Bob Was Here



I do some things; write some songs, cook some food, watch some sci-fi, mess with technology, and live a life. Occasionally, I write about it. That's this.


  • Lazy Tablet Loop

    Lazy Tablet Loop


    I tried things a little backwards (for me) tonight. I wrote the drums (or drum loop in this case) and then built the song around the beat.  I've actually done this before, but not in a few years. 99% of the time I write songs on acoustic guitar.  Nice to remind myself that I am still capable.This is obviously a rough draft.  Currently it is only 1 1/2 minutes.  The fun thing is that wrote the drum loop on my iPad. See the pic above.  It is the Korg IS-50 analog synth.  Really cool app... and i think it was cheap.  LOL.  I added some live performance to the gig (bass, acoustic gtr, keys).  DOWNLOAD HEREWell, I am tired.  Hope you dig this little ditty...  it is sure to show up somewhere on another tune. :)

  • Rework



    I am trying to find a new sound for these tunes.  So, I decided to deconstruct and rework a tune I wrote a few days ago (see, "Moody Take 1).  I messed with drum loops, keys, a new guitar track, and a bass track.  It is hardly recognizable as the same song.  That's probably just fine.DOWNLOAD HEREI may or may not keep this one.  But I definitely think it represents well the direction I am headed.  Anyway, hope you enjoy.  Time for sleep.

  • 12/04/2012

    I didn't write anything tonight.  Well, that's not entirely true.  I did come up with a chord change, but i never got to the recording stage.  I'll take care of that tomorrow.  But, tonight, I was talking to a friend of mine about some tunes from the past... and then I went WAY into the past... listening.  I found this almost forgotten gem that 18 year-old Bob Smith recorded.  It is as good, and weird, as I get.  There are at least three bass guitars in this song, all harmonized.  Granted, Spinal Tap did it first, but here I made it kinda pretty.  I play around with tape speed (one low vocal is obviously a product of that).  And I wrote some awesome lyrics.  I feel comfortable bragging about my past self from 24 years prior... he's not me anymore.... but, I am allowed to feel like a proud father.  LOL.  Honestly, it's a stupid song.  But, a pretty good stupid song.  I am impressed with my young self.  18?  WTF do we know at 1

  • Moody, Take 2 (with bongos!)

    Moody, Take 2 (with bongos!)


    If you read last night's post (and I trust that you did), you'll know that I am writing songs for a new project.  I am writing moody songs for a moody girl to sing (her descriptor, not mine.  LOL)  In any case...this is the second entry.  And, I think I like it.  As often is the case... I wrote and recorded this one quickly.  This time about 90 minutes.  The tune will change over time, but I dig the germ that I have planted.  I tend to listen to these little monsters obsessively for an hour or so after I write them.  I did so this evening.  Sometimes I hate them when I am done.  That's not the case here.  I think I really dig this one.DOWNLOAD HEREThe tune... much like last night, I recorded a single acoustic first, then played essentially the same progression on the second guitar with different voicings.  I didn't have time to add other instruments... cuz it's like 2AM.  So I added a percussion loop.  This time, a tiny bit of bongo. &

  • Moody, Take One

    Moody, Take One


    I am taking on something new.  I'm writing songs for someone else to sing.  Of the hundreds of tunes I've written (I'm not bragging, only a small portion neglect to suck), I've only tried to write for another singer a couple of times.  But, this new project I am a little excited about.  So I am putting in the effort.  I have one directive from my new collaborator... she said,"moody".  So, this is "moody" take 1.  I am not sure if it is moody.  It's nice.  It's slow.  And I am sure that a lyricist could write some moody poetry on top of it.  I could (...again, not bragging.  Not necessarily good poetry.  See previous reference to songs that sucked).DOWNLOAD HEREThe tune... there is so little to say technically.  I wrote a chord progression.  I played it and recorded it at a ridiculously slow tempo (70 BPM).  I then played another track of the same chord change but with very different voicings.  I stuck a rim shot loop undernea

  • Future Shoes

    Future Shoes


    Alright, I'll just come out an say it.  I love this one!  Again, like all others... it's not finished.  At the moment it is just a rhythm track (no leads, no vocals).  But, it is a pretty groovy rhythm.  If Shu is ever to record new music again (and we may), this will be a Shu song.  If not... well then, it's mine dammit!  LOLDOWNLOAD HEREThe tune... I gave myself a two hour deadline on this one.  10:30 PM to 12:30 AM.  That's from the time I started writing to the time I mastered the rough mix.  I wrote a bassline on acoustic guitar and recorded it.  I then built the other tracks around it.  Eventually I added a real bass, but I liked the way it sounded with the acoustic double so I kept both.  There is an acoustic rhythm guitar, a couple of drums loops, and three keyboard tracks.  A real keyboard player would only have needed one, but (as it has been established in previous blog posts) I am no keyboard player.  But gosh darn it, don'

  • War Drum

    War Drum


    I tend toward the cynical and self effacing in these blog posts.  Before I get there, I would like to say that I think this is a really good tune.  And a pretty cool performance.  Okay... that being said.. continue Bob (you cynical and critical bastard!)....._______________________Well... I wrote lyrics.  And a melody.  Both had an actual direction and purpose... so I guess that's progress.  This is probably my fave tune so far of the new ones.  I mean, this is rough.  No doubt.  It was me, a guitar, a mic, a foot stomp, and my hippie idealist/defeatist attitude.  A couple of the other new ones win as far as intricacy of composition and production go.... but this is a better song.  There is a lesson in there i am sure.  But, i am old and tired.  Sick of learning lessons.DOWNLOAD HEREThe tune... not much to say.  I wrote the words and music simultaneously.  I didn't really want to go through the whole rigormaroll of making a multit

  • A Major Song

    A Major Song


    Tonight's song is essentially the A Major scale, harmonized.  A, Bm, C#m, D, E, F#m, G#dim7.  Not in order, that would be boring.  There are some variations in there; a couple of Major 7th's, a couple of Minor 7th's, a couple of 9th chords.  But the tune is essentially every note and chord of A Major.  Not for any particular reason other than I was bored so I started messing around.  For the non-musicians (and guitar players, heh heh) in the house.... the point is that every note, in every chord, is in the A Major scale (A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#).  DOWNLOAD HERENo fancy multi-track production tonight.  I was strumming my guitar and came up with this pretty little tune.  I didn't have the wherewithal to add a bunch of instruments, or even use a click.  I just plugged in the mic and recorded a single mono track.  If I use this one... and I may... I'll have to re-record the guitar track.  But then again... I could always sample it and loop it.  

  • The Needle And The Song Undone

    The Needle And The Song Undone


    If I was feeling Kurt Cobain last night, tonight I was feeling Neil Young.  Fortunately with much better results this time. I did this one fast... really fast.  One hour of writing, recording, and mixing.  Despite that, I like it.  It is definitely rough.  Most, if not all, instruments will be re-recorded. The lyrics are essentially non-existent.  I just wanted to capture a decent melody idea.  These exercises are not about completion, they are about germination.  I might use one or two of the words in the final version.  I think this one will have a final version.  Good tune... maybe. DOWNLOAD HEREThe tune... acoustic gtr was doubled.  One vox track in the verse, a different one in the chorus.  I like the spacey reverb effect there.  It deviates from the obvious Neil vibe of the rest of the song.  The words, will change.  Obviously there is a bass in there (which screws up the second chorus, but is otherwise okay).  Simple drum l

  • Smells Like Middle Aged Spirit

    Smells Like Middle Aged Spirit


    Well, here's something stupid. If I could take the hour back that I put into this, I gladly would. LOL. Alright, it was fun, but pointless. This will absolutely never be a real song. I played my worst Kurt Cobain impression on an acoustic guitar, then ran it through a Sans Amp plugin to make it "rock" (term used loosely here). Added the most innocuous drum loop I own (apparently) and then played a lame bass line, with a pic! Cuz, I figured... if I am going to sound like a bad Kurt... I might as well sound like a bad Kris too.DOWNLOAD HEREI have only subjected you to 1 of the 3.5 minutes that this "song" actually occupies.  So, if you choose to listen, you are only wasting 1/60 of the time I wasted.  Of course, if the universe holds true to previous patterns, this turd will ironically turn out to be my one and only hit.  ;)

  • One Take

    One Take


    It was late when I started, 11:00.  But I picked up the guitar and wrote a nice little ditty that I liked.  So, I had to record it.  Due to the time constraints of sleep deprivation, I presented to myself a challenge: accept the first take of every track.  No matter what.  Once the red button was lit up, I was going to keep whatever I did... and post it.  Well, the results don't suck.  I kept the first take of everything... even bass and keys (which is usually impossible).  You may say, "what keys?".  They are low in the mix, because I suck, and because I did not use the computer to fix any flubs. Total production time, from the first strum (writing the tune) to mix, 2 hrs.DOWNLOAD HEREStill no vox.  I just can't seem to find the desire to write lyrics at the moment.  But, it'll come.  Just happy to be making tunes again.  Anyway... the track; the acoustic rhythm gtr is doubled, one lead gtr, bass, one track of keys, and two drum loops... one of

  • loops and the like

    loops and the like


    So, I was messing around with some drum loops and playing Bass. When I plugged the keyboard in I realized that my PC had somehow forgotten that I have a MIDI interface. More studio rebuilding. Anyway, an hour later I was able to get a MIDI signal. I use an $80 Radio Shack keyboard (pictured) and a $30 M-Audio MIDI interface (also pictured). However, with software like Protools and Reason, shitty hardware is just fine. Besides, I am possibly the worst keyboard player I have ever heard. So don't expect much.DOWNLOAD HEREAnyway... the short little number featured tonight is comprised of said shitty keyboarding, a looped distorted bass line that is a little funky, and Mick Fleetwood on drums. It's true. I mean,he has no idea.. but it is him. I just happened to have a bunch of Mick Fleetwood drum loops on my computer.Enjoy... or not. I can't blame you either way. These are exercises in reconfiguration and reeducation. I'll be writing some real tunes soon enough. Or not. ;)