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#467585 - 04/16/18 08:25 PM [User Showcase] In a Mountain Town
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 183
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 183
Loc: Columbia, MO
https://soundcloud.com/phil-leith/in-a-mountain-town-original

[Lyrics at the bottom]

The inspiration for this song came mainly from Estes Park, CO, the doorway to Rocky Mountain National Park. It's an eclectic little town. Quirky, like its sister towns on the front range. An easy place to fall in love with. After a few days hiking in the park, it's nice to go into town, hit a restaurant or microbrewery, and just people-watch while you maybe shop and grab an ice cream cone, and catch Brad Fitch (Cowboy Brad) down at Bond park playing for a crowd of people on blankets and lawn chairs. The autumn storm referred to here is the big flood of 2013. Not the first time that's happened and it won't be the last.

Fellow BIAB forum member Bob Buford heard an early version of the song (actually my third go at the song in 5 years) and encouraged me to get Band in a Box to help fill out my "studio" and gave me some pointers on mixing. So this is my first original that I'm "finished" with since I got BIAB. My 4th "go" at the song and I have to say ... I'm liking it a lot better now. I guess I never feel like I'm "done" with a song ... but ... great advice, Bob, glad I got it.

I use Reaper to mix and add FX. On this track, I actually like my own rhythm guitar style and "western" solo. All of the vocals are me. BIAB info:

_ELECROK 4/4 ev8 120 Uplifting Rock2

but just used these instruments:

Bass: 388:Bass, Electric Metal Ev 120 [Dow Tomlin]
Drums: ReaDrums=RockHardModernEv8^2-ClsdHt, OpHt [Wayne Killius]

I used reverb on pretty much everything to fatten it up, including on the BIAB tracks. Yes, I use some gentle ReaTune on my vocals. (I'm still getting used to the idea of me singing as a primary musical expression. I only sang to accompany my guitar before. It's a weird paradigm shift for me.) Also used Acon digital multiplier to thicken especially the background vocals, and threw Xcomp compressor over the master track (Mastering 3 band smile setting). And the Clap Machine from 99 Sounds as a midi clap track. I toned that down to mostly get lost in the mix, only sticking out in the quiet parts.

Over the next few months I'll be going through my short catalog of originals and using BIAB to a much greater extent on some, and lesser extent on others, to get my songs sounding halfway decent.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In a Mountain Town (Phil Leith, 2015)

I've been out where the air is bright and pretty
With my head in the clouds and my feet are gettin' gritty
Gonna head into town for an elk steak and cold mountain brew
A coffee house full of hippies and hikers
And a barbeque joint with a table full of bikers
And a cowgirl swingin' on through pulls her hat rim down
In her mountain town

In a mountain town...

There's a Tropicowboy singin' in the park
Playing songs to order until it gets dark
With kids acting out "Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road"
He'll be pickin' with friends 'til the sun turns in
A daytime ranger, a nighttime musician
A hometown boy just helpin' make the world go round
In his mountain town

In a mountain town ...

Take a break from walkin' around
Just sit on a bench by the river splashin' down
And watch how life goes down in a mountain town
An afternoon shower is a mighty long way
From the autumn storm tried to wash her away
It's a peak and valley life of ups and downs
In a mountain town

In a mountain town ...



Edited by Phil Leith (04/17/18 10:28 AM)

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#467632 - 04/17/18 06:10 AM [User Showcase] Re: In a Mountain Town [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 01/10/13
Posts: 1035
Loc: The Heartland....Kansas
chulaivet1966 Offline
Expert

Registered: 01/10/13
Posts: 1035
Loc: The Heartland....Kansas
Originally Posted By: Phil Leith
Fellow BIAB forum member Bob Buford heard an early version of the song (actually my third go at the song in 5 years) and encouraged me to get Band in a Box to help fill out my "studio" and gave me some pointers on mixing. So this is my first original that I'm "finished" with since I got BIAB. My 4th "go" at the song and I have to say ... I'm liking it a lot better now. I guess I never feel like I'm "done" with a song ... but ... great advice, Bob, glad I got it.


I gave a listen....
Well done, easy listening song.
Vocals/harmonies sound even and well mixed.

I know the lead portion beginning at 1:45 is not a busy one but thought it could have been a DB or so louder but that's just a preferential comment and I'm just listening on laptop speakers.

So....keep up the good work and BIAB is a great tool, that's for sure.

Back to it....

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#467637 - 04/17/18 06:19 AM [User Showcase] Re: In a Mountain Town [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 10584
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
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Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 10584
Loc: GA USA
You're gonna love BiaB and, BTW, we love Estes Park. We've spend a bit of time there during our summer trips to CO. Lovely and stunning during wildflower season.

So, thanks for the reminder!

"I'm liking it a lot better now. I guess I never feel like I'm "done" with a song ... "

For us they are never finished...simply abandoned at some point.

Thanks for the backstory on the song and how you put it together.

We enjoyed the tune. Have fun with your new toys!

J&B
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#467640 - 04/17/18 06:29 AM [User Showcase] Re: In a Mountain Town [Re: chulaivet1966]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 183
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 183
Loc: Columbia, MO
I struggle with that stuff. You're probably right about that. I am definitely learning. I mix on a nice pair of studio headphones and it stands out more there. But at work I have just my old standard Sony MDR V150's and I "hear" what you mean. And I may just DO that :-)

Thanks, chulaivet!


Edited by Phil Leith (04/17/18 06:38 AM)

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#467644 - 04/17/18 06:37 AM [User Showcase] Re: In a Mountain Town [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 183
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 183
Loc: Columbia, MO
Thank you, Janice & Bud.

I do love that place. It's my favorite park. And a "mere" 13 hours from my house!

:-D


Edited by Phil Leith (04/17/18 06:39 AM)

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#467646 - 04/17/18 06:41 AM [User Showcase] Re: In a Mountain Town [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 728
Loc: Colorado
Buford Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 728
Loc: Colorado
Hey Phil,

Welcome to the forums and congrats on your first song posting. This song gets better every time I listen to it. Love the lyrics, the production, vocals, harmonies, and the overall feel of the song. Looking forward to hearing a lot more from you. So glad you decided to give BIAB a try. There's nothing like it.

Best Wishes,
Bob cool

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#467647 - 04/17/18 06:43 AM [User Showcase] Re: In a Mountain Town [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 01/10/13
Posts: 1035
Loc: The Heartland....Kansas
chulaivet1966 Offline
Expert

Registered: 01/10/13
Posts: 1035
Loc: The Heartland....Kansas
Originally Posted By: Phil Leith
I struggle with that stuff. You're probably right about that. I am definitely learning. I mix on a nice pair of studio headphones and it stands out more there. But at work I have just my old standard Sony MDR V150's and I "hear" what you mean. And I may just DO that :-) Thanks, chulaivet!


You're welcome....

Well....we all are always "learning"
I never mix on headphones but we all develop our own processes and there's many ways of achieving the results we are looking for during our (sometimes) vertical learning curves. smile

Keep truckin' along.....



Edited by chulaivet1966 (04/17/18 06:45 AM)

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#467650 - 04/17/18 06:55 AM [User Showcase] Re: In a Mountain Town [Re: chulaivet1966]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 183
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 183
Loc: Columbia, MO
I have read that (never mix on headphones). Sadly, in my house, I don't have much choice. I didn't name my studio "The Little Corner Studio" for nothing :-) (It's literally a corner in our bedroom behind a rattan screen).

What I've done in the past is get it pretty good, then go out to my ... car. And fine tune it there. Seemed like if it sounded good in the car, it sounded good anywhere.

Only we just replaced that car last week. I'll try it in the "new" car. But it has a pretty good sound system, and that might not be a good thing. It has to sound decent on crappy laptop amp/speakers as well.

I played with this one on the living room stereo, too.

I'm a little tempted to buy some cheaper speakers for our TV and steal my polk bookshelf speakers back for studio monitors. But then ... I'll need an amp, and ... auuuugggghhhHH!!!

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#467653 - 04/17/18 07:05 AM [User Showcase] Re: In a Mountain Town [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 01/10/13
Posts: 1035
Loc: The Heartland....Kansas
chulaivet1966 Offline
Expert

Registered: 01/10/13
Posts: 1035
Loc: The Heartland....Kansas
Originally Posted By: Phil Leith
I have read that (never mix on headphones).


Personally, I would never tell anyone that as an absolute even though I don't and if I were asked I would not recommend mixing on phones.
But...that's just me.

The thing that becomes important is learning/knowing how your speakers translate to other systems in hearing every instrument you want to be heard or predominant.
In other words.....knowing your monitors regardless of perceived quality....which comes with time along with critical listening.
Mixing is quite subjective from my perspective

Don't mean to hijack.....back to topic.


Edited by chulaivet1966 (04/17/18 07:06 AM)

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#467655 - 04/17/18 07:06 AM [User Showcase] Re: In a Mountain Town [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 9378
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 9378
Loc: Florida
Hi, Phil...

Welcome to the Showcase!

This is a really nice song. Catchy, ear-pleasing...
(Having the lyrics to follow along would be nice)

Your vocals and harmonies are really nice. Your acoustic sounds good, too.

(Since you seem open to mixing observations...)
The balance of the vocals to the acoustic is quite good.
As noted previously, the lead could be louder.
I would also suggest the you bring the drums and bass up... a good amount, in fact (I have preached "louder drums" for a long time here).

Really enjoyed this. Replayed it several times as I typed this...

floyd

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#467657 - 04/17/18 07:11 AM [User Showcase] Re: In a Mountain Town [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 9378
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 9378
Loc: Florida
Oh...one other thing...

There's nothing wrong with mixing in headphones. A good pair - or one that you "know" well - will get you really close. Don't let anyone tell you it is "wrong" somehow.

It is good to have a pair of studio monitors to finish with, but not an absolute necessity. Keep an eye out for a sale at the major online music retailers for an inexpensive pair of power monitors - no need for an amp (Stupid Deal will have them once in a while). For anyone who will be doing mixing on an on-going basis, it's a good idea... (saves all those trips to the car).

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#467663 - 04/17/18 07:32 AM [User Showcase] Re: In a Mountain Town [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 3414
Deryk - PG Music Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 3414
Really well done, Phil! I loved the groove here - it instantly got my toe tapping along. The uplifting nature of the tune really helped keep my attention. The vocal performance is spot on, too. I can't help but imagine how good this would sound in a live setting.

Great work - thanks for sharing smile
_________________________
Cheers,
Deryk

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#467687 - 04/17/18 10:20 AM [User Showcase] Re: In a Mountain Town [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 183
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 183
Loc: Columbia, MO
There, I upped the volume on the guitar solo a bit. Good catch. You know, you listen to these things SO many times while you're mixing sometimes it all becomes sound soup. :-D

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#467688 - 04/17/18 10:25 AM [User Showcase] Re: In a Mountain Town [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 08/29/14
Posts: 5365
Loc: North Carolina
David Snyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/29/14
Posts: 5365
Loc: North Carolina

Phil,

I really enjoyed this.

It had a real R.E.M. feel to it. Don't know if that sounds like an odd reference but it sounds like something from their early "great" years.

Very well done!
_________________________
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Audiophile Everything + Studio + Instruments + Fingers
ASCAP, NSAI

www.davidsnydermusic.com
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#467698 - 04/17/18 10:33 AM [User Showcase] Re: In a Mountain Town [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 183
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 183
Loc: Columbia, MO
Good point. I just went back and re-edited and threw the lyrics at the end of the post.

Also, I have (in the last half hour) upped the volume on the guitar solo and a little on the drums.

I, too, like the drums and bass a bit more prominent. I had set them here because Bob coached me, and I agree, to make sure the lead vocal stands out above the mix and it was getting lost when I upped them much more.

Before this my mixes were all pretty much mono. That's going to change now. This one's stereo, and that helps a lot.

By the way, I really loved your "Mistakes". I'm a pretty big Jimmy Buffett fan - that one would be right up his alley.

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#467700 - 04/17/18 10:37 AM [User Showcase] Re: In a Mountain Town [Re: David Snyder]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 183
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 183
Loc: Columbia, MO
Thank you!

I liked early REM ... back in the early 80's, I was much more into 1960's and early 1970's music, and when REM hit the scene their sound reminded me a lot of The Byrds -- that bright jangly sound. I've always liked that.

I have an eclectic set of influences... Gordon Lightfoot, John Denver, Beatles, Byrds ... Beach Boys ... Eagles .... R. Carlos Nakai :-) and probably a bunch I don't even think about. Oh, and of course, Jimmy Buffett.


Edited by Phil Leith (04/17/18 10:38 AM)

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#467714 - 04/17/18 10:59 AM [User Showcase] Re: In a Mountain Town [Re: chulaivet1966]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 183
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 183
Loc: Columbia, MO
I seriously appreciate the advice.

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#467753 - 04/17/18 04:11 PM [User Showcase] Re: In a Mountain Town [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 3380
Loc: Missouri
Torrey Bliss Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 3380
Loc: Missouri
First I've heard from you Phil and I really like it! I like that the fact that you used your own acoustic guitar tracks in this! BIAB is so easy to blend our own tracks with! I like the driving feel of this (kind of sounds like Jimmy Buffet went to the Rockies). Anyway, great tune and I look forward to more from you! Thanks, Torrey
_________________________
Torrey Bliss
www.soundcloud.com/torrey-bliss



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#467777 - 04/17/18 07:04 PM [User Showcase] Re: In a Mountain Town [Re: Torrey Bliss]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 183
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 183
Loc: Columbia, MO
Thanks, Torrey. I really enjoyed listening to some of your tracks on soundcloud.

The cool thing here is ... I worked the chords out in BIAB at the same tempo as my already existing Reaper project with all of my tracks in it, exported the two tracks I wanted from BIAB... then muted my midi drum and faked bass track out in my reaper project, dropped these in and started re-mixing. Fit like old furniture joints. I will probably do something similar with several of my tracks. And several of them will be almost all BIAB backing tracks.

Working on one of those now.

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#467836 - 04/18/18 07:04 AM [User Showcase] Re: In a Mountain Town [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 05/22/11
Posts: 3477
Loc: Florida
tommyad Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/22/11
Posts: 3477
Loc: Florida
Phil, I really like the country rock feel of this. I can picture myself back in Estes Park. It's been too many years. Great vocals and I like the write. As far as the mix, I'm not getting any bass and the kick sounds like it's got a high end click on top of it. I mix entirely in headphones and tried to go to monitors but I ended up back in the phones. (Audio Technica MTH-50x) Worth every penny. I know you're gonna have some good ones showing up here in the future. Enjoyed the listen, Tom

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