hey listen to my new song (thread)

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jb
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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by jb » Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:52 pm

Good ears, Sam. The reason for the imperfections is that it started as a demo to give to some people I'll be playing this week later in the month. I kept adding stuff to it out of self indulgence.

I did indeed sing without a pop filter, probably too close to the mic, to reduce room noise.

Vocal bleed is from me keeping the scratch track, which I recorded into two mics, one focused on the guitar the other my face. Early cut offs are from imprecise snipping of the harmony tracks.

Will have some thoughts on the mix later.

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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by jb » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:34 am

Ok a couple thoughts.

- I like the separation of parts that you've achieved, and it all sounds good on my laptop speakers. In my earbuds the whistle solo is now a little harsh. On my bedside speakers, which are difficult to translate to, the whole track is muffled. The first mix I posted, I re-EQ'd to bring up the brightness on those speakers in particular, then went back to my other test speakers to see if I had ruined it. One of the shortcuts I made in the first mix is that I never hooked up my nearfields, and only mixed via my 7506's, earbuds, laptop speakers, and bedside speakers.
- Do you ever use a stereo delay? That's what I originally had on the guitar, which spread that track out from side to side without needing a second track. The hard-panned guitar is problematic for me because it's such a big part of the arrangement.
- During the verses, because the arrangement is pretty sparse, we wind up with the vocals in the center, the bass in the center, the kick and snare in the center, and the guitar hard-panned to the left. I originally split the two vocal tracks a bit to either side.
- On my laptop, the bass seems panned to the left, which with the guitar being over there weights the mix on that side. In my earbuds I don't hear that.
- When the chorus hits, the harmonies seem to have a bit less impact now, which impacts the drive into the bridge.
- The bridge, for some reason, seems to just come after that chorus, with not a lot of change in force or drive. To me, it should hit like a ton of bricks. The arpeggiator is intended to substitute for a big guitar sort of thing, and then the gain turns down when the vocals come in. I left that arpeggiation going during the last repetitions of the choruses to try to make them even bigger.
- In this mix, during the last repetitions of the chorus, having that bridge arpeggiation hard-panned to the right makes it a little harsh worm wriggling in my ear for the last 15 seconds of the song. I was thinking of it more as a pad-with-movement, spread across the mix filling it out on top of the string pad.
- The last choruses have less of the string pad, which I feel filled the mix out and changed them from the feel of the first choruses.

Overall, I greatly prefer your gain settings, EQ and compression over my first mix, but I prefer my panning. In your mix the separation of parts is really nice, the acoustic guitar sounds more natural, and I like the impact you've achieved on the kick drum and snare. The bass is more prominent and full. The lead vox are clearer now, but the backing tracks are further in the background than I'd prefer. In another iteration as a client of your studio, I'd be asking for more specific change in feel from verse to chorus to bridge and then the outro, and more general width from the mix. And you'd be telling me to go record the guitar again, clean this time, and use a fucking pop filter for pete's sake. And we'd rely on the mastering house to make it translate to my bedroom speakers.

I really appreciate hearing this from other people's perspectives, and learning from what you've done. Thanks Sam!

JB
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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by Lunkhead » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:39 pm

Your original mix sounded harshly too bright to me on my laptop. I didn't listen to it on my monitors or do any A/B comparisons between it and my mix though. For Song Fight! I don't check different sources other than my monitors and my studio headphones, due to time constraints. I feel like there is a diminishing return on the time investment for that anyway. It could even have a negative effect, as some listening setups sound like shit and maybe shouldn't be an influence on your mix. ;)

I actually don't use stereo delay very much. It's not much different from mono delay unless you set the timing and/or level to be different for each channel, and then I usually find the ping-pong-y aspect of that to be mostly just distracting. I never use it or other substitutes in place of recording a double track, I just record the other track. The doubled acoustic track on the other side that isn't there in this mix would resolve the balance issues you're having, I think.

Also re: the delay, I generally like to have only one focal point happening at each part in the song, which is either the vocals, or when there are no vocals, some lead or melodic instrument(s). So I try not to apply anything (e.g. stereo delay) to any of the other tracks that might draw what I consider to be "undue" attention to them. But that's just my preference.

The bass is centered. I never pan bass.

I get what you're saying about "bigger" but I guess I feel like the things you suggest would make the mix sound more cluttered and noisier. Turning up the backing vox a bit would probably be fine but there isn't much else going on to turn up to boost that part. I would personally use instrumentation to help differentiate the chorus, maybe have tambo/shaker then, and/or another instrument that's more present than the chorus arpeggios that's playing a melody or countermelody.

Other than the bass panning issue, I'd consider this stuff all personal taste stuff, the sorts of things that producers/engineers maybe have back and forth about with the talent, depending on the situation. I'm very much a more-is-less kind of person. I like to be minimal and try to make things sound clear and natural. That's the style that generally fits the music I make too, I think, so I haven't strayed much outside that comfort zone. I do want to develop some more breadth in my mixing tactics though. If I wind up having some time (which I hopefully should have soon) I may take another quick whack at this and see if I can make it sound more how you want with it still sounding "good" to me too. :)
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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by SchlimminyCricket » Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:47 pm

Here's something I've been tooling around with, and I've become deaf to its quality. Maybe you guys can tell me what I should tweak and what works well (other than trimming the silence off the end. I know about that).
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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by HeuristicsInc » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:00 am

what if you added a second voice in the chorus singing the same thing to thicken it a bit?
i feel like it's a bit samey. i do like the way it lopes along though. it's a very nice mood.
i think we need some more definition to parts of the song reflected in the instruments we hear.
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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by Lunkhead » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:29 am

This weekend I made a cover of a song called "American Girls" by Homie, a one-off by Rivers Cuomo, Matt Sharpe, the original guitarist from Cake, the drummer from Soul Coughing, and some other dude.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homie_(band)
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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by SchlimminyCricket » Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:22 am

So I've been tooling around lately, and I decided to put what I made out there as an EP (or whatever you call a release that's shorter than an EP, but longer than a single.) It includes the revised version of the song I posted last time. It's bleeps and bloops themed, since I've been experimenting with that kind of sound.
https://schlimminycricket.bandcamp.com/album/robot-suit
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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by Lunkhead » Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:57 pm

I did a cover of "Head Over Heels" by Tears For Fears. I enlisted Glenn Case to sing the lead vocals and play bass. He and Rachael also each did a track of "laa laas" in the outro. I did everything else, which includes drum programming, acoustic guitar, lead guitar, ukulele, synth bass, glockenspiel, accordion, melodica, and backup vocals.

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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by HeuristicsInc » Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:06 pm

Lunkhead: love the vocals. That's the hardest part about TFF songs to me; I'd love to cover one but I have no hope of singing it. That said, the original songs have a good leavening of darkness in them and I'm not feeling that in your cover. I'd like to hear a little of that dark come back into your version. Some synths, perhaps? Wow, your ending vocal is very faithful, so much like the original. Nice cover!
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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by Generic » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:25 am

I came out with a new album yesterday.
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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by jb » Thu May 21, 2015 6:19 pm

Asphyxiation
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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by Chumpy » Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:13 am

Great song jb. Love, love, love the whistling solo. Curious what your shibboleth is, l'm imagining you shouting 'lollapalooza' and hoping that you won't get shot. The 'I want you to be free' almost doesn't fit, and feels a bit uncomfortable. Your vocals are very sweet sounding, especially at the end of the bridge, where they set up the 1-2 punch for the whistling solo. If I had to be critical, and I do, I'd say the song is maybe too sweet, and too pretty. That may just be me. I like pancakes, maple syrup, and sometimes strawberries, but you put whipped cream on that shit, I'm out. My suggestion would be to try for a more resigned or lonesome sound in the whistling, the vibrato is nice, but maybe too bright?
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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by josh » Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:06 pm

Well done, JB! Truly cool song. I love the harmonies!
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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by jb » Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:22 pm

Thanks yo. I agree that it should sound rougher. I was trying to make some kind of "punker sings acoustic" thing like Billy Joe Armstrong on "Time of Your Life"-- not that anything I make ever sounds like that.

I've played it live a couple times and "Shibboleth" has magically morphed to "cigarette" which is a) rougher and b) more appropriate to the topic.
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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by jb » Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:27 am

I'm playing in a band. We call ourselves Ménage À Garage.

Here's us in rehearsal doing my "You Get The Wiser", a loser from the 2006 fight.

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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by fluffy » Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:00 am

Nice to see 7DL Studios is still around. Such a great space.

Your voice is way too pretty for that music style, JB.
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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by Lunkhead » Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:35 am

For Day 4 of Fun-A-Day I finished and posted my cover of "Psychopath" by St. Vincent.

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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by jb » Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:06 am

Lunkhead, when you record guitar, do you record clean and put fx on in software, or do you run the guitar through pedals into the computer?

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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by Lunkhead » Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:08 am

I'm going Tele -> Digitech Bad Monkey overdrive pedal -> tc electronics Flashback Delay -> interface. Then I put a simple Fender Deluxe Reverb amp simulator on each channel. Then the channels go into a group where I apply EQ then compression.

Right now I'm doing all this stuff at home and I don't have an amp at home, otherwise I would be trying not to record direct. I'm not very happy with the direct recorded sound I am getting at the moment.
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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by Rone Rivendale » Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:48 pm

jb wrote:I'm playing in a band. We call ourselves Ménage À Garage.

Here's us in rehearsal doing my "You Get The Wiser", a loser from the 2006 fight.

I know I'm like 6 months late on this, but this song is really catchy. :D
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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by josh » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:19 pm

Back during Nur Ein I recorded a song for "Standing on the Edge" and the general consensus, which I agreed with, was that it ran too long. I cut it down to about 4.5 (shaving two minutes or so) and reworked some lyrics (uh, it's not longer Standing on the Edge and no longer contains a self reference). I still didn't nail the vocal performances, but the rhythm is way tighter (friend played drums). Here's the update, which is still demo quality (made it so my band will hopefully want to learn it).

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Re: hey listen to my new song (thread)

Post by jeff robertson » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:11 am

This is what I had been working on for "Bottle Neck", but then I decided to go a different direction so this becomes a standalone track.

(No, it is not named after Dee Dee Ramone. My daughter's name starts with D so I call her that)

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