Friday, April 27, 2012

The logotype!

So, this is the world premiere for Fraction of Sounds' official logotype. As I've told you before, Sanna helped me with this. I sent her some sketches and then she did her thing and all of a sudden this logo was born. Thanks, Sanna! I'm very fond of this symbol. If you want the story behind it then all I can say is... There isn't much of a story. I have no idea how I came up with it. I was just drawing things during some boring lecture at the university, and I ended up drawing this symbol over half a paper or so. That's when I realised it would be perfect as a logotype for Fraction of Sounds. Simplicity. Directions. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Headphones, microphone etc

Some pictures of stuff I bought/got delivered yesterday.

* The Zoom H2n recorder. I really like it so far. When I tested it today I really liked the sound (all I've used before is a very shitty mic or the built-in mic (which is also very shitty), so of course this was an improvement). As I might have mentioned before, I appreciate how the Zoom H2n can be plugged into the computer, while it's also portable. You can bring it wherever you want to, and record stuff.

* Headphones. Sennheiser HD 25-1 II. I had been looking at the Shure SRH440 headphones, and went to the local music store to check them out. Talked to a guy at the store, who showed me these Sennheiser headphones. He explained how they are more allround, even if they are closed. Many other closed headphones may not be good for much else than recording, but these are. So to sum it up: if I had decided to buy the Shure headphones, I would have had to buy another pair to use for reference listening and such. I paid $223 for these Sennheiser headphones, which is way more than I initially wanted to pay, but that is still cheaper than it would have been to buy two pairs.

Another thing I can tell you about the headphones is that they fit me really well. They are quite small, which I like (because then they don't look bigger than my head). Maybe it's harder for girls to find headphones that fit; at least I feel like that. When I tried the Shure SRH440 phones, they were really huge and loose over/around my ears. Didn't feel comfy at all.

* I also bought some new strings for my acoustic and electric guitars. I've newer restrung a guitar by myself before, but now I've decided I'm gonna learn how to do it. It can't be that hard, right? I chose some of the cheapest strings for the moment, as I guess at least one of them will pop right into my eye. I just figured that while exercising, the cheapest strings are probably the best. Oh, and I bought that tool (in the picture) to cut the strings, if you didn't figure already.

But you know what I really wanted to say with this all? All that I've bought to complete my simple home studio is the Zoom H2n and those headphones. I paid about $504 in total for those things. Quite affordable, isn't it? So for that sum, I can finally begin recording serious versions of my songs. Songs that might actually end up sounding quite nice. I'm stoked!

Testing my new mic

I recorded this demo preview just because I wanted to try my new Zoom H2n. I'll post pictures of the recording device and my new headphones later.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Logotype coming up!

I've been pregnant with Fraction of Sounds' logotype for quite a while now. Carrying it around, not sure what to do with it, really. Then I finally asked for some help, because let's face it: Illustrator doesn't love me. I don't love Illustrator. However, my friend Chris (who makes great music, by the way) has a girlfriend called Sanna, and Illustrator loves her. Plus, she seems to love Illustrator. That is fantastic. Right now, she's helping me with the logo. Delivering it. I just sent her some sketches and now she's doing a great job bringing it to life.

The picture above is a sneak preview. The final thing will, of course, be posted as soon as it's finished. 

My classical guitar

This is my classical guitar. I bought it back in 2005 for like $177 or so. It's a Cort. Nothing fancy but I really like it. It's shiny and pretty and very nice to play. And also, I've added some perfect Almost stickers. One of them (the dollar) is actually from New York; I got it with a couple of jeans I bought. The second one is something I think I got from Ryan Sheckler back when I was a fangirl and got some stickers and signed posters through mail (snail mail, remember those times?). That was in 2004 or so, when I was just a pubertal kid.

Now that I've bought a new guitar, I don't know how much I will use this older one for recording and stuff. But maybe it will fit in some songs. Perhaps in the background. Now, the only instruments you haven't seen are my electric guitar and my tiny melodica. Stay tuned for those!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Ordered a microphone

Yesterday I ordered a Zoom H2n recorder. At first I had decided to buy the H2, not the newer H2n. But then I saw some YouTube videos, for example this and this, and decided that it's probably worth spending some more money on the newer and better microphone.

Some people may wonder why I don't just buy a "normal" microphone to record with. Well, the thing is that I really like the portability of the H2n. You can bring it wherever you go. Record sounds and noises from everywhere. I think the H2n will be a great recording device. I can plug it in right into my computer (it connects through USB) and use it to record right into Logic. Or, I can record anywhere I want to, using the memory card. Pretty great, huh?

I bought the H2n, including an accessory pack, for about $281 (that includes postage, too). At first I thought about purchasing it from another country, because I would've saved some money that way. But then I figured that if it ever breaks or something, it's much better for me to be able to return it to a Swedish store. However, I'll post some pics here as soon as I get the device!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Idea #1

Just an idea I came up with.

Headphones #2

So, I asked a couple of friends about headphones. I was recommended to check out Shure SRH440. They're affordable and the quality is supposed to be great for that price. I'll make sure to visit my local music store and try them on.

Also, I was told that closed headphones is what I should have when recording guitar/vocals. Just thought I'd share that with you all.


I need to buy some headphones in order to be able to record my songs. The only problem is: there are tons of headphones out there. Closed, open, semi-closed. It's like a whole world, and I have no clue about anything in that world. Some people even claim you should have two pairs of headphones (one for listening and one for recording, if I've got it right?). That's too expensive for me, though. I really like the look of these headphones:

AKG K-240 Studio. I find them quite pricey, though. They're €98 (or about $128). To me, that's pricey for headphones. I guess buying more expensive headphones is worth it, though. (And yes, I realise these are not pricey for the "experts" out there. But I'm a student. Every penny is precious to me.)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sloppy version of Here

I want to buy a Zoom H2 recorder, because I've heard many good things about that one concerning recording music and such. Seems like it would be a great choice for me and my recordings. However, I haven't got one of those yet. I think I'm gonna buy one through Ebay, because it's pretty expensive in Swedish stores. So I guess I have to bid on one and hope for the best.

Since I don't have that recording device yet, I can't begin with recording "real" versions of my songs. That's why I decided to share a sloppy version of Here meanwhile.

Here are the lyrics:

My words would be the only truth
Stuck on poles in the street
Stickers cover my whole body now
I’m marked down to my feet

Paper stuck up in my nose
Papercuts down my throat
Scream emotional kid
Read your book, do your work
Follow no one but borrow all the words

And you’re far from here
Pretend to care for me as I see
I’m the only one left here

And I read about you in the paper
It said someone took your place
And he’s better
And he’s better
Than you

And you’re far from here
Pretend to care for me as I see
I’m the only one left here

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

This One's for Kafka

My new guitar

When I had decided to spend my last money on things I need for recording, I bought a new acoustic guitar. It's an Ibanez AEL40 that I got for about $296. It's used; I bought it from some guy who didn't need this guitar anymore. It has a built-in tuner and I can plug it into my electric guitar amp. Pretty sweet!

I have two more guitars. One acoustic and one electric. I'll make sure to get some photos of them and post here as soon as possible. My electric guitar isn't the best, but it works for me. I'm thinking about buying some new, more expensive strings for it. That would probably help a lot.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Maybe I will inspire you?

This blog is here to document my process, as I wrote yesterday. But I just realised it might also inspire other people to write and record their own music. Here's the thing: I know nothing about music, theoretically. I can't read notes. I must have a tuner to tune my guitar. I don't know stuff about scales or anything. I just play music. When I hear something I like, I take it from there. For example, I have to actually play the guitar to come up with combinations of chords. I can't figure that out in my head. 

I don't know anything about recording or studio work. I just recently learned that some people connect audio interfaces to their computer in order to record vocals or instruments. I'm no expert when it comes to audio recording software. For quite a while, I've felt that Audacity is enough for me, but now I'm trying to learn Logic Pro 9

My point with all this is that if I can write and record songs, so can you. If you don't want to play an instrument, use instrumental loops from programs such as Garage Band or Logic Pro. Create the music that you want to hear. Fuck everyone who doesn't like the music you write. Fuck everyone who says you do something the "wrong" way. There is no wrong way when you created it yourself. Play chords "wrong" or sing out of tune just to make those people angry. It's your music. You decide what's right.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Regrets To Zero/Superhero

A demo recording I made years ago.

Here we go!

Hey! This is my first post here. With that in mind, I might as well introduce myself and this blog. My name is Bea but while I play/write my own songs I'm more known as Fraction of Sounds. It's not a band. It's just a project consisting of me, my thoughts and my guitar. Sometimes other instruments or whatever I might find.

I started Fraction of Sounds back in 2006, and I've been on MySpace since that year. Then I created a bandcamp site, and now this blog. The purpose of this blog is to let people who are interested in my project follow me while I create my music. I have realised I might not get a job this summer (getting a summer job is difficult in Sweden), so I thought I might as well create more music and maybe even record some sort of EP. All my saved money will probably be spent on this project. But hey, why save money when you can do something fun right now?

I've already recorded a few demo songs. Some of them can be heard on bandcamp or MySpace. However, this summer I will try to record more "serious" versions of my songs, and maybe also some covers.

You should follow this blog if you want to hear about every step I take until I have finished my demo/EP. I will tell you about all the equipment I buy, all the demos I record and all the new chords I learn on my guitar. I'll definitely tell you about everything I learn about recording stuff and promoting Fraction of Sounds. I will do my best to post videos and audio clips regularly.

"Do more of what makes you happy." I recently read that somewhere. That's when I realised that if I don't record my songs now, it will never happen. Nobody else will do it for me. Let's get started!