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Post your rough demos
Old 29th May 2020
  #9631
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyzygis View Post


First mix of a song/ tone poem which I wrote yesterday.
The vocal needs work and there is automation and arrangement details to finish but I think it’s interesting.
Let me know what you think.
Good intro tune for Lord of the Rings 2 (if George Lucas gets the rights we are doomed!), you're amazing, and did that in a day? I wanna be like you if and when I ever grow up! Deliciously dark, what a trip!
Old 29th May 2020
  #9632
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackwingGabriel View Post
Sorry to hear bkbirge. If you'd like another look, I've attached the MP3 below.
Not bad, Not usually the kind of stuff I listen to but it's done well. I like the lead vocals approach, perhaps the performance could be tightened up a little, made a bit more emotive. Nice contrasts in the sections. I might back off the distortion amount on the guitar, let some pick attack come through, it kind of has a washed out sound without much definition, though full disclosure I'm listening on my laptop so undoubtedly missing subtleties. I think if you spent as much time on the vocal arrangement as you did on the instruments you could take this to another level. Good demo of a song that has potential in my opinion!
Old 29th May 2020
  #9633
Gear Nut
 
The Noodlist's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyzygis View Post


First mix of a song/ tone poem which I wrote yesterday.
The vocal needs work and there is automation and arrangement details to finish but I think it’s interesting.
Let me know what you think.
Nice to see you're being productive. Your voice sounds slightly awkward, like it's too high for you sing comfortably.

I think a lone cello, acoustic guitar and maybe bass could carry the song.

Last edited by The Noodlist; 29th May 2020 at 04:05 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 29th May 2020
  #9634
Gear Nut
 
The Noodlist's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackwingGabriel View Post
S
I'm planning to add more guitar melody, and layering more vocals this weekend.
I like the sound of this, the vocals seem to be overpowered. I got a Smashing Pumpkins kind of vibe from this genre wise.
Old 29th May 2020
  #9635
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolavine View Post
Good intro tune for Lord of the Rings 2 (if George Lucas gets the rights we are doomed!), you're amazing, and did that in a day? I wanna be like you if and when I ever grow up! Deliciously dark, what a trip!
Thanks Rocky, glad you enjoyed the ride.
Old 29th May 2020
  #9636
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Noodlist View Post
Nice to see you're being productive. Your voice sounds slightly awkward, like it's too high for you sing comfortably.

I think a lone cello, acoustic guitar and maybe bass could carry the song.
Thanks.
Yes, the vocal isn’t working for me yet.
I am pushing my voice in a higher range than usual and need to practice it to get it sounding naturally.
Old 29th May 2020
  #9637
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyzygis View Post
Thanks Rocky, glad you enjoyed the ride.
I was on the third Nazgul to the left, the fat guy with the Big Mac. Just listened again, it's like a lesson in how to do dark. The strummed guitar, and that slow up going dark strings, hold up just fine to 1:40 where you go dark Pizzicato, going even simpler, and then at 3:27 when the mood changes some sort of synth that is still string like, the beasts growl and the birds sing.

Picking on production details on a song you wrote and did a demo of in a day, that's crazy, and can you clean it up without killing the dark. I liked the voice after a few seconds to get used to it. It's like some great hulking Vulture looking down on the scene, bemoaning the Lost Lenore (Edgar Allen Poe reference). I love it just as it is, of course I'm a weirdo from way back.

Thanks for the dark lesson sensei, I'll probably never use it, but if you ever do an online class I'll sign up!
Old 30th May 2020
  #9638
Here for the gear
At your mercy

This is a song I'm currently working on, open to your critiques/suggestions. I try to write/record one of these each month as an exercise/hobby. Criticism is important to me to better myself in this, so thank you for any provided.

The title is "Rest With Me". I performed all instruments and vocals.

Lyrics are available, along with higher quality audio, at

https://gabeschwartz.bandcamp.com/

Again, thank you.
Attached Files

Gabe Schwartz - Rest with me.mp3 (9.31 MB, 274 views)

Old 30th May 2020
  #9639
Lives for gear
 
clump's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GabeSchwartz View Post
This is a song I'm currently working on, open to your critiques/suggestions. I try to write/record one of these each month as an exercise/hobby. Criticism is important to me to better myself in this, so thank you for any provided.

The title is "Rest With Me". I performed all instruments and vocals.

Lyrics are available, along with higher quality audio, at

https://gabeschwartz.bandcamp.com/

Again, thank you.
Possibilities are endless with this! really like the instrumentation, the bass particularly...has a nice 'prog' feel yet remains contemporary. nice.
Old 30th May 2020
  #9640
Lives for gear
 
clump's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyzygis View Post


First mix of a song/ tone poem which I wrote yesterday.
The vocal needs work and there is automation and arrangement details to finish but I think it’s interesting.
Let me know what you think.
So haunting, this sounds like a classic in the making...keep hearing it sung by a choral soloist, has that hymn-like quality.
Old 30th May 2020
  #9641
Lives for gear
 
wagtunes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by GabeSchwartz View Post
This is a song I'm currently working on, open to your critiques/suggestions. I try to write/record one of these each month as an exercise/hobby. Criticism is important to me to better myself in this, so thank you for any provided.

The title is "Rest With Me". I performed all instruments and vocals.

Lyrics are available, along with higher quality audio, at

https://gabeschwartz.bandcamp.com/

Again, thank you.
Overall, the song is nice. The only problem I have with it is the title. I'm waiting for "Rest In Peace" somewhere in the hook and it never comes. This creates a disconnect with your listeners who are expecting that.

I would never change a day of it is the hook but it's a lousy title. Fire and flood is a better title but it's not really the main hook.

Now there have been a few songs throughout history where the song title doesn't appear in any of the lyrics, but they are few and far between.

It may sound like I'm nit picking but imagine somebody here's this on the radio, or wherever and they like it and the DJ doesn't give the title and they want to get the song. They would probably go searching for "I Would Never Change A Day Of It" and come up empty. Maybe they'll try "Fire And Flood" but that will come up empty too.

There is no way they think of "Rest In Peace". I am still baffled as to what that title even has to do with the song at all.

Like I said, nice song but really bad title.

My 2 cents for whatever they're worth.
Old 30th May 2020
  #9642
Here for the gear
Clump, thank you for the input. "Prog" as a descriptor delighted me.

Wagtunes, thank you as well, but the title is "Rest with Me", which is the first line from the bridge. The lyrical construct being allusions from the biblical creation narrative to describe a marriage at a place of rest. Thank you for listening, though.
Old 30th May 2020
  #9643
Lives for gear
 
wagtunes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by GabeSchwartz View Post
Clump, thank you for the input. "Prog" as a descriptor delighted me.

Wagtunes, thank you as well, but the title is "Rest with Me", which is the first line from the bridge. The lyrical construct being allusions from the biblical creation narrative to describe a marriage at a place of rest. Thank you for listening, though.
Typo. I meant Rest With Me. My mind was somewhere else. Doesn't change where the musical hook of the song is.

Anyway, good luck with it.
Old 30th May 2020
  #9644
Deleted f7717eb
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by GabeSchwartz View Post
This is a song I'm currently working on, open to your critiques/suggestions. I try to write/record one of these each month as an exercise/hobby. Criticism is important to me to better myself in this, so thank you for any provided.

The title is "Rest With Me". I performed all instruments and vocals.

Lyrics are available, along with higher quality audio, at

https://gabeschwartz.bandcamp.com/

Again, thank you.
Hi and thanks for posting.
I think the vocal, the most important part, should be rethought. Reason (and feel free to dismiss): I believe this would sound a lot better without the (seemingly) forced vibrato. I'm thinking your natural voice would better convey your intent.

Just my meaningless $0.02
Cheers and stay safe
Old 30th May 2020
  #9645
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by GabeSchwartz View Post
This is a song I'm currently working on, open to your critiques/suggestions. I try to write/record one of these each month as an exercise/hobby. Criticism is important to me to better myself in this, so thank you for any provided.

The title is "Rest With Me". I performed all instruments and vocals.

Lyrics are available, along with higher quality audio, at

https://gabeschwartz.bandcamp.com/

Again, thank you.
Nice voice, big range, nice head highs without strain (jealous I am). I went to the site to see the lyrics. it's a nice enough poem, and I could hear all the words on the listen. A positive love song about a long term relationship that has given you no regrets and is wonderful, organic (beasts), and in league with the earth.

So, the motivation for the tune seems to be singing it to someone important in your life to reassure them you are as in love as you can stand to be. Maybe the person isn't real, maybe you sing to you, that does not matter, it's fiction. And the song is from the I POV, and never leaves that perspective.

I got pretty bored with the song by about a minute in and was asking "Is that all there is". You did a very nice surprise at 3:20 and I had some hope, but no you went back to 'plowing the field' and repeating the chorus. The song needs earlier and extended 3:20's and moving motifs or instrument changes for the different parts. It's kind of long and it repeats way too much at the end, in too similar a way.

I'm trying to learn the following, so no high horse here:
These days people have no attention span, and there is so much damn music it's dump and run. You simply have to reach out and grab them from the get go and entertain them all the way though, let alone the bag of tricks it takes to get them to listen to it again or recommend it to someone else.
I'm also not sure I care about that. But if that is not important, then what you did is fine, perfect, meaningful to you, and be proud of it, cause it's a pretty tune, and you are an accomplished songwriter and performer in the top 1% just like everyone else in here, heck I think we have a few in the top .001%. But there are 25 million songs on soundcloud, and wouldn't it be nice if thousands of people listened to a tune of yours and were moved by it? Isn't that the acknowledgement of your art you'd like?

Or are we just like that retired neighbor that keeps making birdhouses that no one wants, because he likes them?

Gabe, I learn things from doing this, it's a way for me to set my thoughts stimulated by your music, peace brother!
Old 30th May 2020
  #9646
Here for the gear
Drcmusic, thanks for the honest criticism, it's appreciated. Building vocal parts is what I find most difficult, and this type of directive is very helpful to form and rethink my approach.

Rolavine, you hit the nail on the head with "that retired neighbor that keeps making birdhouses that no one wants, because he likes them?" This is me, to a "T".
Though, as stated in my initial post, I want to see myself improve at it. Whether anyone listens or not, I want to build things well. This is a good, candid appraisal worth heeding.
Old 30th May 2020
  #9647
Lives for gear
Me again. Same track but mixed a bit better and a few alterations. No horns, strings now and a new chord progression on the piano in the chorus, which I hope has made it stand out a little more? Still temp vocals and I know the vocal layers I will add to the chorus for accents will help too.

https://soundcloud.com/kanewilliams-.../s-7BxkIgbcdQ5
Old 30th May 2020
  #9648
Lives for gear
 
wagtunes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Funk View Post
Me again. Same track but mixed a bit better and a few alterations. No horns, strings now and a new chord progression on the piano in the chorus, which I hope has made it stand out a little more? Still temp vocals and I know the vocal layers I will add to the chorus for accents will help too.

https://soundcloud.com/kanewilliams-.../s-7BxkIgbcdQ5
Love the groove, love the way you sing and the chorus is much better.

Old 30th May 2020
  #9649
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by wagtunes View Post
Love the groove, love the way you sing and the chorus is much better.

Thanks Wag. Glad you think the chorus is better. It's not a giant leap, but I'm glad you and others pushed me to at least attempt to make it a little more distinct.
Old 30th May 2020
  #9650
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Funk View Post
Me again. Same track but mixed a bit better and a few alterations. No horns, strings now and a new chord progression on the piano in the chorus, which I hope has made it stand out a little more? Still temp vocals and I know the vocal layers I will add to the chorus for accents will help too.

https://soundcloud.com/kanewilliams-.../s-7BxkIgbcdQ5
Nice punchy mix.
Everything sounds clearer and more powerful without the horns.
I would duck the guitar with the vocal, at the moment they are fighting for attention, and it might be nice to add a touch of flange or phaser to that guitar too.
The bass is good but the sound is a little generic, it’s ok but I wonder how it would sound with a bit of a filter envelope on the attack like a wah effect?
The chorus is a little bit unfocused with the chords being over complex, there’s too much movement and IMO it would be better to stay closer to home here.
Overall it’s a great track and the mix is really good.
Old 30th May 2020
  #9651
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyzygis View Post
Nice punchy mix.
Everything sounds clearer and more powerful without the horns.
I would duck the guitar with the vocal, at the moment they are fighting for attention, and it might be nice to add a touch of flange or phaser to that guitar too.
The bass is good but the sound is a little generic, it’s ok but I wonder how it would sound with a bit of a filter envelope on the attack like a wah effect?
The chorus is a little bit unfocused with the chords being over complex, there’s too much movement and IMO it would be better to stay closer to home here.
Overall it’s a great track and the mix is really good.
Thanks Z.

Actually, there is phase on the guitar. I added two, one is subtle throughout and one that joins it in the bridges is more heavy.

As for the bass, yes, it's a good idea to have to filter envelope of some type. I will use make a little more room for the vocal when i get it recorded for real.

As for the complexity of the chords in the chorus. I'll take another look at that, although I thought they worked ok. When you say stay closer to home, do you mean to have the Bmin more dominant? As I'm not an theory guy, I miss alot of this stuff. Maybe I go too much for "interesting" sometimes, when "traditional" is what is called for. Any chord progression suggestions are welcome.

Thanks
Old 30th May 2020
  #9652
Quote:
Originally Posted by clump View Post
So haunting, this sounds like a classic in the making...keep hearing it sung by a choral soloist, has that hymn-like quality.
Yes, I could hear it sung by a classically trained singer with real strings. Hmm..
Old 30th May 2020
  #9653
Lives for gear
 
dc_r's Avatar
 

This was me just messing about to see how good Apogee Duet 2 preamps are good on their own. I recorded this 1 meter from a wide open window next to a really busy road in London AND With a washing machine at full throttle in the background! Then I used Waves X-Noise to try to remove the noise! I think this works really well so I think it is a good tip- if you want to try to record an acoustic from a greater distance to give it a bit of room, these Waves plugins work really well to remove the background noise... or maybe I am the last one to realise this!?

Old 30th May 2020
  #9654
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Funk View Post
Thanks Z.

Actually, there is phase on the guitar. I added two, one is subtle throughout and one that joins it in the bridges is more heavy.

As for the bass, yes, it's a good idea to have to filter envelope of some type. I will use make a little more room for the vocal when i get it recorded for real.

As for the complexity of the chords in the chorus. I'll take another look at that, although I thought they worked ok. When you say stay closer to home, do you mean to have the Bmin more dominant? As I'm not an theory guy, I miss alot of this stuff. Maybe I go too much for "interesting" sometimes, when "traditional" is what is called for. Any chord progression suggestions are welcome.

Thanks
Yes, just come back to a basic Bm on the first and/ or last chord of each phrase, you can decide where in the chorus it needs to come home. Usually the first beat of the chorus will be a home chord, coming back whenever you want to emphasise the key.
Old 30th May 2020
  #9655
Quote:
Originally Posted by GabeSchwartz View Post
This is a song I'm currently working on, open to your critiques/suggestions. I try to write/record one of these each month as an exercise/hobby. Criticism is important to me to better myself in this, so thank you for any provided.

The title is "Rest With Me". I performed all instruments and vocals.

Lyrics are available, along with higher quality audio, at

https://gabeschwartz.bandcamp.com/

Again, thank you.
Lovely voice and very nicely sung.
It’s a good song and well recorded too.
Old 30th May 2020
  #9656
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyzygis View Post
Yes, just come back to a basic Bm on the first and/ or last chord of each phrase, you can decide where in the chorus it needs to come home. Usually the first beat of the chorus will be a home chord, coming back whenever you want to emphasise the key.
I do have straight Bmin on the first beat. Then the first beat of the next 4 bars is a Bmin7. Think that's right.
Old 30th May 2020
  #9657
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Funk View Post
I do have straight Bmin on the first beat. Then the first beat of the next 4 bars is a Bmin7. Think that's right.
Bm on the first beat is ‘right’, then you can use Em, F#m and even F# on the very last chord before coming back to the verses. You are probably using notes from these chords in your melody anyway.
Old 30th May 2020
  #9658
Deleted f7717eb
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Funk View Post
I do have straight Bmin on the first beat. Then the first beat of the next 4 bars is a Bmin7. Think that's right.
Without getting too deep, just map out the vocal notes and that will allow you to understand the options. Just putting a B- on the beginning and end is very arbitrary. It might be fine ultimately.

Not trying to dive in here....that's your deal but knowing exactly what the vocal is doing enables interesting ideas.
Old 31st May 2020
  #9659
Here for the gear
Zyzygis:. Thank you for the kind words.
Old 31st May 2020
  #9660
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Funk View Post
Me again. Same track but mixed a bit better and a few alterations. No horns, strings now and a new chord progression on the piano in the chorus, which I hope has made it stand out a little more? Still temp vocals and I know the vocal layers I will add to the chorus for accents will help too.

https://soundcloud.com/kanewilliams-.../s-7BxkIgbcdQ5
Fantastic song, really well done. The original had a Micheal Jackson quality to it but this one adds a lot of Stevie Wonder, I love it, kept expecting a chromatic harp solo, not a suggestion for your tune, just in my mind. I like that softer groove and I didn't see dancing feet in this version, much more relaxing, and nice bass not too much just enough, I think that's what made the Jackson - Wonder shift.

Being as critical as possible, and that's being silly on this great tune, I think It does fall down a bit at 2:10 and that is the only place where I had a hard time making out vocals, so I think it's the mix (but what do I know I just ruined a tune playing mix master). It recovers at 2:30 and make a glorious march to the end.

This is one of the best things I've heard here, bravo and watching it improve is priceless, thanks and thanks to my fellow critics for letting me into your world.

The folks giving you advice to make changes know a lot more than I do, but I think it's only 20 seconds away!
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