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#52575 - 01/07/10 03:21 AM [Off-Topic] Re: NEW SONG: The Brightest Day [Re: Shackman]
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 13422
Loc: Australia
cristino: I'm glad you liked the song. I had fun writing it. It's good when people also have fun listening to it.

Shackman: How strange that we have to travel around the globe via Canada simply to say hello! You're the first person that I have met on the discussion board from Melbourne! I'm sure there are probably others, they just don't admit to it! Apart from my singing, the song is 99% BIAB/RB and 1% TCHelicon. There's no doubt about it, BIAB/RB are amazing!
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#52576 - 01/11/10 09:52 PM [Off-Topic] Re: NEW SONG: The Brightest Day [Re: Noel96]
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 13422
Loc: Australia
This post is for Pat Marr, Wiensam and Flatfoot who expressed an interest in knowing how I put different bits of Brightest Day together. I think this covers the important parts.

Regards,
Noel

1. How I used BIAB to develop the song “Brightest Day”
  • Open the demo for -C2_LOS.STY
  • Mute the Melody and Soloist as I only want to hear the accompaniment.
  • Play it over and over until a rhythmical lyric phrase enters my head. (The phrase that first came to me was “Sunrise, bringing me a new day” - the song's first line.)
  • Use this phrase to develop the rest of the melodic rhythm of the verse.
  • Modify the chord progression to reflect the structure of the verse.
  • Develop a workable chorus – maybe temporary, maybe not – from the ideas outlined in the verse. (At this stage the chorus and verse are only rhythmic. No real attempt has been made at melodies.)
  • Structure the chord progression in the chorus to suit the rhythmical outline.
  • Transpose the key of the accompaniment to one that suits.
  • Play the accompaniment over and over saying the words in rhythm and attempt some melodies. Gradually, melodies develop.
  • Work on verse 2.
  • Work on bridge.
  • Song is done.

2. How I used RB to develop the arrangement.
  • Open BIAB file in RB.
  • Record vocal track for TC Helicon. Since this track is going to be the basis for the harmony, I do not use vibrato or vocal “frills”. I need it straight and as true to the note as possible.
  • Run TC Helicon using a “Tenor voice” selection and choosing the harmony as 1 up and 1 down. (Occasionally I use 2 up and 1 down; this time I did not).
  • Generate the harmony by choosing to write the parts to individual tracks. (I kept all voices in the center position between M and F. I also lowered the volume of the dry voice to infinity.)
  • Mute harmony tracks.
  • Use Realtrack to generate a lead instrumental solo to act as fill in for various bars when there is no vocal. This solo may or may not be part of the final arrangement.
  • Export all tracks (panned to center) to individual wav files so that I can bring the arrangement together in Sonar Home Studio 6.

3. How I used Sonar Home Studio to mix the song
  • Load in all tracks.
  • Create a stereo field for the accompaniment and mix a good sounding accompaniment.
  • Use the vocal lead from RB as a scratch track to guide me in recording a new vocal lead – this time using vibrato, etc.
  • Record three other lead vocal tracks – one after the other. (Doing it “one after the other” means that these four tracks will all have the similar voice texture and I now have one foundation track and three other tracks from which to copy and replace out-of-tune phrases. This is usually plenty to work with.)
  • Using copy/paste and cross-fading compile a lead vocal track. (It is very important to have non-destructive editing on as it is necessary to drag tracks out to create cross-fading between the pasted vocal phrases and the lead vocal. It also helps to match words, etc. Without cross-fading, clicks, etc, can occur.)
  • Determine how I want the harmony to work and use volume envelopes on each voice. (At this stage, the harmony tracks are for the whole song. I remove the sections that I won't be using. I also aim to keep the harmony minimal – especially at the beginning of the song when people first hear it. I do this so that the listener doesn't hear it long enough to realise that it's electronic.)
  • When arranging the harmony, vary volumes slightly for each phrase. For example, the lower part might sing the first phrase a little louder than the upper part but sing the second phrase a little softer than the upper part. This helps to create realism. The volume envelopes in Sonar are perfect to do this and to give the nuances I require. Also, the fact that a new lead vocal was created for the harmony means that the lead will be slightly out of time with the harmony at some points and this helps to add to the reaslism.)
  • Mix at normal listening volume on external speakers. In fact, I tend to mix a little softer than I'd normally listen to music. Mac suggested this a while back and it makes mixing so much easier.
_________________________
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#52577 - 01/11/10 10:33 PM [Off-Topic] Re: NEW SONG: The Brightest Day [Re: Noel96]
Jeff Payne Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 64
Noel96,

I'm honestly not particularly blown away by the song because lyrically it doesn't take me anywhere. I know you are jazzed about someone and give them credit for brightening your day, but in almost 3 minutes of my life I'm not told what they did, why, or how you've been so affected by them.

Verse, chorus, verse, whatever the structure is, the only clue that moves the song forward (lyrically) at all is that yesterday (I assume metaphorically representing some period of time in the past) things were worse (emotionally) but now because of this love interest they are much better.

The production is awfully busy as well. Back off the volumes (overall) on instrumentation, and perhaps bring up the percussion with some judicious application of EQ in the high mid and low end ranges so that that cuts through, and it won't fight with your vocal as the guitar currently does. The same is true of bass guitar. That is in a range that you can afford to punch through and round out your dynamic range more fully without interfering with your vocal.

Sometimes, no matter how long it took and how much we labored over it, the best thing to do is throw out all but the strongest parts and do a total rewrite.

It's all just my opinion, but I have had over 100 songs published (and counting).

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#52578 - 01/11/10 10:57 PM [Off-Topic] Re: NEW SONG: The Brightest Day [Re: Jeff Payne]
Noel96 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 13422
Loc: Australia
Hi Jeff,

Thanks for giving me 3 mins of your time. I appreciate your thoughts and I'm grateful that you took the time to express them. I can understand where you are coming from but that is not how I hear the song. I recently had the work reviewed by Craig Bickhardt - an experienced Nashville songwriter with three number ones under his belt. His views were completely the opposite to the views you have expressed. But that's what gives music the power it has. Different things work (or don't work) in different ways for different people.

Congratulations on all your published songs. That's an excellent effort. I'd love to hear some. Do you have them readily accessible anywhere on the internet?

Regards,
Noel
_________________________
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#52579 - 01/12/10 12:49 AM [Off-Topic] Re: NEW SONG: The Brightest Day [Re: Noel96]
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7525
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Noel,

thanks for the detailed explanation! It is helpful to hear about how others develop and complete an idea. I greatly appreciate the time you took to write it down for us! (and for all the other people who will read through the archives in the future)

Now, having read all that, I'm going back to listen to the song again...

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#52580 - 01/12/10 08:38 AM [Off-Topic] Re: NEW SONG: The Brightest Day [Re: Pat Marr]
Jeff Payne Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 64
Noel96,

I am seriously trying to be your friend by telling you the honest truth, as I see it. I do not believe that Craig is doing so (of course, my opinion). The bright side of your song is that it is catchy (hooky) and sort of infectious. If you improved on the story line (lyrically) and made the production changes I mentioned you could have an outstanding song. That is called rewriting, and the best writers often do it dozens of times before they have a gem.

As to your question, look for me on broadjam as Jeff Payne from Texas. I'm just really breaking into secular music but we've already had a number one bluegrass on there. My worship songs are sung in churches throughout the U.S.

I'd rather massage your song than your ego, as it appears you have real talent, and you could write something substantial if you refuse to quit too soon.

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#52581 - 01/12/10 11:08 AM [Off-Topic] Re: NEW SONG: The Brightest Day [Re: Jeff Payne]
moohead Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/21/02
Posts: 864
Loc: Bradenton Florida
"I'm just really breaking into secular music"

Worship music is lyrically different than pop/rock music. I think this is why your critiques analyze the lyrical content of songs.

Some of us write for God. Others write for listeners. Still others write for ourselves.

Moo
_________________________
If it has four legs and moos...it MIGHT be Mr Moohead.

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#52582 - 01/12/10 12:45 PM [Off-Topic] Re: NEW SONG: The Brightest Day [Re: moohead]
Pat Marr Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7525
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Quote:

Some of us write for God. Others write for listeners. Still others write for ourselves.

Moo




even beyond lyrical preference, there is no single standard for what makes a song appealing. Some listen for meaningful lyrics, and pay no attention to the musicianship or recording quality. Some only like to hear blazing solos, and care nothing for the words at all. Others pay special notice to production details. (and many more preferences in between)

The music industry is fixated on a specific formula for musical success. Those who are trying to break into that world are well-advised to learn and adhere to those rules. The down side is that such rigid adherence to a paradigm eventually leads to a bunch of songs that all sound alike.

If you don't care about breaking into "the industry", you have more leeway to experiment and do what pleases you and the people who are your natural audience.

There seems to be a naturally occurring phenomenon of outsiders who break the rules and discover a new sound that eventually gains wide acceptance and isn't an "outsider" thing anymore.

It begs the question of whether the logical left brain should control the creative right brain activity, or whether the creative right brain activity should redefine the logic that drives the logical left brain...

What do YOU think?

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#52583 - 01/12/10 01:39 PM [Off-Topic] Re: NEW SONG: The Brightest Day [Re: Pat Marr]
Jeff Payne Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 64
Pat Marr,

I agree with you. That being acknowledged a sow's ear is still not a silk purse. I am not saying this song is a sow's ear, just that rules are made to be broken mostly by those who understand them in the first place.

The lyrical and production critiques I gave this brother are valid and basically still apply. Paying attention to details such as these does not make homogeneous, formulaic music. These kinds of details could make the difference between music your friends compliment and for whom the audience is very narrow, and music that enjoys broader acceptance and, therefore, has greater impact.

Please remember, before you respond defensively, that I started this post by writing, "I agree with you." Yes, this is all somewhat subjective, and "in the eye of the beholder," but (again not referring to this particular song) just because some people like crap, that doesn't mean we should all strive to produce more of it.

People in the grown up world, particularly song writers, accept and grow from criticism given with the right spirit and in the right way.

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#52584 - 01/12/10 01:49 PM [Off-Topic] Re: NEW SONG: The Brightest Day [Re: Jeff Payne]
moohead Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/21/02
Posts: 864
Loc: Bradenton Florida
"just because some people like crap, that doesn't mean we should all strive to produce more of it."

....and an example of "crap" might be what?

Moo
_________________________
If it has four legs and moos...it MIGHT be Mr Moohead.

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#52585 - 01/12/10 02:07 PM [Off-Topic] Re: NEW SONG: The Brightest Day [Re: Noel96]
Danny C. Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/18/04
Posts: 6480
Loc: South Louisiana
Quote:

Dan C: Dan, I appreciate your thoughts. I never think of myself as a performer but I think electronics can help a great deal in that regard.

All the best for 2010 and beyond!
Noel





Noel,

No matter if you think of yourself as a performer or not, it's what comes across to, and what your audience leaves with. And on this tune I left with a good feeling because of the lyric and music, but most of all beacuse of the heartfelt "performance" of yours interperting the lyric and the music. And regarding of what electronics are used, the bottom-line is that you are interperting notes and/or singing the lyric with human feelings. The electronics (to me anyway) is the frame of painting, while the painting itself is the performance. Now the frame can always be beautiful while the actual painting can run from anywhere from a piece of crap to a masterpiece, and everything inbetween.

I think it is flatfoot who says "when talent in the box is ready" etc. Then I might buy in to electronics being able to duplicate or replace the "painting" itself. Until then . . . nice performance man!

Later,
_________________________
Danny C.
www.dannycampo.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Danny-Campo/379776252109306?skip_nax_wizard=true

The More You Drink The Better I Sound

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#52586 - 01/12/10 02:09 PM [Off-Topic] Re: NEW SONG: The Brightest Day [Re: Jeff Payne]
Noel96 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 13422
Loc: Australia
Quote:

...look for me on broadjam as Jeff Payne from Texas




Thanks, Jeff. I enjoyed listening to the three songs I found there I congratulate you on each song's fine production.

Regards,
Noel
_________________________
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#52587 - 01/12/10 02:12 PM [Off-Topic] Re: NEW SONG: The Brightest Day [Re: Danny C.]
Noel96 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 13422
Loc: Australia
Hi Dan C.

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words. I'm still smiling Glad you liked listening to the song. It was written to be a fun/happy musical experience and I'm pleased that it worked for you.

All the best,
Noel
_________________________
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#52588 - 01/12/10 02:19 PM [Off-Topic] Re: NEW SONG: The Brightest Day [Re: Noel96]
Jeff Payne Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 64
Thanks Noel96.

Mooman, I would not feel comfortable giving an example of "crap." I don't see how that criticism could in any way be constructive. I personally wouldn't bother commenting on a thread related to a song from a writer I did not feel exhibited the potential to write some really good, if not great music.

I commented about Noel96's song because I think he shows some real talent and, like I said, his tune was "hooky," which is a very good thing. A great number of the songs I've heard from forum members are not infectious. My own wife said, "There you go humming that song again." That's a huge plus for a songwriter. She was referring to Noel96's Brighter Day song, by the way.

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#52589 - 01/12/10 02:27 PM [Off-Topic] Re: NEW SONG: The Brightest Day [Re: Jeff Payne]
Noel96 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 13422
Loc: Australia
Quote:

My wife said, "There you go humming that song again ... referring to Noel96's Brightest Day



Thanks for passing that on, Jeff. It made me chuckle. As I said before, I really do appreciate your comments and the fact that you took the trouble to type them up. Moreover, I know that they were given with a sincere, good heart. They have certainly given me "food for thought" and I know that that is what you intended. Again, thank you.

Happy songwriting,
Noel
_________________________
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#52590 - 01/12/10 04:26 PM [Off-Topic] Re: NEW SONG: The Brightest Day [Re: Noel96]
moohead Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/21/02
Posts: 864
Loc: Bradenton Florida
About the song:

I like the chorus the best. It's bouncy, catchy and positive.
The hardest part is the bridge. It can be hard to write a good bridge. This bridge kinda slows things down. That's what needs to be re-worked. The structure is good, and getting back to the hook as quickly as possible is good thinking!!!

I have written only one decent bridge in my life. It is a real art.

It's nice listening to a bright, positive song.

Moo
_________________________
If it has four legs and moos...it MIGHT be Mr Moohead.

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#52591 - 01/12/10 06:57 PM [Off-Topic] Re: NEW SONG: The Brightest Day [Re: moohead]
Noel96 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 13422
Loc: Australia
Thanks for having a listen, Moo. I'll take your comments on-board regarding the bridge. I'm with you, they can be a challenge to get right. Still, practice makes perfect!

All the best with your songs,
Noel
_________________________
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#52592 - 01/12/10 07:00 PM [Off-Topic] Re: NEW SONG: The Brightest Day [Re: Jeff Payne]
Pat Marr Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7525
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Quote:


People in the grown up world, particularly song writers, accept and grow from criticism given with the right spirit and in the right way.




Hi Jeff,

I don't take any offense from your observations (not do I mean any). I only meant to offer a counterpoint to your point.

I agree with much of what you say. I went back and listened to Noel's song with your observations in mind, and I think you suggested some things that would be useful. The guitars do compete with the vocals, for example. But that gets into the realm of fine tuning. Most of the people on this forum HAVEN'T published 100 songs. Refinement of any craft happens by degree, and what is CONSTRUCTIVE criticism (notice I didn't say VALID criticism) varies at different points in the learning curve.

I don't agree with the mentality that Every kid gets an A on his report in order to avoid hurting anybody's feelings... in order to improve people DO need valid input, not false praise. Yet, even in a harsh and competitive environment we don't judge the undergrad by the same standards that we judge the professional. We judge the student by the skills he is expected to have mastered at his level. Most of the people in this forum are hobbyists, making music mostly for personal enjoyment, and that should be considered when offering strategies for improvement.

Regarding the topic of giving criticism in the right spirit:
It could probably be argued that starting out with the phrase "I was not exactly blown away by this song" was unnecessarily insulting, and not consistent with the goal of offering constructive criticism. Likewise the comments about crap and sow's ears. But people have different thresholds for that sort of thing. Noel's responses have all been quite gracious, so I must assume he's OK with your critique. Bottom line, the helpful stuff would have been just as helpful without the other statements.

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#52593 - 01/12/10 07:11 PM [Off-Topic] Re: NEW SONG: The Brightest Day [Re: Pat Marr]
Jeff Payne Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 64
Pat Marr,

I agree with that. Noel96 my apologies if you were offended.

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#52594 - 01/12/10 07:44 PM [Off-Topic] Re: NEW SONG: The Brightest Day [Re: Pat Marr]
Noel96 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 13422
Loc: Australia
Pat: I liked reading your words. You have very eloquently described the overall philosophy that, from my experience, is present in this forum. That's one of the reasons I post songs here; people care. The other main reason that inspires me to post is that it might give others some ideas about how they also might (or might not) like to do things. I know that I've picked up quite a few tips by to listening to others' works and reading the comments that forum-users post.

Jeff: No offense taken.

Noel
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