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> Chris S.'s Music Theory Journey, for Gab's Army
Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 17 2016, 11:41 PM
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I'm currently using Altiverb for reverb, it's a very good reverb vst with lots of ambiances and possibilities.

I agree about the volume of hi hats and cymbals. Adding a good reverb for drums will make them sound more connected with the mix. About EQ, it's more trial and error until you hear what you want. I also think that guitars are lacking some presence so I would increase frequencies around in the high range.

I still think that better drum samples would improve this a lot, so maybe you can check if there are some free drum vst that give you better sounds.

Regarding bass, what are you using? I can't really hear it clearly.




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Chris S.
post Jan 18 2016, 03:13 AM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Jan 17 2016, 10:41 PM) *
I'm currently using Altiverb for reverb, it's a very good reverb vst with lots of ambiances and possibilities.

I agree about the volume of hi hats and cymbals. Adding a good reverb for drums will make them sound more connected with the mix. About EQ, it's more trial and error until you hear what you want. I also think that guitars are lacking some presence so I would increase frequencies around in the high range.

I still think that better drum samples would improve this a lot, so maybe you can check if there are some free drum vst that give you better sounds.

Regarding bass, what are you using? I can't really hear it clearly.

Thanks Gab! I'll have to check Altiverb out.

And for the drums - I think I'm going to try to use the money from my tax return this year to get Superior Drummer - and for the the bass the reason you are having trouble hearing it is because I didn't add any yet heheh tongue.gif



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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 18 2016, 01:35 PM
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QUOTE (Chris S. @ Jan 17 2016, 11:13 PM) *
Thanks Gab! I'll have to check Altiverb out.

And for the drums - I think I'm going to try to use the money from my tax return this year to get Superior Drummer - and for the the bass the reason you are having trouble hearing it is because I didn't add any yet heheh tongue.gif



hehehe that sounds reasonable. Bass helps to give shape to the mix, it adds "body" so I recommend adding it. About getting superior drummer, it's a good idea, or maybe addictive drummer. I use both, but the second has more versatility.



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Chris S.
post Jan 18 2016, 10:21 PM
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Hey Gab!

So while I'm waiting for the vocals I decided to start on a new rough draft to keep the creative juices flowing and I was wondering what you think of this foundation?

https://soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/bridget-...two-rough-draft

biggrin.gif

So far I'll probably change the synth in the chorus and I forgot to fade out the synth with the rest of the tracks for the outro tongue.gif

This post has been edited by Chris S.: Jan 18 2016, 10:38 PM


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 19 2016, 02:27 PM
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Hi Chris! Nice new track! I like the groove and how you arranged guitars. It has some Maiden's feel but sounds more pop.

It's a promising idea and a good follow up to the previous track. It's also a very good exercise for creativity and composition to keep creating music so keep going!


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Chris S.
post Jan 19 2016, 05:54 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Jan 19 2016, 01:27 PM) *
Hi Chris! Nice new track! I like the groove and how you arranged guitars. It has some Maiden's feel but sounds more pop.

It's a promising idea and a good follow up to the previous track. It's also a very good exercise for creativity and composition to keep creating music so keep going!

Thanks Gab!

So I got rid of the lead guitar on the pre chorus, because it was making it hard to write lyrics - so once lyrics are written and vocals recorded I'll experiment some more - so this is the basic outline now:

https://soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/bridget-collab-idea-two-v20

I added some harmony guitars to the chorus to make a siren type effect and I added a drum fill between the solo and the final choruses.

smile.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 20 2016, 04:31 PM
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Hi Chris, good job! This tune is evolving really well! smile.gif

Waiting for vocals to polish arrangements is a clever decision and that's how I work with my band. I first create a possible melody, then the song, then work on lyrics and vocals melodies with more precision and finally work on the overall arrangement. It's not a lineal process but you need to go advance to then get back to the backing.



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Chris S.
post Jan 20 2016, 07:05 PM
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Thanks for the tips!

So I couldn't think of any lyrics for the last song, so I gave the vocalist free reign over the lyrics and vocals: so now the song is an R&B song about doing the nasty rolleyes.gif tongue.gif

Oh well:



Gave you a shout out for helping me polish everything wink.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 21 2016, 08:36 PM
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Wou!! Congrats on the final job!

The vocal melodies and lyrics finally give the final shape to this song! I love how catchy the verse is now with vocals. This is a very important step for you as a musician and composer. I hope that this is the first of many tracks from you!

Thanks for the shout out! biggrin.gif

I'm proud.

Keep going!


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Chris S.
post Feb 17 2016, 01:58 AM
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Hey Gab!

Lots of things happening in my two/three weeks absence!

Firstly, I'm back in school finally - studying to become an electrician smile.gif

And second, I have two new songs in the works.

This gem is mostly finished - still have to do some mixing, there's no bass, and the drums are just a loop so I will have to polish them - I also plan on making the piano more complex when the cello comes in:

The song is going to be about suicide, so the ending will make more sense knowing that; picture falling from a building:

https://m.soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/goodbye

It's my most complex song so far lyrically - and it also features some strange chord progressions:

Am Em Am Dsus4 Dm (I don't usually ever see the last two together) and then the out to shifts to Am G C D

Let me know what you think!

Thanks man cool.gif

PS So I was reading Cirse's wikipedia page and it says you guys got to tour with Evanescence is that true?! If it is, Im totally Jelly I love Evanescence - I'm currently trying to blend their work on the Fallen Album with Stabbing Westward's Darkest Days album to create the sound I want to move forward with.

This post has been edited by Chris S.: Feb 17 2016, 02:17 AM


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 17 2016, 07:40 PM
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Hi mate, I love the demo of your song "Goodbye". It has a very deep feeling and the ending is shocking.

The things that I would polish on this one are:

- the sound of drums. Overheads are too loud and high, and kick is not audible.
- Making the piano intro more interesting and organic.


About your question regarding Cirse, we've shared stage with Evanescence at a festival here. It was a great show at a big open air place. The day was so stormy but we had a great time. The only bad thing is that Amy Lee, and the the rest of the band didn't want to get in contact with us (the band), and we've been treated as "terrorists" by their security team. On the other hand we've opened two concerts for Metallica, one of the biggest rock/metal bands ever and they went to our backstage to salute and take a picture with us... they are great guys.


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Chris S.
post Feb 17 2016, 07:51 PM
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Wow! Opening for Metallica that is awesome, man! I'm sorry to hear about your experience with Evanescence though - it's a shame when bands can be "stuck up" like that.

I spent some more time developing Goodbye:

https://soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/goodbye-v-30-no-vocals

I reworked the piano - does this make the piece sound more natural/organic?

I reworked the drums, the kick is more noticeable now in my opinion - the toms sound super fake/processed so I will need to fix those - I lowered the volume of the cymbals but I feel they are still too loud in some spots so I will use the Track Automation feature and manually adjust those volumes at a later time.

I also added bass, reworked the guitars on the outro to give it a slight "Epic Metal" feel and added a choir to make the fall seem more "angelic".

And lastly, I changed the final piano chord to an arpeggio with a slight tempo bump to make it end on a more interesting note.

What do you think, my friend? biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by Chris S.: Feb 17 2016, 11:17 PM


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 18 2016, 02:34 PM
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Hi Chris, this sounds better! The overall arrangement has improved.

Kick is now audible but it still needs work to sound "more real". Try to compare with some songs from Evanescence or Stabbing wetward to emulate more EQ and compression. Also, it seems that the kick has too much reverb, snare can have more reverb but not the same that kick.

Talking about reverb and ambience, you need to work on this because drums are not sounding connected with the other instruments. Adding a bit of reverb to guitars and synths can make everything sound like in the same place.

Overheads are still too "highy".


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Chris S.
post Feb 19 2016, 01:33 AM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Feb 18 2016, 01:34 PM) *
Hi Chris, this sounds better! The overall arrangement has improved.

Kick is now audible but it still needs work to sound "more real". Try to compare with some songs from Evanescence or Stabbing wetward to emulate more EQ and compression. Also, it seems that the kick has too much reverb, snare can have more reverb but not the same that kick.

Talking about reverb and ambience, you need to work on this because drums are not sounding connected with the other instruments. Adding a bit of reverb to guitars and synths can make everything sound like in the same place.

Overheads are still too "highy".

I've bled off some of the higher frequencies (over 10k Hz) on the hi hats and cymbals, and am working on the dB levels since they are still quite high.

Compression I'm still rather new to, I will have to watch some YouTube tutorials, I know what compression does but I don't know how to effectively use, and when to not.

I'll also spend more time on the reverb - trying to get each track to sound like its playing in the same room.

I will post an update in a few days biggrin.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 19 2016, 01:30 PM
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Ok, looking forward the new mix!


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Chris S.
post Feb 20 2016, 01:33 AM
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Buenas Tardes, my friend!

So I found a free Reverb VST that sounds (to me) better than Reaper's built in reverb - I looked into Altiverb, which you mentioned using but it's a bit out of my price range at the moment (still saving for decent drum software).

The controls are a bit difficult, but what I have been doing is using Reaper's "Mix Alive" reverb setting to give some depth to the tone, and then running it into Ambience (the new Reverb I use) and this is the result:

https://soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/goodbye-v-40-no-vocals

Am I heading in the right direction as far as getting all the tracks to sound like they are in the same venue?

I also spent time on the cymbals, hi hats and toms - lowering their levels to get them to sit back further in the mix.

Thanks man! laugh.gif

PS. Vocals should be done my Monday - I can't wait to mix them in and let you hear the song. smile.gif

EDIT:

Do you have any experience with the BeBop scale? I came up with what I thought was a cool riff but according to guitar pro the only scale that it fits in is A# Bebop - and when I look at it I see the C minor scale with some chromatics in it.

Is the BeBop scale something is used very often? I came up with a lead over it - I like the "strangeness" the chromatics create over it:

https://soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/new-idea-a-bebop

This post has been edited by Chris S.: Feb 20 2016, 03:32 AM


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 21 2016, 12:22 AM
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Hi Chris,

the new mix sounds better. Now the instruments seem to be in the same venue. I say venue because the amount of rever is big so it doesn't sound like an studio or room, it's bigger. I think that you still need to adjust it but let your ears rests. Using headphones and comparing with other mixes is the way to go.

About your bebop idea, it sounds really interesting. The use of chromatisms is something very used in extreme metal, and even more on progressive and math. This is a lesson that covers it a bit:

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Bebop_and_Bluesin_Metal/


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Chris S.
post Feb 21 2016, 10:15 PM
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Hey Gab I have a general mixing question:

When you record guitars - is it better to record them dry, and then to add the delay and reverb in your DAW - as opposed to recording with a little bit of reverb and then adding more later on?

Also:

While I am waiting for the vocals for Goodbye - I decided to start working on a concept for my first album and I want to do an Evanescence style: heavy guitars / female lead.

I came up with a basic outline for the first song, I wanted a long intro to build suspense - vocals wouldn't come in until 1:07 although I don't have any lyrics written:

https://soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/song-1-idea

Whatcha think?

Thanks! biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by Chris S.: Feb 22 2016, 12:37 AM


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 23 2016, 01:32 PM
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Hi mate, cool composition!

I like this as an intro. I would only add some more synth, maybe some "Ah voices" effect to give it that Evanescence feel that you are searching. The mix is getting better but you'll need more powerful guitars for this style. This music is usually recorded with Big Mesa Boogie Rectifiers and JCM800 combined. If you are going to use emulations you'll have to dedicate time to try different options to make it sound "big".

About your questions about recording, for rhythm guitars don't add reverb or delay. For leads, only if you are sure that then you won't want to turn it down. The results is similar regarding quality but it depends on the processor you use.


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Chris S.
post Feb 23 2016, 06:32 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Feb 23 2016, 12:32 PM) *
Hi mate, cool composition!

I like this as an intro. I would only add some more synth, maybe some "Ah voices" effect to give it that Evanescence feel that you are searching. The mix is getting better but you'll need more powerful guitars for this style. This music is usually recorded with Big Mesa Boogie Rectifiers and JCM800 combined. If you are going to use emulations you'll have to dedicate time to try different options to make it sound "big".

About your questions about recording, for rhythm guitars don't add reverb or delay. For leads, only if you are sure that then you won't want to turn it down. The results is similar regarding quality but it depends on the processor you use.

When you say don't add reverb or delay to the rhythm guitars - does that mean just before recording, or none at all even in the mix? Because I usually will send some of the signal for the rhythm guitar to the reverb bus.

And thanks for the tone tips! I didn't know about those amps so I spent some time working on a JCM800 and Mesa Dual Rec profile and I came up with this - am I in the right ballpark, what adjustments should I make?

Lineup:

-JCM800 with tubescreamer (max level and drive)
-JCM800 with Metal Muff
-Mesa with tubescreamer and SM57
-Mesa with tubescreamer and condesor 87 mic
-Jam track with the JCM800 with tubescreamer and Mesa with tubescreamer and 87 mic

https://soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/11-rack-tone-test-jcm800-and-mesa-boogie

Also,

If you haven't checked my post in the Practice Forum here is a sneak peak of Goodbye wink.gif

https://soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/goodbye-sneak-peak

Hope you like it!

This post has been edited by Chris S.: Feb 23 2016, 08:07 PM


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