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#769092 06/20/23 11:01 PM
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Be Thou My Vision
Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one

Riches I heed not, or man's empty praise
Thou mine inheritance are, now and always
Thou and Thou only first in my heart
High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art

High King of heaven, my victory won
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's sun
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be my vision, O ruler of all



About The Song
The song was written as a poem by the monk Dallan Forgaill in the 18th century, and translated into English by Mary E. Byrne in 1909 and set to the Irish tune "Slane" (named for a hill where St. Patrick defied High King Logaire of Tara).

The song is in the Public Domain. Of course, this version doesn't use that melody. wink

A friend wanted to record the original version, but suggested I make an "alternate" version of the song. Of course, I went to town with a sleepy-time major seventh-filled track with far too much harmony. It wasn't at all what she had in mind, but I had fun doing it. laugh

I've probably got too many FX on the lead vocal, (honestly, on everything) but I'm a sucker for reverb and delay. I probably should have spent more time on the mix, but I'm tired. There were a lot of guitar squeaks to remove on this track!

I originally had used Eleanor Forte on the track, but changed it to Natalie for no particularly good reason. There are some spots where the melody doesn't flow as well as I'd like, and I may go back and fix them. The nice thing about using synthetic vocals is that it's pretty easy to make changes to the melody and lyrics after the fact.

As usual, all comments are encouraged. Thanks for listening!

Edit 1: Changed the bass to an electric bass, balanced the harmony vocals at the beginning, lowered the FX on the guitar, adjusted Ozone to reduce distortion, added some reverb on the finals "Aaahs", and some other stuff I forgot...

Instruments
Lead Vocal: Natalie (SynthV)
Backing Vocals: Jun, Kevin (SynthV)
Guitar:: 2914:Guitar, Acoustic, Fingerpicking Folky16thsBrent Ev16 085
Piano::~2505:Piano, Electric, HeldChords 085
Bass: 3458:Bass, Electric, AmericanaPop8thsSteveAB Ev 100
Drums::CajonSlow16ths
Percussion: Shaker Loops (Essential Percussion)

FX Chain
Lead Vocal: Sunset Sound Studio (Isolation Booth, Studio 2), Greg Wells VocalCentric (Natural Vocal Mix)
Harmony Vocals: Trackspacer, LX 480 Essentials (Joe C Vocal Plate), Finisher Retro (Filterbank '85), Greg Wells VocalCentric (Lead Vocal Dry)
Cajon: Fame Studio (Studio B Live, Drums), Neutron Elements (Percussive 1), EZMix (Overhead & Plate), LX480 (Large Plate)
Shaker Loop: LX 480 (Ambient)
Guitar: Trackspacer, Sunset Sound Studio (Studio 2, Isolation Booth), Sunset Sound Studio (Plate Spring, Plate 1)
Piano: ReaEq (high pass), Finisher Retro (CEO Chorus)


-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?
dcuny #769094 06/20/23 11:47 PM
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Hi David
This is really very impressive
Would not have thought that the synth voices can sing with so much "feeling".
Congratulations. This is fantastic !!!
Many greetings
Andi ;-)

dcuny #769095 06/20/23 11:57 PM
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David,

Wow! This sounds tremendous. Leaps and bounds over past projects.

The singing is superb and the harmony is flawless. Awesome arrangement and mix.

I am throughly impressed!

Bob

dcuny #769103 06/21/23 02:55 AM
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Hi David,

When I saw the title I scratched my head and tought 'oke...??'
Then I listened, because you made me curious. I didn't expect you would imitate that monk from the 17th century with your AI-girls.
And that was a good decision I noticed.
A very nice/sensitive song sung by Natalie in a surprisingly good way. Man you really learned a lot how to tame them...
The feelings in her voice sounded so real.

I can only join Andi and Bob in their admiration for you.
And I think that monk too!

Very well done,
Hans


Hans Berkhout
(Birchwood)
https://soundcloud.com/user-296497130
dcuny #769119 06/21/23 07:07 AM
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David,

Excellent work with the voices.
A beautiful melody.

I really like the sound and patterns of the acoustic. Not a fan of that much reverb on an acoustic, though (but that could be because it has been my primary instrument for 50+ years - it doesn't come with any reverb smile )
The drums turn out to be, surprisingly, a "modern sounding" choice... (fitting for the modern-sounding vocals)

(after the 3rd listen, I got a more used to the acoustic sound)

I always enjoy listening to your music and reading about how it evolves...

fj

dcuny #769123 06/21/23 07:38 AM
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David...I love this! You did a super job creating a lovely contemporary melody for this classic hymn...I usually don't like many attempts by others to do this sort of thing but this is so tasteful and seems appropriate for the such hallowed lyrics...love the voices, repeats and harmonies...so well done...I'm still in awe of how you pull all of this off...5 Stars from me!!


www.soundclick.com/firesong
BiaB 2024, Steinberg Cubase Pro 13, Wavelab 11.2, SpetraLayers Pro 10, Audacity, Steinberg UR44 Interface, Yamaha Genos, Roland FP60 and FP10, Windows 10

You are who you are because you do what you do because of what you believe.
dcuny #769133 06/21/23 08:46 AM
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Simply wonderful and enchanting in the most positive way.

I've heard several of your previous vocaloid recordings. They were very good. But this is exceptional. You brought the vocals to life to shine in front of a gorgeous arrangement. That was such a pleasing listen. I admire your work. This is a fine example of your continually improving work with AI voices. Very impressive!

Alan


BIAB 2024 Ultra Plus-all StylePaks*Win11*16GB DDR5*Rhyzen 9745x*AT 2035 Mic*Peavey Nashville 112 Amp*Ibanez ART120* Acoustic/Electric/Washburn D200S Acoustic*Stromberg Monterey Jazz Guitar

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

dcuny #769159 06/21/23 02:34 PM
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David,

You really are a master of using these vocaloids. This vocal sounds wonderfully expressive and resonates so well. Great mix and overall production. Really like what you did on the harmonies . . . very engaging. Superb!

All my best to you,

Deej

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dcuny Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: PROJECT M
This is really very impressive
Would not have thought that the synth voices can sing with so much "feeling".
Congratulations. This is fantastic !!!

Hi, Andi.

Actually, I was a bit worried that the lack of contrast within the verse would make it come off as monotone - especially without a chorus to provide contrast.

Thanks! laugh


-- 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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Originally Posted By: rsdean
Wow! This sounds tremendous. Leaps and bounds over past projects.

The singing is superb and the harmony is flawless. Awesome arrangement and mix.

I am throughly impressed!

Hi, Bob.

Thanks! I actually did a bit less with the harmony than I've done in prior songs. I dropped the harmony on the first verse. The second verse is more typical of the sort of thing I like to do, with a bit more freedom with two voices on a call and response. The third is just a single voice mostly in parallel, and the fourth verse is just two voices doing (mostly) held "aaahs".

I guess less is really more. laugh

I appreciate you stopping to listen and comment!


-- 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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Originally Posted By: Birchwood
When I saw the title I scratched my head and tought 'oke...??'

Ha! laugh

Quote:
A very nice/sensitive song sung by Natalie in a surprisingly good way. Man you really learned a lot how to tame them...

I really like the lower register in Natalie's voice.

Part of the "trick" is moving the Tone Shift option to have her grab a slightly different timbre when she's on high notes.

The other is to manually "tune" notes where her vibrato is a bit much. Natalie has a really nice voice, but her vibrato can be quite fast, which I'm not a fan of. I would have preferred a wider vibrato in some places, but I stuck with those the AI generated to keep her in character.

I also adjusted Kevin's parameters a bit so he blended in more. He's got a vary nasal and forward voice. I wasn't sure I could use him, but with the adjustments he fit in surprisingly well.

Quote:
The feelings in her voice sounded so real.

Thanks, I think a lot of the "feeling" comes from the phrasing of the notes.

I tried phrasing things the way I thought a real singer would do it. And I couldn't resist giving her a bit of of Barbra Streisand "O bright heav'n's Sun". laugh

The notes where the pitch is held flat is where she sounds the most synthetic. That's where you can hear that the synthesis engine has issues. But the AI usually introduces a lot of jitter to the pitch line, giving it vibrancy and life.

Thanks for listening, and your kind words.


-- 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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Originally Posted By: floyd jane
Excellent work with the voices.
A beautiful melody.

Thanks!

Quote:
I really like the sound and patterns of the acoustic. Not a fan of that much reverb on an acoustic, though (but that could be because it has been my primary instrument for 50+ years - it doesn't come with any reverb smile )

I agree - I really like the guitar.

As a rule, I like a lot of change in my arrangements, and usually try to change up the instrument before my ear tires of it. But in this case, I left the guitar in until the end, when I wanted a large contrast.

As for the reverb, you're spot on.

You know the rule - turn effects up until you hear it, and then back down until you can't hear it. That's something I intentionally didn't do because I really liked the sound of the plate reverb, but I knew I should have.

I've gone back and taken it down a notch on the guitar.

Quote:
The drums turn out to be, surprisingly, a "modern sounding" choice... (fitting for the modern-sounding vocals)

Thanks! The Fame Studio effects don't just capture the sound on the room, but the mikes and processing added. So it does a bit of "re-amping" so to speak, which really brought out the low end of the cajon. And I adding some reverb effects to give a bit more "air" to the snare sound.

Quote:
I always enjoy listening to your music and reading about how it evolves...

When my friend first suggested this song, I figured that BiaB would be perfect for it, and gave her a much more standard "country" sort of production.

But that wasn't what she had it mind, and she asked me if I could do something a bit more "contemporary". To me, "contemporary" that means simplifying the verses to a two chord song, but there's not really a chorus here to add contrast.

The change to 4/4 seemed a pretty obvious move, because otherwise there's not much space and it would sound too much like the original.

The first half of the song is just hanging out on two chords:

   Gmaj7 | F#m

The second half is one of my favorite guitar progressions with the descending bass line and a shift to the minor on the V chord:

   D |A/C# |Cadd2 |G |Gm |D

Once that was in place, it "opened up" the song, and it was just a matter of fitting the phrases to the chord changes. To my ears, the new melody sounds a bit too much like a harmony part, but it gave me the freedom to play around and adapt each verse to the lyric.

I figured it really wasn't what she had in mind, but my first swing was going to miss the mark anyway, so I should have fun with it.

And of course, with all those rests in the melody, there's plenty of room for harmonies. I added a really nice harmony to the first verse, but had to shift it to the second because it was a bit much.

I wanted something different on the third verse, so I just cloned the melody and shifted it up a sixth. It was too high for me male vocal, so it came down an octave, and then I started pushing notes around until I didn't sound that bad. I then tried to keep the harmony on the same note as long as possible, unless the melody was moving. It's that standard rule of harmony writing that I occasionally forget to use. wink

I probably should have swapped the harmonies in the second and third verse so there's a bit more build as the song goes along, but honestly I was too lazy and I'd already done the work of fitting it in.

There wasn't that much that needed to happen with the arrangement. I chopped out all the "snare" hits on the cajon so there would be a build when it was added in the second verse. Adding some shakers completed the arrangement.

I originally had an acoustic guitar solo on one of the verse, and worked it out using a BiaB guitar. But with four verses, it didn't seem like there was a place for it. I though perhaps I'd do a MIDI guitar part, but my keyboard wasn't talking to my computer, and I didn't feel like drawing in the notes by hand.

I tried other instruments as well, but the didn't really seem to add that much, so I figured I'd just do without. I then went through looking for FX that I thought would sound cool. And using Ozone really added a lot of punch to the mix.

There you go - even more than you wanted to know! laugh

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?
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Originally Posted By: firesong
David...I love this! You did a super job creating a lovely contemporary melody for this classic hymn...

Hi, Dan.

Thanks! There's a reason that classic hymns got to that point - there really isn't a need to re-interpret them.

Quote:
I usually don't like many attempts by others to do this sort of thing but this is so tasteful and seems appropriate for the such hallowed lyrics...

Thanks again. That's what I liked about working with this version - it gave me the opportunity to play around with the phrasing, which is what I think makes this version work.

Quote:
love the voices, repeats and harmonies...so well done...I'm still in awe of how you pull all of this off...

Honestly, by the time I'm finished, I can't really tell if it hit the mark. I didn't really intend to post this, but it was halfway done, and I figured I'd finish it up the way because I haven't done anything else in a while.

I'm glad you enjoyed it! laugh


-- 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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Originally Posted By: Al-David
Simply wonderful and enchanting in the most positive way.

Thanks, Alan. I appreciate encouraging comments.

Quote:
I've heard several of your previous vocaloid recordings. They were very good. But this is exceptional. You brought the vocals to life to shine in front of a gorgeous arrangement.

That's good to hear!

I suspect that it's the SynthV voices that are getting better, but I'm happy to take the compliment anyway. wink

Thanks again!


-- 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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Originally Posted By: Deej56
You really are a master of using these vocaloids. This vocal sounds wonderfully expressive and resonates so well. Great mix and overall production. Really like what you did on the harmonies . . . very engaging. Superb!

Thanks, Deej!

I always enjoy hearing your songs, so I'm glad I could give something back.

I'm just happy the synthetic vocals don't get in the way of enjoying the song.

Thanks for stopping to post! laugh


-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?
dcuny #769178 06/21/23 08:25 PM
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David,
I love everything about this but the lyric however it's a piece where the words don't matter for listening purposes as the band arrangement is fabulous and vocal harmonies on your melody are sumptuous.
This could & should be an exemplar for the use of synth voices.
The jump from your song to the following track, (no matter the quality of what follows), kills the effect of your ending though...I'd suggest uploading with an added 5 seconds on the end.


Cheers
rayc
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dcuny #769229 06/22/23 04:05 AM
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David,
Very nice arrangement - very good balance of instruments without overkill. Super use of vocal synth. Getting scary how realistic they get. Spotless, clear mix. Lyrics are a bit distant from my views, but musically well done and listens very well. Thank you for sharing,
Misha.

dcuny #769279 06/22/23 01:01 PM
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I like the Natalie synth voice. Nice sweet tone and expressive, not shrill at all. Realistic sounding.

Lovely melody. I don't know the original hymn, but you did commendable work creating your own tune for the poem. Sounds very contemporary Christian.

dcuny #769355 06/23/23 07:31 AM
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Absolutely beautiful! Well produced and vocals are top of the line!! What does Synth V after Natalie's name mean?

rayc #769362 06/23/23 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted By: rayc
I love everything about this but the lyric however it's a piece where the words don't matter for listening purposes as the band arrangement is fabulous and vocal harmonies on your melody are sumptuous.

Hi, Ray.

Thanks! And I appreciate you listening to the music for the sake of the music! smile

Quote:
The jump from your song to the following track, (no matter the quality of what follows), kills the effect of your ending though...I'd suggest uploading with an added 5 seconds on the end.

Good idea. I'll add that the next time I tinker with the song.


-- 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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