11 pages last song on album ....

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11 pages last song on album ....

Postby cjdenecia » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:28 am

which is not to say we've finished the previous ten cus we haven't ... but I'm sure this one will close the album out. and it's destined to be a solo effort.

and as such, for once, I'm willing to listen to criticisms and suggestions before calling it a done deal. but this is where it is as of today.

what's in it? acoustic guitars, a simulated electric. an acoustic solo. a simulated bass. tambourine. shaker. hollow woodblock. lead vocal.

don't want drums, don't want harmony vox. don't want keys and don't want electric gits.

but I am looking now for things to make it better or at least confirm it's positive aspects .... everything from top to bottom is open for critique.

of course, if I disagree in conceptual or practical terms, I will simply say so but bring on any ideas and comments please.
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Re: 11 pages last song on album ....

Postby ptalbot » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:44 am

Hum... What's a simulated electric???

Just had a quick listen since I was there. Not bad, but a bit linear if you ask me.
The melody is simplistic and I'm not sure this tune works as is. It's a bit long as well for what it has to say.
As an album closer it could be shorter I think (see below)

The simulated bass is hardly heard... is it just playing the root somewhere in the background? Sounds more like undefined rumble at the moment.

The tambourine/shaker combo sound like crickets in the summer right now, perhaps it's intentional but it's hardly compelling, I'd say it gets tiring after a minute, perhaps it's just too loud?

You said no drums, no harmony vox, no keys and no electrics (simulated is fine then?)... now I wonder what you expect to add to bring this one to the next level then? A fiddle perhaps? Some banjo? A harp? A Kazoo?

Actually a kazoo could be good. Or even some whistling...
It would add to the quirk/cheese factor that I detect in the mandolin (is that the simulated electric) melody...
I would go full on with that, have fun, make it a cheeze fest and a joke closer, add bells and some cows/sheeps in the background, go crazy with pastoral soundscape, something like that.
That's how I would try to do it, if I didn't want to make it a more conventional production with drums and guitars etc.
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Re: 11 pages last song on album ....

Postby HUD » Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:12 pm

Going for the "elegance in simplicity" approach, I take it. Nothing wrong with that, in principle. I can see where this is a good approach for this idea of a song.
Generally do like the understated singing and playing - I guess the "electric guitar simulator" is those sustainful chords kind of in the background... works just fine, and does give this thing some backdrop. The guitar has tone of brightness, reminding me of a twelve string sound... has a good stereo spread to it.
So what could improve... This feels rather dynamically flat line to me. Maybe could start just the minstral and his single channel guitar and work into the full array. As is, the 3:50-ish duration seems long. Fine not wanting oodles of b/u vox-there've been times where I've heard people pile'em into every nook and cranny and it felt claustrophobic, so how else can we get more variation? is the question to consider.
I'm also good with the acoustic lead melody- nicely tasteful while simple, some good choices. But here's where you might be able to pour on just a little sugar, by adding a harmonizing acoustic part on the 2nd or 3rd go 'round. I might know a guy who could pull that off in about 5 seconds if you were interested... might need a psuedonym in the credits due to contractual obligations or someshit...
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Re: 11 pages last song on album ....

Postby cjdenecia » Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:02 am

ptalbot wrote:Hum... What's a simulated electric???


heh. it's simply the acoustic run through a bunch of plug ins so it don't sound acoustic. never woulda guessed anybody'd guess mandolin tho ...

Just had a quick listen since I was there. Not bad, but a bit linear if you ask me.
The melody is simplistic and I'm not sure this tune works as is. It's a bit long as well for what it has to say.
As an album closer it could be shorter I think (see below)


based on what you and hud had to say - I am considering cutting out either the intro entirely - OR (more likely) maybe just cutting out the 2nd verse intro with the little acoustic lead .... I'd rather strip out the arrangement first and see if that helps. I have also toyed with speeding it up by about 3 to 5 bpm but it does seem a bit rushed when I do. tho it cuts out some time ...

The simulated bass is hardly heard... is it just playing the root somewhere in the background? Sounds more like undefined rumble at the moment.


ok, ok, I get it ... I didn't really intend for there to be a bass at all but after adding the percussion, I felt like I had to balance the frequency a bit ... so now, instead of just having the ultra bass maxed out (it's simply the E and A strings on the acoustic git), I've put some of the unfx'd track into the mix to give it some note instead of just rumble ....

The tambourine/shaker combo sound like crickets in the summer right now, perhaps it's intentional but it's hardly compelling, I'd say it gets tiring after a minute, perhaps it's just too loud?


they are old and beat up cheap instruments and I was too lazy to bother to try to eq them into a more positive light. so now I have worked on 'em a bit and lowered them in the mix a little. plus, in the newer arrangement, they vanish for a while a couple times ....

You said no drums, no harmony vox, no keys and no electrics (simulated is fine then?)... now I wonder what you expect to add to bring this one to the next level then? A fiddle perhaps? Some banjo? A harp? A Kazoo?


a fiddle? yep. always heard that since I started writing it ... but gregg doesn't really dig the song and I thought it unfair to ask of him. I had envisioned it where the lead acoustic is ....

Actually a kazoo could be good. Or even some whistling...
It would add to the quirk/cheese factor that I detect in the mandolin (is that the simulated electric) melody...
I would go full on with that, have fun, make it a cheeze fest and a joke closer, add bells and some cows/sheeps in the background, go crazy with pastoral soundscape, something like that.
That's how I would try to do it, if I didn't want to make it a more conventional production with drums and guitars etc.


well, to be honest, if I were a ego driven type, I'd probably be a little insulted by that but - it is a light hearted pretty cheezy topic minded song with nothing but cliche chords in it sooooo in reality, if I can't make it viable as a serious light hearted thing, I really might consider the concept of camping it up. at any rate, it made me laugh that you found it sorta cheezy - and you're not the only one!

thanks pat. stay tuned.
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Re: 11 pages last song on album ....

Postby cjdenecia » Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:12 am

HUD wrote:Going for the "elegance in simplicity" approach, I take it. Nothing wrong with that, in principle. I can see where this is a good approach for this idea of a song.


that's really sorta where my mind was with it ....

Generally do like the understated singing and playing - I guess the "electric guitar simulator" is those sustainful chords kind of in the background... works just fine, and does give this thing some backdrop.


that's it. and that's all I wanted, something to offer a counter to the continuous acoustic strum ....

The guitar has tone of brightness, reminding me of a twelve string sound... has a good stereo spread to it.


this is the first song on the album, and the last - where my playing had to be upfront so it couldn't be as transparent as the rest of the songs where my parts made the cut - it's just a double tracked acoustic ....

So what could improve... This feels rather dynamically flat line to me. Maybe could start just the minstral and his single channel guitar and work into the full array. As is, the 3:50-ish duration seems long. Fine not wanting oodles of b/u vox-there've been times where I've heard people pile'em into every nook and cranny and it felt claustrophobic, so how else can we get more variation? is the question to consider.


ok, what I've done is stripped it back. which you'll see probably wednesday night .... ripped out everything from half the first verse and again in the first half (vocal) of the bridge. it might help a lot. stripping it out instead of building it up. less is more attempt ....

I'm also good with the acoustic lead melody- nicely tasteful while simple, some good choices. But here's where you might be able to pour on just a little sugar, by adding a harmonizing acoustic part on the 2nd or 3rd go 'round. I might know a guy who could pull that off in about 5 seconds if you were interested... might need a psuedonym in the credits due to contractual obligations or someshit...


well, thanks man. that's the only lead stuff I know. using the E and B alone basically ... and I'd welcome a harmony on the main solo and going into the 3rd verse (tho it might get edited on the pre-verse depending ...) tell the guy to come in the side entrance where the delivery dock is. ohhh and ask him to leave all fx off the part.

and merci`.
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Re: 11 pages last song on album ....

Postby cjdenecia » Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:32 am

well, apparently someone didn't have that 5 seconds to spare ....

and in the meantime, I did strip back the arrangement some, put in some volume envelopes to compensate, eq'd the percussion and dropped it back down a few db's, add note value to the root oriented bass and did not add kazoo nor sheep.
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Re: 11 pages last song on album ....

Postby ptalbot » Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:38 pm

That's better, but I miss the kazoo and the sheep!
I still find it a bit long, you could easily fade it out around 3:00...

The transitions have a bit of an approximate tempo (1:06 and later at 1:58 and 2:23).
Not sure you care about fixing these, I know I would.

On the mix itself, I find the acoustic strumming rather boomy, I would try to cut somewhere around 300 to 500hz, see if it clears up things.
Actually I would high pass at least up to 100/120 with a steep curve as well it because there's a lot of mud down there right now, did you track in your bathroom? ;)
I just tried it these moves on your mp3 and it was much better already. Doing these on individual instruments might be best...
Then a simple high shelf, around 6/7khz to cut some highs will help smooth it out.
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Re: 11 pages last song on album ....

Postby ptalbot » Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:23 pm

I took the liberty of applying a bit of EQ to your mp3, you can hear attached the result.
I was not in my studio so I did a quick one in Audacity on my work PC, here's the curve I ended up with, as you can see it's pretty drastic:
eq.PNG
eq.PNG (42.03 KiB) Viewed 4797 times


Hope this helps!
-Patrick
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Re: 11 pages last song on album ....

Postby cjdenecia » Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:37 am

thanks pat, I think it helped.

and ta to the bish for adding to the fray of the fills.

this is where we are now ....
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Re: 11 pages last song on album ....

Postby HUD » Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:40 pm

cjdenecia wrote:thanks pat, I think it helped.

and ta to the bish for adding to the fray of the fills.

this is where we are now ....


Sounding pretty nice now... that bish dude adds some sweetness. Got some build working for you now.

Something about the start of the bridge just sounding awkward...maybe just me? Maybe timing is on, but the guitars verses the "oo", not quite sounding right.

Some of the melody reminds me of Zep's "Over the Hills", at the "many times I've listened" part- not enough like it to worry or that's it's a bad thing.
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Re: 11 pages last song on album ....

Postby Krispy » Sat Nov 01, 2014 8:48 pm

HUD wrote:Some of the melody reminds me of Zep's "Over the Hills", at the "many times I've listened" part

YES!! I've been saying that for some time and now I have a witness. :thumb:
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Re: 11 pages last song on album ....

Postby cjdenecia » Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:12 pm

HUD wrote:
cjdenecia wrote:thanks pat, I think it helped.

and ta to the bish for adding to the fray of the fills.

this is where we are now ....


Sounding pretty nice now... that bish dude adds some sweetness. Got some build working for you now.


indeed, tho as you may have guessed, I didn't use the rest cus it front loads the song. if part 2's had a matching bridge lead, I could judiciously add it too.

Something about the start of the bridge just sounding awkward...maybe just me? Maybe timing is on, but the guitars verses the "oo", not quite sounding right.


there was an issue there with the timing but I sorta have grown to like it ... maybe I'll do a slight nudge to seomthing but I have no interest in worrying about the first two breaks, it's all played with clicks so I know it all ends up fine. and it's decidedly human.

Some of the melody reminds me of Zep's "Over the Hills", at the "many times I've listened" part- not enough like it to worry or that's it's a bad thing.


would it shock you to know I wrote it with plant and his recent projects in mind. wanting an innocent sorta simplicity that he's been employing the last few years to be a guide in both approach, style and message.
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Re: 11 pages last song on album ....

Postby Ailwyn Rees » Sat Nov 01, 2014 10:00 pm

It certainly doesn't shock me, CJ, having listened to Robert Clark, etc :rock:
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Re: 11 pages last song on album ....

Postby ptalbot » Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:05 am

Don't know if you worked on EQ for v3, but it you did you were a bit shy with it.
It's still mighty muddy down there, sir!
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Re: 11 pages last song on album ....

Postby cjdenecia » Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:40 am

ptalbot wrote:Don't know if you worked on EQ for v3, but it you did you were a bit shy with it.
It's still mighty muddy down there, sir!


ok then, I wanted to keep something in there for warmth but ok .... a whole lotta mud gone now. better?
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