Guaranteed Failure

I Made a Song in About an Hour

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From 1:13 to 2:19 am on a Friday, I recorded and cut some sounds together to make slightly melodic noises.

I don’t know what most of these knobs and sliders do, but one day I might!

Photo by Nothing Ahead from Pexels

No, I’m not a musician

As you may or may not know, my posts on here don’t really get planned in advance, at least not by a considerable amount of time. While struggling to think of what to write about this month, I thought of some basic lyrics and decided to put them to a beat. I’m no musician, (at least not yet) but I chose to make a song on the fly.

To add to the comment about not being a musician, I cannot play instruments that well. I’m sure my uke is feeling really neglected right now, but I can’t stand to acrtually hear my mistakes on most days. So this song has no instruments unless you count my voice – oh yeah, this was done a capella, baby!

The Context

The lyrics are about not really knowing what to do next and feeling lost (this is pretty clear if you read them below). But I think the context was not just based on making a new post for I think I’m also conflicted about my next choices in life.

The Reason

I’ve been a bit aimless ever since I completed the last assessment for my apprenticeship two weeks ago. Most of the time, I just find myself just sitting somewhere thinking “What comes next?” and returning the answer “I don’t know, I guess you could do anything now.” The chance to do anything sounds amazing, but I just feel stuck. I’m spoilt for choice, so I am anxious about taking any steps at all – just in case I make the wrong decision.

But how can I make the wrong decision if there are no actual parameters? Let me give you an example of my inner monologue.

“I want to watch a show on Netflix.”

“But what about that show on Amazon Prime you wanted to watch?”

“And those ones on Disney+?”

“And what about the YouTube videos you were saving for after your course?”

Asking myself all these questions in rapid succession just leaves me worrying about missing out on something, but then I miss out on everything as a result.

Even small insignificant decisions to the average person, seem like life or death to me. Like they could be the difference between success and failure. Either way, I only managed to be productive and make this song because I wrote a list. Somehow displaying my thoughts on a piece of paper made them clearer to me. An old technique, but tried and true for scatter-brained individuals.

I also realised how much I miss writing things with a pen. It’s the simple pleasures for me. Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.

The Method

I decided Voice Recorder on my PC had the least background noise on my microphone, so I recorded the different parts there. The first recording was the “bah bah dum bom” part, which gave me a beat to keep to. I played that on loop in VLC while I recorded the other parts separately.

The lyrics were improvised in about 3 minutes while recording, which explains their simplicity. By taking a look at my file creation dates (screenshot below), the total recording time added up to about 6 minutes.

A screen clip taken from File Explorer.

The recordings were taken in the order you hear them, and the backing vocals were recorded during the editing stage.

Whoa, I came up with this song and recorded it in a few minutes! Even with the time spent editing, that’s a good turnaround time on an idea for me. I’ve still got song ideas from 3 years ago that I haven’t even thought about recording yet.

Once I had all the parts I was willing to record, I chopped the tracks together in Audacity, changed the gain on the “instrumental” parts, and exported it.

Yeah… I’m not a producer or sound engineer either. I just did my best to line up each part where it sounded best (even if it didn’t sound quite right). I also had a bit of trouble looping some parts in a nice way, but I got it to somewhat work.

A screen clip of the exported file in .mp3 format (I also exported in .wav for the site), marking the end of this little project at 1 hour and 6 minutes.

The Result

And here it is! My magnum opus. My one true success. My attempt at music-making in the wee hours of the morning that seemed like a good idea at the time.

The song I’ve been banging on about called “I Don’t Know What I’m Doing”. Very imaginative, I know. (Check out the genre in the metadata!)

Let’s bear in mind that this was the first take, so it probably could have sounded better with a bit more care and time put into it. Maybe one day I’ll revisit this piece and make it SoundCloud-worthy! And redeem myself for my questionable vocals, audible fidgeting, and haphazard audio editing.

It’s short and rough around the edges, but for just over an hour’s work, I’m proud of myself. It definitely won’t hit the charts – but it doesn’t need to. It just needs to exist and represent my passions, my dreams, and the start of my journey to becoming a real musician… maybe. For now, maybe I should probably work on my breathing techniques because the looping made it seem like I was on my last legs!

Here are the lyrics if you want them:

Cause I don't know, know what I'm doing,
Cause I don't know, know what I'm doing.

I have no idea, 
No, I have no idea.
I have no idea,
No, I have no idea, yeah.

I'm so lost, I can't be found,
I'm so lost, I can't be found.

So can you find me?
Can you find me?
Can you find me?
Can you find me?

You can also find the song on YouTube, where I decided to make some album art to accompany it.


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By Ade

An aspiring creator in way too many areas, Ade loves to try something new, as long as it doesn't interfere with the balance of the universe too much. Trying to take each day as it comes, Ade edits videos for YouTube, occasionally records podcasts, and writes with strange mannerisms to entertain the world.