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Monty's Dream (my partner's 2nd song)


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Well, this is something my partner actually did herself. She did the lyrics and plays the guitar in it. Right now it's very simple and basic in its form. She wants more things on it (but not too much), and I've just done a very basic vocal on it.


She originally did it as a nice guitar instrumental sort of based on our cat Monty, but then she was thinking about this story her mother told her about this long lost cousin Percy who went to war a young boy and he died and they found a comb and stuff in his bag, and it was all he had...and then there's apparently some guy called Major General Montgomery who was in charge of a war or something...so yeah. She's way more historical than me. lol




Monty's Dream


Once upon a lifetime ago

In another land beyond the sea

A farmer

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I like it, though it sounds like any of several dozen songs I've heard before. Truth be told my favorite parts were the interludes. I'd find a way to work the little lead part and the heavy reverb ending vocals into the body of the song more.

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Pretty good. I agree with Owslek that it reminds me of a lot of other straight ahead pop/folk songs, but that might say more about my listening habits than the song.


It is kind of wordy, but a lot of songs in this genre are.


She played the guitar live? It still sounds weird to me. However it got there, that very even repeating bass line was getting on my nerves by the end. Was it played as one part or laid down in a series of overdubs?


I like the idea of the reverb soaked electric part, but not the way that the amp farted out during the interlude.

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Ok, it seems as if she is a competent guitarist. Let's reflect that in her recorded sound.


1 ) Put Frank away. She should be playing whatever she calls her #1 acoustic.

2 ) Get her standing or seated comfortably. This is going to be like figure drawing - you want your model to be comfortable so that she doesn't need to move around a lot once you have her positioned.

3 ) Get 2 condenser mics. One should be pointed at the 12th fret of the neck and placed 12" away from the guitar. The other should be somewhere around her ears or head, placed so that it doesn't get in her way.

4 ) Adjust the gain on the preamp. Make her play the loudest part of the song and the quietest part of the song, and make sure you aren't clipping the A/D converters and have a healthy signal going into the DAW.

5 ) Give her a nice headphone mix.

5a ) The song is in 4/4 time. Get a natural sounding drum track that plays each beat of the measure voiced on an appropriate instrument (1-kick, 2-snare, 3-kick, 4-hi hat). I count like a drummer (1234, 2234, 3234, 4234 etc) and like many drummers, I can't count much beyond 10 ;). So every 8 bars, put something in the drum track that lets the performer know that they need to reset their count (ie, a small fill). In the measure before any change in the song section (ie whenever the performer has to switch to a different pattern) add a longer drum fill.

5b ) This song has a pretty limited number of chord changes inside each section, but it is frequently helpful to remind the performer what chord they are supposed to be playing (or playing over). Make a simple bass track that voices the root of the chord on the 1 of every measure.

5c ) Guitarists don't hear themselves the same way that others hear them. She should be hearing a lot more of the mic up around her head than the mic at the 12th fret (later in the mix, we will reverse this relationship).

5d ) Minimize Latency. Some guitarists will change what their fingers do to match what their ears are telling them. Some guitarists need their ears to match up what they know their fingers just did. In either case, latency between what they do and what they hear is your enemy. Zero latency monitoring if your interface supports it, otherwise do everything you can to get the audio buffers in your DAW as small as possible.

5e ) Reverb. It is frequently a nice touch to add some reverb to the headphone mix. If you can do this without adding latency, go for it.

5f ) Stereo mix. Not worth it IMHO. If you can, that is nice, but you really want to avoid having one ear be significantly different than the other ear. Mix to mono and make the L/R channels on the headphone mix the same.

6 ) EQ. On the mic at the 12th fret hi-pass at 100Hz and (since I know that the droning A bass note is going to bug me later) low shelf of -12db starting around 250Hz. I usually end up adding a bump around 2K, but that's up to you.

7 ) Roll tape. Don't let her get hung up/distressed if she misses something, and absolutely don't add to her distress by screwing up yourself. Record 4-5 takes or until she is happy, whichever comes first. If she still isn't happy after the 5th take, tell her "it's ok, I've got enough to work with now and I can comp something together later".

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