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Oh, yes, something very nice in the works here. A few tweaky comments:
1 - that little bit of whammy bend you're doing on the electric sustained strum at the end of phrases - I recommend you bend it just a bit more. It's such a slight bend, the ear has to decide if it's out of tune, or if it's bending. Don't think you want some big surf music bend of course, but just a bit more.
2 - love the double-track on the vocal. When you hit the chorus with the phrase "back and forth" I think you need a change in the panning and treatment of the vocal. Spread the vocal out more across the field and drop it back a tad into some more reverb or a little delay or something is what I'd suggest trying. Give the chorus more of a distinguished feel from the verses. Of course, you're adding a bunch of dreamier instrument sounds to get this effect in the chorus, but I think the vocal needs to be more distinguished there, too. Maybe a few more layers of vocals in the comp would do it, make it lusher and more chorusy, less forward.
3 - the chorus is too trebly overall to my ear. There's the bass working away down below, but it's under a ton of very strong treble sounds. Just tamp down the treble tones a tad, I'd recommend.
looking forward to hearing more of this one...what a radio-ready voice you have, lawsame.
The nice bass riff that drives the intro and the verses - you're hitting the kick on one and three pretty much all the time. (if you're hitting it more than that, I can't hear it, which comes to the same thing)
I'd try the kick as
One and Two and Three and Four and One and Two and Three and Four and One
with the "ands" a little bitty bit late on the grid and lower in volume.
Would add a bit of snap and drive, since the bass is hitting these "ands" a lot already.
Nat - thanks for the great feedback. I'm on the fence on the bends right now as I kind of like how they sound, but maybe I'll give it a try. (You're talking about the ones in the verses? I do it in the chorus as well, but with two guitars and panned hard... it's a technique I use a lot, perhaps too much, to make my choruses a bit more ethereal).
I'll give the vocals in the chorus a shot... I kind of get what you're saying. I also have added a few ear candy type of things that may fill out that middle space and may take care of the treble thing you mentioned.
And the bass drum. Yes! I absolutely was going to address the drums eventually... I always start with that straight, simple beat... If this one makes the cut, I'll have a real drummer on it, but for now, love the idea you put forward.
We are kind of like the land and sea
When waves reach the shore eventually
A moment in the sun, we exist as one Before we're drawn to deeper water
I like this a lot.
“Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.
I've been thinking about your "bends". On this updated version where you have that little vocal bit layered over the intro, the bend at that point works pretty well as it's less exposed. And the bends in the chorus I never really noticed, being a lot more buried in all the activity.
Bottom line I guess is that when these bends are very exposed, they draw undue attention, but when there's enough stuff layered on, they just sink into the background and do their etherealizing thing just fine.
I do the etherealizing thing with electric guitar, too. My favorite method is to lay down an electric part with no bends at all. Then I record another track of electric playing just one or two notes that follow the original part, but I bend the notes with my fingers. Doing this I can vary the speed from just a slow single bend to any speed of vibrato I like (and can manage, technique-wise). This makes the ethereal effect a "played" effect and gives me a very expressive technique to mess around with (especially compared to just a set-in-stone effect like chorusing.) The idea is that it's not (very) noticeable that a second part is being played at all, but the effect is clearly heard.
Not suggesting you do this (of course if you want to..) so I'm doing my characteristic OT drift, just guitar-player chatter.
I got my idea from listening to Bill Frisell. Even playing solo electric, he has this technique of bending one note while another sounded note sustains, and it creates this lovely little wavy effect like his notes are leaves on a tree and a little breeze sets one delicately drifting. Stillness and motion all at once..
Here's the old pro at it, improvising Beatle tunes -
UPDATED. Here is a more fleshed out version, albeit, still pretty rough... http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=12852895 We've broken into two what once was one We've shattered all the joy that once was fun Yet every time I fall, you pick me up again Brush me off and send me packin'... Back and forth we drift into each other's consciousness The world is pushing us to be together... love We are kind of like the land and sea When waves reach the shore eventually A moment in the sun, we exist as one Dragged apart in the whitewater Back and forth we drift into each other's consciousness The world is pushing us to be together... love Perhaps it's time to swim for shore Forget about the things not worth fighting for Never mind the ups and downs and circling around Together we are something better Back and forth we drift into each other's consciousness The world is pushing us to be together... love
Wow. You really nail that BRIDGE! The lyric is fantastic. Even more though, as I sat waiting through the second chorus I wondered where you might go from here. I'm marveling at the keyboard prolonging my wait.:-) it's such a great delaying of what is to come. Almost a solo section in itself. Then later what I guess is a pre-chorus? I love the way your tunes don't lock themselves in to each section being the same. I haven't analyzed enough to know what part is what yet when it comes to that pre-chorus section but I absolutely love it. This is just great work Justin. Knowing what you do with live musicians I can only imagine how cool this one might turn out. Nice. Of course I've got a fever so... :-)
Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
Dad is great and all but he never could sing - Jesus
Fantastic - I love it - you are great - but ………..
The only thing that struck me was that you do that amazing high register chant before you start singing V1, and I thought you might have used it again as backing somewhere in the verses mix. Just a thought.
'Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn'.
Thanks Lee and OGP. That chant at the beginning was GOING to make it back in the song at the end... but I haven't gotten to it yet then was thinking it might be overkill. I was thinking of a bunch if different voices doing it actually. Would be cool in a live setting.