Demoing the new songs - The main Tracktion control screen

Making Demos for the New Album

Trying to spend some time making the new album has been a challenge recently. Work on the day job has gone through the roof and I feel like I’m a bit behind on my (admittedly non-existent) schedule.

Using Traktion 5

But I have now managed to progress a few demos using the excellent Tracktion software on my laptop. Once you’ve worked out how to use it, it’s really simple to record individual tracks and then mix them together.

I’ve got a few preset track settings that I copied over from the recordings from the Life Line album so I don’t have to worry too much about compression and EQ – since these are only demos.

You can see what the screen looks like from this picture.

The main Tracktion 5 control screen
The main Tracktion 5 control screen

I always have a guide drum track (right at the top) of some sort set up so that it’s easier to move the sound clips around later without having to worry about my own variable timing. When I get into the recording studio I may use a click track or I may not – I haven’t decided yet.

The jagged lines on the green and blue backgrounds represent sound files, and the rectangles on the right hand side are the various plugins used to control volume, pan, EQ, compression etc.

New songs

The summer and the early part of the autumn have proved quite productive in terms of progress on new songs. I’ve already started playing ‘Not Like Before’ at open-mic nights – a song that came together very quickly in September. And that has been joined by ‘Got To Be This Way’ – although that’s not strictly a new song, but one that I started about 20 years ago but never finished.

Writing and letting lots of new ideas come along can slow things down though as I seem to have ended up with many part-completed songs when my attention was supposed to be on finishing some.

Demos recorded

So far I’ve recorded or partially recorded the following rough demos to help work out arrangements, overdubs, melodies and harmonies:

  • It’s Only Love (hear it on Soundcloud)
  • Take Your Chance
  • High Time
  • Not Like Before
  • If You Could Only See
  • Rainy Days
  • Shelter (working title)
  • Got To Be This Way
  • Time, Time, Time
  • Marilyn
  • A Storm is Coming (Working Title)
  • Leaving Me Now
  • Only Love Can Be Your Guide
  • A Time To Wonder
  • A New Kind of Love
  • Found Myself (Working Title)

Since I really wanted to keep the new album to 10 songs, I’m already into the territory of having too many for the album. I guess I’ll have to choose the best 10, or the best 10 that go together. Or maybe the first 10 to get finished…

Most of the songs are shaping up to be sparser acoustic numbers than the Life Line album songs, but there will be a few that feature a band of some sort – drums and bass etc.

At the moment it’s unlikely that studio recording will start before the end of the year, but I’m hoping to get started with that early in the new year.


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