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commercial dance track

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commercial dance track

Postby onesecondglance » Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:54 am

hi all,

spent the past week or so knocking together a commercial dance track (i guess you would put it in the "progressive house" genre, from what little i know). i don't normally work in this sphere of things so i'm looking for some feedback.

soundcloud link

(sorry, don't know how to embed the soundcloud player directly into a post.)

main things to note:

1) the vocal is just a guide track. a female friend of mine has been pressganged into doing a "proper" version for me, but i've yet to set a date for the session.

i know it's a horrible mess. i know you can hear the tuning artifacts. i know there are out of key bits even despite the massive amounts of tuning. i know the backing vox aren't properly aligned with the lead. trust me, every hour i've spent working on the track after recording that guide was a penance telling myself there wasn't any point doing a better take because it's going to be replaced...

2) my monitoring environment is... not ideal. previous mixes of mine have been rather muddy in the low mids, so i'm particularly interested in what folks think of the frequency balance. i use a set of HD650s as my reference but they make everything sound great even when it's not...

thanks in advance for all replies!
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Re: dance pop track

Postby onesecondglance » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:56 pm

with regard to genre i have been informed by people who know this stuff better than i that this is more like a pop song with a dance backing than a "proper" house track.
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Re: commercial dance track

Postby Axonaut » Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:36 pm

It is rather dark and emotionally intense for mainstream dance music though that's not to say people can't dance to it. Needs more space for the audience maybe?

I don't think I have have any useful advice on frequency balance - not something I'm good at. Doesn't sound bad, though.

Basically, it sounds like an OK song, work-in-progress. Interesting harmonies. I'd like hear how it comes out when you add the planned vocal.

Maybe you or the singer could think about streamlining the melody/lyrics by removing a few words, for example:

[in] seven minutes, I'll be gone
[if you'd] admit that you were wrong - [then] I might still be here
... [the] moment drawing near
etc

Towards the end of the song, the gap between the words Angel and Dust sounds strange.

When your guide vocal gets into that more confident style at around 1:23 you briefly sound remarkably like someone retro and classic... can't quite remember who, most likely Heaven 17 or Human League, or something similar.

I'm wondering why the bass/chord progression under the words 'Angel Dust' never emphasizes the G in between F and Am, when that would sound more 'commercial', IMHO.

It also feels like you could do some interesting things by dropping in one or two unexpected major chords once the listener gets used to the minor key. Maybe try substituting D for Dm and/or A for Am in various places and see how it sounds?
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Re: commercial dance track

Postby onesecondglance » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:05 am

Axonaut wrote:It is rather dark and emotionally intense for mainstream dance music though that's not to say people can't dance to it. Needs more space for the audience maybe?

I don't think I have have any useful advice on frequency balance - not something I'm good at. Doesn't sound bad, though.

Basically, it sounds like an OK song, work-in-progress. Interesting harmonies. I'd like hear how it comes out when you add the planned vocal.

Maybe you or the singer could think about streamlining the melody/lyrics by removing a few words, for example:

[in] seven minutes, I'll be gone
[if you'd] admit that you were wrong - [then] I might still be here
... [the] moment drawing near
etc

Towards the end of the song, the gap between the words Angel and Dust sounds strange.

When your guide vocal gets into that more confident style at around 1:23 you briefly sound remarkably like someone retro and classic... can't quite remember who, most likely Heaven 17 or Human League, or something similar.

I'm wondering why the bass/chord progression under the words 'Angel Dust' never emphasizes the G in between F and Am, when that would sound more 'commercial', IMHO.

It also feels like you could do some interesting things by dropping in one or two unexpected major chords once the listener gets used to the minor key. Maybe try substituting D for Dm and/or A for Am in various places and see how it sounds?

thanks for the listen

i do have an eighties kinda voice, although i'm not really old enough for it. some good advice there about decluttering the lyrics, i'll definitely have a play with that.
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Re: commercial dance track

Postby rich carrick » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:34 pm

hi - doesn't sound too bad. The genre I guess I would describe as 'pop trance' (I'm a house producer & DJ & used to play prog house) - there's nothing wrong with it from a commercial viewpoint - the vocals are massively too loud & upfront though...
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Re: commercial dance track

Postby onesecondglance » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:10 am

rich carrick wrote:hi - doesn't sound too bad. The genre I guess I would describe as 'pop trance' (I'm a house producer & DJ & used to play prog house) - there's nothing wrong with it from a commercial viewpoint - the vocals are massively too loud & upfront though...

thanks - dance genres are a minefield for me so good to have an opinion someone who knows what they're talking about! i'll look at dialling down the vocal by a few db too.
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