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#599726 - 05/29/20 02:59 PM [User Showcase] Because I Dream
Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 879
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Deej56 Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 879
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Hi, all:

Hope everyone is staying safe! This is a collaboration with Carroll Kiphen, who wrote the lyrics. I’ve tried to keep this fairly stripped and straightforward from a production perspective—trying to keep a live acoustic feel as much as possible—as that approach seemed to embody the song best. Hope it’s worth the listen and thanks as always for the feedback and suggestions.

Cheers!

Deej

Here’s the song:

BECAUSE I DREAM

Here are the lyrics:

I’ve escaped inside of books;
pictures that I’ve seen.
I’ve lived an exciting life;
seen all kind of things.

I was born with wings
because I can dream.
I can fly anywhere,
anywhere, anywhere
because I can dream.

I can glide over mountains;
cross over oceans wide.
I close my eyes, and
I go there in my mind.

I was born with wings
because I can dream.
I can fly anywhere,
anywhere, anywhere
because I dream.

I can see beyond today;
sunlight breaking through.
I close my eyes
and soar up in the blue.

I was born with wings
because I can dream.
I can fly anywhere,
anywhere, anywhere
because I dream.

No chains can hold me—
they can’t keep me down.
As long as I dream,
I’m free of the ground.

I can see beyond today;
sunlight breaking through.
I close my eyes, I close my eyes
And every day is new.

I was born with wings
because I can dream.
I can fly anywhere,
anywhere, anywhere
because I dream.

And here’s the band:

RealTracks 3497: Bass, Acoustic, AmericanaMountain16thsA Ev16 070
RealTracks 2914: Guitar, Acoustic, Fingerpicking Folky16thsBrent Ev16 085
RealTracks 2932: Guitar, Acoustic, Fingerpicking SongwriterAlternating8thsQuinn Ev 110
RealTracks 3202: Guitar, Acoustic, Soloist LaidBackBluesyBrent Ev 100
RealTracks 3278: Vocal Mmms, Rhythm RockNRollGospel12-8 4-part Sw 065
RealDrums: RockModernWaltz^1-a:Snare, HiHat , b:Snare, Ride
Loop: Drums/Tambourine 2and4

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#599760 - 05/29/20 05:23 PM [User Showcase] Re: Because I Dream [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 06/28/06
Posts: 7069
Loc: Scottish Highlands
furry Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/28/06
Posts: 7069
Loc: Scottish Highlands
Hi Deej, Love this song. Kept me hooked from start finish. If anything, I'd like a bit more bass in your voice, maybe use different reverb. LOVED the whole song, oozes quality

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#599763 - 05/29/20 05:31 PM [User Showcase] Re: Because I Dream [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 14783
Loc: Hamlin NY
MarioD Offline
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 14783
Loc: Hamlin NY
You had me from the first line "I’ve escaped inside of books". I like to escape into books!

This is outstanding. Your vocal is really good and your backing tracks are perfect. But your lyrics took it over the top for me.

This is a super song!
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#599770 - 05/29/20 06:06 PM [User Showcase] Re: Because I Dream [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 1126
Loc: Maryland
TuneMonger Offline
Expert

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 1126
Loc: Maryland
I love the song and the vocal, just terrific. The vocal and the guitar sound apart from each other. Might just be me. Let's see what others say.
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#599784 - 05/29/20 07:36 PM [User Showcase] Re: Because I Dream [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 3220
Loc: Murgon Queensland Australia
Rob4580 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 3220
Loc: Murgon Queensland Australia
What a great "Dream".
Nicely done Deej. I enjoyed my listen.
Rob4580

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#599786 - 05/29/20 07:41 PM [User Showcase] Re: Because I Dream [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 879
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Deej56 Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 879
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Furry, Mario, TuneMonger, and Rob:

Thanks much for the listen and comments. I jumped back in just a few minutes ago and played a bit more with the vocal mix--not sure it's better, but hopefully a bit. Per Furry, I added a bit more reverb and try to bring out the lower register a bit more. Still not sure it clicks with the guitar, but you be the judge. Really appreciated the thoughtful comments all!

Stay well, stay safe!

Deej

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#599791 - 05/29/20 11:07 PM [User Showcase] Re: Because I Dream [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 05/05/18
Posts: 954
Loc: United Kingdom
musician17 Online   content
Expert

Registered: 05/05/18
Posts: 954
Loc: United Kingdom
Well!!! Wow :-) Let me breathe and jot down a few thoughts :-)

1. The lyrics are stunning.

2. You've captured just the right style, tempo, melody line, etc., to bring them out. This could really be an anthem for our generation, today's generation.

Dreaming and imagination is the most important thing, I think, for anyone to have - if only because it allows us to "see things in advance" (to give an example of what I mean: a person who can dream/imagine says "Oh, I see a fire ... I won't put my hand in it, my imagination says I might burn myself!"; whereas a person who cannot dream/imagine says "Oh, I see a fire ... let me put my hand in it and see if I burn myself!". The person who can dream/imagine can therefore avoid consequences of bad acts in advance, by imagining what might happen - the person who cannot dream/imagine needs to put their hand in the fire first, so to speak, and only then - in retrospect - realise that it does burn ... once their hand is already burnt. Hope this makes sense!). The ability and capability to dream/imagine is therefore a survival tool, but it also allows us (as the lyrics state) to enrich our lives (and souls) beyond measure.

You've nailed the song, once more. As I said: an anthem, one that - for me - ought to be blasted from the rooftops, in support of those of us that do dream :-) Well done!!!
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#599796 - 05/30/20 12:21 AM [User Showcase] Re: Because I Dream [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 04/13/16
Posts: 2709
Loc: Stanwell Park NSW Australia
rayc Offline
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Registered: 04/13/16
Posts: 2709
Loc: Stanwell Park NSW Australia
Yep,
the 1st line is a hook in its own right.
Good simple & effective arrangement.
Vocal performance is fab as usual.
AND as usual you know what I'd say about the "room".
Lovely stuff.
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#599832 - 05/30/20 06:31 AM [User Showcase] Re: Because I Dream [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 879
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Deej56 Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 879
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
James and rayc,

Thanks for the listen and feedback. Glad the song generally worked, although my first attempt at a fix on the vocal mix didn't quite work. Listening again this morning I think I actually made it worse. So I tried take three and updated the link. Not sure why I struggle as much as I do on this. But anyway, I'm leaving it as is for a while--maybe some distance will help if I revisit it. Thanks much!

Safe wishes to both of you!

Deej

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#599840 - 05/30/20 06:55 AM [User Showcase] Re: Because I Dream [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 05/05/18
Posts: 954
Loc: United Kingdom
musician17 Online   content
Expert

Registered: 05/05/18
Posts: 954
Loc: United Kingdom
Wow - what a difference a change in mix makes. Even better than before - your voice is now so much clearer, the background humming comes through more ... I don't know what you've done, but, whatever it is, I agree with it :-)

Still ... mixing is all well and good, as I always say, but - to me - the actual process of songwriting is so important. You have both ... you know how to mix as well as (the main thing for me) songwrite. Good job.
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#599844 - 05/30/20 07:21 AM [User Showcase] Re: Because I Dream [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7345
Guitarhacker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7345
I like books. They take you to places across time and universes.

Nice song and nice mix. Someone else mentioned the vocals.... so I'm thinking yeah, you sound like you're halfway across the room. Try getting up closer to the mic. If its a dynamic, get right up on it, if it's condenser, get closer as well...This song really needs a more intimate sounding vocal in it.

So far, so good. I'd consider doing another vocal take to get that vocal right.
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As the sword chooses the warrior, so too, the song chooses the writer.

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#599850 - 05/30/20 07:52 AM [User Showcase] Re: Because I Dream [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 8915
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 8915
Loc: Florida
Deej,

The backing tracks are really nice. Just what the song/lyric call for.
The opening guitar sounds great.

Your vocal is good. I think is has more high EQ than it should - which sets it apart from the backing guitar. There is a "warmth" to the guitar that is not reflected in the vocal processing. Your singing is clear and distinctive - so it can stand to have some high EQ rolled off (that is something that is not true of many other folks).

It is a nice song. I thought the tempo was a bit fast for the lyric message - a slower tempo would give more of a dream sense.

fj

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#599855 - 05/30/20 08:08 AM [User Showcase] Re: Because I Dream [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 09/09/17
Posts: 716
Loc: Virginia
Belladonna Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 09/09/17
Posts: 716
Loc: Virginia
Beautitul lyrics written by Carroll Kiphen, I know him from the BMI songwriter site some years ago. He was always writing everyday and sometimes had a real winner! I really like the theme of these. Personally, I feel the more simple musical arrangements are in order when the lyrics are the shinning star. To me, it really puts the message in the spotlight.

Your vocals have an usual sound which are very interesting. I like your vocals a lot, so just offering a constructive suggestion as you are trying different takes. What if they were softer and more tender at times, varying the intensity? It's a beautiful song with a lot to say. Good collab with you two.


Edited by Belladonna (05/30/20 08:10 AM)

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#599888 - 05/30/20 03:15 PM [User Showcase] Re: Because I Dream [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 06/09/16
Posts: 2916
Robertkc Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/09/16
Posts: 2916
Deej,
I enjoyed the feel you bring to the song- your vocal raises the intensity and makes it sound personal ( the lyrics have a kind of universal Jonathan Livingston Seagull positivity I like).
The paired guitars are a good choice.
Lots of advice already on how to capture more of an intimate vocal sound- that said you are clearly one of the best singers on this forum so I`ll keep listening!

Robert

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#599950 - 05/31/20 05:05 AM [User Showcase] Re: Because I Dream [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 3567
Loc: Ontario, Canada
BlueAttitude Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 3567
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Excellent writing!

And excellent vocal too, you have such an expressive and unique voice.

As far as mix goes I read your comment about leaving it alone for a while. That is something I always do, I'll revisit a song with fresh ears after a month or so and hear stuff I missed the first time. It's pretty close already though IMHO.

Very good song, enjoyed!

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#600322 - 06/03/20 04:50 PM [User Showcase] Re: Because I Dream [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 879
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Deej56 Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 879
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Guitarhacker,

Great advice . . . and that's what I've done, hopefully more apparent in the updated version. You are spot on regarding the distance from the microphone. For some reason, I've been moving further and further away from it when recording (overly concerned about the sibilance among other things maybe).

I did a revised take real close to the mic recording at a lower volume. I probably still haven't nailed it, but I think it's made a difference here (and certainly on the next song I hope to post in the next day or so).

Thanks again!

Deej

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#600323 - 06/03/20 04:52 PM [User Showcase] Re: Because I Dream [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 879
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Deej56 Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 879
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Floyd,

See above message to Guitarhacker regarding the re-take on the vocals. I also dialed down the high end just a bit more--hopefully it works better for you.

I hear what you're suggesting on the tempo . . . . just a conscious decision on my part to keep the tune moving and closer to the 3 minute mark rather than 4--although it sits midway as is.

Thanks as always for the helpful feedback.

Cheers!

Deej

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#600325 - 06/03/20 04:55 PM [User Showcase] Re: Because I Dream [Re: Belladonna]
Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 879
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Deej56 Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 879
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Belladonna,

Thanks for the comments. This is actually my third collaboration with Carroll, who is prolific in terms of output. The nice thing about his lyrics is that when they resonate with me they almost always seem to be easy to put to a melody, which makes it convenient, as I tend to be a bit lazy sometimes, LOL!

Good suggestions about varying the vocal intensity. Not sure I'm up for another vocal retake on this one, but it's good advice to keep in mind generally.

Thanks.

Deej

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#600326 - 06/03/20 04:59 PM [User Showcase] Re: Because I Dream [Re: BlueAttitude]
Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 879
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Deej56 Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 879
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Dave,

Thanks for the kind words . . . Yeah, I think I need to be a bit more patient sometimes putting a song out there. But then again, I usually don't hear the flaws until someone points it out to me, LOL. But it's almost always a better song when I come back to it after a while. Problem is I'm usually so sick with a song by the time I'm done with it that I'm not always so eager to revisit it, LOL!

Thanks for you input and support.

Cheers!

Deej

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#600463 - 06/04/20 12:56 PM [User Showcase] Re: Because I Dream [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 9768
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 9768
Loc: GA USA
The two of us haven't been w/o a current read since childhood.

Dreams and books ... what a wonderful lyric indeed.
We resisted the temptation to parse out our favorite lines.
It's all very strong.

We liked the stripped down sound. It's all that's needed
for the lyric and your heartfelt vocal (as Dave said a
" ... expressive and unique voice."

Much enjoyed!

J&B



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