Personal Musings: (Writing on) The Page

So a weird thing happened to me… With my new laptop being all new it needed to be filled with Stuff. Most of my installers for programs I keep on my external hard-drive as there is nothing worse than needing a program and not having internet access! So while transferring the essentials I notice this interesting looking folder called “Darren’s Recordings”… Did I make that? I think to myself before the rational part of my brain booted me to the face saying Of Course You Did! It’s On Your Drive And It’s Your Name, Fool!!

The rational part of my brain was not wrong. Almost every recording I made between 2001 and 2009 are there. Unfortunately a lot of it is… Frankly crap. A lot of me just messing around. There’s the occasional hint of a song in there but not much. However for every 10 songs there’s actually one really good song. And for every 5 good songs there is one outstanding. Considering my long hair, beard and generally angry demeanour people are usually surprised by the pieces of music I write for myself. When I write something for the band it’s always Teh Metalz \../ but when I write for my own enjoyment they’re usually semi-acoustic numbers. Of course my lead tone is usually my standard Head tone which is all of the distortion!

My best I feel is a piece called (Writing on) The Page. This is a massively personal piece that was written October 2009, 2 years after my little sister had passed away. I was starting to deal with it by this stage but I was still… Well. Not good so I turned to what I could do which was healthy to get some of the emotion out. Thus I wrote this song and -for the first time- had my voice on there. Five tracks of my voice actually. Five different things I needed to say. I managed to find the original files so I know what each of the five things say but I shall be keeping these to myself as they are very personal!

It’s interesting hearing things that are so old. I can still remember writing the majority of the pieces, the feelings and emotions that went into them. I am super proud of (Writing on) The Page but listening to it causes a knot in my stomach, I remember sitting there with my guitar playing this piece and crying. Every take is a single shot, every mistake is left in and there is only a basic mix. No EQ or effects added. It is probably the most raw track I have ever created but also probably the most perfect. I think it captures my emotion of the time perfectly and you can -I think at least- feel the tears. I write music as an emotional response and I really think I nailed it.

This track as well as several more recent tracks are on my Soundcloud over at I’d welcome any comments or thoughts or even shares 😉


That’s the emotional response done so here’s a quick thing I wanted to add onto the end about the technical side of the song. I am so proud of how it came out and it’s the track that made me realise that doing things properly and taking the time to record things properly straight out of the game makes for a much more beautiful song overall. I still have a bad habit of using too many effects but I am a phaser/chorus/reverb lover! The distorted guitar sounds I am especially impressed with. My Digitech GSP1101 has Lexicon reverbs built in and I used that with volume swells and my amp distortion to create that beautiful violining tone that is kind of mystical and almost has a pad-sound tone to it. I could not have made this song without my PRS. To me all the sounds are Very Mike Oldfield, which works especially accurately as I play a Custom 24 in Orange like Mike for the Tubular Bells 2 debut!

Anyway, I wish I could replicate all of these tones again but everything just came together and worked perfectly for this one song. I would say that it is my ‘masterpiece’ for my young self. Now-a-days I create things that are more orchestral but I think this was kind of the start of that because it really has a dynamic and texture that until this point I’d never created…


3 thoughts on “Personal Musings: (Writing on) The Page

    • Totally! Funnily enough a lot of the techniques looked at in your lectures I use now for recording and the piece was recorded not long after Digital Audio Techniques so I reckon you can take a lot of the credit for the quality 😀
      I’d love to get that guitar tone again though, was the sound I’d been hunting for years to achieve! X

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