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About GPBrimer

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    Muse In Training

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  • Lyricist, Composer or Both?

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  1. I think this is likely the culprit when dealing with dynamic changes that result in overloading. If you are clipping the incoming signal then the only repair you can do is to start deleting audio, which is not what you want. Volume can always be increased in the mix for parts that are performed well but are a little quiet. As Alistair says - it takes practice. Getting to know the parts of your song that are going to require you to back off is a must. Compression should be used to control the dynamics of the attack and release on a particular "word" of the vocal, not to control the vocal volume entirely. Think of a compressor as something to control the outlying peaks.
  2. Panning exact copies of the same exact wave form to the left and right is just stereo. It's not going to do anything but adjust the panning and volume of the sound in unpredictable ways.
  3. There are quite a few ways to get this done. For someone not experienced with the recording process I think the first step is to realize you don't have to record everything at once. For home studios especially, things are often recorded piece by piece onto various tracks. The tracks are then mixed (volume, eq and panning edited) together to sound cohesive. This process can cost as little, or as much, as you would like it to. The end result is going to be a direct reflection of how much you understand the process you are going through. On my desk is a PC with recording software (I use FL Studio), a USB Midi Keyboard, and a USB audio interface (Mine has an input for a microphone and an input for an instrument). I like using FL Studio because it's was the most cost efficient option, and I'm comfortable with using it. These are called Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) and there are tons of options out there to choose from. They all work essentially the same way. They let you manage the tracks and put them together. Using this, I create drum tracks using samples (which you can spend zero to infinite dollars on depending on what you are happy with). Then I record audio through a microphone or instrument around that. The audio goes through the audio interface, which is essentially a way of getting audio signals into the computer while retaining quality. More inputs = more money. Mine was $150 The midi keyboard allows me to play digital instruments inside the DAW. From anything to a piano to ...literally whatever you can think of. More instruments = more money. Better instruments = more money. The midi keyboard was given to me by a friend so it was free. They can run as little as $50. The instruments can range from free to thousands. All of this wasn't what I would call cheap, but compared to the cost of putting together a professional studio it was extremely cheap. The professional studio setups you see in movies or documentaries are designed to maximize workflow and accommodate a wide range of recording scenarios. Mine is designed to accommodate one recording scenario: Me playing one instrument at a time. OR If you have a smartphone you can download a multi-tracking app for as little as $1. With some headphones, you can use the Mic on the phone (which these days is usually pretty decent) and record the various tracks. If you have an iPhone, Garageband is a great tool and it is possible to add drums and other instruments into your song from the app. Using a phone requires the least expertise, as there are no messy components to force into cooperation. It also has the least cost to it, as most people already own a smartphone. If your goal is to capture an idea then using a smartphone is definitely the simplest and cost effective way to do it. If this existed 20 years ago it would have changed my life. With all of this stuff however, there is some basic knowledge of mixing required to make anything sound good. I think the perception that there is a "quick and easy" way to get this done is a little off. For me it is quick and easy because I've been doing it for years and have learned a lot along the way. But even when I first started I was making songs on day one. Terrible, terrible songs What seems like the route you would take? If you want some advice on putting it together I would be happy to help out.
  4. WOuld be easier to provide some advice if we could hear the result you are getting. Any chance of a clip?
  5. GPBrimer


    Everyone's advice here is great. An extra tip to help out on the verses... I usually pick some specific detail of the story/idea the chorus is trying to tell. Often these are objects or actions that have an emotional connection to the theme of the chorus. For me, all creative processes are driven by me asking myself questions. So when it comes to writing I might ask "what made me start feeling this way?" and often I can trace it back to an action, situation or object that got my mind on the chorus idea. From there I can describe the thing and it's connection to the idea. Once you know what you want to talk about it's just craft work to make it fit.
  6. GPBrimer


    I was getting a daft punk "Digital Love" vibe, but kept waiting for the kick in. I think the song itself is awesome, but it's mixed as if you want the entire thing to sound like it's coming out of a small speaker. Perhaps just widening out the sound a bit, giving each sound it's own place in the panning. The only time i heard a sign of stereo was on the tom that occasionally comes in. Again--- sound seems amazing. Just start panning.
  7. GPBrimer


    I really like that with just your voice and a guitar you are creating a full song. My mind can't help but want to add different instruments, but I think that would just turn it to mud. As it is, everything was there in your composition. Your lyrics are especially great, very intricate lines. I was reading the lyrics ahead a bit and wondering how in the world you were going to fit in the "end is nigh" part. And when you nailed it to the rhythm I was a bit stunned. My first thought was that the guitar might be too simple, but once I heard how intricate the lyrics were it is a great match. The backing vocal bits were just enough to add some space in there. Wonderful!
  8. Oh, wow! I can hear that now. I think my mind chose a word and stuck with it. Sorry about that You are absolutely right, that is much more effective and makes a ton of sense.
  9. GPBrimer


    Thanks for sharing this. While they are pretty basic concepts, they are good reminders to start simple. I love having stuff like this to go back to when I'm stuck.
  10. The links and information provided by Alistair will be useful for you. The second part, as already mentioned, is that you have a lot of learning to do. You will find, if you have a decent knowledge of simply using a computer, that most of the technical stuff is pretty easy to set up once you simply read the manual that comes with the devices and software you buy. Where the learning comes in is learning the possibilities. For instance, the radiohead song "Idioteque" is an awesome electronic track, but nothing about it is actually difficult. The secret there is that the guys spent time learning their tools inside and out to find out what kind of sounds they could create. Which reverb worked for the drums. We could take that same drum track, remove the reverb and effects, and have a totally different track. For learning this, I recommend FL Studio from image line. It is designed for electronic music, with the ability to record audio and instruments as well. The audio recording is secondary, while hooking up a keyboard and triggering sounds/notes with it is a simple two-click setup. This can be a great way to practice and work out the various effects, instruments, and concepts related to electronic music. I found a book called "Dance Music Manual" by Rick Snoman to be very informative in learning the various techniques and styles associated with various types of music. It breaks down the functional style distinctions of many types of electronic music, offers advice on how the various types are mixed, and even goes as in depth as explaining how the various aspects of a simple synthesizer work to create a sound. While the title sucks (I know!), the book is great. Welcome to the journey
  11. One of the ways I deal with this is to use a drum sampler with pre-loaded sequences. I apply the sequences that work best with a track, then possibly modify the snare or kick to fit exactly with the guitar/bass rhythm. While this works, it is taking some of the creative aspects away from me as the songwriter. I tend to justify this as me not being a drummer and the drums tracks are simply "plans" that I could show to an actual drummer at some point if the song were in production. Honestly, I don't love doing it this way, because I want the drum tracks to be unique and of my own creation. But unless I'm willing to invest in a drum kit, the ability to record it, and the time to learn better drumming this is the best solution. If you listen to the songs you like you will see that often the drum tracks are interchangeable other than some fills and transitions. The same concepts apply to rock drums across the board. If you were planning to write in a different genre all together, drum sampling and looping should work fine. As for playing the drums on a keyboard it's often easiest to sequence each drum separately, one at a time. Starting with the high hat, then working on to kick and snare. Then moving the high hat to various cymbals to accentuate song changes, up/down beats, etc. I've searched around for books on how to write drums digitally, but there really isn't anything out there that I can find to help this other than some broader books about writing songs in various genres. As for the "power" of the drums, this often depends somewhat on the drum sounds used and the mix of the drums. For rock, I find that the Native-Instruments Kontakt set called Abby Road Modern Drummer has more than sufficient sounds and mixing options to accomplish anything from metal to pop. Here is an example of it's use: I have some work to do on the hats and mix, but this drum track was pretty simple to put in using the method I described above.
  12. Listened to this a few times, and on the first run through I had picked up my guitar and wanted to play along to it. It is instantly likable. I like that you create a clear sense of desire and frustration with the broken up "gimme" sections. There were spots in the lyrics where you create vivid imagery, but with a few word changes you might clarify the articulation. For instance: "it's clear to see my angry anxiety's your drug" works just as well, but with easier/more open transitions as: "It's clear to see my angry anxiety's a drug" It might even add a little duality to the meaning as well, which is always interesting. I'm not sure about the hook with "My loins are heaving" as the intro line. Something about this phrase feels more formal than the rest of the song, though it seems to be expressing a physical breaking point in the story of the lyrics. Obviously, lyrics are about self expression so the choices must maintain meaning and there is no easy analogue to this sentence. Anyway, I like the song a lot and I can hear a lot of things that could happen, so I'd be very interested to see what the flesh-out sounds like. I thought it definitely deserved some feedback, and since it had none what better place to make my first post on this forum. Hope I get to hear the finished work!