I have this really bad habit of getting in my own way. Or letting the process get in my way.

I did recently did a pretty hefty overhaul to the systems I have in place that allow me to create music. Some of you creative types will be able to relate: The easier it is for me to get moving on an idea, and the more quickly I can get to the tools to let me document it, the more likely I am to see the idea to fruition.

My solution: Automate, automate, automate.

So now I’ve got a new template set up in my recording software (PreSonus Studio One) and everything in there is curated exactly to my needs, no matter what kind of song I’m writing; whether it’s instrumental, an acoustic song, one of my silly metal covers, or any other myriad of music I feel like writing that day. All the levels are dialed in, all the routing is set, and everything is easily accessible, yet out of the way if I don’t need it. And once I’m done writing or recording, I’ve got it rigged up to very quickly go into “mixing mode,” where I can add that level of polish, bringing it from “a demo” to a completed song.

Open software. New song with the template. Boom. 2 steps and I’m in and ready to rock.

As it stands, I’ve got three songs completely written and partially recorded for “Psychophilia,” the next instrumental album I’ve been working on. I’ve got a few other ideas I’m kicking around, and getting out of my own way is really going to let me push these ideas. I know exactly what I want the album to sound like. I have, as a self-proclamation, one of the heaviest right hands in town when it comes to guitar. My left hand is a little stupid, but my right hand is strong. So rather than a shredfest, I’m really pushing for a gooey, vibey, heavy, weighty, somewhat sludgy, but still energetic sound. It makes sense in my head, just… just wait for the rest of the songs to be written. 🙂

I’ve also decided I want to write another acoustic-based vocal album. My last one, The Notebook Sessions was a bit more of an experiment and time-crunch challenge. I wanted to strip back all the production and layers, and write the purest songs I could think of – just my voice and an acoustic guitar. Sonically, for the next one coming up, I want a bit more production behind it. I still want the acoustic guitar to be the focus. I want to be able to perform these songs live, but when you listen to the CD, you might get an extra treat of some strings or a piano behind the meat and potatoes. Or even just some warbly vibey synthy goodness. Maybe a cajon for percussion? We’ll see. I have in my head, right now, a very primordial idea of the sound, but I don’t know the content yet. Stay tuned. 🙂