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#83796 - 08/27/10 09:38 AM [User Showcase] New Song-"Deahnah's Theme" w/ RT/RD
Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 727
Loc: Colorado
Buford Offline
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Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 727
Loc: Colorado
BIAB: Your Partner In The Creative Process

This song was created initially on our Yamaha Motif with no backing tracks as an exercise in "melody first" song creation. As a singer/songwriter I usually begin a new song with a song "idea" or story I want to relate. I usually write a short story, choose a hook, and then write the lyrics, and choose the music based on what the lyrics suggest. But in an effort to come up with new material I started noodling around with melody first ideas on an instrument where I have the least amount of expertise. Sort of an "unfamiliar territory yields uncommon musical results." It's always interesting to me to hear how other songwriters apply the creative process and what they were thinking when they created a song. If you have stories about your process I'd love to hear them, as I think we'd all benefit from the knowledge.

BIAB's contribution to this production is "BALADP Ctry Bal w/Ped Steel" from SD#94 at 65 bpm. With the exception of my country-style piano, the entire song is RT/RD. I still have no lyrics; not sure there will ever be any. But I really enjoyed the "melody first" creative process and find the song very moving despite the lack of lyrical content.

SONG LINK: Deahnah's Theme

Enjoy,

Bob Buford, Producer
Summertown Recording Studios
Fort Collins, Colorado

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#83797 - 08/27/10 12:11 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song-"Deahnah's Theme" w/ RT/RD [Re: Buford]
Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 1182
Loc: Scotland
George Nelson Offline
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Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 1182
Loc: Scotland
Hi Bob,

Really like this one. It just shows what can come out of some random playing on a keyboard. I don't mean that as a negative but a positive.
I used to use a chord progression as my inspiration for a song and still do, but, I now like to have a story in mind which I have experienced.
I then change it around so that it could fit for almost anyone to have that experience (hope I said that right )

Anyway
Well Done

Best regards
Michee
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#83798 - 08/27/10 12:40 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song-"Deahnah's Theme" w/ RT/RD [Re: George Nelson]
Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 727
Loc: Colorado
Buford Offline
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Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 727
Loc: Colorado
You're absolutely right. Sometimes you just have to get out of your head and noodle around and LISTEN to what you're right brain is creating. I've used the chord progression thing too, which works GREAT with BIAB when you want to come up with something new and fresh.

I got what you meant about changing it around. I try to write my songs so that either sex can relate. I'll be putting one up today called "Someday" recorded with both male and female vocals as separate songs. I'd be interested to get your feedback.

Thanks for listening,
Bob

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#83799 - 08/27/10 01:32 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song-"Deahnah's Theme" w/ RT/RD [Re: Buford]
Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 589
Loc: uk
tributeman Offline
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Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 589
Loc: uk
first off who is Deahnah?.This is a nice tune and you should try and get a really nice lyric for it.It sounds sad in places when it hits that minor chord but its just how I hear it and might not be sad at all.But like I said a nice tune with a tender feel.Cheers Frankie
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#83800 - 08/27/10 04:36 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song-"Deahnah's Theme" w/ RT/RD [Re: tributeman]
Registered: 12/22/09
Posts: 376
Loc: Long Island, NY
Shockwave199 Offline
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Registered: 12/22/09
Posts: 376
Loc: Long Island, NY
Nice one Bob. This does well purely as an instrumental, although it's still a bit under written- more of an idea in progress it seems. Myself, I'm always careful about commiting to instrumentals when I write. I almost always latch onto loving it just the way it is and often times, it needs quite a rework to work well with vocal. And the melody most times must change a bit to accomodate vocal phrasing. So when I make a wonderful instrumental, I stick to it with that intention only. And that doesn't often happen because I don't typically write that way. I almost always write the hook first, both lyrically and melody/music. If I have a killer hook, I know I have song. Verses and bridge come easily if I have that killer hook. It is very rare that I write an entire story from top to bottom and then try to portion it all out. That just doesn't work for me. But I'll tell you one thing though- if I'm given a story premise, I can write very easily. It's amazing how we all approach writing. I've read and tried so many different techniques over the years. Many of them work well to keep the writing flowing regardless, but the best work comes quick and from literally out of nowhere- following no prescribed techniques. And in the end, no particular way is the ONLY way every time, either!

Nice one here Bob! You write great material. Someday I'd love to have a crack at singing a take down. I love hearing other people sing my work. And there's even times...ok, only once...that I prefered someone elses performance over mine! LOL! But if you ever have something you want to toss out for fun, I'm game! Take care.

Dan
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#83801 - 08/27/10 04:47 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song-"Deahnah's Theme" w/ RT/RD [Re: tributeman]
Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 727
Loc: Colorado
Buford Offline
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Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 727
Loc: Colorado
Hi Frankie...Ah yes, Deahnah. "Sad" is an appropriate evaluation. "Sad" would describe Deahnah's life. Well this is the story...if you're interested. We had a supper one night with some musical friends and companions. And of course musicians aren't together for long before somebody picks up something and starts playing. While supper was cooking I was in the music room noodling around with this song idea that had been rolling around in my head. The song was mostly done but it sounded more like a movie theme than a real song. I looked up and noticed our friend Deahnah standing in the doorway with tears in her eyes. Kind of freaked me out. I said "What?" And she replied "Are you sad?" And I said "No...why?" "That song so sad." she said. Deahnah is one of those people who loves music to the extreme but neither plays or sings. Music affects her deeply. So when we produced the song we decided to name it after her as sort of a gift to her musical devotion. She says the song mirrors the difficult life she's experienced. Don't ask me how. But I know it's people like her that we all write for. That person that your music means more to than it does to you as the writer. Maybe someday it will have words. Right now it seems to be powerful all by itself.

Bob

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#83802 - 08/27/10 04:48 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song-"Deahnah's Theme" w/ RT/RD [Re: Shockwave199]
Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 12057
Loc: Hamlin NY
MarioD Offline
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 12057
Loc: Hamlin NY
Bob, this is an excellent instrumental. Your style reminds me of Floyd Cramer when he plays a ballad. Great chops.

Personally I would keep this an instrumental.
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#83803 - 08/27/10 04:53 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song-"Deahnah's Theme" w/ RT/RD [Re: MarioD]
Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 727
Loc: Colorado
Buford Offline
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Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 727
Loc: Colorado
Thanks Mario....Floyd is spinning in his grave like a lathe at that comment. Now I'll have to go practice.

I don't "hear" any words for it, so I guess, at least for now, it will stay an instrumental. Anyone interested in writing lyrics, be my guest.

Bob

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#83804 - 08/27/10 11:33 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song-"Deahnah's Theme" w/ RT/RD [Re: Shockwave199]
Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 727
Loc: Colorado
Buford Offline
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Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 727
Loc: Colorado
Dan...thanks for the insight. I love hearing how other people write and their inspirations. It's kind of a mystical process, especially when you hit the sweet spot and the words just seem to pour out like they were already written and you're just copying them down. Personally I'd like to "channel" Harlan Howard!

As for take downs if you ever hear something of mine you'd like to do let me know or just download the lyrics and do your own version. I was wondering why we don't do more of that. I did a cover of "Take It All Out On You" and needed some nice steel. So I emailed an MP3 of the song to another buddy with a studio who is a great steel player. He sent me back FOUR steel tracks and let me pick and choose what I wanted in the song. So cool. it worked great. Now the funny part is he lives on the other side of town, only about 15 minutes away. Haha! Basically you could create a song with input from folks all over the world. Ain't technology great?

Bob

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#83805 - 08/28/10 01:20 AM [User Showcase] Re: New Song-"Deahnah's Theme" w/ RT/RD [Re: Buford]
Registered: 12/22/09
Posts: 376
Loc: Long Island, NY
Shockwave199 Offline
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Registered: 12/22/09
Posts: 376
Loc: Long Island, NY
Yes it is! I remember the days when my band mate and I would play tracks into each others answering machine when we needed to learn something in a hurry. A cassette answering machine, no less!! Now we just fly stuff around via email. We often think back and chuckle at that one. Before biab and real tracks, I collab'd with some fine musicians all over the country to get a track done. I farmed out a drum track, organ tracks, fiddle, etc. I really like that, although biab and real tracks makes the process that much more immediate now. I'll never let go of long distance collabs, but for the time being, real track players are doing just fine!

Dan
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#83806 - 08/28/10 01:39 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song-"Deahnah's Theme" w/ RT/RD [Re: Buford]
Registered: 02/11/03
Posts: 2396
Loc: Warwickshire, UK
Skyline Offline
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Registered: 02/11/03
Posts: 2396
Loc: Warwickshire, UK
Bob, that's an excellent piece, I really enjoyed it!
After I replayed it a couple of times I began to wonder if the delicate intro would sound nice repeated at the end also? The solo intro is nice and poignant (memories, lost love, etc. etc), then the song builds nicely with the theme backed up with drums, bass, etc. and in my head I was hearing it at the end go back to the poignancy of the lonely intro, maybe with more reverb as it wanders off.... Just a thought. (Nurse! he's out of bed again... )

Can you tell me what gizmos and software you use to get your masters so bright, sparkly, punchy and loud?

John
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#83807 - 08/28/10 02:27 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song-"Deahnah's Theme" w/ RT/RD [Re: Skyline]
Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 5876
Loc: Chicago
MusicStudent Offline
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Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 5876
Loc: Chicago
Well like the others, I loved the melody. But for me this needs lyrics. And I have heard your vocals before and know you would sound great over this.

Keep playing it, lyrics will come and it will be a great tune.
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#83808 - 08/29/10 09:03 AM [User Showcase] Re: New Song-"Deahnah's Theme" w/ RT/RD [Re: Skyline]
Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 727
Loc: Colorado
Buford Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 727
Loc: Colorado
John...thanks for your input. A solo ending is a great idea and would take the song full circle. I lived with the full melody as a solo for a long time before choosing the backing tracks. Alone it really sounds like a movie theme...think "Bridges of Madison County"...and as such can stand on it's own. Here it is with no backup: Deahnah's Theme (solo) I re-recorded it after choosing the backing tracks to help it flow properly. Here's another one as an example that's never had backing tracks other than some bass I added with the synth: Wherever You Are Tonight Although my intention has been to create a great melody first on the keyboard and hope to inspire lyrics, all I've done so far is create songs I like just as instrumentals. Haha! I don't know where it's all going now.

As for mastering, first I've learned to get the best performances at the highest input possible in the tracking phase. Then when it's time to master I output the WAV file ( my primary DAW is Sonar Producer 8.5 ) at the highest non-clipping level I can. Then we master with Sony's Sound Forge. Generally I'll use an effect called WAVE HAMMER, a standard Sound Forge effect that incorporates normalization and compression, which has a preset called "Master for 16 bit." Sometimes I master a project manually in Sound Forge adding highs using a preset and rolling off some very low end, and then normalizing using a -16db or -10db preset, being careful to avoid clipping. For mastering a whole album at once I use Sony's CD Architect to create the master. I level the tracks and add a bit of highs back in and roll off some low end ( 50-80hz ). I NEVER add reverb to a project during mastering. It seems to muddy up the mix. Basically I get good tracks and don't mess with them much after that other than what I've related here. Keep it clean. Clients seem to like the results and relay to me that they often get compliments from fans/customers on how clean and bright their albums sound.

I've paid for mastering from some well-known duplicators and mastering companies and been less than pleased. I don't know how anyone can master your project if they have no idea what you wanted to accomplish in the first place. Perhaps I've just never found the right mastering company.

Thanks for the nice comments and suggestions....now take your pill and get back into bed before I call the nurse!

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#83809 - 08/29/10 09:05 AM [User Showcase] Re: New Song-"Deahnah's Theme" w/ RT/RD [Re: MusicStudent]
Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 727
Loc: Colorado
Buford Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 727
Loc: Colorado
Thanks Dan...I can't get past the melody to write lyrics yet. Any ideas? Suggestions? What do YOU hear for lyrics???

Bob

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#83810 - 08/29/10 12:10 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song-"Deahnah's Theme" w/ RT/RD [Re: Buford]
Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 5876
Loc: Chicago
MusicStudent Offline
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Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 5876
Loc: Chicago
Quote:

Thanks Dan...I can't get past the melody to write lyrics yet. Any ideas? Suggestions? What do YOU hear for lyrics???

Bob




Stormy Nights and rain filled days
Remind me of your simple ways
The times we played and sang together
Who could have know what we would weather.

You asked....
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#83811 - 08/29/10 03:25 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song-"Deahnah's Theme" w/ RT/RD [Re: MusicStudent]
Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 727
Loc: Colorado
Buford Offline
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Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 727
Loc: Colorado
Well now...aren't YOU the talented one!! Finish it!

Bob

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