Salem | My Only Son

Salem | My Only Son
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We managed to get a new record deal with a significantly “bigger” record company. This track marks the halfway point in the mixing so I thought I’d check to see if I’m going awry anywhere before I mix any more.


So why isn’t it playable mods?


It is now. Just needed a space between the last sentence and the link :wink:


Also congrats on the new deal!!


Cool song AJ. A couple of things caught my ear in the acoustic parts… that wee ooh bit before the vox starts is very nice… then for me, the entry vox could be just a touch louder/thicker? For a ballad feel, I was just after a wee bit more vocal grab/nuance to match the guitar depth.
I’m also finding the guitar squeak sounds distracting. I listened first through my computer speakers and they were more noticeable through that crappy system but now that I’m listening through my infinity speakers I am still hearing them more than I’d expect.

The full instrumental parts sound awesome, very tasty guitar bridgey thing with sweet tones (a couple more guitar squeaks at the very end). I like that sustained organy chord at 4.13 but just wondered if it held on a fraction too long - it had something of a relentless feel to it but that also matches the song in a cool way so I only mention it as a random thought.
My two cents anyway :slight_smile:


Beautiful song! Just did a quick listen, kind of listening but not critiquing, and the only thing that jumped out at me (mostly 3:15-3:30 I think) was the C# bass note having a resonance, a bit louder than other bass notes. It seemed like the key of the song might be C# too and that was the bass root or ‘drone’ note?


I noticed it too. Its timed to 8 beats. Trimming it at 4 beats felt too short, trimming at 6 was irregular but kinda cool. Shortening to a 7 count seemed weird because of the pickup note that slides into the long one. And even if you like a one-off 3 beat measure against 4 beat meter, it still felt too long at 7.

Are you happy with the phrasing, changes, and cutoffs in the stacks of background vocals?


I’m happy with it all except the chord at 4:13. For me, it should be one bar not two.

It’s tricky being a producer as well as a band member. As a producer I have to serve my clients, as a band member I am my own client, and it’s never clear to the rest of the band whether I’m speaking to them as a band member, client or even as the writer of the song, especially when we all live apart from each other and our communication is via FB group. In short, the guitarist wanted the chord to be that long.


Nice! Great melodies and harmonies as usual…

I’m finding the intro vocal just a tad underpowered compared to the acoustic - maybe just automate the acoustic to drop a bit in volume just under the vocal phrases.

Check the word “arms” @ 2:05 - it sounds like a “gargling” tuning artifact there.

Overall, the low end of the mix (the sub-lows) feels a little overblown to me -it is pumping my subwoofer quite a bit more than commercial mixes I compare it with. Maybe a car speaker check would be in order.


When I read that you were at the halfway point in mixing this tune, I knew it would be damned good. Not much to do to improve things with the next half. It is a very polished, professional sounding mix as it is. I would agree with the opening vocal being a bit subdued, but that’s an easy fix. I love your use of reverb and delay on the guitar fills and solos, it adds a lot to the feel.

If I was to make any suggestions at all, and please take this with a pound of salt, some of the guitar fills sound a little stiff to me, like it is trying too hard to stay on the grid. Obviously, every guitar player thinks they could do better, but I’d love to hear it crying a little more to fit the ballad. Hope that makes sense, it’s a very small thing.

Either way, this will be epic when you are done.


I am pretty sure Adrian meant that finishing this song means that about half the set of songs for the new album is mixed, not that this song is only half mixed… :wink:

I got nothin’ beyond what you’ve already been given… sounds pretty great to me! :tophat:


Yes that’s right. Poor wording from me, sorry.


My bad, but you are welcome to the now backhanded compliment anyway. Sounds great.


Very pro sounding mix. I would check the bass it’s a little hot. The vocal sound is different from other mixes of the singer I’ve heard. I think overall 2.5 and up boost on the guitars and a little on the vocals along with the bass adjustment.

Great playing ,singing and mixing!


Very nice acoustic intro. Love to hear that vox a little more. Just a tad. Nice air at 45 seconds. I knew it would take off ha ha Nice bgv’s. Powerful chorus. a little journey feel?? Yup, this has it goin on all cylinders. Congrats




Thank you all, it seems that many want to hear the vocal at the front more, so I’ll drop the guitar a bit.

The chord at the end is going to be shorter. I was never convinced by it. There are slightly too many subs, and the vocal is wildly pitched at 2.05. These will be addressed too. It’s good to get confirmation of this stuff from a bunch of well-respected ears, thank you.

Interestingly, there is other stuff I thought I would be bashed for that no one has even mentioned. Just goes to show the power of BTR in terms of putting things into perspective.

FYI the song was inspired by the guitarist’s son leaving home to go to NZ for a year. The general theme was relatively easy to write about because both the singer and I, who wrote the lyrics, have had similar experiences.


I think this has happened on almost every tune I have posted… I get insightful comments on stuff I thought was all good, and/or some things that I thought would generate criticism weren’t mentioned. Even on those rare times when what I post needs very little “fixing”, I come away with something I hadn’t considered… So valuable!!