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Hi gang...
This is Terry Fairfax's latest; ( although I had a hand in the writing as well).
My question is related to arrangement in three specific areas. This is not a mix; the lead vocal is a rough cue vocal, and there are still a few solos and embellishment tracks to drop in, so I'm nowhere near ready to mix yet.

First - the intro - is it too long? Should I shorten it?

Second... the segue after the first chorus, leading into the second verse, ( @ :48) is 4 measures. Should I cut this down to 2, or should I leave it where it is now at 4 measures and consider putting a mini solo in there?
(Guitar, B3, Acoustic Guitar, Flute, etc.)

Third, as you can hear, the song has an actual ending right now. Should I instead look at fading this out while Terry does some vocal vamping?

Any other arrangement thoughts would be welcome, too... but those are the three things I'm unsure about right now.
Thanks :)



Attached files GODS ARE LAUGHING 256 APRIL 12 2017.mp3 (7.3 MB) 

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pcrecord Fri, 04/14/2017 - 04:01

My first impression is that there is a lot of things going on. a bit too much and I'm not focussing on vocals. Maybe it's due to the many chords changes and the complexity of the parts. The structure is nice, maybe I would keep stuff to appear later in the song and do some build up or simplify the parts in the begining (ex; keeping the sixteen notes for later in the song)
Also, the bass reminds me of reggae on certain parts but the reste of the instruments don't (it kinda sets it appart) if the drums would follow to a certain extend it'll be nice.

1- No I don't find it too long but I wouldn't do fast fills on the drums (rather some melody on another instrument)
2- 4 is ok if it has a purpose, it could be only 2 there and zero before the next chorus, getting right to the point sometimes payes off..
3- The end would work either way

Less is more !

Nothing I wrote is based on science and facts. Just my humble opinion ;)

freightgod Fri, 04/14/2017 - 15:17

I don't mind that there's too much going on. Bring it, freak my ears out. This has possibilities.

I would cut this down to 3:00 max whatever it takes. Cut a vocal chorus and play some freakin' guitar or something lol. The melody ain't strong enough to bear a fadeout. Kill it quick.

Love actually love the sound you're getting. But this will wear out it's welcome fast, I would get on and off stage quick.

audiokid Sat, 04/15/2017 - 08:21

I would much rather hear this built with a solid acoustic guitar, much fuller bass and vocals presence (arrangement) leaving out the contemporary 80's sound that is over powering Terry. I feel you are trying to use fills and drums, bells and whistles to mask or help drive what isn't in his voice.

I would work to get a fuller bed track punch with less flare.
I would put him in the gentle acoustic music arena and use bottom end wisely to help bring out the more gentle side of him.

audiokid Sat, 04/15/2017 - 08:31

EDIT( I can't ever write what I think and I'm getting worse with age):

I would call
thatjeffguy for some input here.

I'm hearing a John Denver ish "pitchy Neil Young sound that could be quite moving. Get Terry's voice upfront, so he sounds like a lead vocal standing on its own with a message that people will feel and hear without all the drums and backing music that is imho, over powering him ...

I envision a touch of acoustic piano, mandolin and some warm backing vocals that could be tastefully added.

I don't mean to be brutal, just being "frank" as if I was an A&R guy. Hope that adds some ideas.

DonnyThompson Mon, 04/17/2017 - 04:09

Thanks guys, for taking the time to listen and to suggest.

I really do appreciate it, and am seriously considering everything that was mentioned here.

The song is still in the writing stages; there are things about it that we aren't entirely happy with, so I think we're gonna go back to the drawing board on this one.

You all know that if a song isn't well written to begin with, it doesn't matter what we do to it in arrangement, engineering or production. ;)


audiokid Mon, 04/17/2017 - 07:37

DonnyThompson, post: 449568, member: 46114 wrote: You all know that if a song isn't well written to begin with, it doesn't matter what we do to it in arrangement, engineering or production.

Hey Donny,
I don't think there is anything wrong with the song per-say, its just getting going. I think there is a better direction of supporting music suited for Terry's voice, though, and that's just my approach. All your stuff is excellent..

To reiterate what I mean... I would remove any VST out, play an acoustic G, bass G, maybe a soft mandolin and add some very subtle harmonies, music that will follow his pitch naturally gentle.
I'm a firm believer that if we don't have a super tight voice, computer generated bed tracks will draw attention to the voice in a negative "sounds wrong" way.
I would avoid VSTi's to generate the bed tracks and choose more acoustic life instruments that flow along in real time.
That's what I am getting at here. The acoustic Neil Young formula per-say.

Brother Junk Mon, 04/17/2017 - 09:31

I like it. At 2:56 my ear picks up on a drum hit that first listen seemed off. I didn't hear any of that type of syncopation elsewhere in the song. But I only listened once, and what do I know.

I like the song/arrangement. Reminds me of James Taylor, except, I don't want to throw myself off a bridge when I hear it. And I mean that as a compliment.