From idea to recorded demo

Ok, today I’m going to post the first samples from the making of my next album – samples showing how a tune develops from idea to recorded demo. After this, I’ll write more about how the demo develops and what I do before the track is ready for real musicians. This is the first post of a series about the development from the very first demo until the final song is there, and later on I’ll also write about other songs.

Saturday Brunch

The working title of this song is “Saturday Brunch”, guess why … Yes, it was on a Saturday and I had been eating brunch with my family – actually we were still eating, when one of the kids spilled milk on her clothes and the other one needed a dry diaper. My sweet wife said she would take care of it, and that I should enjoy one more cup of coffee – nice. While my wife and kids went upstairs, I sat and enjoyed the morning atmosphere. I picked up my guitar from a chair nearby and started jamming. Shortly after, I had a little groove going on. Two bluesy chords with a tail, some imaginary drums and bass, and I started humming an idea for a theme. I kind of liked this groovy little vamp, but couldn’t find my phone to record the idea like I normally do.

Normally I record my ideas for a son into my phone.
BTW: this is a sreen dump from my phone, so you’re not supposed to play anything by pressing the play button.

I ran to my computer, plugged the guitar in and opened my music program, Logic. While I was finding the appropriate recording level, I started playing and recording the vamp. The first time through, the input level was way too low … oh, oh. I had to give it another shot. I also had to try to figure out how I could include and play the bass notes I had in mind together with the chords. I raised the input gain and I tried one more time. Take two … “Hmm, kind of ok” … well, my timing sucked but I knew that I could recognize the idea from this take. Then I could hear my wife and kids approaching the staircase heading downstairs – I had to speed up. I definitely wanted to record the melody line I had in mind too, but I was running out of time. The next recording was on a second track, so I could hear the chords I just recorded together with my next recording – the scratch melody. Running feet in the hallway, happy kids approaching the dining table … I got the chord progression and my theme on my hard drive (thank god for Logic and laptops), and I was ready to press “save as” … Save as? “Saturday Brunch” …  “Hi kids … do you want more milk?” – I was back to “real life”.

Now you heard about the scenario, so maybe you understand why I didn’t worry if my timing in the basic recording wasn’t flawless, and why I didn’t care that everything wasn’t in the pocket – it makes it a little easier for me to upload these scratch files.

All files on this blog are purely uploaded for visitors of this blog to listen to – no one is allowed to share or use these files for anything without a written permission from me. I expect you will respect that and hope you will share the link to my blog with a lot of your friends if you want them to hear this – thank you.

Saturday Brunch files

First you hear the chord progression – this mp3 is the second take I did that day of the chords, with an acceptable recording level:

And here is the chords from the second take together with my third take … the first and only take of the theme:

When I returned to these recordings, a couple of days later, I liked the groove and vibe of the tune, so I started programming some drums, bass and keyboards, and subsequently re-recorded the guitar theme. In my next post I’ll let you hear that. And after that you’ll get to hear the next stage of the track with Jimmy Haslip and Gary Novak on bass and drums.

’till then I hope you’ll have a wonderful day


4 Replies to “From idea to recorded demo”

  1. Hej Søren. Jag blev så taggad när jag hörde licket, så jag var tvungen att importera klippet i ProTools och lägga en bas. Har skickat den till din FB mail.

    1. Thank you Jan. Glad that this can inspire … and I guess you’ll be even more inspired first with my programmed stuff in my next post, and later on when Jimmy Haslip and Gary Novak are digging deep into the groove 🙂

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