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How do you prefer to finish off an album?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

How do you prefer to finish off an album?

For me songwriting has been an individual, solo effort. I've never had the privilege of working in the same room with talented musicians to jam and compose with.

Even though I enjoy my compositions, I envision trying to leverage some talented musicians, guitarists that can play killer leads, bass players that can get a great groove going and a drummer that can add that special sauce that only a live drummer can do. I play all of these instruments and piano, but like many songwriters, I am not a virtuoso on any of these instruments. Just good enough to bring my compositions to life.

The idea of recording and releasing albums with just me playing all the instruments seems sterile and boring. Also, mixing and mastering the album myself, although fiscally smart, doesn't seem artistically smart.

What do you guys do, or better yet, how would you like the process to go?

Curious to hear your thoughts.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Check out airgigs.com

Do some listening, and you can probobly find some good players for a good price.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
Where do you live? In my experience there have been relatively small cities that at a particular time had a lot of very good musicians. At about the same time in a different city of comparable size there seemed to be almost no players worth recording.
In your solo world you may dream of recording with some inspiring musicians, but you can also create a nightmare for yourself with musicians that don’t (or can’t) add anything to your recordings. And the expense of hiring them can add to the nightmare.
I would suggest that since you can play or create all the instruments, do that initially. See what you get. You can always decide at any point in the project to add or replace any part where you don’t have the chops or the ideas you feel a track needs. The same is true for mixing and mastering. It shouldn’t cost a lot to see what someone else can do with one of your tracks. Then you can decide whether that goes in the direction you want.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Addict
 

I prefer to play all of the instruments myself because I have very specific sounds in my head that are hard to describe to other people. I even do the "female" backing vocals in my music (I'm a dude). If there is something that I just cannot play because what I hear in my head is beyond my skill set with that instrument, I will ask someone I know who is better than me at that instrument and have them come in. I'll then sing the part to them, or record it as a piano part and have them duplicate it on lead guitar. Doing everything from writing, arranging, producing, engineering, mixing, and now mastering myself sometimes feels like I will sink before I finish the album, but once I'm done, it is EXACTLY what I wanted. That is what got me into engineering in the first place. i would pay for studio time and end up with a finished product that I wasn't thrilled with. So I just decided I would teach myself how to do it all myself
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xmission View Post
Check out airgigs.com

Do some listening, and you can probobly find some good players for a good price.
Thanks xmission, will do!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Where do you live? In my experience there have been relatively small cities that at a particular time had a lot of very good musicians. At about the same time in a different city of comparable size there seemed to be almost no players worth recording.
In your solo world you may dream of recording with some inspiring musicians, but you can also create a nightmare for yourself with musicians that don’t (or can’t) add anything to your recordings. And the expense of hiring them can add to the nightmare.
I would suggest that since you can play or create all the instruments, do that initially. See what you get. You can always decide at any point in the project to add or replace any part where you don’t have the chops or the ideas you feel a track needs. The same is true for mixing and mastering. It shouldn’t cost a lot to see what someone else can do with one of your tracks. Then you can decide whether that goes in the direction you want.
Thanks Bushman! I live near Orlando Fl, so finding professional musicians should be no issue, I just haven't contacted anyone yet. I think you are right that it can be a nightmare if you hire folks that don't add anything while costing $$$. I'll have to take a hard look to see if I should do it. I think that the answer is I can do it all myself.
Thanks again!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lionaudio View Post
I prefer to play all of the instruments myself because I have very specific sounds in my head that are hard to describe to other people. I even do the "female" backing vocals in my music (I'm a dude). If there is something that I just cannot play because what I hear in my head is beyond my skill set with that instrument, I will ask someone I know who is better than me at that instrument and have them come in. I'll then sing the part to them, or record it as a piano part and have them duplicate it on lead guitar. Doing everything from writing, arranging, producing, engineering, mixing, and now mastering myself sometimes feels like I will sink before I finish the album, but once I'm done, it is EXACTLY what I wanted. That is what got me into engineering in the first place. i would pay for studio time and end up with a finished product that I wasn't thrilled with. So I just decided I would teach myself how to do it all myself
Lionaudio, you and I are are in the same boat, when it comes to how we like to record.

Off topic, but what the hell: I have over 50 songs ready for my second album. By ready I mean fully recorded and fleshed out. Some need to be tweaked, but for the most part I just need to decide which songs will go on which albums. The first album I want to release is very conceptually thematic. Similar to a concept album and that is how I am approaching it. Even though I have better songs among the 50+ written (mind you these songs were composed and recorded over a 7 year period, I'm not that prolific), I want the album to feel both musically and thematically cohesive. Otherwise its just a group of songs on an album. My first album was very much in that vein. I wrote 10 songs over a period of a year and released it, but there was no consistent theme throughout, the genre's were all over the place, hard rock, reggae, folk, ballads, etc. Certainly lots of variety musically, but no cohesion. No surprise the feedback I got from listeners varied by what genre they preferred.

Here's a link to soundcloud where you can hear the album for free. My favorite tracks are "Liberation" "Illusional You" and "Fall of Man": https://soundcloud.com/jason-kalman/sets/liberation

I feel at this point in my life, that albums like Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon really hit the mark for me. I love the idea of songs flowing into each other and building off of an idea or group of ideas that are all related. My music sounds nothing like Pink Floyd, but the concept of having songs flowing together musically and thematically is what I am after.

Anyway, I'm way off topic, thanks for the input!
Jason
Old 5 days ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 

I spent a couple of decades jamming
songs with bands and then recording those
songs with said bands. While it was fun and
sometimes good results came out of it, I
started to feel like it took way too long to
get a song realized. The first thing I did was
learn to create “guitar” parts from a keyboard,
cuz I was sick of unreliable guitar players.
My first efforts at “keyboard guitar” were pretty
bad, but over the years I got much better at it.
Nowadays I can do guitar parts using sampled
guitars and amp plugins that fool even guitar
players.

Drums were my first instrument, followed by keys,
so doing drum parts from a keyboard was easy.
From there I learned the way every instrument
is played. Today I can “be” the entire band
or even the orchestra. If you do tv/movie music or
backing tracks for a living, you have to know
how to be the whole band, because often there
is only budget for you.

Not saying that great players on their instruments
is worthless. I always prefer having a real guitar
player or trumpet or violin player. But I don’t
always have money to hire them. If I have a single
day to deliver a track, then I don’t even have
the time to record players..I have to deliver
the track by deadline, so there is no choice except
to do it all myself.

So my answer I guess is, all things considered,
I prefer to finish a track or album myself, with
help from real players if I have budget and
time to hire them. I’m blessed to be able
to do it all on my own, with all the great virtual
instruments now available. As a producer,
it is wonderful to have the means to realize
your own vision without compromising. These
are good times for anyone with a computer
and a keyboard.
Old 4 days ago
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason kalman View Post

The idea of recording and releasing albums with just me playing all the instruments seems sterile and boring.
I hear ya dude. I feel the same way. But, and I'm speaking from the gutter here about eagles soaring in the stratosphere, people like Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Lenny Kravitz have done pretty much just that at least once or twice. Or if you're a fan of well written songs and want to hear what one person can do just check out Dan Baker, Luke Fitzpatrick or Josh Turner on youtube. Luke Fitzpatrick is diabolically good. Look for his albums 'Photographs' and 'Sun Songs' on his youtube channel. Stupendous.

So, it can be done...and it need not be sterile or boring. Very few of my friends have any musical interest whatsoever and because of my day job I haven't ever tried to connect with anyone. Once a guy online offered to remixed a song of mine and added real bass and real drums because he liked the song. That was cool.

I've been overseas for work for 13 years. I'm going home soon for good and will have plenty of free time to do my stuff. There's a guy who lived in my street when I was a kid who has busked and played pubs a lot. I'm gonna ask him to sing harmony or whatever on my stuff. I figure that way it won't just be me. I've also spoken with Luke Fitzpatrick and he recorded a version of one of my songs. He's an excellent piano player (and guitar, bass player) so I'm going to ask him to see if he wants to contribute anything.

Ideally, I'd assemble a band and they'd all love my songs and they'd contribute awesome parts. Who wouldn't like that?! But that's just not my fate and I enjoy this hobby as it is. It's a complete immersion into something creative and fun. Being the only player used to bum me out but when hear some kid like Luke Fitzpatrick (listen to those albums first) pumping out these infectious, joyous songs at will, well you just have to sit back and say if stuff sounds sterile and boring it's not because you're the only player...it's because the song is sterile and boring.

Everything is subjective yes, but if you're a lover of quality music, I think you should go listen to 'Photographs' and 'Sun Songs' and just soak in how incredible one person can be. To me, it's extraordinary music. And it's all done by one guy using Audacity.

EDIT: I think his friend played drums on some of the songs. But mostly they are all by Luke F.

Photographs - Luke Fitzpatrick (the link starts at 2 minutes something into the album. Dunno why. Just take it back to 0:00)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pVimXHVKw4&t=

Sun Songs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qN2syAYMrY
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