Multiple instruments: Recording Originals, Covers or Practice Bits

On the recommendation of @howard , I decided to start a new thread for anyone else who is creating music using bass, along with any additional instruments. I just recently started messing around with a synth, and now also trying to learn guitar.

I know just about all of the songs @Tokyo_Rat posts features multiple instruments and I am sure there are a few others!

This is not meant to be a polished version- just a new tune that I am working on:


Great thread!

I’m originally a synth player and in the past more or less took on a producer role for our band, along with a couple friends kind of sharing that role equally. And recently started getting back in to that as well. I made this cover recently, where I played all the parts - bass, synths, drum programming, and programming the voice via a vocaloid - and I have another about 2/3 done, just waiting on a friend to add the guitar parts.

Overall music production as a holistic whole is what interests me probably more than anything else.


What synth are you using there, @lee_editorial?

I’m really happy with Kilohearts Phase Plant so far. Though for people new to synths I would probably recommend others.

I love this track, that digital voice really fits. (technology has really come along way)
It looks like it could be pretty tedious work though with all of the phonetics. How cumbersome have you found it to be? I would like to find time to experiment with it- but I know currently I’m pulled in a few different directions since discovering guitar. But as the voice technology gets better, it really opens the door to a lot of creative possibilities!

I bought a used microKORG since I wanted something that I could learn with for recording but also could work as a stand alone unit in a live setting without computer.



The vocaloid software has really come a long way. You can make pretty natural sounding vocals with it that already sound way better than autotuned humans do to me.

The gold standard is Yamaha VOCALOID 5. It’s a little expensive and has some restrictive licensing but overall it’s the one to beat.

I’m using one called Synthesizer V, which is still kind of evolving. It’s less expensive but pretty limited when it comes to voice choices. It has a free version, but I plan to buy it once the pro voicebanks are available.

It’s not very hard to program the voices - it’s basically a lot like a MIDI step sequencer. The free version does not have DAW integration, so I just set the tempo to be the same as my DAW project and render the voice track as a big WAV file that I then cut up and position in the DAW. Works pretty well but will be a much better workflow if I pay for the pro version and have it right in the DAW.


And yeah, the voice software has gotten good to the point that the holograms have human backup dancers now :slight_smile:

That’s a computer singing that live, the vocaloid is a projected hologram.

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Another one I am working on, still needs work though:

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Here is the latest effort. Really just started out with me trying to write a simple repeating bass riff (of course all of my riffs are simple and repeating haha).

But in this case I wanted to work on a few things:

  1. Try to use 3 fretting fingers instead of my usual 2
  2. Use at least 2 strings so I can continue to practice my floating thumb technique
    (new to me- just started trying that about a month ago since the Ray has no thumb rest)
  3. Try not to stare at my fretting the ENTIRE time

So in order to do that, the easiest solution was to write something with notes close together so my hand could stay in the same relative position. I tried a couple of takes without looking at all with results not too bad- but invariably, without looking I would eventually veer off slightly left or right and hit a partially ugly sound! (but with practice, should get easier) So in the end, I just compromised in order to get through it smoothly and just tried to avert my eyes away from the neck here and there.

I was able to pick out some similar guitar notes that fit what the bass was doing. However, while running through it a couple of times, a weird thing happened. I was able to improvise a bit by continuing to play nearby notes on those same 2 strings and it magically sounded ok on top of that bass groove. I’m lacking in theory, but it is cool to stumble into some improv territory by accident and come out on the other side.

Last thing I did was to add a little Korg accents.


Today’s effort… managed a couple of chords on the guitar and just built something around that


That seems like a cool start on something!

I’m still not ready to lay my own guitar tracks down yet.


Damn. That looks like a whole lot of fun.


Thanks Eric- yeah I’ve been having fun with more available time since I’m working more at home these days. Trying to add guitar has been a LOT more fun than anticipated- i think simply because if you add reverb/distortion/fuzz/etc it actually makes simple stuff sound :sunglasses: cool

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My friend and I did a thing over in the covers topic:


That really sounds good, @howard . . . :slight_smile:

Nice job and nice video, too! :+1:

Cheers, Joe


Thanks Joe! Appreciate it :slight_smile:

Vocals are terrifying.


Ha! . . . I couldn’t carry a tune if it had two handles! :wink: You did great.

Also left you a thumbs up on the Tube . . .


Thanks for the thumbs up!

My voice pitch is still not good without some help. I had to run the vocal track through melodyne to get where it is (though it wasn’t as bad as I expected.)



Nice track! Congrats on venturing into the vocal realm.

I’m impressed with your production, sounds really clean. (especially the bass tone)
Since I am starting to go further with that myself, I realize it is not easy.

I think you did a fine job with the vocals- I am not familiar with the song, it sounded like it was not a easy style to sing (at least not for me), so that made it more impressive. This makes me want to check out more Joy Division/New Order. From your earlier posts- and from a few others on this forum, my interest was piqued, but just have not followed up with that. (I think it might be right up my alley) I came of age in the 80s but somehow missed out on that specific band.

I have found that one of the most difficult (and unexpected) challenges when trying to sing: I find it very tough when I am first coming in at the beginning or to a new section, to hit the right tone/pitch/key/whatever you want to call it right off the bat. After the first word or two, I can usually adjust and get there- but to come in cold (in a correct pitch) with just the music as a guide leading you up to that part is not easy.


Thanks for the kind words!

You are actually probably way ahead of me on vocals, when it comes to pitch. I am pitch correcting a bit there, and especially at the start of sections - I have the same issues as you mentioned. Though I was surprised that I didn’t need to correct as much as I expected.

For Joy Division and New Order, Procession is actually a good place to start because it’s at the nexus of the band moving from pure post-punk in Joy Division in to New Order’s more electronic/dance style. I love both in different ways.

Another song from the same era that makes a good start is Temptation. We’re working on a cover of it too :slight_smile:

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Speaking of Temptation… :slight_smile:

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