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#729504 08/28/22 08:10 PM
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Hi, all—

I spent a few weeks traveling in July and early August and came back thoroughly unmotivated with regards to music making. Here’s hoping this song (that I largely recorded this weekend) gets me kick-started a bit. A solo effort I penned recently (darker and different thematically than my usual fare), but it took a bit to find the right BIAB sound. This seems pretty close. Not sure I nailed the mix, so as always looking forward to your feedback and suggestions. Hope you are all doing well—

Deej

Here’s the song:

ANGEL'S FALLING

Here are the lyrics:

Empty street, rainy night
A boy beneath the corner light
He hangs his sign
And bides his time

Headlights flash the darkling sky
A roll of cash, a wanting eye
And he just smiles
He’ll be warm in a while

Paint your eyes
Angel’s falling down
Through devil skies
Angel’s falling down
Hear the sound
Of an angel falling

City push, city shove
Not much worse than where he was
Broken life, broken love

Another trick, a cheap motel
One more trip to Sodom’s hell
But it’s alright
He’ll be high tonight

See him curled up on the street
The sidewalk for his bed
People passing by his feet
And they don’t stop to wonder why
And he don’t stop to wonder why
All he wants to do is fly

And here’s the band:

RealTracks 2755: Bass, Electric, RockHeavy16thsDoug Ev16 090
RealTracks 3182: Guitar, Acoustic, Rhythm GrungeUnpluggedQuinn Ev16 090
RealTracks 703: Guitar, Acoustic, Strumming Spirited Ev 085
RealTracks 3738: Guitar, Electric, Rhythm GrungeSlowCleanArp Ev 080
RealTracks 2688: Guitar, Electric, Soloist RockBrentSimple Ev 120
RealTracks 2748: Piano, Acoustic Rhythm Alt Hip Hop
RealTracks 2509: Cello, Background PopEven Ev 120 (1TrackStringQuartet)
RealTracks 1757: Accordion, Rhythm Pop8ths
RealDrums: RetroPop^05-a:Bass, SharpeSnare, b:Bass, Snare

Deej56 #729505 08/28/22 09:16 PM
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I think this is a good song, I like the story and the way you tell it.

The mix does the song not justice, there's lot of potential here:
  • the song sounds almost mono. That's okay for the first 8 bars of the intro, but after that I'd pan at least the 2 rhythm guitars left and right to "open" the soundfield.
  • there's almost no low-end. Bring up the bass and give the kickdrum more juice. The EQ is your friend here.
  • the vocal harmonies are too quiet. The harmonies itself are beautiful, so there's no reason to hide them


But, as I said, I like the song, it's certainly worth the time to revisit the mix.


Making bits and bytes sound good...

Goldmania Bella - A One-Man Girlband with no fans
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Deej56 #729508 08/28/22 10:07 PM
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Great job. I'm no good at the production aspect, so I won't even try to venture there. However: I really enjoyed the song.

1) Lyrics: the theme of the song and its execution are wonderful. I love the "dark" nature of it. Quotation marks because it's not that dark, to me ... it's a compassionate look at the downtrodden, as I see it.

2) I really like the shift between minor, for the verses, and the major for the chorus. The repetition of "paint your eyes" at the end really works, I think.

3) You really are excellent at song structure. You know how to tell a story that has an impeccable structure to it, and it therefore carries so much better, to the listener, than something which would be less organised. In my view, of course.

In the same vein: you have excellent technical (music theory, as it were) control over everything you do when you write - and, as I said, I think you're extremely organised with it, too. It all really helps to deliver a proper "end product", as it were (I hate that kind of "marketing language", i.e. "end product", but that's neither here nor there).

Ok, onto a second listen.

I'll just add this. I never quite get the depth of your songs, to my full capacity, on a first listen. It takes me a couple of listens at least, to truly appreciate. That's a good thing :-)

The brief guitar solo is Queen-esque.

Well done. Your usual high standard, in a somehow (and somewhat) different cloak and form, as you say. Leaves me wanting more.

Last edited by musician17; 08/28/22 10:10 PM.
Deej56 #729515 08/29/22 12:11 AM
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Deej,

Love this... Great song and your usual excellent vocal. I think the mix is fine - it perfectly suits the nature of the tune.

As I have said many times before - I am a fan!

So well done!

Bob

Deej56 #729523 08/29/22 01:23 AM
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B.D., James and Bob:

Thanks for the early listens and comments--much appreciated. And glad you like most of what you heard (or the potential therein).

B.D.: Great feedback on the mix. I usually let things simmer a bit more before releasing a tune . . . probably should have done so here more. I'l need to give your comments some more thoughts, but I made some quick adjustments based on your thoughts

1. Bass and Drums: I upped the volume on the bass. Totally agree it was lost in the mix. I just made that adjustment quickly over my lap top (no headphones handy), so may need to tweak it further yet up or down. Also slightly raised the drums, but given the adjustment on the bass, not sure much more was needed there.

2. BGVs: I've also adjusted these to bring them up a bit. My concern is not to overtake the lead vocal and add richness as opposed to stark contrast--hopefully hit a sweet spot (but easy enough to adjust further if needed).

3. Panning: Except for the primary acoustic, both the second acoustic and the electric rhythm were already panned quite far left and right, so I can't do more there. I did slightly move the primary acoustic to the right (but not to much).

Not sure these changes improve the mix or not, but hopefully put it on a better path.

Deej




Last edited by Deej56; 08/29/22 01:36 AM.
Deej56 #729538 08/29/22 03:00 AM
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Hi, Deej. I first read all the great comments above. When the bass came in at 0:47 I was hooked. What a great song. I love the movement of the melody, and excellent harmony. Man, you surrounded this wonderful mix with some excellent choices. Great song idea, too, and the lyrics are so good.


Enjoy whatever happens!
marty

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@babumusic51
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Deej56 #729555 08/29/22 06:48 AM
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Gosh Deej,

Man I wish I could write this well - even when I'm fully motivated. I see what you mean about the dark side, but this is a hard story to tell. I've known of people in these circumstances and I think you did an excellent job of showing the pain and realism without being too revealing, but appropriately illuminating. I think you went deep here and it came out well. I liked the mix I heard. I think it's just a style thing, but I might have brought the bass and drums in a little earlier - they sure sound good.

Deej56 #729585 08/29/22 10:03 AM
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Marty and Brad--

Glad you guys iiked what you heard--thanks for giving it a spin. You both listened to it, I think, after my changes following B.D.'s great feedback (sometimes you don't hear the forest for the trees--that's the benefit of a site and community like this).

I just went back in and made some minor adjustments after listening to the revised version with headphones on. I'm pretty happy with it right now as it stands--but I'm sure there are still some changes to make along the way.

Brad: I went back and forth on the build, but ultimately I really wanted that first chorus to pop. Using the drums earlier would have diminished that a bit I think--at least that was the artistic reasoning. On the flip side the challenge was keeping in interesting enough until then--hence the addition of the piano and bass in the second verse. I hear you though.

Stay well, fellas!

Deej

Last edited by Deej56; 08/29/22 10:03 AM.
Deej56 #729591 08/29/22 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted By: Deej56
I just went back in and made some minor adjustments after listening to the revised version with headphones on. I'm pretty happy with it right now as it stands--but I'm sure there are still some changes to make along the way.

Yep, much better, the bass now gives the song a solid base to sit on, and now those beautiful vocal harmonies get the place they deserve smile
And you're right, the 2nd acoustic and the rhythm are indeed panned, but I had to use headphones to find the acoustic, on speakers it's a bit buried in the mix.
Maybe a dB or three could help there.

Originally Posted By: Deej56
Not sure these changes improve the mix or not, but hopefully put it on a better path.

You certainly are on the right path smile


Making bits and bytes sound good...

Goldmania Bella - A One-Man Girlband with no fans
Listen on Spotify
Watch on YouTube
Deej56 #729603 08/29/22 12:37 PM
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Deej,

Killer track with a vocal to match! Don't believe I've heard that retro-pop drum track used in a production before. It's got a different sound, but I like it! Love the chorus, it's catchy! Harmonies are sounding great also!

Thanks, Torrey




Deej56 #729620 08/29/22 02:07 PM
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Hey Deej,

Really good man. Ultimately heartbreaking, but it is a well done song.

Great lyrics.

Deej56 #729624 08/29/22 02:58 PM
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Deej56,
Kicka## kickstarter! Awesome vocals! Very cool and brave style fusion. Good mix & listens very well. Thank you for sharing.

P.S. I am probably not the right person to comment mix, but... There is something that feels a bit too compressed. Perhaps somebody who actually knows can comment on this. Some basic thoughts, it could be a small file uploaded to SC (something less than 24bit WAV)... or cranked bus compressor. Or simply because I feel that your vocals could sit more "on the top" of the mix.

Misha.

Deej56 #729667 08/30/22 12:55 AM
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Hi Deej,
I like songs that say something important and this one does that.
If this was mine I wouldn't have used the same style. I would use something with a darker sound and less busy but that's just me talking.

Vic

Deej56 #729698 08/30/22 04:28 AM
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Deej,

A powerful song with a hooky chorus.

Great use of RTs. And your vocal is in a league of its own of course.

I do agree with Brian's comments on the mix itself. In addition, I would lower the high frequencies of the RD a little.

Rob


We are Rob Meulman and Anne-Marie Bovenkamp from The Netherlands.

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Deej56 #729703 08/30/22 05:03 AM
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B.D., Torrey, David, Misha, Vic and Rob:

Thanks for the listens and feedback. Much appreciated. A few thoughts on some of your specific comments:

B.D.: Glad it's on a better path--thanks for the follow-up listen. Rob had the further suggestion on the drums which I've implemented (which you called out as well). I'm sure there's more refinement to go.

Misha: It's an MP3 and not a WAV file, which may be contributing to what you are hearing. When I post on SoundCloud I opt to use an MP3 as the WAV files are much larger and Soundcloud has a capacity limit. I'm trying to put off hitting that ceiling (without having to delete prior postings) . . . and also because I can rarely hear the difference myself. However, when I post a song to streaming services (e.g., through Distrokid) I always use a WAV file.

Vic: Yes, I could hear this being done darker, with a simple stark arrangement. But I didn't originally write it that way on guitar, and this mirrors that (though up a notch). As I listen to the song more, I'm beginning to think the bass might be a little to busy--I might switch that out. Anyway, I might give a darker version a try at some point. If you were ever interested in giving it a go yourself, let me know . . . I could actually hear you doing a version of this.

Rob: Thanks much . . . I've toned down the high-end on the drums and reposted the new version. I can go more, but I don't want to overdo it for now. I think I've tried to address all the other comments. Appreciate the great feedback!

Take care all,

Deej

Deej56 #729707 08/30/22 05:20 AM
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Deej,
A tragic story but you are a true lyricist and great story teller.
Well done.


https://soundcloud.com/user-646279677
BiaB 2024 Windows
For me there’s no better place in the band than to have one leg in the harmony world and the other in the percussive. Thank you Paul Tutmarc and Leo Fender.
Deej56 #729720 08/30/22 08:15 AM
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Deej...I always look forward to your posts and this is no exception....a 'dark' song indeed it's subject matter is sad and sobering...but the raw texture of your voice and the stark acoustic texture of the guitar are meant for this kind of storytelling...love all of the vocal work here...the lead vox is emotional and engaging and the harmonies are layered precisely...I don't know what you would need to change to get the lyric across more effectively...the trouble with BiaB is sometimes there's too much to choose from...it's not just burgers and fries; more like a buffet...but on this one my pallet feels satisfied...a sad but true song delivered so well!!


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Deej56 #729734 08/30/22 09:15 AM
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Hi Deej66,

Your composition is very pleasant. The double voice is well done. Well thought out guitar solo. Everything is well put together.

Kindly regard
Derochette
alias JaniJackFlash


Kindly regards
Derochette
alias JaniJackFlash
Deej56 #729745 08/30/22 09:52 AM
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Deej, the technical aspects of your composition and arrangement seem to have been covered adequately by other reviewers. A great song, told most convincingly.

Regards,

Ghostgum


My music may not set the world on fire but if it causes a glow in just one person's heart, it has all been worthwhile smile
Deej56 #729751 08/30/22 10:39 AM
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“Not much worse than where he was”

Dark indeed.

That’s a powerful and sad lyric and your passionate vocals and aggressive band conveyed that darkness very well.

You always do a great job with all BiaB tracks and this is no exception.

Impressive!

J&B

PS FWIW, IMHO, etc., so much of the sound of any production is wrapped in the producer's anticipated goals...unless they are, as in many cases, targeting a specific audience. And of course different folks will hear it differently. And It will sound different dependent on the listening room, the monitors, the mood of the listeners, smile and the platform upon which is it streamed based on their compression algorithms, etc. Regardless of Bud's blather we thought it sounded fine...but not sure at what point the changes were made.

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