Here is a new version of "The Future Soon" which has a fretless bass line -- my first attempt at recording a bass line. The bass is a fretless Steinberger Synapse 5-string (one of the new ones). These basses are interesting because they are composite: part wood, part carbon fiber, with a shell on the neck and body kind of like the Parker Fly, and they have a piezo pickup at the bridge with a hunk of ebony in it. This gives it a tone that sounds a lot like an acoustic upright bass! It also has a magnetic pickup, but for this track I used only the piezo pickup.
The guitar track is the same dry track dirtied slightly by putting it through a tube amp simulator in Logic, giving it just a little bit of crunch, which I think sounds interesting on an acoustic guitar. The bass is also through an amp simulator and a little flange.
I heavily tortured the vocal line by applying the "Cher Effect" (unnatural pitch correction, like the effect used in the song "Believe," plus a little chorus). It seems oddly appropriate for a song whose narrator aspires to become a cyborg! I want to try to record some more vocal takes and get a better track at some point when it is quiet around here (that was a little joke).
This really tortured my little Mac Mini (Logic kept throwing up somewhat random misbehavior), as well as my sanity. It's hard to try to record a bass line through headphones while in the same room there is a Sesame Street DVD playing, my son playing his guitar, and two babies yelling. At least it was better than yesterday, when I was recording the guitar part and they kept running around and crashing into me. That made it extra-challenging! At one point I was thinking to myself "I bet Jonathan Coulton doesn't have to put up with this" but then I realized -- he has a toddler at home, and does his own recording in his apartment, so he probably does!