Please bash my strange new dreamsong - Basket of Dreams

This is the second of my ‘November songwriting challenge’ pieces…
It fell together strangely quickly… and now, once again I find myself reluctant to spend my usual never-ending hours tweaking tiny details. Would love to know if anything jumps out as urgently needing attention.

Thanks heaps!! :beerbanger:

I’ve re-visited the mix and smoothed it down some and then couldn’t resist combining the music with the pictures that started the whole creative process. Here it is:


I dig it. Definite movie soundtrack vibe to it

Your voice sort of reminds me of a cross between Grace Slick and Harry Chapin. or maybe a female version of Marty Balin. Definite late 60s vibe

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Oh yes, scary stuff! I love how the two piano tracks clash, very cool. And the background efx, nice!

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Really interesting piece @Emma! Very little jumps out at me, about the only nit I would pick is that those low rumbling drums just before the end have a bit too much rumble, might want to bring the hpf cutoff freq up a little. And I could stand the bass being a touch more prominent, maybe find a frequency where there’s a good space in the piano spectrum and give the bass a little gentle boost there? Nothing too drastic.

I’m enjoying the way you’re making little forays from sevenths to minors and back in voicing the piano, gives those little unexpected notes here and there, I dig it. And the vocal fx are working. At first I thought the verbiness was a little much, but then by the time the harmony vocal joined it seemed like that “space” needed to be there all the time so that the new voice could appear in it, if that makes any sense… :crazy_face: And the overall tone of the piano is really gorgeous

I certainly wouldn’t think you’d need to spend anything like hours more tweaking it, honestly…! Nice work!

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Like the bass right away. Your voice is awesome and perfect reverb. A basket of dreams…what a great thought. I love how this is vocal driven. Piano is so very good. This might be one of your best ever. I can see this in a movie. Ok, it go way too loud starting at 1:48 I get that you need that lil lift, but a little hot there. ha ha I hear a sort of low rumble at like 2:46 that seems not friendly. Ok, I only have headphones, so I might be way off. Only thing better would be a basket of muffins to go with it. Very cool my friend


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Nice mix.Great voice

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I’d recommend cleaning up the vocals, either upping the high-pass or compressing around 200Hz. Lovely song.

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Thanks J-J… that’s a cool eclectic mix of voices :smile:
Am very grateful to you for that songwriting challenge, it was surprisingly productive for me… yay!!


Thanks Ingo!! It is a very simple mix, I just literally threw together one vocal track with the piano and recorded the two in one go, then plonked on a bass, a couple of backing vocals and some omnisphere wind sounds… for some strange reason the bits just seemed to meld together… thanks for checking it out! :smile:


Thanks for checking this out Dave… yeah there is a real smush of fx in there, I used a guitar rig colour effect and automated that around the vox… following Andrew’s chat about using transient designers, I’d forgotten what fun this can be and once I’d started playing with it I loved the turns and twists of it. No drums, just piano wind voice and bass… i hear you with the bass but the playing is not good enough in my ears to stand up to being increased… still need to play around some with that eq though… ta!!!

It’s funny with the piano tone, it is my standard setting… I’ve found that the way I play it makes a huge difference with the tone, which, for a weighted keyboard but essentially midi sounds, is surprising…


Thanks Paul!!!
Yeah there are still some vocal surges in there, may have to tame them a little more… that rumble is the wind sound through the synth… i had a heap of fun playing with the fx on the vocal - I used guitar rig and a coloured plugin thingie… fun!!!

Thanks Alan, really appreciate your words!!


Thanks CPF!! Now, can you please explain a bit more… I’ve just notched a couple of harsh bits on the vocal eq, around 750 and 1900, my harsh zones… are those the bits that squawk still?? Ta for your help!!

yikes, got to dash, just wanted to say thanks for your help/feedback guys… will not have time to re-visit this till a couple of days…

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Very creepy/cool, Emma. That’s a very strange, unsettling reverb effect you have going there - I like it!

A couple of mix things:

I noticed a fair bit of sub-bass happening, but it’s not really noticeable on smaller speakers. I guess that’s fine, because it’s more atmospheric than anything, but if your intention was for it to be heard on smaller systems, you would need to excite some higher harmonics.

The other thing is, the song is very dynamic - at the loudest portions, I found myself reaching for the volume control to bring it back to a reasonable level, as the vocals get pretty overbearing there. I think you could still create the same dynamic effect without going over the top if you used some automation to bring the 2 extremes of quiet and loud a little closer together.

Great imagery and lyrics!

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I had the same reaction, reach quick! And I’m not arguing the point at all, but the exact same thing happens when you listen to Beethoven.

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Hi Andrew,
Thanks heaps for your feedback - really helpful. I had some major eq issues with the vocal that I still wasn’t happy with but am going to try that simple fix of automating the volume first… hehe… yeah, I really needed fresh ears to help me untangle what was going on, it was a ridiculously quick mix (for me!). Now I’m wondering if you could suggest to me how I could

that’s a new trick I’d like to learn…
thanks so much


I can comment twice. ha ha At 2:19 it sound like you are in the same room. I like that real intimate stuff and then how you wake up again as it escalates. Just wanted to give it a couple of days and see how I felt about it.
I like your wacky stuff, but this one is special. Maybe you might want to think quickies moving forward. ha ha


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The simple answer is distortion. If you put your bass through a distortion effect, put a spectrum analyser on the output, then gradually turn up the distortion, you’ll see the added harmonics appearing as you increase the gain. The idea is to find a balance where you add enough distortion to make the upper harmonics pop out & make the bass audible on smaller speakers, but not so much that it sounds overtly distorted, or distorted to the point where it is out of context with the accompanying music.

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Hi Paul,
I’ve been thinking quite a bit about that speed-of-mix stuff… gonna start a new thread on that…
thanks for listening again… I’ve toned down the volume… isn’t it funny how when you are mixing your own stuff you can just miss the most basic things… this place is still a wonderful help…


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Some might think it’s a bit murky of a mix but that doesn’t bother me.

I like the sour piano notes that you play occasionally. Makes for a dark and less conventional sound.

When you said “buried in SHAME” …The word “shame” was a bit loud but maybe it was just me…I’m not sure.

Some of the doubled vocals rub me the wrong way. I like your voice better when it’s solo. Maybe if you record the doubles tighter it might improve that part, or turning them down, lower in the mix, may help.

I like the mood you created with this song!

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Thanks Wicked!
hehe, I like the description of ‘sour’ piano notes… I don’t like too much sweetie stuff…
Am not at my recording computer right now but am pretty sure that’s one of the words that I tamed… and I did soothe some of the backing voices just a bit… this song just really surprised me how quickly the full bones of it just came together. Almost effortless… but I was in a creative zone that week and did a heap of stuff, now life keeps getting in the way blah blah…
Back to stirring my pot of fresh plum jam…
yay for southern summer… thanks again! :beerbanger:


thanks for that Andrew… for some weird reason I’ve only just seen your post. Going to play with that today.


Hey, cool and very personnal song as you used to write and sing them.
The piano and vocal are top notch to me.

Very dynamic, not boring at all.
Mixing-wise, I’d second what CPF and ColdRoomStudio spotted out but nothing really wrong to me.

Thanks for that journey!

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Hey, just cruising through and saw you had a newer song out. I was listening as a “casual listener” (i.e. I was doing other things while it played in the background) so my feedback is just in the most general sense and coming from a fan of your song writing. The only thing that really stuck out as some have said, is that it is really dynamic. I’m not sure what a “proper” dynamic range is for a song like this is, and am very curious to know what some of you smart people say about it too. I have small speakers so the subs didn’t bother me. Other than that, YES! Very cool and quirky and dark and original. Love the reverb effect and all the ambient stuff you have going on and the unexpected piano chords that totally worked. The Celtic vibe you have really puts the listener (me) into another place/time. Very “cinematic” in the sense that your song really stirs the imagination and tells a story so very well. Love it!


Thanks so much for all the helpful feedback, really sorry to have taken so long to reply… Life got in the way!!
This song was very different for me in terms of songwriting process… first of all I drew some pictures and then I wrote the song about the pictures so I thought I’d combine the two - the link is up in the first post if you’re interested. I tried to tame some of the more extreme dynamics.