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#470310 - 04/30/18 07:45 AM [User Showcase] I'm Alive
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 195
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 195
Loc: Columbia, MO
https://soundcloud.com/phil-leith/im-alive-original

This song ... literally came to me in a dream. Like, last wednesday morning. Ok, sort of. What came to me was the "I'm Alive, I'm Alive blah blah blah blah" part. Complete with the melody and harmony for that snippet.

Picture yourself in a convertible, driving up the Pacific Coast Highway on a warm sunny day, reflecting on your life, when you listen.

Here's the cool thing about BIAB. Less than a week later... this. Not possible without BIAB. Not for me anyway.

Wrote, arranged, and produced, and sang all the vocals except for the quiet ooh's and aaahs leading up to the chorus ... I tried their ooohs and aaahs. Mechanical ... probably because they were sampled at 085 and my song is at 140 BPM, but at this volume, they work ok. I kept them pretty subtle.

I bounced all this off Bob Buford, who was adamant that I find filler instrumental for the breaks between lyrics. It's a thing. He was right, though, it's better. I was looking for a decent dobro soloist, but I ended up using the Knopfler style "Dire Bluesey" and I think it works. Very close to what I had in mind.

Lyrics are on SoundCloud.

****** Song Summary *************
Title: I'm Alive
File:I'm Alive.SGU
Key=E , Tempo 140, Length (m:s)=3:47
No intro. 131 bar chorus, from bar 1 to bar 131. Repeat x1 chorus
No Melody
Soloist track has 868 notes, Soloist harmony is < no harmony >(0)
Song is saved with Volume, Pan, Reverb, Chorus, Bank0,
Style is _BOWE110.STY (Acoustic Guitar w/ Even Bow Bass)

RealTracks in style: ~2488:Bass, Acoustic, Bowed Held Ev 110
RealTracks in style: ~405:Guitar, Acoustic, Strumming Ev 120
RealTracks in song: ~405:Guitar, Acoustic, Strumming Ev 120
RealTracks in style: ~522:Guitar, Acoustic, Fingerpicking Ev 120
RealTracks in song: 512:Guitar, Electric, Soloist Dire Ev 140 (Bluesy)
RealDrums in style: NashvilleEven8^3-a:Sidestick, HiHat , b:Snare, HiHat Open
RealTracks Vocal Oohs-Aahs, Rhythm Pop3-part Ev 085 David Wise/Shelly Justice

*******************

Produced in Reaper using Xcomp, ReaVerb, Acon Digital Multiplier, ReaTune. And Bob Buford to bounce it all off of.



Edited by Phil Leith (04/30/18 02:31 PM)

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#470312 - 04/30/18 07:50 AM [User Showcase] Re: I'm Alive [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 05/26/16
Posts: 266
Loc: San Jose, CA
Marty Sorensen Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 05/26/16
Posts: 266
Loc: San Jose, CA
I'm doing something else while I listen and the lyrics keep making me pay attention, the way the singer matches the rhythm and chord , the nice guitar work. Really nice.

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#470315 - 04/30/18 08:03 AM [User Showcase] Re: I'm Alive [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 728
Loc: Colorado
Buford Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 728
Loc: Colorado
Quote:
I bounced all this off Bob Buford, who was adamant that I find filler instrumental for the breaks between lyrics. It's a thing. He was right, though, it's better. Produced in Reaper using Xcomp, ReaVerb, Acon Digital Multiplier, ReaTune. And Bob Buford to bounce it all off of.


Someday you'll learn to listen to me. grin

A fine job, indeed.

Bob

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#470319 - 04/30/18 08:18 AM [User Showcase] Re: I'm Alive [Re: Marty Sorensen]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 195
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 195
Loc: Columbia, MO
"I'm doing something else while I listen and the lyrics keep making me pay attention...."


Excellent! A lyric man. Then I have succeeded :-D

Thanks for giving it a spin!

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#470320 - 04/30/18 08:21 AM [User Showcase] Re: I'm Alive [Re: Buford]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 195
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 195
Loc: Columbia, MO
Someday. :-)

Yeah, I really thought it would overpower the intentional pause in the melody, but it didn't. It does make it more interesting.

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#470429 - 04/30/18 06:32 PM [User Showcase] Re: I'm Alive [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 12/08/11
Posts: 6559
Loc: Edmonton, Ab, Canada
Scott C Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/08/11
Posts: 6559
Loc: Edmonton, Ab, Canada
Cool tune Phil

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#470446 - 04/30/18 07:29 PM [User Showcase] Re: I'm Alive [Re: Scott C]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 195
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 195
Loc: Columbia, MO
Hey, Scott, thanks man.

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#470513 - 05/01/18 06:36 AM [User Showcase] Re: I'm Alive [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 11618
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 11618
Loc: GA USA
Thanks for sharing the dream.

We enjoyed the upbeat feel of this via the lyric, vocal and arrangement.

Nice!

J&B
_________________________
J&B Videos
J&B Soundcloud
J&B Website

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#470594 - 05/01/18 11:35 AM [User Showcase] Re: I'm Alive [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 11/29/06
Posts: 2676
Loc: Finland
jannesan Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/29/06
Posts: 2676
Loc: Finland
Song ideas that have come to me in dreams are usually very simple and that's why they usually work so well, like in your case. Very nice upbeat pop song with positive feel good message. Good production.

Janne
_________________________
Hear My Music:

Soundcloud
YouTube


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#470604 - 05/01/18 12:43 PM [User Showcase] Re: I'm Alive [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 10125
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 10125
Loc: Florida
Phil,

A really nice "feel good" song. A really nice overall sound, an infectious melody.

The track works really well. And a nice mix. (at times I thought the bass needed to come up a hair).

Your background "aaahhhs" are terrific. Some of the best I've heard done here..they really made the chorus shine. Nice.

fj

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#470606 - 05/01/18 12:43 PM [User Showcase] Re: I'm Alive [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 8185
Guitarhacker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 8185
Nice.....

Love the chorus.

Reminded me in places of John Denver.
_________________________
You can find my music at:
www.herbhartley.com

Add nothing that adds nothing to the music.


As the sword chooses the warrior, so too, the song chooses the writer.

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#470613 - 05/01/18 01:29 PM [User Showcase] Re: I'm Alive [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 195
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 195
Loc: Columbia, MO
Thanks, Floyd.

You and my wife would butt heads over bass. :-D When the bass is about perfect for me, it's a few db too high for her. I do want a nice solid bass in it. I was playing it in our living room and in our cars and it was overpowering so I dropped it 4 whole DB. But I haven't re-tested it in the car since then, I just uploaded it because it didn't sound too bad on my monitors.

I should do the car-stero test again. But I've been riding my bike to work, though.

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#470614 - 05/01/18 01:32 PM [User Showcase] Re: I'm Alive [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 195
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 195
Loc: Columbia, MO
Well, Guitarhacker, I am a big JD fan, to be sure.

If you can't tell, I'm also a big Beach Boys/Brian Wilson fan. And a Jimmy Buffett fan. And a Mark Knopfler fan. The way this song worked out, I think it sounds like Jimmy Buffet and the Beach Boys met at Mark Knopfler's house for a jam session.

I really wanted the harmonies in the chorus to hit you like a tsunami. Hope I succeeded!


Edited by Phil Leith (05/01/18 01:33 PM)

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#470619 - 05/01/18 01:37 PM [User Showcase] Re: I'm Alive [Re: jannesan]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 195
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 195
Loc: Columbia, MO
Doesn't happen to me very often, jannesan, I have lost a few of them by not writing it down and recording the basic tune. I ALMOST lost the tune on this one, but it did come back to me eventually. It was just that one snippet "I'm alive, I'm alive blah blah blah blah blah ... " that I had anything for ... and why I'm saying blah is I had no words there at the time, just the tune.

This tells me GET UP and SING IT INTO YOUR PHONE or something. Before you forget!


Edited by Phil Leith (05/01/18 01:39 PM)

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#470683 - 05/01/18 07:16 PM [User Showcase] Re: I'm Alive [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 1277
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Deej56 Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 1277
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Phil,

Some really strong work here—catchy melody that just flows, accentuated by some solid lyrics with great lines throughout. Terrific job on the harmonies. Very nicely done.

Best regards,

Deej

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#470743 - 05/02/18 06:35 AM [User Showcase] Re: I'm Alive [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 195
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 195
Loc: Columbia, MO
I fixed all the little issues I had with my vocal last night (I introduced one other, but I'll fix that tonight. Mixing issue) and I brought up the bass just a touch just for you :-)

Well, no, the "car stereo test" told me it could come up a smidge.

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#470763 - 05/02/18 08:51 AM [User Showcase] Re: I'm Alive [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 05/22/11
Posts: 3495
Loc: Florida
tommyad Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/22/11
Posts: 3495
Loc: Florida
Phil, You can really sing! Great lead vocal and BG vocals. Nice job on the editing of the guitar parts. Mix sounds good. I seemed to be getting an imbalance on the bass. Maybe check to make sure it's centered and in mono. You are sounding good and getting the hang of everything very quickly. Glad you're here, Tom

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#470771 - 05/02/18 09:23 AM [User Showcase] Re: I'm Alive [Re: tommyad]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 195
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 195
Loc: Columbia, MO
Thanks again, Tommy.

I'm still trying to get used to people complimenting my voice. It's a pretty new concept to me.

Bass is (or was... sometimes a finger slips on a touchpad) intentionally set about 5-7% to one side for panning. I need to re-mix that "oo-oh" harmony in the first verse tonight (it is not balanced the way I want it - mistake I made last night). When I do that I will listen for that bass and see what I think. I did bump it up a bit at Floyd's suggestion. That may have made the panning more noticeable so it might need a tweak. I will likely leave it just a tad off center, like arranging a band on the stage.

The ending is the way the style played my chords I entered. I liked what it did so well that I wanted it in the beginning so they'd mirror each other. So I just went in and put the same chords I ended with at the beginning and BAM! Just what I was looking for. One of my favorite things about how it turned out.

Glad all of you are here. This is a neat community. I'm hearing some really good stuff and getting so much input.

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#470776 - 05/02/18 09:47 AM [User Showcase] Re: I'm Alive [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 195
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 195
Loc: Columbia, MO
Guess I should add, re: editing the guitar parts.... yeah, I generated the solo track for the entire song, and just edited it down to the places I wanted it. Had to fade the bits and pieces in and out sometimes (not always), but I am happy with the result.

Next time I'm going to use envelopes in Reaper. Bob just told me about them. I looked them up. Oh yeah! That's what I need! Those will be very useful. Where has it been all my life?

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#470778 - 05/02/18 10:01 AM [User Showcase] Re: I'm Alive [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 5094
Loc: New York
rsdean Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 5094
Loc: New York
Phil,

This is a great song. I love the James Taylor / John Denver vibe. A very cool singer-songwriter piece.

Nice mix as well.

Bob

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