Latest recordings -- what can i improve

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lykwydchykyn
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Latest recordings -- what can i improve

Postby lykwydchykyn » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:03 pm

Here are a few of my latest songs I've done with ardour. I've been focusing more on capturing good sounds from real instruments and less on post-processing or emulating.

http://www.alandmoore.com/lc/aud/Alan%2 ... abylon.ogg

http://www.alandmoore.com/lc/aud/Alan%2 ... erture.ogg

http://www.alandmoore.com/lc/aud/Alan%2 ... %20Way.ogg

I'm not a great drummer, but I'm trying to edit less and just play solid, simple tracks on the cajon and hihat.

My question for you all is, what can I improve sonically?

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lilith
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Re: Latest recordings -- what can i improve

Postby lilith » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:26 pm

First track is really great! I'm not so familiar with classical rock music mixing wise, but some things that could be improved. Maybe someone can agree with that.

The bass could have a bit more pressure imo. Maybe you can add a compressor to the bass to make it sound more compact.
The cymbals at 1:34 sound quite harsh and not so well defined (almost distorted). I also would add a compressor here and an EQ.
Did you add Reverb to the tracks to glue them better together?

Beside of that it's pretty good and well done. The volume ratios are also fine.
https://soundcloud.com/lilith_93

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lykwydchykyn
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Re: Latest recordings -- what can i improve

Postby lykwydchykyn » Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:01 pm

Thanks for the feedback.

The bass is pretty heavily compressed already, though I didn't want to totally lose dynamics. I think the cymbals (which is really just my hihat with the two plates separated) were distorting. I was tracking another song last night and found that activating the pad on the interface helped with that some. I had to play with the gain on each take with the cymbals, because depending on how I played them it was either pushing the red or barely registering. I have yet to perfect my cymbal sounds, for sure.

I did add a small room reverb over everything, and maybe another tight room on the percussion tracks to give some sense of space. The vocals have some delay coming in and out and a touch of plate reverb. Overall, though, I kind of wanted a dryish sound, kind of like a 70's motown recording (think stevie wonder or al green).

The cymbals really need some work I guess. I used to drop in samples, but I want to beat on real instruments these days.

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Re: Latest recordings -- what can i improve

Postby folderol » Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:39 pm

Enjoyed the first one very much.
The second I thought was OK-ish, but a bit cheesy.
Third one gave a 404 error :(
I can't really comment on these technically. I'm not really a guitar person.

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Michael Willis
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Re: Latest recordings -- what can i improve

Postby Michael Willis » Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:52 pm

I think the first one sounds great, I didn't hear anything worth nitpicking. Did you really do the percussion track(s) with only a cajon and a hihat?

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Re: Latest recordings -- what can i improve

Postby jonetsu » Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:36 pm

The first track is quite good. I'd say that for the first verse there could be just a bit of 'something else' to package together everything else. Subsequent verses are all right. Of course, everything should be well mixed and mastered.
I would agree that the bass needs a bit more punch. It sounds actually too compressed. Instead of compactness as mentioned by lillith, it's more of a dulling. Maybe leaving some attack space for the transients and not so much of a release.

With the Carmen piece there's more of a punchier bass. Too punchy for the first track, so there could be a midway or something like that. The piece by itself, bah. :mrgreen:

And yes, the 3rd one is 404.

Cheers.

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Re: Latest recordings -- what can i improve

Postby lykwydchykyn » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:14 am

Michael Willis wrote:I think the first one sounds great, I didn't hear anything worth nitpicking. Did you really do the percussion track(s) with only a cajon and a hihat?


Yeah, though I also have a talking drum, a darbuka, and some other little hand-held percussion things I layer in. No samples or or anything like that, though.

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Re: Latest recordings -- what can i improve

Postby lykwydchykyn » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:17 am

jonetsu wrote:The first track is quite good. I'd say that for the first verse there could be just a bit of 'something else' to package together everything else. Subsequent verses are all right. Of course, everything should be well mixed and mastered.
I would agree that the bass needs a bit more punch. It sounds actually too compressed. Instead of compactness as mentioned by lillith, it's more of a dulling. Maybe leaving some attack space for the transients and not so much of a release.

With the Carmen piece there's more of a punchier bass. Too punchy for the first track, so there could be a midway or something like that. The piece by itself, bah. :mrgreen:

And yes, the 3rd one is 404.

Cheers.


Thanks. I think I would agree it's over-compressed. Spent too many years doing funk and electronic music, I think; I'm just not always comfortable with letting things breathe. Trying to get there.

Sorry about the 404, not sure what's up; I have these tracks on youtube as well here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73Kxr57UYYY

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Re: Latest recordings -- what can i improve

Postby Nachei » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:54 am

The first one: what a great voice and song! I have a bit of a pet peeve with the "gaspings" at the beginning of the phrasings, they take me a bit out of the song, and I usually lower them down or even remove them in my own stuff, but I've observed that a lot of people just leave them as they are (even consecrated bands, like Muse), so maybe it's just a matter of personal taste...
I feel the little guitar snippets that "answer" to the voice sound a bit too upfront, too "digital". I would try spicing them with some haas effect, a reverb or a chorus (this is what I'd try, I don't know what would work).
In the percussion section, I would compress to death the high pitched hit, I think it would make the rhythm feel tighter and more "mechanical" and would fit the vibe.
I'm not a big fan of the hi-hat; it gives the beat a feel like too "unary", like a military march or like "row... row..." feel that doesn't match the rest of the song in my view; maybe trying syncopation, or hitting in the backbeat instead? This problem is also in the second track imo.

...second track which I enjoyed thoroughly. Someone called it "cheesy", well then color me cheesy. My suggestions for this one are mostly about arrangements: you are this close the whole song to going into a reggae section... please do... And also, to make things more over the top, something of little effort and great effect you could do is ending some phrasings with tremolos, it would give the guitars a nice Queen feel, imo...

Just my two cents, great tunes, thank you for sharing...

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Re: Latest recordings -- what can i improve

Postby lykwydchykyn » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:13 pm

Nachei wrote:The first one: what a great voice and song! I have a bit of a pet peeve with the "gaspings" at the beginning of the phrasings, they take me a bit out of the song, and I usually lower them down or even remove them in my own stuff, but I've observed that a lot of people just leave them as they are (even consecrated bands, like Muse), so maybe it's just a matter of personal taste...


I used to take them out too, but it made the vocals sound like a bunch of overdubs rather than a single vocal take. I think I just like the liveness of it.

I feel the little guitar snippets that "answer" to the voice sound a bit too upfront, too "digital". I would try spicing them with some haas effect, a reverb or a chorus (this is what I'd try, I don't know what would work).


I was trying to leave things very dry, looking for a vibe kind of like Al Green's "Love and happiness": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqqAnjY2Rmo
At least in the verses anyway. I feel like the guitar might need more "space", but without reverb. I feel like I was fighting myself not to add more ambience.

In the percussion section, I would compress to death the high pitched hit, I think it would make the rhythm feel tighter and more "mechanical" and would fit the vibe.


Yeah, I don't feel completely happy with the snarish sound from the cajon. Unfortunately the kick and snare sound are all one instrument and I can't deal with them separately. I've tried EQ, compression, multiband compression, various other things. I can make it sound like a drum kit if you squint your ears and don't pay too much attention, but otherwise it's a work in progress.

I'm not a big fan of the hi-hat; it gives the beat a feel like too "unary", like a military march or like "row... row..." feel that doesn't match the rest of the song in my view; maybe trying syncopation, or hitting in the backbeat instead? This problem is also in the second track imo.

Yeah, that hihat didn't do what I thought it would. I played it live intentionally to have some dynamics and variation, and in the mix it just comes out like 'BASH BASH BASH BASH'. Drums are clearly my weak link.


...second track which I enjoyed thoroughly. Someone called it "cheesy", well then color me cheesy. My suggestions for this one are mostly about arrangements: you are this close the whole song to going into a reggae section... please do... And also, to make things more over the top, something of little effort and great effect you could do is ending some phrasings with tremolos, it would give the guitars a nice Queen feel, imo...

Just my two cents, great tunes, thank you for sharing...


Thanks! I do the classical pieces sometimes when I just want to record something and don't have a song in my head kicking to get out. I'd do modern covers but you get dinged for copyright too much these days trying to share that stuff. They're a bit cheesy. You're spot on with the tremolos, I tried to do trills initially but my guitar skills were just hitting a wall.

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Re: Latest recordings -- what can i improve

Postby milo » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:09 pm

I like these tracks. I've been thinking for a while that Tocatta and Fugue in D minor would make a great surf rock song, so it's nice to hear another rock arrangement of a classical piece. I dig the recorder solo on the last piece. The last verse in that third song is particularly poignant -- very nice. The guitar solo on the first piece is also quite solid.

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Re: Latest recordings -- what can i improve

Postby Michael Willis » Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:03 pm

lykwydchykyn wrote:BASH BASH BASH BASH

That's ok, just call it a ride cymbal, and that's how it's supposed to sound. :lol:

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Re: Latest recordings -- what can i improve

Postby lykwydchykyn » Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:55 pm

milo wrote:I like these tracks. I've been thinking for a while that Tocatta and Fugue in D minor would make a great surf rock song, so it's nice to hear another rock arrangement of a classical piece. I dig the recorder solo on the last piece. The last verse in that third song is particularly poignant -- very nice. The guitar solo on the first piece is also quite solid.



Thanks, you might like this one too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW3wgcbzLbI (A loungy take on Tchaikovsky).

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milo
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Re: Latest recordings -- what can i improve

Postby milo » Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:15 pm

lykwydchykyn wrote:Thanks, you might like this one too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW3wgcbzLbI (A loungy take on Tchaikovsky).


Now THAT'S what I'm talking about! I loved that!

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Re: Latest recordings -- what can i improve

Postby psyocean » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:22 am

Very like this songs! Positive time :)

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


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