hey,hey/Foster farm

This is the place to go for preliminary critiques if you're interested in getting some community feedback on improvements to your song BEFORE entering it into the Audiopolis Review System. Don't come in expecting nothing but praise - this is a place to get advice and learn about making your tunes better.

hey,hey/Foster farm

Postby slywitt » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:13 am

First thing I've written and/or recorded in 2 years. I know it needs some space and dynamics....but it felt good to just let it splat. Oh, and gotta sing better...voice is even more out of practice than usual.
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Re: hey,hey/Foster farm

Postby HUD » Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:58 pm

Always great to hear some new Slywitt. Actually thought the voice was pretty solid.
Sounds like celebration. In some aspects, this has rather an 80's feel, thought of Dire Straits "Do the Walk of Life", another happy song. The portion after the "hey" chorus is really golden, the kind of the thing that sets your songwriting apart from anyone else around here, in terms of sophistication and an appreciation for stuff that doesn't easily transcribe onto a chord sheet. Could possibly use something of a bridge, work your magic just a little further. Like one more flavor in this mix would be icing on the cake. As brilliant as those keyboard patterns are toward the end, I'm not real keen about how it all just abruptly disintigrates into a puff of smoke. The safe option of course, would be to continue the keyboard pattern, fading off into oblivion. But composing a proper ending, perhaps resolving in an unexpected direction would be most statisfying. I'm becoming a real hater of slam-against-the-wall type song endings (you know who you are!), I'll admit.
EQwise, sounding kind of thin. Could use more meatiness, foremost with the drums. I most definitely hear everything well enough to appreciate, but production generally seems to be your achilles heal - better than some, but not nearly as good as the song deserves. There's simply too much brilliance in the typical Slywitt offering to continue gaining less than all glory laud & honor due to the less than stellar sound quality.
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Re: hey,hey/Foster farm

Postby Krispy » Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:47 pm

Up to the usual Slywitt standard melodically and atmospherically and in the emotional department. Glad you're feeling so cheerful. The start made me jump though. HEY!!!
I do the hear the vocal shortcomings, real me', less-than-clinical wobble is part of what you do anyway, if you see what I mean. I like the little nod to good ol' rock 'n' roll in that guitar riff in the second parts of the chorus. The descending chords with vocal following are nicely stirring, though I would've liked the drums to ease off for it - less beats, more groove . Have to agree with The Archbishop that a lick of posh production would really bring out all the details so lovingly placed there.
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Re: hey,hey/Foster farm

Postby HUD » Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:23 pm

Have to agree with The Archbishop that a lick of posh production would really bring out all the details so lovingly placed there.

what brings this concern to the fore is after reading Pat's less than appreciative reviews, as for song so sublime as "Operation Life".
As for the voice, many of us have learnt to appreciate that these pipes ain't gonna win American Idol, but are the perfect means of communication for the material.
I'm highly tempted to take a stab at covering me some Slywitt, but it would certainly seem to require a helluva lotta work.
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Re: hey,hey/Foster farm

Postby ptalbot » Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:14 pm

I went back to listen again to this "Operation Life" song, and I would still say the same thing, there's some good things in there, but the production is really chaotic and doesn't help the listening experience, in fact I really believe it prevents it.
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Re: hey,hey/Foster farm

Postby cjdenecia » Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:26 am

actually sly, this is a mess! but .... it's so good to hear something new from you I don't care. plus, it's completely in keeping with your library of slysongs in writing and vocal performance. - it's got your signature melody twists all over it that simply are you. even when your recordings aren't up to the quality control standard I wish they were, you always still somehow seem to deliver energy and something different that doesn't disappoint.

welcome back to music, it missed you.
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Re: hey,hey/Foster farm

Postby steban » Fri Nov 21, 2014 6:30 pm

It is a loud recording, sly and when it started HEY HEY HEY IT's A WONDERFUL DAY! it woke me up fast! I even turned the volume down at first. It was not too hot though, but it was just big and loud and fine when I cranked it down a notch.

Your voice has its imperfections, but they endear the delivery more than impair it. Controlled chaos. Could it be sung less imperfectly? Of course, but the fact is you have captured here the essence, the idea of the song. And it is very very good. I am reminded of Todd Rundgren in the busy raw musicality with its beautiful chord progressions and almost endless arpeggios and tasteful transitions.

Is there room for one more brilliant part, a bridge, an outro, an intro, an arrangement change? I wouldn't doubt it. The question is, what is it? What would feel natural, belong with the rest of the song? But the other question is, is it really missing anything? A song is a fragile concept, you don't want to step on it.

On the production end, the overall sound is very good, I'm hearing everything pretty good, I understand the lyrics, but it is a busy wall of sound and exudes much positive energy, to me it is pushed (un?)intentionally to the limits of acceptability to achieve that, but it is possible it could be technically improved without upsetting that living on the edge vibe.

I imagine a more polished production job, but frankly, Sly, I might always prefer this one, so authentic!
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Re: hey,hey/Foster farm

Postby slywitt » Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:08 pm

yeh,
the production/mixing side of things is a killer for me. Way back in the late 70's when I had pros doing it for me, it all seemed so simple -and I sounded brilliant.

I spent the last 2 years trying to mix 'jean'...and, who knows. I'll get around to posting it - my 3rd go around- maybe sometime.

It's this constructive criticism here that, to me, is the greatest strength of the site. Thanks for the feedback all. You and some others specifically mentioned the drums...I think I'm going to try and start there and build. Maybe I need to invest in some decent reference speakers, but honestly don't know that they'd make a difference. I seem to have a 'blind' (deaf?) spot when it come to mixing. It frustrates the hell out of me.

oh..and I just downloaded the fantastic colab tune... not sure I can add anything to it, but I'll give it a go.

Thanks all!
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Re: hey,hey/Foster farm

Postby slywitt » Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:35 am

Better?

Re-mixed...added, subtracted... man, it loses a lot going to mp3.

heyhey_FosterFarm_RC1.mp3
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Re: hey,hey/Foster farm

Postby steban » Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:03 pm

This is a very smooth production. The first was a bit louder a mix, had a more punk/live rock vibe in that mix, very nice stereo, too. Just throw in a some strategic crowd noise and you have your live and your studio versions, dude!

Thanks!
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Re: hey,hey/Foster farm

Postby cjdenecia » Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:22 am

slywitt wrote:Better?

Re-mixed...added, subtracted... man, it loses a lot going to mp3.

The attachment heyhey_FosterFarm_RC1.mp3 is no longer available


a quick mastering .. sorry about the ending -wanted to cut off your clicks but it was tight and so a bitch.

the rest - I'm not happy but then again, the mix would be different with this mastering in mind.
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Re: hey,hey/Foster farm

Postby slywitt » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:08 am

Hey thanks!

Where the hell did the last month go? I'm flabergasted that it's been this long since I've checked in. I'll give it a listen and report back. I have no doubt that it's better.
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Re: hey,hey/Foster farm

Postby slywitt » Sun Feb 08, 2015 12:56 am

It's an improvement...but it really points out how bad my mix was in the first place.

I think I'm going to re-visit this and simplify it. Maybe 'start' with it being a 4-5 piece band and maybe adding 'touches' as it goes.

Thanks for trying to help improve this.
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Re: hey,hey/Foster farm

Postby steban » Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:19 am

I listened to cj's mix, and then I listened again to the other two mixes, sly.

This is a cool song with a concept that surpasses its production or performance. I'm not sure, as ceej said, it can be 'fixed' as is. But that's OK for me personally. I'm not sure if the metronome, for example, was an artistic choice, or just something that is undeletable without a redo of some part. I'm not sure I'd include it, but I am not put off by it being there either.

But such a song might deserve or demand another version, I'm not asking for it, but the song might to you. If so, and if the muse so allows, please have at it. The next version may be closer to the way you want to hear it.

So far as the last mix, it seemed to help the bass, but I'm undecided about anything else. On the other hand, it didn't detract from anything else noticeably, so that is good.

In my opinion a one man band is going to have compromises as the one's strengths and weaknesses come forth on different levels. Take the same idea and give it to the right group and the result is going to be better. Different, too. We all know this, but to whom does it matter?

All I can say is when and if you remake it, I'll check it out. But then I'd check out anything you shared as you bark up the music tree I tend to like.
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