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music compositions

Postby jonnie » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:10 pm

Hi guys/gals;
Getting on a bit now-been play for 30 years+ synth/acoustic: myspace.com/music/john monaghan
are they any good? I've so much material from years ago-but here's a wee selection!
cheers john
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Re: music compositions

Postby BJG145 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:27 am

Hi - couldn't get the above link to work; is this it...?

http://www.myspace.com/596234900/music

Ignore what follows if not...;-)

I'd be interested to know what gear/software you're using. Programmed drums are often a problem with self-produced tracks and the kick sound on Amazing and One For Me don't get them off to a good start. There are a lot of great drum libraries around if you're not able to work with a real drummer. The keyboard sounds also feel a bit dated.

A couple of these tracks kind of reminded me of a Dire Straits vibe. I have to admit I'm not keen on organs and would prefer to hear some piano or synth beds, but that's personal taste. Blame the Wean (what's a wean?) was the favourite. I got the impression that you might not be fully confident with the vocals, but you've got no worries there, so go for it. In general I reckon they could be sung with more welly, put up a bit in the mix, and could be polished up with a bit of reverb and tuning. If that track had a piano solo instead of the wurlitzer solo, it would be even better. ;-) Nice groove/guitars/harmonies.

Good stuff - keep at it!
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Re: music compositions

Postby jonnie » Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:46 pm

Hi;
Thanks for listening to my songs, definately "One for me" has been mentioned as slightly Dire Straits orientated before (completely unintentional!) i wrote this way back in 1993 - seemed to be a favourite of the over 30's?! Now my philosophy with most of the songs is that i've tried to play them as a 5 piece "live" group would play them, not massive orchestrations - just stripped back! I use 3 proteus 2000 synths for drums / synths - bass drum is 'Loud",might have sat better further back in the mix. Hammonds/Wurlie/bass: 2000's again, a Moog Voyager was used for the lead sounds,Vocals have always been a strain - i'm not a natural singer,but do I strive to get the song across, the solo on "Blame the Wean" just seemed to work -if you listen to the last few seconds of the Wurlie solo, I hit some duophonic notes - impossible on a mono synth, might work on piano? Oh and a "Wean" is old Scottish for a small child! Seemingly in the early 60's my parents contemplated going to Australia (one way ticket for 12 quid by boat - not plane as in the song) excuse for not going was that i was too young to travel?!...John
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Re: music compositions

Postby Phil O » Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:46 pm

Wean n. - a child, especially a young one (Scottish)

I agree with BJG145, "Blame The Wean" is the best of the bunch. IMO there's quite a good song in there trying to get out.

However, I think it needs to be produced and recorded to a higher standard. As it stands, listeners are likely to be put off by the overall quality. The level of expectation now is so high that anything not 100% is unlikely to make headway.
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Re: music compositions

Postby jonnie » Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:25 pm

Thanks for your comments;
I'm probably in the twilight of my musical endeavours, (50 next year!) the Wean song was made 1991 using an old sequential tom drum machine which had 7 volume increments - really impossible to get realistic volume nuances between drum sounds! - but it kept the beat! Tascam 688 8 track cassette. Now as regards quality, thats probably as good as i can get with the current set up,Using a Roland VS2480, i pushed the recorder well into the red when mastering, even with the compressor/EQ on,slight distortion is evident (clearly evident when the bass drum is solo on breaks)
Just glad to get some feedback from fellow musos - would just hate to mothball the songs after all this time! cheer john.
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Re: music compositions

Postby BJG145 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:29 pm

jonnie wrote:I've tried to play them as a 5 piece "live" group would play them...I use 3 proteus 2000 synths for drums / synths

OK...well, if you have a suitable PC/DAW setup, you might consider selling one of those and looking at something like the NI Abbey Roads series...

http://www.native-instruments.com/#/en/products/producer/pow...
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Re: music compositions

Postby jonnie » Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:50 pm

The 2480 is a recent aquisition,still working it out, the Amazing song was recorded on it-however as i stated volume clipping occurs when i try to attain a "standard" mastering volume output,had a fiddle with the "mastering tool section" last night (again),confusing to say the least! - all i have to do is work on one good mastering "preset" and things should improve,but the compressor does'nt seem to be doing its job too well, its fine on individual tracks. I'll endeavour to improve the songs output in the near future,as for Native instruments and other equipment, I'm afraid severe money constraints have strangeled any future buys!
john
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Re: music compositions

Postby BJG145 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:03 pm

(Fair enough...though you can pick up a P4 2.8GHz and a copy of Reaper for peanuts these days, and do a lot with it.)
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