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#220264 - 11/06/13 02:43 PM [User Showcase] Falling
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3296
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3296
Loc: Sacramento, California
After being reminded that I hadn't posted one of my own songs in some time, I figured I'd take a leave of absence from the User Showcase until I finished up a new one.

It's been slow going. frown

I'd intended to do my own singing, but the results were pretty awful. One of my sons "helpfully" said that he could do a better job, but I'd have to pay him for the work. In some alternate universe, perhaps.

So after struggling with pitch correction and editing, I decided to give the main vocals on this went to the Vocaloid YOHIOloid. I might have another go at the vocals some other time.

Rather than polish this up before posting, I figured I'd post it a bit early, to get some feedback.

Here are some of the many things I think need fixing - feel free to add to the list:

  • Pronunciation needs some correcting. The AVANNA Vocaloid has a close timbre in that range, so I'll probably splice in some bits from her to clean things up.
  • There are some points where the volume of individual words needs some detail work.
  • The vocals are too bright, and need rolloff on the high frequencies.
  • The vocals are too quiet.
  • The mix isn't well balanced at this point. Some of the instruments are still fighting against each other, and probably need to be pruned at points.
  • The introduction is blah.

Most of the instruments come from BiaB, and I'll try to provide the list later. The strings (excluding the solo cello) are Session Strings, and the remaining instruments come from GPO4 or Miroslav Philharmonik.

Comments welcome! smile (Bonus points for correctly guessing the inspiration of the song)

Falling
Afternoon in late July / I'm falling
Hidden in tall green river grass
Underneath the endless lazy sky
Plovers circle boats as they drift by

And I, with all my heavy cares / logic and my evening prayers
Abandoned all my plans / they wash away like sand

I am left suspended / with my castles in the air
Come tumbling down / down to the ground / there nothing there

Just a kingdom made of cards / broken promises and hearts
London Bridge is falling down / we all fall down

Summer's gone and snow is softly falling
Somehow I'm still living in the past
Gone those happy sunlit golden days
Like the autumn leaves / all blown away

Our time has past / the hour's late
Old Tom rings closed Oxford's gate
The closing of a door / that's barred forevermore

(repeat chorus)
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

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#220267 - 11/06/13 03:13 PM [User Showcase] Re: Falling [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 6769
Guitarhacker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 6769
At some point the vocaloids will catch up with what BB can do now emulating real musicians..... what a game changer that will be. Imagine a Trisha Yearwood or George Strait vocaloid so good the real singers couldn't tell it wasn't them.

nice song. I think your crits are too hard on yourself. Considering everything.
_________________________
You can find my music at:
www.herbhartley.com

Add nothing that adds nothing to the music

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#220271 - 11/06/13 03:40 PM [User Showcase] Re: Falling [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 7800
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
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Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 7800
Loc: Florida
David,

This is beautiful.

Loved your lyric. Loved your melody! Your orchestration is lovely - so nicely done that you forget it's there and just listen to the song (that's a huge compliment - in case you missed it...).

The entire production is terrific. The vocals are neither too bright or too soft. They are incredibly impressive!

Your introduction is beautiful - blah? - I don't think so!!!!

I really liked everything about this.

floyd

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#220278 - 11/06/13 04:24 PM [User Showcase] Re: Falling [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3296
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3296
Loc: Sacramento, California
Thanks, Herb! smile

Both RealTracks and Vocaloid use segments of "real" audio, but Vocaloid is much more granular - imagine trying to splice a saxophone phrase not on a beat segment, but on the sustained portion.

And then auto-tuning the heck out of it. smirk

They're working on the problem with expression, but it's complex.

In the mean time, I've got to spend more time working on learning to sing properly.
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

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#220280 - 11/06/13 04:34 PM [User Showcase] Re: Falling [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3296
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3296
Loc: Sacramento, California
Hi, Floyd.

Thanks - that means a lot! blush

I'm still going to do some fixes, but I'll try not to do anything too radical. Mainly, I want to try getting the vocals more intelligible, and tame some of the vibrato.

I'm glad the orchestration was able to stay out of the way.
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

Top
#220325 - 11/06/13 11:06 PM [User Showcase] Re: Falling [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 4516
Sundance Offline
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Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 4516
Hi David,

Very pretty. Sounded to me like it could have come from a musical like Phantom of the Opera - and that is meant as a compliment.

Personally, I'd much rather hear you sing your songs than a vocaloid as I think you have a nice voice.

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#220327 - 11/07/13 12:00 AM [User Showcase] Re: Falling [Re: Sundance]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3296
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3296
Loc: Sacramento, California
Hi, Josie.

Thanks for the compliments (and the encouragement)!

I'd actually spent a couple of days working on the vocals, which needed extensive pitch correction, which was pretty humbling. But I ended up accidentally changing the DAW tempo from 90 BPM to 89 BPM, which I didn't figure out until later. As are result, the manual corrections were all skewed. I made an attempt to salvage it, but got frustrated and deleted all my vocal tracks - partly because of the lost work, but partly because I just wasn't happy with them.

Anyway, I'll do some more work getting clarity out of the Vocaloid's vocals, and then probably put it aside to work on another song. I expect I'll revisit in the near future to give it some "real" vocals.
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

Top
#220330 - 11/07/13 03:03 AM [User Showcase] Re: Falling [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 12/10/09
Posts: 850
Loc: Washington State
bluage Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/10/09
Posts: 850
Loc: Washington State
Hello, "dcuny"...

All the music I am exposed to -- and I mean all of it, in any genre, from any culture -- gets listened to with my heart, first. Above all else I want music to make an emotional connection with me. Move me, groove me, soothe me, fool me, even -- I don't care. Just make me feel it, baby!

Your song, "Falling", reached right in there and with gentle gestures moved some things around in my heart. It was wistful, reflective and nostalgic. Your orchestration of the song made the sad-sounding lyrics sound beautiful. Isn't it something that music has the power to make sad things, even tragic things, sound beautiful? It’s a real mystery.

Your involvement with the technical aspects of producing the song obviously didn't get in the way of you expressing what you heard in your own heart, so I say, well done.

bluage

P.S. Celemony's Melodyne software has an audio-to-MIDI function that may be worth looking into. I’m thinking that the tool might make it possible to take a "real" vocal performance in audio form, convert it to MIDI, and because the note information would contain all the elements of the actual performance -- accents, duration, inflection, pitch, volume changes, timbre, etc.-- you could apply it as a sort of stylistic template that would help to "humanize" the vocal lines you compose with your Vocaloid software.
_________________________
"Music is what feelings sound like."-- borrowed from a Cakewalk Music Creator forum member, "Mamabear".

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#220336 - 11/07/13 04:20 AM [User Showcase] Re: Falling [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 2778
Loc: York, England
ROG Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 2778
Loc: York, England
Hi David.

Like Floyd, I was impressed with both the lyrics and the orchestration. Even with a synthesized voice the track has a magical quality to it.

I think you've worked wonders to get the voice this good and strangely, it's slightly eerie quality adds something to the magic.

It's been well worth the wait!

ROG.

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#220338 - 11/07/13 04:39 AM [User Showcase] Re: Falling [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 16234
Loc: Australia
Noel96 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 16234
Loc: Australia
Hi David,

It's all been said. You've done an amazing job putting this together. It's incredible. The arrangement is spectacular and the concept is outstanding. Your creativity has hit a home run with this one.

All the best,
Noel
_________________________
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#220342 - 11/07/13 05:17 AM [User Showcase] Re: Falling [Re: bluage]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3296
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3296
Loc: Sacramento, California
Hi, bluage.

I'm glad you were able to feel the music.

As for taking parameters from Melodyne, I've seen project that have done what you've suggested, but it wouldn't really work for Vocaloid.

In a sense, Vocaloid is like RealTracks - the audio is the result of concatenation, not of pure synthesis. As a result, there's only a limited about of manipulation that can be cone to the audio. For example, making the voice louder will raise the volume, but it won't adjust the timbre, and so on.
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

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#220346 - 11/07/13 06:06 AM [User Showcase] Re: Falling [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 4228
Loc: Woodstock, NY
rsdean Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 4228
Loc: Woodstock, NY
David,

I like this - good sound. Agree with Josie, would be great to hear you sing on this...

Bob
_________________________
SoundCloud Tracks


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#220348 - 11/07/13 06:34 AM [User Showcase] Re: Falling [Re: Noel96]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3296
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3296
Loc: Sacramento, California
Hi, ROG and Noel.

Thanks for having a listen and the kind words. I'm always surprised by the lovely sounds that I've got in these orchestral libraries. And the BiaB cello is especially nice. smile

The song is a bit of an homage to Lewis Carroll. I'd started the bare bones of the song from A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky. My wife happened to be reading "The Mystery of Lewis Carroll", but it's not strictly biographical.

Although I had the most of the lyric in place, I was stuck because I couldn't set the darned thing to music. Part of the problem was meter. It was a bit asymmetrical with some nice inner rhymes (my tribute to Noel, of course), but it was obvious that something was wrong... It just wasn't obvious what that thing was.

After struggling for a week or so, I finally hit on adding "I'm falling", which shifted the word emphasis and everything fell into place. (It seemed blazingly obvious in retrospect).

I was also confounded by the chord progression as well. I'd considered letting BiaB take a crack at it, but I've started to notice common themes in the melodies it composes, and through it would be safer to do it myself. The descending chromatic line in the second half the verse seemed appropriate for the idea of "falling" (pilfered from Costello's "Almost Blue", which in turn was borrowed from elsewhere), and I couldn't resist putting a suspended chord under the word "suspended". laugh

The song went through a lot of style iterations as well. I settled on _CPPBSAJ.STY (CountryEv8Slow SoloAcPiano) for the basic feel and piano. Then I ended up writing the string part, and throwing most of the style away - including the piano, which had been the reason for choosing the style in the first place.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Now to get working on the next couple...
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

Top
#220359 - 11/07/13 10:17 AM [User Showcase] Re: Falling [Re: Noel96]
Registered: 06/22/12
Posts: 2868
Loc: Karlsruhe, Germany
boehm Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/22/12
Posts: 2868
Loc: Karlsruhe, Germany
Originally Posted By: Noel96
Hi David,
It's all been said. You've done an amazing job putting this together. It's incredible. The arrangement is spectacular and the concept is outstanding. Your creativity has hit a home run with this one.


+1
Very enjoyable. Especially because I 've got an affinity to
Vocaloids.

Guenter
_________________________
http://www.21d.de/
Latest Song: What You Desire

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#220447 - 11/08/13 05:36 AM [User Showcase] Re: Falling [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 02/11/03
Posts: 2423
Loc: Warwickshire, UK
Skyline Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/11/03
Posts: 2423
Loc: Warwickshire, UK
Crikey this was different! Very beautiful and almost hypnotic. I really enjoyed the almost 'Snowman' atmosphere you created.

I didn't perceive the 'issues' you listed. The only thing that struck me was I couldn't hear the Vocaloid words properly. Without lyrics to follow I would have struggled. I'm not familiar with Vocaloid so I don't know why that would be.

John
_________________________
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YouTube Channel
Band web site
BIAB 2019
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Studio One 4

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#220455 - 11/08/13 08:08 AM [User Showcase] Re: Falling [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 05/22/11
Posts: 3028
Loc: Florida
tommyad Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/22/11
Posts: 3028
Loc: Florida
David, Beautiful song. Well written and the arrangement and production are top shelf. I can see this in a movie soundtrack just as it is. Great job, tom

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#220456 - 11/08/13 08:19 AM [User Showcase] Re: Falling [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 3787
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
dani48 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 3787
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Hi, David !


I am full of admiration for you as a composer
of beautiful songs and YOHI for being such a
good singer !:))

I am sure the day will come when the humanoids
will become better than any human ! If I
remember right the machine won over the
best chessmaster in the end !:))

Cheers
Dani

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#220483 - 11/08/13 02:40 PM [User Showcase] Re: Falling [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 07/20/13
Posts: 169
Digital Angel Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 07/20/13
Posts: 169
Sounds a bit like Jon Anderson of Yes when he was a small boy starting out!

Nice I enjoyed it very much.
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Hp Z Workstation - Akai MPK 49 - Intimate Headphone Listening http://soundcloud.com/digital-angel

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#220487 - 11/08/13 03:27 PM [User Showcase] Re: Falling [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 11/08/13
Posts: 1
dcwct Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/08/13
Posts: 1
how can I listen

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#220512 - 11/08/13 11:41 PM [User Showcase] Re: Falling [Re: dcwct]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3296
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3296
Loc: Sacramento, California
Originally Posted By: dcwct
how can I listen


Sorry this wasn't more clear - click the title of the song. It's a hyperlink to the song page.
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

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