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Second pair of ears please?

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Second pair of ears please?

Postby blinddrew » Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:46 pm

Hi folks,
Finished this off last night (I think) but having spent a while on it I'm a bit close to it for objectivity.
https://soundcloud.com/blinddrew/wild-d ... 1Mp2WH11Rr
I think I'm happy with the overall but if there are any glaring errors then I've missed them, so please put me right!
Any other comments and critique also welcome, but I reserve the right to choose not to act on it. :)
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Re: Second pair of ears please?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Wed Jul 08, 2020 2:01 pm

Sounded very good indeed to me Drew, but I really don't trust my ears as much as I'd like to as I seem to have some high-frequency related issues at the moment (nothing serious, I think it's probably that they are a bit waxy!)

The only observation I'd make (other than it's a lovely piece of work) is that listening on headphones I felt it could use something to balance the piano which is panned significantly to the right in the end section of the song. My left ear was searching for something to even up the stereo field in some little way.
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Re: Second pair of ears please?

Postby DanielBeach » Wed Jul 08, 2020 2:19 pm

I personally like it, but to my ear the backing and the vocal sound like they’re from two different tracks.

The backing sounds “fully professional” in production, but the vocal isn’t sitting comfortably enough into the mix. It sounds too upfront/pasted on to me, and doesn’t meld in as it could do.

There’s my 2p :-)
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Re: Second pair of ears please?

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Jul 08, 2020 2:23 pm

Liked this a lot Drew, and it grew on me the more times I listened (5th listen through at the moment, and now I can confirm that I upgrade my Like to a Love) :clap:

I personally loved that final hanging chord, and longed for a few others during the rest of the song to 'break up' the verses and choruses, but that's just me, so ignore that comment ;)

I do however thing there's a bit of a clash between the jangly guitars and your voice - a few of your words are less distinct and get a little lost in my opinion.

You could try some subtle hand automation of certain words to maintain vocal clarity, but I'd be inclined to roll off the top end of the main guitar throughout to leave more space in the mix, which should (IMO) give your vocals more power, and also give the instrumental breaks a bigger impact when they come in.

Or you could totally ignore me (another perfectly valid choice :tongue: )


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Re: Second pair of ears please?

Postby Sam Inglis » Wed Jul 08, 2020 2:44 pm

The song is great and I think the mix balance is fine.

I wonder whether the production quite does justice to the song, though. The jangly rhythm guitar is a bit relentless and the delay makes it sound messy in places. I'm wondering how it would be if you replaced that with a sparse fingerstyle acoustic part that would leave more space for other sounds and textures. I wanted there to be an arrangement kick in the middle section, perhaps through adding some more instrumentation there.

Also, the word 'dog' is really hard to sustain on a long note as it doesn't contain a long vowel. Not really sure what the solution to that one is, but perhaps you could try singing something more like 'daaahhg' or even 'dorg' instead?
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Re: Second pair of ears please?

Postby blinddrew » Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:05 pm

Thank you all, will give it further thought. :thumbup:
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Re: Second pair of ears please?

Postby Kwackman » Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:41 pm

:thumbup:
IMHO this is the best vocal performance you've done.
I could make out the words OK (I'm listening on cans) although I thought it was "wild Dark Heart" until I spotted the title!
Are there two guitars (or 3?!) playing throughout this song, apart from the instrumental bit later?
If so, it might be nice for one or both to vary a bit in places?
There's a bass sound under there, but I can't quite hear it.
The boring part of me would like the bass drum a bit louder and a snare chucked in there too!
Is that shimmer reverb at the end? Very nice whatever it is!

I've just realised the above looks like a lot of criticism- it's not.
I really like this song, I listened to it 3 times before typing this, and have had it on loop all the time I've been typing this, I'm sure I'm into double figures by now. I really like it!
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Re: Second pair of ears please?

Postby The Elf » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:33 pm

Beautiful song and very, very well sung. Love it.

I'm having a similar feeling to others. I don't feel that the sound of the guitar is doing justice to the mix - the vocal is just too good.

A few ideas...

Maybe a stereo (*not* ping-pong - ugh!) delay on the guitar? Maybe replace the electric with an acoustic? I could imagine a *really* grunged-up Hammond sitting off to one side to balance up the mix - at least in the latter choruses.

Kick drum - lose it.

Add a smooth electric bass to balance out the harder guitar and back the guitar volume off.

All ideas based on IMHO, of course.

I do love this - it's the best song you've done.
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Re: Second pair of ears please?

Postby Folderol » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:44 pm

I enjoyed this very much, but I seem to be picking up a resonance at around G3. It doesn't detract from the song, but seems to muddy the guitar a bit. This is listening on so-so speakers, but nothing else seems to have that happening.
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Re: Second pair of ears please?

Postby Luke W » Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:20 pm

Good work, it's a really nice song and a great performance. I think everyone has covered my initial thoughts already so I won't repeat what's already being said, apart from that the vocal is really nicely done. Very up front and clear without sounding too "in your face".

Certainly nothing in the way of glaring errors :thumbup:
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Re: Second pair of ears please?

Postby blinddrew » Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:43 pm

Thank you for all the positive comments. :)
In response to some of the (really useful) critique:

Kwackman:
Are there two guitars (or 3?!) playing throughout this song, apart from the instrumental bit later?
- Just the one, with some delay and masses of reverb.
There's a bass sound under there, but I can't quite hear it.
- Yep, I was really just after some padding.
The boring part of me would like the bass drum a bit louder and a snare chucked in there too!
- But that would require something more competent than just hitting a keyboard on the beat, and previous experience has shown that's not my forte! :)
Is that shimmer reverb at the end? Very nice whatever it is!
- It's the Ghost Hand Bells from Spitfire Labs, it comes through at the end of the instrumental break as well.

To Eddy:
I felt it could use something to balance the piano which is panned significantly to the right in the end section of the song.
- The second guitar does come back in on the left channel but it's not very high in the mix and doesn't have much FH content. But I have an idea about that.

To Daniel:
The backing sounds “fully professional” in production, but the vocal isn’t sitting comfortably enough into the mix. It sounds too upfront/pasted on to me, and doesn’t meld in as it could do.
- Hmm. I have an idea here.

To Martin:
I personally loved that final hanging chord, and longed for a few others during the rest of the song to 'break up' the verses and choruses,
- Hadn't thought of that previously. Am thinking now.
I do however thing there's a bit of a clash between the jangly guitars and your voice - a few of your words are less distinct and get a little lost in my opinion.
- Have an idea here too. Well, it's the same idea, but it might kill two birds with one stone.

To Sam:
The jangly rhythm guitar is a bit relentless and the delay makes it sound messy in places. I'm wondering how it would be if you replaced that with a sparse fingerstyle acoustic part that would leave more space for other sounds and textures.
- Thinking about this. For me that guitar sound is a core part of the song as it stands out from a lot of the rest of my music. I'm not a particularly imaginative song writer so I need to use other techniques to make up for it!
I wanted there to be an arrangement kick in the middle section, perhaps through adding some more instrumentation there.
- See above, I thought about that but didn't want to a) overdo it, and b) resort to formula.
But perhaps you could try singing something more like 'daaahhg' or even 'dorg' instead?
- I think there's a bit too much risk of either sounding like, to quote, a "local yokel member of the NRA" at one extreme or the janitor from the Simpsons at the other! :)

To The Elf:
Maybe a stereo (*not* ping-pong - ugh!) delay on the guitar?
- Tried switching the current ping-pong to a stereo dual but it lost a bit of the movement in the part that gives a bit of ear candy.
Maybe replace the electric with an acoustic?
- Considering 'augment' rather than replace. :)
I could imagine a *really* grunged-up Hammond sitting off to one side to balance up the mix - at least in the latter choruses.
- I did think about it, but as in my reply to Sam above, that's very formulaic for me at the moment.
Kick drum - lose it.
- Ha! Not a chance, it's my favourite bit of the song. :)
Add a smooth electric bass to balance out the harder guitar and back the guitar volume off.
- I did try some bass work (upright rather than electric admittedly, I haven't finished building my electric yet) but didn't come up with anything I was actually happy with, hence going for the quiet legato and pizzicato parts that are in there.

To Folderol:
Resonance at G3?
- Hmm, not too sure on technicalities but if that's around 200k it'll be the open G string that does ring all the way through. Will think on that.

Right, need to stop writing about it and do something about it!
Thank you all (again). :)
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Re: Second pair of ears please?

Postby Ian Shaw » Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:27 pm

Lovely stuff that, Drew.

My only gripe, as others have mentioned, is too much effect on the guitar making is a bit of a mush & the vocals not sitting in the mix enough.

Apart from that, lovely

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Re: Second pair of ears please?

Postby James Perrett » Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:53 pm

I think this has the potential to be a great song but for me this recording isn't quite doing it. Now I may have been biased by reading some of the comments beforehand but I felt that this song needs to be built around the vocals - at the moment they're well down in the mix. I felt that the main guitar part needs work - something about it feels like it is pushing ahead too much and it really needs to be played with a more relaxed feel.

Of course I could be totally wrong but I've always loved guitarists who play very few notes - but with exactly the right feel so I'm probably more biased in that direction.
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Re: Second pair of ears please?

Postby RichardT » Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:07 pm

blinddrew wrote:Hi folks,
Finished this off last night (I think) but having spent a while on it I'm a bit close to it for objectivity.
https://soundcloud.com/blinddrew/wild-d ... 1Mp2WH11Rr
I think I'm happy with the overall but if there are any glaring errors then I've missed them, so please put me right!
Any other comments and critique also welcome, but I reserve the right to choose not to act on it. :)

It's a lovely tune, with lovely singing.

I think the production could be better though. The rhythm guitar doesn't change at all throughout the piece, and the recording of the guitar doesn't sound very clear to me - maybe less reverb would help. Also there are some guitar notes that stick out from time to time. It feels like the guitarist isn't paying any attention to the vocalist, just doing their thing.

The voice sounds a bit isolated from the rest of the track because it's so dry.

The bass is muffled and lacks impact.

I think it needs a bit more dynamic variation - maybe a section without the guitar, and some dynamic difference between the verse and chorus.

Rich
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Re: Second pair of ears please?

Postby Kwackman » Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:21 pm

blinddrew wrote:Kwackman:
Are there two guitars (or 3?!) playing throughout this song?
Just the one.

:blush: OK, so that gives you an indication of the level of my forensic production skills!!
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