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> Amitai's Composition Workouts, for Gab's Army
Gabriel Leopardi
post May 16 2014, 05:43 PM
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Fantastic mate! This song is turning killer! Everything is excellent by now. Then you can work on some arrangements, or dynamics details but the structure and parts are great. Now it's time to finish it... do you have any idea of what could come after the solo?



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Amitai Kedmi
post May 16 2014, 08:39 PM
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I think that another, different verse can fit there. I want to say something more relaxed, but then will it require the chorus again
to finish? I think that if this tune is a speech, then it's ending should have a different tone, maybe make the intro part into an outro
and do something else for the intro? It doesn't work well as the intro anyways.

Thanks! smile.gif
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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 16 2014, 08:54 PM
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yes, I agree with your thoughts. You are on the right track... I was thinking that you had two possibilities there:

1- Drums stop and you have a riff played by the bass, or one guitar which starts to grow to finally give place to the last chorus. It can be something similar to the intro as you suggested.

2- Simple way: Just copy the chorus there and end the track with a final epic riff.

3- Connect the solo with a slower/cleaner/less instruments of the chorus and make it explode in any part.

Some ideas:

minute 03:04



minute 03:42


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Amitai Kedmi
post Jun 16 2014, 11:00 PM
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Hey Gabriel!

Last month was very stressful. So much family events and work. But it's over now and I'm back home,
with some free time to continue working on my playing and writing my compositions smile.gif .
Had my classical guitar with me so I recorded some new ideas I had, but first of all I would like to finish
what we started, if that's alright. I'll take a look at the last few notes and continue from there.

How have you been? biggrin.gif

Thanks!
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 17 2014, 01:35 PM
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Hi Amitai! I was starting to worry. Great to see you back here! We were working on something very good and this is just the beginning. I've been great! Practicing guitar, composing new music for my band and arranging those songs at rehearsals. We also had many live gigs that have been very good. I've also had great time with girlfriend and family, as well as been watching some World Cup Matches.

We are now after the second chorus. This part is something different that appears after the second chorus. Sometimes it includes a guitar solo, a riff or it can be just one of them, but some other times, this part is epic, it's the most dramatic part of the song to finally get back to the last chorus. Bands like Linkin Park, Foo Fighters, Evanescence, Green Day, Audioslave, RATM used this feature in many of their songs.

Your song could be finished just with an idea like "cochise" or "be yourself" but if you want to experiment a bit more you could try something more dramatic there, with some more harmonic movement.


Listen to this song and pay attention to what happens from 2:10 to 3:10




Listen to this song and pay attention to what happens from 2:10 to 2:47




Listen to this song and pay attention to what happens from 2:39 to 3:28





Maybe you won't want to apply this feature into the current song, but a good exercise for this week would be to listen to music and pay attention to what happens between the second and the last chorus. Write down the ideas and have it as a reference for your own compositions.


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Amitai Kedmi
post Jun 20 2014, 02:48 AM
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Hey Gabriel!

Sounds like you're having an awesome time! That's good to hear.
We're also watching a lot of the World Cup matches. It's already interesting! and very dramatic, when Spain lost.
All of the teams are very strong this time, hoping that Holland will shine. But I think there are many surprises to come.

I've recorded sort of a build up Pre Chorus bit. After I uploaded it I realized it might be better without the 2nd guitar.
What do you think? Maybe the whole bit is too generic.
https://soundcloud.com/amitaik/54-to-55-4

Thanks! smile.gif
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 20 2014, 03:25 PM
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Hi mate! That riffs that appears in the second pre chorus is FANTASTIC. Great job! I like the idea of having a second pre chorus different compared with the first one. This makes the song richer. I'm not sure about the chords that you used between "1:43 and 1:46". I feel them too obvious. I would try other idea there or deleting these chords and going from the riff to the chorus directly.

I also like how the solo is evolving, it has some Tom Morello vibes. I think that it needs some more personality, something more unique. Maybe and effect, a weird noise, slides, wha wha?, whammy?. But the melodic idea is cool.



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Amitai Kedmi
post Jun 21 2014, 02:20 PM
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Hey Gabriel.

I changed the ending for the second pre chorus. The chords are obvious there as well, but in a different way. I think smile.gif .
Also the solo. Phased it and replaced one lick for a sliding lick.
https://soundcloud.com/amitaik/54-to-55-5

I'm really starting to like it! And my brother too.
He's been secretly spying on what I'm doing here, by listening to my soundcloud tongue.gif He loves it, and I love the fact the he does.

Thanks!
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 21 2014, 09:54 PM
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It's so great how you take my suggestions and ad your own creativity to keep on improving this song. I think that the result is fantastic. Now both the solo and the pre chorus are killer! Great job. smile.gif

We are ready for the last chorus, and outro! Remember the ideas that I shared before.


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Amitai Kedmi
post Jun 22 2014, 01:07 PM
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Hey Gabriel!

First of all, I would like to thank you for your guidance. You help me bring myself to my music. That's wonderful smile.gif.

Second, I finished the structure. Tell me what you think of it.
https://soundcloud.com/amitaik/54-to-55-6

Thank you! biggrin.gif
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 22 2014, 09:14 PM
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That's awesome! I think that you are so close! That's what I was meaning with the Audioslave examples!

I'm not sure, but don't you think it could be cool to try any clean guitar or any idea with flanger/phaser/wah wah in that part where it's only bass? I don't know if it will work but I would try it.


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Amitai Kedmi
post Jun 25 2014, 09:56 PM
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Hey Gabriel!

Added some clean guitar that goes from the quiet bass part to the end of the song.
https://soundcloud.com/amitaik/54-to-55-7

What do you think?

Thanks! biggrin.gif
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 26 2014, 04:22 AM
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We are done!! This is an excellent songs man! I'm impressed of the results that we get! Don't you think so? CONGRATULATIONS!!!
I've already said this but it awesome how you take my advice and understand them, the clean guitars there when drums stop are perfect!

Next step, just if you are interested would be to improve the overall sound and mix, but as a demo this track would be already done!


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Amitai Kedmi
post Jun 26 2014, 11:24 AM
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Hey Gabriel!

Thanks! I'm so happy with it! smile.gif
And that's exactly what I've been waiting for.
Mixing and controlling tone/sound is something I have no clue how to do, and I'm eager to learn.
There are a few issues I see with the songs that I'd like to resolve.

-When I hear the bass with my monitors, it sounds alright. But I can't hear it when I hear the song on my phone/laptop.
I thought about lowering the lows and getting the volume higher.

-The tone of the guitar in the verse isn't good in my opinion. I'm not sure what there's to be done here, since I don't own any
pre-amps, my sound card isn't the best (Audio Kontrol 1) and the guitars go straight to guitar rig, which makes them sound
plastic-y.

-Volume management for the different instruments. I guess this is a part of mixing.

I'm sure you can point more issues.
I'm excited to get started on this.

Thanks! biggrin.gif
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 26 2014, 02:03 PM
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Ok, let's start experimenting with mix.

The first thing that you need to know is that mixing consists on giving each instrument its correct place on the frequency spectrum. Many times you will have to cut frequencies from an instrument to make space for other one. That's how you get a clear mix where all the instruments can be heard correctly and balanced. This graphic can give you a first idea:

Attached Image

Another thing that we get with mix is "ambiance" with the use of effects like reverb and delay. You can make it sound more dynamic and organic. I use reverb mostly on vocals, snare, toms, drum room, cymbals and guitars. Experiment with it.

Guitars: A good trick to get more powerful guitars is recording the same guitar player twice and pan one to left and the other to the right. Both guitars should be plated exactly the same. You can pan both 100% r you can experiment with less pan, just try it. About EQ, check out this video where you will have a first idea on how to EQ guitars recorded with amp emulators:



This should be just an starting point but would give you some interesting tips about the things you should try. High pass and low pass filters are frequently used, and it's also important to know how to search for frequencies that aren't nice to hear and lower them.


Bass: Hearing bass on a player depends on the frequency response that the player has. If you are playing it with your laptop, using its speakers you'd surely won't be able to hear an instrument that has its fundamental frequencies around 100 HZ. However, if you want to have more presence from your bass, you can try adding some dbs at 1500 hz or 2500 hz, check how each frequency sounds and go for the one that you like more. I usually make some cuts between 200 and 500 hz, to give place to snare and guitars. A problem that usually happens with bass low frequencies is that it disturbs kick drum fundamental, so you have to try doing some cuts around 50/80 to avoid bass messing up kick drum.

Drums: The first thing that I would do with your drum track is to humanize it a bit more. Each hi hat sounds exactly as the previous and the following one and this makes it sound as a machine. Try to emulate how real drummer takes sound, use again our references.
About mix, experiment with EQ and compressors with both kick and snare, you have some details about the important frequencies in the graphic that I shared.


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Amitai Kedmi
post Jun 27 2014, 03:27 PM
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Hey Gabriel!

Thank you. A lot of useful information here!

I began experimenting with the track.
https://soundcloud.com/amitaik/54-to-55-8

What I did-
EQed verse and chorus guitars.
EQed bass guitar, trying to figure out how to make it more powerful without being more dominant.
Velocity of the cymbals. Also added a few cymbals in the quiet bass part.

How do I EQ a certain drum? I'm using EZDrummer, everything is in 1 track. I can only change it's volume.

Thanks! biggrin.gif
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 28 2014, 04:22 AM
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Great Amitai! I can notice that the track is starting to sound better! You can make EZ drummer multitrack, I do it with Cubase, I'm not sure how to do it with Reaper but here is a tutorial:



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Amitai Kedmi
post Jul 4 2014, 02:40 AM
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Hey Gabriel!

Back home with a lot of ideas. I think I know what I want to do next smile.gif .

But I want to finish this first.
I'm working with Cubase, figured out how to do the multitrack thing.
I still can't really decide what's better when I'm EQing something, or even hear any significant difference.
I guess this is how it starts. Mixing seems to me like small changes with significance and presence.

So, I separated the drums to different tracks and EQed the snare, kick and hi hat.
I also added reverb to some of the guitar tracks.
https://soundcloud.com/amitaik/54-to-55-9
I tried to add reverb to the snare, I thought it could give it more depth
because it's a bit flat right now in my opinion. But the whole track started to make weird noises once I added reverb to
the snare. Is there a specific way of adding reverb to a snare drum? I tried to play with the configurations a little and failed.
Using iZotope for EQ and reverb by the way.
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jul 4 2014, 07:38 PM
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Hi Amitai! Welcome back! Great to know that you are feeling creative, keep on doing the things that makes you feel like that and avoid those that block your creativity.

It's good to continue working on this track's mix, but be sure to dedicate some time every day to start creating new songs and ideas.

Now let's talk about the mix!

That issue with the Izotope Reverb is because of the system usage, it requires a very powerful computer to be used, and things become worse when you combine it with other plugins and vsti like Ezdrummer. The sound of the reverb is fantastic but it becomes a problem. Maybe you wan try with any other one from Waves.

About mixing and eq, it's more a trial and error and my trick, once I learnt the basics (reading some mixing books and using tables like the one that I shared before) has been to take a song that I like how it sounds and try to emulate the sound of each instrument. For example: you can take one from audioslave, listen to the kick and then listen to your song's kick. Ask this questions:

Are both having the same "kick" (high) sound? where is that high frequency? around 3000hz? around 5000 hz? Use the EQ to search for it.
What about the lower frequencies? What happens if I add some dbs at 50 hz? does it sound closer to Audioslave's kick?
Then, what about compression? Is mine sounding as compressed as the one of the Audioslave song? Try different compressors and kick presets and compare the results.
Once you get the sound, it's time to decide the volume... compare the level in both songs and try to find the right place for the kick drum in your song.

In other words, this needs experimentation, trial and error. Our ears also need to rest, so once you feel a bit tired it's time to give it up for some hours. Or it's time to share the mix with me! smile.gif


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