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#254800 - 06/26/14 02:39 PM [User Showcase] " Help Me"
Registered: 02/24/11
Posts: 81
Jeff S Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/24/11
Posts: 81
This is a preliminary mix with a rough vocal track. I recorded the vocals in an open room with very little treatment and it shows. Anyways I'm posting this as a work in progress. I used all BIAB real tracks including the guitar soloist that was custom edited. Let me know what you think.

http://soundcloud.com/jsting1/help-me


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#254807 - 06/26/14 04:24 PM [User Showcase] Re: " Help Me" [Re: Jeff S]
Registered: 12/21/13
Posts: 6327
Loc: Davis, CA
Greg Johnson Offline
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Registered: 12/21/13
Posts: 6327
Loc: Davis, CA
Very well conceived and arranged!! I think the track works great as a whole. Guitar, arrangement, composition really flow naturally. I would experiment with different fx and maybe eq on the vocal (maybe a bit more of an intimate sound-it's a bit metallic sounding). Great job!! Take care. Greg

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#254817 - 06/26/14 07:02 PM [User Showcase] Re: " Help Me" [Re: Jeff S]
Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 3275
Loc: York, England
ROG Offline
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Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 3275
Loc: York, England
Hi Jeff.

A nice track with some interesting changes in texture in the backing.

Lots of potential here, once you get the vocal sound right - as you say, it's suffering a bit from the open room acoustics. The only other thing I might point out is that I found some of the snare drum breaks a little intrusive and maybe a bit of compression on the drum track might help that.

As Greg says, generally the track works great as a whole and I'd be interested to hear a final version of the mix.

ROG.

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#254852 - 06/27/14 08:31 AM [User Showcase] Re: " Help Me" [Re: Jeff S]
Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 6456
Loc: South Carolina
Charlie Fogle Offline
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Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 6456
Loc: South Carolina
I agree with the other posters and think your song has a lot of potential. Good first draft and I look forward to hearing the final version.

For some reason, I had to cut/paste the Soundcloud link to start the song.

Charlie
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#254855 - 06/27/14 09:09 AM [User Showcase] Re: " Help Me" [Re: Jeff S]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7785
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7785
I kinda actually like the sound of the vocals.... you can hear the small room ambiance in them.

Not a bad song, but it can use some work. Since you posted this as a WIP rough draft..... I will comment on something that caught my attention. This is from a writing perspective, not a recording perspective.

The use of the non-root bass throughout the song became a bit tedious to me. The non-root bass is a very useful and creative tool. I hear it used alot in CCM. Try to use it for tension but that tension needs to be released from time to time. At some point, and it should be fairly predictable, the bass needs to hit the root in the right places to release that tension and satisfy the ear. I don't recall that happening often enough.

Song structure is lacking. What I mean here is the verses don't lead into a chorus. At the end of the verses I was waiting and expecting it to go "to the next level" and it never did. There were 12+ measures of instrumental. I would have a look at writing a solid energetic chorus that follows the verses and ties the verses together with a nice hook. Later in the song, something like a chorus, more like a bridge showed up 2x. Perhaps take that and use it to write a chorus.


Overall song length was a bit too much.... close to 6 minutes....I know it's hard to say get to the meat of the issue and get it said and done in 3 to 3:30 minutes but cutting it down will make it much more interesting and force you to eliminate the unnecessary. Start by losing the long instrumental breaks. Let verse one go into a chorus or directly into V2. V2 should immediately go into the chorus if you haven't been there already. short instrumental turn around of 8 measures max then hit the chorus again or if needed, a V3 and CH to the end.

Of course this is all my opinion and you are free to totally disregard anything and everything I say as the ramblings of someone who "doesn't understand your creative process".....

If nothing else, shorten it to 4 minutes max and see what that does for the song.


Just my 2 cents.


Edited by Guitarhacker (06/27/14 09:11 AM)
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#254857 - 06/27/14 10:13 AM [User Showcase] Re: " Help Me" [Re: Jeff S]
Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 4117
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
dani48 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 4117
Loc: Helsinki, Finland

Hi, Jeff !:))


You have a very nice voice
although I´m not sure that
the key you are singing in
is the absolute best for your voice ?
In any case, following Herb´s and
others´advice will help you a lot !:))


Cheers
Dani

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#254866 - 06/27/14 11:02 AM [User Showcase] Re: " Help Me" [Re: ROG]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 10725
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
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Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 10725
Loc: GA USA
Originally Posted By: ROG
Hi Jeff.

A nice track with some interesting changes in texture in the backing.

Lots of potential here, once you get the vocal sound right - as you say, it's suffering a bit from the open room acoustics. The only other thing I might point out is that I found some of the snare drum breaks a little intrusive and maybe a bit of compression on the drum track might help that.

As Greg says, generally the track works great as a whole and I'd be interested to hear a final version of the mix.

ROG.


Plus one here. I could not have better stated it. Keep it up!!
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#254874 - 06/27/14 11:42 AM [User Showcase] Re: " Help Me" [Re: Jeff S]
Registered: 02/24/11
Posts: 81
Jeff S Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/24/11
Posts: 81
Thanks for all the constructive criticism. It's a long song I know and something I have struggled with. All the suggestions are issues I encountered when writing and producing this piece.

The writing process was one that just fell together. It doesn't follow standard song structure I know and believe me I have tried going the less is more route with the instrumental breaks and contemplating adding a chorus as opposed to what seems like 2 bridges.

There is a natural tension in the song not just in the bass line and snare hits but in the structure itself. The instrumental breaks I think give a bit of relief but The song does seem unresolved but that was kinda of where I was at when I wrote it. It's a cry for help but before you get there you have to ride this anxiety and tension and in the end its unresolved because isn't that just the way life is.

Any ways I have many standard songs that follow predictable patterns so I'm happy with the structure of this one. I do think I should maybe dial the snare down with a volume envelope on those hard hits.I tried a few key changes early on when writing it and it just didn't feel right. Too far along now to reconsider that. I'm thinking about the bass line resolve but not sure yet where it would be beneficial in the song without losing the natural tension.

Again thank you for the feed back I really appreciate it. I take no offense to any of it as it helps me grow and understand. I have some other songs I will post up later which should give a good idea of the style I naturally write in and perhaps this one will benefit from that.

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#254877 - 06/27/14 12:03 PM [User Showcase] Re: " Help Me" [Re: Jeff S]
Registered: 04/20/10
Posts: 5011
Loc: Florida
90 dB Offline
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Registered: 04/20/10
Posts: 5011
Loc: Florida
Jeff,

I like this song. It's unique. Too long? Maybe that's how long it had to be. That's your call. Is “Hotel California” 'too long'? No; that's how long it needed to be.


“Song structure” is a bogus construct. This is a work of art, not a garage addition. Conforming to accepted song forms only leads to a boring sameness. Verse,verse, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus and end, ad nauseum. Rinse and repeat.

I think this is quite well done. I don't think you need anyone to tell you how to write.


Regards,

Bob

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#254884 - 06/27/14 12:49 PM [User Showcase] Re: " Help Me" [Re: Charlie Fogle]
Registered: 06/22/12
Posts: 2873
Loc: Karlsruhe, Germany
boehm Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/22/12
Posts: 2873
Loc: Karlsruhe, Germany
Hi Jeff,
Originally Posted By: c_fogle
I agree with the other posters and think your song has a lot of potential. Good first draft and I look forward to hearing the final version.


Thanks for sharing.

Guenter
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#254967 - 06/28/14 09:13 PM [User Showcase] Re: " Help Me" [Re: Jeff S]
Registered: 02/11/05
Posts: 2646
Loc: Kentucky
PgFantastic Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/11/05
Posts: 2646
Loc: Kentucky
Really like the guitar work on this one! Thanks for sharing!
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Psalm 57:7 My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.

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#254994 - 06/29/14 09:09 AM [User Showcase] Re: " Help Me" [Re: Jeff S]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 9483
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 9483
Loc: Florida
Jeff,

A lot of cool stuff happening in this. The guitars are nice. The mix is good. Keep 'em coming...

floyd

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#255059 - 06/29/14 11:56 PM [User Showcase] Re: " Help Me" [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 02/24/11
Posts: 81
Jeff S Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/24/11
Posts: 81
Thanks all for the kind comments.

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#255425 - 07/04/14 09:38 PM [User Showcase] Re: " Help Me" [Re: Jeff S]
Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 4785
Sundance Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 4785
Hi Jeff,

If you'll put the whole url address to your song in your post then people who want to listen only have to click on it. Or you can click the little link button that make the link and have just your song title show. I thought you'd taken the link down until I realized I had to copy and paste it....

This reminded me of early 70's album rock. I think a different effect on the vocal might fit the style better.


Josie

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#255661 - 07/07/14 01:46 PM [User Showcase] Re: " Help Me" [Re: Sundance]
Registered: 02/24/11
Posts: 81
Jeff S Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/24/11
Posts: 81
Thanks Sundance. I will repost it with the full link when I get the vocals redone.

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#267546 - 11/06/14 11:45 PM [User Showcase] Re: " Help Me" [Re: Jeff S]
Registered: 10/07/14
Posts: 73
A-Z Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/07/14
Posts: 73
Jeff
I like your track
smile
love the guitar
has great atmosphere
and the melody line catches my attention and kept me for the whole length

Atlantis
https://soundcloud.com/atlantisz
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#267566 - 11/07/14 07:23 AM [User Showcase] Re: " Help Me" [Re: Jeff S]
Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7971
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Pat Marr Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7971
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Hi Jeff,

I was going to welcome you to the forum until I saw you've been here since 2011... but 25 posts in 3.5 years?? you must have a life or something! (unlike me) wink

I liked an awful lot about this song! In certain places it reminded me of Journey, a band I like quite a bit. I wish you had posted some information about the song, such as lyrics, real tracks used, parts you may have played etc.

I liked your explanation of why you created tension in the composition.. yes, that *IS* how life is. And I liked the message in the song.

I thought the suggestions being made were all very insightful (especially Herb's observation about non-root bass notes... that's something my mind has considered but never explored to that degree. Thanks , Herb. You've set some thoughts in motion...)

But although its customary in song writing forums to evaluate a song according the "rules", I tend to weigh in along the same lines as Bob (90dB).

Bottom line, I enjoyed the song quite a bit, and I look forward to hearing more from you.

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