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audio The Dreaming...and the Damage Done

Discussion in 'Fix This MIX!' started by stevie_m, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. stevie_m

    stevie_m Active Member

    View: https://soundcloud.com/stephan-mathos/untitled-16b

    Breakbeat acoustic ballad off my new solo project. I think it sounds pretty good, but maybe I'm just crazy? I am in dire need of reassurance and/or critique. I've listened to my tracks so much now that I'm naturally adapted to them, so I want to try them on some fresh ears.

    Specifically, I'd like to hear opinions of my track based on these two points:

    1. How it sounds from an emotional perspective. Barring any technical/production impurities, does the track have soul? Does it move you? Is it unique/interesting? How does it sound from the perspective of the AVERAGE listener?

    2. How it sounds from a professional/commercial standpoint. Quality of the recording and the mix.

    Thanks so much guys!
  2. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Hi Steve -- first - kudos kudos kudos -- there's those that talk and those that do -- no matter what - "doing" is better than talking - and sharing what you do for open criticism is the stuff of heroes so for that you rock - you have my respect - always.... That said - i'm going to be brutal here.

    This piece of music is so void of anything remotely compelling or possessing "soul". There are no hooks, dynamics, drama, body, soul, or anything --- it's absolutely flat. It's not dreamy because there's nothing magical about it, and where it's derivative is also very bad because where it steals from - Floyd, Young etc... it does so in a real poor way - it's not even close to capturing those vibes. You've got a couple of jarring chord changes that come out of left field for no reason -- they don't set up a change or a modulation with any drama - there's no momentum or build to the vocal -- lyrically it's uninteresting. Performance wise there's nothing here. The vocal is lazy and flat with some diction problems, the guitar is just boring as hell - there's not enough tone or timbre there even to make that interesting. You end it "Terribly" particularly for someone talking about solo release. Release? What are you talking about? You can't end a song so poorly unless that's part of the statement you are making -- and this is not a song that makes any statement -- it's forgettable and a bit painful because I think you did it earnestly and for that I'm sorry.

    Now with that said -- you are obviously a musician - you play - you sing -- but I get nothing of what your passion is here - what makes you unique or compelling to listen to -- no sense of the need you feel to create or perform --- but you don't get as good as you are by not having that -- I can hear the years of practice and playing there -- but this somehow doesn't connect to all those hours of hard work - or the joy or the pain -- to anything urgent or necessary or otherwise -- What you have in the end here is just "meh". Grandma bait at best. Why is that? What's this song? Why are you sharing it? How do you connect to it?

    In the grand scheme of things it's not bad. But in music, like Olympic gymnastics -- excellence is the difference between 9.995 and 9.997 ---- 9.5 is last place at the olympics ---- 7 is highschool -- This is 6 or 7 at best ---

    I will leave it to others to speak to production value -- The dub beat was kinda cool but ultimately arbitrary -- I lived in Bristol during the massive attack and Portishead years - check out their use of dub and trip-hop, or acid to see how you can marry organic and dub together with this kind of sound. I liked the idea of a Pink Floyd Dub mashup but it didn't happen here.

    Anyway -- that's my brutal no hold-back on the song ----- you still get massive respect for doing it and then sharing it --- I just didn't feel it and I couldn't hear you feel it either - so it was just musak -- and music is too important to ever just be musak. Also remember I'm just one internet idiot with a big mouth - others may totally disagree with me - so don't take this as the last word on anything. I'm not used to offering criticism like this and maybe I wont again - I'm already feeling guilty.
  3. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    As you should.
  4. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Now I'm feeling double guilty.
  5. stevie_m

    stevie_m Active Member

    Holy smokes! DogsOverLava, that's easily the most crushing review I've ever received. Gonna need a few days to nurse my wounds! You are keen to observe that it was indeed written very earnestly, and from the heart. I am really proud of it - and I was prepared for mediocre ratings at worst, but nothing this abysmal! But I am oddly flattered you at least found the song novel enough to tear apart so passionately. Nonetheless I am very impressed with, and thankful for your honesty.

    So if I may defend my song and provide some songwriter's context:

    - Song has no soul: Okay, maybe not like James Brown or Adele type soul, but with this song it's totally more subtle. It's manifested in the pauses in the vocal, the lead guitar and synths in the second verse, the confidence of the breakbeat, and what I think it a pretty beautiful, albeit emotional, chord sequence. It totally has heart and character. I wrote it from the perspective of someone so emotionally bankrupt and confused that they can't even muster the energy to cry out in vain. The vocal is deeply personal and self-reflective in the style of Mazzy Star navel gazing. The song is about collecting one's emotions in contemplative solitude.

    - Jarring chord changes: You're probably referring to the C to Amaj7, which is totally intentional and calculated. It provides a necessary tension between lyrical phrases, which I think actually sounds beautiful and unique.

    - Vox are lazy, flat, boring AND have diction problems to boot: I sort of agree, but I where you see lazy and flat I see introspection and self-realization. I see a narrator growing in confidence whose coming to terms with his reality. The same could be said of singers Thom Yorke, Morrissey, the dude from Depeche Mode, Ian Curtis, and Hope Sandoval but I think they all kick ass.

    - Lyrics are uninteresting: I sort of agree, but I think the lyrics are more innocent and purile than uninteresting. I actually reference Roger Waters of Pink Floyd in that he said that Syd Barrett convinced him of the beauty of simple, honest, childish lyrics in music rather than trying to manufacture unnecessarily complicated lyrics. Look no further than the lyrics on Dark Side of the Moon (especially "Breathe").

    - The guitarwork is boring as hell. Don't buy this at all. Not even just mediocre? But "boring as hell"? What's so awful about the tone? I find it clear and mesmerizing. It starts with a neutral vibe C-Am-Em7, then lifts you up with the G Em sus2, then tenses you up with the C Amaj7 which you love, then resolves nicely on the Fmaj7 Em to E. So the chord structure goes Neutral-Positive-Suspense-Resolution. An emotional rollercoaster? Yes, intended to mirror the pain and confusion of the vocal. I'm proud of the novelty of this structure and I don't think it rips off of anything. Oh yeah, and the subtle lead guitar riffing in the second verse I think beautifully echoes the pain and desperation of the vocal.

    - Terrible ending: I guess you're referring to the immediacy of it? Totally intentional and it gives the song a nice "^#$% the world, I've figured myself out and I'm gonna take action" vibe.

    I am very honest about who I derive my style from, and I did write the instrumental as an obvious tribute to Neil Young, but that was it. I wanted a marriage of organic folk with the heaviness and urgency of a breakbeat. It's interesting you reference Pink Floyd and Portishead because I had zero intention to "steal" from their sound- but I am wildly in love with both of those bands. I suppose my vocals have a chorusy Gilmour Wall-era sound. The fusion of acoustic and breakbeat was never something Portishead ever did, but is totally a Portishead type of vibe I guess. Quite honestly, rock 'n roll desperately needs more ripping off of Neil Young, Floyd, Portishead in its current state right now!

    So hopefully this gives the song a little more context. I appreciate your cold honesty on your initial impression. Maybe the song will grow on you over time? Hahaha.

    What does everyone else think?
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    The thing I am hearing that is catching my ear is that the lead vocal is sitting very high "on top" of the groove. In some places it's obviously rushed - ahead of the beat/groove - and with a song like this that has such a nice pocket and laid back/ relaxed groove, the rushed vocal phrasing pushes away from the rest of the instrumentation, and it's creating a conflict.

    I do like the overall groove... I just don't think the vocal phrasing is matching the vibe and pocket of everything else.

    If I were your producer, I'd tell you to lay back into the pocket - instead of being so on top of it, and in some cases, ahead of it entirely - most noticeably so in the verses.

    Also, and this is strictly a personal taste thing : I'd like to hear the lead vox a bit drier, and brought forward a bit.

    As a final note, I'd offer this advice...
    Don't reply with an explanation or a defense as to what you were feeling during the recording and production of this track. It's up to the listener to glean what they want from it.

    You posted the song for critique... and critiquing is what you are getting. It may not always be what you want or expect to hear. You need a thick skin when you present your material to a forum full of professional engineers, producers, songwriters and arrangers... believe me when I tell you that this is nothing in comparison to what you can be told by A&R and Producers at a record label.

    If you simply want an affirmation as to how great your song is, or are simply looking for sycophants to tell you how great you are, you've probably come to the wrong place. ;)

    Nobody likes to be told that their baby is ugly... it's human nature to feel put-off when people reply with comments other than what you want or may have expected... but when you offer up a song for critique, advice and suggestion, you have to be willing to accept what you get - and without bashing back.

    It doesn't benefit you or the listener when you attempt to explain, rationalize or justify why or how you did what you did, and no one cares about "context".

    If you have to explain the context, then the song has failed to do so... and, it doesn't matter anyway. The only context that matters is that which the listener picks up on.

    Okay...Back to the groove....I can give you a few examples of what I've mentioned above.
    I'm not comparing you to these artists in any way, just providing a few instances that are similar in style to your song's style in groove.
    These are what came to mind:

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xUD6MWmSAc

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp0Jk7Li-ao
  7. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Hey Steve

    YA - I was feeling bad all night - I kinda let that one fly from the hip and didn't carefully build in too many niceties to give you a soft place to land.

    What you recorded here was pleasant enough - the playing was competent - singing was okay -- it just didn't have the vitality for me. It was definitely self conscious. I could hear that in the attack of the guitar - that slight hesitation and purposeful articulation in the pick attack which gave the groove a slight clinical feel. And I had spent time on your soundcloud listening to your other stuff. What I heard there was very derivative of Floyd and Gilmore. It even sounds like you are playing through a David Gilmore patch on an amp sim or Kemper. What this was telling me was that you were an artist that was still not in possession of a voice of your own. When Gilmore plays - it's not just his tone or style that defines him, or the general flavour of his playing -- he's making specific statements -- the phrases he's playing are so compelling that they are utterances burnt into the collective musical consciousness. When you emulate his style you risk having everything you say held up against those compelling musical phrases and they are bound to fall short in contrast. So I had that in my head when I was listening to your track over and over.

    First -- remember I'm just some guy - and absolutely - don't justify yourself to me - you don't need to. I might or might not be full of $*^t. Just listen to feedback - consider it (or not) incorporate it (or not) or just let it resonate and inform (or not). It's very organic that way -- very dialogic. You might not connect with anything I said... and then maybe in 3 years it will resonate with something ---- who's to say.

    I've posted a couple things here - and my bio is interesting -- and what I appreciated was that my stuff was similarly outed (though perhaps more kindly) and it was a breath of fresh air to hear. Every school has it's best football player - best trumpet player - smartest math geek. As these guys get out of their home town and start getting together with better and better competitors, the majority of them just don't have that world class excellence that the minute few will. Sure the math geek is wicked smart -- smarter than the 1000 kids in his school --- but put together with 10000 other math geeks from other schools - him and 9900 of them pale in comparison to the 100 guys that are truly elite. Sometimes what keeps that guy out of the elite is the fact he never left the home town. He was the smartest kid in school - he's the smartest kid in the town - all around him - friends, family - other local math guys - they all tell him how great he is --- and he never reaches his potential because he never had to dig in and compete for it - never had to see himself in context to the other smart guys and really put the burn on to develop his smarts.

    In music -- all our frames of reference are those elites -- we are listening to the best of the best everyday -- in terms of musicians and production -- the best. As critics we become versed in recognizing the best. So whether you like it or not - when you lay something down or you play a gig -- or you whip out a guitar you are going to be compared to those elite guys. Play a Gilmoreesque solo -- I judge you against Gilmore. Play a Zeppelin Cover - I'm judging you against Zeppelin. Bring an original work to the table and I judge you against every single piece of original music I have ever heard in and outside that genre.

    My wife never heard me play back when I was a pro -- and today my playing is so far from that (injury) that it isn't even funny. But my wife thinks I'm a genius. I keep telling her -- no honey - I "used to be" a genius -- today I'm just a hack. But she wont hear it. She loves me - bless her - and she thinks everything I do is amazing. But I know. And when I played a few things here - these guys let me know too which was great. I was so happy.

    Because for me -- what I'm gonna do is dig in. I can use these guys (who I'm just barely getting a feel for). They are going to help drive me... I'm going to do more stuff - and post it here and get critiqued -- and then I'm going to woodshed some more -- post some more - get critiqued.... as as I get "better" - I actually hope the critiques get more critical - more specific -- even more savage. I hope they find the flaws in everything I do ----- that's how I'm going to get better. Maybe at the end of this process I'll be able to release something or sell an original song -- or maybe I'll only make my wife love my stuff even more -- I don't know. But I do know that no matter what I do - there's world class stuff it will be compared with -- and unless it's world class it wont be world class.

    So what the hell am I saying? Only this. You are a good musician - you've got some chops - you've got some recording skills - some creative skills ---- but all this is measured against the best in the world - and this isn't at that level at all. Doesn't mean you can't get there. But you can't if you don't recognize that. When you said "here's a new track from my forthcoming solo release/project - I think it sounds pretty good..." I thought - the only way I can help this guy is to let him know what I think without censor. Right now you are the math geek who's the smartest guy in town -- And you've just landed a qualifying audition for the world stage that is totally outclassing you (you're competing and being compared against Gilmore, York, Waters, Young.... If you ever want to get on that world stage you are going to have to woodshed. I actually think the best result you could hope for here would be to get savaged by the others and go away hurting with some real savage criticism - literally wounded and limping -- Let that hurt drive you -- let that "I'm gonna f__ing show those a_holes" drive you...

    I come from a world where we had something called a Masterclass -- I'd be practicing a piece for months - and be chosen to play it in the round in front of my peers and instructors. After the performance it would get critiqued by the instructor in front of everyone -- then he'd command me to play different parts of it - on demand - over and over with slight changes - starting stopping -- turning me and the piece inside out - twisting every phrase and element of the song measure for measure - backwards and forward - a grueling 30 to 60 minute torture test of real time criticism - he's break down the simplest note or inflection and shred me on it - force me to replay it again and again ---- Students would weep ---- breakdown ---- he was pushing us to be world class -- I was playing 10 hours a day - sometimes more. By anyone's ear - even trained ears the original performance was great - but broken down and exposed with my technique examined and dissected - all the flaws were revealed -- I was Olympic caliber but I'd never medal without this kind of training. Like the Tour de France -- someone comes 120th --- world class but at the same time so far from the podium.

    I see this forum as a kind of masterclass - so that's where I was coming from in my response to you. Sorry this is so long winded. Not sure if I'll respond this way again to stuff - but that was my intent anyway. Thanks for being such a good sport about it - you held your head up and responded where you could have just sent me a FU PM. I appreciate that.
  8. stevie_m

    stevie_m Active Member

    Thanks so much, both Donny and Dogs, for taking the time to write authentic responses. I apologize for being defensive. I guess I was just having a Bret Easton Ellis moment. My armor was strong enough to handle "meh, mediocre", but once I got an overtly abysmal review I felt the need to defend. I am still relatively new to writing/recording (learned my first guitar chord in 2007).

    Thanks for the critiques from both of you. It's obvious you both have professional experience in the business. I plan on experimenting with tasteful, subtle, harmonies, giving some life to the beat, and modifying the vocal phrasing.

    Donny - You make all valid points. If an artist must explain his art, then the art hasn't served its purpose. I loved the Gilmour compare of course, especially because I love that particular song and solo album (his second solo album was far weaker).

    Dogs - Thanks for sharing your story and I have been reading your website and I find it very interesting and detailed. It's funny you looked at my Soundcloud because of all the songs I've done for this album, my most Pink Floyd-esque tracks are the only ones posted (except Heavy Fire Dance Rev).

    As a point of discussion only, I think it's interesting how many artists have found commercial success by using imperfection as their formula. Neil Young, Jack White, Sonic Youth, the Stones, and basically the entire punk genre. They are all Olympic-level artists, but their art doesn't sound like it's been through Masterclass level rigor. There is an appealing sh$#tiness to their sound. What is it about the culture that elevates those acts over Herculean, Masterclass level talent that can't find success beyond Youtube?
  9. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Hi Steve -- can you expand a bit on the equipment you used to record this - maybe a bit about your workflow and how you tracked and mixed? I'd love to know more about that in context with this recording. Also - as a songwriter - did you write this during the recording process or did you have it all sketched out ahead of time?
  10. stevie_m

    stevie_m Active Member


    The acoustic work was recorded on a Martin DM mic'd with a Sennheiser e609 dynamic interfaced through an Alesis Multimix 4. I recorded in an open hallway due to the fact that my studio is in a small room that suffocates natural acoustics. I recorded two fingerpicked parts for the first verse, and layered on a subtle strummed version on the second verse. I recorded the vox on that same e609.

    The subtle electric leads were done on an American Special strat, (bridge pup, tone knob 5, and vol knob @ 7) recorded on a Boss GT-10 simulating a Fender Twin.

    I mixed using FL Studio 9. Added subtle reverb to the acoustic and EQ'd out a lot of the bass <200hz. I combined both fingerpicked acoustic tracks for a stereo effect. The subtle synth and breakbeat was done with Nexus 2. I used a phaser type effect on the subtle electric guitar build on that second movement. The vocal is double tracked and treated with slight chorus and subtle compression.


    I wrote the instrumental back in 2010, long before my recording odyssey began. I was in a dark place. I recorded it only a few months ago. The lyrics were written by my collaborator, Manamus. I was initially skeptical of the lyrics, but eventually fell in love with their juvenile, naked innocence.

    As I was recording to the breakbeat, I naturally started jamming out the chords to Neil Young's "The Needle and the Damage Done". I completely loved how it sounded when played to a breakbeat. It felt like such a fresh, modern rediscovery of that classic track. I decided to make it the second movement to my original track as a tribute. I refuse to put vocals over the tribute since I feel it would only cheapen the majesty of Neil's work.

    Hope this answers the question. Been enjoying reading your Musical Odyssey on your website. Loved the story about the Rockman!
  11. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    It was a nice sound with a nice laid back feel and yes... very Pinky Floyd-esque. But those electronic drums... please dear God... deliver us from synthetic drums? And I'm an atheist! So go figure? It begged for the feel of real drums. Rikki Tiki, Rikki Tiki, Rikki Tiki, Rikki Tiki... please somebody give me a gun to put me out of my misery? Even a bad drummer would be better than the Rikki Tiki drum machine thingy. Well maybe not? Not.

    Now I thought that repeating echo, on the vocal was very nice. It would be nicer still if you could time the repeat of the echoes with the beat of the music. Because it's wrong now. And it felt like a car wreck. And that's the easiest thing to change.

    In the discussions of being on the beach versus being on the back side of the beat? Yeah... you need to be more on the backside of the beat, for that laid-back sound. But even that can be a quick fix, within software. Try delaying the vocal by only 5 ms, 10 ms, maybe 15 ms? And watch how, the whole feel changes or rather, listen.

    Overall it's quite nice. Relaxing and soothing which I like very much in our hectic and war-torn world of diminishing economics. So I think you give some hope to some?

    I actually got quite a kick out of the really hard-core, no holds barred, critique LOL. He certainly wasn't completely wrong. Unfortunately I too perceived, much of what he was banging on you about. Donny offered up similar takes to mine as well. With those Pink Floyd and John Lennon numbers. Yup.

    Now... when I have gone out, or so to speak, and purchased your composition/production? Likely not? As I've never really purchased much of anything or anyone's. I have no allegiance to any one thing or one type, of anything other than insisting, that it must have a melody one can remember. Or that it reminds you of something that you hold dear to your heart already, such as that Pink Floyd and John Lennon connection. That's just brilliant creative marketing, that works and pulls people in. And you didn't even necessarily think about it that way. Because it was a creation. An act of art. Not intended to sound like Pink Floyd nor John Lennon, perhaps? But the fact that it does, makes it work. Just like groups such as Tears for Fears and Oasis, in years past, did some most very obviously, Beatles-esque songs. It completes stylized similar ripoff that just sucks you right in if you're a lover of the Beatles. And I was. I am. I always will be. And groups that do that well, I highly admire. That's just plain genius.

    Sometimes I like mine with the lox, instead of just cream cheese. Well toasted of course.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  12. stevie_m

    stevie_m Active Member

    View: https://soundcloud.com/stephan-mathos/the-dreamingand-the-damage-done-instrumental

    One last bump here! After a lot of thought, I'm considering dumping the vocals entirely and leaving this track as an instrumental only. I originally wrote this song as an instrumental and I feel like the vocals ultimately distract from the sound.

    I also made some subtle enhancements to the guitar tone and beat programming.

    I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on the instrumental vs vocal version. Any feedback would be massively appreciated. Thanks again.
  13. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    The reason that the vocals are distracting is because they aren't sitting in the pocket, Stevie. As mentioned early on in this post, You have a very laid back groove happening here, but the vocals are pushing things, and contradicting the overall groove and vibe of the song. If you can re-track the vocals, pretend you just took a valium and drank an entire container of heavy cream - LOL... i think you'd have it.

    The instrumental version works, but... there's nothing really there to hold the listener's attention for very long.

    Unless you had the intention of selling this as background music for a TV show or something - and even then, it's still quite repetitive without a vocal anchor.

    IMHO of course.

  14. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Donny's observations are spot on. With the vocals stripped out of this track it doesn't have much raison d'ĂȘtre. Retracking the vocals would be good - you could also do the vocals as a guitar lead (as an exercise). This itself might be a good exercise because it would force you to introduce more accents into your leads and treat them less like a long running linear sentence and more like shorter musical phrases. I talked earlier about the existing leads being very Floyd derivative and them being "pleasant enough" -- what you're lacking here isn't so much note selection but note articulation - the accents and attack that give the lines drama and punctuate phrases. My ear is hungering for more articulation and drama from them. Gilmore's leads have all kinds of drama and depth in the phrasing and attack - slight accents and pauses. He really sells his leads - he can really stick the landings and the transitions. Your current leads don't have this - you've got the notes - you've got the sound - you're just missing the juice. If you try to record the melody as a guitar lead you'll see how necessary it is to do this and it might help you re-envision your own lead lines

    Another exercise that you can do is take your existing lead track and actually scat sing it (with the track muted). Try to replicate it vocally. When you scat sing the guitar lead you will naturally introduce the accents and colour that give the lines depth and drama -- your voice will just do this without you thinking about it much. Then compare and contrast the two.

    Thanks for coming back and keeping this thread alive - it's great you've put yourself out there for criticism - I'm going to listen a couple more times but I've got a fair amount of road noise going on right now so that'll have to wait.
    Space likes this.
  15. stevie_m

    stevie_m Active Member

    Donny - Thanks for hitting me on the head about the pocket again! You're the first one to teach me about this concept. Instead of a re-track, would simply shifting the vocal track a few milliseconds to the right serve to sink the vox into the pocket?

    Dogs - Thanks for your inputs as well. You make an excellent point about scatting before soloing. This is something I've loosely discovered myself during the recording process, but never fully embraced. It's funny you cite Floyd again regarding the lead/solo on the second verse. If anything I'd say it's more Neil Young or John Frusciante derivative. I'm not going for any soaring, grandiose guitar solo here, just a soulful sketch that doesn't draw too much attention to itself.
  16. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I do like your second version better. It's kind of rap meets Gordon Lightfoot? And while it is a synthetic drum set, you do have the ability to dial in a couple of milliseconds of delay on your bass drum sample, throughout the tune. Because it's just too on the beat. Toss it to the backside. Lay it back to be laid-back.

    The guitar part sounds very nice. It has nice articulation. Lovely presence. And a drum set dizzying things up in the background. But what I feel it's missing is not so much the vocal. But perhaps a nice, sustained and droning chordal under liner. To give this instrumental a smooth flowing chordal structure? Since everything, drums and guitar are already rather staccato sounding in nature? Ya know what I mean? I'm not being extremely articulate here are because I'm hungry LOL.

    So you work on this a little more. And I'll go put the Chinese buffet out of business.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
    stevie_m likes this.
  17. Josh Conley

    Josh Conley Active Member

    ebow remy ;)
  18. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Yes...and no. LOL.

    Yes, you could slip edit some of these vocal phrases back a bit, but that's not really mimicking the performance of a laid back "feel"... there's a difference between pulling words back in time and singing them in a laid back manner. Pulling phrases back in time might accomplish some of it, but I was referring more to the the way phrases are actually sung... it's more of a mood/ attitude / vibe thing. For example, You can't make a voice sound "tired" simply by pulling it back on the timeline... that's a performance thing. Again, I'd point you towards Gilmour's "There's No Way Out Of Here". That's the best example I can give for your situation.

    And, you might find that in order to get this vibe, to hone it so that it really works, you may have to change a few words around, or substitute, so that you aren't trying to cram a lot of words into a phrase. There's nothing wrong with a re-write. In fact, it's done all the time.

    I love modern technology. But there are times when it can become a lazy crutch that we lean on, and instead of just re-tracking stuff that isn't quite working, we often reach for the technical "fix-it" tools to substitute with a repair what should be done in an actual performance. Who knows? You might get a performance that really works, maybe even an accident or two that ends up sounding fantastic. But you won't ever get that by just editing the part.

    IMHO of course. ;)

  19. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Hi Steve - could you make these downloadable or provide a dropbox link? I'd like to import them into my DAW and listen/compare them a bit. Only if you are comfortable though as I know you are eventually putting these out.

  20. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Listening to the OP mix, The kick is way too loud. But I love this track in general. The squeak on the guitar is hot, If you have Samplitude, you could use the restoration tool to remove that. Super easy.

    Bottom line to me, The kick sounds great but is too loud. Its distracting and using energy where the bass should be. I could improve this without retracting anything. Very nice to me. Just needs more attention in the mix.

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