The Last Refrain

Posted by: gruverider

The Last Refrain - 07/06/13 11:24 PM

just finished this one

http://soundcloud.com/lawrence-olivier/the-last-refrain

Banjo with fx 1579
Guitar 567
Banjo whit out fx 1579
Guitar 1582
Guitar 1581
Fiddle 1593
Fiddle 409
Bass 1580
Mandolin 820
Fiddle 596


The Last Refrain

My lighter don't catch no flame, my baby won't gimme no sugar
the dogs are loose again, By God it's been a long winter
but you, you supposed to be my spring

my coat don't fit no more, so I shed it like an old emotion
I walked outside my door, and tossed it in the ocean
when I'm lost at sea, you supposed to be my shore

a bottle and a pen, a shadow on a curtain
still as I take it in, like smoke I am uncertain
and you, you supposed to be my friend

An iron gait I feign, my chin is gray with whisker
these eyes betray the strain, sleep my favorite stranger
this plea, will be my last refrain

what is the appropriate forum for discussing recording techniques? I am not happy with my vocals. (s's, sh's ch's, de-essing ect.)
Posted by: Noel96

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/07/13 12:32 AM

Hi gruverider,

The song, the arrangement and the mix are awesome! I've a pretty good sound system hooked up to my computer and this sounded A1 to me.

Because you mentioned the fricatives (s, sh, ch, etc.), I paid particular attention to them as I listened. They're fine. None of them stood out as overly pronounced. They all sounded very natural.

One thing I've found with the "s" sounds is that when working on a mix, my ears become incredibly sensitive to them and this makes it very difficult to get the balance correct when I pull them back a bit. It usually takes me three or runs through to get them ok. I usually leave at least 24 hours, preferably 48 hours, between each run through. I've found that having these breaks are essential.

Lastly, if you want to discuss any aspect of mixing or compiling a song, the Recording/Mixing Forum is the place to go.

Regards,
Noel
Posted by: seeker

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/07/13 01:34 AM

gruverider,

Really enjoyed your work. The instrumental combination, mix
and way you put it together sounded very good.
The genre ??? not sure, but your bluesy flavor vocals mixed with
Bluegrass instruments were great.

Your lyrics and story told within them, really enjoyed.

Quote:
I usually leave at least 24 hours, preferably 48 hours, between each run through. I've found that having these breaks are essential.
Excellent advice. I do the same.

Thanks for sharing your hard work with us.
Posted by: ROG

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/07/13 05:17 AM

Hi gruverider.

I love this one!

As soon as I started reading the lyrics I knew I had to listen to it - some lovely imagery in there.

The arrangement is good and I particularly liked the false ending. The mix is fine apart from the voice which you identified as needing work. I think that whilst trying to deal with sibilance you've lost a bit of clarity. You could try patching in the PG 10 BAND EQ plugin on the vocal track and experimenting with different settings. It's a good way to learn about EQ because you can hear what each of the frequency bands does.

ROG.
Posted by: Sundance

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/07/13 11:55 AM

That intro is one of, if not the most beautiful musical arrangements I've ever heard on here for a bluegrass edged folk song.

I like the lyrics too but the phrase "an iron gate I feign" struck me as overly poetic in context with the rest of the street talk lyrics.

Didn't hear any siblance problems, but agree with ROG that the vox might be a just wee bit dark.

Noel makes a good point about walking away from the mix. My ears also get super sensitive to treble and "sss" after mixing for a while. I thought it was just me because of medicine I have to take. smile

Enjoyed listening.
Posted by: Pat Marr

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/07/13 12:22 PM

Gruverider
man, I liked that a LOT! I'd pay money for a whole CD of that...

I know there are plenty of different opinions about lyrics that flow naturally, and lyrics that are poetic or lyrics that are a mixed metaphor of natural and something else... but my personal preference is for lyrics to be INTERESTING, and I just don't CARE what technique is used to make them interesting.

THESE lyrice are QUITE intriguing on several levels. Like Rog, I listened to the song primarily because the lyrics caught my attention.

Above and beyond the lyrics, the song is extremely musical and emotive. Your choice of effects (in a genre that is usually devoid of them) immediately made me want to hear more.

Your use of pauses created tension and expectations that help the song to scratch the listener's itch.

my ONLY complaint (and this is totally anal retentive on my part) unless your dog is hanging out in casinos and having very bad luck, the word you want is LOOSE, not LOSE

Apart from that, you tore it up! It was a great follow-up to your last song, which I also thought was awesome!
Posted by: gruverider

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/07/13 04:58 PM

Noel, I will take your advice and let it alone for awhile.
glad you liked it



Seeker, thanks for listening and commenting


Rog, I was trying to light a cig., and my ceiling fan kept blowing it out. It sounded like a good line to me so I went with it. and yes I will look into the band EQ, after I let it sit for awhile



Sundance, thank you for listening. I did want to give the banjo a synth'y, moody effect when I finally decided to intro with it.

also, I wanted to say that the character hides the pain he's in when he walks, but I didn't want to use the word pain - even though it fits the rhyme scheme : )



Pat Marr, glad you liked it. I'm definitely with you about lyrics, just give me something that catches my ear. I'm not particular about the style.

and thanks for catching the word misuse (now corrected)
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/07/13 07:24 PM

Lawrence,


Man! This is so good! Lyric, melody, vocal, instrumentation/production, mix.
I do hope you hang around for a while and treat us to more!!!

For "my taste", I would agree with Josie on that one phrase. But I can understand the other side of the argument. All depends on our objectives.

Once again,.... looking forward to more!!!

floyd
Posted by: boehm

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/07/13 08:53 PM

Hi Lawrence,

great job. Like the arrangement.
Effects on banjo is a good idea, so is the fake ending.

Guenter
Posted by: Sundance

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/07/13 08:53 PM

Gruverider,

I understand where you’re coming from. It can be a pain and brain drain to go through the strain just to change a lyric once it’s recorded especially when it’s only a fun game with no claim to fame and most of the other names here in the forum frame think it’s all the same anyway. I could lay the blame on this wired train that will always remain. Sorry it came out trying to help so there’s no shame - and you might find this lame or a little strange. But just wanted to make it plain that in the future if you should feign, I’ll restrain myself. LOL! grin

All in fun. Keep the songs coming. Like I said in the original post I enjoy your stuff.
Posted by: Noel96

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/07/13 08:57 PM

Josie,

My goodness!!!

When you said ...

Quote:
I understand where you’re coming from. It can be a pain and brain drain to go through the strain just to change a lyric once it’s recorded especially when it’s only a fun game with no claim to fame and most of the other names here in the forum frame think it’s all the same anyway. I could lay the blame on this wired train that will always remain. Sorry it came out trying to help so there’s no shame - and you might find this lame or a little strange. But just wanted to make it plain that in the future if you should feign, I’ll restrain myself.

... I laughed and thought, "Hmmmm .... now THERE'S a bit of writing that Pat Pattison would be applauding!"

Very clever indeed smile
Noel
Posted by: Pat Marr

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/07/13 09:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Sundance
Gruverider,

I understand where you’re coming from. It can be a pain and brain drain to go through the strain just to change a lyric once it’s recorded especially when it’s only a fun game with no claim to fame and most of the other names here in the forum frame think it’s all the same anyway. I could lay the blame on this wired train that will always remain. Sorry it came out trying to help so there’s no shame - and you might find this lame or a little strange. But just wanted to make it plain that in the future if you should feign, I’ll restrain myself. LOL! grin

All in fun. Keep the songs coming. Like I said in the original post I enjoy your stuff.

Josie,
FWIW, I thought your suggestion was on the mark and quite appropriate, as testified by Floyd's reply (even though I offered a different possibility on the same topic) .

I hope that the gentle reviews that have become the norm in this forum always remain TRUTHFULLY gentle, and that nobody will ever withhold real hard-earned advice for fear of stepping on toes. In my opinion, the forum is as civil as it is largely because of you and Noel's influence. The rest of us follow suit partly out of respect and partly because it just makes sense to be honest in a spirit of kindness.

The interesting thing about truthful evaluation is that we all see the truth from a slightly different vantage point. You and Noel are forum heroes to me. Keep being nice, but also keep being honest, not withholding honest suggestions.

You have earned your opinions through experience, and in a perfect forum, sharing that experience is as good as it gets.

edit----oh, Noels response turned on the light. I thought you were apologizing for offering a suggestion. Erase erase.

wink

Posted by: joden

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/07/13 09:37 PM

Great song - well done. I liked the relaxed delivery. Really fitted the tune.

Dennis
Posted by: Pat Marr

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/07/13 10:19 PM

Quote:
The arrangement is good and I particularly liked the false ending.


in fact one might call it an interesting...

Click to reveal..
LAST REFRAIN



Please. Somebody shoot me.
Posted by: gruverider

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/07/13 10:30 PM

I most assuredly welcome all input. I always learn something and what is a writer if not someone searching for things that tie us all together, searching for some kind of truth.

I was laughing along while reading Josie's post. I enjoyed the post, and I like the line. It took many forms before I decided on “iron feign”. For me it describes exactly what I wanted it to without using the word “pain” to complete the rhyme.

I appreciate you taking the time to listen and comment. Thank you Josie.


Dennis, thank you. I thought that vocal approach fit the character in the song.
Posted by: gruverider

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/07/13 10:32 PM

Pat LOL!!! yes, form and function! wink
Posted by: Danny C.

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/07/13 11:40 PM

Man I really dug the downcast mood this arrangement brought me to . . did I just say that? Sure did put me in mind of some tough times. You painted a very clear picture.

Good stuff!

later,
Posted by: RichMac

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/08/13 12:52 AM

Yea! love it. Brings to mind Gangstagrass.
Posted by: gibson

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/08/13 01:11 AM

Enjoyed that, 'specially like the vocal style.

Alyn
Posted by: Janice & Bud

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/08/13 06:18 PM

I really like it all the way around. It fits very nicely with the different genres of music that we regularly listen to. Great vocal, instrumentation, lyrics and a dynamite arrangement.

Yep, for many reasons, often we have to step back, create a little distance and then listen again. I nearly threw out the last two tunes we posted until I listened for one last time after a few days.

Bud
Posted by: gruverider

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/10/13 05:19 PM

Danny C., thank you for listening



RichMac, that is funny. I remember waiting for a show to go on and the venue was playing Pink Floyd's The Wall all bluegrass interpretation. I enjoyed that.


Gibson, glad you liked it


Janice & Bud, sound advice. I think I posted it too quickly after mixing it. Oh well...
Posted by: Pat Marr

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/12/13 08:23 AM

Quote:
also, I wanted to say that the character hides the pain he's in when he walks, but I didn't want to use the word pain - even though it fits the rhyme scheme : )


this comment you made to Josie made me go back and re-read your lyrics (specifically the line "An iron gait I feign")

I had originally thought you meant "iron GATE" via typo, but to use this phrase as a description of somebody's walk (gait) is extremely clever... especially the use of an adjective (iron) that works perfectly with either word (gate or gait)

Now that I understand that you are talking about pretending to walk with strength and confidence when in fact the character's walk is full of pain, that line has transitioned in my mind from being borderline questionable to being my favorite line in the whole song.
Posted by: MarioD

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/12/13 05:07 PM

I think that this is super just the way it is! Very nice mix, choice of instrumentation, lyrics and vocal!

Two thumbs up.
Posted by: gruverider

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/14/13 04:11 PM

Pat, my day job is in rehab, physical therapy, so we use the word "gait" daily. On one level the song is about a man coming to terms with aging as youth betrays him. (kind of a self-portrait I suppose)




thank you, MarioD
Posted by: JoanneCooper

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/15/13 04:06 AM

"I think that this is super just the way it is! Very nice mix, choice of instrumentation, lyrics and vocal!"

Agreed!!
Posted by: Don R

Re: The Last Refrain - 07/20/13 02:15 AM

I hear Tom Waits in them vocals... gravitas! If not your intent it should be ;-)