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audio Psycheledic Pop Piece,,,

Discussion in 'Fix This MIX!' started by Jathon Delsy, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. Jathon Delsy

    Jathon Delsy Active Member

    Live singing and lead guitar as you can see, over real performed guitars, bass, and harmony vocals, and programmed drums and strings.
    What am I like?
  2. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    I'm still processing this... but I think .... I think you just might be .... my new favorite artist...

    ... OK -- as soon as the second song cued up I was sold.... my newest favoritist YouTube artist ever. I loved your comments on the mixes and songs other people posted - I knew from the photo you posted in the sidebar that we might be in for a treat... it payed off for me. Now I gotta Google you (but I can't because I gotta run out the door)

    "Simon Said" was a little take it or leave it for me - fun for sure, but "Love Forever" was awesome -- and that earnestness in the delivery --- We had another guy here a few months back deliver some real earnest stuff too -- gotta check....

    London? I hear Bristolian in those vocals --- we need clarification
    Jathon Delsy likes this.
  3. Makzimia

    Makzimia Active Member

    Catchy tune mate, and interesting video.
    Jathon Delsy likes this.
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Ya, this is cool.
    A suggestion: If you tighten the timing a bit on both the the Vox and Electric G, it would be ever better! Organic vs Programming is a bit to obvious.
    The song has an anxious vibe so I would keep the performances tighter with the programming. Both the guitar and vocal latency distract this excitement.
    Jathon Delsy and pcrecord like this.
  5. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I see and hear you are a creative fellow, I like it !
    I was also disturbed buy the timing of the guitar and vocal. The vocal was a bit dry compared to other instruments so it place it appart from them. It took me a few seconds to get past the costume and the decor, but it was a good listen.

    I too, liked 'Love forever' !
    Glad you joined recording.org.
    Jathon Delsy and bigtree like this.
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Jathon Delsy likes this.
  7. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    I hope Jathon, that you come back and speak more - I want to know your story. I think your stuff sounds like Frank Zappa meets Beatles meets Talking Heads meets Devo....

    I also think that working with a producer might really help round out some of the angularity and warm up some of the pop sensibility already present in your playing and arrangements -- I'm thinking (for some reason) a Trevor Horn.... In fact if I knew Trevor Horn I'd send him links to your Youtube channel now because you are absolutely ready to take it to the next level. Any more bedroom recording will just be redundant from now on. I seriously think that if you get with the right folk you'll be on your way.
    Jathon Delsy likes this.
  8. Jathon Delsy

    Jathon Delsy Active Member

    My story?? just a humble guitar and bass teacher, yogi, philosopher and free spirit from London, England with a all consuming desire to capture and express the whole universe in a tightly arranged psychedelic song. Persistently chasing perfection, y'know.
    But sincere thanks for your keen-eared constructive critiques and appreciations folks. And DogsoverLava, can you suggest any other producers or contacts that might be interested in my music?
    bigtree likes this.
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    If you lived here, I'd immediately tap into everything you are thinking and turn it into music! You are one of those artists that takes the missing link of a band to stardom. Its very obvious.
    DogsoverLava and Jathon Delsy like this.
  10. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    What I'm hearing (and I think others are as well) is sort of a post punk new wave brit pop thing with serious roots in the early 80's but absolutely informed by prog and the Beatles. Some of the angularities of your playing and composing are a little sharp edged, that could be smoothed a little through production and arrangement. I don't know who's working in your genre in the UK right now but I'm confident that if your were to workshop with a producer and a band that you could really blast off with the right creative support team. Let me think a little bit more - but I have to say you are seriously a super talent and your music is awesomely bold and good... although it has roots that go back what you are doing is so fresh right now and you've seriously captured my attention.
    Jathon Delsy and bigtree like this.
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Exactly. I am a producer who has programmed around 2000 pop songs from the 80's + with at least 20,000 hours into EM. I lived and breathed it until I had a family and bought stupid Avid that distracted the hell out of me lol. The 80's are my thing. Not that I'm trolling for you, but just saying... we aren't stupid around here lol. Good luck on connecting the dots, Rob! This guy is ripe! :D
    Jathon Delsy and DogsoverLava like this.
  12. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Hi Jathon - a couple things I'd like to know and a I think might help some guys here as well - could you talk a little about the gear you've used to make your recordings and a little bit about your workflow? How has that workflow evolved from your first youtube video to your latest? You are obviously a skilled and creative musician and I know you are teaching (I think you said that) - what about performing? Have you taken any of these songs to the stage in any context? It would seem that you've been fairly prolific the last year or so with your original songs and videos - are these all recent compositions for you?

    Jathon Delsy likes this.
  13. Jathon Delsy

    Jathon Delsy Active Member

    Thanks for your interest and encouragement, guys! And DogsoverLava, I'll try and answer your questions as succinctly as possible.
    The method used to create my YouTube oeuvre has been consistent from the first video. Firstly I start with a poetical/musical idea in my mind which I muse over, germinating the basic musical and lyrical ideas. Then I open Logic 7.2.3 on my Mac desktop running OS X 10.4. I write the basic chords using block Hammond chords with no vibrato (to really hear the colour of the harmonies), and the basic melody with a vibes sound, all done in the matrix editors to see what I'm hearing, sometimes I'll sketch an instrumental part with a synth in the same way if it's a main building block of the song, or sometimes a backing vocal counterpoint. Once happy with this, then retire to the sofa to wrestle with meaning and syntax and complete the lyrics. Then back to the matrix editors to fine tune the melody, maybe revise chords and structure, and get a guide vocal and maybe guide backings recorded.
    Then composition starts in earnest. Usually start from the beginning, but sometimes from another section, depends where I want development to start or sometimes finish. I play rough parts throughout the song, generally working backwards from top lines to bass and drums last.
    Doubled acoustic guitars, panned L&R, balanced to counterweight either hi-hat or ride cymbal if playing with drums, use my nice Martin steel string.
    Doubled distorted chords, usually panned hard L&R, using a Fender Strat with a Kent Armstrong passive humbucker pickup bridge position through Guitar Rig 2 Mesa Boogie Rectifier simulation, no effects.
    For now bass guitar is a midi sound again done in matrix editor or score editor.
    Strings are three tracks, first and second violins and violas, from Vienna Instruments Special Edition orchestral samples, lots of three part harmonies, and cutting string lines done doubled over three octaves, violas panned central and violins panned halfway either side.
    Harmony vocals again mapped precisely in matrix editor, for now sung rough.
    Lead guitar is Schecter Hellraiser with Floyd Rose using active EMG pickup bridge position again through Rectifier simulation no effects, just a volume pedal to lower tone for the chord parts.
    Drums are BFD software, again done in matrix editor.
    All is composed as a classical composer, every little sound precisely mapped and placed for a reason and purpose. Lots of juggling between matrix and score editors during composing, also arrange editor for automations, cutting, splicing, etc.
    Once this is complete and sounding satisfactory, then I replace the distorted chords, harmony vocals and bass guitar with precise performances.
    Bass guitar is Ibanez SDGR using neck pickup, with flatwound strings and played with plectrum.
    Strings and drums are midi so they stay as they are.
    To help create a degree of verisimilitude to the strings, a lot of volume automations are sculptured, swells and suchlike to mimic a natural bow action.
    Then I learn and rehearse the lead vocal and lead guitar parts, get dressed to kill and do the films. Microphone is Neumann U87 through Saffire ISA One pre-amp with a digital connection.
    Then I mix the music without the film, using PMC TB2S active monitors, and effects from Logic and also the Sonnox Oxford Elite effects bundle. When mixing my philosophy is to use as little effect as possible, as I believe too many effects make the sound thin and artificial and also date the sound quicker. But use of subtle effects, such as distortion and sometimes modulation on the bass to give it colour and presence, same on the lead vocals for the same reasons, maybe some exciter on backings. Reverb is as little as possible. I aim to get the middle as clear and incisive as possible, I don't worry about a big warm bass end too much because most of my listeners will be on small computer speakers, and because of the technical limitations of my small studio and cramped monitoring set-up. Master it here myself using the Sonno EQ, Inflator, and Limiter. Then sync it in with the film on my Windows PC using Adobe Premiere Elements 12 video editor. Then post in on YouTube!!
    As for performing, I've had bands in the past, but I could not achieve the sound I wanted with a conventional set-up, it just ended up sounding like a conventional indie/pop/rock band, so for now I'm doing it this way, as it gets me much closer to my desired sound. Some of the songs are old, although they've been extensively re-written for this new style. Some of the songs are new, written specially for these videos. New songs include "Desire's Dream" (first video done), and "Love Forever" (my most recent song written).
    Any more questions please don't hesitate to ask.
    DogsoverLava likes this.
  14. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Thanks Jathon - that's a great walkthrough of your process and I think will be invaluable for anyone listening to your songs and wondering how you got from A to Z with respect to what you achieved. It was really wonderfully detailed. I could really see as well as hear the recording matrix of your process - the intention of everything is well apparent.

    Is there a band or genre of music or a particular album of a band that you think of when you "hear" these songs production wise? Was there a colour palette you had in mind to guide you? How do you hear them now? If you were asked to approximate what they sounded like using existing bands or artists as a reference - what would you say?

    One of the more unique and fun things that you've done with these songs (as a project) is stage your videos quite specifically and uniquely... what's the intent behind that ? They show the same level of intentionality as the compositions (they too have a matrix). Is this a specific project personae or part of a greater "Jathon Delsy" performance artist personae?

    Thanks for answering my questions - I really appreciate it.
    Jathon Delsy likes this.
  15. Jathon Delsy

    Jathon Delsy Active Member

    Again my sincere thanks for your interest and encouragement.
    There is no one band, genre or album that I think of when I hear these songs production wise. I am inspired as much as anything by poetical ideas - the idea of music as liquid sound, a protean movement that mirrors and expresses the continuum of emotional life - however I have found that when I express this idea exclusively the result tends to be a bit insipid and bland, so I punctuate things with trenchant atonality and staccato rhythm to express the violence, the over-stimulation, the short attention spans of modern life, so it's yin and yang - the softer sounds such as vocals, acoustic, pretty melodies expressing the timeless humanistic parts of life, the soft parts, higher elements for the spiritual, the airy sounds, the rhythms and bass for the all pervading inexorable movement of life, without which life ceases to exist, indeed all is movement and change, and the distorted atonal elements for the ever present violence, the crash and clang of modern urban life - I live in central London, very fast, busy, noisy.
    As a musician one must fit these infinite and infinitely variable ideas into the technical forms and limitations of what's available this present time e.g. our musical instruments and technology, and also into the chromatic and diatonic systems, which for all their limitations have stood the test of time very well and are capable of a vast range of expression from their limited options.
    Musically I'm inspired by Wagner's operas, his musical literalism, his kaleidoscopic palate, his drama and suspense and opulent extravagance, so I try to paint dense full musical pictures, no room for boredom here, while wrestling with maintaining an economy of means - an on going fight. The distorted guitar pair are inspired by the trenchant sound of Rammstein. Drums- well, I've always loved drums and beats, but I'm quite conservative here, after all the fundamental things apply as time goes by, and a good groove should be simple - I like a clean but full drum sound, a bit like the sound the virtuoso Brann Dailor from Mastodon makes, perhaps a bit lighter. For the acoustics, well I started singing as a busker and then round London bars, just me and my acoustic, singing Beatles and other popular covers, so I bring this sound into my music, hence strumming folky chords and catchy tunes. My favourite childhood band was The Beatles, that's where I learned my basic music, so I bring in catchy tunes and chord changes, and lots of lush harmonies too.
    I practically worship Eric Clapton, whose phrasing and passion are second to none, so on the lead guitar I try to use as many bends and Clapton style expressions as possible. But the atonal angular thing, most apparent on the lead guitar, but also added to other melodies, is my own creation, this sound has been in my mind since I started thinking about music. Really it's similar to modernist twelve tone composition, but honestly I made it up myself!!
    And the strings - well, I just love opera, mainly Mozart's mature wonders, and Wagner's works. Strings express nature, y'know, birds and trees and that!! Even in the city, Nature is everywhere - the wind, other humans, my pet cats and budgies, grass between the paving stones etc.
    And bass- well, any musician worth his salt loves bass, eh? My bass lines are philosophical / musical essays, as well as aural glue to hold these disparate elements together, as well as the muscle of the song - this is inspired and expressive of my Hatha Yoga practise, which keeps body strong and supple.
    I could write a book on these themes,,,,,,,,, but instead I try and capture these infinities in a little mirror of infinity that is a neatly written song - it's an on going project!!
    For my singing, again this goes back to my busking days. I constantly work to keep my voice in shape, and basically the sound I get is the only sound I can make! It's simply an extension of my speaking voice, so here is an expression of my culture through my accent, the fruition of generations of evolution. I simply endeavour to make my singing in tune and in time, and legible and clear, and it's simply a conduit for my lyrical and melodic ideas. The tunes I try to make literal musical expressions of the poetry and overall poetical impetus.
    I wish I could sing like an English Stevie Wonder, but you've got to go with what you got!!!

    As for the visual side - my aim it to create a gesamtkunstwerk (again inspired by Wagner), that is a complete work of art, incorporating all the arts. Clearly my videos are only a start at this. It's 2015, it's the internet world, we want full entertainment and enlightenment, to be almost overwhelmed in sensual / intellectual stimulation. So with my limited finances and resources I've managed to incorporate music, film, costume, performance, and art. Again it's an on-going process, ever evolving. The art is never complete, always tomorrow a new idea, an improvement is thought of, and the artist must dust himself off, wake himself up, and carry on the eternal uphill struggle - it's a calling, a compulsion.
    Also, I knew that using my limited equipment I could never achieve the professional quality recording that I crave, so attaching them to videos compensates for this, and also sells the recordings.
    Also, I've always wanted to dress like I do in the videos and sing and play songs, it's as simple as that.
    And I'm making a statement for freedom of expression, and for free expression, and for pure self-expression. If it doesn't hurt anyone, then do it!!!
    Also, the image is an end in itself too - my art aims to create a fantasy world, an escape from reality, a beautiful slick dreamland, a temporary apotheosis of desire. Who wants reality and real people - we have that every day - I want art to be fantastical, ideal, Platonically perfect. So it's an illusion - that's why it's art!!

    More information available on request!!!!
    DogsoverLava likes this.
  16. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Again - an incredibly detailed response that shows an enormous amount of insight and intention behind the work... For me it really begs the question "what's next?" Do you want to take this beyond the bedroom? Is there a plan in place? Do you already creative partners in your circle that you are working with? Any kind of professional management or existing deals interest from labels, managers. producers, friends, fans?

    A few of us have articulated what we have heard - and I think you understand it too - that although limited by your technical production chops and resources, and what we'll call the bedroom environment, what you've created here is a vivid and detailed workprint of something that could clearly go to the next level if you want it. But that next level introduces new kinds of complexities, dynamics and energy - that you may or may not want to pursue - that may be in or out of your comfort zone. It may be that for what you wanted to achieve - you've already achieved it - self expression through a musical and visual poetic construct with an opportunity to reach an audience, but with the satisfaction coming from self creation. Creating something from nothing with the vision you have for it - well you've done that really well.

    For me as a listener - I want more - hence my interest - I want to hear and see a finished professional album from the artist Jathon Delsy and all that that would entail. I want to see the guy in the skirt and leggings singing in that accent on my TV screen and talking about music and art the way you have in these responses to us here. I want intelligent music that has been lovingly crafted and composed with a unity of vision... that's what I want as a listener - what I don't know is if that's what you want as an artist?

    What are your thoughts?
    Jathon Delsy likes this.
  17. Jathon Delsy

    Jathon Delsy Active Member

    What next you ask?

    Before I started these songs, I had a artistic crisis, and gave up creating music for a short time, although I was still teaching music professionally, so I was still involved in music and playing and singing everyday, as my lessons are usually involved and active.

    Previously I had made videos of myself singing acoustic versions of my songs with a view to selling them to publishers, but I was not happy with the results, although the songs I felt were good in themselves. So during my crisis I asked myself many questions. I thought that the only way to make good music that I'm happy with, that I can live with, is to do what your heart is fully in. Although I like acoustic music, I'm not a great fan. My heart is in big productions, colourful kaliedoscopes such as Sgt Peppers or Pink Floyd or Songs In The Key Of Life or Zappa. So no wonder my acoustic songs did not satisfy me - in fact they exhausted me without satisfaction.

    So after my crisis and a rest to recuperate, I thought I'd just do what I wanted musically, without thought of what I ought to do, what I should do, what is commercially viable, etc. As I love watching music videos on YouTube, especailly live performances, I decided that this should be my medium.

    From here "Desire's Dream" came really quickly. However it took a few attempts to get the performing and filming right, but it came. Although all this was exhausting too, it was satisfying because my heart was in it. Also, the music sounded good too, for the same reason. I was making the sort of music that I like to listen to.

    So I kept making the videos, and only sharing them with a few friends, although I got the occasional plaudits from random finds on YouTube. Then about two months ago I decided to actively promote them on the web, through various forums, facebook, twitter, etc. I approached this with some trepidation, for as an artist one is full of doubts.

    To my pleasant surprise, the response was very positive, more than I expected. It seems many people, of all ages, and of many different nationalities, like my oeuvre.

    It has recently become clear to me, based on this feedback, that I have something to offer the world artistically, and that at some level a commercial career with my music is viable.

    Life is about movement and progression. Stagnation is death, and is actually impossible in real life - try to stay still in your life and see what happens. You must move.

    As you note, taking my music to a higher level will indeed involve many complexities, changes, and certainly sacrifices. But these are challenges that I must face. Such is my calling, my Karma, my destiny. The music at present, although achieving a degree of realisation, is still clearly a compromise. I want to record it with real drums, with quality musicians, with the best equipment and the best sound engineers. I want to produce it through many mediums, and dissimulate it across the world.

    Of course this will need financial and professional partnership. At this moment I am working alone. I have very recently started sending links to music industry contacts, and am currently awaiting replies. I am starting to think seriously about how I can make this music a would wide professional concern.

    At this moment in time I am prepared to sacrifice everything for the full realisation and actualisation of my music. For me as an artist, yesterday's achievements are already stale. All that matters is continually improving, constantly working to chase perfection.

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