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BOTTOM LAND

Lead Vocal: Janice
Lead Guitar: floyd jane

Guess the above says it all! Janice and I wrote this dark slow blues tune and used a very minimalist RT band for the backup -- looking for a stark arrangement. I sent it to floyd for an opinion on the song and mix, got a favorable report back and then along came a lead guitar track from him! I got over the shock, mixed it in, and voila it seemed to work extremely well with the plaintive vocal. So here ya go....comments are most welcome!

The RTs:
Drums: Blues Rock 128
Bass: 564 Set 30
Rhythm Guitar: 566 Set 30

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Cool song.... nice renditions by all. I love some good blues. Floyd did a good job on the guitar. Personal nits could be mentioned but they are neither here nor there since they are not production or performance issues but simply my personal taste issues and preferences.

I was noticing the sound of the total mix sounded a bit close to distortion in a few places so....out of curiosity, I DL'd the file and opened it in my editor.

wow...it was looking pretty much exactly how I expected it to look. you're running the compression too high somewhere in that project. I could hear it in the sound quality in the first 5 seconds. The picture below is the song in the wave editor. It pretty much stays slammed at 0db or very likely "over" which results in the squashed sound. This also sounds like there's a "rough edge" to the highs on J's vox part. The meters in my editor stayed pegged to 0db or mighty close for the time I listened in the editor to compare the mix to the soundcloud player.




You should always have a visual check of a song file before you cut it loose to see where the peaks are at. You can get the song plenty loud without extreme compression and really, a song like this doesn't need to be compressed. Let it breathe.

This is the picture I try to aim for regarding compression.


The song is "In A World Without You" and there's nothing hitting the tops.


Hey, I'm not slamming you for doing this, simply pointing it out..... I too have had it happen to me. That's why I always look at the wave 100% of the time in my finalizing process. Often I find that the compression is NOT in the final steps but somewhere back in the mix where I turned something up and didn't really check it. I don't want to have a "sonic brick" to represent my music & skills.

When you get the compression ratio's right, the song is plenty loud and has an open feel to the sound quality....I call that "air" and it's what you need to aim for. To much compression and you lose that openness and the sound becomes noticeably squashed.



Last edited by Guitarhacker; 08/20/14 09:42 AM.

You can find my music at:
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Add nothing that adds nothing to the music.

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"Cool song.... nice renditions by all. I love some good blues. Floyd did a good job on the guitar."

Glad you like it Herb. And, yes, he did a good job and heckuva debut!

"I was noticing the sound of the total mix sounded a bit close to distortion in a few places so....out of curiosity, I DL'd the file and opened it in my editor. "

You are, of course, listening to and analyzing the SoundCloud file. SC over compresses with their algorithms to some folks' ears. I've read about it. If they in effect add compression to an already heavily compressed file then perhaps the aggregate would be too compressed. There is intentionally more than my usual compression to this as we did not want an open airy sound. We wanted something gritty, heavy, dank -- that is supporting of the suffocating feeling of the lyric.

Of course I can't control how SC treats it short of remixing just for them with less gain and compression. For reference here is a mono screenshot from my editor (of course a difference in the X axis time scale can make the waveform different in appearance). Yes, it is noticeably and intentionally compressed but not to the degree that your editor showed from the SC file and no evidence of clipping. Interestingly I downloaded my own file from SC and it doesn't appear different from the upload in the editor. Perhaps their compression, etc., is variable based on traffic. Dunno but I always check these potential issues before wrapping a mix.

Edit: FWIW I regenerated the mp3 file with no changes to the levels on my end and uploaded it to SC. I then downloaded it but the waveform looks the same as in original in my DAW.





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Down and dirty!!! I really love the vibe, and the music and lyrics work together beautifully. Janice's vocals are excellent as is Floyd's axe (is there anything the man can't do well?). Really love this! Take care. Greg

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Hi Janice and Bud,

That's a steady sound for such few real tracks. I got to say the bass guitar has a very full sound. And sets the base of the song. I will check out this RT myself
Very nice guitar fills/solo from Floyd.
Cool vocals from Janice as usual.

Nice sentence:
''The heat's been pressin' me down like God's own hand''

Regards,
Rob


We are Rob Meulman and Anne-Marie Bovenkamp from The Netherlands.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1gsdNLE7_Gy8qavoOplQow/videos
http://rnam.net/


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Originally Posted By: Greg Johnson
Down and dirty!!! I really love the vibe, and the music and lyrics work together beautifully. Janice's vocals are excellent as is Floyd's axe (is there anything the man can't do well?). Really love this! Take care. Greg


Thank you Greg. Mr jane nailed it with those fills and the turnaround. Just what my sparse RT "band" needed.

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Nice collaboration. Excellent vocals and guitar on this. Enjoyed listening.

Charlie


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Hi Bud and Janice
Well the song maybe "Bottom land" but i is top drawer in my book. That lad can play the guitar hey...a tman of many talents!


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Janice and Bud,

Wonderful vocals as usual and as I read the lyrics I was impressed with the rhyme ridge and lineage then Janice sang heritage. Still good tho LOL.

Floyd on guitar eh and Tom mastering, what a turn around.

nice ending.

As usual I enjoyed

Alyn

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Originally Posted By: R & AM
Hi Janice and Bud,

That's a steady sound for such few real tracks. I got to say the bass guitar has a very full sound. And sets the base of the song. I will check out this RT myself
Very nice guitar fills/solo from Floyd.
Cool vocals from Janice as usual.

Nice sentence:
''The heat's been pressin' me down like God's own hand''

Regards,
Rob


Thanks Rob. I agree re the bass. It was a big contribution to helping a three instrument rhythm section work. Glad you liked that line. We came close to titling the song God's on hand.


Originally Posted By: c_fogle
Nice collaboration. Excellent vocals and guitar on this. Enjoyed listening.

Charlie


Thanks Charlie.

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Hi Janice and Bud (and Floyd and Tommy),


great collaboration again.
Excellent vocals and guitar on this.´
What a listen!

Guenter

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Hey J & B,

Nice gritty blues! Good job Floyd on the guitar! I could listen to Janice sing all day! grin I'm not really hearing the over compression thing on my end.

Good Job,

Greg

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Hi, Bud, Janice and Floyd !:))


Have I ever heard anything
that professionally made before ?
I don´t think so !!!:))
When one runs out of superlatives
there is just exclamations left like
WOW, OOOOH, & WOOOOOOW !!
What great singing and playing
and mixing on a superb tune !
Just great !!!:))

Cheers
Dani

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Hi Janice and Bud,

Is this song awesome-plus or what!?!? I don't know what to type.

Even though the song stopped playing a few minutes ago, in my mind, I can still clearly hear Janice's sublime vocals and floyd weaving his way around them with the all skill of a gold-medal guitarist. Music doesn't get much (if any) better than this. For what it's worth, the arrangement is a perfect showcase for Janice's and floyd's talents.

I can't sign-off without commenting on the songwriting, too. It's top-notch all the way; excellent melody, excellent lyrics. I'm with Alyn in that I also looked at the words before listening and thought, "What a great rhyme; ridge and lineage!" Then, when "heritage" came along, I was pleasantly surprised and thought, "Wow! Another great rhyme. I think I like this one is better!"

Rob and Anne-Marie have already commented on this, and I agree. The simile, "The heat's been pressin' me down like God's own hand" is outstanding, incredibly visual.

I also really liked the way you took the traditional blues framework for the lyrics and tweaked it so that it became your own format but still recognisably a blues format. So, instead of line two of a verse being an exact repetition of line one, it was only a partial repetition at the back-end of the line two; very creative and it worked very effectively.

Alright! It's back for another listen! So much talent in so few people!

All the best,
Noel


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Originally Posted By: JosieC
Hi Bud and Janice
Well the song maybe "Bottom land" but i is top drawer in my book. That lad can play the guitar hey...a tman of many talents!


Thanks Josie -- yep Blues Man Jane surprised us big time!

Originally Posted By: gibson
Janice and Bud,

Wonderful vocals as usual and as I read the lyrics I was impressed with the rhyme ridge and lineage then Janice sang heritage. Still good tho LOL.

Floyd on guitar eh and Tom mastering, what a turn around.

nice ending.

As usual I enjoyed

Alyn


Thanks Alyn -- we appreciate the comments. We change lineage to heritage because heritage was somewhat more singable. And, I felt that if folks in the bottom land were making that statement they would be more likely to use heritage....but I did like lineage smile

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WOW that was nice. Loved the vocal and guitar. So lucky to be so talented. Thanks for the song.

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Janice and Bud,

This is absolutely my fav blues song that y'all have done. The song, the vocal, the playing are all excellent. Those soulful licks by Floyd (he's just full of surprises) really compliment Janice's soulful interpretation of the lyrics. The mix has a good balance and the arranging is right on.

That said, I also totally agree with what Herb said about the processing on the mix. It has that noticeably over compressed sound (which I have certainly done - so I'm not throwing stones at you in any way shape or form).

To me, Janice's vocal and the music create a dark blues mood strong enough to not need to be processed/compressed as hot as a pop song. It's easy to get all caught up in the loudness thing and over do it. JMHO.

Overall great job.

Josie

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Great collaboration, Janice as always the vocals are superb, and I love the guitar work on this, this is somewhat of a departure from your normal type tune Janice kudos for nailing it. 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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Originally Posted By: boehm
Hi Janice and Bud (and Floyd and Tommy),


great collaboration again.
Excellent vocals and guitar on this.´
What a listen!

Guenter


Thanks Guenter! We appreciate your comments, always.


Originally Posted By: Achordocaster
Hey J & B,

Nice gritty blues! Good job Floyd on the guitar! I could listen to Janice sing all day! grin I'm not really hearing the over compression thing on my end.

Good Job,

Greg


Appreciate that Greg!! I think the compression thing is SoundCloud artifacts that may come and go. Ironically the Ozone preset that I started with is called "Gentle Tube" :-)

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Great blues!

I like the variation on the way you have approached the rhymes and the lyrics. Job well done all around.

much enjoyed

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