Archive for the ‘General Info’ Category

Still Alive…

Posted by on July 31st, 2015

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Things have been quiet here for a while, due to some personal life stuff superseding everything else.  Rest assured, we’re still alive and rocking!  New songs are percolating, and plans for world domination are still in place.  Look for us on the live stage next month!

Empty Spaces

Posted by on December 12th, 2014

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You may have noticed the blog entries have slowed to a trickle recently.  Life intervenes sometimes, but Chameleon Red is still alive.  We’ve begun writing new material for the next album and exploring alternatives for live performance.  Meanwhile, here’s a nice recent review of Skeleton Crew–you’ll have to scroll down toward the bottom of the article.  And happy holidays!

Chameleon Red (Goofy)

“Weird Al” #1!

Posted by on July 25th, 2014

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Polka down with your bad self.It’s the end of the world as we know it…”Weird Al” Yankovic has the #1 album on the charts!  I’ve been a fan of Al ever since seeing his first video on MTV–it was “Ricky”, the “I Love Lucy”-themed parody of Toni Basil’s “Mickey”.  He’s had a remarkable career since then, outlasting most of the bands he’s poked fun of over the years, and I think it’s great that he’s topped the charts with his latest album, “Mandatory Fun”.  Check out his eight videos from the album and then GO BUY IT!  Long live Al!

http://www.weirdal.com/

Random News

Posted by on February 14th, 2014

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Happy Valentine’s Day!  Here’s a little of what’s going on in Chameleon Red land right now.Skeleton Crew Video Still

  • We got a good initial response the the “Skeleton Crew” video, including several Facebook shares.  That’s encouraging!  What?  You haven’t seen it yet?  Watch it now, before it’s too late!
  • We have hit #6 on the local rock charts on ReverbNation (though we’ve slipped back to #10 now).  Don’t know what that means, really, but it sounds cool.
  • We’re getting airplay on Jango radio.  Don’t know what that means, either, except that people from across the globe are listening to us.
  • We have signed on for a four-month radio promotion campaign, targeting independent and college radio stations across the U.S.
  • We have another live show scheduled for the near future.
  • The video for “Impatience” is in the works.
  • We’re starting to write some new material.

Whew!  Who knew we had that much energy?  Seriously, though, it’s exciting to see things happening.  Thanks to all who listen to and support us!

And the album title is…

Posted by on May 17th, 2013

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Recording "Revolving Door"Skeleton Crew!  Yep, we finally decided on a name for our upcoming second album, taking from what will be the final track.  It seemed appropriate in a number of different ways.  We’re putting the finishing touches on the music right now; the recording process has been delayed somewhat by allergies, throat problems, and life in general, but we’re getting close to the finish line.  Personally, I’m really excited about the music.  I think it’s definitely our best work so far, and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Auto-Tune

Posted by on April 26th, 2013

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Alfalfa SingingAuto-Tune is a particular brand of software (there are others) that can alter pitches in a vocal performance.  In a nutshell, it’s like “Photoshop for human voice”, as Time journalist Josh Tyrangiel put it.  It can correct a sharp or flat note so that it is pitch-perfect.  It’s also used as an effect to make a vocal sound somewhat unnatural or robotlike–the first notable instance of Auto-Tune used in this way was Cher’s “Do You Believe” back in 1998.

Auto-Tune is much used in pop (including pop country) music these days; most of the time it’s pretty obvious because the vocal sounds too perfect.  Interestingly enough, it’s difficult to get the robotlike effect unless the pitch of the vocal is way off; this of course makes one wonder how many pop stars can actually sing these days.  It’s also notable that Auto-Tune can be used in live performances as well as recordings; some artists have admitted to using it in this way as a “safety net”.  Auto-Tune could even make Alfalfa sound like a perfect singer.

Compression

Posted by on April 5th, 2013

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Compressor

“Duuude! You know what I would do, if I were you? I’d run my guitar through a compressorrrrr…”

Back after a week’s absence!  While taking the “Art of Mixing” class through Berklee Online, I got to thinking about how processed modern music is, and how little the average person realizes this.  One could say that modern pop music is the aural equivalent of a Twinkie: it bears only a slight resemblance to music as found in nature.  So I thought I’d do my bit to educate the public on a few of the tools used by recording engineers to process and manipulate recorded sounds.  I’m going to try to explain things in layman’s terms without resorting to technical talk.

Let’s start with compression.  Basically, a compressor is a device (hardware or software) that reduces the dynamic range of a signal going through it.  In other words, it controls loudness; it’s sort of like having an automatic hand on the volume knob, ready to reduce the volume if the signal gets too loud.  It basically lets you get away with a louder average signal because the loudest peaks are tamped down.  Compressors are not new; they’ve been used in music for many decades, and have a lot of practical use.  For example, they are used to keep an instrument from overloading a recording console because of sudden loud notes.  Instruments like drums have a lot of dynamic range; they can play really soft and really loud.  A compressor helps to even things out so that the loudest notes don’t cause the recording to become distorted.  Compressors are also used at radio stations to make sure that the station never exceeds the broadcast wattage permitted by law, by ruthlessly controlling the dynamic range of sounds being broadcast.  That’s one reason why your favorites song played on an FM station never sounds as good as it does in your CD player.  Also, commercials on TV and radio have their audio compressed–that’s why the commercials sound much louder than the regular programming.

In modern popular music, it’s not uncommon for every single instrument and vocal to be compressed.  Why?  I suppose because it’s technologically possible, not because every track actually needs compression.  Also, the entire mix is compressed to make the average loudness higher.  So now we have a situation where every instrument and voice has much of the dynamic range squashed out of it, and the entire song is further squashed until it sounds really, really loud and distorted.  Now there–isn’t that better?

Notes From the Studio

Posted by on March 8th, 2013

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Recording "Empty Spaces"Eddie Vedder SingingIt’s been a busy week here at Van Hearlen III studio, so busy that I’m late with this blog entry.  We’ve been recording a lot for the new album: vocals for “Skeleton Crew”, “Empty Spaces”, and “Your Doubt (Can Set You Free)”, lead guitar for “Westwood” and “Ace of Blues”, and bass for “Life Is Calling” and “Small Name, Big Ego”.  At the left you can see me recording the lead vocal for “Empty Spaces”, and I’m either singing very passionately or experiencing a severe abdominal pain.  I learned this emotive vocal technique that signifies earnestness and a predilection for stage diving from Eddie Vedder.  Oh, and don’t laugh at my homemade pop filter.

Website overhauled

Posted by on August 16th, 2012

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It’s been a while, but the site is not dead!  We’ve just changed the look of the entire site, updated the content, and upgraded mobile device compatibility so that you can listen to us no matter where you’re surfing from.  We plan to be updating the content and blogging with more regularity, so stay tuned!