…or maybe not
…made just a few changes
…or maybe not
…made just a few changes
That intro is unreal good. Rating 9.87563/10
Thanks Paul… did you make it through the rest of the song, per chance
Wow Andrew, this is outstanding. No idea how you made those crazy vox effects in the intro, but it’s killer. Got your trademark style of chording, always a little surprise waiting around the corner, in the composition. And holy smokes, that has to be a ton of bgv tracks!! Reminds me a bit of how one of the Yes incarnations sounded when they were in their Union phase (saw that tour actually, it was damn good), but with a whole lot more swing…
Top job mate
Well, there are really no crazy effects at all! In fact, you kind of answered your own question:
The intro is pretty much free of effects except for some reverb. Even the compression was committed to during tracking… it’s just a lot of overdubs, really.
Wow, I would never have pegged you as a Yes fan
Yup, bring back the swing, I say! There is not enough swing and swagger in music these days. Call me old, but I really miss Thin Lizzy sometimes!
Thanks again for taking the time and effort to listen and comment, Dave!
Heck yeah, HUGE fan of the classic Yes lineup. After Tormato, I pretty much gave up on them, never liked the Trevor Rabin versions of the band. But Steve Howe is one of the trinity of my biggest electric guitar influences (with Page and May), and I spent countless hours listening to them (plus Genesis, Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, etc). My first love was classical music, so those symphonic and complicated works have always appealed to me. Got to see Yes many times during those classic years, such great shows.
Would never try to write or record any music of that variety myself however, so it’s easy to understand your surprise!
Niiiiiiiiiiiiiicely done. It seems a lot more comfortable, but still forceful. The intro is great. Great arrangement as we all expect from you, maestro.
+1 for the vocal stacked intro very impressive! The delayed entrances and moving lines are very effective, a classical technique really, canons, counterpoint and all that. Reminds me more of Queen than Yes but still your own thing, very cool.
Thanks Bob! Your feedback on my original mix was right on point and extremely helpful. I’m super thankful for your succinct and insightful input. I really appreciate the additional listen and comment!
Thanks Ingo! After I came up with the idea for the “prelude”, I was lying in bed late one night and that whole “cascading harmonies” idea came to me out of the blue just before I fell asleep. I got up the next morning, opened a new project and just layered it out using the individual strings of the guitar chords as reference tones. It was very time consuming, but ultimately I think it was worth it - a fun exercise!
I’ve waited a bit to reply to this as I wanted to be more sure of my thoughts. Overall, the song/production/mix are sounding great! Have listened to it a few times now and while I LOVE the concept of the intro, for me, there is a sense of disconnect between it and the rest of the song. Let me try to articulate…
Entry part is awesome, I find it just a little too long in parts which throws me off my listening stride - for example, the held note from 9 - 17 seconds feels just a little too stretched out, similarly the phrases ‘seems to be’ and ‘living in a frame’ just feel a tiny bit too slow. Love the vocal innuendo/nuance that I’m hearing. It’s intimate and compelling, there is just something about the timing in the opening sequence that is jarring me.
The rest is fab! Hope that makes some sort of sense and is inoffensive.
Hi Emma, thank you for your thoughtful and really detailed comments. I really appreciate you taking the time to listen and comment so comprehensively. What you’re saying makes perfect sense, and definitely no offence taken at all!…
This may very well change with the passage of time and distance from the production, but at present, I am happy to keep the intro as it is.
The specific points you mention were very deliberate intentions on my part. The tempo of that intro bit is not related to the tempo of the song - it is intended to be a rubato flourish. That long, drawn out note is my musical version of a Simpsons joke - Just when you think they have milked it enough, they throw a couple more gags. It is deliberately over-the-top.
I think my mistake may have been in posting the body of the song originally without the intro. I’m guessing that it may probably sound “tacked on” to you, considering you were already familiar with the body of the song…
I hope you don’t get the impression that I’m diminishing or discounting your input, because I do really value it… It’s just that - at this point in time at least - I’m really confident that section of the song is achieving exactly what I wanted, in exactly the way I envisioned it… As I said, that may change with time, but that is how I feel now.
Thanks so much again for your help!
I’m hearing quite a few new alterations with this…or maybe I’m remembering this inaccurately.
First of all, this is giving me a really good feeling. Very nice! The chorus is shining much more than before with the new backup vocals. I don’t remember the high vocal notes in the last chorus of the first mix of this song, (the “I don’t wanna share this” at 4:18)…, but I really like that little change up. I also like the way you build the background vocals more and more with each successive chorus. I should mention that the chorus is growing on me more, also. It’s a real, nice, feel good chorus.
I like the vocal and acoustic guitar intro and I still really dig the way those lightly overdriven electric guitars come in to hail the beginning of the song. Simple beauty and character! This song will work with and without the big vocal intro. Maybe the radio version would be the one without the vocal intro, being that the song would be a little shorter.
Not sure if you added a bit of distortion and bite to the bass but there are times in the song that I seem to hear more grit in the bass than I remember from the previous mix. Could very well be that I’m just overthinking it, though. Or is it a subtle modification that you did indeed make?
This is another impressive production and song you’ve got here. You have to be happy with this. I’m looking forward to hearing the whole album as a unit, when it’s completed!
Hey man, you’re right - there are a fairly monumental amount of changes between this mix and the last mix I posted. Mainly vocally, but some others too.
Yes, the lead vocal from the chorus is the same there as last time. I kept that.
Thanks, yeah that was kind of my vision for it.
No, you’re not hearing things - In response to your comments, I added a second channel to the bass in parallel with what I had. I ran the bass DI through a Marshall amp sim for some extra grunge and midrange thickness.
Thanks man - I always appreciate your well-thought-out comments and input!
Hi Andrew, great song for my late morning coffee . I share some of Emma’s feedback. Song feels like its dragging a bit and its not just the tempo of it. Could just be some frequency balance issue. The guitar chord hits can have some varying dynamics of hard and soft, loud and quiet at times etc. Maybe they have subtle dynamics but they may need to be exaggerated.
Regardless of the fact that I woke up late, the song felt dragging a bit. Not that every song needs to sound upbeat and energetic but you know what I mean. It doesnt have a “repeatability” factor that would put this song on a playlist somewhere, but a few tweaks could likely fix that issue.
Here is a slight tweak I was thinking about. Slightly sped up in the verses compared to the intro (your intro is fine), a bit of mid high dynamics i the verses at those chord crunches. Of course it is slightly comical sounding with the artificially sped up tempo but I still wouldn’t mind listening to it. Just throwing an idea out there, I know it is daunting to hear such a big change to the arrangement but hey stranger things have happened in the music industry and it is part of what I am learning today in the shadow of some great producers.
I had not, and after hearing both versions, I like the newer one a bit better from a production standpoint. Ofcourse I would still rather like it much better sped up after the intro.
Thanks Michelle - I appreciate you sharing your thoughts…
However, overall, I’m very happy with the feel of the song in general. It matches my vision of what I was hearing when it was conceived. Whether that comes across as dragging or not doesn’t really concern me.
I’m coming from a place that was influenced a lot by the rhythms of blues-oriented music, especially the particular feel of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section Double Trouble. To get an idea of where I’m coming from, check out songs like “Cold Shot” and “Empty Arms”, or even the Cold Chisel song “Way Down” that I posted in the previous thread.
At the risk of sounding like an old fart, we really haven’t heard any music that swings in popular culture in the last 35 years or so. Some hip hop might be an exception to that, but as far as rock or pop-oriented stuff, true, human-sounding swing seems to be a dying nuance.
Everything (apart from the synths) is played on real instruments, so it would need a total re-record to change the tempo. Not trivial indeed.
That said, I may add a little percussion to the chorus to move it along a bit. I have someone in mind to do it, who might do justice to the rhythms, but it’s a fragile thing that I want to protect, so we’ll see.
Thanks for your input on this - I appreciate you taking the time to listen and comment, but I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on this point.
I had a feeling you might say that No composer likes their vision and arrangement touched. Including myself. However, I had a big moment of realization after seeing just how much work goes on behind the scenes in post production of super hit songs. A lot of times the songs are completely changed by the time they hit the media, deviating from the original vision. I was shocked to see the changes made from the original version to the released version. Sometimes even after full production, mixing and mastering cycle… and at times at the disbelief of the songwriters. I have also seen how a song struggles to explode for a decade then it is remade with a small key and tempo change and suddenly explodes. I would advise keeping an open mind about this, not just for this song but any production in general that is designed for a larger audience.
A lot of us composers are firmly rooted in our visions and sanctity of the concept of the song. If the song is made for a small group of listeners or is sending a message in a particular genre, then its likely fine, but most of the composers do want a wider audience for their songs at some point and we are simply holding ourselves back by trying to define the scope of our production.
I would highly recommend consulting a professional producer or a few about your album (definitely not me ) or at least get some feedback if you are serious about your album’s visibility.
The choice in the end is yours ofcourse. I am just passing by . The song in the end has potential that is definitely unrealized by the current production.
I want to quote an example of an artist I have known for a few years.
her song hit billboard #4 in Blues but I am very familiar with her production cycle over the years.
Some simple changes breathed new life in the song. Despite being a niche, the song appealed to many.
Here is the song
I think we are really on different pages…
No doubt. I myself have never been a part of that process, but as an avid reader of all things musical over the past 40 years or so, I’m well aware that it happens.
You see, seeing something like this is just a little frustrating from my POV… Track back through any of the threads I have posted here over the years and you’ll see that I have posted my mixes and productions for input right from the conception and pretty much all the way through the process.
I have asked for advice, got quite a bit over the years, and (as you’ll see if you care to look) have implemented quite a bit of it… The last song I posted went through multiple changes in vocal melody, arrangement, and even instrumentation as a result of input suggested - as have many others. This one definitely has too…. So to suggest I’m not open-minded flies in the face of that.
I’ve realised over the years that I have to be balanced about input, or else I will end up with something I frankly don’t really like.
I’m fairly confident in my abilities and opinion as an experienced musician with quite a bit of production nous, so I know where I draw the line and say “enough”… That my come across as arrogance - if it does, so be it. I don’t see it that way. It is simply the confidence someone who has lived more than half a century and knows what they want to hear and how to get there.
I want people to like my music as much as anyone else, but that doesn’t mean I’m willing to make any and all changes suggested. After all, my opinion is important too, don’t you think?!
I try to be really even handed and not get too emotionally reactive when people give opinions, but I must admit: That’s pretty hard for even me to take.
I know it probably matters little to anyone else, but I really put my heart and soul into my songs and productions (not to mention an incredible amount of time)… so you’ll forgive me if I indulge myself in being just a little deflated at that comment.
What can I say about that phrase? It kind of suggests that if I don’t take the advice, I’m not serious about my music. That’s clearly not a correct premise.
Yes, if I was a full time artist, I might be able to afford to employ a producer. But then again, maybe I wouldn’t. I quite like production, and I do think I’m pretty good at it. My ideas may not line up with popular taste, but hell, popular taste changes all the time, so I’m not bothered with that rabbit-hole.
I make music for myself primarily. If I enjoy it, I’m confident that my tastes are not so eccentric that others may find it enjoyable to - be that 10, 100, 1000 or even 10,000. I really don’t care about visibility. I put all of my energy into my music.
Hi Andrew, thanks for your gracious reply… i always feel uncomfortable expressing a contrary view but have personally really valued it when others have done the same with me.
I suspect you have nailed it here… with a song still in a formative phase, plus having listened to the original version a number of times, I had built a clear concept that was at odds with your creative direction! And crikey, I am the last person in the world to want to change your creative visioning. I can totally relate to your comment:
In some ways, dissension becomes a form of validation, well it does for me sometimes! I so value being a part of the journey as your music unfolds. It adds a wonderful depth to your final mixes and provides invaluable insights.
The only thing I would add at this point would be a little bit of extra hand percussion in the last couple of choruses for a tiny bit of lift. Everything else has been very well thought out with a purpose in mind, and you’ve lived with it, so launch it when you feel It’s ready.
even though we both are likely poles apart when it comes to music, I still like some of your songs very much, dont get me wrong.
Not sure why you would think that. I did not imply that. Statement was simply If (possible result) you are serious about visibility/publicity/exposure then (try) ____. Your reverse logic does not add up. I am not your producer or manager who is forcing an advice on you.
Most advice is like flowing water. Either wash your hands in it or leave it. That doesnt offend me one bit. You wanted an honest input and I gave it. Song is dragging quite a bit, despite being a great song, it is coming across as boring (and it isnt). I have studied the blues genre you assumed I am unfamiliar with. I am very familiar with it as a matter of act. The arrangement doesnt hit the spot and others have noted the same here in a bit more nicer words than I did. You defended your opinion (I expected that, most musicians do), and I respect that. I simply added a bit more of my viewpoint after that. if you think I was trying to force you to change anything, you are mistaken.
I stopped caring about sugarcoating things(specially in the field of music as I see its harmful repercussions) long time ago. I also didnt think I was being rude or disrespectful at all to the point of you italicizing things “to make sure I understand”. This isnt my first rodeo in the industry to know what that means
I guess we are doing this. I dont care how it comes across. I like arrogance in a musician myself. It is a desirable quality. Hold on to that. You are arrogant yes, it is obvious…no doubts about that. But I like it.
So don’t get me wrong there but when you end with a statement like that it adds to the frustration that is already out there in a lot of undiscovered musicians. You just contradicted yourself about caring and not caring.
If you want a musical challenge, I urge you to produce another version of this song, speed up in the verse to about the tempo I posted earlier, then go back to slow in the final outtro (anti climactic ending). As annoying as it sounds, take it as a challenge. Post both versions on all music sites and see which one people like more. Hell both of us might be surprised there
Yes it is a challenge and a dare. We can make it a double dog dare if needed lol. if you are up for it that is old man (no offense)
Take care and have fun.