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  2. Just Trust the Tales

    I like this - interesting, unexpected changes, and the guitar approach adds to the ethereal feel very well. Re the other comment about the vocals, I would say that the breathy, floating around the beat thing is very cool, though a good way to make it sound more assured might be to choose certain words or lines to sing less breathy and more on the beat - creating that contrast will make the breathier parts seem more strongly intentional too.
  3. Tomorrow Girl

    Hi Mike The 'prophetic' line (used in both verses) didn't work for me - being prophetic means predicting something happening in the future, or if looking back at something said in the past, it could mean now, but the lines don't give it that meaning. I agree with jazz, too, that 'You're my intention tomorrow girl' sounds wrong.
  4. The style and mood are clear here and executed well, and the synth sounds and beats are good choices...found myself wanting even a little more atmosphere around the lead vocal in the verses, something to blend it better into the mix - I like what the backing vocals are doing in the second verse and they help create that too, so maybe the first verse could use a touch more of those (while still keeping them less than in verse 2). The transitions before the choruses might benefit from adding a small element or smoothing things out so as not to drop as much momentum before the chorus hits. Overall, nice job!
  5. Not A Day Goes By

    Hi Kuya I'm good with most of this, of course some word editing might be needed when its put to music. This one line sounded wrong, though: A minute an hour not a day goes by Shouldn't it be: 'Not a minute, not an hour, not a day goes by' ? I think this would flow well when sung.
  6. That's why I now record my strings "one instrument at a time". I've got a nice collection of string VSTi's (separate ones for violin, violin section, viola, viola section, cello, double bass) and record each on separate tracks. Haven't had any issues in my DAW with too many VSTis going at once, as before I start adding reverb (heavy CPU user) to anything, I will bounce the MIDI tracks to audio, and disable the VSTis. Any processing (EQ, etc) is then done on the audio tracks.
  7. The Politician

    Thanks Jonie! Mick tuned up the lyrics some, and I re-sang. (I also cleaned up the guitar solo a bit, and changed the accompaniment on the bridge just to mix it up a bit, vis a vis Joe's comments . . .) Posted the link up top . . .
  8. Similar to Justin: 1) Compose song (lyrics then music 99.999% of time) A) Get early feedback - from local songwriter circle or here, with simple 1+1 version 2) Record basic scratch track on DAW (Reaper). Usually guitar, occasionally paiano. Almost always to a simple drum loop to keep timing steady. 3) Decide if any time bpm's need to be changed (chorus a little faster, for example), based on how scratch track sounds. Adjust bpm and re-record scratch track if needed. 4) Do basic drum track (EZ Drummer 2). Fills, adjusting hits, etc will come later. 5) 'Arranging' - usually I have a fair idea of what else is needed in the song by this time. I'll re-record the guitar part, if its electric, do a number of tracks with different guitars/amps or chord inversions. A) Bass, other rhythm instruments (keyboards). Sometimes lead instruments at this point, if I have good idea of what I want. B ) Lead vocals, then background vocals/harmonies C) Lead instruments D) Strings or other 'non-rhythm' instruments. 6) Mixing 7) Remixing 8) More remixing... Although some people think that the ability to have literally infinite tracks to work with is a detriment, I don't. I can certainly see the advantage of a band in a studio (with sufficient mic isolation) recording 'live', but when you are a solo person doing all the parts, the ability to record different takes/versions and multiple instruments, then to work with them on the final arrangement is a real plus. Compared to doing 'bounce downs' on a stand-alone recorder - it's an unfair comparison.
  9. Song order on an album

    1) They're ALL strong! (well, almost) 2) First and last songs are already fixed, kind of 'bookends'. 3) As the album has a dual theme ('Love and War'), I had first thought of putting all the love songs at the start, all the war songs at the end (except for the final song) and all the 'other' songs in the middle, and I'm still going with that - somewhat. Not having multiple 'sounds the same' songs in a row is probably the biggest thing, and that's not hard as there are a variety of styles.
  10. What are you using your DAW for?

    @Alistair I think I noticed that at one time you had a you rock guitar. I did too and it didn't work out for me at all. If you want credible strings very badly then you'll need mpe. MPE (multi-polyphonic-expression) sends different notes out on select channels which allows you to include the power of aftertouch via your touch to each individual note as opposed having all notes played having aftertouch applied simultaneously. I don't advise getting a roli seaboard. I watch music technology boards very closely and the users. My current "keyboard" is actually three devices... Korg nano key studio 2 with lots of dials and an x,y pad followed by two novation launchpad pro's that have both polyphonic velocity pressure and after pressure built in. I've been using grid based devices for almost a decade now. I'm a terrible keyboard player. Barely functional. Some hosts/daws don't support mpe natively, some of those can be "fudged" if you are really good with your daw. Ableton Live doesn't(but I can fudge it) Mixcraft doesn't Logic does. Many plugins don't support mpe either but they can be if you can "fudge" your host and load the same instrument onto multiple midi channels Here's the good bad and ugly about MPE devices I've played and owned. The Linnstrument The linnstrument is far and away the best mpe device on the market. Even if you've never tapped on a guitar learning to play right handed using perfect fourths tuning is a breeze. The left hand is baffled as everything feels upside down and backwards. It has the most comprehensive setup systems under the hood but you can play it straight out of the box and learn about other features as you go. You can easily setup and access your own presets on the fly. The only thing I didn't like about it was the amount of continuous pressure it took to effectively slide. The surface is "grip-able" made up of something that feels like rubber/plastic the notes aren't going to slide off due to sweat. It has 6 way mpe. Velocity sensitivity independence (adjustable) If you play a chord and you want one note to stand out louder than the others you can. Pressure sensitivity. Pressure sensitivity kicks in after velocity. You can vary the amount of pressure exerted on a note simply by pressing harder and softening your touch. The x axis has separate left/right can be used for "fretless" or fretted slides or piano like glissando. It's all in how you set it up. The Y axis can be used in many ways for an articulated modulation of your desirings rather than the "mod wheel" where by how far you extend effects the rate. It's more graceful and natural like guitar vibrato. I loved that damn thing. Every day I'd find new approaches to playing on it. There are no "how to play the linnstrument" videos out there save... Jeff Moen's method. I like Jeff a lot. Jeff and I go back years and years. Jeff is my co administrator for the FB linnstrument users page. Jeff's style is not mine and it's not for me. To me he's an accordion player. Simple comping on the left and melodic playing on the right. He's an amazing instrumentalist still I liked what I did on the instrument more than his approach. That being said. Linnstruments aren't cheap. I invested money into it. I invested time. I was a linnstrument evalgelist straight up to the point where mine stopped working before the warranty expired and mine no longer worked. Contacted Roger Linn about repair/replacement. Dead silence. Next is the more affordable Artiphon Instrument One. Much more affordable not as extensive as the linnstrument. In many cases too dummied down for my liking. But it works and it's my mainstay for mpe. I'll get into specifics and quirks of the artiphon instrument one as time allows. Just now I've been called into work due to a fellow employee calling off.
  11. Hi. These are the first 10 cover songs recorded by my band. They are available on YouTube only. Only in the first and in the last one there is a proper video.
  12. Today

    Everything Must Go (The Banjo Song) (Verse) I found my old banjo By the magazine stand Everything must go That was the plan My son said Mom is gone There's not enough space Let's move the banjo along And get it out of my face (Verse) I tuned it up as best I could I started out a little rusty That banjo understood I felt warmth inside me My stiff fingers and hands Became nimble and quick I was back with the band So I played a few licks (Chorus) I remember the music Everything must go The bluegrass, the country Everything must go That banjo was magic Everything must go As it played with me (Bridge) The songs came in a rush From deep in my heart The banjo was my brush The music was my art (Chorus) (Verse) I turned around My son had been there Listening to it all along He stood and glared Then he took the banjo Tore it from my hand And said Nice show- One heck of a final stand (Chorus)
  14. Can't Be Bothered

    Good point...and one I neglected to mention! I have both open & closed back headphones, but always use the open-back style (AKG 400s) for recording vocals. Many times I'll move one the earpieces to the side of my head (behind the ear). That's allows me to monitor target pitch (previously recorded tracks) through one ear, while hearing my vocal delivery via the open air. Kind of a reverse version of what you see singers do live when they're having difficulty hearing monitors. They hold their finger on one ear, closing it off to outside sound...allowing them to hear their own vocal part more clearly. Best advice I can give ya' is to experiment & figure out what works best for you. Tom
  15. Can't Be Bothered

    Hi Kev Back in the day I felt the same way too when I started recording with a Tascam 244 cassette 4-track recorder. Getting levels right. Hearing your voice through headphones for the first time. Things to get used to as far as how you have the monitor levels going through the head phones too. Almost like two people driving a tank.lol For me, I found out the hard way that some types of headphones will throw off your pitch. I found that the headphones that totally encapsulated your ears could throw your pitch off. So I would go about finding headphones that had more of a foam like texture rather than a leather or vinyl like covering. Just fun things to experiment with. just my two cents worth R-N-R Jim
  16. Not A Day Goes By

    really love the title and theme
  17. Not A Day Goes By

    Hi kuya, I like your hook, I like the lyric, but something is niggling at me. Hopefully I'll figure it out as I go through this. One coffee no sugar two creams My life isn't all that it seems Though there's small talk and joking My heart is still broken You even appear in my dreams - this sounds a bit throwaway. I'm sure there's a better line One ticket for matinee show - for "the" or "a" matinee show? Our friends say its time to let go Take a chance hey you're single Get out there and mingle They're happy so what do they know - Nice! Not a day goes babe not a day goes by I curse and I throw things and I ask myself why A minute an hour not a day goes by 'Cause you left without saying goodbye Again, I'm not sure the hook is working as well as it could. I absolutely know what your hook suggests, not a day goes by the singer doesn't think of her, wonder why she left, wonder if it was her or him, all with a little anger thrown in. All those things we wonder about and the way we behave in this situation. And part of me likes knowing that and not having it spelled out, but I also think that maybe it's not the hook, maybe it's the lines that follow the hook - maybe they aren't really carrying their weight. The last line of the chorus specifically. It's a major reason for the feelings and behavior. We can live with a goodbye but not knowing why is the killer and kudos for coming up with such a great idea. That last line says it all but for me, it's overshadowed by what else is going on in the verses and chorus. If this were mine, I might save that powerhouse for a bridge which reveals the reason this is no ordinary break up. This is a blindsiding event. You need to make the listener really feel it too. But first you have to shine a big bright light on it. Just me getting into this, remembering a time it happened to me. Good stuff.
  18. Can't Be Bothered

    Cheers Tunesmith, yeah I was really impatient with this recording, I live and learn. It's recorded using a Boos BR 80 digital recorder, I had everything up too high when recording....
  19. Can't Be Bothered

    Towards that end, I have a couple of suggestions. IMHO this type of bare bones track does NOT benefit from vocal doubling, regardless of the singer. Were I you, I'd think in baby steps...at least for now. Spend as much time as it takes to come up with a single vocal that's true to pitch & effective in expressing whatever you're trying to convey. Best I can tell, you're either overdriving the mic or the input levels on your DAW. The end result is an unnecessarily distorted vocal. This is something you need to correct before going any further. If you're singing right on top of the mic, try backing off a bit. Test your input levels BEFORE doing an actual take. Make sure you're not driving the level beyond that zero mark (clipping). Then playback what you've recorded, listen to it, see if's sounding clean. Try positioning your mic in a way that allows you to see the channel input meter while you're singing the part. These things need to be right before you even attempt an actual take. When you record your vocal, are you recording it bare-bones? By that I mean, EQ, reverb or any type of effect added to it. If you're not, you should be! Too often folks who aren't comfortable with their vocal ability try to fool their brains into thinking it sounds better than it does while recording it. Bottom line - you don't want to do that...ever! Whatever it sounds like, good or bad, that's what you want to be hearing when you play it back. You want to hear it as it is...no embellishment! Once you're certain it sounds OK, THEN you can add embellishments. Hope some of ssuggestions help. Good luck & try to enjoy the process! Tom
  20. The Willow Tree

    @mybirdperforms, IMO, the strengths of your song are: the interesting change up between the 3rd and 4th verses, Your guitar solo at the end, Your pleasant vocal delivery, and the unusual phrasing in some of the lines such as the very unusual phrasing in line 3 of the second verse. I guess my thoughts on making this stronger is to consider changing back to the original chords and rhythm at the end of the song so that your song has more closure. Right now, it's as if the listener is going along for the ride, but the ride then goes off the cliff. It doesn't seem to have an ending. Another observation is that there seems to be a lot higher frequency sounds in this song including your voice, guitar and piano. I think it needs some heavy bass. The beginning part is pretty guitar heavy and you may think to add some bass and piano in that part. Regarding your unusual phrasing in line 3 of the second verse. I think you should do something more with that. Repeat that phrasing in other parts of the song...IMO, you have the potential to create a original, interesting hook with that phrasing. Right now, I'm not sure if this song has a hook. BTW, you might want to consider changing the title so that it matches the ultimate hook that you come up with. In the lyrics the willow tree seems to be less of the special place that you should be focusing on..the cavern and the walls that you are writing on seems to be the place to put your focus, and perhaps your hook/title. I hope this is helpful.
  21. Can't Be Bothered

    I'll check it out mate
  22. Can't Be Bothered

    Ah cheers, thank you. I'm going to try those things.
  23. Can't Be Bothered

    Hi Kev I guess that's fine if you want to take this on as a solo artist. But you have to look at your singing style and perhaps see what your vocal range truly is and work within it. Though Dylan wasn't precise in his pitch, he had this angle or way to write that embraced his story telling ability. I think as an example what Im talking about is the song by Bob called "Tangled Up In Blue". Give it a whirl and tell me if this is what your aiming for. cheers R-N-R Jim
  24. What are you using your DAW for?

    In my case, the simple answer is ... not enough! It's gathered dust for a while but I did recently dust it off and am now messing around with it - mostly just to improve workflow and make sure I can get a decent acoustic guitar sound and bring in keyboards, etc. Good solo strings seem tricky too. My aim is to ensure that I don't waste time messing with corrective treatment (with the guitar, especially) and keep it as simple as possible (over-processing can really mess up an acoustic guitar). I'm hoping it will pay dividends when I get going again!
  25. Can't Be Bothered

    If you want to improve your voice, here are three suggestions that helped me. 1) Spend some time playing single notes on an instrument and singing along with them. A tuned piano is best, but a guitar will get the job done. Pluck the string, let it sustain and try to match the note. Then intentionally slide flat and sharp, feeling the difference in resonance when you are on vs. being off. Key point: don't assume that because a note is in your speaking range that you are singing it fine! Use this technique to explore and strengthen your entire range. 2) Before you sing, warm up by making "Pbbpbpbppbpbpb" engine sounds with your lips. This sounds ridiculous, but it is a serious technique that does wonders for me. The point of this is to have the resonance move out of your throat to your lips and upper mouth. You get a much cleaner tone and far more endurance this way. 3) Don't be a hero! I spent the first 10 years of my musical "career" writing vocal parts that were out of my range, thinking the trick was to eventually will my voice to be able to sing them. It went as well as you probably imagine. Once I finally accepted the tools I actually have, my songwriting improved by orders of magnitude.... and, paradoxically, so did my voice.
  26. Can't Be Bothered

    I'm determined to do this by myself, i'm hoping to continue to improve my voice lol Here are the lyrics I always thought I was so specialBut you descaled me like your kettleLiving like there's no tomorrowAll I do is beg steal and borrowChorusWhen I cant be bothered to moveWhen I dont really want to loseYoure the one i'm gonna chooseStop looking so confusedCaring for that generationThose who we don't even mentionTo you they're just a unitBut remember they have seen it
  27. Not A Day Goes By

    Hi kuya I'm reading a limerick in the verses - careful there or it might get a comedic vibe For me the chorus needs work: Tell me to jump in the lake if you want to Paul
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