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Alistair S

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Everything posted by Alistair S

  1. Alistair S

    Music First

    I'm flummoxed too! I can see it has uploaded. I can download other pdfs from the same place. It's just this file! I'll keep checking. We don't ban pictures, by the way. Edit: It works for me now. It seems that I didn't have the right permissions to download attachments as an Administrator. Pffft. It would still be nice if a pdf would embed nicely (rather than needing a download). I don't think they can though
  2. Alistair S

    Music First

    Unfortunately, the attachment didn't work. Not sure what went wrong (and let me know if I can help!). Sounds fun. I can write to music sometimes - at other times I just seem to come up dry. I probably need to write more to get things flowing again.
  3. You may find it better to post an individual song for feedback here to see whether anyone can help you improve it. While I appreciate what you are trying to do, it is unlikely that anyone (who also writes songs) will take the time to become a supporter (they are working on their own stuff). This place mostly works as a mutual feedback and self-help community. I'm only saying this because a "please listen to my stuff" post rarely works unless you are already known here and are contributing your help to others.
  4. Alistair S

    Just joined. Want to post song.

    I've not tried it lately but I think you could upload the mp3 as an attachment to your post.
  5. Alistair S

    What to do with songs when done.

    I have no experience with Songwriters Association of Canada but I don't see how it can hurt! Do they have local meetings, I wonder (it would be good to meet fellow songwriters, I'm sure!). Other than that, I'd take it one step at a time. Get a song finished and share it online (Soundcloud, here, other sites like ours maybe) and see how you go. Getting songs "out there" means different things to different people, of course. You probably realise this already, but - just in case - there is virtually no market at all for songs submitted by strangers to artists.
  6. Alistair S

    What to do with songs when done.

    Welcome What happens next depends a lot on what you want to happen. Most people here write songs for pleasure and to perform them or simply to be heard. As far as copyright is concerned, your creations (songs/lyrics/whatever) are copyright automatically as soon as you write them down, record them or hold them in some other material form. You can register that copyright if you choose, which could help to prove your ownership in the (unlikely?) event you decided to take someone to court for breach of copyright (which will cost you money and is only worth it if the person you sue has plenty of cash to pay you). You can also bundle up a bunch of songs and register them all at once for the same fee as registering a single song. Once you have a song, maybe post it for feedback here? If you want, enter one of our monthly contests (no fee and no prize - just for fun). If you can get out there and perform it, that could also be a good next step. If you can't perform it and want someone else to, you need to get with people who might do that - and that means networking - lots of networking.
  7. Alistair S

    Thoughts after over dosing/ first ever time I wrote

    Also - a couple of recommendations. 1. Check out what other people are doing and comment on their work. Apart from it being a requirement (check the forum rules posted at the top of the forum) you will both learn from the exercise of thinking about why a lyric works (or doesn't) and you will be more likely to get responses. If you don't, people will notice and stop responding to your posts - you get out what you put in. 2. Come back to your own posts and respond. If you don't, people will assume you aren't even reading their responses and - again - will stop bothering. So far, you have made 3 posts - all very close together and all new submissions. Most of the work of writing is the art of rewriting.
  8. Alistair S

    Collaboration Challenge: Emotional Impact

    I'm all in favour of glorious experiments! They may work out fantastically. They may fail dramatically. Either works and we can learn from both. And any failure is only ever "initial", anyway. Let's go with it, wholeheartedly! What's the worst thing that could happen? 9 new songs will be find an audience - 9 new songs that may never otherwise have seen the light of day. 9 new connections will be made. 18 people will have the joy of creating something in partnership with someone else! Thank you, SOK!
  9. Alistair S

    Collaboration Challenge: Emotional Impact

    If you are going for the sympathy vote, it didn't work. That is rather sad , though
  10. Removed the duplicate post and moved this to "Songs" as it definitely didn't fit in Lyrics Feedback
  11. Alistair S

    The saddest number ones ever...

    A 2x2 matrix is maybe a bit crude and another, third axis might pin things down better, but it kind of works if you want to find another song with a similarish "feel". I'm pretty sure it works better than something like "genre" anyway. However, one problem is the label they put on each quadrant. If the bottom left was labeled "reflective" or "soulful" or something (I can't think of a good word) then there would likely be no real issue. The words used likely don't matter much anyway for the purpose it is designed for. The other problem (for me) is in understanding how they are using the word "valence". If they are talking about positive and negative valence (negative valence would normally relate to negative emotions) I don't see how a song like Ewan MacColl's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" could be seen as other than positive (and should thus have been in the lower right quadrant - in which case, the label "calm" may not be accurate either!) Oh, well.
  12. Alistair S

    Monthly contests - something new

    You could set up a poll on here. However, you would probably need to have public voting if you wanted to see who had voted (and that they hadn't voted for themselves). You would also need to know how to handle it if someone voted - for example - 4 times instead of 3. You could use likes - but the same things apply. You could use something like Survey Monkey too, but it's never that straightforward.
  13. Alistair S

    Monthly contests - something new

    The only issue with voting (any type!) is that it requires somebody to take the votes and tally them - and that's a commitment many people don't want to make (you need to set dates, read PMs, be disciplined). There are alternatives, of course - it could just be to post a challenge, see who's interested, set a target date to post and then let people feedback after that date (for example).
  14. Alistair S

    Monthly contests - something new

    I like the idea and I also agree with Hobosage that it has to be down to whoever is running the contest. I'm very grateful to those who do run contests and I think we have all seen times when it can be hard to find someone with the time to do it (everyone needs a break sometimes and we can't rely on the same people forever!). I also like what Moso is saying. Maybe it doesn't always have to be a contest as such (though it could be one, in a simplified form, maybe)? If it took off, I could easily create a new forum for it, if that would help (or you could just use "Songwriting Prompts and Exercises" if that would work). I'm open to whatever - it's your community and if I can help, just shout!
  15. Alistair S

    Update on Neal James

    Chad, I had a listen to your Soundcloud site and it was OK. I have to say that it wasn't stand-out, but it was OK. I think you need to bear in mind that there are 30,000 people a year joining ASCAP alone ( and there are other organisations apart from ASCAP) and you are not alone in needing to stop and think, realistically, what you want from songwriting. We all need to do that. Now, it could be that, with a different musical treatment, your stuff might become stand-out. Maybe. But then it wouldn't be you that is making it stand out - it would be a stand-out musician that has done that. I'm assuming you aren't that musician, or it would already be apparent. You could become that musician, maybe - but you haven't shown that yet. Me neither, by the way So, you need to ask yourself what it is that you want. Many of us do this for love (there simply isn't much money in songwriting these days) and it probably costs us more than we make from it. Is that OK? If so, great! Join the club! Enter our songs in the contests! Most of our Song of the Year winners never made any money (though, in my opinion, many of them deserve to make a lot of money from their talent!) If that is not OK, this has to become serious and you need to spend time and energy understanding the way the business works - and that has very little to do with creativity. There are some markets for songwriting. There is a very limited market for pure songwriters and there is a market for people who can create completed musical products (and I use the term "product" deliberately). If you want to be a songwriter, you either need to also be the artist and develop a following (which is pretty much a full-time job while you also earn a living at a full-time job or scrape by with a part-time job) or you need to get to know an artist (or artists) who want to use your material. In either case, this needs a lot of networking. A lot. Nobody will come to you and you need to meet in "meat space" and get to know people. Like most businesses, contacts are key and getting the right contacts is time-consuming. If that doesn't appeal, there are other outlets. These include - advertising, movies, TV, video games - places where you have two ways of getting in. One is to submit material (that is ready for pro use) to music libraries and hope for the best. The other is to find out what people are looking for (often by networking) and develop a reputation for being able to provide what they need (writing to a spec). Either requires "radio ready", shiny material. I'm not saying any of this to be mean or to crush your hopes. I am, however, concerned that you may be under the illusion that you will get a good financial return from getting demos made and having a publisher hawk them around. There are plenty who will do that (for a fee) but you are unlikely to see your money back. In fact, if you have the material, you should also ask why you need a publisher when, these days, you can self-publish. There is nothing wrong with what you are doing but it is important to be realistic. Anyway, if you want to pursue a publisher, it is perhaps key to understand what a publisher will do (and won't do). This is a good article. http://www.alankorn.com/article-publishing-1.html (it comes in 2 parts). But these are difficult times in which to make money from songwriting (and the world is changing fast, so keep an eye on any information about the way the business model is changing with it!). I do wish you luck but I also want to give a few home truths (while I hate doing it!)
  16. Alistair S

    Update on Neal James

    I'm glad he turned out to be OK! I'm not an expert but I'm not sure about the usefulness of "demos" these days. I think, usually, the demo is the actual product and, if you want it placed (in a move, for example) it needs to be ready. If you are looking for an old-fashioned type of contract, having a following already is pretty key. Two thoughts - you could post up one of your songs for feedback in the Feedback Area and see where people think the focus needs to be. You could get in touch with a local studio and give that route a try - they aren't so expensive these days and, even if you don't see yourself using them again, you could learn something in the process?
  17. Alistair S

    Recording Vocals At Home

    Excellent! My work here is done
  18. Alistair S

    Recording Vocals At Home

    Yep - I think we ARE in furious agreement! I'm not sure what you mean by DAW input level as the only way I know to raise gain on the way in would be via the preamp - but I think we do agree, after all. In Reaper, as an example, the track meter will show the input level when the track is record armed. The track fader will do nothing to the track meter or to the input level during tracking (which would be adjusted at the preamp). The only other thing that could affect the input level within the DAW (in Reaper) would be any input FX (which get recorded and could affect the level - but I don't think many people use them). The track fader will adjust the track output (not input) and that level will show in the meter on the Master. That's kind of key too - because, unless you only had one track, with no FX anywhere, no automation, etc. - and the track fader and the Master fader were both at unity - the level displayed on the Master could be misleading.
  19. Alistair S

    Recording Vocals At Home

    Could you explain further, Paul? We may be in furious agreement, but I'm not sure. We have ambient sound and we agree that we need a source loud enough to get a decent SNR to combat that. No question. We then have a mic plugged into a preamp (either as part of our audio interface or separately) and we apply gain. We need to measure how much gain we should apply before it hits the AD converters and we need to measure that. To do that we will use either a VU meter (DBVU) or - more usually, - the peak meter in our DAW, which shows us a value in DBFS. If our DAW shows us averaging around -18 DBFS, we are good (it is around 0 DBVU)- it is what our AD converters were designed for and how many plugins work best. Any hotter is the same as running our VU meter in the red constantly rather than around 0 DBVU (which gave us plenty of headroom). Why would you record hotter and reduce headroom, for no real benefit. After all, you can turn things up as easily as you can turn them down! I'm missing something in your argument.
  20. Alistair S

    Recording Vocals At Home

    We must be talking at cross-purposes then. There is, for example, this part - followed by a more detailed explanation - If we aren't talking at cross-purposes, I'm happy to agree to differ
  21. Alistair S

    Recording Vocals At Home

    In that case, I think you need to read the link i provided, Paul.
  22. Alistair S

    Recording Vocals At Home

    OK, maybe I needed to be a bit clearer about what I was saying. I'm assuming that most people will be watching the meters in their DAW and will be interested in seeing the peaks (rather than the RMS). The DAW metering will show DBFS. If they are showing around -18 on this meter, on average (maybe peaks up to 12 to -6 max) they will likely be hitting their ADCs at around 0 DBVU, which is ideal and the way the converters usually work best. Of course, there are differences in converters and whether they are set at -10 or -4, etc but, as a rule of thumb, an AVERAGE of around -18 DBFS is ideal. Peaks may go higher at times but should be nowhere near 0 DBFS. If we are talking about measuring levels on a preamp with a VU meter, hovering around 0 achieves the same thing. Recording at this level in 24 bit also gives plenty of headroom. If you are talking about overcoming ambient room noise, then yes - you need to be louder at the source than the ambient room noise is and the ratio of your additional loudness to the noise will make the ambient noise less significant. In other words, by all means sing louder However, turning up the gain won't help with ambient room noise - it will just record the ambient room noise louder too - along with your vocal at the same ratio. This link is helpful! - https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/gain-staging-your-daw-software And no - noise will not be worse at 24 bits
  23. Alistair S

    Recording Vocals At Home

    I'm going to have to disagree with you, Paul. First, in the analog world (and when recording at 8 or 16 bit) SNR was a real consideration, absolutely! However, when recording at 24 bits, it really isn't. a concern any more. You have all the resolution you need at 24 bits and increasing the gain isn't needed or helpful. Second, analog meters measured DBVU and 0 was a kind of target (kinda). In the digital world, we measure using DBFS (full scale) ... and 0 DBVU is around -18 DBFS (so it's a good level to record at). Even -6 DBFS is a LOT louder than 0 DBVU. A lot of plugs are set up to operate optimally at -18DBFS (ish). It's a good level to record at and makes life a lot easier, with plenty of headroom left for mixing and mastering.
  24. Alistair S

    Recording Vocals At Home

    Good stuff - thanks, David. I strongly agree with the advice about not recording too hot!
  25. Welcome aboard! Nice intro - let's hear it (or see it)! If you want feedback, any of the areas in the Feedback Area will work but if you just want to share, use Artist's Showcase
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