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Final Mix of Symbolic Dog Blues!! October 30, 2009

Posted by bernie87fl in Music, Song.
Tags: ,

At long last, here is the final mix of my first song! It’s called “Symbolic Dog Blues,” and it has been my learning project all year, a sort of self-guided senior thesis in audio engineering. It’s goofy and silly, and not typical of my other ideas, but that’s what it takes to keep me interested for twelve and a half months

The featured solo instrument is an electrified kazoo that I call the “Kazooka,” and you will hear character voices chatting about it overtop of the song.

New in this final version: drum fills throughout the last half of the song.

Symbolic Dog Blues, final mix

The purpose of this song was to learn how to record and mix a diversity of sonic elements:

  • acoustic guitar
  • electric guitar
  • electric bass
  • keyboard (rock organ sound)
  • Kazooka (ordinary plastic, played like a sax, processed like an electric guitar)
  • bottle clinks (tequila and Mexican Coke)
  • handmade drum (bought at a tai chi festival, played with bare hands)
  • spoken character voices
  • singing voices
  • programmed drums

I wrote and performed all parts of this song on the above instruments in my mostly-soundproof studio in my basement. All the sounds are from live, actual instruments (as opposed to loops or computer sounds), except for the programmed drums, since I don’t play the drums.

Recording equipment used

  • Shure 57 microphone
  • RØDE NT-1A microphone
  • Apogee Duet FireWire interface
  • MacBook Pro laptop computer, running Mac OS 10.4
  • Apple’s GarageBand ‘08 recording software

Educational sources for recording and mixing techniques

  • The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook, by Bobby Owsinski
  • Acoustic Design for the Home Studio, by Mitch Gallagher
  • EQ Magazine
  • Sound on Sound Magazine
  • prior experience playing in bands and getting frustrated with poor recordings
  • prior experience with signal processing concepts as an electrical engineer

Other blog posts on this song


1. scott - December 14, 2009

Sounds like inspiration from KEB Mo and Big Audio Dynamite combined !

I like blues … looking forward to next release…

2. Alan Churchill - January 28, 2010

Nice job Bernie!

3. Karla Grazier - February 9, 2010

It is hard to imagine you did everything. It is a crazy tune. If only I could multitask like this.

4. Mtn Jim Fisher - April 2, 2010

Hey Bernie!
I like it…quite different. Blues is a hobby of mine.

How goes the JBZ training?

Mtn Jim

bernie87fl - April 4, 2010

Thanks, Mtn Jim!
The Jiulong training is going well; I just returned from a weekend in TX actually. Maybe I’ll see you in Boulder soon?

5. Scott Walker - December 7, 2010

I love it! It’s really incredible.

In my improv classes, they encourage us to do characters/voices. http://improv.org/

Great work. I especially like the kazooka work. You should bring your kazooka skills to a band!

bernie87fl - January 6, 2011

Wow, I just now saw this comment—thanks, Scott!

I checked out the improv classes. You must be having a lot of fun there. I like where it says, “Concepts include … making one’s partner look good.” ;->

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