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Song for Evelyn

Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 4:18 am
by milo
I just posted a new recording for my album-in-progress, an instrumental piece dedicated to my baby girl who died: https://alansanderson.band/2019/05/16/song-for-evelyn/. Writing and recording this tune has been really therapeutic for me.

A few firsts on this recording: My first time using ZynAddSubFX, and my first time using the AVL Drumkits LV2. A big thumbs up for both of them, and many thanks to the developers! It was also my first time using an audio bus in Ardour, to control the fadeout at the end. I recently finished reading the Ardour manual (http://manual.ardour.org/toc/), which I strongly recommend to any of you who are using this DAW. I learned a lot!

Re: Song for Evelyn

Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 10:04 am
by folderol
Thanks for sharing this very poignant tune.

Re: Song for Evelyn

Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 8:59 pm
by ufug
Lovely. It almost seems as though there's a space left in the song for words that may be too hard to find right now.

Peace to you and your family and thank you for sharing this.

Re: Song for Evelyn

Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 10:47 pm
by Michael Willis
I agree with folderol and ufug, it's a beautiful piece. Sorry to hear about your loss.

Re: Song for Evelyn

Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 10:49 pm
by merlyn
Nice tune and good to hear that music helped you heal.

Re: Song for Evelyn

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 9:03 am
by bluebell
milo wrote:I just posted a new recording for my album-in-progress, an instrumental piece dedicated to my baby girl who died: https://alansanderson.band/2019/05/16/song-for-evelyn/. Writing and recording this tune has been really therapeutic for me.

A few firsts on this recording: My first time using ZynAddSubFX, and my first time using the AVL Drumkits LV2. A big thumbs up for both of them, and many thanks to the developers! It was also my first time using an audio bus in Ardour, to control the fadeout at the end. I recently finished reading the Ardour manual (http://manual.ardour.org/toc/), which I strongly recommend to any of you who are using this DAW. I learned a lot!


Thx for sharing. Made me cry.

Re: Song for Evelyn

Posted: Sun May 19, 2019 12:49 am
by milo
Thanks, everyone, for your kind words.

Bluebell: I lost count of how many times I cried while making this track. :) As I've said before, if your recording communicates the emotion effectively, then most people will forgive its warts. There are playing errors here and there in this track, but the comments here let me know that it is succeeding in its primary purpose.

Ufug: I agree that there is a space for words, but I have struggled with whether or not to add them, and what to say. I have had some ideas, and may revisit this track to add vocals. But I also really like it as an instrumental.

On a forum like this, full of music geeks, probably most of us don't have a problem connecting with instrumental music, but that is a real challenge for a lot of people (maybe most people?). Having words, even nonsense words, can really expand the potential audience for a song.

Merlyn: I can't imagine trying to process such a tsunami of emotion without the power of music. Music is a tool, which can be used for good or for evil. I think those of us who make music carry a great burden of responsibility to use it well.

Thanks again, all.

Re: Song for Evelyn

Posted: Mon May 20, 2019 8:32 pm
by jonetsu
(catching up on songs posted on LM ...)

This is a very nice piece. It's a bit difficult to be impartial after reading the sad story behind it while the beginning chords were playing, although I'd say that it embodies the spirit very well. The synth could be a bit louder IMHO, both from a mixing and from a story-telling point of view.

Re: Song for Evelyn

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 4:10 pm
by milo
Thanks, Jonetsu. I agree that it's a little unfair to ask for impartial feedback on a song like this. "Please be honest and tell me whether you like this track, but please be aware that I have invested so much of my personal emotion in it that I will be devastated at the slightest criticism." :)

The synth volume is something I changed my mind about several times during the mixdown. I considered giving it a more prominent role in the middle of the song, and I also considered having it do more than play simple chords. I am not much of a keyboard player so it was partly a pragmatic decision to make the guitars more prominent. But I also decided that I liked how the synth blends in to the background and you almost forget it's there in the middle of the song, until it rises to the top again at the end. Sort of like how we are mostly unaware of the spiritual world around us when we are so caught up with life in the physical world.

There are too many decisions to make when recording and mixing! I sometimes want to make ten different versions of a track just to follow all of my ideas. But that's part of the fun and the challenge.

Re: Song for Evelyn

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:35 pm
by lilith
That's a nice tune indeed which reminds me a bit on a children song or on winter season around christmas.

There's something ringing when I listen to the chords at 0:59...Guns N' Roses? (Patience?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErvgV4P6Fzc) or maybe something else.

You have my deepest sympathies

Re: Song for Evelyn

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:54 pm
by milo
Thanks, lilith!

I've never been a big GNR fan, although I liked a few of their singles. I have never heard that track before, but they do some some pretty solid work on the acoustic guitar. I especially like the song's intro.

My main acoustic guitar influences are John Denver, Jim Croce, and James Taylor. I also really love Chet Atkins, but my style doesn't come close to his so I guess I shouldn't really list him as a musical influence.

Re: Song for Evelyn

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 2:54 pm
by GMaq
Hi milo,

Sincere condolences for your loss

A beautiful composition, well performed and recorded. Thanks for sharing Evelyn's story. I hope listening to it in the days ahead will help bring you and your family closure and peace.

Re: Song for Evelyn

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 8:31 pm
by milo
Thanks, GMaq. I have yet to play this song at the cemetery. But I think that day is coming.

I really like the AVL Drumkit LV2. Great sound, and so easy to use! I think my workflow is changed forever. Thanks for making all of those drum samples.

My only complaint about it is actually an Ardour MIDI interface complaint. It's really hard to control the note velocities when you don't see them represented as vertical lines. The human eye just doesn't perceive slight changes in color with the same sensitivity that we can perceive height differences. But tight control over velocity is really critical to a good-sounding percussion track. The MIDI List Editor helped, because I could see the actual numerical velocity values and check them for sanity, but it was a rather clunky interface for such a fundamental task. I have heard that the Ardour 6 MIDI interface will be totally different and will fix that problem, so I will be patient and will stop complaining about an otherwise awesome piece of free software. :)

Re: Song for Evelyn

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 9:12 pm
by GMaq
milo wrote:Thanks, GMaq. I have yet to play this song at the cemetery. But I think that day is coming.

I really like the AVL Drumkit LV2. Great sound, and so easy to use! I think my workflow is changed forever. Thanks for making all of those drum samples.

My only complaint about it is actually an Ardour MIDI interface complaint. It's really hard to control the note velocities when you don't see them represented as vertical lines. The human eye just doesn't perceive slight changes in color with the same sensitivity that we can perceive height differences. But tight control over velocity is really critical to a good-sounding percussion track. The MIDI List Editor helped, because I could see the actual numerical velocity values and check them for sanity, but it was a rather clunky interface for such a fundamental task. I have heard that the Ardour 6 MIDI interface will be totally different and will fix that problem, so I will be patient and will stop complaining about an otherwise awesome piece of free software. :)


I couldn't agree more, I have filed Mantis requests and spoken about the need for vertical velocity lines like EVERY other DAW supporting MIDI has for years.. I also hope they can provide a better solution in Ardour 6. I often do my MIDI drum programming in Reaper or EnergyXT and then import it into Ardour.

When (and if) my schedule clears I'm planning on sampling a full AVL Drumkit Percussion Set with Cajon, Congas, Bongos, Djembe, Claves, Tambourine and various Maraca textures, if Robin and the folks at Harrison find the samples to be worthy it may also become an LV2 as well as being released in the other formats.

Anyway, not intending to distract from the important original topic... Best to you and family through this tough time..

Re: Song for Evelyn

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:21 am
by psyocean
Wonderful music, light sadness. No more words, this is a tragic loss.