making frogsongs & amethyst

here's how we made our albums frogsongs and amethyst. you can follow along and make your own music! the process takes 13 years so get ready!

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1. we wrote a lot of songs when we were a teen. the way we did that was basically we learned how to play chords on a guitar and then we made up sad words to sing. most of the words sucked, but the music was okay. we could feel what we wanted these songs to be, we just didn't know how to get there with only a guitar and our voice.

you can write a song about anything that gives you emotions, real or fake. ours were usually about ghosts, monsters, existential angst, and girls.

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a sad teen

2. many years later, as an older adult lady, we used GarageBand to put together some demos of our old songs. nothing too complicated, just an outline of the chords and notes and a placeholder synth for the vocals.

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GarageBand, an evil software primarily used by a billionaire's wife

3. we obtained Vocaloid 4 software by Legally Purchasing it.

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Vocaloid 4, a cute software used by cute people

4. we watched vocaloid tutorials and learned the basics. the Vocaloid Wiki has charts that show you how to make the syllables (a = "ahhh"), so all you have to do is copy and paste those and make sure the BPM is synced up.

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we have to visit this page every time we do vocals because we always forget how

5. we chose our favorite vocaloids! we looked up pictures of each of them and listened to their songs. Kaai Yuki has a soft and natural-sounding voice, and almost right away we knew we wanted her to be our lead singer. for the backups we used Gachapoid (frogsongs) and IA (amethyst).

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this is Kaai Yuki she's very talented and cool. we wanna play videogames with her

6. since we didn't like our old lyrics, we generated some cryptic nonsense to replace them. there's a lot of ways you can do this. maybe you have a favorite book or movie with some pretty words in it. if you sing the words badly enough, no one will know what you're saying.

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Gachapoid, a frog child (actually a dinosaur but like... come on. that's a frog)

7. we exported the vocal tracks and imported them back into GarageBand. now the songs were starting to feel real.

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IA has the smooth crystal mermaid voice we were looking for. also we love her outfit

8. at this point, all we had to do was swap out the bad GarageBand synth presets for good GarageBand synth presets. this is entirely up to you and depends on what you think sounds cool. we would spend nights just scrolling through synths, listening for sounds we liked, making lists, and then going through the lists and comparing them and trying different combinations. it was relaxing. we fell asleep a lot.

the great thing about music is that it's all about the feeling, so you don't have to worry too much about making the right technical decisions or whatever, as long as you have a big enough library of tools to work with. our thought process for frogsongs was that we wanted squishy swampy froggy sounds, and for amethyst we wanted sparkly watery mermaidy sounds. we asked Jessica for help a couple of times.

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moodboards are useful for finding the right sounds. this one has 1 image for each frogsong

9. when then the songs were done, we sent them to friends, and rook offered to master them. "mastering" is when you give your music to a mouse and she makes it sound good on your old ipod touch speakers.

10. we put them on bandcamp, and now everyone can listen! the end!