Mark Hansen Music - LDS Rock Music - Free Downloads

Mark Hansen Music - LDS Rock Music - Free Downloads
Get the new CD, "The Third Time" HERE

WARNING: Listening to this music doesn't require parental approval. It's a bit of clean rebellion. It keeps your outlook up and your hope alive. It's got strong drums and screaming guitars. It pumps you up and drives your life. It's a hunger for exploration. It chooses the right and returns with honor. It's music you don't have to confess to your bishop.

It's not your parents' "Saturday’s Warrior".

It's "A Joyful Noise"

Friday, July 22, 2005

I think I've finished the mix of "Where's My Soul". I've burned all the requisite copies, anyway (wav, mp3, and wma for weedifying). With any luck, it'll be on the site by the show next weekend! I hope to see lots of you there.

MRKH - Mark Hansen
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Thursday, July 21, 2005

I just finished a preliminary mix of "Where's My Soul". I've tried something different. Instead of gently compressing the overall output, to make the final print a little louder and control the overall volume level, I put compression (sometimes radical compression) on almost all of the individual parts. It's an interesting sound. I'll need to compare it side-by-side with my other mixes and with other CD's.


This IS a really fun tune. It's so dramatically different from anything I've ever done before, especially in the vocals. It'll be interesting to see and hear the reactions I get from others.

MRKH - Mark Hansen
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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

OK, this is crazy. I don't know why I stay up so late, but I do. Insomnia, whatever...

I started by cutting some quick guitar parts on "Where's My Soul". I wanted to split the chords on the turnaround into stereo so it would sound bigger, then tighten up again in the verse groove. That worked pretty well. Then, the only thing that was left was to sparkle up the drum tracks a bit. Pretty easy to do.

Now all the tracking is done. It's all post-production and mix that's left. Comping the vocals, blending everything and putting it all done. Probably a total of about 5-6 hours. I don't know when I'll get the chance to do it, but maybe over the course of a few nights...

MRKH - Mark Hansen
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Saturday, July 16, 2005

OK, I'm doing Karaoke tonight, at the Draper Theatre. It's a family place, right? Not a bar. And this girl gets up to take her turn singing a song. She's 11, may be 12 at the most. She starts to sing this boppy little love song. It's got a fun groove to it, and the girl's got a killer voice. Pretty soon the audience is all moving along with her, including her dad, who's running the karaoke machine.

Then she hits the second verse. It's got some words to the effect that the singer doesn't care that the partner is wearing someone else's ring, and that he/she doesn't feel guilty at all. Then it comes to the chorus again about "I'll be the one to tuck you in at night..."

And all this is being belted out by this little girl, who's probably still in elementary school!

I look over at her dad, sitting at the karaoke table, and he's just grooving to the tune and singing along.

Hello! Am I the only one that has a problem with this? Help me out, here...

On a happier note, I got to see Crinna Hill perform down at the Brigham Young park tonight. They did a great job. They get better every time I see them. Austin's becoming quite the drummer. I might just have him do some tracking for me in the future...

MRKH - Mark Hansen
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Friday, July 15, 2005

I got a lot done tonight on "Where's My Soul". That's the fun one with the growled vocals. In fact, I did the lead vocals tonight. I still need to comp them, though. I can work on that bit by bit over the weekend.

John made up some really fun horn parts. This one was interesting, because I didn't have any real ideas for them first. With most of the other songs, I've already got them input as MIDI notes first, then we replace the sampled sounds with real horns. But this time, it was all John. His ideas, his playing. And it's really coool.

So, now I just have to recut some bits in the rhythm guitar, and I'm thinking I'll bring in someone to sing some little backing vocal bits. I'll have to see if maybe Sherri can come in.

I also have to sparkle up the drum tracks. It's pretty much a loop right now. The song is supposed to be pretty stiff and mechanical, so I'm not going to go overboard to make it sound natural, but there are some spots where it needs a snare fill and some crash cymbals.

I've been practicing a lot getting ready for the gig on the 30th, too. I'm very excited to do that one, and I hope I can get a fairly decent crowd. We'll just have to see...

MRKH - Mark Hansen
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Sunday, July 10, 2005

I played the gig downtown today, and that was a lot of fun. I think that, tops, we had, maybe 10 people listening at any one time. Still, I thought my performance went pretty well.

I tried out "Today and Yesterday", and "Turn it Up" in the set, and I was glad I did it today. I was a little nervous about them both. I've been practicing them a lot, especially in the car as I drive to and from work, but I'm always nervous about forgetting the words. Sometimes that happens, even with songs I'm really familiar with.

But I didn't and that was cool.

Also, with "Today and Yesterday", I wasn't sure just how the "whispered" vocals would impact my sung vocals. I'd cut them after I'd cut the regular lead vocals, so I wasn't used to singing the song with those echoes going on. But it didn't throw me in performance, at least not this time.

In fact, the only song I had troubles with was "Toy Soldiers", because if I talk or anything at the beginning, then I lose count of how many measures of drums happen and I don't come in at the right spot.

"How can you tell if there's a singer at your door?

"He can't find the key and he doesn't know when to come in!"


Then John and I went to the SLC Jazz festival where I was completely blown away! I'll write more about that over at Mo' Boy, though...

MRKH - Mark Hansen
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Friday, July 08, 2005

John came over tonight for the first time in I don't know how long. I think it's been since the Tooele park gig we did as Random Tangent...

And after visiting, he cut the trumpets for "Play the cards". It's going to take some comping of that, too. I keep writing parts way up in the stratosphere of the trumpet's range, and that makes it tough for him to play. But, like a trooper, he gives it his all, and usually nails it, with a minimum amount of post-production cutting and tweaking.

Then we started listening to the "Turn it Up" mix, and we realized that it was way too cluttered and not "breathing" right. I pulled the distortion off the bass, and re-EQ'ed the guitars (they stand out pretty strong, now, but still don't compete with the vocals.

As we were listening after that, John says, "That synth patch isn't right". So we started loading up other synths and trying other sounds. We found one, and with a little tweaking, made it work much better than the one I was originally using. Then we ended up playing it through a tube distortion simulator plug-in, and that both fuzzed in with the guitars, but also made it a bit "warmer". It sounds great, now.

So, anyway, that mix is done. I've even sent it to be weedified.

At work today, I came up with a new song, off a snippet of a chorus that I'd been writing on and off for a long time. Here's the first draft:

Dancin’ with the Devil
By Mark Hansen

The devil came whispering in my ear
Words that I knew I didn’t want to hear
You don’t have to serve me he said with a smile
But you and I can dance for a little while

And as we moved across the floor
It seemed so easy, I was sure

The music played and I danced some more
Suddenly I wasn’t where I was before
The place looked different, but familiar, too
Suddenly alone, no one close that I knew

And as we two-stepped across the floor
I knew it had to stop, I knew for sure... that...

I don’t wanna dance with the devil anymore
I won’t take a chance with my soul anymore
I won’t take my glance off heaven anymore
I don’t wanna dance with the devil anymore

It’d be so easy just to step away
If it wasn’t so easy to dance this way
I feel my heartbeat, I feel my fear
I’ve gotta let go and run away from here

I’m not the devil’s partner, I’m not his man
And now I’m gonna break off gonna make my stand

I don’t wanna dance with the devil anymore
I won’t take a chance with my soul anymore
I won’t take my glance off heaven anymore
I don’t wanna dance with the devil anymore

MRKH - Mark Hansen
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Thursday, July 07, 2005

So, I get home after a long day at work, all excited to work on the tune. I pull it up and I start comping the vocals. Great stuff... It's sounding good. Sometimes it's hard to decide which take to choose because they're all just about as good as each other. In other passages, it's a bit easier as one stands out as the best.

I dub all the vocal parts down to one track, then double that for a bit more fullness.

Then I start prepping the site for mixing. Setting up the submixes: One for the two lead vocal tracks, one for all the rhythm guitars (there's five tracks of those, including the acoustic), one for the lead guitars (four tracks), one for the bass (two tracks-one main and one EQ'ed very high and distorted, for a little growl), one for the drums (six tracks), and one for the backing vocals (four more tracks). Now do you see what I mean when I say I'm a kitchen sink kind of arranger? :-)

I start with the kick, the bass and the lead vocal. The rest of the drums follow. Then I start adding in the guitars, finally the keyboards and the harmony vocals. Last of all, I dress it up with some reverb. It's basically the same overall process I do everytime I mix a tune.

Then after I've tweaked it and tweaked it to death, I burn a copy to a wav file. Then I'll make a CD of it, and listen to it in my car, on my work computer, all over the place and that'll help me decide on the final mix, when I'll make my last adjustments and call the whole thing done.

Then it gets weedified, and out on the website for your enjoyment. Expect it to be there sometime next week. I'd really like to do this one at the gig on Saturday. I think I'll be ready for it...

MRKH - Mark Hansen
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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Hey, I was all excited the other day to notice that some of the songs off of have been selling! And, a couple of the weedshare songs on my website have sold, too. Yay for me! Yay for us!

MRKH - Mark Hansen
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Monday, July 04, 2005

Man, this tune rocks. I mean it rocks. Then, it keeps rocking and then it rocks some more!

OK, let me back up. I started this afternoon just spinning "Turn it Up", and thought I'd work on it, since I didn't have to be to work today (holiday and all). So, I hooked up the bass and played the part live, to replace the synth bass I'd been using all along.

I've always liked using synth bass because I can quantize it. I really like my bass and drums to be locked solid in step, and I just don't think I play precisely enough to pull it off. But the sound of a live bass guitar is always punchier than a synth. What to do?

Well, it turns out that with the time warp features of Cubase SX 3, you can tighten up the timing of audio as well as MIDI. It means you have to open up the wave and edit it directly, but it can be done, and it's not that hard. It is a little more time consuming, though.

So, I did it. Then I thought, "While I'm here, I'll cut the bass for 'Play the Cards', too." So I did, then I tightened that one up, too.

Then, I thought, why not add the lead guitar back into "Turn it Up"? Because of the way I wanted to mix it, I ended up adding four tracks of lead guitar. One spot in the intro, to be panned center, in the same place as the lead vocal, some fill leads to be mixed just behind the lead vocal, and then the main solo. That one is really two solos, trading off, and I'll pan those slightly L and R, like dueling guitars... :-)

At that point, I put down a synth line. I'd been debating putting that in the horns, but I just was having a hard time hearing horns in this tune. It just wasn't working for me. But with the synth, it really brings in that '80's hair-metal sound this song is beggin' for.

Finally, I'm thinkin' that I might as well go ahead and cut the lead vocals. So, I do my warm-ups, and cut a buncha tracks. I haven't comped them yet, but it felt right in my zone, right in my range. It's an amazingly easy song to sing, so I was able to really let go and have fun with it.

Then, some harmony vocals.

So, now all I have to do is to comp the lead, and mix it. Another song to be done. I'm hoping to have it all done by the end of the week.

Then, when I finish up one more, either "Play the Cards" or "Where's My Soul", I'll be back on track to my goal of two new songs each quarter.

MRKH - Mark Hansen
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