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#262311 - 04/30/09 10:10 AM Re: My most polished song yet (I think!)
Beakybird Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/27/01
Posts: 2227
As far as vocal processing, I am using Melodyne Celemony 3 Studio (same as Cre8, essentially) for tuning up my vocals. Then I am using some pretty heavy compression to compensate for some bad vocal technique. If I write a hit, I'll use the money for voice lessons.

Very little reverb and delay are used. No EQ.

When I get my subwoofer, I will do a remix, and I might make the vocals a little hotter, 'cause the lyrics are one of the best parts of the song.

I don't know if I want to mess with the whole sequence of chords to build up more. I think I have a well crafted pop song that's just shy of 3 minutes. Will probably mess oh so little with the fills, as per Diki's suggestion.

Beakybird

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#262312 - 04/30/09 11:49 AM Re: My most polished song yet (I think!)
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14207
Loc: NW Florida
I think that, while the melody and lyrics are what the non-musician notice first, there is a LOT of subconscious evaluating going on. The difference between success and failure is not as simple as just the melody/chords/lyrics. We have ALL heard many great songs with great lyrics and melody that fail to chart.

People are listening to MUCH more than that, even if they can't articulate it. Untrained listeners even like classical music, without having the slightest clue to form, structure and orchestration. And they will be able to say that they like one piece over another. But rarely WHY (other than 'I know what I like' ).

The devil is in the details. And so is God...

Personally, I think that when you are trying for a legacy style (this one still sits firmly in that early 70's ELO/Beatles camp) it is wise to look at how the original productions were structured and performed. Because those tunes have already gone through the washer of public opinion. Mess with that formula at your own peril...

If you really LIKE the repetitiveness of machine production on the song, you might want to look at a more 80's style production, where the general public has already shown a liking for that kind of approach, but only married to that kind of sound. While there ARE mavericks that can manage to successfully cross stylistic boundaries, they are few and far between. For every Beck, there's a thousand who fail to click. Far easier, IMO, to stick to what has worked in the past. And pay attention to those things that the 'average' listener doesn't even know they are hearing..
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#262313 - 05/02/09 08:51 AM Re: My most polished song yet (I think!)
Beakybird Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/27/01
Posts: 2227
I like the idea of live drums on my songs. I think I have something good enough to get someone to publish the song and maybe help fund redoing it in a studio.

I would be happy if whoever ends up producing my songs would use some techniques to freshen them up with some modern production techniques and musical approaches so that they don't sound like relics.

Beakybird

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#262314 - 05/02/09 01:00 PM Re: My most polished song yet (I think!)
DanO1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/31/01
Posts: 3602
Loc: Maryland
Larry,

You may want to get a Ketron SD2 for your drums. I think it would make a difference.
Good Job !
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#262315 - 05/02/09 04:24 PM Re: My most polished song yet (I think!)
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14207
Loc: NW Florida
I would still take a closer look at EZ Drummer or BFD (although BFD takes greater skill to get to sound good).

None of our arrangers, no matter how much we like them, have even a fraction of the detail and realism of the GB sized drum libraries...
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#262316 - 05/03/09 09:32 AM Re: My most polished song yet (I think!)
DanO1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/31/01
Posts: 3602
Loc: Maryland
As I said good job on the song.
After listening once more,have you tried slowing it down a notch ? just a thought..
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#262317 - 05/03/09 05:28 PM Re: My most polished song yet (I think!)
Kingfrog Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 1099
Loc: Myrtle beach SC
Haven;t listened to one of the tunes since Millions of Stars...not being an early Beatle fan. So I will try not to comment too much on the style. I WILL say your voice has by leaps and bounds become far more polished.

I do get a hint of AL Stewart in your vocals...and yes I agree with Diki, The drums need a lot of work. EZ drummer is your friend..use it. The Fills in EZ drummer are well worth the entry price...

Questions
What vocal mike are you using?
Are you dry tracking the entire mix to Sonar or mixing from the keyboard? or a combination...


Since you cleary are influenced by the Beatles and ELO and I agree there is a market for non Beatle licensed Beatlesque songs, I would use some individual Strings to salt and pepper the song, or if you want to distance yourself from those influences try using a "hip" horn section instead.

You have a knack for structure. No need to read a book about ABAB etc. The syllables chosen don't collide with the melodies which is a hallmark of new writers, not to mention common predictable rhyming schemes.

To go out on a limb here I would also experiment with some vocal phasing EFX on this tune in some areas.
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#262318 - 05/04/09 03:51 PM Re: My most polished song yet (I think!)
Beakybird Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/27/01
Posts: 2227
What mic do I use. I use an MXL 4000 Multi-Pattern condenser http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/pro...Mic?sku=270624.

It's a Chinese knockoff of a Rode's mic. I'm not a mic conosseur, but I think it's good.

In most cases, I start out on the arranger. I find a style that resembles the song I want to record. I record a midi on the keyboard. Then I load it into Sonar. In this specific case, I made so many changes to the drum and bass lines - and ditched everything else, that the style would be unrecognizable. As I went along, I added real acoustic and electric guitars, vocals, and additional keyboard parts.

What are vocal phasing EFX?

BTW, I am in the process of switching the drums to Session Drummer. A plugin that comes with Sonar Studio Edition. They have a "Tight Kit" that, compared to EZDRummer, by a tad more closely resembles the drum kit that I'm accustomed to in the PSR-S900.

I'm having trouble getting the right sound. I'm not used to having such a real drum sound. You have to remember that I am doing hundreds of shows with the PSR-S900, and these real drums sound weird to me. Isn't that strange? Session Drummer has an easy to use mixer that I'm using in an attempt to balance the sound.

When I'm done, I'm going to subject you guys to one more mix, because I have very little experience with drums, and I don't know how to balance the sound. Some voices sound too loud to me. Other's ring out longer than I am used to. I have no idea what FX to apply besides reverb.

Thanks everyone. I want to especially thank Diki. I don't agree with all of his assessments, but I can tell that he has good ears. And he's notorious for not mincing his words - which is exactly what I want.

Beakybird

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#262319 - 05/04/09 05:43 PM Re: My most polished song yet (I think!)
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14207
Loc: NW Florida
While you may have gotten used to the PSR drum sound, most listeners have NOT

I might suggest cuing up a real Beatles track, or whatever band you are shooting for, and A/B-ing between the two tracks as you go along. If, instead of playing with a machine, you played most nights with a real drummer, we wouldn't even be having this conversation!

Getting a good drum sound is definitely an art. And, I'm sorry, but I've heard better drum tracks even from PSR demos! The trick is knowing when it sounds right, rather than just 'what you are used to'...

Why not at least try to get a drummer involved with helping program the song..? Even if you can't afford to go in a studio and lay down live drums, a good drummer's input while you are programming can help enormously. They will definitely give you a reality check on the fills and groove structure.

I know the temptation is to do it all oneself, but even in the studio, there have only been a handful of über-talents like Stevie Wonder, Steve Winwood and Todd Rundgren that were capable of doing it 'solo'. If you have a good drummer as a friend (if you don't, you REALLY should get out more!), try bringing him in to listen to early versions. Might as well fix it as fast as possible...

Thanks for the kind words. I have never wanted people to 'mince words' about my music, say how you feel... it's the only way to improve, or at least not succumb to flattery. I'll keep telling it the way I see it (even if that ain't the way it is!), but be assured... it is NEVER personal.
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