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#45194 - 11/28/09 06:05 PM [Off-Topic] Original Song Needs Production Feedback
Ian Fraser Offline
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Registered: 07/02/00
Posts: 1696
Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I'm sending you an original tune today called "Been There, Done That" (I wrote it before Bon Jovi put his out. LOL). It started life as an open D composition, then it went to BIAB. The open D is no longer there. I think I've taken this mix as far as my hearing will allow. Any feedback is most welcome.

There are no RTs in it - I do like the midi acoustic since it is quite impossible to generate RT leads or strumming or picking in this style. I don't hear well enough to eq my own acoustic, but perhaps will try. Any additions, subtractions, unheard glitches?
http://web.ncf.ca/ifraser/BeenThere.html - embedded player should work with most browsers except 2.x Firefoxes. Give it a second or three.:)

Thanks - Ian
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#45195 - 11/28/09 07:35 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Original Song Needs Production Feedback [Re: Ian Fraser]
WienSam Offline
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Registered: 01/16/05
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Been there, done that, got the T shirt!

I like it Ian. Very nice song. I would try a little harder to find some RTs to go with it. You could also try adding a bridge into it - a little change in the action makes a song so much more interesting. Or modulate the last chorus up a third.

Well done
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#45196 - 11/28/09 08:26 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Original Song Needs Production Feedback [Re: Ian Fraser]
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 13457
Loc: Australia
Hi Ian,

I really enjoyed listening to your song. It's extremely well put together in so many ways. Congratulations! The style, the arrangement, the harmony, and the range of notes in the melody ideally suit your voice. There's nothing I'd change about the arrangement, my comments are purely regarding lyrics.

When I listened, it occurred to me that I'd experiment with leaving the last phrase off each verse and fill it with a 2-bar instrumental hook. (I'm talking about the phrases, "my blood runs cold", "and I put love on hold", and " 'cause the story's so old".) This could potentially accomplish a few things...
  • It creates lines that "show" rather than "tell" quite so strongly. This will help involve the listener a little more because it makes them think.
  • It will artistically unbalance the lyric and, by doing so, add a little extra emotional content from a listener's perspective.
  • It will help further separate the verse and chorus lyrically.
  • It will leave the listener hanging at the end of the verse and make the arrival of the chorus noticeably stronger.
  • Using an instrumental hook will give the listener something to hum their way into the chorus with. This is a device that is often used and helps to involve the listener and get them caught up in the song.
One other lyric observation: the phrase "Should we run, you bet" would also work as "Should I run" since, in line 2 of that verse, you have stated that you are thinking about running away.

I really like how you have used so many back-heavy melodic phrases (phrases that start after beat 1) and then capped them off with the discreet use of a front heavy phrase.

Above are just suggestions, Ian. Take them for what they are worth as they may or may not work. Overall, though, I really liked this song; it's 10/10 from me. I'm on the fifth listen now and singing along with it

Regards,
Noel


Edited by Noel96 (11/28/09 10:44 PM)
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#45197 - 11/28/09 09:02 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Original Song Needs Production Feedback [Re: Noel96]
WienSam Offline
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Noel has some good points there. I agree
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#45198 - 11/28/09 09:30 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Original Song Needs Production Feedback [Re: WienSam]
MarioD Online   content
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Registered: 12/27/03
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As I said in our emails I like it just as it is.

I would not change a thing.
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#45199 - 11/28/09 09:46 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Original Song Needs Production Feedback [Re: MarioD]
Danny C. Offline
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Registered: 03/18/04
Posts: 6480
Loc: South Louisiana
Quote:

As I said in our emails I like it just as it is.

I would not change a thing.




I was going to say what Mario said but then I read Noel's comments, especially the one about the little instrumental interludes. but overall this is a very good song my friend.

Later,
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#45200 - 11/28/09 10:17 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Original Song Needs Production Feedback [Re: Danny C.]
Ian Fraser Offline
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Registered: 07/02/00
Posts: 1696
Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Sam you're up late tonight . . . or you got up real early. I put a 4 bar instrumental bridge in between v2 & 3 - piano - not quite strong enough I guess. Not sure if moving up a 3rd would be handled by my voice - it's a good idea and I've used in a couple of tunes lately. Thanks for the suggestions. By the way - what genre would you put this song in??

Noel How does Sunday look?? Quite an analysis - must have taken some time. Originally I had wanted to put a verbal hook in that 2-bar space that was common to all verses but couldn't settle on one. The alternate title is "Is loving here worth that?" however I'd be foolish to dispense with a phrase everyone knows - particularly when it's singable. I wanted to put an a ccappella chorus after v 3 supported by handclaps followed by a full band chorus to close, but I wanted to be under the 4 minute limit.

I'm really interested in trying to find that 2-bar inst. hook - guitar or harmonica. The 2-bar in the chorus I'll keep. You listened five times! But you're happily married aren't you????

Mario - got a 2-bar hook up your sleeve - dare I say "thumbs up".

Danny - think this would work with a singalong group?

Thanks for the kind comments and thoughtful comments.

Cheers
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My "Original Tunes" Site
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#45201 - 11/28/09 10:50 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Original Song Needs Production Feedback [Re: Ian Fraser]
WienSam Offline
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Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 4900
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My body clock? All over the place at the moment

Where would I place your song in a genre? Country Pop. It reminds me of several songs from the '70s. It IS a beautiful song, Ian
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#45202 - 11/28/09 10:55 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Original Song Needs Production Feedback [Re: Ian Fraser]
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 13457
Loc: Australia
Hi Ian,

Sunday is looking wet today. But we need the rain so that's ok.

In relation to the notion of an instrumental hook, if you think it's worth pursuing, you'd probably only need a half-dozen notes or so. I suggest that you save the file with a new name and try muting the vocals in the phrases I'm talking about and just have a listen and see how it sounds and how it feels. From my experience, it will feel wrong at first because you are so used to the other way. The ears and mind don't always seem to like change. I've noticed that it usually takes me around 3 days to get used to anything new in one of my songs. When I start to feel comfortable with my second version, I then A/B the two versions and see which works best for me.

In relation to the arrangement, I totally agree with MarioD; don't change a thing. You've got yourself a great song.

Regards,
Noel
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#45203 - 11/28/09 11:03 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Original Song Needs Production Feedback [Re: Noel96]
WienSam Offline
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Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 4900
Loc: A corner of Vienna, Austria, t...
Noel's right. I'm listening to this for the nth time. It IS a great song but it belongs in the past as it is. You need to bring this up-to-date. Noel's ideas are worth considering

Make them WANT it!
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Sam
Karaoke King

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Turning that corner again - I have to keep following that dream, no matter what

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#45204 - 11/28/09 11:08 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Original Song Needs Production Feedback [Re: Noel96]
Ian Fraser Offline
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Registered: 07/02/00
Posts: 1696
Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Thanks again Sam for calling the attention to the bridge that obviously is not doing it's job attracting attention. Country Pop works for me. As I said before it started life as an open D on six-string with a full strum and lots of harmonics - almost Folk Rock - love the organ!

Ian
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My "Original Tunes" Site
My gene pool needs more chlorine.

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#45205 - 11/28/09 11:13 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Original Song Needs Production Feedback [Re: Noel96]
Ian Fraser Offline
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Registered: 07/02/00
Posts: 1696
Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Noel - I've already started searching the Country RTS to see if there is something there. I think I will have to live with it. I watched McCartney's New York concert (one hour of it) - I was surprised how often he uses "nonsense words" like "la-la-la" or whatever in his newer stuff. Makes it easy for the audience to sing along.

I think I will have to live with it for awhile - but it's worth a shot.

Thanks - Ian
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My "Original Tunes" Site
My gene pool needs more chlorine.

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#45206 - 11/28/09 11:24 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Original Song Needs Production Feedback [Re: Ian Fraser]
WienSam Offline
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Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 4900
Loc: A corner of Vienna, Austria, t...
Hey, Ian. I'm still listening to it (something I don't do very often) - it reminds me of Roger Whittaker. There is an Irish lament influence and more... I said and I repeat, it is a BEAUTIFUL song. Perhaps slow it right down and sing it as a sad ballad?

Whatever, I think it should be slowed down. NOI

I really hope my feedback helps as this is a WONDERFUL song

It is definitely TOO fast. Slow it down! Particularly if you want people to notice it and feel the pain in the song. As it is, it is great but you don't feel the song


Edited by WienSam (11/28/09 11:30 PM)
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#45207 - 11/29/09 12:13 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Original Song Needs Production Feedback [Re: Ian Fraser]
PeteG Offline
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Registered: 05/08/06
Posts: 664
Loc: Portland, Oregon-USA
You've got a very good song here, Ian. When a song gets to this point it's hard to know what to do. Sometimes you just have to let them be what they are and move on to the next song. But maybe you feel there's something more or something missing? A finished song is either marketed, if you think it's commercial or put into a singer-songwriter's repertoire or it's cataloged and of course you can share it as you're doing here online. If you want to make it a pop or country song for radio play you probably need to have a professional demo made. Well been there , done that. As the comedian said, " I've got a way with women, it's expensive but it's a way. "
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#45208 - 11/29/09 12:19 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Original Song Needs Production Feedback [Re: PeteG]
WienSam Offline
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Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 4900
Loc: A corner of Vienna, Austria, t...
Quote:

As the comedian said, " I've got a way with women, it's expensive but it's a way. "




Then he's more of a fool than you, Ian or I. I don't know of a way with women and I am an outrageous flirt Sure, I can land them and bed them but they don't stick around for long... Been too many years now and I don't expect ANY woman to be with me for Life. Still, it doesn't stop me trying to find 'The One'...

OMG! 'The One'. Thought I had found her last year. Moni. But... No. She disappeared...
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Sam
Karaoke King

--------------------

Turning that corner again - I have to keep following that dream, no matter what

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#45209 - 11/29/09 06:10 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Original Song Needs Production Feedback [Re: Ian Fraser]
George Nelson Offline
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Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 1179
Loc: Scotland
Hi Ian, Just had a chance to listen to your song.
I really think this is a good one.
As to production - have you tried T-Racks. It's a standalone program.
I use an old version of T-Racks to help place the song into the ballpark by using the pre-sets
then tweak away till it sounds right - remember it's your song, so it's how you like it.

Keep writing

Best regards
Michee
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#45210 - 11/29/09 10:02 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Original Song Needs Production Feedback [Re: PeteG]
Ian Fraser Offline
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Registered: 07/02/00
Posts: 1696
Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Hi Peter
Quote:

A finished song is either marketed, if you think it's commercial or put into a singer-songwriter's repertoire or it's cataloged and of course you can share it as you're doing here online. If you want to make it a pop or country song for radio play you probably need to have a professional demo made.



This is so true - this is why feedback here is critical - it often points out elements that we, as self producers/engineers, miss. My ultimate goal here is to produce "reasonable" demo quality with PG products - after all I'm trying to showcase the songwriter in me, not gunning for a recording contract. I will be taking out a membership with Taxi.com and attempting to find some interest for the more commercial tunes in my "repertoire".
Good to hear from you . . . and thanks.

Michee - glad you checked in. T-racks I had not heard of so I will investigate. You're right - it is how we like it - but sometimes by posting here on the Forum we find ideas that never occur to us because we are too close to our own productions to see something. That's why feedback is so great, isn't it?

Ian
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My "Original Tunes" Site
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#45211 - 11/29/09 10:10 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Original Song Needs Production Feedback [Re: Ian Fraser]
PeteG Offline
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Registered: 05/08/06
Posts: 664
Loc: Portland, Oregon-USA
Hi Ian,

If you take out a Taxi membership then submit to Taxi for a custom review and they will give you an opinion
from pros in the trenches. Of course it's still just an opinion. And through Taxi you can submit to publishers or
to TV and film for a sync fee. But just like getting a pro demo done, it all costs $. But the otherside is you learn a lot
about the music business , but of course a lot of what you learn is what not to do. In my opinion ,and I'm sure many people will
disagree, the whole Nashville Songwriter scene is mostly a rip off of music hobbists. But it's fun to hear your song
demoed out by pros and even a so so song sounds like radio material. I don't think you can make a pro demo with midi gear.
Not in the Nashville demo quality. Real tracks brings it much closer than midi though.

I like your song and it has more real truth in it than most songs you'll ever hear on Top 40 radio. But that's just the same reason
I don't think your song will be commercial, unless you find just the right listing that needs a song with that exact message.
Commercial songwriting is like making sausage, it's a product and it's ground out, and made to appeal to the widest audience. The
same musical and lyrical ideas keep being rewritten and updated. Maybe that's sour grapes, but that's the way I see it.
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#45212 - 11/30/09 04:55 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Original Song Needs Production Feedback [Re: PeteG]
mglinert Offline
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Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 938
Loc: France, but I'm an ex-pat Brit
Congratulations Ian on writing a strong song, which you also sing very convincingly on this take.

It certainly sounds like you’ve worked really hard on this one.

Most of my suggestions relate to the lyric.

Some of the lines sound a little clunky to me, in terms either of meaning,
- “It flies where it feels”

rhyme (I have a thing against half rhymes)
- wheels / steel
- face / mistake
- back / attacks

or word stress
- prospect

In particular I think the verse beginning ‘I bite..’ needs something of a review.

If you’re going to answer your question “Was lovin' her worth that?” during the song, then I would do so once only and right at the end – the last time the question is asked. Fill in with “I really don't know” in each of the other lines. This maintains the suspense.

Turning to the musical content…

I concur with Sam in the need for a clearer bridge and with Noel in the need for a hook (although I would be looking for one before the start of each verse). I would want it played on a harder hitting instrument too – maybe an electric gtr.

I feel the ending should come in just 4 bars after lyric finishes. This would tie the song off more neatly, taking it back to its ‘key signature’ chord.
Not sure what those extra bars add.

I wouldn’t insert a key change and I wouldn’t worry about genre. It’s a song, right?
FWIW, I don't buy into Noel's idea of leaving out the "my blood runs cold" lines.

Quite a few points up there Ian, only offered as suggestions.
If I’ve listened hard and thought a bit about this one it’s because I think it’s a great song to begin with!
Well done,

Marc
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#45213 - 11/30/09 02:54 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Original Song Needs Production Feedback [Re: mglinert]
Ian Fraser Offline
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Registered: 07/02/00
Posts: 1696
Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Peter Agreed - most top stars use the Nashville Network - I have no intention of going that route. Every two weeks Taxi puts out its listings and as a member you can submit whichever of your songs you want. Taxi's A&R staff critiques it and decides whether it's suitable for that particular listing or not - if they forward it their job is done. After it's forwarded the writer waits for contact to be made . . . it can take awhile. Time permitting, Taxi will send you a critique if the song is not forwarded. The Cost? There is the annual fee and you send in $5 for each submission. There is also another fee which puts you on a quick turnaround contact for supplying TV and Films. Why not?? Still one of the best options out there, and publisher's will accept material ONLY if they are contacted first.

Marc Boy that was alot to think about. Thanks for taking the time to do this - much appreciated. Where to begin? How about the things I agree with first?
Quote:

If you’re going to answer your question “Was lovin' her worth that?” during the song, then I would do so once only and right at the end – the last time the question is asked. Fill in with “I really don't know” in each of the other lines. This maintains the suspense.


Very good point - I agree and will implement.
Quote:

I concur with Sam in the need for a clearer bridge and with Noel in the need for a hook (although I would be looking for one before the start of each verse). I would want it played on a harder hitting instrument too – maybe an electric gtr.


Agreed. About hooks - generally they are the word phrase or tune from the chorus which sticks with people - identifiable instrument hooks are harder to come by . . . best of the bunch at this are The Stones and Beatles/McCartney. But then again I have to worry less about because I'm the writer . . . .if I can come up with the instrumental hook so much the better.

Quote:

I feel the ending should come in just 4 bars after lyric finishes. This would tie the song off more neatly, taking it back to its ‘key signature’ chord.


Totally agree . . . needs to be trimmed, the song is nudging 4 min.

I like "My blood runs cold."

Quote:

Some of the lines sound a little clunky to me, in terms either of meaning,
- “It flies where it feels”


Don't know how clunky this is - that's what a memory does to you, you never know when it's going to dredge up something from your past when you least expect it. Maybe define "clunky" - did you mean awkward, unclear, obscure?

Quote:

rhyme (I have a thing against half rhymes)


I think if you take that attitude you're cutting yourself off from many storytelling elements. I actually went this morning on-line to search out rhyming rules. This type of rhyme is an acknowledged form of rhyming called "approximate rhyming" if you need to keep up the pace and flow if you can't find an exact rhyme. I think using it increases the storytelling possibilities.

Quote:

In particular I think the verse beginning ‘I bite..’ needs something of a review.


Do you think the phrase "I bite the dust" is too obsure - I was trying to find a different way of saying "I lose at love" and even though I do I still want to make that connection but everytime I meet someone new I think back to the last loss.

Thanks for being interested - it's important.

Ian
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