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#91468 - 11/15/10 11:18 PM [User Showcase] New Song To Critique "I Was There"
Registered: 09/20/08
Posts: 62
Loc: Florida, USA
DRiddle Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/20/08
Posts: 62
Loc: Florida, USA
Hey Everyone, It has been a LONG time since I have posted a song on here, I have been lurking in the background, listening and reading!

I have been working a bit on this song, it was written by a friend of mine. I created the tracks using ALL realtracks, here is a list of the instruments that I used:

RT528 Guitar, Acoustic, Fingerpicking Hank Sw 120
RT519 Bass, Electric, Pop HalfNotes Ev 120
RT405 Guitar, Acoustic, Strumming Ev 120
RT372 Guitar, Acoustic, Strumming Hank Sw 120
RT618 Fiddle, Background Allis Ev 120
RT624 Fiddle, Soloist George Ev 085
RT613 Guitar, Resonator, Background Hank Sw 130
RT609 Guitar, Resonator, Background Roundup Sw 120

After generating the tracks, I did a lot of copying and pasting of the parts I liked best, moving parts here and there. I am not quite finished with it yet, I still need to edit some of the main vocals and the backing vocals, BUT wanted to get some fresh ideas from all of you before I went any further. I always trust your input, everyone was a big help on the song that I posted MONTHS AND MONTHS ago "I Was The One (who Made The Crown)"…thanks for your help on that one!

Here is the link to the song:
www.dannyriddle.com/music/IWasThere-VOCAL.mp3

Thanks!
Danny
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#91469 - 11/16/10 11:48 AM [User Showcase] Re: New Song To Critique "I Was There" [Re: DRiddle]
Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 3911
Loc: Woodstock, NY
rsdean Offline
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Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 3911
Loc: Woodstock, NY
Danny, this is a great track - nice job.

Bob
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#91470 - 11/16/10 05:42 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song To Critique "I Was There" [Re: rsdean]
Registered: 09/20/08
Posts: 62
Loc: Florida, USA
DRiddle Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/20/08
Posts: 62
Loc: Florida, USA
Hey Bob, thanks for taking the time to listen to the song.
Any ideas on changes to the instruments? I always bring the violins (fiddles) too loud, I did my best to keep them down in the mix. BUT I still want them louder!! I am having someone remix the backing vocals for me and my main vocal. I'll upload that later tonight or tomorrow when it is finished.
---------------
OK, here is a version that is a little but more in the finished phase, any ideas or changes would be greatly appreciated. I love constructive criticism....

In the same spot:
http://www.dannyriddle.com/music/IWasThere-VOCAL.mp3

Thanks!
Danny


Edited by DRiddle (11/16/10 07:29 PM)
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#91471 - 11/16/10 10:50 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song To Critique "I Was There" [Re: DRiddle]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2637
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2637
Loc: Sacramento, California
Since you asked...

First, I really like the mix. It's clean, and the instrumentals are audible, but not overpowering. There's nothing that really strikes my (completely unprofessional) ear as problematic. You've got a quiet voice, and the instruments are balanced nicely against it. I really like the harmony, too. I've listened to the song multiple times, through headphones and speakers, and it holds up well.

On to nit-picking!

I get a mixed message from the first verse. "They" who can "make" me believe their "stories" sound pretty sinister! They're never identified in the rest of the song, and "they" don't really seem essential.

My preference is for lyrics that can mimic speech patterns (with exceptions, of course). An "unnatural" break in a lyric it calls attention to itself. For example:
    "And make you ... believe"
    "You will see... that I am"
    "And I am everything...in between"
    "Ready thy house because...the time is coming soon" (This one really isn't that bad)
The make the lyric feel like it was forced into the song, instead of flowing naturally. Feel free to disagree.

I like what you do with the cadence, but I wish it were a bit... bigger? For example, stopping the instruments, pausing briefly, and then bringing in that lovely harmony a capella?

For some reason, the song sounds like it starts slowing down towards the second half. It could just be my imagination.

For fun, I cut and pasted my own HeavyHandedEdit. It's an inelegant hack job, to say the least - I tried closing up a few gaps in the lyrics, "fixed" a lyric that didn't rhyme, and (worst of all) changed the ending. So my apologies in advance for destroying the song - it was a lot of fun!
_________________________
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My virtual singer development blog

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

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#91472 - 11/17/10 07:26 AM [User Showcase] Re: New Song To Critique "I Was There" [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 589
Loc: uk
tributeman Offline
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Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 589
Loc: uk
Hey DC I liked the way you had the hook coming in at the beginning.I was always told that to grab a publishers attention you should do it in the first 30 seconds of a song and with this edit you did.Mind you it was a bit messy in betweem with the edit jumping about but I got the gist of it.I quite liked the lyric as it was written so must part company with you there.Cheers Frankie
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#91473 - 11/17/10 11:35 AM [User Showcase] Re: New Song To Critique "I Was There" [Re: tributeman]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2637
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2637
Loc: Sacramento, California
Edit: Ooops! Thought you were the original poster! My bad!

Cool! Everything else (except for the ear-scorching ending) was me trying to smooth things away that "stuck out" - nothing more than nits that removed made it "unique" and put your particular stamp on the song.

And there's nothing like hearing someone else's version of your song to convince you that your version was best!


Edited by dcuny (11/17/10 05:01 PM)
_________________________
-- 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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#91474 - 11/17/10 01:43 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song To Critique "I Was There" [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 14905
Loc: Australia
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 14905
Loc: Australia
dcuny,

Did you seek copyright approval from Danny before messing with his song and posting your version of it?

Personally, I think that what you have done is going too far and well beyond "critique". It's like saying, to Michelangelo, "There is no place in art for public nudity" and then you take a chisel to the statue of David. After all his years of work, I wonder how Michelangelo would feel about that? In my opinion, it's one thing to critique but it's another thing to impose your views/prejudices in a public forum.

If this was my song, I'd be asking you to remove your link.

Regards,
Noel

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#91475 - 11/17/10 01:50 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song To Critique "I Was There" [Re: DRiddle]
Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 14905
Loc: Australia
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 14905
Loc: Australia
Hi Danny,

It's really good to have you back in the Forums! You might find this hard to believe, but only two days ago I was wondering what had happened to you I was thinking to myself about how I really liked listening to those gospel songs that you posted ages ago. How's that for "spooky"?

I like this current song. Your music always shines with honesty and professionalism. How did you do the harmony? It's excellent.

All the best,
Noel
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#91476 - 11/17/10 06:13 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song To Critique "I Was There" [Re: Noel96]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2637
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2637
Loc: Sacramento, California
Quote:

Did you seek copyright approval from Danny before messing with his song and posting your version of it?



Did you think that perhaps people might confuse my mockup with Danny's version? I'd hoped to avoid this when I posted the file, saying it was an "inelegant hack job, to say the least", wrote "apologies in advance for destroying the song" and even named the file HeavyHandedEdit.

I'd considered sending Danny a private email with a link to the file instead, and in retrospect keeping the file private would be the better approach. Since the mockup offended people listening to it, I've removed it.

Quote:

Personally, I think that what you have done is going too far and well beyond "critique".



I only posted this because I thought that it would more effectively convey the ideas than writing it up would. Since people have taken offense to this, I apologize again.

Danny wrote "any ideas or changes would be greatly appreciated. I love constructive criticism". And that's exactly what the intent of the mockup was - nothing more or less.

Specifically, I thought the song worked well without the first verse, and with a shorter modulation. I thought that holding the lyric longer on the final cadence was effective. Changing the lyric... always iffy. Removing the "gaps" in the phrases... debatable, at best.

Quote:

In my opinion, it's one thing to critique but it's another thing to impose your views/prejudices in a public forum.



Am I really "imposing" my views?

I started out noting that there was little I could do that could truly offer any really useful suggestions, noted the ideas were "nits" at best, and used qualifiers like "my preference" to make sure he understand where things are purely my opinion, and I understood they were being offered by someone with no "professional" credentials.

So I'm not exactly sure what you're referring to.

I suspect the real problem is more with the medium (the MP3) than the message itself: You took the same offense to what I'd done to Danny's song as if I had done the same to your song. That's understandable, especially since it was so inartfully done.

Then again, are you perhaps referring to my continuing theme that things should be phrased "naturally"?

Either complaint is valid, but please, be a bit more specific, so I can know what the exact problem is so I can avoid it in the future.

Thanks!
_________________________
-- 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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#91477 - 11/17/10 09:01 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song To Critique "I Was There" [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 09/20/08
Posts: 62
Loc: Florida, USA
DRiddle Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/20/08
Posts: 62
Loc: Florida, USA
Hey Bob, Frankie and Noel

Thanks again for taking the time to listen to the song. That is what I wanted, was some constructive ideas to work with.

David: Can you send me that MP3 to your edits, I wanted to get some more ideas and I did not save the MP3 that you had posted. I did edit it a bit using your idea about removing the first verse and it does seem to flow a bit better...THANKS for the idea.

Noel, I did not think anyone would remember me, as it has been a long time since I have posted a song on here, BUT been keeping touch with the forums LURKING. The backing vocals is just me, doing three part harmony. I took the mid range and processed it with a VST program )that is no longer available) "Steinberg Vocal Processor" to create a female voice and then I took one of the lower range and did the same thing to make a more bass vocal.

Here is a song that I recently finished, that my friend Cindy (my ex) and I wrote, that I thought you might like to hear, It was not created using realband though. A friend of mine did the tracks for me. The song is called "Ready Or Not".

http://www.dannyriddle.com/music/ReadyOrNot-VOCAL_Master.MP3

I will post another version to "I was There" tomorrow night when I finish editing it a bit more.

Thanks Again!
Danny
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#91478 - 11/17/10 09:18 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song To Critique "I Was There" [Re: DRiddle]
Registered: 09/20/08
Posts: 62
Loc: Florida, USA
DRiddle Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/20/08
Posts: 62
Loc: Florida, USA
Well, I finished the edits that I wanted to do, quicker than I thought, as it seemed to flow together.

It is in the same spot:
http://www.dannyriddle.com/music/IWasThere-VOCAL.mp3

Let me now what you think ( did raise the fiddle a tad bit too)
Thanks again!
Danny
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#91479 - 11/18/10 02:03 AM [User Showcase] Re: New Song To Critique "I Was There" [Re: DRiddle]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2637
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2637
Loc: Sacramento, California
I gotta recuse myself from commenting on any changes I suggested.

Did you stagger the background vocals more? The chorus on the first half seems less tight than on the second half - I like the tighter vocals better.

Another "matter of taste" - I think you're better off having the fiddle or the dobro play, but not both. For example, you've got the dobro doing subtle licks in the first verse where it blends in with the fingerpicked guitar, or at 2:52, where the solo fiddle comes in with a nice lick. Contrast that with points like 0:25 where they're both vying for attention. (And just to contradict myself, I like how you use them both at the end).

Anyway, glad you found something useful in there!
_________________________
-- 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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#91480 - 11/18/10 08:37 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song To Critique "I Was There" [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 09/20/08
Posts: 62
Loc: Florida, USA
DRiddle Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/20/08
Posts: 62
Loc: Florida, USA
OOPS I didn't catch that when I shifted all the vocals after removing the first verse. I re-aligned the backing vocals on the first part of the song, so they should be ok now and more tight. Let me know if I missed something.... extra ears are always a big help!

It is in the same spot:
http://www.dannyriddle.com/music/IWasThere-VOCAL.mp3

Thanks!
Danny
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www.DannyRiddle.com

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#91481 - 11/19/10 02:04 AM [User Showcase] Re: New Song To Critique "I Was There" [Re: DRiddle]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2637
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2637
Loc: Sacramento, California
The vocals line up now.

I like the lead at 2:55, where you've got a nice emotive twang going.

These are really subjective, tiny nits: At 0:17 the lone "and" sort of draws attention to itself - perhaps because you've already got the harmony going. In other places where you stagger the harmony by a single word, it sounds smooth. At 2:30, the "and" sort of pops a bit.

Sounds good to me.
_________________________
-- 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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#91482 - 11/19/10 03:43 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song To Critique "I Was There" [Re: DRiddle]
Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 1182
Loc: Scotland
George Nelson Offline
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Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 1182
Loc: Scotland
Hi Danny,

I have been watching this forum thread to see what advice you were given.
Well there is certainly good advice in the replies.
What I really like is how you haven't taken them as a criticism but as they were intended, as help.
Well, you have lifted your song to a new level with your latest re-do

Very good indeed, well done

Best regards
Michee
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#91483 - 11/20/10 04:48 AM [User Showcase] Re: New Song To Critique "I Was There" [Re: George Nelson]
Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 536
Loc: Grand Junction, Colorado USA
Achordocaster Offline
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Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 536
Loc: Grand Junction, Colorado USA
Quote:

Hi Danny,

I have been watching this forum thread to see what advice you were given.
Well there is certainly good advice in the replies.
What I really like is how you haven't taken them as a criticism but as they were intended, as help.
Well, you have lifted your song to a new level with your latest re-do

Very good indeed, well done

Best regards
Michee




Danny,

I have to agree with Michee. I listened to the first version and have been watching the thread as well.

This is very much improved! I think it's sounding pretty darn fine now.

Good Job,

Greg

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#91484 - 11/20/10 02:37 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song To Critique "I Was There" [Re: Achordocaster]
Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 12057
Loc: Hamlin NY
MarioD Offline
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 12057
Loc: Hamlin NY
Hi Danny, I’m late to the party but I’m sure glad I came.

I missed the first version but this version is outstanding. Everything about it is perfect IMHO.

Two thumbs up.
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#91485 - 11/20/10 04:52 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song To Critique "I Was There" [Re: George Nelson]
Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 14905
Loc: Australia
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 14905
Loc: Australia
Quote:

Well, you have lifted your song to a new level with your latest re-do Very good indeed, well done



I totally agree with Michee. David's comments have really helped you take this song to a whole new place. The words "excellent, enjoyable, professional" all just appeared in my mind in quick succession!

Well done, Danny. This song is an outstanding credit to your talent.

Regards,
Noel
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#91486 - 11/20/10 06:03 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song To Critique "I Was There" [Re: Noel96]
Registered: 09/20/08
Posts: 62
Loc: Florida, USA
DRiddle Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/20/08
Posts: 62
Loc: Florida, USA
Thanks Michee, Greg, Mario, Noel and David (dcuny), for the listen and some great ideas and the kind words. I never take things to heart but learn from the ideas shared. I think this song is taking form and I am beginning to like it a whole lot better than I did in the beginning, THANKS!

David, I tried to fix the "and's" buy moving those words over a bit to not overlap the backing vocal that are coming in, Take a listen and let me know if it sounds a bit better. I was thinking about just editing those out completely, BUT I think the song needs those ands in there.


In the same spot:
http://www.dannyriddle.com/music/IWasThere-VOCAL.mp3

Thanks again!
Danny
_________________________
Keep The Music Alive
www.DannyRiddle.com

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#91487 - 11/20/10 11:56 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song To Critique "I Was There" [Re: DRiddle]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2637
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2637
Loc: Sacramento, California
If it sounds good to you, it's good. I'm getting to the point where I can't hear with "fresh ears", if you know what I mean. My ears are no more golden than anyone else's.

I just listened through it a bunch of times to see of anything stuck out. I didn't hear anything in the vocals - it's smooth sailing to me. Nothing grabbed my attention - which isn't to say the prior version didn't sound better. If you like the other one, you don't need my permission!

The dobro sounded a tad louder than I remember it, but that could be my imagination. The only thing that I could find to complain about was that the 12 string has a slight pause hitting before it hits the bass note during the modulation at 1:45, but my oldest son says he can't hear it.

And that, my friend, is truly grasping for straws!
_________________________
-- 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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