This is a rough demo recording I did with my BOSS BR-8 (zip disk) standalone recorder. I think I did it in 2009, but just recently transferred the individual tracks into Reaper so that I could mix and render a master WAV/ MP3. For the guitars sounds l used the built in Amp sims from the BOSS BR-8. I used a Shure SM58 to record the vocals. Eventually I’ll probably expand on this song and complete it, if I get the impression that some people like it and if I feel it’s worthy of putting the work into it. I’ve got a bunch of other song demos from that same time period, in which I used the BR-8 and a few other standalone recorders.
I’ve got some ideas for things I’d like to add to this tune, but let me know what impressions you have upon hearing it as it is now at this stage. Even though it’s a demo, let me know what things should be cleaned up and improved. So, bash it as it it was a finished product. There’s some rough stuff in here that I just threw down quickly (if I remember correctly…), so there are many things that could use replacing and cleaning up. I just need some other ears on this to get a bit of perspective. Thanks!
Nice song! With a sixties vibe I would say. Some suggestions:
The bass sounds great, but I’m missing some warmth in the lower mids.
The vocals and guitars are both very much present in the same frequency range (higher mids 2-4 K?) and sometimes clash. Panning the guitars more to the extremes might help. You could also consider making the guitars a little less bright, they sound a bit harsh to me. To add some warmer tones you could add another instrument (piano, Hammond?), but maybe some panning and a bit of eq is enough. Another thing I noticed is probably a question of taste. The drums are pretty much in the background, and that’s OK if you’re going for the sixties vibe. But what I noticed is that vocals, rythm guitar and drums all place an accent on the 1 and the 2 1/2. It is an important aspect of the song, but it might be nice to add a steady on-going rythm in the background like a shaker or tambourine. Even if only in the chorus.
Hope that helps!
Love the intro vocals. Sounds 60’s and british:) The riffs leave space for the vox . You live in my memory will stick with me today. In many areas I couldn’t hear the drums very good. i am having real hearing problems lately so I might be wrong on that.
Packing to hit the road. I will listen closer this aft. Good stuff Mr W
It does have that catchy 60’s folk/rock sound to it. Sounds like it could have been playing on an AM transistor radio in the summer of '67. Almost a touch of psychedelia in there. [hippy emoji] The sound maybe reminds me of Mama’s & Papa’s or Cowsills or some other groups. The drums seem to capture that era, could be beefed up a little bit maybe, but in the ballpark I’d say. I see what Evert is saying about the cadence, like a marching song, or going up and down on a merry-go-round. Something in the background that keeps a consistent tone might help counteract that. Maybe Hammond, or droning “strings” which were very common back then.
The song keeps this rhythmic pattern most or all the way through. I think you could insert a ‘bridge’ or middle-8 in there to add variety and some extra interest. The verses and choruses can be distinguished with the vocals, but the music seems the same, or about the same, in both. If you re-do the song from scratch, I’d suggest changing the instrumentation in at least a noticeable way between the two. Or if keeping it mostly as-is, put a tambo or shaker in the chorus but not the verse. Even something subtle can shift the perception of sameness.
I really like the bassline in this, and the playing/tone. I Iike the vocals and harmonies. The acoustic picking is very nice too. The vocal reverb or sense of space works very well, and sounds very 60-ish as well.
Yes, I find this has either a 60’s or early 70’s vibe too.
The guitars do seem overly bright to me, also. The guitar that is picking the arpeggios seems particularly so. I’ll likely re-record all the guitars and most likely all the instruments and vocals. I’m first going to gauge people’s interest in the song to see if this song has a decent likability factor before diving in and redoing this song because I have a ton of other songs that I have to complete and/ or begin recording. I’ve decided that I should focus on the songs that listeners tend to favour. It’s pretty difficult to gauge interest accurately though, because everyone has certain genres and styles that they prefer. There’s something I like about this song. It gives me a sense of melancholy and nostalgia. Even though I like it, I never blindly trust my own opinion without getting a general consensus with a few other listeners.
You make a good point about the drum accents. That was something I had planned to alter in specific places throughout the song. If I re-record the song I planned on switching the pre-chorus and chorus to a more straight ahead drum groove (with some off-time accents).
I hadn’t thought about adding keys or an organ but that’s actually a pretty good idea! Your suggestion sparked another idea too - some electric guitar swells. I could imagine that working well.
You gave me some great feedback, Evert @Aef ! I appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks for chiming in.
Ah, 60’s folk rock. I can hear that, now that you mentioned it. It’s interesting that you mentioned The Mamas and Papas. When I was a very young kid someone in my family had one of their 45’s with Monday, Monday …and I think the other song was California Dreamin’. The song Monday, Monday had a deep impact on me. I don’t know why but that song seems very significant to me. Maybe because it’s one of the first songs to really emotionally grab me. I’ve heard of Cowsills but I’m not sure if I know any of their songs.
Yeah, the drums need to be reworked. I didn’t really put much effort into them. I originally had a straight 4/4 beat right through the whole song but then I changed the drums to have more of this kind of staggered beat to move as a unit in tandem with the bass line. My intention is to have a mix of those 2 kinds of grooves in different places of the song. The chorus and precious might be more straightforward rhythmically, while I keep the verse similar to how you hear it now, with that staggered off-rhythm.
Good point that you made about adding a bridge or middle 8! Part of me wants to keep this song fairly brief but if I can come up with another part that I like, that could be beneficial to the song.
The music in the chorus is only slightly different from the verses. That’s a good point about adding something to distinguish the chorus from the verse. Something more than just using a slight music change and different vocals. Good ideas!
Good to know that the bass is playing the role that I was intending it to. The acoustic guitar is a patch/ emulation from the BOSS BR-8. I used a Mexican Fender Telecaster to record that part…, and I think also the other guitar part. I think I used a different guitar patch/ emulation for the other guitar track. I’ve since sold the Mexican Fender Telecaster but I really liked that guitar. It was a beautiful red-wine colour. It did have some noise issues though. I remember thinking that I needed to shield the pickups or rewire the guitar. I’m not much of a guitar tech type of guy so that never happened. I was also buying and selling a lot of music equipment back then. I was earning a decent profit doing that but. I got disillusioned with selling because it seemed that as time went on, I was getting a lot of people who were “no-shows”. You know, people who make an appointment with you to see/ test the equipment and possibly purchase it, but then fail to show up and disappear for ever without any explanation.
I’m glad you noticed the vocal reverb. That reverb is one of the patches/verb emulations that are built into the BOSS BR-8. I’ve tried to mimic that reverb sound using the plugins in Reaper but so far I’ve been unsuccessful. I really like that vocal verb too, so I’m a bit disappointed that I’m unable to recreate it. If I re-record the song I’ll just have to find something in Reaper.
Thanks for listening and sharing your insights, Stan @Stan_Halen !
This is well done Wicked, as others have said it has a retro feel which is cool. I thought people would say that the bass is too loud but no one did yet. Other than that the mix is fine with me. I’m hearing a vintage synth line or like Stan said a fake string pad (vintage synth style) for the chorus.
They did the song “Hair” which was really big in the early 70’s IIRC, associated with the Broadway (?) musical and the movie. And on radio, of course. They did some other good songs, and started in the late 60’s I believe, kind of a “Partridge Family” type family band thing (at least brothers and sisters).
Yeah, you have a good strong ‘core’ song here (a ‘demo’ as you said), I think it can just be improved with some more arrangement and flourishes. If you add a bridge, you could maybe shorten something else if you want to manage the time. But it’s under 3 minutes, so extra time wouldn’t hurt. It’s really all about the story you’re trying to tell IMO, and can be as long as that takes. The bridge could be a guitar solo, I know you’re an awesome solo player! Maybe take a page from 60’s folk-rock for the solo, rather than a ‘shredder’ (as awesome as those are).
@Wicked accidentally deleted his own post then flagged it to see if a moderator could retrieve it - found it and reposting for him:
Ah, yes,I may have gotten too accustomed to the loud bass at this point.I have the habit of turning the bass up a bit too loud,sometimes.I’m glad you mentioned it because it will keep me on my toes when it comes to mixing.I’ll keep your’s and Stan’s synth pad /synth line in mind.Thanks for your comments,Lee @ingolee!