ZalakaWala - Electric Jams Vol. 1

A technical journal from a hand written log. Pretty boring, mostly just random tech drivel.

2016-01-02 & 2016-01-03 Home

Made pre-production notes on 6 songs [separate from this log, on song structure, tempos, instrumentation and production ideas]:

-Blues for a Half-Vulcan
-Thanks, Les
-Glam a (brit glam)
-Glam b (slow prog)
-Deep Dog Jam
-Bialystok and Beyond

2016-01-04 Home

Sampling drum sounds from Vermona into SP-202 - great lo-fi distortion. Opened a Pro Tools sample collection session for QSO [original project name].

2016-01-13 Studio

Drums for Deep Dog Jam - 128 BPM. Kick + Snare to Zoom H2 & iPad ClipMic. Click from iPhone.
Result: 9 minutes of horrible drum whacking. 1 broken stick. No touch whatsoever… Hope something comes out of heavy editing.

2016-01-13 Home

Editing done in Pro Tools. Doubled the kick & snare with lo-fi samples. Now it’s time for some cowbell.

2016-01-14 Studio

Drums & percussion done. Now some guitars.

2016-01-14 Home

Recorded basic guitar (Gibson Les Paul Deluxe P90 Goldtop) thru Yamaha THR-10X into GarageBand (both amp & DI). Next reamping test. Or first double the gtr?

2016-01-15 Home

Doubled the first gtr with Gibson Firebird 7 thru THR-10X (Brown II) to GarageBand (amp + DI) to be reamped. Edited in PT.

Now for the bass. Gibson SG bass w. SansAmp Bass Driver DI box. Into Record/Reason. Edited in PT.

Hmm… Reamping, B3, synths etc. to do. And solo guitar, too [it got finally done properly a year later…].

2016-01-16 Home

Started with glamrock a (120 BPM). Drums in Reason. Built a custom kit in Kong and drove thru Pulveriser into Pro Tools.

2016-01-18 Home

Played basic glamrock guitar (Gibson Johnny A Standard Goldtop Bigsby) thru THR-10C into GarageBand (amp + DI). Editing in PT / MacBook Pro). A tough one to find the right gtr for the job. And the cold & dry climate does not help keeping in tune. Outro chords with the Schecter Sustainiac.

2016-01-19 Home

Added some Falcon acid arp. Synth, that is. And some “strings” and “vibes” with Reason.

2016-01-20 Home

Added some more synth stuff w. Falcon.

2016-01-22 Home

Glamorous Part 2 (88 BPM).
808ish drum set construction and programming with Kong. Added some Pulveriser, of course.

2016-01-24 Home

Recorder basic guitars to GarageBand with THR-10X. First amp + DI with the Gibson Johnny A, and then doubled it with the Gibson Les Paul 58 Lemon Burst reissue, edits in PT. Well, it’s basically just 4 chords, A(-3)-C/A-D/A-Fmaj7 repeated with some variation. The Johnny A is amazing - once you get it in tune, it’s solid all around the fretboard!

2016-01-25 Home

Added Grendel drones via Balance/Reason. Will need some serious distorted reamping, though…

2016-01-26 Studio

Reamping test on 3 songs / basic guitars.

1. Deep Dog Jam (where did that title come from?):

GTR1 L: Tone King Falcon + Red Jasper
GTR1 R: CreamSound + Mastotron

GTR2 L: Falcon + Mastotron
GTR2 R: CreamSound + Red Jasper

2. Glam 120:

GTR1 L: Falcon + Mastotron (+Echo Farm RE-101 187 ms)
GTR1 R: CreamSound + Red Jasper (+Echo Farm Boss DM-2 203 ms)

3: Glamorous Part 2:

GTR1 L: Falcon + Mastotron
GTR1 R: CreamSound + Red Jasper

GTR2 L: Falcon + Red Jasper
GTR2 R: CreamSound + Mastotron

2016-01-27 Home

Happy birthday to me…
Replaced all the crappy basic gtrs with software synths with Falcon (PX Apollo) and Reason (Korg Mono/Poly, Retron & Mello T). All went to Pro Tools, with effects.

2016-10-28 Home

Added an obligato and some bass bubble with Reason Mello T & Falcon.

2016-01-29 Studio

Recorded Hammond B-3 to these 3 first songs. Drones, mostly. And cymbals for Deep Dog Jam [no use]. MacBook Pro - Reason - Balance - Milab mics. Edits in Pro Tools.

2016-01-29 Home

Glam 120 bass. Gibson SG bass thru SansAmp DI to Balance/Reason. Edits in PT.

2016-01-30 Home

Editing in Pro Tools - some fixes. Gotta redo DDJ guitars. Loosen up… (maybe A-part w. baritone and B-part w. gtr). Pretty soon ready for themes & solos and some embellishments. Let’s see how the operation goes on Monday.


2016-02-16 Home

New guitars for Deep Dog Jam (gotta rename it soon). First Gretsch double neck baritone (1 oct lower) thru Okko Basstard to Vox Night Train to AxeTrak isolation cabinet to Balance/Reason. Then some connection buzz for the outro fade. And finally the new guitar part. All parts done in one take, editing in Pro Tools. Nice sounds.
Decided to skip the baritone gtr and use the Gretsch Synchromatic track only.

2016-02-17 Home

New intro & ending to Deep Dog Jam.
Collecting beat box samples for Thank you, Les (working title). And created a “jazzy” loop. Recorded gtr with my Gretsch Synchromatic thru Vox Night Train and AxeTrak into Balance/Reason. Also did a “walking bass” track with Arp Odyssey - just by playing random notes. May have to skip that because of the comic effect. Editing in Pro Tools, as usual.


Got my brand new Marshall 1974X. Sweet…

2016-02-21 Home

Played some funky guitars for Glamorous 2 with my white Strat. Straight into Balance/Reason. Edit in PT. Probably no use…

2016-02-22 Studio

Tried soloing on ”Les”. First with LP Deluxe & Marshall, then the Kossoff replica. Even with a Tele. Not good.

2016-02-22 Home

Then the same thing with my 70’s tribute SG and the Johnny A. My fingertips hurt.

2016-02-23 Home

Recorded solo guitar for “Les”, eventually with the Fender Super-Sonic (sorry, Les). Because of lighter strings (009’s I think) and reach. My other guitars tend to have 011’s and this track needed a bit easier touch. Super-Sonic to THR-10X and Pepper (to be reamped) and to Balance/Reason via Shure SM-7/DI. Edit in PT.

2016-02-24 Home

Some final touches (the ending) and edits for the solo guitar. Also doubled the guitar chords with the UVI Falcon.

2016-02-24 Studio

From Reason, first played the solo guitar part to Marshall via MXR Dyna Comp and Free The Tone Red Jasper. Then the same with Falcon (the amp). Both recorded with a Sennheiser 421 and a Shure SM-81 to Balance/Reason/Mac. Also recorded the beat box tracks (2) separately thru Falcon. Then re-recorded the key part thru the Leslie Cabinet. Ditto with the drum machines.

Oops, reamped the wrong guitar track, a previous edit. Just redo it, idiot!

Still to do: Les Paulish double speed end licks & space synths. New title: “Sorry, Les”.

2016-02-24 Home

Played basic bass notes with Falcon (the synth) into Pro Tools, just to hear the chords better. Also, it became more ‘japanese’.

Added some Vostok space noises. Extensive effecting in Reason (I love Pulveriser). Demo mix #3. Title “Sorry, Mr. Paul”.

2016-02-25 Home

Recorded “Les Paul” ending lick with the R8 Les Paul Lemon Sunburst. Straight into Balance/Reason. Editing - surprise - in Pro Tools.

2016-02-25 Studio

Mixed the first Q.S.O. song. “So Sorry, Mr. Paul” both full mix & background mix. 2’55. 24 bit/16 bit/MP3 files. Sounds good on the iPhone 6 Plus speaker…

2016-02-26 Studio

Had to fix yesterday’s mixes, found a tiny mistake. Then recorded tambourine (my first one, the orange, from the 70’s) to Deep Dog Jam. One take, then some PT editing. In glorious stereo.

2016-02-26 Home

Gibson Firebird V to Vox Night Train - AxeTrak - Pepper DI (via Okko Basstard, of course). Played some horrible amateur slide guitar. Hope to get a lick or to from the 4 takes.

2016-02-28 Home

Slide edits in PT - not promising.

2016-02-29 Home

Dug up 5 BG tracks i made around year 2000. Some crap but some really exciting stuff. May use two or three songs. A Bit old fashioned loop based sound, but probably updateable. Opening 16 year old files was exciting. Got them opened in Pro Tools after some juggling.

2016-03-05 Home

Recorded baritone chorus theme (Gretsch - Okko - Vox - AxeTrak) into Balance. Amp & Di to be reamped in studio. Also some verse guitars with the same amp setup, but probably no use for those.

2016-03-05 Studio

Reamping the baritone and recording ‘whacka’ and basic guitar track thru Leslie speaker. That works well, but the baritone reamping is not quite good enough yet.

2016-03-06 Home

Reamped verse guitar into Vox - Hail Talk Box - Balance/Reason for doubling.
Played themes with various Falcon synth sounds. Effected them in Reason with Pulveriser & Tape Echo. Did the same to some other original tracks.

2016-03-07 Home

Re-recorded the first verse guitar w. pink Tele neck pickup to Dyna Comp - Line6 FM4 - Red Jasper - Vox - AxeTrak into Balance/Reason. Also, using the bridge pickup, recorded the last chorus guitar, with much more gain.

PT editing. And ready for mixing.

2016-03-07 Studio

First mix of “One”. Had to forget the chorus guitar. Mixing took a few hours. Some fixes to be done.

2016-03-08 Studio

After a pretty long workday, I took 1.5 hours to finalize mix #2. Pretty good. And like yesterday, Pro Tools HD crashed twice. LOVE/HATE it.

A very long break.


It’s been a while, but now there’s snow on the ground again. And my buddy turned 50 today!

Starting with “Bialystok”, ‘my first masterpiece’ (I was 14-15 perhaps), in G, 184 BPM in 3/4.

Home: Basic beat from Reason factory samples in Kong, into Pro Tools.

Studio: Recorded basic Rhodes bass riff in octaves into Reason via Balance gtr input.

Home: Rhodes editing in PT. Bass (SG) rec to Reason/SansAmp DI/Balance. Edits in PT.

2016-11-05 Home

Put some things together for a more ergonomic ‘home studio’. Recorded basic riff guitars amp & DI into Reason and edited in Pro Tools. The red Strat & red SG - no use.
Then made several synth tracks with Falcon/Apollo libraries. Mangled some modified presets further with Falcon FX.

2016-11-06 Home

Redid the drum groove in Reason, and many more synth tracks. Came up with the slow theme and basic song structure. Then some noise from the Yamaha CS-60. And then redid the beat again.

2016-11-07 Home

Added the ‘oriental reggae’ synth with Falcon/Apollo into Pro Tools.

2016-11-12 Home

Composed a new track, no name yet [Apparatus 2]. It goes in 11/8. Nice weird theme. Came together in about 10 minutes. And actually I changed it to 21/8 (11/8 + 10/8). Prog.

2016-11-13 Home

Basic riff with synth for reference, and demo beat as well. Recorded the Arpeggio guitar with my Gretsch Synchromatic into Reason (amp & DI). Edited in PT, kept the DI only for reamping.
Also into Reason the bass notes with Yamaha CS-60. Every consequent note really out of tune, but doubled it for L/R, which usually makes the thing ‘in tune’. Also some rhythmic & tonal arpeggiators with Reason Mono/Poly. With Reason Rack Extension FX, some quite nice.

2016-11-15 Home

Gotta cut my fingernails. Redo the guitar arpeggio with the Gretsch (unwound strings). This time DI for reamping and a AKG contact mic somewhere on the gtr body. Well, that’s the plan anyway.

2016-11-19 Home

Have been rearranging my home studio for a couple of days…

2016-11-20 Home

Redid the drum part in Reason (Kong with custom sound set + Pulveriser + delay) in PT. Also redid the riff synth double with Reason Re-Tron piano+bells. And pulverized it, of course.

2016-11-21 Home

This was a tough one. Recorded the theme/solo guitar. So much trem. bar that tuning and playing was a challenge. Many many takes & edits. Played my c-blue Strat. DI signal to Pepper and to demo amp (THR-10X) thru Morley Wah, Line6 M5 distortion via Shure SM7 into Balance/Reason. All edits in PT. Hope it will be fine when reamping.

2016-11-22 Home

Some gtr edit tweaks in PT.

2016-11-22 Studio

Marshall & some pedals for reamping into Balance/Reason. Mics Shure SM7 & Sennheiser 421 (which will not be used). Tried first this pedal order: Dyna Comp - Red Jasper - Morley Wah - Line6 M5 ‘screamer’. Then my precious Dyna Comp broke!!! Battery change - no help.
Then for another order: M5 ‘boost comp’ - Morley Wah - Red Jasper. Better. Also recorded the arpeggio guitar thru M5 and Red Jasper. All guitars recorded with wah movement.

2016-11-22 Home

Came home with the amped tracks and fed the solo gtr thru Dyna Comp (it worked!) and Morley to GT-100 5150 amp sim. Then transferred the needed files into Pro Tools. Some editing with the solo guitar and then created the song structure. Modified some sounds. Put the guitar thru SansAmp and Air Fuzz-Wah plugins. Don’t know how many stages of distortion it has been processed thru - maybe 9-12.
Added my favorite delay plugin (Primal Tap) for some tracks and mixed on my Mac mini [turns out it does not have enough processing power to do it without weird glitches].

2016-11-22 Studio

Added my normal mastering chain for bounces (had to redo the drum track, because after all the multi-band compression, the ‘cricket’ became way too loud.
So, the end and start were easy. 10 minutes on composing, 15 minutes on mixing, but lotsa work in between recording and editing the lead guitar.

2016-11-24 Home

Tried several, well, numerous Reason effects for “So Sorry, Mr. Paul”. Eventually decided to run the mix thru “Audiomator” to achieve a more lo-fi, cheap radio kinda sound. Also, some fix attempts on “Apparatus” (working title). Then to master them in the studio.

2016-11-24 Studio

Finalizing “Apparatus 2” and “So Sorry, Mr. Paul”. 24 & 16 bit & MP3 versions plus background mixes.

2016-11-26 Home

Re-arranging the home studio again…

2016-12-27 Home

Re-processed the duduk sample in “One”, in Reason. Have to redo the mix, also to get guitar more obvious in the first verse.

Also made some beats for “Blues for a Half-Vulcan”. And also another untitled blues jam. Just 2 guitars and some strings chords [maybe later…]. Recorded basic guitars for “Vulcan” and “Yet Untitled” and also some Electro-Harmonix Electric Mistress noise (hommage to Todd R.).

And just as I’d finished editing “Untitled” in Pro Tools, I read that Carrie Fisher had passed. Gotta name it “Blues for a Princess”, now.

2016-12-28 Studio

Re-amped guitars for “Yet” & “Vulcan” with the Falcon red combo, with Dyna Comp, Mongoose Fuzz & Red Jasper, into Balance/Reason. Used Sennheiser 421 & AKG 535 mics. “Vulcan” does not work. “Yet” isn’t that great. I have a headache.

2016-12-28 Home

Doubled the “Vulcan” bass line with Reason Mono/Poly and remixed the drum beat to a more peaceful one. Lotsa low-end stuff fighting against each other. Spinal Tap. Let’s see how that will be fixed.

2016-12-29 Studio

Have to redo “Yet Untitled” basic guitar - this time live, no reamping. Gibson Johnny A + Tone King Falcon with maybe some Dyna Comp and/or Red Jasper. Three mics, one close and two for stereo ambience, further away. Still have the headache - and I never have headache.
Used an AKG 414 about a foot from the combo, slightly tilted. And two Milab condensers about 9 ft. apart, in a triangle array. Into Pro Tools HD thru Universal Audio and Focusrite preamps. A duller guitar performance but a more acceptable sound.
Also fixed “One” - quite a drastic lift for the first verse guitars and a slight adjustment to glockenspiel panning. Had to forget about the duduk fix. The process became a mess of errors all around. Still headache.

2017-01-01 Home

Recording theme/solo guitar for “Vulcan”. Les Paul Deluxe GT w. P90’s. Probably the only time during these sessions that I use the bridge pickup on any guitar. Thru GT-100 ‘Clean Sustain’ modified preset. It’s so difficult to play without distortion! After about 20 takes had to stop because fingers hurt and brain melted. Time for the annual tomato soup. Another dozen of takes but it’s not happening.

2017-01-02 Home

With the same setup but with the Schecter Sustainiac guitar. Now there’s a sound. Again about twelve takes and my fingers start to hurt [this was supposed to be fun]. Coffee break. And some editing on Pro Tools.

2017-01-03 Home

Once again tried a few takes, but still the sound does not inspire me to play even mildly interesting stuff. But took some pics in fresh snow with the white SG. Infrared and normal color. Then did the Rhodes solo for “Bialystok (My First Masterpiece)”.

2017-01-14 Home

Synth solo for “Bialystok”. Falcon into Pro Tools. Actually just edited parts together from a take I did some time ago. And then to plow the snow from front yard.
Well that was a long day. About 12 hours of playing, recording and editing. Did the guitar solo also. Doubled with the initial THR-10X and a reamped Roland GT-100 version. Slightly in different time to get a nice boxey sound. All editing again in Pro Tools and recording into Balance/Reason. Ready for mix. -20 degrees C outside.

2017-01-05 Home

Another long day fixing things. First added some synth fills to “Bialystok” choruses - maybe stupid. Then about 30 takes of guitar for “Blues for a Half-Vulcan”. It’s so hard to play with a clean sound. After all the editing after playing my fingers tender again, I try a new plugin (amp+room simulator) “Metal Room”, and put it on the clean guitar - suddenly all makes sense after all. It sure sounds ugly, but interesting. The only problem is that the Sustainiac feedback gets a bit too repetitive when suddenly amplified. Hmm…

2017-01-06 Home

Finalizing “Vulcan”. Redid the riff guitars. Now with Gibson SG’s - the Zappa replica and the white 60’s ‘Les Paul’ SG. Both with wah & fuzz. Also made some time stretching FX for the solo guitar to fill some gaps. And two VL-Tone notes. Ready for mixing.
Also added a cool bongo rhythm to “Bialystok”. Played my bongos in the ‘home studio’ area, recorded with a ribbon mic into Balance/Reason and edited/looped in Pro Tools. It messes up nicely with the time signature. 4 against 3. Ready for mixing, too.

2017-01-08 Studio

Mixed “Bialystok” & “Blues for a Half-Vulcan”. Took about an hour each.
Gotta fix “Bialystok” because there’s an issue with multi-band compression not working ideally with the bass riff [never really solved this one, as ‘everything affects everything’].

2017-01-09 Studio

Tried to record the “Glam” intro guitar with the Lemon Burst Les Paul and Falcon, some boost from Red Jasper, into Pro Tools thru Focusrite preamps, one Shure SM7 and a pair of Milabs. But just couldn’t make it happen. Some other day, then.

2017-01-10 Studio

Small fixes to “Bialystok” mix.

2017-01-11 Home

Recorded the guitar intro for “Glamorous”. Blue Strat into Yamaha THR-10X and DI from Pepper, into Balance/Reason, as usual, and then into Pro Tools for editing (and some hum removal in RX5). Might reamp it though.

2017-01-12 Studio

Reamped the intro guitar into Falcon with Dyna Comp & some boost/fuzz pedals. Chose the version with Okko Basstard.

2017-01-13 Home

Played the glam 120 verse parts with my pink Tele, but too 80’s AOR. Gotta come up with a more vintage style. Well, 70’s, that is.

2017-01-14 Home

Recorded the verse guitar, this time with the Gold Sparkle Strat. Better. Tried also the first solo passage, but just a flow of crap. Then the ‘orange’ SG. Still a steady flow of crap. Now sounds pretty OK with the Firebird 7, with wah pedal all the way closed. Gotta try again later.

2017-01-15 Home

Got the verse and first solo done. Firebird & THR10 & Morley Wah & M5 Compressor. And DI from Pepper, to be reamped. Edited in PT.

2017-01-16 Studio

Reamped the Firebird with Falcon, M5 and Morley Wah fully closed, with slight movement. SM7 & 421 mics. Also recorded tracks thru tobacco amps, both Winston & Marlboro.

2017-01-16 Home

Played the “Glam 120” mid synth ‘solo’ with a Reason ‘analog’ synth. Mangled the sounds with Reason Rack Extension FX and further more with Pro Tools plugins. Added a whole bunch of delays all over the tracks. Also some tweaks to the first solo guitar. Next the end guitar solo part.

2017-01-17 Home

Recorded quite a few takes with R8 Sunburst Les Paul - Okko Basstard - M5 Boost Comp. - Vox Night Train - AxeTrak - Balance/Reason. Almost, but not quite right.

2017-01-18 Home

Redid the guitar with the same setup. This is highly unusual, though - I used the bridge pickup [I tend to surprise myself with this one time after time], tone at 5. Further FX in Reason. Also, a drum loop added. And all sorts of tidying and fixing and adjusting and processing. All ready for the mix.

2017-01-19 Studio

“Glamorous Part 1” mixing, took about 2 hours this time.

2017-01-20 Studio

Well, that was sub-standard. It took more than 6 hours mixing it again. Replacing sounds and re-adjusting lots of stuff. Way better now.

2017-01-21 Home

Guitars for “Glam Part 2”. All with my Gibson Johnny A. First chorus & mid theme: Okko Basstard - Line6 M5 Boost Comp. - Vox Night Train - AxeTrak - Balance/Reason. Then the high gain theme: Okko - M5 Boost Comp. (different settings) - Rotovibe - Line6 Filter Modeler - Vox (different settings) - AxeTrak - Balance/Reason. Then to edit in Pro Tools. Hope it’s OK, Hammond sounded a bit weird with the guitar, tuning clashing or something like that. Mucho effect to guitars is Reason. Editing, fixes, add-ons, tweaks ’til 1 am. Long day. Had to stop when Pro Tools suddenly sent a horrible ultra loud scream into my headphones. Weird error thru two busses, Sparkverb & Room 2016 returns (busses 3-4 & 5-6). My ears hurt.

2017-01-22 Home

Some tiny fixes to the mix. Mixed it on my MacBook, no master eq/comp/limiters or anything - I’ll do that in the studio, as usual.

2017-01-22 Studio

Finalizing full & BG mixes. For the end part I took the mix thru Eventide H3000 preset 802 “Awesome Flange” and did some small adjustments. “Glamorous Part 2” - I Like this little prog anthem. And it’s 4:55.

2017-01-22 Studio

After listening thru some systems at home, did the following tweaks: raised the hi frequency shelf for 1 dB - a bit more clarity. Some more distortion to the first theme guitar, less low end. Mid themes a bit lower in volume. Redid the flange part with a more optimal Eventide setting. Moved the bass synth track back by 30 ms. Better.

2017-01-23 Studio

Mixed “Apparatus 2” again, this time at the studio, as the MacBook processing power wasn’t enough. Now a lot softer, more lo-fi mix.

2017-01-23 Home

Some fixes to “Bliss” [must be “Consequences”] - ready for guitar.
Shortened “Deep Dog Jam” (have to come up with a real title soon…) by 40-48 bars, about two minutes. And some FX in Reason. Then prepared “Consequences” for mixing for quite a few hours, till after midnight.

2017-01-24 Home

For about an hour I tried to record my Moog Voyager to MacBook using midi (Roland Midi Interface).
Pro Tools & Reason refused to make it work (yes, I did install the interface driver). Always something wrong. I have three setups at home, everyone with PT/Reason. I had to use the oldest: MacBook Pro (with Firewire) and 002 interface for both audio and midi. The sound I needed was a Tomita sound-alike made by “MM”. Did not have to touch the preset as it was perfect! Editing in Pro Tools and more FX in Reason (mostly bit-crushing). Then some more tweaks for mixing.

2017-01-24 Studio

Well prepared - mixing took only about an hour. Hope it still sounds OK tomorrow.

2017-01-25 Studio

Once again - fixes to the mixes after a night of sleep. Re-arranged bits & pieces. Made it a bit softer to the ear. I just love the “Primal Tap” delay plug-in (I always wanted “Prime Time”, the original, after I used one temporarily more than 30 years ago. Now the beautiful random LFO created a gem to the ending’s ‘consequences’ words - made one of them almost into a question).

2017-01-25 Home
Fixing “Deep Dog Jam” - it’s “Dog breath” from now on. Played organ.

2017-01-25 Studio

Put the organ track thru Leslie speaker. Recorded into Balance/Reason.

2017-01-25 Studio

Reason Pulveriser & Devastator 2 for more ’sound’ for the organ. Then a sound which sounds like a dog breathing (occasionally). It started with an old american Sputnik announcement speech. 6-7 different effects later (actually maybe 12 in total) it sounds nothing like the original and may be used as a rhythmic element. Also added room reverb and delays for the track.

2017-01-26 Home

Made a 16th note synth sequence to “Dog Breath”. Falcon modified preset and then heavy processing in Reason (about 7 FX). Then some guitar licks with my Firebird V, but did not get it in tune, for some reason. Took my Gibson ES-335 - no problems. But gonna do some edits later. 335 - Morley Wah - M5 Boost Comp. - FM4 - Vox - AxeTrak - Balance/Reason.

2017-01-27 Studio

Happy birthday. Recorded a piano intro (composed circa 1974) to “Bialystok” with my Steinway Grand. 2 x Sennheiser MKH-40 + AKG 414 mics into UA & Focusrite preamps and Pro Tools HD.

2017-01-2017 Home

Heavy processing to the piano track in Reason. And then back to PT. The 335 editing in PT and once again heavy processing in Reason.
Might redo the piano.

2017-01-28 Home

And redid the piano many times. First with Reason/Radical Piano, then with Rhodes electric. Then had to kill this darling (maybe the last track?). Also did a test sequence (2 in fact) with the finished 8 songs. The second one is quite OK.
1. One 2. Bialystok 3. Apparatus 2 4. Consequences 5. Glam 1 6. Blues 7. Glam 2 8. So Sorry
Gotta check the gaps and fades.

2017-01-29 Studio

Mixed “To the Rescue” (previously Deep Dog Jam or Dog Breath) in less than an hour. Hope it’s OK.
Also redid “Pointlessness” as the last album track. Once again with the AP-09 Roland tribute. Final track list, total about 43 minutes. Tried a simple solution - 2 sec. gaps between songs. Done!
Now to designing the CD cover.

2017-01-29 Home

Well, the same night I had to redo “Pointlessness” - it just wasn't right. Now piano with lots of FX and reverse bits & pieces. It’s all about the sound, after all…

2017-02-01 Home

Setting up my living room for shooting the CD inner sleeve photo. Chose a photo for the cover. It’s a picture of a flower taken with an infrared converted Fuji X-series camera. Further modified with iPad apps, most notably Tangled FX. Same treatment to the CD image - my late “Half-Vulcan” dog shadow pic.

2017-02-02 Home

Took the inner cover photo and processed it in Aperture with Silver FX NIK plugin (x3). Also shot two slomo videos with iPhone with an macro lens and cheap infrared light. Maybe some use for YouTube. One inside and one outside on snow. Also trying to solve some bureaucratic issues that come with publishing music, and there’s quite a lot of them.
Btw. today’s photo shoot was with an IR-converted Nikon D90 with a Sigma 8-16 mm lens.

2017-02-02 Home

Video for “One”. First took an IR selfie. Then applied various filters in Aperture, FX Studio Pro & various iPad photo apps. 110 different versions. Then made 4 Pics2Mov clips that I should now stitch seamlessly together somehow, because the maximum photo count in Pics2Mov is a measly 61. With 1 sec. transitions that produces only two minutes of material.

Most of today went into experimenting various video apps and techniques to ensure even a small amount of quality. Still wondering how to present square video on YouTube. Settings memo: Pics2Mov (0.8 s.) - SuperSlo (x 0.25).

Most of the time actually went into transfers between Mac/iPhone/iPads. Only iPad mini could process the Pics2Mov video, but was out of memory all the time. And my Dropbox is almost full, too. Damn…

2017-02-05 Home

Well, congrats YouTube, you win. Forget about the square format. Still lotsa experimenting and learning with video stuff. And waiting between Dropbox transfers. Gotta grab my iPad memory card adapter, I guess [or just connect it straight in to your Mac, stupid].
And making a video for “Bialystok” too. Adding glitches and blur effects. Hope it looks a bit cooler. And half speed, of course. So, today’s formula is: Pics2Mov - Glitch Art - BBMe - SuperSlo. Then to MacBook Pro iMovie to add the music track and export options. Processing video on both iPhone and two iPads simultaneously. Editing in iMovie on laptop. Finished videos for “Bialystok” and “One”. Gotta do two more - “Consequences” & “Apparatus 2”.

2017-02-06 Home (7 am)

Shooting an SSL circuit board with iPhone 6 slomo (video for “Consequences”) using UV/IR light. Adding Glitch Art & BBMe FX. Finished.
And then filming in snow with iPhone - Osmo Mobile - Filmic Pro. Processing in iPhone. Hmm…
Finished video #4, for “Apparatus 2”.
4 videos in about two days, really. Not bad. Maybe crap, but not bad for a first-timer.

2017-02-11 Home

Video #5 - “Blues for a Half-Vulcan”. Enterprise NCC-1701.

2017-02-15 Home

Trying to make a better video for “Apparatus 2” by shooting the Sun with an iPhone 6 Plus, macro lens attached, in slomo. Then FX in BBMe and LumaFX. Finished in iMovie.

2017-02-19 Home

Lotsa administrative stuff done. Today I decided not to publish the album only on CD, but streaming and download also. So I opened a TuneCore account. Have to solve all the US tax red tape.
Did YouTube thumbnails for the first 5 videos. Still 4 videos to go - no sense uploading “Pointlessness R”, I guess.
Well, thumbnails for all 10 songs, after all.

2017-02-22 Home

Finished transferring this hand written journal. Next time write the journal straight on an iPad, stupid…

2017-02-23 Home

Taking apart the home studio for now and processing ideas for Vol. 2.

2017-02-27 Home

Uploading 5 videos to the ZalakaWala YouTube Channel.


Took the CD material to the manufacturer.

2017-03-03 Home

Uploading tracks to TuneCore (Switch & Zelda released today!).

2017-03-04 Home

Built this website.

2017-03-10 Home

The download/streaming version of the album has been available on all major services for a couple of days now. Today I finally have all the hardware at hand - CD's, flyers, cards and badges. Hand numbered and signed the first 38 CD's and going to take a batch to Digelius tomorrow.

The new Zelda is awesome. But constant problems with the left Joy Con (seems to be a design error). Nintendo forces us to buy the Pro controller...

2017-03-13 Studio

Official album release date. CD available at

2017-03-26 Home

I've been a huge Zelda fan since N64 (almost 20 years). Top 3: Ocarina, Majora & Wind Waker. But now we have a new No. 1 - Breath of the Wild is the best video game ever! Have played maybe less than half, but I'm confident with this statement. Awesome!

2017-05-25 Home

Have been playing my new favorite guitar for a few weeks now. As I've mentioned before, I adore both Les Pauls and Strats. I really like the strat vibrato (it's not tremolo, folks!), but have a bit trouble with the attack sound of my single coils (wish they sounded like P90's). I bought a Squier Candy Blue Sparkle HH strat and only used the body and electronics (incl. the "zebra humbuckers"). Ripped the neck off my '87 US Strat, ordered some chrome parts from eBay and aged them, including humbucker covers. Added cream tips for the whammy and the pickup selector switch, and Gibson style cream speed knobs. Plus a "brown tortoise shell" pickguard. Wow. It's a beauty, and the sound is magical. Now planning on assembling a strat with three P90's or mini humbuckers - gotta sacrifice one of my MIM strats for that.

Some slightly better photos on Instagram.

2017-06-02 Home

Got the new Fender MIM HH Blacktop strat - not even close to the glorious goodness of my self-assembled beauty, the blue monster. Ordered quite a few parts from eBay for strat HH/P90 pimping.  Also a pre-wired, aged pearl pickguard, loaded with three mini humbuckers, for my gold flake strat - that will look and sound awesome.