The Path We've Learned

Wrote this a good while ago.
Never shared it with anyone.
Recorded on an old AKAI multitrack MG1212.

Is it worth anything?
Worth recording over?
Worth fixing in the mix?
Worth hiring a real band?

Let me know. Thanks.

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If you go to YouTube,
The lyrics are in the description.

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Hi studio,
You look so young, and so cool.
The lyrics is written very well.
And very relevant today.
The melody hook is very catchy, and your vocals fit the happy vibe I am getting in this song.
Joyful and lively, I love this song.
This song means more to you, as you are the songwriter, and to be able to leave your legacy and work for your family is priceless. One song, then album, or two.
And from this path, I would have to say “Love, anyway!”
I love this song, studio!!!
Thanks for sharing.

That could be quite some years ago, potentially. Interesting song. It’s very catchy, has good lyrics and good movement throughout I think. The tempo is quite fast, but it seems to work. It keeps the song under 3 minutes though, just saying. The violin/fiddle part is very compelling, really lifts everything during the solos.

Is that a female backing/harmony vocal? Sounds like it, but I can’t be sure. It seems like there are some timing issues, most noticeable in the bass part perhaps. I like the bass-line, but the bass volume seems to fluctuate between notes and as I said the timing of the performance could be improved a bit (though at that tempo, quite the challenge).

With the lack of drums/percussion, this seems like a Folk song, but yet the fast tempo and fiddle comes across more like Country or Bluegrass. Kind of defies genre classification, really.

Thanks for the review! Now your song: even after spending a couple of minutes googling your AKAI, I’m not sure if it’s analog or digital. I record using Cubase AI 10.5, but there are all sorts DAW’s for your computer. Chances are, if you’re decent at home recording, I think you’d get better sound quality on a computer DAW. Depends how much time you want to spend. I recommend toontrack drum software if you want drums. Something like EZDrummer 3 is good if you are new to stuff like that. I think your song is quite good, I liked it! Kind of 70’s rock with maybe a tinge of country, in my opinion. What state or country are you from? I didn’t notice timing issues that bad. Though I use Melodyne Assistant for pitch correction and timing correction (I didn’t have that when I recorded the 2 songs I posted most recently). I doubt you need to hire a band, but it’s your money, do what you want!

I’m from Los Angeles California.
The AKAI machine is an analog mixer combined with an analog 14 channel recorder transport.

So, this song was probably recorded in the mid to late 90s, and the 2 buss mix you hear is more than likely a cassette deck.

I like the song and lyric way more than i like the production of it here. I hear intermodulation distortion and cant really tell from my cellphone if im hearing it from my device tiny speaker or if it’s inherent in the recording.

Hi Christopher, I definitely think this track is worth re-recording. It’s a nice piece of songwriting with a good melody and rhythmic feel.

As has been pointed out above, there are some timing issues, and I would add that some improvements could be made to the pitching of the lead vocals, and most certainly the backing vocals would benefit from some tuning too.

To my ear, the strongest, most confident performances in the song are the acoustic guitar and the violin. The lead vocal has a nice timbre and vibe too.

Whether or not you use parts of the original recording would depend much on whether you still have access to the original individual parts. Even if there are some issues with the original parts, with digital tools such as Izotope RX, a lot can be done to improve noise and even distortion problems.

On the other hand, depending on the amount of work that is needed, it might be a better option to just use the original recording as maybe a guide and re-record all the parts afresh using the benefits and ease of modern recording and editing.

Nice work - thanks for sharing!

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You are correct on several issues with this.

I haven’t had access to the original tracks for decades.
I still have the tapes but unfortunately the 2 machines i still own have given up the ghost a long long time ago.

But what i am willing to do is use this existing 2 track mix as a scratch track and rerecord the parts. It’s only an acoustic guitar and a Yamaha DX keyboard providing everything else including that acoustic bass sound.

The vocals are all me. No females involved in this recording sadly!

Although the vocals could use a great sounding vocal contribution from someone like feaker. But where does one find somebody like that? :thinking:

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@studio I think this is a good tune and I think it’s worth putting in time and money. I think you could do it all yourself or collab with someone or you could invest in hiring help. It’s up to you whatever you’re comfortable with. I have a list of studio musician sites if you’re interested in that.

The song is beautiful. So yes to all of those :slight_smile:
If you do a redo, maybe a bit a softer guitar touch or picking? I like the Rhymth overall, but it left me wanting to hear the voice more.

I truly believe I can do better on this song.

During those times when I was in my 30s, it was hard to pry me away from my responsibilities and my relaxing beverages…

Fast forward, and today is much more relaxed and focused on listening. Listening to what’s good for the soul. Thanks.


And we’d love to hear the results! :beerbanger:
Even while it’s a work in progress, it’d be cool to hear it. We may have some production tips along the way if you’re up for it.

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So it was a Yamaha DX7? Do you still have it? Do you know if it was version 1 (limited MIDI) or version 2 (full MIDI)? I have a DX7 (v1) is why I’m curious. :slightly_smiling_face: So you got that violin/fiddle sound and performance out of the DX7? If so, that’s amazing! The bass sound is good too, just the performance timing issue as mentioned earlier.

After I asked the question I was wondering if it was you doing a falsetto backing vox track. Regardless, it worked very nicely.

Paul (feaker) has a very sweet high voice that is on most of his recordings. I don’t know if it’s falsetto per se, but it seems like his main/default voice. I liked it when he started doing grittier vocals, but the sweet voice is very pretty and compelling.

Thanks for the background info! I started songwriting and recording decades ago on a Fostex X-15 cassette 4-track multitrack. It was one of the first consumer ‘portastudio’ devices on the market.

Woops.missed this one…sorry bout that.
Intro sounds Irish-ish. Nice vibe so far. I like to hear old stuff like this.
Almost folkish. Melody line works. The dodo’s are the best IMHO.
I’m not going to fault anything. It deserves a redo.

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Would you be willing to add some vocals when it gets to that point in the redo?

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Hi sir studio I am soon to be 74 and have lost a lot in the ole singing department. I am officially off an antibiotic today for a nasty throat infection and things are lookin up. I would be glad to help if I can. Collabs are fun.
That being said, Andy and Rene IMHO have the greatest appeal in there style and presence. God, I supposed now I missed someone…

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It is a cool song, Christopher, and as is I find quite listenable. You have managed to take an old analog recording that, mind you, was a pretty darn decent performance, of an original song that has a lot of character and energy. And therefore you have the ability to add to or redo, if you want to, and see what happens. The song has been playing in your mind for so long now you probably suspect what you want to do differently. It is possible you might wish for other musicians/singers, etc, for some ideas. You might find some help here even!

For me, and many indie artists, many of our best songs never get their best treatment, in my opinion.

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Hi studio,
feaker volunteered me for the vocal spot, and I am willing to do it, when the time comes.
That’s if you are ok with it.
Have a beautiful CA day, my friend!!!
I hope your weather has cooled down.
Warm regards,

That would be awesome!

Thanks guys!

Anything I can do to help?

Or should I just stay out of the way? Lol.

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Hey, I’m really late to the party, but a redo on this would be great. The timing on the original gives it a nice vibe, but if you took your time and got everything lined up to the grid you’d have a very nice project.
To me, the main drive of the song is the acoustic guitar. Your main challenge would be to get that locked dead on with a click track. Fortunately, you could copy and paste a lot of sections to get it tight all the way through.
From there, I’d get the main vocal out front and accurate, without quite as much ambience. It will be a lot easier to add the background vocals when the main vocal is locked in.
After that, the real fun begins. You did a great job with the violins; if you can, I would have them play the melody you’ve created, and add a couple of background violin tracks down in the mix and panned wide to give it a bluegrass counterpoint melody to sit on top of.
There is a lot of potential here if you’re up to the challenge.

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