• Published 25th Dec 2014
  • 4,080 Views, 171 Comments

Simple Melodies are for Fillies - bahatumay

Introverted DJ Vinyl Scratch tries to win over a famous cellist while her roommate Lyra tries to figure out where she stands with the candy maker at the mall. It sortof works.

  • ...

Recording, Take One

It was the agreed-upon day, and nearing the agreed-upon time. Octavia was coming over and would be here soon, ready to record and bring new music to the world.

And Vinyl was, for lack of a better phrase, freaking out.

“Calm down, Vinyl,” Lyra repeated.

“I am calm!” Vinyl shrieked, grabbing at her hair.

Lyra smirked as she lifted her sandwich to her mouth. Vinyl had refused a sandwich of her own, showing that that previous statement had been a complete lie. “You're pacing back and forth and you've written and rewritten her part no less than fifteen times. You are not calm.”

Vinyl slowed to a stop; she hadn't noticed that she was pacing. She crossed her arms. “Am too!”

Lyra chewed thoughtfully and then tried the comforting angle. “Vinyl, you are a great writer and a great musician. This is going to go very smoothly, I promise.”

“But how do you know?” Vinyl whimpered. “What if I mess this up and she leaves angry and she never wants to see me again?”

“What if she loves your music so much she has to change her panties when she gets home?” Lyra challenged. “You've gotta think both ways, Vinyl.”

Vinyl's cheeks colored slightly at that pleasant image. Luckily, she was spared needing a witty comeback when the doorbell rang, and Vinyl jumped up. She was here! Was it always this hard to breathe?

“That's my cue to exit, stage left,” Lyra grinned. “Good luck!”

“You're leaving me alone? Where are you going?” Vinyl hissed.

“I'm going to go see Bon Bon,” Lyra answered as though it should be obvious. “I'm hoping she'll come over for dinner.”

Vinyl cracked a smile. “Fine, but you're cooking!”

Lyra groaned at that. “I'm trying to get her in my panties, Vinyl, not scar her for life.”

The sound of knocking made Vinyl jump, and all her insecurities came rushing back. “Oh no! She's waiting! At the door! What if she gets impatient? What if she's angry with me? I’ve gotta make a good first impression!”

“What if she knows you could be in a soundproof sound booth?” Lyra sighed. “I'll get it.”

“No!” Vinyl darted over to the door. “It needs to be me! Have fun on your date!”

Lyra's smile faded slightly. For it to be a date, both parties would need to be expecting it; as of right now, only Lyra knew about this visit. She sighed, and started to head out the back door.

Vinyl opened the door, and her eyes widened slightly. There stood Octavia, wearing a black vest over a white shirt and long dark pants, carrying her cello in a protective case on her back. It was one of those outfits that, while it didn't call attention to her physical assets, it certainly didn't try to hide them.

“Hi,” Vinyl said. She winced internally. That was definitely not the pleasant, witty greeting she’d planned on delivering.

“Good afternoon,” Octavia returned with a smile.

There was still a chance to recover. “You look nice,” Vinyl blurted.

Nope. There was no redemption for her.

Octavia gave a small smile. “I've found that attention to one's appearance translates well to one's playing ability, and I'm sure a good performance is desired if you're recording every note.”

“It's always good when you're playing,” Vinyl said, wincing internally again at how awkward and stilted that complement had sounded.

Octavia merely nodded gracefully, accepting the complement. “I try. Now, shall we begin?”

Vinyl took a step back. “Oh, yeah. Right. Follow me.”

* * *

Octavia nodded approvingly as she took in Vinyl's setup. One whole third of the room was walled off with thick, gray, fuzzy walls, forming the soundproof booth part of Vinyl's recording studio. There were a few exposed staples, evidence of expanding foam was on the edges of the panels, and the space for the glass window had obviously been cut twice; Vinyl had definitely built this herself. Outside the box was the recording and mastering portion of the studio. Though it was organized chaos at best, with wires and speakers and boxes of records everywhere, Vinyl clearly cared about her things; the carpet was clean, the records in the boxes were organized alphabetically, the criss-crossing cables on the floor and walls were duct-taped down so as to not present a tripping hazard and were color-coded with bands of electric tape every few feet, the posters on the wall were straight, the 88-key keyboard had a wide berth of space around it and had its own special stand with matching seat, and her personal turntables rested in a hard-shell protective case in a special out of the way place. Octavia observed that the studio monitors sitting on the floor were huge, far too large to fit comfortably in the soundproof booth if someone were already in it. She raised an eyebrow.

“Yeeeah, kindof blew all my money and haven't got around to getting smaller monitors, and these don't fit in the booth, especially if you try to put the mixing board in there, too,” Vinyl said, sheepishly rubbing the back of her neck. “My special talent is music, not measuring or carpenter-ing.”

“I imagine your neighbors don't appreciate that,” Octavia observed wryly.

Vinyl shrugged. “Girl to the left is a retail slave and works weird hours, the two guys on the right are firefighters and never home.” She cracked a smile. “And the kids across the street like my stuff and tell me to turn it up.” She paused. “Their parents don't share their musical tastes, unfortunately,” she added, remembering the strongly-worded letter she had received.

Lyra had burned that letter. She was a good friend.

Octavia nodded, impressed that she'd taken the time to figure that out. She certainly seemed competent. “It is a nice setup,” Octavia said agreeably. “Certainly larger than I had expected when I saw you had given me a townhome address.”

Vinyl grinned, happy that she had pleased Octavia. “It was my bedroom at first, but Lyra let me do a total conversion on it and move in to her room. You'd think sharing a room would get old after college, but she's been a great roommate.”

“That's good to hear.” Octavia walked over and opened the door to the sound booth itself. Inside was a basic black music stand, with a lyre engraved in it, and a kitchen chair. Two microphones were mounted to the wall by adjustable boom stands, and a third designed for vocals stood in the corner, and Octavia briefly mourned not being gifted vocally. “Is this my part?” she asked, examining the music set up on the stand.

Vinyl nodded. “Yes,” she said. “What do you think?” She winced, hoping she hadn't come across as not confident in her abilities.

Octavia's eyes flickered across the sheet music, silently playing the music in her head, and then she brightened. “Oh, yes. This should sound quite good indeed.” She pulled out her cello and set it up.

“I can get the microphones adjusted,” Vinyl offered, standing to do just that.

“Oh, no need,” Octavia said, reaching inside her case and pulling a thin cardioid condenser microphone out. She clipped it to the edge of the tailpiece and adjusted it so it faced the f-hole.

Vinyl whistled as she took the proffered cable and plugged it into her mixer. Those little mics were not cheap. “You came prepared,” she observed.

“Always,” Octavia smiled. She pulled the door shut, and then slid on one of the headsets on over one ear so she could hear the backing music as well as the unadulterated sound of her cello. Vinyl leaned over to the keyboard and pressed the A key, and was startled to hear it come blaring out of the monitors. She quickly switched them off and grinned sheepishly.

Octavia merely smiled.

Vinyl quickly switched over to the headphones and pressed the key again, and Octavia quickly tuned her instrument to Vinyl's tone. Vinyl listened as she played the fifths to tune her other strings, and felt that even something as mundane as tuning sounded good from Octavia.

As Octavia finished tuning, Vinyl quickly adjusted her levels until she felt her eq was perfect. She pushed the microphone button, the one that let her voice come over both their headphones. “You ready?” she asked.

Octavia nodded.

“Want me to play it through first, like a practice run, or…?”

Octavia considered this briefly, and then a predatory smile crossed her face. “I'm feeling daring today; let's just do it now.”

Vinyl nodded and pressed play and record. Octavia nodded and counted in, following along on the score until she was to come in.

And then she played.

Vinyl found herself needing to forcefully press her hands on the table to keep them from drifting down between her legs. Octavia took the music Vinyl had written and breathed life into it, and she looked amazing as she did.

Midway through the middle part, she squinted at the page and slowed down.

Vinyl stopped the recording and playback, then pressed the microphone button. “What's up?”

Octavia's microphone picked up her voice. “I'm not sure—and of course, I mean no offense—but I think this progression is the slightest bit off.”

Vinyl cocked her head and pressed her microphone button. “How so?”

“Well, you've got this-” She played what Vinyl had written, “-but it seems like that might sound better like this-” and she played her own version.

Vinyl was impressed and was not too proud to admit that it was indeed better than her own. It was not something written; Octavia had taken an idea and put part of herself in it. “Beautiful,” Vinyl whispered into the microphone.

Octavia shrugged slightly. “Thank you; but I'm not sure it was perfect just yet.”

“I meant you.”

Vinyl clapped her hands over her mouth, shocked that that had come out. She looked at Octavia, afraid of seeing her reaction but unable to look away.

Octavia cocked her head and held a hand to her ear. Vinyl realized she hadn't been pressing the microphone button, and so Octavia hadn't heard from within the soundproof booth.

She pushed the button and lied, “I said, ok, if you say so; but I think it's great. We'll take it from…” Her eyes scanned the sheet music. “…measure thirty five?”

Octavia nodded and rested her bow on the strings once more; but Vinyl could only wonder what would have happened if she had heard.

* * *

Lyra burst in. “Great news!”

“Me too!”

“Bon Bon said yes to dinner!”

“I recorded with Octavia and it only took four takes, and I didn't screw it up too badly!”

Lyra and Vinyl gave each other an exuberant high five. “Protocol four!” they cheered as they sprinted to the freezer.