2nd Album Track "When I Die"

So this is the first mix of the second track from the new album. All comments (on mixing) welcome:


O wow… great to hear this again and what a full rich compelling mix… the guitar work is STUNNING.
Love it! Love the twists and turns in the melody, the irony the contrasts and shifts. Fab angelic chorus vibe towards the end. Love the bit from 2.40 with the repeated raised pitch motifs… has such a cool ‘fraught’ feeling and great vocals!

As for ‘bashing’ I was too busy enjoying… well, two tiny bits. A vocal hesitation (?) caught my ear at .58 singing ‘tru-u-ue’ with just a slight something pitchy maybe? (How tenuous is that! I only mention it as it caught my ear and again as I re-listened). I also wondered about the last word in the song… ‘alone’… I love how you sing it and the emptiness but just wondered about a little more ‘something’… a slight pause and then a delay response… I was just waiting for a little resonant something but see that as it stands could also be perfect.

So well done… love how you have the vocal working with the building guitars and how they all have their space and rich voices working through together. Clever stuff… yay… really enjoyed this Andrew.

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Thanks, Emma! However, I can’t take credit for the lead work (apart from a few little bits). My mate Steve and his trusty Les Paul did that - I think I posted a bit of a video of the session here a while ago:

Thanks - I’ll experiment a little and see if I can improve those on the next mix.

Thanks for listening and helping out, Emma - much appreciated!

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Ahh of course, I did remember bits but didn’t connect the two… his style and playing work in so very well with your own individual style.

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I listened to this song twice through my laptop speakers and then 3 times through my AKG K77 headphones plugged in to my laptop.

I really like the arrangements. Lots of little things going on in the mix. I like the way you have little licks weaving in and out during the verse, coming from the left speaker and then the right and then back to the left, etc. It adds an extra dimension and an additional flavour to the mix.

The drums, specifically the snare sounds thicker, wider, beefier and bigger than I remember it sounding in your other songs, BUT it could simply be that I’m forgetting the drum sound in your other songs. In any case, they sound good !

I like the way you contrast things by mellowing things out at 1:40 and also when you bring it down at 3:03. The four note arpeggios sound really cool in that second breakdown.

There’s something in the vocals that feel off to me in the first breakdown, at 1:53 . I actually really like the melody and that whole part but it sounds like the vocals are slightly pitchy. Sounds like the vocals are doubled and possibly one of the vocals is a bit pitchy. I think you could sing that part better and hit it a bit stronger. Also that last word in the song sounds a bit compromised. That could be because it’s without any backing music and it’s dry, but there’s something that is nagging me about that very last vocal note. Not sure if it’s a big deal though.

The chorus is fun! I love the way the music grooves under the chorus vocal.

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Wow! Thank you man! I really appreciate your dedication to listening, and sharing your thoughts so comprehensively!

Yeah, there is a lot going on. I’m relatively happy with the balances overall at present, but I’d like to do a little more detailed fader riding etc to highlight those details more.

Thanks! That’s good to hear. I did things slightly differently this time. I’d heard so much about phase alignment plugins like Soundradix AutoAlign, that I was curious to try it for myself. However, the cost of that particular plugin is pretty hefty, so I steered away from it for a long time. As an alternative I investigated Melda’s MAutoAlign, which essentially does the same thing for a HEAP less money. One test session with the demo was enough to convince me, and I bought it… So anyhow, this is the first song I’ve used it on the drums on. I think it made quite a difference, which maybe what you are hearing.

Cool, BTW with reference to our discussion about Chords in another thread, those arpeggios are actually just the chorus chords altered to be more complex (“jazzier” if you will) adding some tangy dissonance to what is a relatively pedestrian progression.

Cool, I’ll take a look at that and see if I can improve it some.

Awesome - glad it comes across ok.

Thanks again for your input - much appreciated!

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Yeah, his style was a big inspiration to me when I first got into electric playing.

Very adventurous composition, the groove is great, and the tune as a whole is very dynamic. You added a little grit to your voice, which works nicely for you.
So much going on in there, I would have to spend some more time listening through my real speakers, but certainly nothing stuck out as being even remotely out of place.
Also, you can never go wrong with an LP Black Beauty.
Steve gets huge style points.

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Thanks Bob… I think I was reasonably successful in disguising the fact that the verse chords are basically Purple Haze/Foxy Lady. :laughing:

Cool - I’ve got a little mental list going of things I think I can improve, but most are fairly minor…

I think you could put a 4x2" in Steve’s hands and it would still sound great, but the LP is very nice indeed. (Not as nice as the '76 he bought and sold - much to my chagrin - a while back)

I always appreciate some input. Thanks again for the listen and comment!

Hey Andrew, this is outstanding work. I’ve listened first with my studio rig and then on my Sony MDR-7506 cans. Killer wall of sound that retains the definition of all the components clearly – that’s holy grail type stuff right there sir. This sounds right at home on the radio (are there any stations left that even play rock music anymore? I haven’t listed to radio in over 20 years at least).

I was struck at multiple points just how incredibly tight everything is – the bass and drums, with the rhythm guitars, just spot on throughout. And I agree with the comment about the grit in your vocal, that works really well.

Great stuff!

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Thanks Dave - I appreciate the encouragement!

The secret is: I have a great drummer to work with, who always comes up with the goods.

Once I’ve demo’d the track with VST drums, I send it to him and he comes up with a cool drum part that fits. Once I receive his drum part back, I go about rebuilding my bass and rhythm guitars around the new drums. It always adds that little bit of human excitement and movement.

Thanks - The grit comes easier these days, as I’ve developed more technique to avoid damaging myself in the process. When I’m singing (growling) those parts, I have to try to not be self-conscious about what the neighbours might think!

Thanks for the listen and comment - much appreciated!