Numbers Game Music

Here is two songs to start you off. Right now I'm recording a bunch of stuff and I hope to have some more up soon. I've actually got quite a lot written, around 100 songs, give or take. I can't give out dates or plans or anything because I don't have any. One of the things that's really different about Numbers Game from my other projects is that Numbers Game sort of feels like the musical equivalent of an LJ post or journal entry or something. Its sort of just something I do all the time when I can. I jump around a lot and songs sort of just get done whenever they get done. The only thing I can say for sure is that I'm going to be releasing a bunch of songs this year cause right now I've got a bunch that's pretty much done and almost ready to go. If you want late breaking up the month news about my music, enter your email to the right over there. I might get bored and just start sending out links to demos and stuff. Who knows.

About iTunes: They're also for sale on iTunes, Amazon, and a bunch others. Although the audio quality on those services is poor (256 or vbr), I put it there cause some people only look on iTunes for new music, and I don't want to miss those people. I would really prefer everyone just download the FLAC cause I want people to hear the real lossless audio. If you already bought it there, thank you very much. In case you're wondering, most of that dollar goes back to me. I sort of think of iTunes as a tip jar. But I would rather you also download the FLAC right here for free, and just listen to that.

If you really like my music, and you wanna hear more, seriously send me an email and tell me. That sort of stuff that keeps this interesting. Seriously, just say whatever. My email is docfromnumbersgame at the gmail.

Posted: 02/01/2010 2:01am by Doc.

Cold Cold Cold
Cold Cold Cold by Numbers Game

Audio Player is supposed to be here.

Numbers Game - Cold Cold Cold.mp3
Numbers Game - Cold Cold Cold.flac

Artist: Numbers Game
Song Title: Cold Cold Cold
Release Date: 02-01-2010
All music written and performed by: Doc Matthews
Recorded by, Produced by, etc... Doc Matthews
Published by: Focus Media
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
Link to the lyrics

Production notes:

Cold Cold Cold is by far the most elaborate song I've ever made. Although I lost count, I think it has at least 200 layers of different tracks. Basically the way I work is I just figure out what primary instruments I’m going to have in there, and then those instruments get several sub layers, and sometimes the sub layers get sub layers when I'm mixing down effects. Often I spend time messing with the master too. It’s sort of like building one of those little ships in a bottle, except I’m building it to be a working ship, so I have to build a fully working engine and everything, with only tweezers from outside of the bottle.  

I wanted to try to get as big of a sound as possible even though I'm working alone out of a studio apartment. The trick is to just play the same part a bunch of different times and then edit the recording down to the millisecond so that all the notes play back at exactly the same time. In some parts I got really into tweaking out the EQ's and dynamics on some of the tracks, and I took time to carefully splash some reverb on a few parts, but other than that, this track has almost no effects.

I played all the instruments which include: a decent electric guitar, a really nice bass, a cheap Yamaha acoustic guitar, a cheap Yamaha keyboard (the kind you might see at an appliance store, that has every instrument sound ever, but only the piano sounds good), an old Chora reed organ, a cheap Ludwig drum kit, an 8-bit synth, an Electron Machine Drum, and of course, my secret weapon, a small $5 plastic egg shaker.

The only thing I didn't technically play are the cellos. I couldn't get a string sound out of my synths that sounded right for this track. After debating about whether or not I should just buy a cello, I bought a stack of classical records on the cheap from a thrift store. I basically just grabbed anything with a picture of a cello, or string instruments, or that said cello somewhere on it. I played them back through a frequency analyzer so I could be sure of the pitch, and when a cello hit one of the notes in my melody, I copied it over. I had to carefully stretch some notes, and compress others to fit into time with my guitar. It sounds tedious, but after a while I started having a lot of fun bending and stretching things so they sound weird and melty. It gave me a lot of idea's I wouldn't have other wise have though of. I ended up throwing some of the dreamy little cello sounds all over the song. Although it may have been easier to just buy a used cello and figure out how to play and mic it, the whole process of finding a work around ended up making the track better.

On this track I also took a lot of time on the drums. I wanted to experiment with different mics, and was happy to find out that my school had a variety they could loan me. Although they were all slightly bumped up, I still got some good stuff out of them. There was a Shure54, aged to perfection, which I ended up using the most. With my audio device I can record 10 tracks, so I hooked everything plus what I already had and went off. I did everything from placing the mics across my apartment in the kitchen, to placing some mics inside the drum itself. While I'm sure I'm still audible to my neighbors in my cramped Sam Francisco neighborhood, I've lined the walls and windows with blankets and that bed-foam stuff you can buy to put on your mattress which does a decent job of muffling sound. Although I got a lot of good stuff, I think I got the best results from holding a mic with one hand, drumming with the other, and moving the mic around during the decay of the sound. I actually got some good stuff from placing some real cheap contact mics on the snare and toms, which don’t sound good on their own, but when turned down behind everything else, totally make the mix.

I record everything directly into my audio device usually at 32 bit and a sample rate of 96 kHz. It never touches tape, and I use some tube pre-amps to give a little extra pop. Although almost everyone says that all analog systems sound better, I think that there is still a lot to be explored in digital audio.

I don't really want to go in to exactly what the song is about, or who it's about, or anything like that. Basically because I think it would take away from the experience of listening to the song, and then all that hard work would be for nothing. I think music is a great medium because of much you can say at once. I'll put it this way; they say a picture is worth a thousand words, well I think a song is worth at least a thousand pictures. That comes maybe more than a million words, and I really don't feel like typing all that. You're going to have to just keep listening till you figure it out yourself. The only thing I'll specifically say about it (only because it’s really obvious), is that although the song was written and recorded in San Francisco, it takes places back in Detroit.

Love Dreams Love

Artist: Numbers Game
Song Title: Love Dreams Love
Release Date: 09-09-09
All music written and performed by: Doc Matthews
Recorded by, Produced by, etc... Doc Matthews
Published by: Focus Media
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Link to the lyrics

Production notes coming soon.

About The Video

The Numbers Game video for “Love Dreams Love” on Vimeo.
Written and Directed by Doc.
Produced by Doc.
Photography Doc.
Editing & Post-Production Doc.
Music by Numbers Game.

The Dreamers: Tucker Bennett, Chris Corrente, Ray Lordi, Naomi Larrick, Kelli Ryan, Zach Shipko, Taeer Maymon, Eric Wilson, Jeff Lee, Orion Ananda, & Doc.

Extra special thanks to Tucker Bennett, Katie Sell, Erlin Geffrard, Joseph Michael, the San Francisco Art Institute, and Urban Ore Berkley for providing me with truck loads of junk on the cheap.

Production notes: Shot entirely with a Canon GL1. The lo-fi effects were achieved by re-recording and re-shooting footage off of an old circuit bent VCR. It was shot entirely at the San Francisco Art Institute and in the Focus Media tree house.

I wanted to come up with a video that complements the lyrics and feel of the song. I didn’t want to act the song out in any way, but provide a sort of visual accompaniment. I think my lyrics in Love Dreams Love are pretty simple and to the point, so I also thought the video should be simple and to the point. I started by writing down the most obvious way to approach the project: “everybody feels alone and we’re neck deep in junk”. I had a lot of ideas about the best way to visually express that. All of them were pretty complex, most of them were too complex for me to pull off, and none of them felt right. After a few days it literally came to me in a dream, “smashing stuff!”. Although it’s ridiculously simple, I think it’s the best way to get the idea across. I find that in life you have to remove a lot of debris before you get to anything good, but since digging for something good is all anyone can do to occupy themselves, you might as well try.