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#656518 - 05/21/21 03:06 PM [User Showcase] Steely Blue
Registered: 03/08/17
Posts: 156
Loc: UK
Andyman Offline
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Registered: 03/08/17
Posts: 156
Loc: UK
https://soundcloud.com/andyshearer-1/steely-blue

I'm sorry that health problems have meant that it's been awhile since I last visited the forum, but thankfully things have settled down now and so I'm back with a new song composition of my own.
Well it's actually an old song from the early 80's which has been rewritten and rearranged.

I used the _FPBRTEV.STY (2 Fingerpicked Guitars w/ Band) for this recording and added my own guitar, synth strings, mandolin and Irish bouzouki playing. I'm singing the main vocal and the backing vocals were provided by my son, Alex. Hope you like it and if you do, please give it a like on Soundcloud.

-------------------------------------

She came to you in the night
Gave you love and promises
Left no questions in your mind
She made you laugh, she made you sing
Singing songs of happiness
It made you glad to be alive

--------------------------------------
In your eyes - steely blue
Oh in your eyes of steel blue
--------------------------------------

Then today she walked away
Down that long and winding road
By the meadow in the sun
And when you turned away
Well the sky was dark and grey
And the heavens opened wide

--------------------------------------
In your eyes - steely blue
Oh in your eyes of steel blue
--------------------------------------

You hide the sorrow in your life
So much heartache, too much pain
You know the show must go on
Yesterday she came along
Down that long and winding road
By the meadow in the sun

--------------------------------------
In your eyes - steely blue
Oh in your eyes of steel blue
In your eyes - steely blue
Oh in your eyes of steel blue
---------------------------------------


Edited by Andyman (05/21/21 05:04 PM)

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#656526 - 05/21/21 04:37 PM [User Showcase] Re: Steely Blue [Re: Andyman]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 8241
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 8241
Nice job. I'm trying to place what this reminded me of but it's escaping me at the moment.
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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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#656528 - 05/21/21 04:55 PM [User Showcase] Re: Steely Blue [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 03/08/17
Posts: 156
Loc: UK
Andyman Offline
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Registered: 03/08/17
Posts: 156
Loc: UK
Thanks Guitarhacker. It's a pretty simple and common chord progression and melody. I'm sure there are many similar sounding songs.
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#656529 - 05/21/21 05:13 PM [User Showcase] Re: Steely Blue [Re: Andyman]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 8241
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 8241
Originally Posted By: Andyman
Thanks Guitarhacker. It's a pretty simple and common chord progression and melody. I'm sure there are many similar sounding songs.


Ok. That's bugging me. It's right on the tip of my tongue.

I listened again on nice buds. Good mix. Lucious. My only nit is the blatantly doubled vox in the chorus. I'd suggest that you might want to use this method to fatten up vocals without getting a weird fx effect. Record the vocals 3 times. Pay attention to the phrasing and get it as close as possible on all 3 takes. Pick the best one for the lead. Pitch fix it if you want. Pan the other ones hard opposite. 100% R&L and lower them to where you can barely hear them. Generally -12dB below the lead. This is a method i employ a lot. It sounds like one really full vocal track.

The harmony at the end was excellent. That worked well.

When I figure out what song this reminds me of I'll let you know.

Yep.... Good job.
_________________________
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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#656530 - 05/21/21 05:24 PM [User Showcase] Re: Steely Blue [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 03/08/17
Posts: 156
Loc: UK
Andyman Offline
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Registered: 03/08/17
Posts: 156
Loc: UK
Thanks for the advice on fattening up the vocals. I'll keep it in mind for future reference.
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#656531 - 05/21/21 05:45 PM [User Showcase] Re: Steely Blue [Re: Andyman]
Registered: 04/15/19
Posts: 668
Loc: SA, Australia
Ghostgum Offline
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Registered: 04/15/19
Posts: 668
Loc: SA, Australia
I liked the song from the first few bars of intro. It has an atmospheric, ethereal feel.
There is a cool, distant quality to the vocals (that might be a deliberate choice to match the melancholy tone of the story) but I think it would benefit from a bit more warmth.
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#656538 - 05/21/21 06:27 PM [User Showcase] Re: Steely Blue [Re: Ghostgum]
Registered: 03/08/17
Posts: 156
Loc: UK
Andyman Offline
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Registered: 03/08/17
Posts: 156
Loc: UK
Thanks for listening Ghostgum. I'm glad that you liked the song.
I intentionally wanted to make the lyrics ambiguous so that the listener can give the song their own interpretation, but yes you were right in thinking that the vocal was deliberately sung in the way that it is. It was an attempt to convey how the main character's loss has left them with a sense of bitterness without self pity (cold resignation). I also tried to give the double vocal a 'steely' quality in the chorus by applying an offset chorus effect, although I appreciate that it might not be to everyone's taste.


Edited by Andyman (05/22/21 04:36 AM)
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#656593 - 05/22/21 10:51 AM [User Showcase] Re: Steely Blue [Re: Andyman]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 5119
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 5119
Loc: Sacramento, California
Pretty intro, nice melody.

I hear what others are saying about "warmth" - the high end on this mix is really cranked up, so the phasing on the chorus makes it harsh. Sorry for piling on here.

Really like the write, and the arrangement is great. Love the echoed harmony.

I like this song a lot, it's just a bit harsh on my tender ears.
_________________________
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My virtual singer development blog

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

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#656619 - 05/22/21 05:42 PM [User Showcase] Re: Steely Blue [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 03/08/17
Posts: 156
Loc: UK
Andyman Offline
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Registered: 03/08/17
Posts: 156
Loc: UK
Not at all David. I welcome constructive criticism and as the overwhelming consensus of opinion is that the song would sound more appealing with a less harsh sounding vocal in the chorus, I've had a rethink and decided to re-record it without applying any phase/chorus effects.
I'll try using the method suggested by Herb, and I'll post the new mix soon.
Thanks everyone, I appreciate and value your helpful advice.


Edited by Andyman (05/23/21 12:23 PM)
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#656642 - 05/22/21 09:41 PM [User Showcase] Re: Steely Blue [Re: Andyman]
Registered: 04/13/16
Posts: 4423
Loc: Cooran Queensland Australia
rayc Offline
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Registered: 04/13/16
Posts: 4423
Loc: Cooran Queensland Australia
Nice song and arrangement.The chorus vocal seems to have a pronounced "chorus" effect with added reverb that makes the vocal seems as if its in a different space.
The mix is pretty good but I hear it as pretty muddy in the mids...I think the synth drums and bass are overlapping and building in that zone.
Nice b vox from the lad.
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rayc
"What's so funny about peace, love & understanding?" - N.Lowe

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#656665 - 05/23/21 05:56 AM [User Showcase] Re: Steely Blue [Re: Andyman]
Registered: 03/08/17
Posts: 156
Loc: UK
Andyman Offline
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Registered: 03/08/17
Posts: 156
Loc: UK
Thanks for the feedback rayc. I'm going to re-record the chorus without the "chorus" effect and use the same reverb as in the verses, so hopefully that will help. Any ideas on how I can improve the mids?
I put the drums, bass, strings and main vocal in the centre on this mix with everything else panned left or right to some degree.
Do you think that it would help to lessen the muddiness if I moved the strings from the middle, or should I move the bass and drums slightly to the left or right?

For me, it's still work in progress when it comes to mixing, but I've always placed the drums and bass in the centre on my previous recordings.
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#656668 - 05/23/21 06:09 AM [User Showcase] Re: Steely Blue [Re: Andyman]
Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 15320
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
AudioTrack Offline
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Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 15320
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Impressive mix and quality production. The guitar intro is exceptional.

The vocal accompaniment adds a genuine quality dimension to the song which really works.

Clearly a big effort went into this delivery, and this shows. Great job.
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#656697 - 05/23/21 10:16 AM [User Showcase] Re: Steely Blue [Re: Andyman]
Registered: 06/09/16
Posts: 3179
Robertkc Offline
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Registered: 06/09/16
Posts: 3179
Andy,
A pretty singalong melody and the bittersweet lyrics are a good fit.
You already have suggestions on vocal processing; I agree they could be simplified and improved. I was hoping to hear more of your bouzouki ( one of my favourite instruments)and wonder how this would sound without the synth strings. Just a thought- the song is definitely a keeper.

Robert

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#656717 - 05/23/21 01:43 PM [User Showcase] Re: Steely Blue [Re: Andyman]
Registered: 03/08/17
Posts: 156
Loc: UK
Andyman Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/08/17
Posts: 156
Loc: UK
Thank you for all the advice my friends.
I have remixed the song and the Soundcloud link will now play the new improved version.
I've re-recorded the chorus and made a few other minor alterations.
Please let me know what you think, and if you like the song, please give it a like on Soundcloud.
_________________________
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#656727 - 05/23/21 03:17 PM [User Showcase] Re: Steely Blue [Re: Andyman]
Registered: 04/13/16
Posts: 4423
Loc: Cooran Queensland Australia
rayc Offline
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Registered: 04/13/16
Posts: 4423
Loc: Cooran Queensland Australia
Originally Posted By: Andyman
Thanks for the feedback rayc. I'm going to re-record the chorus without the "chorus" effect and use the same reverb as in the verses, so hopefully that will help. Any ideas on how I can improve the mids?
I put the drums, bass, strings and main vocal in the centre on this mix with everything else panned left or right to some degree.
Do you think that it would help to lessen the muddiness if I moved the strings from the middle, or should I move the bass and drums slightly to the left or right?

For me, it's still work in progress when it comes to mixing, but I've always placed the drums and bass in the centre on my previous recordings.

Leave the bass n drums centred BUT have a look at their EQ and cut some of the overlap from the bass.
Move the strings and put a high pass on them at 100 or so. IF they're stereo maybe leave them centred but def. a high pass to cut their bottom end.
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rayc
"What's so funny about peace, love & understanding?" - N.Lowe

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#656736 - 05/23/21 05:32 PM [User Showcase] Re: Steely Blue [Re: Andyman]
Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 7134
Loc: South Carolina
Charlie Fogle Offline
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Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 7134
Loc: South Carolina
Well, my listen was to the new mix so I missed the Chorus effects of the original. I really enjoy your song and was impressed with the harmonies and the overall emotional feel you were trying to convey. Excellent job and I've enjoyed my listen.
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#656765 - 05/24/21 05:06 AM [User Showcase] Re: Steely Blue [Re: Charlie Fogle]
Registered: 03/08/17
Posts: 156
Loc: UK
Andyman Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/08/17
Posts: 156
Loc: UK
Thank you Charlie. I'm sure that it could probably be further improved, but I'm much happier with the new mix and I think that I'll leave it as it is for now.
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http://andyshearer.bandcamp.com/

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#656779 - 05/24/21 06:11 AM [User Showcase] Re: Steely Blue [Re: Andyman]
Registered: 05/27/19
Posts: 1910
Loc: Dallas, PA, USA
BabuMusic Offline
Expert

Registered: 05/27/19
Posts: 1910
Loc: Dallas, PA, USA
Hi, Andy, glad you're feeling better. I really like the song, and the mix that you've done because it's as you want it. The mix, as the say, is never done. Give the same tracks to any one of us and it'll be different. Like A thousand monks, a thousand religions. On my second listen. The song is really catchy and fun to sing and play along. Well played and well sung. You and your son sing very well together.
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Enjoy whatever happens!
marty

Babu Music on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLDrsXTXfShgnGalQZ0ElQw
Me on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/marty-straub

My website: http://martystraub.com/

using Band in a Box, Reaper, Cakewalk, Ozone 9

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#656920 - 05/25/21 07:07 AM [User Showcase] Re: Steely Blue [Re: BabuMusic]
Registered: 03/08/17
Posts: 156
Loc: UK
Andyman Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/08/17
Posts: 156
Loc: UK
Wise words. Thanks Marty. It's always a good sign when someone listens to your song more than once!
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#656997 - 05/25/21 02:02 PM [User Showcase] Re: Steely Blue [Re: Andyman]
Registered: 03/07/18
Posts: 3810
Rustyspoon# Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/07/18
Posts: 3810
Andy,
You are a good song writer. Very nice 80s resurrection. Very fluid and dreamy instrumentals. Excellent performance! BGV by your son fit very well. Liked it. Thank you for sharing.

Misha.

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