A little background:
I’ve been in a covers/wedding band with a group of friends for the last 25 years or so. (I’m a relative newby in the band - the band actually started way back in 1978!)
We went through a period in the late 90s and early 2000s of doing a lot of wedding-type gigs. Everyone got busy with life, and we haven’t played at all lately, so we wanted to record something to keep for posterity. A few years ago we got together and in one day roared through our (fairly massive) repertoire and recorded it all.
It was all pretty rough and ready, but we have been gradually going through and re-recording/mixing based on those original one-session recordings.
Here’s a cover of The Beatles’ “Something”. It’s a song I’ve always enjoyed playing because of the beautiful chord progression and melody. It has some nice power to it as well. It is a rare recorded appearance of my much-modified 1982 Profile Telecaster copy on this recording.
This is not my mix, but I thought I would post it here for some feedback. Thanks!
PS: Here is a mix I did of another song from the same session a while ago and posted it on here for critique:
Impressive band longevity. I’m sure you guys have a lot of stories to tell, with great and not-so-good moments. I always wanted to be in a cover band but never found one that was good/committed enough.
This is a very beautiful song indeed. It is clear that the band is used to playing this from what can be heard on this recording. To me the 2 main “weaknesses” I hear are:
e-drums sounding like… well e-drums
lack of a 2nd guitar player who would play rhythm parts all along, which especially becomes apparent when the lead guitar plays a solo or counter-melody ornaments
I know there’s nothing you can do about that if you don’t have a 2nd guitar player, but having another rhythm guitar would alos allow to lower the keys and synths a little, which would make the whole thing sound a little more “Beatle-like”, while it seems to be mainly synth-driven as of now.
The lead singer is doing a great job. His voice tone really serves the song well and he manages to sing with his own personality while being faithful to the spirit of the original song, which is no easy feat on this one.
So I listened to both this song and the edited The Letter, and I quite enjoyed your covers. First, they are quite faithful to the originals, not trying to take them to some other level, but at the same time you did a great job on the guitar and vocals and the keys especially. Very solid performance, plenty of emotion. It helps I really like those songs.
The mixes are excellent in my humble opinion. All the parts I haven’t already commented on, like the drums and bass, are also spot on, making both songs easy to listen to. They do have that cover band vibe, but much more professional than high school. That’s what you were shooting for, and you captured it well.
Hey Jean-Marc! Yeah, I’ve been in quite a few. The trouble with cover bands is most members never seem to have enough imagination to comprehend the concept of original music, so it’s hard to progress.
The drums are e-drums triggering SSD4 (I think). The guy who mixed it seems super happy with those sounds… I’m a little more picky like you, but I simply don’t have the time to mix these, so I’m not putting my hand up for that.
Yeah, we have slightly unusual instrumentation, in the sense that although it’s normally just Drums, Guitar, Bass, Piano and Sax, the sax player also plays a wind-controller synth when he’s not playing sax.
As with this song, it’s like having a guitar and 2 synths (one monophonic), so we tend to go with different arrangements to the original songs. We try to do something slightly different without departing too far.
Cool, that’s nice to know - that would be me
Thanks for taking the time!
Agreed - See my comments above. Believe me, the guy who mixed it has come a long way (after I finally convinced him to invest in a decent monitoring system. I get picky on some stuff, but I tend to not push him too far, or the remixes will go on forever and a day!
Yeah, there is a sound just on the instrumental tag at the end that is really piercing, and it does get a bit much with all the stringy type sounds.
Cool - Cheers!
Thanks Steve - agreed. In all honesty, even when we were playing a lot, it wasn’t enough to get to a really “pro” level. It made for good fun party music without any pretensions beyond that… but playing in a cover band is a great education in how music and good songs work.
Thanks for listening and commenting - much appreciated!
Very well done @ColdRoomStudio like for others it brings back memories. I like that you guys were faithful to the original but still injected your own style, that’s one of the silver linings to the cover band thing. Good live vocal! The mix is good really, I listened to the original and it’s not exactly stellar by today’s standards.
I was in a cover band(s) and we did Something for at least one wedding. They insisted I play the solo note for note and it’s not a hard solo but I remember one little odd phrase I had trouble with the timing on. These guys were Beatle fanatics, the lead singer told me 'that was great man, you sounded just like George . . . UNTIL! But we laughed anyway.
Well I even thought it was straight out of the drum module. I don’t know SSD4 but I would think it’s possible to get better (as in more realistic) results. But then again, it might just be a matter of taste.
Haha I had no idea! I’m not familiar with your voice yet… I will when I get my hands on that multitrack of yours though. Great job, I was even going to say kudos for not sounding american but then I realised you might actually be from somewhere else anyway?.. I’m not a native English speaker so it’s hard for me to locate accents besides US and UK (and Singapore of course but this one is really different).
Thanks Ingo! However, the vocal isn’t a live vocal. As I said in the OP, we have been gradually re-recording/remixing things from that original session. We are keeping some live stuff (mainly drums/bass), but most of the vocals are getting re-recorded. Apart from being a “good sounding” document of our band, it serves as a nice rehearsal tool if we ever do play together again - we will have all the parts recorded without any mistakes to play along to.
Great story! Haha, I imagine hard-core Beatles fans could be brutal!
George played an absolutely gorgeous solo on that song - it is so melodic and emotional, yet perfectly concise and non-indulgent. I wanted to do something that was a tribute to the spirit of that solo, but not a note-for-note re-creation.
You know, you could be right - I should check with him to see what he used!
Not a bad cover of one of my fav Beatles songs (“not bad” is pretty good when it comes to Beatles covers - I’ve been a fan since 1966).
I play the song regularly when I do a solo gig (couple of times a year). In C… (can’t sing that high any more).
I’m not sure I like the synth in there. Maybe I’m just a purist…