Living on the Outside

Some like living dangerously, some like living on the edge, we like living on the outside… @ingolee wanted me to upload a more recent original, so here it is, bash away!

Had issues uploading the first time… IT skills hopeless!


I like it! Good straight ahead rock with a good band sound all around IMHO. I like the way the rhythm guitar turns the beat around in the verse, you guys hang together well.

I would like like to hear the lead vocal cut some more, your singer has a nice edge on his voice but it’s not featured enough to my ears . How about some back ground vocals, that would be nice too! And one more thing, maybe you could add a break or solo to add a little spice to the mix?

Good work!

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Bring that vocal forward just a little more. It kind of sound like you have backing vocals but it also kind of sound like you don’t. If you do, boost those a bit. If you don’t, give them a shot. Overall, I dig it.

I listened once on my crappy work laptop speakers. I listened again with the same laptop but with iPod earbuds.

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here’s where I would start with this one.

They have that high end boost thing going on that I hear in a lot of home recordings. It’s what you get when you are trying to sound crisp, but it really just ends up sounding harsh. Compression is a much better tool than a high shelf at getting the drums to have attack without being piercing.

There are some timing issues, but not so much that you can’t go in and edit them out. There’s a fine line between sounding human and having slop, and a little bit of editing would fix this right up.

You have two guitars, and they are both trying to take up the entire stereo width, which I think is making the timing issues more prevalent.

The guitars also sound like they have about twice as much distortion as they need for a song like this. This is also a common mistake I hear people make. It’s more fun to play a guitar with lots of distortion, but it doesn’t tend to sit very well because it just ends up sounding fizzy.

The guitars the way they are are also burying the bass. If you had one guitar panned left and the other panned right, the bass would sit right in the middle and be heard without having to boost the low end so much.

General Feel
The mix almost sounds like it was done in mono and then someone slapped some reverb and a stereo enhancer on it to give it some width. Again, this is kind of contributing to the jumbled feel. I think if you just worked your panning, it would automatically open up everything and it will fall into place much more easily.


I really like the songwriting here. The arrangement is pithy and succinct. There is no “fat” or unnecessary song sections - just straight to the point - I love that sort of thing! The chorus is very hooky, and the harmonic structure of the song overall has a very nice, natural flow to it - nothing feels forced or contrived.

Another thing I like is the vocalist’s timbre - he has a nice soft-edged rasp to his voice that is really appealing.

Boz pretty much nailed down most of the mix/editing issues in his critique, so no need to go over that other than to say this track could sound really good with a bit of work in the right areas.

That said, there is one section of the chorus that isn’t working to my ears - “going into a round hole” just sounds “clunky” to me. I think the words “a round hole” just don’t flow together well and create a poetic “speed bump” in what should be the most memorable part of the song… Ironically, the phrase reflects the sensation being described very well, because the phrase actually sounds like a square peg in a round hole! - So I guess that’s success on one level!

The other issue that needs addressing is the lead guitar playing. To my ear, it is fighting the vocal, rather than complimenting the narrative of the song. I think here is where some real stringent planning in the pre-production would help pare down those lead parts. Just keep the tastiest stuff and really work to ensure the lead player’s timing locks into the groove of the song. Be ruthless, and throw away anything that gets in the way of the vocals. Guitarists constantly need to reminded that less is more.


Hi I have not read the others. I hear guitar timing that is off a bit. I Like the drums. Singer is very good but not heard clearly enough. Guitars have a little too much snarl. Living on the outside is a great lyric.

Quite frankly as it sits, it is sort of a mess. Sorry about that, but his song has great potential. The chorus really shines and the timing there is the best. Ok after listening toward the end, it gets tighter.

Can’t wait to hear the end result when you get out the wrinkles:) Cool stuff



I am digging it. I have would agree with everything that Boz mentioned. It takes a lot of tweaking to get everything to sit and flow with full impact but it is worth it. At least that is what i tell myself as i sit listening to the same piece of a song for the 234 time trying to get everything just right. I too look forward to hearing ho this comes along.

You should use the site facility. Then people can download the track and check it out.

You heard it here first folks. Spot on Andrew.

I agree with everything that has been suggested, plus you are very light on sub frequencies. Sounds like you’ve got a big roll-off below 100Hz.

Very cool song. Agree with most of the comments already made. Lead vocal could come up a bit and find a way to keep lead guitar from stepping on it. Bass could have more presence and thump. Kick drum seems a bit weak too. Cymbals seem very present, but kick and snare don’t hammer the beat very much. Get a primal drum beat sound for such a raw rock song, get the bass tied in, then have the other instruments (guitar, vocals) be the icing on the cake.

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What’s the facility you’re suggesting, Andrew?

I’m Adrian, pleased to meet you. :slight_smile:

Hit the arrow pointing upwards, you can upload your track directly to the thread.

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Good tune, very good groove, I like it!!

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Boz and Coldroom nailed the mix issues so start there. I like the song looking forward to a new mix.

And yes a square peg in a round hole doesn’t work.:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:Well unless the round hole is bigger than the square peg maybe.

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Got confused with the statement below… I must drink less beer!

Yep, the peg doesn’t remain square!