This is the final result of about 6 years having worked on this song. I had recorded a first version I wasn’t happy with and it had been left to rest for a while until I decided to make it better and came here for help. You guys helped with different things like the lyrics, and @ColdRoomStudio Andrew was especially helpful, putting me on track to find a better song structure. Not only that, but he also played the guitar solo for me (@2:49)!
Later I decided to introduced more changes to the lyrics and invite a musician friend who can rap really well to sing a verse. Then I decided to record everything from scratch because there had been so many modifications I would feel better going back to a blank slate. Then again later a friend of mine offered to play the bass and this led to more changes and we did a comprehensive work on locking the bass and the drums together.
Anyway this has been quite a journey but I’m really happy with the result. I have already had feedback from a couple friends on the mix so I believe it is ok, I guess I’m just uploading it here because many of you heard the first version and I thought it would be nice to hear what it became. However if you hear anything wrong, do tell me! I’ll probably upload it on streaming platforms tomorrow so there’s a few hours left to make adjustments, should that be necessary.
This is an un-mastered version with some gentle limiting.
Wow… What a “journey” you give the listener in this song. From jazzy to rock to rap to… And it all works. WOW! Great job on this.
Here are a couple of my notes, I know you said you didn’t really want any, but, you know, you DID post in the “bashing” section.
Bash: The hand drums in the beginning feel too “wet” for me. All the verb kind of pulled them away from the same space with the rest of the elements. IMHO a drier sound would work much better here - it would be more “intimate” too and set up for the big drums that are coming.
Yeah!: The drums entering at 1:40ish - just a perfect moment in the song! I was really not expecting it to start rocking there. Very very excellent! And the funky groove here with the added instruments is just way cool!!
Yeah!: Andrew’s solo is choice as well. Another flavor for the song, again, very creative twist. Well done @ColdRoomStudio!
Yeah!: Then the rap??!?! And it works!?? LOVE it!
Bash: The only other “issue” for me, other than the hand drums, is the ride cymbal around 4:09 seems a little loud during the solo…
Yeah!: Your keyboard sounds give it a kind of retro vibe too with tasty little solos and sounds sprinkled around.
Yeah!: OH! And a great singer too. Sorry, I forgot to even mention that.
— edit – back for another listen —
Bash: One more after another listen. Maybe the intro music could come up to a dBs or two to support the first verse vocal a little more?
Yeah!: Again - I LOVE the funky groove at 1:40, and your keyboards at 2:00!
Yeah!: The transition from Andrew’s solo into the rap part. Well done! It works on every level.
Yeah!: The rhythm section, i.e. bass/drums on this song is particularly good too.
Love the musicianship and creativity throughout this song! So very well done! Thanks for sharing!
What is missing from the website is WHERE do I go to find the music you’re highlighting there? (Obviously, I know how to get Andrew’s, but that’s because I’m here.) Do you have a BandCamp page or anything?
Everything about this is very professionally done. Great use of percussion from start to finish. The continual build of the song is impressive, introducing elements that add interest and support the feel of the song.
The vocal delivery is very precise, and the details show through very clearly in the mix.
Andrew’s solo is hot and tasty, and is very complimentary to the overall feel.
It is very plain that a lot of work went into this. Congratulations on a great job.
Hey Mike! Thank you so much for the kind comments, this feels really good to read.
Totally agree with your suggested revisions: actually both the congas and the ride were adjustments that I made in the other direction (the congas were too dry and the ride was not audible enough) but I obviously was a little heavy-handed. So thanks for that, I will adjust these again before uploading.
And I’ll try your suggestion on the intro too. Initially I wanted to create a massive effect when the drums enter but I think there is some headroom to still get this effect while getting a better balance with the intro.
I put a lot of effort into making this sound groovy and funky without getting entirely into the funk genre, I still wanted this song to be a generic pop/rock tune with a message and some different musical colors. So I’m really glad you were positively responsive to that.
There is a reason for that: the sole purpose of the website is to promote audio engineering services and to get visitors to fill out the contact form, ideally with a price quote request. So anything that would redirect them out of the website would be counter-productive. I am not promoting myself as a songwriter because I am simply not creative enough: I write a song every 3-4 years at best, and my music clearly doesn’t fit well in today’s music scene. However I am planning on opening a Bandcamp page soon. You can hear more of my music on my SoundCloud but there are mostly covers there.
Anyway thanks for listening Alice, very few people listen to this song but I like it because I love the singer’s voice. I am self-taught and I attempted to learn jazz piano properly a couple years ago. Alice is the result of this “jazzy” period, but in the end it didn’t work out, my brain simply isn’t flexible enough to start learning academically after all these years playing by ear.
I didn’t put that note down on the first listen, but on listening again, I thought it might work. Maybe you could lower the verse vocal a tiny bit as well to get to that vocal/music balance while leaving the headroom for your drum moment intact. (?) Initially I was thinking that verse vocal might be too loud too. Interested to see how it turns out. I’m sure it’ll sound good. Congrats again!
Wow, it sounds like you mixed together some of your best ideas from last years and put them into one song. And it works for me.
Hats off for producing such a piece of music with so many different parts!
I still find some Alan Parson things from your songs and your mixes, it might be part of your music personnality I think.
The song is very catchy to me, because everything is moving everytime and it isn’t boring at all!
On the bashing side, there is nothing very wrong to me.
I really like the bass tone and playing, string arpeggios and hits, it works really great to me.
I also found the panning movements of rhythm guitars a bit obvious at 0:34.
The first synth solo would have some vibratos and bends because I found it a bit rigid in that part (the ending solo isn’t for instance).
I also expect the ending part being an ad lib section with more interactions from singers (you and the rapper), lead electric guitar and synth but it would be much easier with a real band playing together for that interaction (like Dean Town - Vulfpeck & Chris Thile), easier to say…
Again, a masterpiece to me!
Edit: also notice that you switch your avatar with something more “you”…
Thanks for the careful listening and positive feedback!
Wow, that is awesome to read because Alan Parsons is my ultimate reference in terms of sound indeed. I always loved his pristine mixes with crisp highs, beautiful textures and dynamics. If you are able to hear a little bit of that in my productions this is a great achievement for me.
Panning at 0:34 is intentionally obvious: I wanted the guitars to open up to the sides to free up the center for the vocals as soon as they entered. If you have another idea on how to arrange that I’d be happy to hear it. I thought it sounded fine so I didn’t think of anything different but there might be a better solution.
As for the ending part, I wanted it to be very rigid and repetitive as it illustrates what the lyrics are describing: some kind of vicious spiral of pain and struggle that keeps on cycling, and out of which there is no way.
That being said, this acoustic version of Dean Town is insanely good! Who knew a mandolin could get so funky?
Wow this is great stuff @Lophophora, what a great combination of styles and sounds you have here! Well written, performed and mixed and challenging to do all that to this level, congratulations.
The guitar solo is beautiful and fits perfectly. I’m not easy to please with rap parts (some of the regular genre stuff I do like though) so when I saw it mentioned above I thought uh-oh, but it works perfectly here and it was a smart decision to include it.
I enjoyed this, thanks for posting, this should definitely have commercial appeal.
This is excellent. I can hear all the work that you put into it. Love the feeling of the synths/ keys. The whole song feels really good! Reminds me of all those classic late 70’s bands, like Supertramp, especially! You have to be very happy with how this turned out !! There’s nothing to bash here. Really nice solo from Andrew too!