There is a Generate app they built to spit out random MIDI tracks based on parameters given, so I made a bunch of variations for melody and beats. From there, I just started trying to find ones that I like. There's a few that are just straight tones, some are just the scales. But there's a few that are the seeds of something worth pursuing.
So, this week, I created some FL Studio files with these random clips generated by Magenta and started building up a melodies folder and a beats folder. Hopefully I can make a small library to reference for inspiration or fills.
I usually make some goal each year instead of resolutions. Some have been lofty, whole others have been somewhat ambitious (only took me 2 years to put out the album). However, it's been a little difficult to perform as much with the arrival of my daughter. But just because I can't go to a bar for 2.5 hours to perform a 3min set on front of 12 people doesn't mean I can't still be creative.
So this year, I want to just set a goal of creating SOMETHING each week. Could be a joke, a couple of chords in FL Studio, a meme, whatever. I find that being a father is already creating these new experiences and feelings that are the perfect seeds for inspiration. I don't want to limit myself to creative outlets that take time away from my family, but I don't want to lose that ability to express myself.
So feel free to see that crazy random shit I make this year. Who knows what I'll create?
Hey, 2017 has been crazy! I'm so thankful for everyone who came out to a show this year (there's been a lot). I got nominated for a Big Easy award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical, and so did my wife! I started a show with some friends called Big Easy Live, which has been a lot of fun.
Big stuff next year- recording an album, playing Seymour in Little Shop. Who knows what else 2018 will have in store?
Hope to see you soon next year!