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> First Serious Recording, Interested In Opinions
axes
post Jul 30 2009, 05:42 PM
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Dear GMCers,

I finished my first serious recording yesterday. It's a song I wrote for my first demo album. If I'm correct at modal theory (I'm afraid I'm not, but I hope I am) the "folkish-melody" part is in mixolydian, the bluesy, long part is in dorian, and then it goes back to mixolydian again; I didn't write the song with proper modal knowledge anyways. The solos were improvized in the modal boxes I can safely play without going out.

I created the drums in Addictive Drums, but all the other tracks including the basslines were recorded by me (actually, I let my younger brother to play the rythm guitar parts). An Ibanez JEM7VWH was used for the solos, the FX and the melody, an LTD F-100 with 11's strings was used for the rythm, and a cheap Squier Affinity P-Bass was used for the bass.

I'd be pretty much interested in your opinions because most of you are more experienced and better songwriters, guitarists than me. The main things I'd love to hear your opinions on are:

  • The overall song idea - do you enjoy listening to it? If not, what parts do you think needs improvements, and in what?
  • My improvised solos - I'm aware that I don't play good enough to make these solos feel not so spontaneous but constructed. What do you think about them?
  • The guitar tones - There are basically 4 guitar tones in the song. One for the "folkish-melody" and the solos, one for the rythm guitar, one for the FX (like the dive bomb and the Satch whammy trick) and finally one for the bass. All the tones were created by using a Line6 KB37 device and the Pod Farm plugin. What do you think, does any of these tones need improvement, and if yes, in what?
  • The drums - I showed this song to one of my friends who said he didn't like the drums, he said it's driving his attention away from the solos and the song itself. I didn't notice any serious trouble with the drums. What do you think about them?
  • The overall mix, levels - One thing that I was very happy about this recording is that I felt like I could mix it down pretty good - no clipping, normalized levels, etc. What's your opinion?


I wrote this list so that it could be a helping baseline for you to review my song, but feel free to add anything that might come to you. I'm really curious about your opinions, because I don't have as much experience in these things than you, and I'm always open to constructive criticism, even if it hurts sometimes smile.gif

Thanks in advance guys!

Richard
Attached File(s)
Attached File  mixolyd_tst2.mp3 ( 6.04MB ) Number of downloads: 386
 
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jafomatic
post Jul 30 2009, 05:57 PM
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Listening to the drums I didn't find them distracting, just that the closed hat was a little crisp and the kick a little bit quiet. The whole song sounded pretty solid to me. Good playing, timing good, arrangement has enough variations and surprises (could maybe be a little tiny bit more of that?).

I'm no professional but it sounds solid to me.


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bladzerok
post Jul 30 2009, 06:07 PM
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cool recording!! i will give you my honest opinions the best i can:

- the song composition was cool, the main melody line reminded me of glasgow kiss by John petrucci.
although, you should have tried to change the song tonality , like doing different chord progression, it would have made it a bit more interesting.

-The improvised solos were great in my opinion. although at some time it was starting to repeat itself. As i said earlier, doing chord changes would probably inspire you to do something new, and play with the chords harrmony

-i think the lead, bass and FX tones were cool, but i would have but the rythm track was a bit fuzzy, but that is just what i think smile.gif. i think all of the tracks sounded good.

- i think the drum track was well made, but your friend was right, the hi hat is quite omnipresent and is a bit loud, in my opinion.

i loved the mix, it was well made, but the FX track was a bit too loud, but the overall mix was cool.

Congratulation for this track !
hope it helps!! smile.gif


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TheKeplerConject...
post Jul 30 2009, 06:32 PM
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I like it a LOT! My only advice is to turn down all sibilant percussion - crashes/rides/hihats etc. That's always a clear give-away that a drum track is a module, rather than a real kit. If your daw has a function to randomize velocity within a certain range, apply that to the hihat. It's very static and non-dynamic. It sounds a bit like a file being triggered over and over. It could sound more natural with varying velocity on each event. The drums, in my opinion, would sound cooler if the snare was offset slightly late. That causes a subliminal anticipation that sucks the listener into the groove a bit more. Try it - I bet you'll dig it.

The fill at 1:29 is a little abrasive, in my opinion. I'd make it follow a direction. Rather than toms playing at the same time as the crash/china, maybe try making it just kick/crash together, then hi toms, then kick/crash, then mid toms, continuing that pattern going lower with the toms each time. This would also make it sound more playable by a real drummer. Sounds like maybe someone would need 3 hands to execute that fill... Maybe not. Just something to think about. A similar approach could be used with the outro fill.

The overall sound is great and the guitar work is right up my alley. The arrangement is logical and enjoyable. Again, I really like this. Thanks for sharing! Sorry my comments are so nit-picky, but I thought they might help.

EDIT: Another quick comment on the drums. The snare falls on beat 4 throughout. you might want to experiment with accenting the 3 instead in some sections. Especially in sections where you want to minimize attention drawn directly to the drums and focus more on the guitar. It also breaks the pattern into 2 clear sections - Start the first half of the measure with a solid kick; Start the second half of the measure with the snare, leading the listener through the song in a more even and predictable way. Also, it's just more commonplace, so listeners will naturally allow for it to blend in better in their mind.

This post has been edited by TheKeplerConjecture: Jul 30 2009, 07:12 PM
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jul 31 2009, 04:55 PM
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I think it sounds great, everything is very nicely played specially in the first part, and drums are very decent as well. All in all, good job! smile.gif


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audiopaal
post Jul 31 2009, 07:52 PM
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I've only been able to listen to this on laptop speaker dry.gif
So I won't give you my feedback based on this..

But the song itself sounds great, I love happy guitartunes like this smile.gif
Reminds me a bit of Emerald Rain (the way their guitarists play that is) smile.gif

I'll give it another listen on my equipment later!
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axes
post Jul 31 2009, 07:53 PM
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I'd like to thank all of you guys for your comments and improvement ideas! I'll surely try the drum ideas, extra thanks for this! I was unsure if this recording was good enough for my demo, but now I know it is smile.gif Thank you very much, really, it means a lot to me =) if anything comes to your mind anytime about the song, just let me know, I'm really into good ideas smile.gif

This post has been edited by axes: Jul 31 2009, 07:55 PM
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Laszlo Boross
post Jul 31 2009, 09:55 PM
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Great playing!
This is a very good song with a nice main melody and much improvisation. It can be really more interesting with change of the chord progression on some place.
The drumtrack is good, the closed hat is a bit loud indeed.
Your gitar tone and guitar playing is perfect. This is the strongest part of the recording.
Sounding of the complete song is wonderful.

Congrats!


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Canis
post Aug 1 2009, 12:05 AM
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I can't say anything that hasn't allready been said. The tracks is great! smile.gif

I really like your style! You seem to have your techniques and self-esteem in order!

Keep up the great work =)


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audiopaal
post Aug 1 2009, 12:36 AM
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Your tone and playing is very nice smile.gif
I agree on what's been said on the drums though, so you could work a bit on that.

But the song itself is very enjoyable smile.gif
Thanks for sharing!!!
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axes
post Aug 1 2009, 01:12 AM
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You all made me very happy, guys! Thanks again for all the nice comments, I really appreciate them! =)
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sted
post Aug 1 2009, 08:26 AM
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Beautiful composition, greta playing, great mixing! Sounded really nice on my monitors which can rip songs apart sometimes! I tactually reminded of David Walliman's musical style and playing, of which there can be no greater compliment because he is a genius!
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Muris Varajic
post Aug 1 2009, 12:06 PM
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Very nice considering that it was your first serious recording! smile.gif

Here are my thoughts about questions you asked tho.

- Idea was cool and I pretty much enjoyed listening to it, fits my tastes.
But imo all parts could have some improvements, mostly melody wise,
too many repetitions both in main theme and solos.
Repetitions are nice approach to catch listener's attention
but sometimes it needs a bit more freedom.
And I guess that happened cause your composing was "guided"
by boxes that you're familiar with.
My advice is to hire your ears, voice and heart as well!
Listen to the backing and sing along, you'll probably come up with some
new and fresh melodies, give it a shot.

- Same thing with solos as I mentioned, I would love to hear more freedom there,
both technically and melody wise.
You need to expand your lick library and of course to upgrade your fretboard knowledge
so you could freely play all around the neck and without any limitations.
But don't get me wrong, solos were pretty rock solid, these are just my "extra thoughts".

- Tones were fine imo, it's about tastes and
you'll never be able to make everyone happy with them.
Fine doesn't mean perfect cause there is no perfect whatsoever,
always do some extra tweaking and explore all other tone possibilities,
you never know what might happen or what new tone you might find.

- Drums, yes.
I believe your friend was distracted by too many 16ths played with hihat,
more 8ths (even 4ths here and there) with some open hihats maybe
would give the better flow for overall groove.
And sound of drums was pretty dry as well so that another chance to distraction.
Put more room or maybe reverb and see how it works
and yeah, hihat was perhaps too loud as well.
More fills is also what I miss in drum part,
browse in AD groove library, there are MANY cool fills to fit your tune nicely.

- Mix (levels) was ok and you avoided clipping, thumbs up.
The only thing I would change in mix a bit is panning.
First within drums, I would pan hihat like 70% on the left
or you can simply try different preset in AD with all those things fixed,
more reverb, hihat panned left etc.
And rhythm guitar, I would also pan it either left or right.
Even better, record 2 rhythm guitars and pan one on the left, the other one on the right.

Good job, thumbs up. smile.gif



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axes
post Aug 1 2009, 12:20 PM
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Thank you, sted, this is really much of a compliment :$

And thank you for your thoughts and ideas Muris, I'll try to free my improvisation to break loose from my known "patterns" smile.gif
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Muris Varajic
post Aug 1 2009, 12:32 PM
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QUOTE (axes @ Aug 1 2009, 01:20 PM) *
And thank you for your thoughts and ideas Muris, I'll try to free my improvisation to break loose from my known "patterns" smile.gif


No problem!
Perhaps I failed to explain all my thoughts properly (it's my english biggrin.gif )
so let me know if I missed something. wink.gif


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axes
post Aug 1 2009, 12:55 PM
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QUOTE (Muris Varajic @ Aug 1 2009, 01:32 PM) *
No problem!
Perhaps I failed to explain all my thoughts properly (it's my english biggrin.gif )
so let me know if I missed something. wink.gif


Never mind, your English is amazing smile.gif it may only be my young mind that has yet to learn smile.gif
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