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#479842 - 06/29/18 02:04 AM [User Showcase] Time and Tide
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3964
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3964
Loc: Sacramento, California
As usual, way too many details below! laugh

Time and Tide

One thing that she hated was a long goodbye
Why she had to leave, I'll never know
Leaving me in endless grief that wouldn't die
A ghost of her that wouldn't let me go

I just can't believe how alone I am
I can't get past this broken heart
Wishing that I knew how I could start again
The only thing I do is fall apart

CHORUS:
They say time heals old wounds
Time brings the mountains down
With just one single drop every day
Even with my heart in a tomb
Buried beneath the ground
Until time wears the heartache away

Slowly, gently, the water softly falls
Wearing the mighty rock away

I know I keep on saying that I'm moving on
But it seems I'm stuck in yesterday
Like a broken record sings the same old tune
It's time to put that sad old tune away

CHORUS:
They say time heals old wounds
Time brings the mountains down
With just one single drop every day
Even with my heart in a tomb
Buried beneath the ground
Until time wears the heartache away

Slowly, gently, the water softly falls
Time and tide will bring a brand new day



Style is _ASPEN.STY (Aspen Songwriter Pop)

Bass, Electric, PopHalfNotesPush Ev 120 (#683)
Piano, Acoustic, Rhythm PopPowerPushArp Ev 120 (#1533)
Guitar, Acoustic, Rhythm FolkPulse8thsFintan Ev 110 (#2935)
Guitar, Acoustic, Strumming AcRockBright Ev 120 (#691)
Drums, NashvilleEven8^2-a:Sidestick, HiHat , b:Snare, HiHat
Cello, Background PopCountry Ev 085 (#1856)
Piano, Electric, HeldChords 120 (#2495)


As I've mentioned before, I figured that I need to step up to the plate this year and start writing songs, so I can justify all these digital music toys I buy. This time around, I decided that I should go 100% BiaB. So I went searching through the various styles until I found the _ASPEN style. Sweet! I put in a different set of chords, and worked out a nice melody to go with it. I worked that out in BiaB, this time around trying to stick with lots of stepwise motion to make it easier to sing.

All that was left was to add lyrics.

And then... no progress. In addition to writer's block, the chorus I'd set up was way too freaking long. But I stuck with my self-imposed rules and kept at it, failing again and again. There's a quote in Johann Joseph Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum:

drops wear the stone
not by strength but by constant falling


Well, I was constantly falling, that's for sure!

Eventually, that idea became the chorus (although stated less well), and the verses a justification for the chorus. The genesis for the song was someone's comment following several celebrity suicides that "It gets better." I'd used the theme of a singer being left by someone before, but figured that it was an acceptable proxy. I believe I also used the phrase time and tide in a recent song, so claims that I'm running in creative circles are probably well founded. smirk

I had intended to use more colorful, descriptive language in my songs. That didn't happen - even the non-color grey didn't survive through the rewrites. Maybe next time, I'll write about sparkling rainbows over green pastures of shamrocks.

Once I'd finally worked out the lyrics, it was time to sing it - something I always dread. Learning from past mistakes, I actually tried out a number of keys before settling on F - pleasantly high, but no out of reach notes. Of course, that was before I added the high harmony part, something I wish I had considered.

I put together a scratch vocal track, which was really pitchy and filled with vocal scoops - a vocal habit I've never been able to rid myself of. The idea was to use it as a guide and replace it. But after spending so much time fixing the track with Waves Tune, I decided to use it as the main track - not really the best decision, because vocal are the key instrument, right? So there really isn't any good excuse for me not going back and singing it properly, mea culpa. laugh

For the harmony part, I used BiaB to generate the parts using TC Helicon, because the zplane Intelligent Mode harmony function wouldn't track my vocal. I ended up singing along with those to make it less robotic, and the final background vocals is a mix of both. Pitch correction for those tracks used Reaper's ReaTune. It's a bit ironic that I was up until the wee hours of the night singing background vocals, but loath to re-do the primary track. crazy

The song needed some instrumental sweetening, so after trying out lots of options, I ended up using the cello, and a touch of electric piano to fill things out.

That cello is really lovely - Matt Nelson did a wonderful job.

Once I got a working mix, I got my oldest son to work on the final mix. He did lots of EQ moves with Neutron Elements, along with free Spitfish plugins and EZ Mix. We used Ozone Elements for the "mastering", along with a Reaper stereo widener.

As usual... I didn't use reference tracks while mixing, and I'm sure it shows. I'm suitably ashamed. But next time..! Extra effort was made to get the mix to be more cohesive, and the vocal less shrill.

As floyd jane says - have at it! I hope you enjoy it. The fact that you folk crank out such awesome songs is an inspiration for me to keep me working on these songs.

All 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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#479843 - 06/29/18 02:38 AM [User Showcase] Re: Time and Tide [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 17009
Loc: Australia
Noel96 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 17009
Loc: Australia
David,

I really enjoyed this.

You are the only second person on the planet that I am acquainted with who has read Johann Joseph Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum. That was my starting text when I embarked on my journey of teaching myself counterpoint and 4-part harmony. In retrospect, it was fine place to begin. I wonder how many people will read your post and wonder how to pronounce his surname? smile smile

Back to your composition...

Your arrangements are always first class and this stands proudly beside all that you've posted to date. I was captivated by the way you used the cello. It blended so hauntingly well with the instruments. Your vocals and background vocals also fitted the mood of the melody very well indeed. When I first heard the chorus, I was immediately reminded of the light-rock/folk sound of Bobby Goldsboro (he's one of my favourites).

I found a lot to like with this. I've got to say that I definitely admire you for choosing an ABAB verse rhyme scheme and then upping the ante with an ABCABC chorus rhyme scheme! You've used it very well and maintained a conversational lyric flow. I always find that more intense my rhyme patterns, the harder fitting lyrics together becomes. You make it look and sound very, very easy though.

As I said at the start, I really enjoyed this -- technically and musically.

All the best,
Noel
_________________________
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#479847 - 06/29/18 03:26 AM [User Showcase] Re: Time and Tide [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 4440
Loc: New York
rsdean Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 4440
Loc: New York
David,

I really like this... Great song, arrangement and mix. I also like the vocal and see no reason to change it.

Agree with Noel on the Bobby Goldsboro vibe - very cool sound.

Bob
_________________________
SoundCloud Tracks


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#479863 - 06/29/18 06:45 AM [User Showcase] Re: Time and Tide [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 9044
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 9044
Loc: Florida
David,

This. Is. Excellent.

A good "pop" write. The instrumentation is excellent. Good arrangement.

The vocals are Excellent! I like your voice! (you are far too hard on yourself). The harmonies are extraordinary.

The mix is among the best I've heard on this forum. Far better than most...

Great job (kudos to your son, too!)

I enjoyed this - immensely.

fj

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#479871 - 06/29/18 07:42 AM [User Showcase] Re: Time and Tide [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 3414
Deryk - PG Music Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 3414
Really well done, David smile It displays a good grasp of songwriting, and I too enjoyed the vocal performance on this. In particular, the harmonies for the chorus sounded really well done. The mix is also superb. It sounds really balances, the the tune flows immaculately.

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

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#479879 - 06/29/18 07:55 AM [User Showcase] Re: Time and Tide [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 919
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Deej56 Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 919
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
David,

Really like the vocals here (particularly that melody on the verses), accentuated by a great production. Great job on this one!

All the best,

Deej

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#479882 - 06/29/18 08:12 AM [User Showcase] Re: Time and Tide [Re: Noel96]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3964
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3964
Loc: Sacramento, California
Originally Posted By: Noel96
I really enjoyed this.

I'm glad to hear it! laugh

Quote:
You are the only second person on the planet that I am acquainted with who has read Johann Joseph Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum. That was my starting text when I embarked on my journey of teaching myself counterpoint and 4-part harmony. In retrospect, it was fine place to begin. I wonder how many people will read your post and wonder how to pronounce his surname?

Wikipedia says it's safe to say his name. smile

It really is an excellent text - or at least, Alfred Mann's translation of the parts on counterpoint, The Study of Counterpoint. I took it with me on my honeymoon, since it was a cross-continent flight to Bermuda. Stupidly, we picked the off-season to go without doing sufficient research, so there was plenty of time in the hotel to read it, as well as play on the piano I found tucked away in side room, as rain poured outside.

Quote:
Your arrangements are always first class and this stands proudly beside all that you've posted to date. I was captivated by the way you used the cello. It blended so hauntingly well with the instruments. Your vocals and background vocals also fitted the mood of the melody very well indeed. When I first heard the chorus, I was immediately reminded of the light-rock/folk sound of Bobby Goldsboro (he's one of my favourites).

I have a tendency to over-orchestrate, so with this song I didn't add as much as I usually do. As I mentioned, the cello is really, really lovely. It was painful to keep removing more and more of it from the arrangement.

floyd jane's latest song was an excellent reminder, and helped keep me on track.

But... the mix had a lot to do with it as well. When my son got to it, his first reaction was that the kick drum and bass were fighting for the same space. (We put a high pass on the cello, too). Once he fixed that, the problem was there was a lack of mids in the arrangement. Most of the mixing was focused on fixing that. The contrast between the stark initial mix and the more full final mix is pretty stark.

Quote:
I found a lot to like with this. I've got to say that I definitely admire you for choosing an ABAB verse rhyme scheme and then upping the ante with an ABCABC chorus rhyme scheme!

Yeah, I painted myself into a corner with that one! I think I grabbed the form from the demo, and then decided I wanted a little tag at the end so I could have more major 7th chords.

Writing to a pre-existing melody is like having a voice singing lyrics that you can't quite make out. You know them when you get them right... but most of the time, it's "Nope, that's not it."

But making that C section work lyrically meant that the lyric had to emotionally come down at that point, which junked a lot of ideas. Someone more clever than me could have made it work, I'm sure.


Quote:
You make it look and sound very, very easy though.

I wish it were! I keep having to re-learn to try to say less, and keep it simple. Ask the Quakers about that! laugh

Thanks, it's always good to get your analytical ear.
_________________________
-- 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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#479891 - 06/29/18 09:29 AM [User Showcase] Re: Time and Tide [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 08/29/14
Posts: 5156
Loc: North Carolina
David Snyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/29/14
Posts: 5156
Loc: North Carolina

Well Dave, I am not going to use as many words as you did, but I find this to be an extraordinary mix and arrangement.

It sounds really, really good man--warm and professional, a real treat to the ears. There is SO much detail in here and separation of instruments (great choices too) I was reminded of great analog mixes from the 70s-90s before things started getting squashed.

You really nailed it with this. Gorgeous is about all I can say.
_________________________
David Snyder
Audiophile Everything + Studio + Instruments + Fingers
ASCAP, NSAI

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#479914 - 06/29/18 11:11 AM [User Showcase] Re: Time and Tide [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 12132
Loc: Pensacola, Florida
jford Offline
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Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 12132
Loc: Pensacola, Florida
That was great, David. I definitely hear the Bobby Goldsboro vibe in it (and I'm a big Bobby Goldsboro fan).

The vocal is great; however, there are just a few places where you hear the vocal tuning artifact (that's a ProTools thing, right?) overrunning the syllable of the word. Might want to work on just those few places. But I get it when listening to your own voice. I know I usually cringe when I hear my own voice, even though enough people have said it's pleasant enough.

But really enjoyed the song. Excellent work and it shows.
_________________________
John

Laptop-HP Omen I7 Win10Pro64 32GB 2x1TB SSD + 2TB SATA
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#479926 - 06/29/18 12:20 PM [User Showcase] Re: Time and Tide [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 5425
Loc: Originally Missouri ... Now Al...
Al-David Offline
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Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 5425
Loc: Originally Missouri ... Now Al...
Hi David,

What's not to like? This is as near-perfect as a listener could hope to hear. Your vocals are far better than you perceive them. I got a vibe of somewhere between Bobby Goldsboro (as has been mentioned) and some of John Denver's folk pop songs.Regardless, it was a terrific vibe! Excellent work in every way. Congrats an an excellent project brought to fruition.

Alan
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Ultra Plus-all StylePaks*Win10*8GB DDR4*I5-6th Gen*AT 2035 Mic*Peavey Nashville 112 Amp*Ibanez ART120 Electric/Washburn D200S Acoustic*Stromberg Monterey Jazz Guitar

Loops: https://aldavidmusic.wixsite.com/bestmusicloops


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#479934 - 06/29/18 12:49 PM [User Showcase] Re: Time and Tide [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3964
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3964
Loc: Sacramento, California
Originally Posted By: floyd jane
This. Is. Excellent.

A good "pop" write. The instrumentation is excellent. Good arrangement.

Thanks!

My youngest daughter weighed in this morning with "Dad, it's not extraordinary. It sounds like all your other songs." Which (bless her heart, she takes after her Dad) is true, but it's nice to get feedback from people who take the time to notice the details about a song, and are polite enough to overlook the faults. laugh

Quote:
I like your voice! (you are far too hard on yourself). The harmonies are extraordinary.

smile I don't want to sound like I'm complaining or looking for compliments. I just figured I'd be honest about the tools that I'm using on the vocals. There's no shame in using tools to achieve a vocal.

All the same, being lazy about vocals isn't something to crow about, so I figured I'd 'fess up to that.

Credit also goes to BiaB, since I literally just sang along with what it generated.

I was having trouble getting the lead vocal to fit with the background, and my son showed me a cool trick - he did a wide EQ cut centered around 5K, to kill the "clarity" of the background, but keep the body. That helped keep the focus on the lead vocal without having raise the volume of the lead.

That's the kind of thing I never would have thought of.

Quote:
The mix is among the best I've heard on this forum. Far better than most...

Thanks, I'll let him know!

I'm lucky I've got another pair of ears - especially young ones. There's a lot of stuff that I just don't know to listen for, and he's good at explaining most of what he's doing so I can add to my bag of tricks.

And of course, I kept your maxims in mind - make sure the drums are loud enough, and the vocal integrated into the mix.

Thanks again! smile
_________________________
-- 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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#479935 - 06/29/18 12:51 PM [User Showcase] Re: Time and Tide [Re: rsdean]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3964
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3964
Loc: Sacramento, California
Originally Posted By: rsdean
I really like this... Great song, arrangement and mix. I also like the vocal and see no reason to change it.

I'm glad to hear it. smile

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

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

Top
#479936 - 06/29/18 12:55 PM [User Showcase] Re: Time and Tide [Re: Deryk - PG Music]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3964
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3964
Loc: Sacramento, California
Originally Posted By: Deryk - PG Music
It displays a good grasp of songwriting, and I too enjoyed the vocal performance on this.

Thanks, Deryk. And thanks to PG in general who made all this cool stuff possible. Here's a suggested slogan:

Band in a Box: We make you sound better than you really are!

OK, maybe that needs an edit...

Band in a Box: We make you sound better!

wink

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

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

Top
#479937 - 06/29/18 12:56 PM [User Showcase] Re: Time and Tide [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3964
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3964
Loc: Sacramento, California
Originally Posted By: Deej56
Really like the vocals here (particularly that melody on the verses), accentuated by a great production. Great job on this one!

Hi, Deej.

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

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

Top
#479942 - 06/29/18 01:24 PM [User Showcase] Re: Time and Tide [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 05/16/17
Posts: 1484
beatmaster Offline
Expert

Registered: 05/16/17
Posts: 1484
I liked this to me it was like an old seekers number, and that's coming from somebody who is a big fan of the seekers.
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#479954 - 06/29/18 01:56 PM [User Showcase] Re: Time and Tide [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 06/09/16
Posts: 3003
Robertkc Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/09/16
Posts: 3003
David,
The only thing wrong with your song is that I started the music before reading your intro...which is a great explanation but now I`m going back to have a proper, undistracted listen to the song!
I like it - yes, I got the Seekers vibe too. Your voice is fine... and I confess that until a few months ago my harmonies have been a mix of the BiaB Helicon generated with my own. Yours sound smooth and right here.
Good work and hats off to your son for the excellent mix.

Robert

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#479955 - 06/29/18 02:03 PM [User Showcase] Re: Time and Tide [Re: David Snyder]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3964
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3964
Loc: Sacramento, California
Originally Posted By: David Snyder
You really nailed it with this. Gorgeous is about all I can say.

Thanks, David!

I think most of the kudos go to my son - there were a lot of tricks he did to each of the instruments that help them sparkle, but not get too brittle. Then everything went through a stereo widener, which really made the guitars pop (they were already fully panned), and then Ozone Elements for more EQ magic.
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

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

Top
#479958 - 06/29/18 02:09 PM [User Showcase] Re: Time and Tide [Re: jford]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3964
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3964
Loc: Sacramento, California
Originally Posted By: jford
The vocal is great; however, there are just a few places where you hear the vocal tuning artifact (that's a ProTools thing, right?) overrunning the syllable of the word.

I'm using Waves Tune, which I've been quite pleased with. The UI is much too small, but it has a lot of features that cost quite a bit more in Melodyne.

You're completely right about the vocal artifacts. Re-singing is really the best thing to do. I'm a very scoopy singer, and even when the pitch is corrected, there are still timbre changes that simply can't be corrected.

There's an especially nasty bit on "the only" that may convince me to fix it, but then I'd lose those nice comments people left on SoundCloud. frown

So against my better judgement, I'm going to leave it as is... For right now, anyway!

Thanks for listening and commenting!
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

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

Top
#479960 - 06/29/18 02:15 PM [User Showcase] Re: Time and Tide [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 05/16/17
Posts: 1484
beatmaster Offline
Expert

Registered: 05/16/17
Posts: 1484
I don't know much about wave tune, although Ozone Elements are a real nice touch on instruments and vocals.
_________________________
win 10 64 bit 16gb, ssd 500gb, Alesis multimix8 usb,ketron sd,Roland BK-7M, 1000,shure sm7b,sonar,acid,mixcraft, variety of plugins.Sample tank 3, TC Helicon Voicelive 3 2 ,Byerdynamic 770 pro, akg k270,akg k701.
https://beatmaster1.bandcamp.com/releases

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#479962 - 06/29/18 02:19 PM [User Showcase] Re: Time and Tide [Re: Al-David]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3964
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3964
Loc: Sacramento, California
Originally Posted By: Al-David
Your vocals are far better than you perceive them.

Thanks!

I hear what you're saying, and appreciate the compliment.

And to be clear, I'm quite pleased with how this turned out.

Quote:
Congrats an an excellent project brought to fruition.

Thanks! Now I can justify picking up those instruments currently at 50% off at Orange Tree Samples, because I no doubt need to use them in my next song. 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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