i am with boz. you have all the elements. You just need to tighten it up.
Sounding really good. Love when I can really hear your voice like about the 2:20 mark. Early on it was buried a bit.
Holy smokes! I just listened to version 2B and it is freakin’ awesome! I like it better than the original version of this song. Seriously! (Maybe because you’ve got me all nostalgic. I went back and listened to some more Marty Robins last night. Brought back some very nice memories. )
I like all of it, but I especially like your “spaghetti western” electric on the right. So much so that I’d like to hear it do a solo, or at least be more featured somehow. Maybe solo with it (instead of the mandolin?) or do some answer-backs in some of the emptier parts. It seems more dramatic and you could really have fun with it. I really enjoyed your singing too. I also LOVE the added percussion/drums. It really kicks that last verse into gear. The new arrangement is… I’m running out of superlatives. Amazing job on this Dave! Really!
Hey folks, another iteration is now in the OP. It’s V4, I didn’t bother posting at V3. I’ve re-tracked the acoustic guitars, which was always the plan. My SOP is to get the basic acoustic tracks down first, just to a click track, then build up the other instrumentation, and eventually come back and play the acoustic(s) in whatever distinctive vibe the song has evolved into. No way to know that when one first sits down to build the piece. So now those guitars are more in sync with the stop & gradual build thing. Those changes help the rhythm and timing significantly, as mentioned in a previous comment.
Also added some minor bg vocal flourishes, in the second and fourth choruses, to keep things moving. Definitely interested in feedback on those.
Additional tweaks include some adjustments to drum midis, some microsurgery on some tracks for timing purposes, and some sonic improvements.
I’m thinking that this is close to it, as far as arrangement and instrumentation goes… whaddaya think??
It is soundign great. There is some timing issues in the intro with the mandolin and the guitar. that needs to be tightened up in my mind. have you used the transient mover in your DAW. I am assuming it has one. if you have then that should be a pretty quick fix. If not is worth a look at.
I have not heard of a transient mover capability before… And I’m not finding anything obvious when I google on it in terms of plugins or other DAWs. Can you elaborate a bit on this? I assume it shifts the locations of transients in some transparent way?
here is a quick example of a guy using it in studio one. I do a similar thing in sonar.
in sonar i have to bounce to clip after i have made some adjustments or will sound all phasey.
Thanks! Not sure if Mixcraft has this sort of functionality. There are a couple of tools that have components similar to what this guy is showing, but I’d have to dive into it further…
Meanwhile, turns out that I have a few additional mando takes still in the project, and one of them makes a much nicer bit to have there in the intro, simply replacing the one from before whose timing was a little off. Pretty much fixes everything IMO. I’ve replaced the V4 I posted yesterday with one that makes that swap, and that’s now the V4 you can play in the OP.
Thanks for that tip Eric, it was definitely something that needed attention!
yep that is an improvement for sure.
yeah it seems complex but once you start playing with it, like most things, becomes pretty straight forward.
I’m a bit late to hop on to the Fever bandwagon, and I’m only now hearing the progression of your mixes. Wow! I really like this. I liked the first version already, but the last one is fantastic. Well done.
Yes a harmonica would work in there, but not a must. I love the mandolin (something for my wish list, I gave away my old mandolin to my son), and it’s fine as the main solo intrument. Gives the Appalatian vibe as you say. I also like the way you added some drama in the middel and subtle drums for the getaway part.
Just one little thing I noticed on listening a third time: at 2:14 the bass and kick should coincide but don’t, something similar happens at 2:24. At 2:28 it seems that snare and kick should coincide but don’t. This part of the song needs a simple and tight rythm, and it’s not quite there yet. Bit of cutting and pasting or stretching should do the job.
Great catch Evert @Aef! Thanks a heap for that very attentive listening. The culprit in all of those cases is the tremolo guitar. The bass is not playing at 2:14 and 2:24, it’s muted. But the trem guitar was definitely off, and it was very easy to fix that. At 2:28, bass is back in, but again the mismatch is with the trem guitar. The two drum hits are precisely the same, on the midi grid. Version 4C is now up in the OP correcting these.
In recent listens I’ve begun to wonder whether it might be cool to add one more thing in the final verse & chorus, where the drums start to build up-- sort of a crunchy Tele playing some subdued, choppy chords to help propel the train rhythm along. Any thoughts?
Oh oh! (hand raised) I vote for a “spaghetti western” guitar solo as the train fades into the sunset!
(Of course this is purely tongue in cheek, because this cover is really freakin’ awesome as it is!)
OK, I know you’re pretty far along here, but I came down to work on a mix and gave another listen on my monitors… I think the “Western” guitar on the right is a little distracting hitting on the downbeat of the chord changes with the bass. What if you used it more for atmosphere and did answerbacks and fills when it initially comes in? (You already have some juicy ones in there.) Then, towards the end, it becomes more prominent in maybe the last verse or chorus, and kind of solos in the background? Then takes over at the end of the song with a nice fade-out.
– OR –
The guitar and mandolin start trading licks at the end, kind of a dueling banjos type thing? So you’ve got the driving beat/bass up the middle with the vocal, then dueling strings on the left and right?
Just some more thoughts. I love the mandolin by the way!
Well, I could have given you a theoretical answer, but I couldn’t resist trying it out for myself. And while I was at it, I added some basic harmonica as well. I’ll leave it to you to decide if you like it or not…
Maybe I should reply myself I think it sounds terrible. The extra guitar is barely audible and the rest sounds muddy. The harmonica playing doesn’t add anything useful. Maybe it’s my playing, but maybe a harmonica is not such a good idea.
Maybe it’s because I forgot to turn off the limiter on my mix bus and it’s just too loud. Maybe it just wasn’t my day. Or maybe you just don’t need any more instruments
I doubt if this is helping you very much.
But I did notice one thing that might help you after all: the mix is a bit too muddy where the low-mid frequencies of the bass and the guitar clash.
High passing the guitar somewehere in that frequency range could clean things up a bit and you get to hear the twang part of the guitar- sound a bit more than the bass sound. I suspect the bass itself is fine.
Hey, sorry for the delay-- I have been out on travel all week at a science workshop, and have not even had a chance to listen to your clip yet Evert… I really appreciate your taking the time to do that!! I just gave my presentation a little while ago (having lunch break now) so I will be on a more relaxed timescale the rest of the meeting (flying home tomorrow night). Hopefully I’ll get a chance to listen tonight after we knock off for the day.
One thing I can say is that everything is pretty significantly high-passed already, although I’m not able to tell you the exact details while away from home. But that trem guitar I know for sure is hit pretty strongly with the HPF, ditto for the main acoustic guitar and even a bit on the bass. The second acoustic is a “highstrung” guitar with the so called “Nashville” tuning-- EADGBE but with the EADG strings being an octave higher than normal. So it puts out no energy below about 300 Hz if memory serves.
That said, I am likely to need to do some more precise EQing on the instruments as I take the mix to final form for submission to the context. I still have not done what I would consider a thorough mix, juste tuning things up as instruments were added and the arrangement has progressed. Pretty sure I’ll eventually start from a clean slate, set all the faders to unity, and be systematic about it…
Will check out your adds as soon as I can!
Well, being the polite guy you seem to be, I thought it might be awkward to bash my not so good contribution . Even though I had taken in account that you just might not have had the time. After all, I haven’t been active on the site for months until recently. My excuse for becoming active again is that I’m trying to recover from a hernia and have been allowed to work from home at a slightly slower pace than I’m used to. It has fringe benefits
I doubt if sitting behind my mixing desk for hours on end is doing my hernia any good, but hey I’m having fun and thats part of any recovery proces (?)
In fact thanks to the inspiration brought by your version I’ve started making one myself last night called “Funky Fever”. Although the funk bit is no more than an initial direction to take. I have no idea where it’s going to end. I ended up playing increasing numbers of wah wah solo tracks creating a wall of sound. It was fun, but is it Fever? Don’t know yet. Will post a first version soon. I need to track some vocals first.
Looking forward to hearing what you come up with. Still haven’t had a chance to listen to your clip, my hotel charges $10/day for wifi in the room, and I am not paying that. I get it free here in the meeting space but it’s definitely not the right setting to put on my headphones…!
I’ll be home tomorrow and will listen then, unless I have time at the airport waiting for my flight later this afternoon…
Edit: I’m here in the airport and just had a listen. I agree, the additional guitar isn’t helping. And the harmonica is a bit difficult to pick out, but when I hear it, I like having the sound of the harp as part of the soundscape. I actually met a guy recently who plays harmonica, and I might see if I can track him down and get him over for an afternoon to try out some harp bits in that last verse and/or chorus. There is something about hearing a harmonica in a train song that seems appropriate to me…
Thanks again Evert! Really appreciate the input.
Great idea. Interesting to see what a real harmonica player comes up with
By the way, there’s another thing I liked about your song: the low piano notes that sound after the bass around 2:10. It’s inspired me to use a piano as a main part of the bass sound for my mix.
I did’nt spot the nashville guitar until you mentioned it: I was distracted by the mandolin I guess. But I know what it is and like it a lot. In fact I’ve used it myself on my last recording (check out my latest bash “All mine”). At first I wanted to make my normal acoustic to sound like a 12 string, but in the end I used it with a capo on the fifth fret for some high end sparkle.