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#181814 - 11/30/12 07:28 AM [User Showcase] In The Bleak Midwinter
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3572
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3572
Loc: Sacramento, California
Since Josie posted a list of Public Domain Christmas Songs, I figured I'd finally get around to recording some vocals.

In The Bleak Midwinter

RealTracks:
701:Bass, Electric, PopHalfNotesSync Ev 120
362:Guitar, Acoustic, Strumming Ev 085
1676:Guitar, Acoustic, Fingerpicking CountryBrent Ev 065
1602:Piano, Acoustic, Rhythm Pop16 Ev16 065
1856:Cello, Background PopCountry Ev 085
Drums: NashBrushBalDbKEv16^

The oboe and woman's choir are from Mirolav Philharmonic. The harmonies were done after the fact using ReaTune in Reaper.

There are still some parts of the mix that need fixing - mixing in headphones is misleading! The cello occasionally overpowers the bass, and the vocals are distorting in others. The lead vocal is a bit too far back in the mix, and I should cut the reverb back a bit. The backing vocal reverb is probably too big (but I really like the sound). I just got a copy of EZMix2 during the holiday sale, so I probably got a bit carried away with the effects.

As for the vocals... Well, there are limits to what pitch correction software can do.

But I figured I should get around to finally posting something, even if it's not quite ready. I'm sure I'll post a remix Real Soon.

Comments are welcome.
_________________________
-- 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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#181815 - 11/30/12 07:41 AM [User Showcase] Re: In The Bleak Midwinter [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 8577
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
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Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 8577
Loc: Florida
David,

I would agree with most of the things dcuny said (ha). Seems like you've covered it all there.. The cello competes with the vocal a bit.

That being said, the arrangement is very nice. The oboe is well done. The choir and harmonies work well. Cool stuff.

floyd

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#181816 - 11/30/12 09:55 AM [User Showcase] Re: In The Bleak Midwinter [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 06/22/12
Posts: 2868
Loc: Karlsruhe, Germany
boehm Offline
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Registered: 06/22/12
Posts: 2868
Loc: Karlsruhe, Germany
Antwort auf:

That being said, the arrangement is very nice. The oboe is well done. The choir and harmonies work well. Cool stuff.
floyd



I totally agree with floyd.

Guenter

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#181817 - 11/30/12 01:01 PM [User Showcase] Re: In The Bleak Midwinter [Re: boehm]
Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 4047
Loc: 80 Mi North of Sacramento CA
seeker Offline
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Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 4047
Loc: 80 Mi North of Sacramento CA
David,

Enjoyed your music. I liked your gentle voice.

Thanks for sharing your hard work with us all!
_________________________
FrankB

Down The Street vs2015 12-03-2014
Win7, AMD QuadA8-5500,16GB,2TeraHD, Komplete 10
PG Ultra Plus 2016,Alesis 12USB, Sonar Platinum

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#181818 - 11/30/12 01:33 PM [User Showcase] Re: In The Bleak Midwinter [Re: seeker]
Registered: 11/25/12
Posts: 126
Loc: Texas
austin51 Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 11/25/12
Posts: 126
Loc: Texas
Enjoyed listening to your work. In spite of the word bleak this felt very peaceful.

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#181819 - 11/30/12 03:13 PM [User Showcase] Re: In The Bleak Midwinter [Re: austin51]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3572
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3572
Loc: Sacramento, California
Thanks for the nice words! They say that an album is never really finished, you just run out of time and money. I tend to tinker with tracks forever, and I'd told myself that after commenting on other people's music forever that I really needed to step up to the plate. So I put this out before analysis paralysis sets in.

floyd, I agree the cello competes with the vocal. It's such a lovely sound, I keep hoping I can turn it up a bit. I'll try bringing the volume down where it's competing, but the real solution is probably to drop it out completely at those points.

(A big thanks to PG for including the cello in BIAB!)

It's a bit scary how often the solution to a mix problem is to just drop the part entirely. For example, the ending is just a mushy mess, so I'll drop everything but the vocals at "give my heart" and see how that goes. I had also struggled to get the cello to place nice with the oboe on the introduction. After fiddling with the balance forever, I finally dropped it entirely. Much better!

I'll try to fix the mix, and then punch in some vocal corrections.
_________________________
-- 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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#181820 - 11/30/12 04:06 PM [User Showcase] Re: In The Bleak Midwinter [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 14312
Loc: Hamlin NY
MarioD Online   content
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 14312
Loc: Hamlin NY
This is not a terrible as you say it is David. Just a little tweaking here and there and it will be spot on.
_________________________
I don't always go the extra mile but when I do it is because I missed my exit!

64 bit Win 10 Pro, the latest BiaB and RB, Roland Octa-Capture audio interface, a ton of software and some hardware.

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#181821 - 11/30/12 05:42 PM [User Showcase] Re: In The Bleak Midwinter [Re: MarioD]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3572
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3572
Loc: Sacramento, California
Sorry if I gave the wrong impression - if I thought it was terrible, I wouldn't be posting it.

It was 4:00 in the morning, and I was trying to decide if I should post the thing "as is", or fiddle with it some more. I still want feedback, but wanted people to know of what issues I was already aware of.

I don't know how you folk manage to find time to do this stuff! There's so much excellent music produced by forum members I'm constantly blown away, because I know how much work it takes.
_________________________
-- 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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#181822 - 11/30/12 06:09 PM [User Showcase] Re: In The Bleak Midwinter [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 1815
Kemmrich Offline
Expert

Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 1815
That opening oboe sounds great as does the cello. I am definitely getting BIAB 2013 to get that cello. Yea, this just needs the vocals mixed a little more forward.

It is pretty good singing and a super wonderful Christmas tune -- well done!
_________________________
Now at bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh @ bandcamp or soundcloud: Kevin @ soundcloud

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#181823 - 11/30/12 08:51 PM [User Showcase] Re: In The Bleak Midwinter [Re: Kemmrich]
Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 4589
Sundance Offline
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Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 4589
David,

What a pretty song. Lovely arrangment and instrument choices. Good voice too. I agree you should definitely bring the vox up. Nicely done and looking forward to listening again when it's tweaked.

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#181824 - 11/30/12 09:33 PM [User Showcase] Re: In The Bleak Midwinter [Re: Sundance]
Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7771
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7771
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
David,

I really like this! There is a tendency, especially with Christmas carols, to reproduce versions we've grown up with (whether we realize it or not)

My wife was a Christmas music junkie. I think we have every Christmas song ever made, and your arrangement sounds fresh to my ears.

The harmonies in a song are often very predictable, but these weren't. I really liked the mood that the descending harmony introduced to the song.

The amount of reverb reminded me of the way Christmas hymns sound in a church during midnight mass on Christmas eve. As a kid the magnificence of a cathedral filled with music of praise embedded some great memories, and here you have stirred them up again. Thats what good music does.

And you're right about the cello... it is exactly the right instrument for that arrangement

two enthusiastic thumbs up!

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#181825 - 12/01/12 03:10 AM [User Showcase] Re: In The Bleak Midwinter [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 552
Loc: Grand Junction, Colorado USA
Achordocaster Offline
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Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 552
Loc: Grand Junction, Colorado USA
David,

Hey I really enjoyed this. (I'm on my 3rd listen) I don't know if you've done any tweaking yet... If not, then go easy, 'cause I think this is already sounding pretty darn good!

I really like the arrangement & instrumentation, also great to finally hear you sing! (cool harmonies)... By the way, your much too hard on yourself. (But I can relate)

Greg

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#181826 - 12/01/12 01:46 PM [User Showcase] Re: In The Bleak Midwinter [Re: Achordocaster]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3572
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3572
Loc: Sacramento, California
Thanks again for all the positive feedback!

Pat, you've got good ears there! I've re-recorded the backing vocals and main track. While you can pitch correct tracks and tweak them into singing altered pitches, there are some nasty artifacts hidden in there.

I'll try to get an updated mix out Real Soon Now, once I clear the fog out of my head from pulling another all-night recording session, and free myself from the distraction of all these new 2013 demos...
_________________________
-- 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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#181827 - 12/03/12 12:35 PM [User Showcase] Re: In The Bleak Midwinter [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 1943
Loc: Canyon Lake, TX
Steve Young Offline
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Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 1943
Loc: Canyon Lake, TX
David,

Very nice stuff! I took off for a couple of months, and now you are singing! I wonder what you would get into if I took off another month.

I like your arranging. Very peaceful feel, and pleasant to listen to. (Nice to hear your voice.)

Steve
_________________________
Steve Young
Music
"In order to compose, all you need to do is remember a tune that nobody else has thought of." - Robert Schumann

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#181828 - 12/05/12 04:18 AM [User Showcase] Re: In The Bleak Midwinter [Re: Steve Young]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3572
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3572
Loc: Sacramento, California
Hi, Steve.

Thanks for your comments. Really, the arrangement is all about the cello.

One thing that surprised me was how much I could remove from the mix, and still not have the instrument be missed. For example, the piano only shows up a couple of times, but it's enough to make an impression, and so you don't really notice it when it's dropped from 90% of the song.


I've finally posted an new version of the mix, at the same URL:

In The Bleak Midwinter

In retrospect, it's not all that different from the first version. I couldn't resist that massive choral sound, so I beefed up the backing vocals by actually singing the parts instead of simply shifting them into place via pitch correction.

I really should have tweaked it more in places, but my poor DAW is starting to sputter and choke from the number of effect-laden tracks. I'm too lazy to render them out as stems, so I'll call it finished... for now.
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

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

Top
#181829 - 12/05/12 04:37 AM [User Showcase] Re: In The Bleak Midwinter [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 552
Loc: Grand Junction, Colorado USA
Achordocaster Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 552
Loc: Grand Junction, Colorado USA
Hey David,

No more tweaking necessary.

I just listened to your latest mix and it sounds great!
The harmonies sound good, and I really like the arrangement. Just a fine job!

Greg

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#181830 - 12/05/12 06:14 AM [User Showcase] Re: In The Bleak Midwinter [Re: Achordocaster]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 8577
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 8577
Loc: Florida
David,

This is the first I've "re-listened" since the original post. I would have to disagree. This IS different from the first version. Much better - from the "little things" you have done (kind of what mixing is all about). The cello fits so nicely now (don't you love that thing!) and "plays so well" with the oboe. The vocal seems a little "up" from where it was originally - another good thing. The harmonies seem "crisper" somehow - perhaps from the removal of other things.

It sounds great. Beautifully done.

Time to start the next one!!!....

floyd.

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#181831 - 12/05/12 11:57 AM [User Showcase] Re: In The Bleak Midwinter [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3572
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3572
Loc: Sacramento, California
Hi, floyd and Greg.

I should have qualified my comments. I'm happy with the mix, and I'll let it go.

What I was referring to was that after adding about lots of new backing tracks and days of tweaking, I figured that the mix was significantly different than the original.

But while intending to listen to one of the "new" mixes, I accidentally queued up the original mix. I got about half way through the song before I figured out the mix wasn't the one I'd been laboring over for days!

Moral: when you've been mixing something for a while, your ears can easily fool you into hearing something that's not necessarily there.
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

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

Top
#181832 - 12/06/12 10:39 AM [User Showcase] Re: In The Bleak Midwinter [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1276
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Tano Music Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1276
Loc: Charlotte, NC
David..lovely work..I loved your arrangement, and your vocal was very good as well. There is so much for me to learn from this, so I thank you for that. That cello sound is awesome, and I think everything is very well balanced. I will take alot away from this, in consideration, when working on my own material. Thank you for (finally, I guess!) sharing this. You are always real thoughtful and constructive in your comments, by the way!

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#181833 - 12/07/12 03:19 PM [User Showcase] Re: In The Bleak Midwinter [Re: Tano Music]
Registered: 04/01/11
Posts: 1008
Loc: Maryland
SpaceDog Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/01/11
Posts: 1008
Loc: Maryland
David,
I really liked the harmonies. Very nice song. Thanks for sharing.
SD

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