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#473321 - 05/18/18 02:52 AM [User Showcase] The Writing on the Wall
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4327
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4327
Loc: Sacramento, California
Details below!

Edit: Minor changes in the mix.

The Writing on the Wall

Aberdine's bound for Texas
She packed her bags one morning
And left without a forwarding address
It's like she'd never even been here
With nothin' round to keep her
No one in town she's gonna miss

Aberdine hopped a greyhound
She's dreaming of tomorrow
Leaving darker days far behind
Already forgot me
And the promises she made
They somehow never crossed her mind

CHORUS
No, I don't blame her none
Though she lied and she said she'd call
When your heart believes
It's hard to clearly read
The writing on the wall
The writing on the wall

Aberdine's gone to texas
I wake up in the morning
And I just can't believe that she's gone
I'll keep on pretending
That phone is gonna ring
And that she's finally comin' home


Technical Details
Strummed Guitars - Native Instruments, Strummed Acoustic 1 & 2
Bass - Electric, ModernCountrySync Ev16 100
Piano - Rhythm PopRootsyJohn Ev16 100
Drums - EZ Drummer, Vintage Rock Kit
Strings - Garritan Personal Orchestra, Session Strings
Vocal Processing - Waves Tune, Nectar
Mastering - Ozone 7 Elements
Effects - EZMix
DAW - Reaper

Notes
This song took a lot more work to finish that I expected. To be honest, I wasn't sure I'd ever get it done!

In what seemed like a good idea at the time, I decided that it would be a good idea to upgrade my computer with parts assembled from Craigslist. Wrong size case, bad power supply, problems installing Windows, issues with the video card... Even today, when it's relatively stable, it still crashed on me three times while editing the mix. (Turning off one of the overclocking options in the BIOS might have fixed that problem).

First world problems a-plenty. crazy

Continuing my personal songwriting challange, this time time around I figured I should build a song from ground up using BiaB. I ended up with the PopRootsyJohn style, but ended up replacing just about every other BiaB track except for the piano and bass.

I had a lot of tracks here - including a Korg M1 and Wavestation - but in the mixing stage, it was apparent that more is actually less. The mix is probably still too busy... feel free to comment on that, too, if that floats your boat. smile

One nice thing about the style is that the piano part is MIDI, so I was able edit various bits like the intro and the bridge and thicken the right hand voicing up a bit. I tried a bunch of pianos sounds, and ended up with the one from BiaB, doubled with an electric piano.

I also got stuck in Rewrite Hell. After working out the backing tracks and a melody, I ended up writing three different songs before I got one I liked. Even then, I spent way too long finessing the lyrics. David Snyder I'm not.

Singing is always a challenge. I envisioned the song sung an octave lower, but I'm really pitchy in that register, and some of the notes were too low for the pitch correction software to recognize! blush

Even when I set the melody in a decent register, it took several sessions before I was able to get usable vocals. My hat's off to you folk who make all this look so easy!

With the recent discussion about "modern" vocals, I decided to have a go at it myself. There's a plethora of effects on the lead vocal, including a hard "auto tuned" version sitting under the lead, as well as an even quieter version of the lead pitched a whole octave down! And that's not even including what Nectar, EZ Mix, Ozone Elements and other plugins are doing.

As usual, feedback of all sorts is appreciated.


Edited by dcuny (05/18/18 11:37 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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#473328 - 05/18/18 04:25 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Writing on the Wall [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2686
Loc: South Africa
JoanneCooper Offline
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Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2686
Loc: South Africa
Hi David.. I had to laugh reading your computer woes.... I am going through the same thing. I had a laptop with 500 gigs harddive and now they gave me one with only 250!! Then I order another 500 SSD drive and some extra memory at the time ..both wrong type etc.. etc.

I enjoyed the song very much David. I think we need to hear more from you!

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#473329 - 05/18/18 05:02 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Writing on the Wall [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 04/13/16
Posts: 3304
Loc: Cooran Queensland Australia
rayc Offline
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Registered: 04/13/16
Posts: 3304
Loc: Cooran Queensland Australia
David,
the lyrics sound fine. They sound right. Reading them in isolation may have been problematic for you but in-sit u they work - they tell a story well.
The song rolls along really nicely. Your vocal sounds a little nasal but I don't know your work so don't know if that's you, a cold or the plugs.
Your vocal doesn't sound auto-tuned so you've obviously needed very little or know how to wrangle it really well.
Computers are cruelly addictive devices and, like all people & things that seek to inveigle themselves into our lives, they like to let us know how much we need them by throwing a shoe every now & then. I'm hamstrung by a machine running XP that works beautifully with my VSTs, isn't keen on the latest Reaper and won't run anything after BIAB 2011 BUT I'm able to do what I need so far - so, so good.
I enjoyed your song & your story.
_________________________
Cheers
rayc
"What's so funny about peace, love & understanding?" - N.Lowe
Pop on over to The Recording Rebels for positive, honest commentary, critiques and support. https://therecordingrebels.com

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#473345 - 05/18/18 06:26 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Writing on the Wall [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 3414
Deryk - PG Music Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 3414
Really work here! Despite all your computer issues, this tune turned out fantastic. Your vocals are really strong here, especially the harmonies on the hook. I liked the lyrics a lot as well, personally.

You should be proud of this one - thanks for sharing smile
_________________________
Cheers,
Deryk

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#473351 - 05/18/18 06:52 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Writing on the Wall [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 12/23/17
Posts: 761
Loc: Alabama
cliftond Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 12/23/17
Posts: 761
Loc: Alabama
Excellent song, bouncy tune!!

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#473368 - 05/18/18 07:57 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Writing on the Wall [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4327
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4327
Loc: Sacramento, California
Originally Posted By: JoanneCooper
I enjoyed the song very much David. I think we need to hear more from you!

Hi, Joanne.

I'm glad you enjoyed it! Sorry to hear about your computer.

When it's not crashing, this computer works a lot better than the prior one - faster processor, more memory, better video - so I can't really complain. It no longer gets super-sluggish when editing songs.

I've been following your various posts, and I was really tempted to download Melodyne this round just to compare it against Waves Tune. But if I liked it, that would be another chunk of cash out the door, so I resisted... this time around. wink
_________________________
-- 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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#473369 - 05/18/18 08:11 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Writing on the Wall [Re: rayc]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4327
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4327
Loc: Sacramento, California
Originally Posted By: rayc
the lyrics sound fine. They sound right. Reading them in isolation may have been problematic for you but in-sit u they work - they tell a story well.

Hi, Ray.

Sorry, I was unclear. I'm happy with how the lyrics turned out, but there were a host of large and small changes along the way. There's a time when the marginal value of making changes is so low that you call it finished, but I'm pretty poor at gauging that point.

It also makes the song harder to sing, when the "old" lyric is still in my head, even though I've got the new lyric typed out in front of me to read... cry

Quote:
Your vocal sounds a little nasal but I don't know your work so don't know if that's you, a cold or the plugs.

It's me. I should have swept through the frequencies to and cut that honking tone. Thanks for reminding me!

Quote:
Your vocal doesn't sound auto-tuned so you've obviously needed very little or know how to wrangle it really well.

I need a lot more than I'd like! One of the reasons I had to re-sing the song (several times) was that it couldn't be tuned. For example, vibrato has both pitch and volume. You can re-tune the frequency, but the change in volume will still be there. Similarly, a lot of vocal errors had timbre issues embedded in them.

Live and learn. The next performances were a lot better.

But I'm also getting a bit better at tuning. wink

Quote:
I enjoyed your song & your story.

Thanks!
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

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

Top
#473370 - 05/18/18 08:13 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Writing on the Wall [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 2096
Loc: Midwest
HearToLearn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 2096
Loc: Midwest
For what it's worth, I couldn't hear the computer issues in your song wink

Man, to me this seems like it could be a beatles song. So cool! I'm not sure if you've heard on them?

This was a great start to my listening day on here. Thanks for sharing it. smile
_________________________
C.Aaron Madison
I often get asked how to pronounce my name.
"Ma-Duh-Sn" J/K wink
As people have left the "." out so many times, "Caaron" has become the norm of it. Still said as the "." was there though. smile


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#473371 - 05/18/18 08:16 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Writing on the Wall [Re: Deryk - PG Music]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4327
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4327
Loc: Sacramento, California
Originally Posted By: Deryk - PG Music
Really work here!

Yeah, a lot more work than I hoped it would be! Especially since most of the harmonies were accidental. wink

I was going to add harmonies this time around, but was happy to hear that the vocals seemed to work OK without harmonies. Because that would have been morework!

Thanks! I'm glad the song worked for you. I'm happy with how it turned out, but often - and this was no exception - it seems that up until the final mixdown, the song's just not going to gel. You can't really "fix it in the mix", but you can fix the offending things in the mix, in my case often by removing stuff that doesn't need to be there.
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

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

Top
#473372 - 05/18/18 08:16 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Writing on the Wall [Re: cliftond]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4327
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4327
Loc: Sacramento, California
Originally Posted By: cliftond
Excellent song, bouncy tune!!

Thanks, Clifton! smile
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

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

Top
#473419 - 05/18/18 11:42 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Writing on the Wall [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 12/21/13
Posts: 6327
Loc: Davis, CA
Greg Johnson Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/21/13
Posts: 6327
Loc: Davis, CA
Really, really like this!! I hear a lot of 60's British influence (which I love). Orchestration is simply excellent!! Exceptionally nice listen!! Take care. Greg

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#473422 - 05/18/18 11:52 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Writing on the Wall [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 05/16/17
Posts: 1618
beatmaster Offline
Expert

Registered: 05/16/17
Posts: 1618
Really good stuff and a very honest description of your labour on this song.

I think the time effort etc., shows through on the final production.

You should be proud of this one, a comment was made about the song sounding like the Beatles I definitely heard that as in the Ringo styled songs.
_________________________
win 10 64 bit 16gb,i7 chip, ssd 500gb, m-audio air, ,Roland BK-7M, 1000,shure sm7b,sonar,acid,mixcraft, variety of plugins.Sample tank 3,Kontakt. TC Helicon Voicelive 3 2 .
https://beatmaster1.bandcamp.com/releases


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#473438 - 05/18/18 01:42 PM [User Showcase] Re: The Writing on the Wall [Re: HearToLearn]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4327
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4327
Loc: Sacramento, California
Originally Posted By: HearToLearn
Man, to me this seems like it could be a beatles song. So cool! I'm not sure if you've heard on them?

Hehehe. You crack me up. smile

Thanks for the nice words.
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

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

Top
#473444 - 05/18/18 02:07 PM [User Showcase] Re: The Writing on the Wall [Re: Greg Johnson]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4327
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4327
Loc: Sacramento, California
Originally Posted By: Greg Johnson
Really, really like this!! I hear a lot of 60's British influence (which I love). Orchestration is simply excellent!! Exceptionally nice listen!!

Thanks, Greg.

I actually ran the strings through a vinyl plugin to hint at a Mellotron sound, although I doubt it came out that way.

Originally Posted By: beatmaster
...a comment was made about the song sounding like the Beatles I definitely heard that as in the Ringo styled songs.

Hey, Ringo songs are fine with me! laugh
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

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

Top
#473445 - 05/18/18 02:11 PM [User Showcase] Re: The Writing on the Wall [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 05/16/17
Posts: 1618
beatmaster Offline
Expert

Registered: 05/16/17
Posts: 1618
Hey, Ringo songs are fine with me!

wasn't BEING FUNNY JUST HONEST !!!!
_________________________
win 10 64 bit 16gb,i7 chip, ssd 500gb, m-audio air, ,Roland BK-7M, 1000,shure sm7b,sonar,acid,mixcraft, variety of plugins.Sample tank 3,Kontakt. TC Helicon Voicelive 3 2 .
https://beatmaster1.bandcamp.com/releases


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#473449 - 05/18/18 02:28 PM [User Showcase] Re: The Writing on the Wall [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 82
Loc: Suburban Stucco Tract House - ...
Ian Ferrin Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 82
Loc: Suburban Stucco Tract House - ...
Hi David,

Really enjoyed this tune a lot. Very quality writing and well produced.

There's a quiet, I think string part, that kinda sounds like vocals that plays thru much of the tune. My suggestion would be to remove it. I REALLY like all the strings in the last stanza and I like the louder, more arpeggiated string part, but I'm not sure that quieter, pad like part, adds much?

Anyway that's a small thing,

Very nice tune, production and writing

Peace,

Ian
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#473456 - 05/18/18 02:55 PM [User Showcase] Re: The Writing on the Wall [Re: beatmaster]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4327
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4327
Loc: Sacramento, California
Originally Posted By: beatmaster
Hey, Ringo songs are fine with me!

wasn't BEING FUNNY JUST HONEST !!!!


As am I.

Any comparison to (just about) any Beatles song is a good thing, thanks! smile
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

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

Top
#473457 - 05/18/18 02:58 PM [User Showcase] Re: The Writing on the Wall [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 05/16/17
Posts: 1618
beatmaster Offline
Expert

Registered: 05/16/17
Posts: 1618
Any comparison to (just about) any Beatles song is a good thing, thanks!

Correct it was/is a big compliment.
_________________________
win 10 64 bit 16gb,i7 chip, ssd 500gb, m-audio air, ,Roland BK-7M, 1000,shure sm7b,sonar,acid,mixcraft, variety of plugins.Sample tank 3,Kontakt. TC Helicon Voicelive 3 2 .
https://beatmaster1.bandcamp.com/releases


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#473468 - 05/18/18 03:31 PM [User Showcase] Re: The Writing on the Wall [Re: Ian Ferrin]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4327
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4327
Loc: Sacramento, California
Originally Posted By: Ian Ferrin
Really enjoyed this tune a lot. Very quality writing and well produced.

Hi, Ian.

Thanks for the kind words.

Quote:
There's a quiet, I think string part, that kinda sounds like vocals that plays thru much of the tune. My suggestion would be to remove it.

Thanks so much for catching that - I'll correct that in the next mix. It's a vocal guide track should have been muted. blush
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

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

Top
#473487 - 05/18/18 05:45 PM [User Showcase] Re: The Writing on the Wall [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 3347
Loc: Murgon Queensland Australia
Rob4580 Offline
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Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 3347
Loc: Murgon Queensland Australia
Straight up reminded me of the seventies.This is well written and produced David. Enjoyed the story line.Rob

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