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July 26, 2010 - Week 5
Welcome to the 5th installment of The Odyssey. On the menu for this week is a pop-rock ballad called "One Day." Please feel free to sing-along. In other Theory news, we're pleased to announce that our new recording studio is up and running! We've jammed a few times in it and can already tell it's going to be the perfect place for us to be able to make a whole lot o' noise (and maybe even a few songs).By SeanThe mood of the lyrics in "One Day" is heavily influenced by the tone and style of Michael's guitar-work. This song is pop dynamite and I felt the lyrics needed to be equally catchy and pleasing. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I never get tired of songs about unrequited love. I, personally, have spent a great deal of time separated by large distances from the one's I love. At the risk of sounding cliche, I admit that there are a lot of sentiments in the song that I've felt in the last couple years. This song is definitely made for sing-alongs....so don't be surprised if Pat asks you to help sing it with us at our next show."One Day" by The Theory of Funkativity Verse: I headed south To make a name for myself And put a few dollars In my bank account Going nowhere In a nowhere town Weight of the world Ran me into the ground I met a girl She stole my heart Promised her We'd never be apart We were so young I was too proud I thought I had It figured out Made a plan With a gambling man Should have known It would end up bad I had to go I should've called It wasn't you It's not your fault You're still the one I want to see In the morning Lying next to me I'll never forgive myself For having to go Want you to know Chorus: One day I'll be back this way To give you that kiss And we'll pretend That we just met Verse: I don't know If there's a man back home But a girl like you Should never be alone I really don't expect You to wait for me But when I Go to sleep I dream of you And I can't believe I can feel You dreaming of me Gives me the strength To keep fighting on When the days are long Girl, someday I'm gonna fix this mess And you and I Can be together again I know we'll never top What we used to be If I do come back I'll never leave I've figured things out I know what I need Become the man You want me to be Only one who loved me Could have let me go So let me be with you And make you whole Chorus: One day I'll be back this way To give you that kiss And we'll pretend That we just met One day I'll be back this way To give you that kiss And we'll pretend Chorus: One day I'll be back this way To give you that kiss I'll find you at our bar So wear your red dress And I'll play our favorite song From when we were kids I'll give you that kiss And we'll pretend That we just metBy Michael"One Day" is as close as I've ever gotten to writing a straight chordally driven song. I came up with the progression one night right before bed. I didn't feel like sleeping so I decided to pick up my guitar and procrastinate. I wrote the entire song in about five minutes starting with the verse. Because the track is relatively straightforward from an instrumental standpoint I wanted to make it feel like it was constantly traveling somewhere. The lyrics Sean came up with form a great narrative, and the story he tells compliments that goal of instrumental development. The verse is a four-chord cycle that begins and ends on the same chord, but every so often the pattern shifts and the ending chord becomes different. Initially this change sounded surprisingly subtle. It was such a natural fit with the rest of the progression that it was almost inaudible, so I made the rhythm diverge in different ways at some of the change points to contribute to the sense of variation and development. The chord progression during the chorus never repeats itself, which is a technique I've been into lately. I like to use static progressions to establish momentum and then exploit that momentum by contrasting the static progressions with moving ones. This isn't something that I'm necessarily conscious of while I'm writing, but it's an effect that sounds good to me so it's been manifesting itself in a lot of my recent compositions. To enhance the narrative feel I also made each chorus longer than the last. Even though every chorus returns to the same musical idea, that idea is expanded upon in each instance.By MichaelThis is one of our rare songs where an acoustic guitar is featured so I can't miss this chance to talk about the engineering behind the acoustic. Usually, when an acoustic guitar is a featured instrument (as opposed to a backing track) an engineer will use two mics to create a stereo effect. This commonly involves pointing one mic at the body of the guitar and another at a point on the fretboard. I chose to use a single mic and pan the guitar for stereo width. That way the vocals get center stage. I use an AKG C414 positioned only a few inches from the soundboard pointing just next to the point of pick impact. My inspiration for the acoustic tone on this song was John Frusciante's studio acoustic version of his album Shadows Collide with People. He posted it for free on his website a while back and I haven't seen it anywhere since. He uses a compressor to squash the attack of the guitar to get that whooshing-in sound that outboard analog compressors do so well. When he strums hard, the initial picking sound comes through, but immediately thereafter the guitar gets significantly. The volume fades back in a moment later. As someone who enjoys a dynamically smooth recording, that kind of heavy, colorful compression is very appealing to me. It's got so much attitude. First I run through an EQ3 where I roll off around 100Hz, apply a low shelf up to 250Hz, and notch out the harshness of the picking in the high-end. All of this goes through the Bomb Factory BF76 compressor. I ignored this plugin for years because it comes free with Pro Tools so I figured it wasn't anything special. Turns out it gets a really warm analog sound similar to the 1176. Those aggressive low EQ cuts cancel out some (but not all) of the bassiness of the BF76 to prevent the guitar from booming. I let through just enough attack to keep the guitar sounding alive before the compressor takes hold, then hit the signal with heavy compression and a slow release to achieve that whosh-in sound.