First Cab off the Rank

First Cab off the Rank
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This will be the first track off my new album. Although production is pretty much done, I may tweak one or two things production-wise yet - ideas that I’ve arrived at while mixing.

This is pretty much a “static” mix - no real detailed automation to really amplify and exaggerate long-term dynamics or fx throws etc. Keen to get your thoughts and input!

PS: There is about 30 secs of sound effects introduction before the music starts.

Edit -Hi all - New, updated and improved mix here:

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Excellent production as usual. I really like your voice, especially when you start to push it.

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Thanks JayGee!

Good song (again) Andrew! Some say that’s progress, though I must say your last album was already a difficult to beat landmark :wink:
The production sounds is fine to me, though I can’t judge too well on laptop speakers. There were points in the song where I felt the lead vocal could sit in the mix a little better, but you already mentioned you still need to do some fine tuning there.

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Haha - Touche’ !.. Well, I think my new songs are better, but you’re welcome to disagree!

The production sounds is fine to me, though I can’t judge too well on laptop speakers. There were points in the song where I felt the lead vocal could sit in the mix a little better, but you already mentioned you still need to do some fine tuning there.

Yes, the mix is still very much a work in progress (gedditt?), but I’m keen to get some initial impressions. Thanks for responding!

Mmmm this is Great!
Love the entry, right up my alley :sunglasses:
Sets the scene really nicely.
Really like the tone of your vocals, nice intimate moments contrasting with the more expostulating bits.
Very cool song, one that I could listen to many times, such a catchy chorus that feels somehow very inclusive, almost grandstanding… like a crowd wanting to join in, rich and vibrant.

Lovely use of silence, shaping and flowing really nicely. In terms of bash, the only bit that caught my ear was in the entry vocals… there were just a couple of pitchy moments in ‘any more’ and ‘double u s’. Just a bit of shifting that I wondered about straightening a little. hah, a teeny thought.
Can’t wait to hear more!!!

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I really like the grittier vocal on the chorus. It’s something I don’t recall hearing in your other songs. This song flows really well !

For some reason my ear went to the drums many times throughout the song and I was noticing how the drum embellishments added a lot of fine textures. The hi hats in the intro part and the slow building of the drum parts are a really nice touch! I really like the chorus especially!

The stop at 3:44 is a really good choice. I like the way you take off the long delays on your voice in that part and how the lower voice pops out. All kinds of good stuff going on in this song.

This is something that caught my ear too, but I almost didn’t want to mention it…So I’ll have to blame Emma for mentioning it. :grin: Sorry Emma!

Listening to this again. This reminds me of what I used to listen to on the Rock radio station here in Toronto, back in the summer of 1987. This sounds very radio friendly and the vibe is really great!

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Well I just progressed your song to my hifi set, and it sounds good. My wife thinks so too (never a bad sign). My first impression that the vocals don’t sit well in the mix at some points remains a bit. Another thing I’m hearing now is that the kick is quite clicky. Matter of taste of course, but it sort of distracted me. Good luck with your further progression towards a world smash hit :star_struck:

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Intro cool. Ten seconds was enough for me:) ha ha Love your lower register…fix the mutts. Second time you sang the low notes you hit em. Reminds me of Rick Springfield a bit. Yup, this is good . congrats

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Hey, very interesting to listen to some raw stuff from you.
I really like what the drums have to say, specially during the chorus, very smart wrinting to me. The chorus is very catchy as well.

I find the guitar parts during verses a bit boring and repetitive and as @feaker, the intro is a bit long and it lacks of some transition to lead to the song…

By the way, another great shot from you!!

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All right, another Andrew tune! I don’t have anything really that hasn’t already been said. I think this is one of your best vocals. You get a nice “grit” when you’re pushing your voice. Sounds good! For quick bashing, nothing new there either! The intro seems too long and the vocal seems a bit out front too. Good one! :+1:

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Glad you like that bit Emma! You have to listen to the lyrics to get why that is there, though

Well, that’s encouraging - I struggle the most with the vocals, as you probably guessed!

I think I might re-sing those parts. They have been shifted and straightened as much as I dare, but I’ve always found the lowest notes the most difficult to sing. Thanks so much for your thoughts!

Thanks W! Yeah, my wife came in the room looking pretty alarmed while I was singing those. I’m trying to explore a greater variety of textures in my vocals. This song certainly tests the lowest points of my range. Some of the hidden backgrounds are pretty high too.

I originally demo’d the song with VSTi drums, but the parts were pretty carefully crafted. I sent the demo to the drummer, and he pretty much duplicated what was in the demo. He did a great job, but of course added that little “something” that only a real drummer can do.

The “breakdown” - A tried and true method to give the last chorus more intensity and impact :grin:

It’s great to get feedback like this. After working on vocals for a while, I tend to get so picky, I end up hating everything and feel like removing my own vocal chords with a rusty knife. I know in reality it is not as bad as all that though, so it’s good to get a more unbiased viewpoint that balances out my pessimism just a tad. Those comments give me something specific to concentrate on. Thanks so much for your help!

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Good stuff. It has real good vibe and drive in the chorus. I have no doubt then when you are done the flow will be even better and it is good already. I think the others hit on anything that i would mention.

Thanks Evert, these are all points others (not necessarily on this site) have mentioned too, so I will definitely be adjusting things there.

Now, that is funny :rofl:

That’s ok… I’m guessing you’re not a big fan of songs like “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” then :yawning_face: The intro will be more exciting in the next revision, but I’m not shortening it just for you. :grinning: As I said above: Listen to the lyrics and the intro will make sense.

Well, I think my lower register sucks! (and my middle and high register aren’t much better!) Yah gotta work with what you have, I guess! :roll_eyes:

Meh - There are worse people I could be compared to I guess :thinking:…he was ok when he was in The Zoot back in '71 (look 'em up - they did a killer cover of Eleanor Rigby)

Thanks! Nice succinct, direct review :wink:

Thanks NCLS. See my reply to Emma above regarding the drums.

Really? That’s disappointing, 'cause I LOVE that riff. I guess you can’t please everyone… I’m guessing you’re don’t like stuff like Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire”, Brian Adam’s “Run to You” or even The Police’s “Every Breath” or “Message In a Bottle”.

The song is meant to hit suddenly. However, I have come up with an idea that may fulfil both briefs - to hit suddenly and transition somewhat. Stay tuned.

Thank you for your input - much appreciated!

Thanks Mike! I think I’ve landed on a technique that enables more vocal distortion (physical, not post-processing technique) without causing damage or too much vocal fatigue.

The vocal being too out front was a result of checking the mix in the car when I still had too much mud in the low mids. I think I’ve solved the low mid issues, now I just need to pull the vocal level back appropriately.

Thanks Eric. This track has been a real struggle to mix for me. At one point I completely lost objectivity and started again- I completely “zeroed out” the first mix and built it from scratch. (I have never done that before, ever!) I don’t normally post mixes that are still this unfinished, but I needed to give myself a break from it, get some outside input, and re-assess.

I’m probably feeling more precious and anxious about it than I should, as it is the first track of a new album, and I want the album to start off with a bang. It’s been a real mental challenge to dig in and get this one over the line.

Thank you to everyone for your generous help! :+1: :+1: :+1:

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I like this, I like the intro a lot, I guess you could transition maybe like Love LIes Bleeding but it works as is too. I like the sighing effect (BGV?) early on and the different vocal textures, a little pitchy is good sometimes, anything to push the envelope! I know you can do good but I like different sometimes too. I like that there’s no solo, you’re a great soloist but it becomes a cliche and if the song can work without it so much the better.

So is that how you say progress in Australia, with a long ‘o’? I guess we messed that up here to.

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I hear you. It is definitely hard to keep perspective of ones on work. We over question certain aspects and get numb to other more glaring issues. Well I hope that the feedback is helping you get to where you need to be. I really think besides the vocal on the initial verse and the need for some more movement throughout the song it is sounding good.

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Thanks Ingo! Glad you like it. The “sighing” effect is actually a synth patch from Dimension Pro (if I recall correctly).

I’m of the same mind with you on this. However, if enough people I respect mention something in particular, I’ll definitely change it.

Yeah, I never actually wrote this with a solo in mind… In fact, truth be told, I hardly ever write any of my songs with a solo in mind… I remember you getting stuck into me about solos on the last song I posted.

The impression I got from what you said was that you thought I was just plastering solos all over the place because I’m an ego-maniac guitarist, whose songs are just a vehicle for his solos. That couldn’t be further from the truth! I usually only decide to put a solo in if I think the song would benefit from it, but it certainly is not just as a matter of course. Listen to all the songs off “Meandersaur”. Sure, there are solos, but many of them are very short, succinct and melodic. I tried to make all of them serve a musical purpose within the song arrangement.

That said, there may be some more surprises in store for this track… stay tuned!

I’m not going to buy into that one! :grimacing: Let’s just say we are nations divided by a common language, and leave it at that! :grin:

Thanks for listening, and your input!

I think I’ve said it before, but being your own producer is a tough job. Great to get some help and objectivity here. Thanks!

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That makes sense but remember our membership is heavy on a certain demographic and pushing the envelope might not be their thing but it might reach out elsewhere. Just a thought.

I’m a guitar player. I love guitar solos. I love your solos. I mourn the passing of the rock guitar gods. I myself have moved on to other genres that feature more instrumental work, not less.

But I’m honestly trying to give you my best input as to what might work to your advantage. You certainly don’t have to listen to or believe what I say but I think we have a lot in common regardless. I listened to all of Meandersaur on Soundcloud in one sitting (because I liked it) and my ears heard a great talent that could easily benefit from a wider pallet and vision. I believe many producers would tell you the same thing. It’s not about the solos per se. It’s not that you’re rewriting the same song, you have lots of variety within a certain space. Look at the response you got with a rough acoustic demo. Look at the response your getting with this tune that has some different colors mixed in. How about some 2 or three guitar solos? How about some instrumentals? I just think you are limiting yourself and I wouldn’t waste my time nit picking you if I didn’t believe what I’m saying might help.

And by the way, the people that accomplish big things have big egos, whether they let it show or not.

I don’t doubt that. I wasn’t questioning your motive - I was just explaining how it came across to me.

I appreciate the compliment, but what you’re hearing is more hard work more than talent.

Maybe so, but does my taste count?.. I mean, really?! What I’m doing is what I want to do. I don’t want to be or do something else.

I mean, I get it - You were a guitarist, you’re over it, you want to do something else - that’s fine.

…but that’s not me…I’m different - I still want to write and record songs broadly within the concept of a rock band. I don’t care if that isn’t current or whatever. It makes me happy.

Different colours? I beg to differ - It’s just me doing what I do. These colours have always been on my palette. Again, go and re-listen to the album - “Snake Oil Salesman” and “The Ballad of Charles and Harry” are so far removed in style and variety of textures and instrumentation from songs like “Lean” or “Outa Control” that, if it wasn’t for the fact that they’re sung by me, they could be coming from different planets!

…& how do you know I haven’t already done those things? For example:

Look, as I said , I’m not questioning your motive or saying that your suggestions aren’t coming from a good place. However, their implications seem to assume a lot about me that just isn’t true. Just wanted to make that clear.

I always try to listen. Listening is the most important skill to learn in music bar none, IMO. I too think we probably agree on a lot of things. I just get uncomfortable being put in the position where I feel I’m being misunderstood and unfairly categorised.

Gitty up cowboy. Holy crap that was some fine speedy playin. Another large portion of humble pie for me. ha ha The tone is awesome too. (could have included your mug)
Hey bud. I like what you do big time including your vocals that you are down on right now. Very few of us here make our own songs entirely. Please accept all comments without getting upset.
It is very difficult from the other side to tell a very talented artist that he has a few vox notes a little too far off center. I lost my best friend here zeroing in on just one trivial thing.
I was a varsity basketball coach and I told my assistant to never shut up during the game. I said I would not comment back. Just wanted quick feedback that I would quickly process. “coach, you do know Jerry has four fouls”?
I wish there was a place you could send tracks (for a fee) where one didn’t have established friends. Kinda like a format when you google tires or cars. pros on the left and cons on the right. How simple that would be. cons…bridge is off target and weak…etc
On the plus side I get to see my oldest daughter and three grandkids tomorrow after 8 months. Surprise for my grandson Ryan (20). i am giving him my 2017 Camry. We will buy new.
Stay cool ole friend

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