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audio Arrangement Question

Discussion in 'Fix This MIX!' started by Peppercorn, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. Peppercorn

    Peppercorn Active Member

    Here is a new song I've just finished. I have got so close to it that I can no longer make any valid adjustments because I'm just too close to the whole thing.

    I've written, sang, arranged, played and produced the thing and although I think it is a decent standard I am asking for opinions on arrangement.

    The song is here

    Thanks for any constructive criticism.

    EDIT: At this point plenty of people have listened to the song but no one has replied. I know it is a "different" kind of song, is it so different that it is no good? old? out dated?
    I have a few other ideas for the start and middle bit, but I am hoping some of you could help me to make the song better.

    The following song is new also. That is a song I'm happy with. It is meant to sound like a song from the 60's with today's production. (Well, as well as I can do)

  2. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    I think the message is being missed in this global community. As far as arrangement, what more or less needs to be done? Nothing.

    Then again, the Liberals may be creating a committee to take the words out of this song. You know how they love to trample the 1st Amendment ;)
  3. Peppercorn

    Peppercorn Active Member

    Thanks for your reply Space. Good name, Space, I like that!

    I'm an Aussie so, I don't know much about the 1st Amendment but, I'm thankful that you listened to the lyrics and got the drift of the song.

    I am aware that the song is 'of a standard' but I was just wondering if someone may be able to suggest a more coherent or, unique arrangement.

    I am thinking of changing the start to some Media samples and then, just the "Bombarded Vocals" instead of the guitar.
    In the middle bit I was actually considering keeping the music going and doing a "Kazoo Solo" over 8 bars or so.

    That is the type of thing I was thinking but, ???????

    But, thanks!
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    My two cents...


    Vocals are a bit pitchy, but in the context of this song, where you have a kind of novel approach like this, I don't think it matters quite as much as if it were a "polished" commercial/T40 production. It's a tongue in cheek humor thing, so you can get away with being a lot more loose with things that you couldn't get away with if it were meant to be commercial.

    The drums bother me a bit, the first reason is that it's either a drum machine or samples, and to my ears it sounds like that ... fake. The other thing is that you have a kind of "swing" feel going on, except the shaker (or hi hat) is playing it very "straight"... and to my ears, the "feels" don't match, and it's a bit distracting, although perhaps this is something you may have been aware of already and intended to do? And if so, then that's fine too. It's your song. Play it how you want. ;)

    The room reverb you are using on the vocals is "okay", although you are at a point where you either need to back off the verb, or, add more. Right now,it seems to be sitting "in between" what would be most effective... at least to my ears.
    You may want to consider doubling each vocal part and use some creative panning to fill things out and add space. You could also add some slight delay as well. If it were me, the order of the FX chain would be Delay first and then the reverb, but that's a matter of taste thing.

    I do like that you get right to the hook at the top of the song.

    All of the above being said, I would also mention that it's a fun song, so that is the vibe you should be focusing on, over performance or even fidelity issues.

    It's Alright:

    I like this track, although, it's got a lot more of an 80's retro Euro-Pop vibe than it does a 60's sound.

    If you were to add 700ms - 1000ms of Lexicon PCM Verb on the vox, you'd be sitting right smack dab in 1986. ;)

    Yeah, the Flange/Phase effect on the vocals was used quite a bit with 60's psychedelia (Green Tambourine, Itchy-Coo Park, etc.) but that wasn't the only thing that gave the 60's the "sound".

    For example, the rhythm track you have going on here is far too sophisticated for most of what you heard during the 60's. If you really want a 60's vibe, use a real drum kit (preferably Ludwigs) and add an electric 12 string (preferably a Rickenbacker 360) maybe a Gretsch 6 string, and play through Vox and Fender tube amps. Spice to taste with other instruments like a Vox Continental Organ, or a Hammond B3, or a Farfisa...
    For rhythmic embellishment, use a tamborine or maracas instead of a synthy sounding percussion sequence.

    I'm not saying you should do any of the above, I do like the song as it is... and one of the things I like most about it, is that it's one of those kinds of tracks where there are many different directions you could go, dependent upon mix and production/arrangement, and still have a good song underneath all of the production regardless of the direction. I'm just saying that if your intention was to grab a 60's vibe, you missed it by about 2 decades. ;)

    IMHO of course.

  5. Peppercorn

    Peppercorn Active Member

    You have expressed yourself well but I feel that you have completely missed the point. I don't know if you understand what the word arrangement means? I was asking people for assistance with arrangement not Production techniques. But hey, obviously this is your thing. I actually think you have made a few valid points, but most of what you have written is poppycock.

    "It's Alright" is a song that I tried to write with a sixties type of formula. I think I achieved that! It goes for 2:47. Very few songs today are that quick. I used sequences, which 60's songs never had!
    A 12 string guitar, which I do possess is a ridiculous additive imo just to try and garner some sound from a band in the 60's. That is not what I do, I don't copy, I write.

    I don't mind criticism. But, the last line of your diatribe sums up the spirit in which you delivered your criticism. With a bitter root, rather than with the intention of helping someone. I have no idea if you have ever written a song or, recorded that song, or then produced that song and sang and played everything ON that song. But IF you have, you would deliver your criticism with more grace than you have.
    Just because you say "I do like this song" does not hide the bitterness of your delivery. Of course, this is just IMHO
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    In NO WAY was my intention "bitterness". None. Nada. Zip. And I think that if you did a little research here on this forum you would find that I've never written a review with that intention. I am here to help. Did I miss your point? Guilty as charged. You asked an arrangement question and instead I focused on production and recording technique.

    I was saying that I in fact did like both songs, and I meant it.... and it wasn't hiding any ulterior motive. If this is what you took from my suggestion(s) then I apologize.

    I will not retract, however, my statement of the "straight" hi hat/shaker against the rhythmic vibe of the rest of the tracks. It doesn't work.

    I would also suggest that if possible, you use a real drum kit.

    Both of these suggestions are arrangement-related by the way.

  7. Peppercorn

    Peppercorn Active Member

    OK man, I'll apologise!

    I read what you wrote the way I expressed it. I CAN take criticism and actually agreed with you about the Cabassa in Bombarded but for some reason it was deleted or missing from the reply post. I disagree with the drum sounds. I would LOVE to have a real drummer percussionist but where I live there is not 1 who can stay in time or be able to give me anything varied other than a lead foot and no feel.
    For what I have, that is about the best sound.
    The Hats may be able to be done better but the overall feel is also OK imo.

    I have also already double tracked the vocals which made me "wonder" if you really were serious, as well, there is a very "small" amount of short reverb on one vocal and the other is dry. Your suggestion of delay on the lead vocal is not anything like the sound I'm after.
    As a matter of fact, I'm quite happy with the Production considering what I have.

    My question, once again, was the arrangement. maybe you and I are from different countries, as well as age groups or something but, arrangement means something totally different to what you wrote to me.
    That's fine, that's is your opinion and I'm sure everyone has one, but I have still not got any suggestions that I was hoping for.

    I'm sorry for coming over aggressive, but I'm having family $*^t going down atm and I took your suggestions with the wrong attitude, I apologise again!
  8. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    I thought Donny was long winded and out in left field myself :)
  9. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    LOL... wouldn't be the first time. ;)
  10. CrazyLuke

    CrazyLuke Active Member

    You could have an instrumental break, ala, Moody Blues, with some string passages (mellotron?). Song could use a better backbeat, something 808ish

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