"The Truth." (all made with Ardour on Linux)

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Senbee
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"The Truth." (all made with Ardour on Linux)

Post by Senbee »

This is my last song. Harmonically it's very simple so I thought it was ok to try to make a demo on a PC. This is how I made it:

- Wrote it on my guitar (just chords + voice)
- Put the chords on JjazzLab and tried a lot of different solutions
- Exported MIDI to Ardour 6.2 (compiled by myself ^_^)
- Changed a lot of MIDI stuff: added bass variations, modified a lot of octaves, modified some note velocity, tried a lot of different instruments, added tempo ramps for the ending. I used only one non free-as-in-freedom VST for the bass, all the rest is FOSS.
- In the meanwhile, I wrote the lyrics. I noticed I had to find some rhymes between words with the accent on the last third syllable. There are not so many words like those in English so I liked to find some of them, using the ones I thought to sound well (e.g. "mutable / indisputable"). From those rhymes I ended to find a meaning to the song and so I built the other verses :-)
- Recorded my voice (just one take, lot of small mistakes, bad voice, but I thought it was ok like this in order to make it sound more natural)
- Splitted pad in two different instruments, one for the verse and one for the chorus. Verse became a Synth Cello from GM Fluidsynth, chorus became a nice and trance pad from ZynAddSubFX
- Added effects (chorus for guitars, reverb mostly everywhere, eq, flanger on Zyn, compression and eq on voice, etc.)
- Added a muted track with only MIDI beats, connected to a sidechain compressor put on Zyn pad
- Recorded my own electric guitar with some Zoom effects for the final solo
- Exported in wav
- Loaded wav into Audacity and added loudness normalization to -14dB (YouTube standard) then applied a soft limiter to -1dB
- Made a small video with Ardour playing the song (but the audio comes from the modified wav)
- Loaded on YouTube with Creative Commons license.

And that's the result:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijSCTz3zhrc

(sooner or later I'll upload all on Soundcloud but I need time to reorganize my old demos)

Hope you like it, keeping in mind I'm not expert in any kind of music arrangement, I'm just a Linux user who sometimes likes to write some songs on his guitar :-) English is not my mother language (I'm Italian) so please pardon me for the inevitable small mistakes and bad pronunciation.

I'd like to know what you think about this song, critic or bad reviews included (they help me to improve myself).

The Lyrics:

The Truth.
(lyrics and music by Stefano Droghetti, 2020, © Creative Commons BY-NC)

Truth may break your dreams, it’s indisputable
may lead you to relive a heinous youth
Always unrevealed, dim and mutable
naked, lost and bare, it’s just the truth

Living in your lie was so beautiful
telling which is which and who is who
with all those you deceived you’ve been so merciful
but then again appeared the awful truth

Hey, can you feel the adrenaline?
please don’t mess with your medicine
it’s twisting your face
And wait, are you feeling delusional?
your own life is material and now it points at you

Hidden in the dark all those minions
crawling in the dirt for just a quid
they have been designed with rack and pinion
looking for the sign, they never stop

Some day in the woods you’ll see the orioles
gliding in the wind they’ll sing at you
and then you’ll recognize the secondary role
you had in all the stats they call the truth

Hey, can you feel the adrenaline?
please don’t mess with your medicine
it’s twirling your brain
And wait, are you feeling delusional?
your life is material and now it points at you
oh, it’s pointing at you

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turbidh20
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Re: "The Truth." (all made with Ardour on Linux)

Post by turbidh20 »

I like it :D I wasn't sure at first with the melody but I'm finding it quite catchy now! I like your voice. Great guitar part, I would have liked to have heard more of that throughout the track. And well done writing lyrics in your non-native language, very good.

I've downloaded that bass plugin - I have a bass and have real bass guitar on all my current songs but due to disability I'm struggling a bit in that department, so I'll give it a try. Do you know if any of the other Samsara plugins are any good? What are "Zoom" effects on the guitar?

Well done!
Arch Linux (i7-4790k/GTX970); UMC204HD; MPK Mini MKII; Jack2 (QjackCtl) & Ardour/Mixbus

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Rainmak3r
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Re: "The Truth." (all made with Ardour on Linux)

Post by Rainmak3r »

Ciao Stefano, ottimo lavoro! (il numero di italiani in questo forum aumenta :mrgreen: )

So you've started tinkering with Ardour 6 already? Luck you! I'm still waiting for Fedora to update the package... I'm still stuck with 5 (not that I'm complaining, I've learned to love it in the meanwhile). It was fun to see the different effects you applied on the different tracks and how they were working, looking at the video.

While I like the song and most sounds, one thing I'm not a fan of is the synthetic acoustic guitar that plays in the background. Since you're a guitar player, I would have expected that part to be played live: as it is, it makes the song seem more "fake". I think the solo ends a bit too soon too (it feels like it closes abruptly) but that may just be the guitar player in me :lol: Drums could be better as well, what did you use there? Apart from these tiny nits, I think you did a very good job!

As a side note, not sure why you chose to do loudness normalization in Audacity? Couldn't you have done it in Ardour instead?

Senbee
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Re: "The Truth." (all made with Ardour on Linux)

Post by Senbee »

turbidh20 wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:11 pm
I like it :D I wasn't sure at first with the melody but I'm finding it quite catchy now! I like your voice. Great guitar part, I would have liked to have heard more of that throughout the track. And well done writing lyrics in your non-native language, very good.
Thank you so much, that's actually what I just wanted to do: share a thing I think is catchy with some other people who can appreciate it.
Guitar part is very short because I'm lazy. I'm not a good guitarist, I'm able to play only very simple solos, so when I make a demo I just put a short solo to say "OK that's how I would like to be a solo here, longer and played by a pro":-)
I've downloaded that bass plugin - I have a bass and have real bass guitar on all my current songs but due to disability I'm struggling a bit in that department, so I'll give it a try. Do you know if any of the other Samsara plugins are any good? What are "Zoom" effects on the guitar? Well done!
I think it's a good bass, years ago it was the only really believable one in free-as-a-free-beer VST world, but I guess now maybe there's something better. I don't know any other Samsara plugins. I mean, never tried them.

Zoom is the brand for guitar effects :-) My one is a Zoom G3Xn, I bought it because it's very good in emulating the sound of a Vox AC-30 and other British stuff and also because I sometimes need a hardware effect rack to play live.
Rainmak3r wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:10 pm
Ciao Stefano, ottimo lavoro! (il numero di italiani in questo forum aumenta :mrgreen: )
Ahahah grazie, un saluto anche a te!!! :-)
So you've started tinkering with Ardour 6 already? Luck you! I'm still waiting for Fedora to update the package... I'm still stuck with 5 (not that I'm complaining, I've learned to love it in the meanwhile). It was fun to see the different effects you applied on the different tracks and how they were working, looking at the video.
Yes Ardour6.2 is really easy to compile. I did it on Ubuntu 20.04. If any other people did it yet, I'll be glad to post how to do it in this forum.
DAWs nowadays are kind of "beautiful", with all those tracks, metres, plugins and scores dancing at the tempo beat, so I thought it was nice to make a video just like that.
While I like the song and most sounds, one thing I'm not a fan of is the synthetic acoustic guitar that plays in the background. Since you're a guitar player, I would have expected that part to be played live: as it is, it makes the song seem more "fake".
Absolutely true. But, as I said, I'm lazy :-) It would have taken a week or two more, just to redo something that was already on track. So I just said to myself "come on, it's just a demo" and that's the lousy result. :-(
I think the solo ends a bit too soon too (it feels like it closes abruptly) but that may just be the guitar player in me :lol: Drums could be better as well, what did you use there? Apart from these tiny nits, I think you did a very good job!
Sure the solo is too short for the reason I wrote before. Drums are the normal "General MIDI" instrument in Ardour default. I tried some more drum kits but in the end, for that kind of semi-electro pop greasy stuff, I preferred that kinda sound. Mostly for the snare: I like that vintage, boxed sound. If I had more time, I would have separate the snare to keep it with that sound, and played the rest with a nicer FOSS drumkit, like DrumGizmo.
As a side note, not sure why you chose to do loudness normalization in Audacity? Couldn't you have done it in Ardour instead?
I prefer to use Ardour to make a dynamic, response flat master. Then, according to the media where I want to publish the song, I use the very fast and old Audacity way: I can try lots of different loudness+limiter settings in a second, from very mild ones to insanely loud radio edit for parties or live sets.

jdfight
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Re: "The Truth." (all made with Ardour on Linux)

Post by jdfight »

Very nice! I enjoyed listening to that. You got a nice guitar sound on the solo section with the zoom . I liked that you revealed a bit of your process in Ardour in the video too!

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milo
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Re: "The Truth." (all made with Ardour on Linux)

Post by milo »

I also enjoyed watching and listening. Nice to go "under the hood" and see what software is behind the sound. I might make the same kind of video sometime.

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psyocean
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Re: "The Truth." (all made with Ardour on Linux)

Post by psyocean »

Like this song, excellent work!

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Guitar and synth tales... https://www.youtube.com/user/Psyocean/

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Re: "The Truth." (all made with Ardour on Linux)

Post by folderol »

Very much enjoyed this. All fits together very smoothly.

Basslint
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Re: "The Truth." (all made with Ardour on Linux)

Post by Basslint »

Benvenuto Stefano tra i tanti italiani di questo forum! For those who don't know him, Stefano is a bit of a celebrity in the GNU/Linux italian scene! :D

Very good Paul McCartney-esque piece! I expected a nice melodic solo and you delivered :D
The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. [Acts 4:32]

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Senbee
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Re: "The Truth." (all made with Ardour on Linux)

Post by Senbee »

jdfight wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:02 am
Very nice! I enjoyed listening to that. You got a nice guitar sound on the solo section with the zoom . I liked that you revealed a bit of your process in Ardour in the video too!
milo wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:23 am
I also enjoyed watching and listening. Nice to go "under the hood" and see what software is behind the sound. I might make the same kind of video sometime.
psyocean wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:20 pm
Like this song, excellent work!
folderol wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:20 pm
Very much enjoyed this. All fits together very smoothly.
Basslint wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 7:37 am
Benvenuto Stefano tra i tanti italiani di questo forum! For those who don't know him, Stefano is a bit of a celebrity in the GNU/Linux italian scene! :D

Very good Paul McCartney-esque piece! I expected a nice melodic solo and you delivered :D
You guys are making my ego bigger and bigger :oops: :oops: :D

I got this weird idea to use your comments as ads if I'll ever promote the song... as like as on film posters :D

I'm really happy you appreciated the guitar solo sound, I tried a lot of tuning to achieve a sort of brit sound, and it wasn't easy with my 210€ guitar: https://www.thomann.de/it/harley_benton ... ns_red.htm :mrgreen:

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crownbird
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Re: "The Truth." (all made with Ardour on Linux)

Post by crownbird »

milo wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:23 am
I also enjoyed watching and listening. Nice to go "under the hood" and see what software is behind the sound. I might make the same kind of video sometime.
I agree with this, I've seen a few of these videos and I usually tend to like them.

I loved this song by the way, I'm really impressed with how professional it sounds; both the composition and the mix. Great work!
I make music, released at https://royalgloom.bandcamp.com/

Senbee
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Re: "The Truth." (all made with Ardour on Linux)

Post by Senbee »

crownbird wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:44 am
I loved this song by the way, I'm really impressed with how professional it sounds; both the composition and the mix. Great work!
Thank you so much!

I'd love to point out that the instrumental bridge and the finale are 90% a JjazzLab automatic arrangement, probably a Yamaha style. I just changed the instruments and some velocities, then I had the idea of putting those rhythm and tempo changes inside that song, which is based on a different and much more modified JJazzLab style. :-)

I think I'll ask for a collaboration from you all in this forum to arrange my next song... I'd like to create something with this great community, rather than searching for JJazzLab presets ^_^ So probably you'll see me soon in the "Virtual Music Projects" forum session.

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