Apr 122013

Kendandra here!

Okay.  First off, I’m not late.  It’s still Character Theme Thursday.  Though now that I’m actually working again, we’ll have to see how often I can keep these updates up.  If I can’t, feel free to make Character Theme Thursday into Taco Thursday.  If you don’t like tacos think of another T word.  I suppose sometimes people abbreviate Thursday with an R, so it could be Radical ThuRsday.  Or something.

Ahem, anyway.

Oh good ol’ Robert Owen.  What is there to say about Bob?  Not much, considering Yami beat me to the punch.  So thanks, Yami.  Basically Robert’s the muscle of the group.  He’s rude, crude, and full of attitude.  Let’s go down the list shall we?

Ridiculously skilled?  Check.  Gruff?  Check.  Questionable morals?  Check.  Tough as nails?  Double check.  Tormented past?  Check.  Funny Hat?  Check.

Yeah.  Not many other people fit that list.  Batman is one of them.  Jayne from Firefly is another.  So Robert is a gun-toting Batman.  Or Jayne from Firefly.  Oh, or Jayne is Batman.  Oh.  Yeah.  That’s head-cannon now.

Ahem, anyway.

When I started doing these themes, for the most part I had little in my head (like always) except for a few instrument collections.  Bob’s was acoustic guitars and no drums.  I want to avoid having any “true drums” in there (there will probably be a few percussion tracks, like a woodblock.  You know, something sporty.).  With that in mind I set out to lay down a rough melody and harmony.  So here’s a demo.

Now normally I record a MIDI track and then spruce it up a bit before releasing it to you, single reader of this blog.  However this theme’s main attraction is the guitars and I’ve yet to find a satisfying guitar sample in Fruityloops.  Which, quite frankly, is odd.  I was, however, marginally happy with the guitar sounds Privia makes.

[Oh yeah, I got a new keyboard to celebrate my return to the working world, that’s important, I should have mentioned that first.  Perhaps I’ll cover Privia (keyboard) and Samick (piano) in a different post sometime.  And yes.  Those are their first names.]

Ahem, anyway.

So I set out on the arduous task of trying to capture audio from Privia to my computer.  So obviously my first thought was that I could just place a mic against Privia’s speakers.  Then I noticed Privia has speakers.  Plural.  And it balances the stereoscopic sound between the high and low ends of the instrument.  Which is amazing.  If I wasn’t recording sound.  Clearly that wasn’t going to work.  So I got clever.

I took a quick stroll out to my car and grabbed a male-male headphone cable (that I use to pipe my phone audio to my car stereo).  I hooked it up to the back of Privia and straight into the mic jack on my computer.  I had to spend like… forever balancing the levels between the two to get a decent sound.  Then I realized something.  With the audio going to my computer, I couldn’t hear what I was playing.  So I had to Beethoven it.  The final recording has a lot of noise that I couldn’t remove because Fruityloops’s built-in recorder is… gah.  For a music composing software it… just… GHAH….  You would think that… bah! <Incomprehensible garble of frustrated noises>

The original theme I had it my head was much faster than what I recorded for the demo, but it works well enough.  The more I listen to it the more I only like the third part of the song (which is the chunk stolen from Ricky, if you’re wondering).  Before I scrap the other parts though I’m going to see what I can get out of some refinements:  cleaning up note placement and duration, and fixing the velocity of the strumming part.  It should have a more punctuated beat, something Privia couldn’t convey well enough.  Though to be fair, Six-Trak couldn’t convey it at all.

Ahem, anyway.

That’s all for today lads and lasses.  Next time, I’ll have a small excerpt of Lucas’s theme.

–Kendandra, we’re done here.