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Looking for thoughts on song


nomy

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I posted my song in the sticky, but it doesn't seem very active so I thought I'd post it here as well.

 

http://www.soundclick.com/c02

 

Looking for all comments really. I know the production is poor at times, but I'm fairly new to recording stuff, so very much learning the ropes. I'd particularly like some advice on vocal production! Try as I may, I just can't get my voice to sound anything like half decent to my ears.

 

Only recently stumbled on this area of HC forums, very useful. In truth I was looking for some Internet collaboration sites. Apart from Collaboration Central which seems very quite, I've not been successful in my search. So If anyone would like to collaborate on stuff, please let me know!

 

I can come up with ideas ok, but the solo path to completion is painful and slow. Songs always seem to loose their inspirational driving force when I'm on my own. I work better with others, but I've recently moved away from all my old contacts. So I thought, hey, use the Internet!

 

Anyway, have a listen :thu:

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Not really a songwriting thing but I have to say, some very tasty guitar licks in a kind of classic swooning, Jeff Beck romanticism kind of way.

 

I didn't really follow the lyrics (if you'd like comment on them, it might be helpful to include the lyrics here or on your SC page) but the basic musical song structure is an inviting slow rock, ballad-type thing. (I'm using ballad in the popular sense of a slow, romantic sounding song not the proper story-song definition).

 

You'd probably be able to get detailed production crit in one of the more recording/production oriented forums here but since you asked specifically about the vocals...

 

I like your singing. It kind of reminds of Bob Welch's everyboy-next-door vocals during his Fleetwood Mac tenure.

 

But I don't think it's well served by your production elements on it -- the close, boxy reverb tends to separate it from the music... as though it were in a little, too-reflective room in the middle of the music. You might try drying it up considerably. One thing you might try is to lay off the reverb on the vocal and try just a little, tiny bit of echo -- not too shallow, either but not very loud at all... if it's more than barely noticeable it may be too much. The notion is to keep the vocal dry of early, scattered reflections (reverb) and use longer, more discrete reflection (echo) to push the vocalist forward and give a sense of depth in back of him. (Er... you.) Anyway -- don't b afraid of your vocals. It's not Pavarotti but you've got an inviting earnestness and a nice, flexible, emotionally evocative voice.

 

With regard to the general production... it's not bad but it's a little distant and while the strings sort of work, they also don't quite feel real enough to really work (for me -- but I'm fussy about strings and pads). I'm listening for a third time... I think the basic string arrangement is nice... maybe they just need a different string instrument -- or perhaps the addition of another one with a slightly different timbre -- I've occasionally had luck doubling up string arrangements with different sample sets, tinkering things to get a little more depth/variety/shift in the string texture.

 

I think you've got a real neat little song here and, really, production-wise, it would have seemed very pro, I think, in the 70s.

 

Third time through and I have to say: you've got some very nice chops and feel on that axe!

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Thanks for your feedback blue2blue. And a special thanks for the compliments. It gets hard to be objective sometimes when working completely on your own, so it's encouraging to hear that the song hasn't lost too much from the original inspiration. Is it me, or does that 'buzz' die off as you pick and scrape to get the song as near perfect as you can? I always start off completely inspired for melody etc, but then struggle increasingly for fresh inspiration as I develop the song.

 

Thanks for the tip about the vocals. I think where I got lost was with the thought of adding reverb to thicken my vocals. I'll try your suggestions and see what happens. Part of the problem is that I simply don't like the tone of my voice, so I spend too much time trying to add things that are never there in the first place. Rather than simply trying to get the most out of what is there. Your suggestions make total sense...thanks.

 

A decent mic would help a lot. Wonder what Santa is up to this Christmas?

 

Thanks again.

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No one likes the sound of their voice...

 

Well... OK. Maybe there are some. You can usually find them bellowing into a PA in Guitar Center on Saturday afternoon, I think. ;)

 

 

But, yeah, I keep finding folks trying to add things with the (usually) misguided notion of disguising their voice. And, often enough, that just calls attention to it. Best, it seems to me, to present the voice as well as it can be presented and let the listener sort out whether or not he likes it. Listeners are like singles... there's someone for everyone. Sorta. Almost. :D

 

Anyhow, I've heard some great vocals that were deep in reverb (usually but not always in spare arrangements) but that's typically a longer, nice sounding 'verb, not the short-delay, small, hard room sound. And, of course, big 'verb on vocals is a bit out of fashion right now -- and there are enough folks still doing it for the wrong reasons that such use can (but doesn't have to) sound dated. But pretty soon, the pendulum will be ready to swing back and the first guy or gal who uses it right, gets ten points for sounding hip. ;)

 

 

But when I'm designing the sound of a given tune, unless it's a postmodern, surrealistic production where everything sounds like it's from a different place and time, I'll usually sort of use the idea of a semblance of a virtual performance as my guide.

 

For instance, most savvy listeners are going to figure your strings come out of a keyboard or synth -- but they're still strings... so, when I'm designing with them in mind, I'm going to sort of start with a big psychoacoustic soundstage in mind. So, while I might have dry(ish) drums or vocals or other instruments -- so they sound close to the listener -- I'm not likely to use a small room reverb or a super short, bathroom echo on them -- which will make them sound like they're contained in a small box in the middle of everything... (Exception might be a super-tight single iteration echo used for doubling. But that's not used for a spatial simulation but rather just to -- hopefully -- fatten up the vocal a little.)

 

That's why I might use the echo trick I mentioned above, just a tiny, tiny amount at the right (longer) delay to give a sense (no matter how unrealistic it might be intellecutally) of the singer's voice echoing from the back of the hall or stage... it should hopefully give a sense of depth yet be so low as be unnoticed consciously (without careful listening).

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I like the sound you have chosen for the this piece. The guitar especially dance around beautifully and emerges time and time again seamlessly from the strings. I like that.

I think your vocal performance is quite good but it could improve. How many times have you rehearsed the song vocally? Have you tried to change the melody the places where you think the performance is weak? I have just the other day recorded a very demanding (for me anyways) vocal piece and I have practiced it for months (I would have recorded it earlier had my soundcard worked) but the time gave me the chance to rehears and rehearse again and again. And I changed it a little bit here and there so when the time came for recording yesterday, I performed better than I'd hoped for (again, we set our own standards here :lol: )

And then try to record the vocal precisely that day where your voice is just great.

But all in all I wouldn't be ashamed of your vocal performance.

 

As for the big picture I like the song. B2B said 70's - I think 80's and the slow dance with the first girlfriend, that you'd never even kissed before. Those were the good days :) The song is filled with many small soundbites here and there that makes the experience exciting. Good song!:thu:

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A wonderful song really, it reminds me of something I would hear on the classic rock station while driving down the road in my car. Your guitar playing is great because you don't feel the need to show off with insane guitar playing, yet you still prove that you are a confident and capable player in what you do play, and it isn't overbearing to the vocals or overall feel of the song.

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I am really so grateful for all your comments people. It's both encouraging and helpful.

 

Trump...I wish I could play some insane guitar licks at times, but my fingers just refuse to play ball :lol: So I try to hide behind expression and emotion. I should have started playing at an early age I guess. Although speed for speeds sake has never really appealed...or is that just an excuse for my limitations I wonder? The only 'shredder' to truly move me though is the great Satch. Now he can blend emotion with speed nicely....although not enough in my ageing mind!

 

I guess I am from the old school prog rock ballads of the 70's / 80's, so there is little surprise that the influence shows. I have struggled to fight against this over the years but no matter how hard I try, I'm driven and inspired by emotive tunes and end up coming back every time, like a nice warm glove :)

 

In the next week I will re-record and mix the vocals and post up a link for comments. You're right macresto, apart from the mix, they could be more accurate and expressive. I rushed them really and kind of invented the melody as I went. It shows. The backing vocals are just as dodgy too, and too low in the mix.

 

The way you approach effects production B2B makes total sense. Thanks for your insight.

 

Listening to some of the stuff you guys produce I feel in the company of masters here. B2B, your production is stunning, and you certainly back up your theory with the goods man! But hey, I know how self critical we all are, no matter how high we climb in the view of our peers.

 

Hopefully in some small way I can contribute to these boards. It feels a nice place :thu:

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i hope you don't take this as an insult but it sounds like softcore porn music, and i love softcore porn music:thu:

 

LOL! Not had that one before, and no idea what that would mean - no idea at all ;)

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