The Time It Takes
I've spent too many nights alone
crying in the dark
wondered how I'd live without you (Live without you)
with nothing but these memories (Alone with memories)
I smile a little more
I see the light that shines (Light shines through the door)
through a slowly opening door
feels like someone
finally let in the sun (Let in the sun)
and a new day's begun
I can breathe again
I'm coming out of Nowhere Land (Nowhere Land)
didn't think I'd ever find (Think I'd find)
the strength to start (To start)
I'm on my way back (On my way back)
'Cause I can understand (I understand)
the time that it takes (Time it takes to mend my heart)
to mend a broken heart
Something's changing in my heart (Something is changing)
I'm safe here in the dark
I know that I can live without you
all alone (Alone)
You're nothing but a memory
I've closed this chapter in the book (Closed this book)
my future lies before me
I'll write a different story (Stories change, so do you)
without you (Without you)
I can breathe again (Breathe again)
I'm coming out from Nowhere Land (Nowhere Land)
Didn't think I'd ever make (Make a start)
a brand new start
I am letting you go (I let you go)
Now that I understand (I understand)
the time that it takes (Time it takes)
to mend a broken heart (To mend my heart)
Finally let you go (let you go)
Now I understand (understand)
The time that it takes (The time it takes)
to mend a broken heart (To mend my heart)The Instruments
Bass, Electric FunkHalfNotePulseSync Ev16 100
Piano, Acoustic, Rhythm Soul60sHeld Ev 110
Piano, Acoustic, Rhythm Soul60sHeld Ev 110
Loop, HipHop\Old School - ush105c drums ev8
Guitar, Electric, Rhythm JazzFunkGroovinChords Ev16 110
Guitar, Electric, Rhythm Soul70sWarmA-B Ev16 100
Guitar, Acoustic, Strumming Syncopated Sugar Ev 102
Piano, Acoustic, Rhythm Soul70sHeld Ev16 100
Guitar, 12-String Acoustic, Fingerpicking FolkRock Ev 100
Piano, Electric, Rhythm, SmoothPoppy Ev16 090 (Held Chords)
Piano, SynthLayer, Rhythm Soul70sA-B Ev16 100 (Held Chords)
Piano, Electric, Rhythm JazzRockHeld Ev16 100.WAV (Held Chords)The Signal Chain
Lead Vocal: Synthesizer V - Eleanor Forte Lite -> Vulf Compressor -> Neutron 3 -> VoiceCentric -> Spitfish De-esser
Lead Vocal Ambience: EZ Mix (Studio B Reverb)
Harmony: Synthesizer V - Eleanor Forte Lite -> VoiceCentric -> Sunset Sound Studio (Studio 3 Chamber)
Bass: BootEQMkII EQ ->ReaComp Compressor
Drums: Vulf Compressor (2 Bus Glue) -> Sunset Sound Studio (Live Room Studio 3) -> Vulf Compressor (Old School Crunch) -> BootEQMkII -> ReaEQ
Drum FX: Raum Reverb (Clap Raum)
Loop: Vulf Compressor
Rhythm Electric: None
Strummed Ac. Gtr: EZMix2 (Guitar 2 compressor/EQ)
Piano: JS Tremolo
12 String Gtr: EZMix2 (Guitar - EQ shape)Short Version
Comments welcome! Way Too Many Words
I thought that I'd have a go at a J-Pop sort of song. I'm not really that familiar with the style, so I did some research via Google. I found a number of YouTube videos, and among other things, they suggested chord progressions along the lines of:
- IVmaj7 V/IV iii7 vi7
- IV V7 III vi
- IV III vi ii V
- IV V7 vi
Armed with this information, I searched through the BiaB demo styles until I found the style _KPJAZZY Demo - Jazzy Soul K-Pop. I suspect that the drum loop was one of the main reasons I picked the style, although I didn't really notice there was a loop at the time.
I was hoping to find something a bit more electronic pop in the styles, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of that - even in the MIDI section.
I remember one interview I read where the author said that JPop had long
chord progressions, which is pretty much what I do anyway. But with virtually no listening
done for research, I can guarantee that this will not
sound like authentic JPop.
With a basic backing track, I opened up SynthV and put together a melody. It didn't really have a strong chorus, and it ended in on a minor, but I figured I'd trust the process and go with it. Two times through the song clocked in at a bit under 3 minutes, which was good because there were already a lot of notes to be given lyrics, and I didn't relish the idea of an extra-long song with a weak chorus.
Then... no inspiration for lyrics. Zip, nil, nada, nothing. It was too cheerful to be a sad song, but to slow and lacking hooks to be the dancey sort of fluff I had hoped for.
Over a week of failing to make any progress, I was feeling pretty desperate. But that's how it typically worked, so I kept at it.
Finally, I listened to chulaivet1966
's "Stranger in a Strange Land", and started thinking: What if instead of time
that caused everything to change, how about a failed relationship where you found yourself single again? And that got me writing something
, which is a lot more than nothing. Not that the final lyric was anything like the original idea, of course. Planning will only get me so far.
I've said before that it's best to have a chorus in mind when writing a song. But again, I found myself linearly writing the song from the beginning, and only getting to the chorus when I discovered what it was.
Once the first half of the song was written, it occurred to me that, similar to some other songs I'd written, the second half could basically be an answer to the first half. Getting it to work
seemed much more difficult that it should have been, but eventually fell into place.
Honestly, this whole song feels hackneyed
- nothing terribly original here, and most of the rhymes have been used a bazillion times already. But despite this, I think it's fairly solid write, and I'm happy with how it turned out. Or that it turned out at all!
Once the lyrics were done, it was time to create some sort of arrangement. So I auditioned a whole bunch of RealTracks, and then generated a version of the song with holds and auditioned some more tracks. I also created a version of the song with only held chords, and rendered a bunch of instruments for that. Most of the instruments didn't make it into the final mix, but it was good to have them available.
I also edited the loop so there were three versions - just the kick, one with everything but the claps, and then the regular loop. That gave me some room to build. I mean, if Bud can edit the drum parts in his
song, who am I to do otherwise?
I'd gotten used to the song as a solo vocal, but wrote a counter-line for it anyway. I ended up writing way
too much and having to scale it back quite a bit. All those lovely competing lines lost to posterity for the sake of clarity.
The main problem with counter-lines is that they need some level of independence. But if you overlap consonants, suddenly the lyrics aren't understandable. Change the melody and forget to change the counter-line? Oooops!
So I open SynthV, edit the lyric, re-render, listen again... And then find another
issue. It seems to be a never-ending cycle. Sigh
Once that was done, it was time to pare things down so it sounded like an arrangement. Once that was done, I handed it over to my son, who trimmed it down even more, and did some magic to the signal chain to clean it up.
One of my goals with my mixes is to try to get a fair amount of clarity. That mostly happens when less instruments are playing. Although there are a good number of instruments on the track, they generally don't play together. For example, while there are several piano tracks, the piano that plays in the intro only appears there.
Then it was time to listen, find more issues with the vocal, fix them, listen again... lather rinse and repeat.
Again... thanks for reading (and hopefully listening)!