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Before You Go


Ahh, contemporary a cappella. Been into it since I heard the Whiffenpoofs, Rockapella, and the Nylons in high school. Founded Controlled Mayhem with some other kids at school, then joined the Pomona College Men's Blue & White in college, and was promptly exposed to the House Jacks at a West Coast CASA gathering. It was an eye opener, to say the least. They really got a full rock band sound out of just their bodies, and I was hooked. Due to funding (for equipment) difficulties, my college group never got mics and amps enough to do the really intense stuff. Later on joined a group in San Francisco and another in Florida. Nowadays, it can all be done in the computer, so it was time to try for a one-man attempt. 

Every sound here originates from my body. The bass is doubled down an octave from what I sang and eq'ed to sound more like a real bass, because I'm a tenor. I added a little amp model here, a little chorusing there, echo, reverb... it's not what I could actually reproduce in person if there were 6 of me. Still, I'm happy this turned out so well. Had to do a lot of takes to get the intonation good enough, and almost said screw it I'll use Melodyne. For the record I'm not ethically anti-autotune; it's just another tool. But under a deadline like I was, it actually takes more time to do the editing than it does to do a dozen takes and comp together the best parts of each. 

Oh yeah, and modulating back and forth a major 6th (or minor 3rd if you prefer). Fun. It's what Jonathan Coulton does in the song from Artificial Heart: "Tuscon Still Wants You To Dissolve, Sucker". Allowed me to get a nice big range and mood change when the chorus comes in. I originally had it up a minor 3rd, but that wasn't dramatic enough, so I decided on going up the major 6th. My voice is still recovering.

[Verse 1]
I understand. 
You think that I don't get it, but I do. 
You need your space. 
It's your own hand 
You'll be holding as you lead your heart from me 
To find its place. 
And I wish you all the best. 
I wish you all of everything I couldn't give to you. 
So as a last request, 
While you're searching for yourself, there's something you can do: 

Can we still have the sex? 
You should be on your own, but even so, 
Can we still have the sex, 
Promise me that you'll promise me, before you go. 

[Verse 2]
Can't imagine 
Envisioning forgiveness for breaking me, 
But I would. 
More than ever 
It's ironic how no one can repair me 
Like you could 
So what were we 
If not just a couple spirits in love? 
Can you grant that to me? 
Baby throw me a bone. Speaking of… 


Hush, hush, hush, I know, I know. 
This is my best idea yet. 
Simple, but ingenious, so… 

[Chorus x2]