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Post cover songs you recorded just for fun
Old 14th September 2019
  #1
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Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 

Post cover songs you recorded just for fun

I write and record my own songs, but I also keep a list of covers to record if I just want to experiment or test out new gear/plugins. Whenever I record these covers, every take is first or second, though I might clean up a screw up. The idea is not to capture a perfect performance, but to get the song down quickly so I can then play with the mix.

For example, after I got the Waves TG12345 I wanted to record a Beatles-esque track to test it. I had been thinking about recording "Cold Rain" by the Screaming Trees at some point, because I think it's a great song that could be improved by altering the structure a bit.

So, I drenched this track with TG12345 and J37.

Does anyone else have any covers you recorded as an experiment? If so, post it and tell us what you were testing.
Attached Files

Cold Rain.mp3 (11.42 MB, 536 views)

Old 14th September 2019
  #2
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Brian M. Boykin's Avatar
Here’s one we just did. The vocalist is a friends daughter. This is her first time ever being recorded. She did 4 dry runs and then we recorded the two tracks we used back to back from beginning to end. No punching or compilations in any of the tracks. I also just moved into a new tracking/mix room so we seized the opportunity to use this as a mix to test translation. The room is in progress. I’m not happy with the mix at all. Both the low end and highs need help. We have some work to do. We’re gonna start over with a new arrangement and change the chord progression. It’s a cover of “It’s too Late” by Carole King.
Attached Files

It's Too Late Vocals 3.wav (15.53 MB, 349 views)

Old 14th September 2019
  #3
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Brian M. Boykin's Avatar
Dr Mordo,

Yours is much better than ours. Nice job. Critique mine and tell me what I need to hear and not what I want to hear.
Old 14th September 2019
  #4
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Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 

Well, thanks for the kind words.

I think "It's Too Late" is a solid recording (the singer did well for a first timer!) that has translation issues due to your new room. It's got a lot of guitar at 3kHz, and not much above that, so your room must dip aggressively around 3Khz then build rapidly above that. The mix is also a bit heavy below 50-60 hz, which is common.

I think it would benefit from a keyboard/piano part to fill out the mid freqs, and I'm halfway tempted to contribute a guitar solo to the instrumental bridge...

Two things I recommend while you are learning your room are listening to reference mixes while you are mixing to check your eq-ing and to use a frequency analyzer like Voxengo SPAN on the main bus. Using SPAN on the Stereo Mastering preset, it should be pretty close to flat from ~60 hz to 10kHz or there is something off. That's not a rule, just a very general guideline, and by flat I mean a straight-ish line in SPAN, which is about +/- 6 dB.

I'd fire up some Steely Dan in your room and run it thru SPAN. Look and listen to get a feel for your room.

EDIT: I'll add that I impulse bought IK Multimedia's ARC system last year, and I have become a big fan. My room does have treatment, but is small and cramped enough that I can't treat it like I'd like. ARC elevated the quality of my room monitoring quite a bit.
Old 14th September 2019
  #5
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Brian M. Boykin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Mordo View Post
Well, thanks for the kind words.

I think "It's Too Late" is a solid recording (the singer did well for a first timer!) that has translation issues due to your new room. It's got a lot of guitar at 3kHz, and not much above that, so your room must dip aggressively around 3Khz then build rapidly above that. The mix is also a bit heavy below 50-60 hz, which is common.

I think it would benefit from a keyboard/piano part to fill out the mid freqs, and I'm halfway tempted to contribute a guitar solo to the instrumental bridge...

Two things I recommend while you are learning your room are listening to reference mixes while you are mixing to check your eq-ing and to use a frequency analyzer like Voxengo SPAN on the main bus. Using SPAN on the Stereo Mastering preset, it should be pretty close to flat from ~60 hz to 10kHz or there is something off. That's not a rule, just a very general guideline, and by flat I mean a straight-ish line in SPAN, which is about +/- 6 dB.

I'd fire up some Steely Dan in your room and run it thru SPAN. Look and listen to get a feel for your room.

EDIT: I'll add that I impulse bought IK Multimedia's ARC system last year, and I have become a big fan. My room does have treatment, but is small and cramped enough that I can't treat it like I'd like. ARC elevated the quality of my room monitoring quite a bit.
Awesome feedback. I’m in the process of building bass traps. I have the front wall corners covered, side first reflections and rear wall first reflections. The front wall is somewhat of a problem but I think I’ve devised a plan. Then a cloud. Then fine tune. I have REW and a measurement mic and I’ve been flashing the room. You have a good ear or the analyzer doesn’t lie. I’ve been struggling in those areas.

I laid the drum tracks down to the original song which had a piano and a guitar solo in the middle. We transposed the chords from the piano and after multiple listenings we decided to ditch this version and start another. I’ll post the revised version when we get it done for comparison.
Old 14th September 2019
  #6
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antichef's Avatar
Love these! And I love the idea - I have some files to dig up (but kinda goofy sounding - not like these, haha) - they will never be heard without a thread like this.
Old 14th September 2019
  #7
I'm not familiar with Screaming Tree's original, but I thought the quite Beatlesque treatment from Dr. Mordo was pretty cool. (I'd already been thinking about how the beatles used jangly guitars blending with bright pianos.) The underwater outro guitar helped sell the overall vibe nicely!

Lot of things I really like in Brian and team's version of "Too Late," especially the nicely late 60s sounding guitars. I really like the singer's also 60's-ish soulful vocalisms, she's someone to nurture.


This one below -- though not exactly what you'd call polished or fully realized -- but pretty well within public domain, I believe -- is offered in the spirit of sharing for your general amusement, if not edification (though it does share an important moral lesson: don't kill your damn GF!)

https://archive.org/details/TomDoole...orAYoS20061105

Last edited by theblue1; 4 weeks ago at 02:14 PM..
Old 14th September 2019
  #8
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Brian M. Boykin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I'm not familiar with Screaming Tree's original, but I thought the quite Beatlesque treatment from Dr. Mordo was pretty cool. (I'd already been thinking about how the beatles used jangly guitars blending with bright pianos.) The underwater outro guitar helped sell the overall vibe nicely!

Lot of things I really like in Brian and team's version of "Too Late," especially the nicely late 60s sounding guitars. I really like the singer's also 60's-ish soulful vocalisms, she's someone to nurture.


I have one (licensed) cover (of the R&B/reggae classic, "Riding for a Fall" [not to be confused with the country singer Chris Ledoux's different song of the same name]) but I couldn't figure out a way to [legally] link to it here that didn't involve one of the commercial streamers (it's on Spot, Google, Amazon, iTunes, credited to artist name The Kimberly Five) and I didn't want to look like I was pimping clicks. [That proviso in mind, here's a link to several of those sites: https://song.link/s/6CQQ4aSxmE5wfeAKpTctAB - but iTunes users will need to search for it there.]


This one below -- though not exactly what you'd call polished or fully realized -- but pretty well within public domain, I believe -- is offered in the spirit of sharing for your general amusement, if not edification (though it does share an important moral lesson: don't kill your damn GF!)

https://archive.org/details/TomDoole...orAYoS20061105
I think we all need to stop with the disclaimers. The thread is about covers we did to test something. They’re not gonna be perfect. And I’m not listening to these in my studio but through a Marantz amp and JBL L80t’s and in my living room. They’re all translating fine to an above average reproduction set-up (compared to an iPhone Bluetooth speaker).

I’m glad you liked the guitars in ours. I forgot that they were played through a Peavey Bandit 75 that I had just finished recapping and swapping op amps in. So it was making its debut recording also. Mic was a Sennheiser e906 set flat and preamp was a Jim Williams modded Symetrix SX202. We mixed OTB through a Soundcraft 400b I’ve modded pretty extensively. Only plugins we used were gates and some highpass filters. Most all my gear is modded in some form or fashion.
Old 14th September 2019
  #9
My music only comes with disclaimers... I've been thinking of building them in via backwards masking.
Old 14th September 2019
  #10
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Zyzygis's Avatar


I have been doing a series of covers of my favourite songs just using my iPad and GarageBand for iOS.
They are very rough and ready demos and probably well below the standard of other posters.
At some point I will make a serious attempt at doing more polished versions.
This one could probably do with being a couple of bpm faster?
Old 15th September 2019
  #11
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Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian M. Boykin View Post
I think we all need to stop with the disclaimers. The thread is about covers we did to test something. They’re not gonna be perfect.
Absolutely, no apologies needed, we all posting stuff we spent little time on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian M. Boykin View Post
And I’m not listening to these in my studio but through a Marantz amp and JBL L80t’s and in my living room. They’re all translating fine to an above average reproduction set-up (compared to an iPhone Bluetooth speaker).
Ha, we have similar tastes in audio gear. My studio monitors these days are JBL 4311Bs, and my living room setup is a Pioneer SA-9500 II with EPI 200C speakers. Like I said, the IK ARC system has made the 4311Bs sing like never before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I'm not familiar with Screaming Tree's original, but I thought the quite Beatlesque treatment from Dr. Mordo was pretty cool. (I'd already been thinking about how the beatles used jangly guitars blending with bright pianos.) The underwater outro guitar helped sell the overall vibe nicely!
Thanks! The original song is a classic from the grunge movement, but when I went to record it I didn't like the structure, so I actually ended re-arranging the song as writing a new verse for it. I must admit that when I pick a cover, I want it to be something I'm going to put my own spin on, not just re-record.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
This one below -- though not exactly what you'd call polished or fully realized -- but pretty well within public domain, I believe -- is offered in the spirit of sharing for your general amusement, if not edification (though it does share an important moral lesson: don't kill your damn GF!)

https://archive.org/details/TomDoole...orAYoS20061105
Sounds good!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyzygis View Post


I have been doing a series of covers of my favourite songs just using my iPad and GarageBand for iOS.
They are very rough and ready demos and probably well below the standard of other posters.
At some point I will make a serious attempt at doing more polished versions.
This one could probably do with being a couple of bpm faster?
I like it very much just how it is, especially how it built as the song progressed. I think it's pretty amazing you recorded that on an iPad. Did you record the midi parts into the iPad as well? I haven't messed with any pad based recording, so I'm mystified how you pulled this off.

I'll upload one more. I did this about 15 years ago to test out a pedal I had built called the Eighteen (link is to the website for it), which is a DIY design that uses transistors to emulate the signal path of a Marshall 18w amp. I fed my 90s SG into the pedal then ran it into the power amp of an old solid state Peavey and was amazed how it sounded, so I threw this track together to play with it. I remember absolutely nothing else about the session, and in fact forgot it existed together until I found it a few months back. I no longer have the session files or I'd at least capture it in a lossless format.
Attached Files

jumping jack.mp3 (3.38 MB, 224 views)

Old 15th September 2019
  #12
Lives for gear


And I made the video too.
Old 15th September 2019
  #13
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Zyzygis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Mordo View Post
Absolutely, no apologies needed, we all posting stuff we spent little time on.



Ha, we have similar tastes in audio gear. My studio monitors these days are JBL 4311Bs, and my living room setup is a Pioneer SA-9500 II with EPI 200C speakers. Like I said, the IK ARC system has made the 4311Bs sing like never before.



Thanks! The original song is a classic from the grunge movement, but when I went to record it I didn't like the structure, so I actually ended re-arranging the song as writing a new verse for it. I must admit that when I pick a cover, I want it to be something I'm going to put my own spin on, not just re-record.



Sounds good!



I like it very much just how it is, especially how it built as the song progressed. I think it's pretty amazing you recorded that on an iPad. Did you record the midi parts into the iPad as well? I haven't messed with any pad based recording, so I'm mystified how you pulled this off.

I'll upload one more. I did this about 15 years ago to test out a pedal I had built called the Eighteen (link is to the website for it), which is a DIY design that uses transistors to emulate the signal path of a Marshall 18w amp. I fed my 90s SG into the pedal then ran it into the power amp of an old solid state Peavey and was amazed how it sounded, so I threw this track together to play with it. I remember absolutely nothing else about the session, and in fact forgot it existed together until I found it a few months back. I no longer have the session files or I'd at least capture it in a lossless format.
I really like your vocal style, you have a quintessential rock voice. I love hearing how people bring their own flavours to these classic songs. Sounds great!

Thanks for your kind words about my Eurythmics cover. I was really surprised at how much I was able to do on the iPad. I was forced by circumstance to put all my stuff into storage about a year ago so the iPad became my portable studio.
I don't have a keyboard so I use the Garageband keyboard to input midi and then spend ages editing it in the piano roll.
I bought a usb mic by Sure which works as an interface and isn't too bad.
Here is another cover done the same way:
Old 15th September 2019
  #14
Lives for gear
Another, but on this one I just recorded and compd/mixed the all the vocal tracks.


Oh dear, Bruce really looks like he is 50 now LOL!!!!!!

Damn, don't look at me... *hides*
Old 15th September 2019
  #15
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Zyzygis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noisewagon View Post


And I made the video too.
That's fantastic! You totally owned that song!
i love the video too, must have taken a lot of work.

I have a funny story about Andy Bell.
I bumped into him in Central London one day many years ago and we got talking about music and stuff and he told me that he was a singer. I was looking for a vocalist at the time to form a duet like Eurythmics or Yazoo.
He said that he was off to audition for a band that had advertised for a vocalist in Melody Maker, I think it was, and if he didn't get the gig he would call me and we would get together to try out some songs.
I never heard from him. The next time I saw him he was with Vince Clarke on TOTP!
Erasure were brilliant!
Old 15th September 2019
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyzygis View Post
That's fantastic! You totally owned that song!
i love the video too, must have taken a lot of work.

I have a funny story about Andy Bell.
I bumped into him in Central London one day many years ago and we got talking about music and stuff and he told me that he was a singer. I was looking for a vocalist at the time to form a duet like Eurythmics or Yazoo.
He said that he was off to audition for a band that had advertised for a vocalist in Melody Maker, I think it was, and if he didn't get the gig he would call me and we would get together to try out some songs.
I never heard from him. The next time I saw him he was with Vince Clarke on TOTP!
Erasure were brilliant!
Thank you so much.

LOL!... well on that remix I used a Jupiter 6 in unison for the bass, and sampled a DX7 into an Emax II for the plucky sounds (so I could filter them) and a Waldorf Q for the leads.

For the video I used Maya. We set up the kids swing set in the driveway with a blue tarp we painted green hung over the top to make the shots.

But it worked.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
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antichef's Avatar
OK - here's me playing with plugins and violating a Sisters of Mercy song. This was the first time I realized that my cat was not trying to distract me when I was working -- he wanted in on the action.

I can't find the project anywhere (argh!) or I would hike up the vocals a couple decibels.

[ I did more recordings with the cat later, but mostly not covers (http://advantimal.com) ]
Attached Files

Lucretia-MyReflection.mp3 (4.90 MB, 112 views)

Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
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TonyPizza's Avatar
 

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