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  • DONE!! New SSS Production Squad Project: "Replay Replay"

    This is the theme for a movie that's sort of "Edge of Tomorrow" meets "It's a Wonderful Life." It'll probably never get finished, let alone green-lighted, but hey - at least it has a theme.



    This is the final video. For the story behind it, scroll down.

    This was a really tough song to mix, trying to go from the more acoustic stuff with the more intimate vocals to the "downpour of guitars" in the choruses. So I'm not sure how much I'm going to want to take another crack it at it, but since y'all always come up with such great suggestions...well, I'll be interested to hear what you think.

    FWIW this uses more of the new "idealized" guitar amp technology that was in "Have Just a Little Faith," including my first foray into an idealized bass amp, so I'm trying to take that whole concept further.
    Last edited by Anderton; 10-09-2014, 08:51 PM.
    CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

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  • #2
    Sorry for the mobile post's lack of paragraphing. It's really great. Really. Every thing works as it should. VERY well. But... if it were me, and it isn't, but if it were... I'd add certain overdubs to your existing, spot on, mix. All in the move toward adding a layer of high end shimmer. Ideas: add the direct track of your electric that plays first after the acoustic intros. Heavy compression and split with a Dimension D style chorus/ensemble effect. 100% effect to leave the center open for the the original amped guitar. Added sparingly to make that cool guitar hook pop. Add an octave below vocal on your chorus hook phrases. It's just another day. Plenty of 4k shelf for a counterintuitive low note sparkle. Add, on the same vocal phrases, a high vocal above pedaling the high tonic. One note... ITS JUST ANOTHER DAY! Add a tambourine on 2 and 4. Then 16s on C2, C3 etc. Add a whisper vocal track, doubling the lead vocal, no pitch, to your verses. Reference Riders On the Storm's Morrison whisper track. Add answering harmonies, cut and pasted in the holes after main vocal hooks, emphasizing the new high tonic belting. Filtered or amped or distorted, to create contrast to the main and ramping up the excitement toward the end. Or not. It's great as is. Really cool track, Craig!
    __________
    Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
    Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
    Jesus

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    • #3
      Some really good ideas in there, Lee. Of course a good idea is no guarantee I can pull it off, but I'm going to at least give them a try...whisper tracks are really hard to pull off without sounding creepy! I think the guitar figure idea is a slam dunk, though. I think I'm hearing exactly what you're hearing. Octave below vocal will be really hard to pull off, but maybe Mr. Melodyne can come to my assistance. Stay tuned.
      CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

      Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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      • #4
        Cool
        __________
        Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
        Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
        Jesus

        Comment


        • #5
          I can.t come close to the astute advice Lee is giving..But I'll say this..The Lead guitar is Smokin' Mutha Luvin' HOT. Great mix overall, VERY cool song. The only thing I don't care for is that the acoustic guitar sounds way too piezo pickupy. Probably is a piezo I guess..Dunno. Love what you're playing on it but I'd prefer just a good 'ol close miked steel string Gibby or Martin Big body.
          Excellent work Maestro! Luvin' that guitar work...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by AlamoJoe View Post
            I can.t come close to the astute advice Lee is giving..But I'll say this..The Lead guitar is Smokin' Mutha Luvin' HOT. Great mix overall, VERY cool song. The only thing I don't care for is that the acoustic guitar sounds way too piezo pickupy. Probably is a piezo I guess..Dunno. Love what you're playing on it but I'd prefer just a good 'ol close miked steel string Gibby or Martin Big body.
            Excellent work Maestro! Luvin' that guitar work...
            Your comments are always helpful, just Lee happens to be very specific. It's all good.

            Good call, it is a piezo on a solid-body LPX. However, there are two problems. One is that my temporary studio isn't set up yet for decent acoustic instrument miking. The more serious issue is I consider acoustic guitar and electric guitar different instruments, and frankly, I'm not as good on acoustic. I can certainly do a background rhythm part and strum away, but when the guitar is so upfront, my limitations as an acoustic guitarist would probably stick out.

            Similarly several of Lee's comments pertain to vocals, but one thing I've learned is to work within my limitations. That's why I said "Of course a good idea is no guarantee I can pull it off, but I'm going to at least give them a try." However this is also why the SSS Production Squad is so valuable to me. A lot of the comments push me to take something further and while I may not always get there, I get closer and the results may show up two or three songs down the road.

            Also, I am going to borrow one of the Epiphone PRO-1 acoustics. They have a more electric feel and are designed to be easy to play. I played a prototype and must admit, it made me sound like a better acoustic player than I really am.


            CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

            Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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            • #7
              The acoustic guitar is such a huge part of the song, a better acoustic sound would really be great. I'm not a huge fan of that "direct" sort of acoustic guitar sound either.

              And this may sound strange coming from me since I'm always imploring you to add more psychedelic touches, but the first part of the vocal sounds a little "wobbly" to me. I like how the voice is effected and all, but there's a "wobbly" quality that I'm not sure I like.

              All in all, it sounds really great, and I'm always happy to hear lots of guitar playing from you.
              Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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              • #8
                You guys are really good...so I did manage to borrow an acoustic guitar, and it does make all the difference in the world. Lee, did the guitar riff change (it indeed makes it pop more), the octave lower voice in a few places (GREAT effect), and also supported some vocals with the whisper parts. They're hard to hear unless you take them out, in which case you can definitely tell they're missing.

                The other vocal/answering/high-pitched things didn't work out so well, c'est la vie but I feel the changes did take the song up another notch. I did another mixer tonight...I'll sleep on it and if I still like it tomorrow, I'll slide it into the video and post it.

                One limiting factor in how much I'll mess with it is the original end was longer and intended to fade. I decided to have a real ending, so I did quite a bit of splicing on the master to re-arrange the end. Anytime I want to remix I have to do this, because making these changes to the multitrack, where 25 tracks are affected by each splice and crossfades are necessary, become a nightmare. Similarly, the flanging is done to the master.

                AND...I got inspired over the weekend and have a new song. It's seriously psychedelic, but updated. It's another change in direction, kind of light-hearted with a twist...it's called "Catch Me, I'm Dreaming" and I think you'll dig it. I'm sure Lee will suggest adding more lava lamps in the chorus Come to think of it, that's not a bad idea...
                CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

                Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                • #9
                  Cool! Looking forward to hearing this.
                  __________
                  Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
                  Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
                  Jesus

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well it took a long time to finish off, because I did end up making the changes in the end on the multitrack instead of splicing the master each time, and I did pretty much everything that was suggested - including "de-wobbling" the vocal at the beginning, and adding some more elaborate vocal interplay at the end.

                    That meant the end was more complex, so I nuked the flanging that was on the original because it just ended up cluttering it. Now I can save it for some other song

                    FWIW the acoustic is, AFAIK, the first recording using one of Epiphone's PRO-1 model guitars. I managed to borrow an early sample and I must say that given the price of the PRO-1 line, it's pretty cool. I didn't use the piezo out but figure out how to turn a closet into a recording booth that kept out the machine noise.

                    AGAIN, let me emphasize how helpful it is to me to have your suggestions. I feel very fortunate to draw on not just "a second set of ears" but several sets of ears. I think you comments improve the songs considerably.

                    I will have a new draft posted in the next couple days, I think y'all are going to like it. Ken, I'm really considering identifying it as a Mandrake Memorial song...given that I wrote most of the later material, I figure I'm entitled to use the name
                    CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

                    Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Anderton View Post

                      I will have a new draft posted in the next couple days, I think y'all are going to like it. Ken, I'm really considering identifying it as a Mandrake Memorial song...given that I wrote most of the later material, I figure I'm entitled to use the name
                      Cool!

                      I don't remember the first version well enough to compare the two mentally, but it just seems to sound much better. And I like the acoustic guitar sound MUCH more. A much more pleasing sound, I think. And yes, I like the "de-wobbled" voice in the first verse much more too!!!
                      Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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                      • #12
                        Very nice, but needs a tad more cowbell

                        The production on your songs always sounds so 'clear', if you know what I mean. I've no idea how you do that

                        works | smoke | forum

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MarkydeSad View Post
                          The production on your songs always sounds so 'clear', if you know what I mean. I've no idea how you do that
                          Probably EQ is responsible for most of it. For example on voice I usually boost the highs so it stands out more. On the acoustic guitar, I added a couple notches so it wouldn't step on other parts. Bass also tends to get a lot of highs to bring out the "ring" and pick noise, which makes it seem louder even though it isn't. Also I don't use a lot of reverb, although I seem to have done a spate of songs lately with some reverb on the voice...

                          Drums often get a "double peak" with a slight bass boost just below the range where most of the bass part lies, and a second boost either in the mids below the vocal boost if I want to bring out the snare, or above the voice to accentuate the hi-hat.

                          The tom-based drum part sounded kind of blurry and mushed together, so I used Sonar's transient shaper to bring out the attack more and make the toms sound more distinct.

                          This is all stuff based on the accumulated knowledge of working in studios for the past 47 years...and also being obsessive
                          CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

                          Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by UstadKhanAli View Post
                            I don't remember the first version well enough to compare the two mentally, but it just seems to sound much better. And I like the acoustic guitar sound MUCH more. A much more pleasing sound, I think.
                            Yes, that was a really good call from Joe and you. Lee's comments made the song become more "alive." The old version will still be up at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzc87x3O5EY for a little bit if you want to compare.

                            And yes, I like the "de-wobbled" voice in the first verse much more too!!!
                            You can thank Melodyne for that! I didn't take the pitch variations out entirely, but toned them down.

                            I'll be posting the next song tonight. It's hard to convey thanks properly via pixels on a screen but again, your collected insights are invaluable.

                            CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

                            Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                            • #15

                              Originally posted by Anderton View Post
                              I'll be posting the next song tonight. It's hard to convey thanks properly via pixels on a screen but again, your collected insights are invaluable.
                              Bloody hell, Craig, slow down!!!
                              works | smoke | forum

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