Bash this cover away

Bash this cover away
0

Hi everyone,

Like most of us, I have a little more time on my hands and I recorded this cover for fun (and practice): Ordinary World by Duran Duran.

Initially I wanted to get creative and come up with something of my own but after recording the guitars and piano I couldn’t help but use all the cool licks of the original so in the end it’s quite similar overall. I played and sang everything myself but I am not a great guitar or bass player, nor am I able to sing as high as Simon Le Bon so I had to transpose it down by 2 steps (and it was still a bit painful lol).

I thought this would be a quick song to mix, but to my surprise it took me longer than the recording itself, about a good whole day. The arrangement is rather dense so I struggled a bit with the relative volumes. Surely there must still be some issues here and there that I can’t hear because of having worked non-stop on that for the past couple of days, so your fresh ears and judgement will be appreciated!

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This seems like a pretty good rendition. Interesting timing since out of the blue I went on a Duran Duran YT binge the other day. That was the older stuff though, and I guess I didn’t even know this song was Duran Duran, though I recall hearing it on the radio back in the day.

There’s a nice sense of ambience on this one, and it’s a bit softer and less intense than the original in parts. I’m on computer speakers so this is just a quick listen. I’m curious what real/VI instruments you used, especially drums. Curious on the piano too, it sounds very realistic. The performances sound good to me.

I thought your song was somewhat on the bright side in the upper mids, but the original on YT is even more so. I generally like darker tones as a personal preference, so there’s that. I like that your snare has a lot of body and not too much top end … the original has a pretty piercing snare.

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This is a very pretty cover, Lophophora. I thought all the parts sounded great. The original vocals had a lot more reverb on it. This is more Alan Parsons, and I like how it came out. Perhaps it is not as differently stylized as you had hoped, but I think your version is a little softer in tone than the original, and for that maybe has a slightly easier listening appeal whilst preserving fairly faithfully all the song’s familiar arrangement elements. In other words, this is not controversial.

I happen to be a Duran Duran fan, and I enjoyed it.

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Well, I’ve never been a Duran Duran fan at all, quite the opposite in fact, so I’ve never heard the original.

This is sounding quite good to me across the board. Very pleasant sound, and the palette of instruments seems to work very well together. The breakdown (or whatever you want to call it) at about 3:25 is just a touch too abrupt-- I’d look at ways to make the transition a little more subtle.

Otherwise this is sounding great to me-- nice work!

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Thanks. Here’s a quick run-down on VI vs real instruments:

  • drums: EZdrummer 2 (EZ “modern” drum kit with the “pop” mixer settings. There is no processing at all, the sound you hear is straight out of EZ drummer, the only thing I added on top is reverb.
  • bass: a very cheap Yamaha (bought used for $150), my cheap fingers and a lot of editing
  • acoustic guitars: Martin D28 6-strings (left and center) and Guild 12-strings (right)
  • piano: Nord Stage 2 --> by far the best piano sound to mix IMO. I have a baby grand piano and good mics but I don’t even bother to record it because the Nord pianos are just perfect, especially in this kind of busy arrangement
  • electric guitar: a Yamaha Pacifica, DI into Waves GTR amp simulation
  • strings: Native Instruments Session Strings 2
  • other synth sounds are either from NI or from my Nord Stage

This is especially pleasant to read, given that the guy is one of favorite mixer/producer. Also the fact that you enjoyed it while being a fan of the original, thanks.

Good point, after checking on the original they are indeed more subtle in their transition. I think my best bet is to remove most of the drum hits in the last bar.

I am not a DD fan either, in fact this one and “The reflex” are the only songs I can name, although I would probably recognise a lot of their hits if I knew they are the ones who wrote them. But I really like this song, and covering it made me realise how great the production and arrangements are, I actually learned a few things in the process.

2 Likes

This is great - It sounds excellent in all respects.

I only have one criticism: The drum dynamics (specifically the snare) sound too even during the choruses. The secondary snare hits sound pretty much the same velocity as the main backbeats, which messes slightly with the groove and feel of the song for me.

I remember absolutely HATING Duran Duran (“girly hairstyle band”) when I was in high school during the peak of their popularity in the early 1980s (I’m old)… Now though, I completely admire the sounds and production values they brought to popular music. They were ground - breaking at the time, and they still fascinate me for their sheer audacity.

This is latter day (2000s) DD, without so much production flash, but it shows that, all along they had the songwriting chops to back it all up.

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Thank you! Well your comment on the snare is spot on, and believe it or not, after I rendered the file the exact same thing struck me. Indeed, the velocity is maxed for all snare hits (excluding ghost notes of course). But I didn’t feel like going back to the mix and I said to myself “no-one is going to notice”… I was wrong lol.

I completely share your feeling toward Duran Duran, we must be roughly the same age…

Anyway, I’ll make this adjustment as well as the other one pointed out by @Chordwainer, thanks.

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I’m 51

Not far behind you… 47.

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Thanks for the instrument info!

I really like The Reflex too. The chorus is a fantastic pop music hook. The one thing I missed in Ordinary World (the original as well) is John Taylor’s tremendous funk bass playing. It can be heard in their earlier stuff where I guess he had the freedom do take it where he wanted to. The Reflex has that in spades, and other songs notable are Rio, Hungry like the Wolf, Girls on Film, and they did the James Bond film song for “A View to a Kill” (Dance Into The Fire).

I am with Andrew on the snare. Well done and thanks for sharing.

I did the changes that were suggested to me above, plus a few very minor adjustments to the mix. I think I’ll leave it there for now. Thanks for your feedback!

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Good stuff.