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Waiting to Fall - feedback please


Oswlek

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Hey everyone, I have a new one in the works found here. This is a mix that is close to completion, but a few things are up in the air.

 

Edit to add: I know this song isn't made for radio. It has no clear hook and right when you get comfortable with it, it veers off in a new direction. But that is where it wanted to go and I didn't feel like fighting with it to make it fit a standard sized box.

 

Here are a few specific questions I have.

 

1) Does the "waiting, waiting" at 3:23 and 3:32 work? If it doesn't work, is it because the idea sucks or is it the way it is mixed?

 

2) Does the early entrance of the lead vocal on the final line (at 3:30) sound akward?

 

3) Are the vocals believable? I'm not the greatest singer so I'm not asking if they are professional quality, just if they sound honest.

 

4) Any advice on some non-guitar touches that could be added? I don't play anything else, but I have a buddy who's offered to help with other instruments.

 

I'm certainly open to criticism on anything else that comes to mind. Thanks and here are the lyrics.

 

 

Waiting to Fall

 

She

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I'll try and answer your specific questions, but I like the song, I like the two part structure, I like the guitar arpeggios in the first part and the lyrics overall.

 

1) Take a de-esser to the vocals, especially in the first part (which has a lot of s sounds).

2) Add some reverb to the vocals, move them back a little in the stereo field - the L/R panning is fine but everything is at a uniform depth (and that depth is a little too close to the front).

3) I'm thinking some kind of evolving pad in the first part, maybe some shakers/tambourines/bells. There's a Beatlesey thing about that arpeggio that I would try and bring out.

 

For the second part - I'd like a little more contrast with the first part. Here I'm definitely hearing stick drums, bass guitar and electric guitar. The existing acoustic part can stay, but it needs to come down in the mix and have other stuff around it. This song would be great for GJ forumite Micwalt. He would kill on the background vocals (waiting, paradise, waiting too long etc.) and he would be perfect on lead electric guitar. He tends to post music and then take it down again - I'll look around to see if he has something similar that is still up.

(here - try his youtube channel, http://www.youtube.com/user/micwalt)

 

Ok, on to your specific questions.

 

 

Here are a few specific questions I have.


1) Does the "waiting, waiting" at 3:23 and 3:32 work? If it doesn't work, is it because the idea sucks or is it the way it is mixed?

 

No, it works - I dig it. See the Micwalt comment above. He loves Jellyfish.

 

2) Does the early entrance of the lead vocal on the final line (at 3:30) sound akward?

 

No, it works. See above.

 

 

3) Are the vocals believable? I'm not the greatest singer so I'm not asking if they are professional quality, just if they sound honest.

 

Kind of addressed this above. The vocals are fine, de-ess and reverb.

 

 

4) Any advice on some non-guitar touches that could be added? I don't play anything else, but I have a buddy who's offered to help with other instruments.

 

Kind of addressed above. Pad and percussion in the first part, rock band in the second part.

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Thanks for the helpful response. rsadasiv. I've gone back and added some reverb to the vocals to soften them in the mix. I had never even heard of a DeEsser before, so I went out and found one and it sounds much better. I'll be using it on every vocal track from here on out because I've always thought my NT1A added too much splash. I also kept the "waiting, waiting" bit but I remixed it and it sounds better.

 

I completely get what you are saying about rocking out more in the 2nd part, but options aren't plentiful so I'll have to hint in that direction more than actually going there.

 

Do you mind if I ask a couple followup questions?

 

1) Is there a way to "move [the vocals] back a little in the stereo field" other than raising the reverb? I can't tell if you are suggesting something else or elaborating on the benefit of increased reverb?

 

2) When you suggest an electric in the 2nd part, do you mean some strummed backing or leadwork?

 

3) Can you elaborate a bit more on the first half percussion/bells/etc? If possible select a small, couple measure sample and say which beats things should hit.

 

I really appreciate the help.

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Thanks Lee. I like the idea of the piano bass note. And that is easy enough for me to pull off, I think. ;)

 

As for the simple percussion, do you hear it coming in when the song changes immediately after the 2nd refrain or when the "Paradise" vocals come in?

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Thanks Lee. I like the idea of the piano bass note. And that is easy enough for me to pull off, I think.
;)

As for the simple percussion, do you hear it coming in when the song changes immediately after the 2nd refrain or when the "Paradise" vocals come in?

 

Use your impeccable taste. Delaying its entry might be nice. Even just the 2 + 4 soft hit would groove against those guitars. Percolate.

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I like the song. Here are my suggestions:

 

The various vocal tracks are distracting because they're way too off to the side. They sound especially disorienting on headphones. I would center the vocals and use an ADT plugin when you want more stereo going on:

 

http://www.vacuumsound.de/plugins.html

 

Try this one. If you don't know what ADT is, it's the Beatles effect and it does a good job of adding depth without losing the centered image.

 

I also would use a high-pass filter on the vocal tracks so they occupy a smaller space. They seem to encroach on the rest of the tracks a bit.

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I like the song. Here are my suggestions:


The various vocal tracks are distracting because they're way too off to the side. They sound especially disorienting on headphones. I would center the vocals and use an ADT plugin when you want more stereo going on:




Try this one. If you don't know what ADT is, it's the Beatles effect and it does a good job of adding depth without losing the centered image.


I also would use a high-pass filter on the vocal tracks so they occupy a smaller space. They seem to encroach on the rest of the tracks a bit.

 

 

Thanks for the tip on the high-pass filter. I found GBand and it helps. I tried ADT but it doesn't create as much variance as I want, no matter the settings. I will ply around with the panning and see it I can make it less confusing, though.

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I think that almost everything that occupies the lower midrange and isn't a bass instrument can benefit from a high pass filter.

 

Yeah, the idea behind ADT is that it gives the sound of close double tracking, it doesn't create much variance, just a slight bit of thickness.

 

I think something you could try is that you could always center the main vocal, and if you have other vocals off to the side, try having a similar level of vocals on the other channel. Also, listen on headphones to make sure that the image isn't disorienting.

 

Off center vocals are great for a short period of time but when it happens too much, you get a bit of a headache.

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I agree that the high pass filter really cleans things up. I used it on almost every vocal track.

 

Here is a remix with reorg'd vox at the end. I tried to be creative with the lead bit but I do like it closer to center. That also allowed me to pan the "waiting, waiting" bit more as well. Better?

 

http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/artist/song_details/7109071

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The vocals do sound much better!

 

I still want the backing vocals more balanced, I think adding a second vocal track on the left channel in the first part of the song would make things a little more centered, or maybe just bringing it slightly closer to the center.

 

The second part of the song sounds very good now.

 

I hear a lot of extra vocal sounds, like lips smacking type of sound, things like that. They're not making the song worse, just that they're there. Is this by design? If not, just listen on headphones loud and you'll hear where they are.

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The vocals do sound much better!


I still want the backing vocals more balanced, I think adding a second vocal track on the left channel in the first part of the song would make things a little more centered, or maybe just bringing it slightly closer to the center.


The second part of the song sounds very good now.


I hear a lot of extra vocal sounds, like lips smacking type of sound, things like that. They're not making the song worse, just that they're there. Is this by design? If not, just listen on headphones loud and you'll hear where they are.

 

 

They aren't there by design, I just haven't gotten around to editing that stuff out. Some will stay because it impacts the quality of the track to take them all the way out, but that doesn't bother me too much. I have no illusions about any critical success my songs will ever become

 

As for panning in the first half, I have the guitar to the left and vox to the right. I knid of like it that way, but I'll try moving them a bit closer and see what happens. I'll also try moving the low harmony to the left and see if that balances things.

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I hear you about not polishing too much. It's just not a good idea to sound like a bad version of a high-dollar producer, and I think for us self produced artists, we definitely need a production style that shows our limits as much as it shows our abilities. It makes the music more vulnerable and more approachable.

 

I think the problem with panning guitars one way and vox the other is that they don't really balance each other out much. One thing I think improves harmonies is if people actually sound like they're singing at the same time, and when vocals aren't centered, it's a little easy to pick out the parts.

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Not sure what happened with the other link, but this one should work. I'm planning on remixing the percussion a little (upping the kick drums, reorging a few of the fills, etc) but this is about 90% of the way there. The drums are midi and are rebuilt tracks comprised of individual samples, so if you hear something that needs to be fixed or could be improved, lay it on me.

 

http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/artist/song_details/7146073

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Not sure what happened with the other link, but this one should work. I'm planning on remixing the percussion a little (upping the kick drums, reorging a few of the fills, etc) but this is about 90% of the way there. The drums are midi and are rebuilt tracks comprised of individual samples, so if you hear something that needs to be fixed or could be improved, lay it on me.


http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/artist/song_details/7146073

 

 

Yes!

 

Personally, I'd cut the rest in half before the hat comes in. In other words, bring it in sooner. That's me though. Another thing, I'd dull the perc sounds out a bit. They're too clean. Too hi-fi. Do you have a tape plugin? The sound of analog tape slightly driven. If not, I'd shelf at 6k and take off 3dB. Dull is good too. Especially against those crystalline guitars voice.

 

Now, everyone's going to disagree with me here but I'm ok with that. I'd use some judicious autotune or melodyne. Your vocal intervals a little less tight than I like. Either that or re-sing those bits. It's when you dip down and then back up. Paradise... I've been...

 

And one last observation. Be careful of the similarity of your verse melody to Eric Carmen's All By Myself. You're cool, but be aware of it. I hear you wanting to cop it and you not being aware of it. You might decide to change a note or two just too steer clear.

 

The song is worth taking it a little farther in the QC department. It's good stuff.

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Yes!


Personally, I'd cut the rest in half before the hat comes in. In other words, bring it in sooner. That's me though. Another thing, I'd dull the perc sounds out a bit. They're too clean. Too hi-fi. Do you have a tape plugin? The sound of analog tape slightly driven. If not, I'd shelf at 6k and take off 3dB. Dull is good too. Especially against those crystalline guitars voice.


Now, everyone's going to disagree with me here but I'm ok with that. I'd use some judicious autotune or melodyne. Your vocal intervals a little less tight than I like. Either that or re-sing those bits. It's when you dip down and then back up. Paradise... I've been...


And one last observation. Be careful of the similarity of your verse melody to Eric Carmen's All By Myself. You're cool, but be aware of it. I hear you wanting to cop it and you not being aware of it. You might decide to change a note or two just too steer clear.


The song is worth taking it a little farther in the QC department. It's good stuff.

 

 

Wow, I can honestly say that I didn't remember Carmen's verse at all. It is very similar, though in a different key and his backing is a lot more dramatic. I'll look into that.

 

As for the autotune, what track(s) are you most bothered by? The backing vox? The low harmony? The lead? All of them?

 

As for cutting the rest in half, I'm looking at adding a few piano touches there to liven it up a tad. I tried getting to the hihat sooner but it sounds forced, like a bad radio edit.

 

I'll definitely dull the perc, thanks.

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