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Insatiable - feedback please


Oswlek

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OK, here is a dark number called "Instatiable". I'm looking for all sorts of feedback here. Lyrics, melody, guitar, the mix, it is all fair game.

 

In particular I want to know if the tripling of the vocals works (I put two in the background, so it doesn't sound too cluttered).

 

I also want to know if the extra guitar track with phaser on it works.

 

Here is the link.

 

Thanks in advance for your help.

 

 

Insatiable


Nameless, faceless, sitting at the wheel

These guiding hands and shrouded plans I can't reveal

Draped in shadow, mirror fails to show

What's behind the mask, afraid to ask who's in control


Insatiable, the criminal I hide

I'm your carnival, your feeble vagrant ride


Empty promises line our battered path

There's no bargaining, no bartering with merciless wrath

Manic shame, molten in my blood

This passenger door's the only cure I know


Insatiable, the criminal I hide

I'm your carnival, your feeble vagrant ride

Insatiable the animal inside

Your carnival, a feeble wretched ride

 

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Carnivore... An interesting "mis-hear" -- particularly given the context. The animal inside. Carnies and carnivores... the tiger's out the cage and the carnival goers scatter.

 

Anyhow...

 

I don't think I'm going out on a limb suggesting I hear more than a couple Thom Yorke/Radiohead echoes here, from subject matter and approach to reverse echo/reverb and arpeggiated guitar.

 

It's a haunting, somewhat tantalizingly obscured song... I have to say, though, that the feeble vagrant ride phrase pushes right up to the line of my tolerance for seemingly intentionally inscrutable lyrical bits. I like mystery, I like being teased -- but you'll lose me as soon as I think there's a good chance that a phrase doesn't actually mean anything specific, even to the author.

 

Overall, a pretty cool, mysterious package.

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Carnivore...
An interesting "mis-hear" -- particularly given the context. The animal inside. Carnies and carnivores... the tiger's out the cage and the carnival goers scatter.


Anyhow...


I don't think I'm going out on a limb suggesting I hear more than a couple Thom Yorke/Radiohead echoes here, from subject matter and approach to reverse echo/reverb and arpeggiated guitar.


It's a haunting, somewhat tantalizingly obscured song... I have to say, though, that the
feeble vagrant ride
phrase pushes right up to the line of my tolerance for seemingly intentionally inscrutable lyrical bits. I
like
mystery, I like being teased -- but you'll lose me as soon as I think there's a good chance that a phrase doesn't actually mean anything specific, even to the author.


Overall, a pretty cool, mysterious package.

 

 

For those that don't want to know what the song is about, skip this message.

 

The subject matter, as I intended it, is the self-loathing, helplessly out of control feeling one has in the throes of an addiction they can't shake. It feels like there is another being controling your thoughts and actions.

 

The feeble, vagrant ride essentially is saying that the person is a hollow shell, incapable of holding firm, that the darker self manipulates.

 

It wasn't quite what I wanted to say, I settled on "vagrant", but I really like the sound of it and it is close to what I wanted to say.

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No doubt you considered
vacant.



 

I hadn't, because I was looking for something like aimless, directionless. But I like that, it fits and it is remarkably similar to vagrant. I think I'll swap it into the 2nd chorus.

 

Thanks.:thu:

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Well

 

It's mysterious sounding and engaging. Lyrically, it throws out interesting images, but there's no hope of understanding it unless you "explain it" as you did in the other post. A song should stand on it's own without explanation. Doesn't mean the listener understands the full story of what inspires the muse. But you've got to give the listener something to hold on to, or you'll lose them.

 

I guess it lost me. But I don't mean to be uppity or harsh. It certainly communicates a desperate mood very well. I know I like the sound of it. And I know it's about something. But I don't know what. So, then I drift away.

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Yeah, the meaning is rather obscure. I got the general idea about self-loathing or some such, but I couldn't get much more than that without your description of what it's about. Maybe you could write a bridge which sort of sums up the meaning? Maybe something along the lines of "Insatiable and burning/this addiction has me yearning/hours pass until I get my fix/it was never supposed to be like this." Of course, that is just an off the top of the head kind of suggestion, and it may ruin the mystery and/or be too simple for what you're shooting for.

 

As for the tripled vocals, they get a little old to me by the time the song is over. What about bringing in a second vocal on the first chorus, and then bringing in the third vocal part way through the next verse?

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Thanks for the feedback everyone. Here are some responses.

 

1) I swapped "vagrant" for "vacant" in the 2nd chorus.

 

2) I agree that the lyrics are obscure, and I realize it will turn some off. That said, it does seem that everyone got the "darkness within" part and that is the root theme I was shooting for.

 

3) Further on the obscure front, there are some great artists, Led Zep, Nirvana and Radiohead come to mind, who spend a lot of time in the vague lyric area. Whether this song is up to those standards (or can be once polished up a bit more) I'll leave up to the listener, but I'm not sure the meaning always has to be clear. Of course, you do need something else to capture the listener if the story is hard to grasp, so perhaps that is where the song is lacking.

 

4) I am still looking at some harmonies, so I'm going to leave the 3X vocal for now in the hopes that the harmoines can offer the nuance that keeps the 3X from getting dull. If that doesn't work, I'll probably make a change of some sort.

 

Thanks again!

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Ooo. I like it. I'm not going to read any of the lyrics cause it's sounding like you're going into obscure land and maybe it's better to soak it up rather than read it through.

 

I love the vocal sound. I love the liquidness of the arrangement.

 

Consider adding an octave down sung part on the bits you want to punch up. The insatiable section where you go to the major, for instance.

 

Nice. (How about a simple keyboard line with the warbly, Led Zep No Quarter thing? Maybe a quarter note, ascending line on the Insatiable section?)

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Ooo. I like it. I'm not going to read any of the lyrics cause it's sounding like you're going into obscure land and maybe it's better to soak it up rather than read it through.


I love the vocal sound. I love the liquidness of the arrangement.


Consider adding an octave down sung part on the bits you want to punch up. The insatiable section where you go to the major, for instance.


Nice. (How about a simple keyboard line with the warbly, Led Zep No Quarter thing? Maybe a quarter note, ascending line on the Insatiable section?)

 

 

An octave lower harmony line is one of the things I am looking to add, nice catch.

 

I have no keyboard, but I did add a doubled guitar track with phaser on it that comes in after the first chorus. You don't think that does the job?

 

If not, should I replace the phased guitar or should the keyboard be in addition to it? (assuming I can find someone willing to do it....)

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I LOVE the phaser guitar! It's what made me think of No Quarter. Maybe find a hooky single note line... simple... that uses that sound and tie it to the Insatiable. I'm looking for a way to reinforce your hook.

 

Use the phaser. It's a cool sound.

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I LOVE the phaser guitar! It's what made me think of No Quarter. Maybe find a hooky single note line... simple... that uses that sound and tie it to the Insatiable. I'm looking for a way to reinforce your hook.


Use the phaser. It's a cool sound.

 

 

Ahhhh... so use that same sound but pluck a note or two in the peak spots. Have I got it?

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Yeah. What the arrangement lacks right now is differentiation between the sections. So a simple, reoccurring motif coming in a the same place each time would girdle the song. Sort of give it some highlighting to its structure.

 

If that makes sense.

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I was actually thinking about some distortion in the choruses as a way to differentiate them more. You think phaser is better? How about phased distortion?

 

I'll just have to try it out, limitless possibilities. Maybe phaser the first time around then some distortion the 2nd....

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I really like the guitar work and the structure of the song and the recording sounds clean and nice. The music creates a nice atmosphere. So that is really, really good.

 

The lyrics are really cool too.

 

Now the bad:

 

The vocal delivery needs a bit of work. It's hard to understand the singer when he reaches for some of those notes. The flaws in his delivery also ruins the overall emotional tone for me.

 

Is that you singing? I'd suggest relaxing your throat while stripping all the forced stylization out of your voice. Stop trying to sing so hard; I suspect you'll sound better and find it easier to hit high notes.

 

The thing is, it's clear you have a nice, natural singing voice. But it's either not designed to do - or you lack the training to do - all the things you want to do with it and sound effective.

 

There were bits in there which you sounded comfortable and a nice tone pushed through in flashes.

 

I'd like to hear a mix in which you try singing it straight without any pushing. An honest simple delivery without any of those forced fireworks. I think it'd have much stronger emotional resonance.

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I really like the guitar work and the structure of the song and the recording sounds clean and nice. The music creates a nice atmosphere. So that is really, really good.


The lyrics are really cool too.


Now the bad:


The vocal delivery needs a bit of work. It's hard to understand the singer when he reaches for some of those notes. The flaws in his delivery also ruins the overall emotional tone for me.


Is that you singing? I'd suggest relaxing your throat while stripping all the forced stylization out of your voice. Stop trying to sing so hard; I suspect you'll sound better and find it easier to hit high notes.


The thing is, it's clear you have a nice, natural singing voice. But it's either not designed to do - or you lack the training to do - all the things you want to do with it and sound effective.


There were bits in there which you sounded comfortable and a nice tone pushed through in flashes.


I'd like to hear a mix in which you try singing it straight without any pushing. An honest simple delivery without any of those forced fireworks. I think it'd have much stronger emotional resonance.

 

 

You are right that I forced it at times. I actually get hiccups if I try to growl too much (which frustrated the hell out of me back in my Pantera phase!), but I thought this song wanted more passion. Doing so with clarity is something I struggle with.

 

Can you specify for me a good time and a bad one so I can compare? I realize the "animal" in this mix is all fouled up, so somewhere else that is bad would be a great help.

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To tell you the truth, I have an idea for how to get the song a bit differentiated -- but it might take it into a direction that you didn't want to go.

 

I think it's pretty simple, but I'm finding it difficult to explain it.. Maybe I'll try a quick recording to show it.

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To tell you the truth, I have an idea for how to get the song a bit differentiated -- but it might take it into a direction that you didn't want to go.


I think it's pretty simple, but I'm finding it difficult to explain it.. Maybe I'll try a quick recording to show it.

 

 

I'm always open to ideas, I'd love to hear it.

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I hear what you're saying about passion. If you have a lot of control over your voice, singing in a forceful manner can convey passion. But if you don't, you risk sounding loud and out of tune.

 

Anyway, you tended to sound good whenever you sing "insatiable" right on that "ble" part. I heard a nice, solid tone there. It was pretty. And again later in the song you seemed to be in control on the "I'm Your" part preceding Carnival.

 

Weak parts - they tend to be close to the nice parts.

 

After insatiable when you go "Who's in control" - your voice pinches up and strains right there on the "Whooo's" bit...

 

Again - CRIMinal... and FEEble..."

 

What I think is happening there is you are relying on your throat muscles to project and shape your voice, which is what a lot of popular music singers do. It's the easiest way to add grit or flavor to your voice that would otherwise not be there. A number of famous rock singers - from Bruce Springsteen to Kurt Cobain - can get away with this because they're voices sound good no matter how they sing. They're just that talented.

 

Most of us aren't so blessed.

 

A major problem with this technique is your voice will sound off-kilter and strained as your muscles tighten to project a higher note. I've had this problem myself, and I think there are really just two practical cures.

 

Sing less in your throat - take some of the lather out of your voice. Your natural voice - if you manage to find it - should be much more adept at sliding up and down scales without cracking or straining.

 

Or just keep singing in your throat and decide to steer clear of big notes and material that's bigger than voice.

 

Your solution here may lie in singing in a deeper range away from that airy-near-falsetto thing you favor in most of the work.

 

I'm a firm believer that you don't need to be able to sing well and properly to deliver an honest and appealing performance. You just have to be honest.

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You are right that I am singing in my throat more for this one. A lot of the notes that sound strained are largely because of this. I was kind of shooting for a gritty feel, which is hard for me.

 

Truth be told, I sang it three times without a warmup, and all three can be heard in this mix. It would probably be good to give it a few more passes. The "who" part, for instance, is just good old fashioned pitchyness.

 

As for changing the key, I tried lowering it but it kills the feel. The notes are there, but the power isn't. The vocal issues are less that it is out of my range and more that I'm singing it more forcefully without a warmup. Songs that I've posted here like "Past the Memory" and "Perfect" are in the same range, but sound better because I let my natural tone ring more.

 

Thanks for taking the time to write that note, Matx.

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Ok, to save myself some time, what I did was use a song snippet I had that sounded pretty close to what I was thinking, and put your lyrics in it (slightly modified to fit what I had). It actually worked out pretty good, but it does not preserve much at all of the song the way you had it besides your lyrics. So you have to imagine your song kind of taking the template. It's a small file. If you give me your email, I will send it to you.

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Love the overall feel of the song...the acoustic guitar sounds SO good. Very impressed with the tone you got there. I felt like the tripling of the vocals made it sound too thick for my taste. I wonder if you brought down the two underlying tracks a bit more if it might work. On the other hand, I thought the phaser was just the right touch.

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