Disconnected - High energy Rock Demo

Disconnected - High energy Rock Demo

Hi all…well, this one has been hanging around for a while…& I mean decades… I’ve done a couple of versions of it over the years, but was never really happy with how it came out.

I decided to overhaul it completely - Arrangement, lyrics, melody, instrumentation and see if I could get it up to scratch…

Originally this was intended to be another bare bones demo, but what can I say? I got carried away!.. It still is in essence a very basic mix, but I’m really concentrating on the arrangements and the parts at this stage… It will get live drums and the full deluxe mix treatment further on down the track.

In the meantime, how’s it sounding?

1 Like

Sounds pretty good on my laptop speakers. Also, those drums don’t sound bad to me at all.

1 Like

Absolutely love it!
To start off: the vocal intro “Well I …” is world class. Not sure if it’s been done before but if it hasn’t……… There’s a Rick Beato video on You tube (few days back) about the best 20 vocal intro’s. I’m sure you could compete!
Oh and the vocal is great. Very clear recording, sitting just right in the mix. Just good rock 'roll man. And I do agree about recording some real drums. These sound a bit too much 80’s power rock to my ears, I prefer the more organic seventies variation :wink:

1 Like

Ha ha to that start. Great axe riffs. Your songs always have that wow factor. After the word disconnected that accent was awesome but I wonder for contrast if those could be horns? Good volume check for me. I just had your volume at 16 for rock and when mine play, it is at 28. You have a lot more highs going on then mine. I might consider doing that the way those guitars come through. Like your vocal as well :slight_smile:

1 Like

Nice one Andrew. Getting kind of a Lynyrd Skynyrd vibe with some unexpected chord changes thrown in to keep you on your toes. Great playing and singing!

1 Like

Thanks Al - good to know it translates ok. Drums are SSD5, partly played on my Roland E-kit, partly programmed.

Thanks mate! Yes, I just saw that Rick Beato video not long after I had actually completed that intro vocal part, and I was thinking: “Is this dude reading my mind?” :open_mouth: Talk about a coincidence! While I certainly wouldn’t put my humble warblings in the same category as some of the epic songs he picked out, (I thought “Road to Nowhere” was an excellent choice, btw. Although I thought Queen’s “Somebody to Love” might have got a mention - of course you can’t go past Bo Rhap!) I was pretty stoked with how it turned out.

Originally the tune started with the spidery “Black Dog-ish” guitar riff, and that was repeated a lot. It got annoying after a while, so I decided to start it acapella and create a more acoustic-y feel for the first verse, so that the riff would hit super-hard when it first arrives.

Another Led Zep arrangement, “Living, Loving Maid” provided the inspiration to vary the duration of the main riff, so that it is different almost each time it is played.

Hey Paul, thanks for taking a listen! Yeah, the synths at the end were a late inclusion. That was a deliberate nod to that classic 80’s “Anabrass” synth sound that is on every 80’s song known to man!.. but I do agree that it would work really well with horns too… I’m just going for a slightly less organic character with this track - I didn’t want to go too “Huey Lewis and the News”

Thanks Mike! Yes, the chord progression in the verse is totally “Sweet Home Alabama”, although I remember the original overall feel of the track being more inspired by an old Spin Doctors tune from the 90s.

This mix was actually a bit of a test case. I recently bought the Sonarworks 4 speaker calibration software.

I have to say I was sceptical as to whether I would be able to mix successfully with it after so many years without it. When I first heard the correction applied to my speakers I was aghast. It sounded thin and overly bright on anything (including great-sounding big-boy mixes) I played through it.

I thought: “I can’t mix with a tonality like this - my ears hate all this high end”. Keep in mind, I use Yamaha HS50 speakers with a sub. The HS50s are known to be bright “mid-forward” speakers at the best of times, and many people deride them for that very fact. So while I was expecting Sonarworks to flatten out the low end, and the low mids, what I wasn’t prepared for was how bright it made the high mids and highs!

… But I persisted with it - I noticed it has a facility to take your “flattened” eq, then “tilt” it to boost the lows and low mids, and attenuate the highs in order to simulate the response of a nice HiFi speaker. I played around with this feature until I found something that was more pleasing to my ears and sensibilities… In this case, it was a 1974 B&K speaker. Here’s a screenshot of what I ended up with.

… So this mix was the first one I finished with the speaker calibration on. I have to say, my first try pretty much nailed the “car stereo test” on the first try, which I’ve almost never done before!
The upshot of it all is, once I adjusted it to my personal preferences, I’m pretty happy with Sonarworks so far.

The Spin Doctors! Yes, I couldn’t quite come up that one, but definitely yes! The song is still totally and unmistakably “FytaKyte” though with all the layered vocals and ridiculously well thought out and intricate arrangements.

Thanks for the review of Sonarworks too. That’s on my “someday list”, right after putting up a few walls and some room treatment in my unfinished basement. :wink:

1 Like

Cool - I’m pretty happy with how it came out, actually!

Yeah, it’s a pretty substantial investment, but actually more helpful than I expected. I caved and got it at a reduced price on sale during Black Friday - It was the only thing I bought, but it was still pretty expensive, especially when you convert the price to Australian dollars.

By the way Andrew (sorry off topic): are you all right with all the bush fires? I remember you live somewhere south of Brisbane and what I see on the maps it must be getting pretty close.

Hey Evert, no we’re fine here. I actually live in Brisbane, and we’re currently having much milder weather than further down south.

We did have a week of heatwave conditions (40+ degrees Celcius) a couple of weeks ago, and there were fires close by at the time.

That was mercifully followed by some great summer storms and very substantial rain, so we’re now having more typical Summer weather, with 30 degrees Celsius days and pretty high humidity.

It sounds perfect!

ps: its missing a fiddle! :sunglasses:

1 Like

Haha thanks - good to know :blush:

HI Andrew,

I am only able to listen through laptop speakers at the moment sorry, but couldn’t resist checking this out!
Yay, sounding fab! Some gorgeous ear candy sounds and fx coming through, love the beginning!! and the way it grows and widens exponentially. Such lovely depth and width to the mix layers, a delight! There is a lovely laid-back-chill vibe to the vocals that I’m really enjoying.

There is one thing that is catching my ear in the arrangement… a repeated riff that just had echoes of something I couldn’t quite place… first at 42 and 48 seconds then recurring. After a little while I realised it was a remembering echo from the ghostbusters theme. Not the same at all but it caught me every time once I had thought of it. Maybe I am the only one to think such a daft thing, but thought I’d mention it for what it is worth (likely nothing at all!! :crazy_face:) Hah… maybe it could also be my double entendre for ‘disconnected’…? Sorry… duh…

Fab guitaring and there is your trademark inspirational slickness that is very motivating for me to listen to. Great song… really enjoyed it.
Hope those horrendous bush fires aren’t impacting too much on you… gosh it looks like a living nightmare!

Happy new year from across the ditch!

1 Like

Love the fill and the solo AND the solo at 1:12! That’s a really nice moment. Great playing all around and a tight tight mix. :beerbanger:

1 Like

Thanks Emma - glad you like it! The beginning percussion sounds are almost entirely me hitting the body of my old acoustic guitar in various ways and then distorting the snot out of those sounds to make them sound much bigger and have more impact.

Huh! You are totally correct… same key and everything! D’oh! And to think… I really HATE that song. Oh well… Believe it or not, when I originally came up with it, I was trying to write a signature riff something like the one in “Black Dog” or “Livin’, Lovin’ Maid” by Led Zepplin.

Thanks, that means a lot! :grinning:

Thankfully we are in Brisbane and so far we have been lucky. I usually curse our disgustingly humid summer days here, but right now, I’m thankful that we have such high humidity.

Thanks Mike! Again, that means a lot to me - much appreciated! :beerbanger:

1 Like

Aww hatin on on Ghostbusters…tsk tsk
I heard the ghostbusters interlude too when i first heard the song but it fits so well with the song disconnected lol. The thing is those notes have been used by many many brass sections, in the exact same syncopation for ages before ghostbusters wrote it as a guitar riff so dont worry… no copyright infringement there :crazy_face:

1 Like

O drat… now that has certainly piqued my interst!

1 Like

Fun tune to listen to, lots of energy. The drums don’t sound out of place, so you’ll be putting some pressure on the guy who has to up the performance.
On the production side, you might try adding a horn duo, ( maybe sax and trumpet with a lot of spit and rasp?) an octave above on the repeated riff that first comes in at 22 seconds. I actually think you could have some fun throwing some stabs in throughout the song, but it might reinforce that particular hook and make it stand out a touch more.
Have fun with it, it will be great.
(Virtual instruments for the horns would work fine, in case you surmised I was out of touch with reality again).

1 Like

Thanks Bob - glad it’s working ok… I hadn’t really thought about horns until I started messing with the synth sounds I put in later in the song… Then I kinda had a similar thought… hmmm… I think if I did it, I’d like to record real horn players… I know a few, so who knows?

Not sure I could add much here, it’s a great song and performance. I’m listening on Klipsch desk tops speakers with a sub and the mix sounded clean and punchy.

1 Like