Tag Archives: 7″

The Skeletal Structures of Songs

“Demos and Our Bright Reflections”

(following Beati Paoli’s songs from inception to adulthood)


here’s the demo:

one of our newer songs, it was just released on the split 7″ & mini-album, “Quid Pro Quo” (buy it here). this was among the first batch of songs that were introduced and worked out in studio, as opposed to the live ‘jam’ style that past songs had been pieced together through.

cecil worked out the basic chord structure and some lead lines ahead of time, and recorded them on a digital 8-track at home (i think i might have been in paris at the time). after he played it for us, we went over it a couple times in rehearsal and then laid some scratch guitar on top of a click track.

once we had the basic structure down, i began working on drum parts and samples. the majority of the rhythms came from our practice sessions, where i would use the frankendrum through effects pedals to get the delays and sounds that inspired the rest of the beat to come together. from there, i programmed a beat over ceci’s scratch guitar using fxpansion’s BFD. i continued to mess around with it until i was happy with the over all feel, at which point i set up drum mics and recorded it on REAL drums.

after the drums were all edited and in place, i used battery to intertwine other drum and noise samples into the existing part. i also created a beat for the bridge section (using broken glass, metal pipes, bass drops and various other fun noises).

while working in the studio, we were also still rehearsing. cecil and ryan were working on tones and new parts for their respective instruments, and greg was working on lyrics and melody.

we recorded most of the bass and guitar parts next, and then everyone took some time on their own to review the latest version of the song and meditate. i had been listening to a lot of liquid liquid at the time and decided that we NEEDED marimba on it. i got to work banging out a mallet part and corresponding synth part, eventually programming them using fm8 and kontakt. ryan converted the lead on the chorus to a sick fuzz bass, and pretended to work on a cello part for the bridge (which was eventually abandoned). cecil, inspired by the cure, wrote a lead line for the bridge, and greg finished tweaking the vocals, inspired by nothing.

that’s about it. during the mixdown, we used various effects to enhance certain portions or the song, but i can’t remember what all was done, so for fear of misstating or leaving anything out, i just won’t say a word.

and here’s the final product (found on “Quid Pro Quo“):


related posts:

Listen to a new Beati Paoli song 5.29.09

Over the past few months, Beati Paoli has been working on new material. They’ve been planning a split 7″ with hip hop artist Aeon Grey that will also include two digital mini-albums (via download cards). the 7″, titled “Quid Pro Quo”, will feature one new song from each artist, and the download only material will be a combination of new and remixed/reworked tracks.

The release party is scheduled for june 19th (at The Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines, IA), but you don’t have to wait that long to get a taste of the new stuff. This friday, 5/29/09, Beati Paoli will be uploading a new song, called “Massive Charm Offensive”, onto their website (http://www.beatipaoli.net) and myspace. I’ll try and upload it here as well.

and just so this post isn’t completely BORING, here’s a sample of the 7″ artwork:
beati paoli quid pro quo album art


related posts:


I honestly believe that Jack Kirby is one of the unsung artistic geniuses of the 20th Century. He’s definitely one of my personal heroes. Though known primarily for his penciling work in comics, Kirby also experimented with other forms, including photo montage and collage. He utilized these approaches both in self-contained pieces and in his comics work. Here are some examples:









Kirby’s collages have also inspired Beati Paoli’s cover for their 7″, out in June.


-AM- Brief history of recordz

Phonograph Cylinder

Thomas Edison created his first phonograph in 1877 but sat on it for more than a decade before finally releasing it to the public in 1888. Edison’s phonographs used cylinders to record and play back music. Consumers could even buy blank cylinders and record themselves at home! For the first several years, the cylinders were not very durable and only lasted for about 100 plays. The customers could then trade them back in for credit. Improvements were made over the years that might be compared advancements made recently in optical discs, from CD to DVD to Blu-Ray. The first cylinders could only handle TWO MINUTES. Later they went up to a whopping FOUR MINUTES. Cylinders were manufactured all the way up until 1929.

Gramophone disc – early years

The flat disc record that we’re all familiar with was introduced by Berliner in 1894. Other companies started to make disc players, as well. The various companies’ products were often incompatible across platforms. Originally, someone realized that music could be recorded on BOTH sides of the disc and suddenly the disc had a true advantage over the cylinder – it could hold twice as much music.

78rpm records

Eventually, the disc became the format of choice and companies finally settled on a uniform speed of 78 revolutions per minute. These records were 10″ or 12″ only held about 4 minutes on each side.

33rpm (12″) and 45rpm (7″)

In the 1940s, it became possible to make the grooves much smaller than ever before. This resulted in two separate approaches. First, there was the 45rpm, 7″ disc. This format was basically the same as the old 78’s but on a much smaller and more convenient disc. The other approach was the 33rpm, 12″ disc, which could hold a whopping 40 minutes of music! In the end, the 33 became the standard for full-length releases and the 45 became the standard for singles.



Early, Hilarious production techniques:

For the first decade or so, molding techniques for reproduction hadn’t been discovered. Instead, artists recorded the same song over and over again. 10-20 cylinders could be produced from each performance, thanks to tubes leading from the recording bell. The disc manufacturers were the first to create molding techniques for mass reproduction, giving them a temporary advantage.

The early days of recording industry were like today’s video game industry:

Each manufacturer decided who and what could appear on their machines. Various formats were not cross-compatible until the 78rpm became the standard. Will video games follow this route?

The birth of the ALBUM:

Before the birth of the 12″ 33rpm record, the max playing time of records was about 8 minutes so, as you might have guessed, EVERY record was a single. The only way around this was to release a collection of several records. The first such releases were symphonies and longer classical works, released in collections of up to 20 separate records. These collections were often sold in, or at least stored in, album books much like photo albums. Practically every 33rpm record contained as much music as the old album collections, so the term ‘album’ carried over. For the first couple of decades of 33’s, most albums were compilations of various singles and hits. Classical and jazz were the first genres to widely record long programs specifically to be released as albums. Rock and country were really slow to pick up on this concept and the non-compilation albums didn’t become widespread until the late 50s, right before the Beatles and Beach Boys came along.