"Alexa-Friends" [updated title]

Just sharing a little work in progress. because shit why not.
Still in the writing phase, so open to ideas. The song name’s pretty bad, might have to come up with something else.

Update: Finally settled on ‘Alexa-Friends’ for the song title. It’s a bit of an inside thing, but basically your Alexa friend is the person you know who believes everything the news tells them, trusts the government and owns an Alexa™ spy device, whoops I mean ‘virtual assistant’.

Edit: Went ahead and put the final touches on the track to the point where I’m happy enough to call it ‘finished’.
Turned out to be a bit longer than I’d initially anticipated, but hopefully it doesn’t feel like it drags on too much.

New ‘Final’ Version:

After a bit of a break and going back in with fresh ears I felt the bpm of 113 was just dragging a little too much so I played around with a few different tempos and finally settled on 117. Seems to have really helped the forward momentum of the track as well as shave a bit off (11 secs) the final runtime.


Wow this is wild. So unique. Nice slow rise in the intro.
Is this you singing? Very good match to the vibe.
Man I just love this. Hope that others chirp in for suggestions. It seems to have lost it’s punch at about 3:12. What’s up with that?

Cheers Paul, no not me singing mate. It was a buddy of mine from Nashville from a completely different guitar-based tune we were working on a few years back.
It wasn’t digging the original so it’s just been sitting on the shelf all this time.

Yep agreed, I still need to pad out a few different sections to fill things up a bit more. Some background chords would possibly help to add some punch here maybe.

1 Like

The slow intro is really wild, and the synths are almost prophetic. Did you compose all that? The vocals go between synth vocals and actual vocals. This is really cool, in terms of ideas. It’s clearly not fully formed, but the ideas are quite impressive! As to the song title, it’s too early to tell, it has a certain confidence and resolution, but I’m not sure quite what it really means yet. The toms are pretty cool. The synth stabs are nice. Then it’s over. I can’t believe this was over 4 minutes, it seemed much shorter … I guess that’s a good thing in terms of perceived perception. :exploding_head:

It wasn’t so much at 3:12, but 3:34 that the energy dropped off. It was very gradual, like a fader automation. This clearly could use more focus points and interest beacons, but the essential concept is quite nice. Just add some choice bits and … yeah. Rockin!

EDIT: This reminds of early 80’s Def Leppard in a sense, but I can’t identify the song. Also some New Wave type stuff. It’s really wild.

1 Like

That’s quite amazing that you would mention that particular “perceived length” aspect, because it was definitively in the forefront of my mind within the writing process.
Probably letting the cat out of the bag here in regards to influence but if you want to hear a masterclass in how to make four minutes and fifteen seconds go past in an instant, listen to ‘0:59’ by ‘Danger’
11/10 in my book.
Essentially it just comes down to your ability to convey the full message in the shortest amount of time.
Not a skill I would claim to have in any way worked out, but a good goal to keep in mind, and nice job for pointing it out btw.

1 Like

Ah, interesting! It’s just something I picked up on.

Wow, that music is just so entrancing and timeless. Like getting lost in a vibe! Transcendent. I love synths, and in your piece, and this one, they are used quite fantastically!

Thanks! Yes, definitely the compactness of messaging and conveyance is an admirable skill and a key component of success in any genre! The more you can capture and captivate an audience, the more you have succeeded in this thing we call “music”. The Muse. It’s nothing if it doesn’t captivate you with its’ charms!

This is really great! It’s really creative and engaging as it is, so I don’t have any suggestions in that regard.

The only thing I can suggest is to keep an eye on the “sectional dynamics” of the song. At present the part with the vocoder vocals (which feels like the verse) seems “bigger” dynamically than the part with the distorted vocals (the chorus?).

Awesome stuff - Can’t wait to hear the finished product!

Cheers Andrew, and I’m hearing ya 100%. The way the signal chain of those vocoder vox are currently setup wit the vocal channel sidechained to a synth channel sidechained to the vocoder makes it a bit unruly and tricky to control dynamically, I need to either figure out how to buss all three into a group or render/print out the audio to make it more manageable.
If I can tame those verse vocals, and beef up the chorus I think it will really help put the energy of the song it the correct places.

I thought the abrupt cut off after the second chorus was a bit lazy so I went and wrote an outro section, which turned out to be a good opportunity to use a few more of the vocals I had.
Seems like a more fleshed out track now, but the runtime has obviously increased considerably, but is it too long now, that’s the question.
Still in the writing, mixing phase fine tuning different elements so open to any ideas or criticisms.

This is still really good. I’m not sure what changed from earlier versions, though I seem to notice the ‘hard stops’ that occur around 3:52, 4:01, 4:44, and 5:00 are a bit jolting. I get the desire for the hard stop (no sound), it’s a powerful tool and device, but some fizzy background noise during that hard stop might help the continuity of the piece a bit. It just informs the listener what’s coming and what to expect.

Cheers man, yeah I reckon the very first version just did a lazy fade out after the second chorus, so everything from 3:19 onward is all newly written., and hopefully makes it feel a little more complete.

Maybe the ‘jolting’ hard stops are an analogy for a much needed slap in the face for the sleeping masses.
Hehe not really, but I’m gonna go with that :wink:
Seriously though, I hear what you’re saying, and I get it. I actually have a blur track running underneath the main mix which adds a breathing quality and helps fill out that dead space and I originally didn’t have the hard cuts on that particular track, so when the main mix cut to silence you could still hear that fuzziness underneath, but ultimately I felt the stops lost that hard hitting ‘jolt’ that I was looking for, so I decided to run with the dead silence.

Blur Track Snip:

1 Like

Great stuff, Terry - loved it!

1 Like

Hey thanks a lot man.
Would be nice to have the skills to get this sounding huge, lush and tight in the bottom end, but tricky with a limited skill-set. Pretty happy with the composition though.
Every song’s another learning experience I guess.

1 Like

Ha, yeah I can see that!

Listening again, the stops are really quite brief, less than one second or maybe even less than half a second. It does grab your attention, as anything unexpected will do.

1 Like

Prog metal like Muse. More experimental than Metallica, but has that Buzz Rock semi-gimmicky hard stop thang going on that is both annoying and yet dramatically effective and I think harder to do than it would seem. Vocals remind me of Linkin Park doing Evanescence.