Maple Dye, "The Prisoner"

Maple Dye · The Prisoner

Hope everybody is doing fine in these crazy, deserted times. This song might, perhaps, make someone think about the coronavirus lockdowns. But in fact, it was written almost a decade ago, and it's about a different prison -lack of communication, solitude... other "jails with no visible key"-. Who might have known that their lyrics would, with the passing of time, fit so well this other so different situation...

The most optimistic previsions foresee a vaccine for March to September 2021. Let's hope that things take the optimistic turn, and, that in the meantime nobody does anything irreparably stupid... (The Muse has been generous lately, and more recent songs of mine discuss our troubled days more directly... Stay tuned. And stay safe.)

Maple Dye, "Wild Lovers"

This song was inspired by a couple I knew in my twenties, part of my group of "drinking buddies". Both him and her were beautiful like Greek gods, and not only that, but also very nice people, and could outdrink you and outsmoke you (because such were our pleasures then) and leave you behind the table any day of the week.

They were a bit our private deity, and while writing my song I kinda did the "role playing" of being him singing his love to her in a poetic way; the consolation of love that compensates the toil of living, the many cruel things that happen in this world.

The song is full of references that are like a sentimental map for me. We shared a love for The Doors ("My Wild Love"), the "heartbeat style" of the drumming has a lot to do with Neil Young's "Harvest" for sure, there is a tip of the hat to Lenny Kravitz too ("Welcome to the Real World")... Those days, those laughters no longer exist, but this song kee…

New Album "Waiting for Dumber" by Black Sheep Riot, features the single "E/F"

Waiting for Dumber by Black Sheep Riot

Three tumultuous years have gone into the creation of this album, which dabbles in styles like melodic hardcore punk, garage, stoner... All the good stuff. Hope you enjoy it.

Maple Dye, "Hey Mister Mixer"

This song was written as an entry for the Nexus Challenge contest, whose premise this year was to submit a composition "in the way of..." some known artist.

(In this case, I think it's self evident, I chose Bob Zimmerman, aka Bob Dylan).

The proximity of the deadline (plus my atrocious work in process queue) imposed minimalism: voice and guitar, recorded in quite hellish circumstances. In fact, there was a moment the day before the deadline, where I told myself "Do I really want to try? What for?". But I forced myself to finish, even with all the stains and imperfections and mud, because 1) the alternative was increasing my pile of half-finished stuff, and 2) I wanted to launch something quick as a way to get an overview of all my processes, by running something through them from beginning to end.

The result is this song of which I'm mostly proud of the lyrics (ah, where would I be by now without sense of humor...)

Black Sheep Riot, "Empty Roads"

The I Ching book is my favorite fortune-telling resource, I come to it every now and then for guidance, and there is a figure that appears very often, and with a particular intensity: the wanderer.

"He who has few friends is the wanderer". "The wanderer has no home, the road is his home". "The wanderer must be careful to only stop around good people"...

I'm afraid my destiny has a lot to do with this description, and I wrote this song around that concept, together with Edgar Allan Poe's "All I loved I loved alone": the "roads" I'm speaking of are not noisy crowded highways, but the roads for those who like to walk at their own pace and sightsee. Many of the things I love are not popular anymore, and it saddens me to think that the moment I'm not there to love them, no one else will do.

A ternary tempo plus a medieval scale is always an unbeatable combination for an intimate ballad of this kind, as you can see in many i…

Maple Dye, "Coming Back"

This song was born totally by accident; I was trying to find some kind of online buddy to help me with the mixing and mastering drudgery, so I thought it would be a good idea to put together the simplest of songs, maybe guitar and a couple of voices, so we could start with something simple and my collaborator didn't get scared.

Lo and behold, I wrote this song but then I "listened" to that oscillating sound that comes from the bottom in the middle section (I think inspired by an arrangement in Bob Dylan's "Forever young"). And once you "listen" to something, if you're a musician worth your salt, you cannot "unlisten" it.

That effect was very difficult to pull off and the process (together with other mistakes and inexperiences of mine), ended the patience of my mixer collaborator. Aw dang... Of course it's hard to establish binds via internet, speaking of music is like dancing architecture, etc...

As for the song, I'm happy w…

EQ: shaping vs accomodating vs polishing vs who knows what else

As I deepen the knowledge of my processes, I stumble upon revelations that the usual "speaking brochures" of YouTube and the like rarely discuss.

One has been the different uses you can get out of EQ, depending on the context or intention in which you're using it (I guess this works the same way with all of the tools of the trade).

The usual, conventional explanation of EQ would say something like this: it's selective volume. Each knob allows you to turn the volume up or down for a simple "section" of the sound (the most intuitive way to understand it is thinking of those CD players where you can pump up "bass", middle or "treble" independently -simply slice the sound in thinner slices, and that's it-.

What the explanation leaves out is the things you can do with this sound sculpting tool. So far I've found 3 different ways to use EQ, which belong in different parts of my process:

Shaping EQ: this one is used in the "FX" pa…