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#770696 07/09/23 08:55 PM
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Blue Skies

blue skies
where are my blue skies?
where did they hide?
i'm so alone
since you've been gone
waiting for blue skies
my blue sky
you're my sun shining in
bring your love back again

   though we wanted a happy ending
   maybe it's time to say our goodbyes
  but my heart refused to listen
  and my tears won't dry

blue skies
you are my blue skies
why did you go?
i'm so alone
since you've been gone
taking my blue sky
my blue sky
bring this night to an end
bring your love back again

   there's still time for a happy ending
   please don't say it's our last goodbye (goodbye)
   'cause my heart won't ever listen
   and my tears won't ever dry

where are my blue skies?


The Backstory (Feel free to skip)

UJAM had just put out a new drumkit called "Cozy" for Lofi Hip Hop Beats, and I decided to put together a test song to see if I could use it. The answer was no, because I like drumkits to sound like drums.

For my test, I had been using the _SJAZZC1 demo song, and that sounded pretty cool. But it had a few too many funky chords for my delicate ears - Bud knows what a baby I am about that - but some editing took care of that.

I then exported the backing track to SynthV and put together a melody. Miracle of miracles, I actually got an idea for the lyric as I was working out the melody:

   blue skies/where are my blue skies

OK, It wasn't much of a lyric. But I'll take what I can get. At 75 bpm, there weren't a whole lot of lyrics to fill in. The second verse is a slight rewrite of the first verse, which seemed to work well enough.

Whenever lyrics don't take a ton of work, I figure that I'm probably accidentally re-writing something I've heard in a different song. So apologies if you recognize these lyrics as derivative of something you wrote. blush

I recently picked up the Jun voicebank for SynthesizerV, and I liked his lower register and figured that he'd pair nicely with Natalie. He's supposed to pair with Anri, but I tried that voicebank out, and... bleah.

There was some logic to whether or not the lyric said "skies" vs. "sky", but looking at it now, I don't see any particular rhyme of reason. There's a lot of repetition, which isn't necessarily bad, but I should probably put more effort into it.

With no clue what the chorus should say, I left the la la dummy lyrics in place and worked out the harmony, because for me that's the fun part of songwriting.

As nice as Jun's voice is in the lower register, it needed a bit more oomph. I probably should have gone back and picked a key he was stronger in, but that would be too much work. Besides, I sort of liked that register.

I ended up doubling him lightly with himself, and that seemed to work out.

Once that was done, I took another crack at the chorus, and... well, nothing. frown

So I started mixing the song - which is something I generally try to leave for last. That way, it forces me to complete the lyrics before moving on. But rules are made to be broken, right?

It needed something to give it a bit of variety, so I added a fingerpicked guitar which did the trick. Adding a strummed guitar on the chorus - which was still a bunch of "la las" - filled out the mix. I rendered some tracks of held chords as well.

That left the chorus, and I wasn't making any progress on that. So I typed some key words into the RhymeZone thesaurus in hopes for some sort of inspiration. No luck.

Excluding ChatGPT, that left no option other than typing things out until I came up with something that said what I thought the bridge should say.

I had though about adding a sax solo or something, but it didn't really seem like that was needed. So I put a tag on the end and figured I'd call it done.

Natalie tends to tail off instead of fully holding her notes for the duration. That led to some weird sounding bits where suddenly she would fade out leaving Jun singing by himself. So I went back and extended some of the notes, cut them to the right length, and added a fade so she'd hold the notes longer. I also notices she was singing "tears" wrong, so...

Usually I'll obsess about the mix for days, but I figured I'd try to crank this out and not worry about it too much. There are likely a bunch of little places where I could work out the vocal balance, and I'll probably eventually do that.

I'll probably tweak the lyrics, too... Heck, I literally just changed a line as I was typing this out. wink

Feel free to comment or whatever! laugh


The Instruments
Lead Vocal: Synthesizer V - Jun
Backing Vocal: Synthesizer V - Jun
Harmony Vocal: Synthesizer V - Natalie
Bass: Electric, SmoothCool Sw16 075 (~902)
Electric Piano: Electric, Rhythm SmoothCool Sw16 075 (~904)
Electric Piano: Rhythm SmoothCool Sw16 075 (~904)
Electric Guitar: Rhythm Pop16thsArp Ev16 085 (1762)
Acoustic Guitar: Rhythm GroovinFolk Sw16 085 (2547)
Drums: SmoothJazzCoolSw16^1-a:Sidestick, HiHat , b:Snare, Ride

The Effects
Main Buss: HoRNet ThirtyOneMK2, Sunset Sound Studio Reverb (Live Room, Studio 2), Lurssen Mastering Console (Pop Rock)
Lead Vocal: Greg Wells VoiceCentric (Natural Vocal), Panagement 2 (Heaven)
Doubled Lead Vocal: Greg Wells VoiceCentric (Backing Vocals), Panagement 2 (Heaven)
Harmony Vocals: Greg Wells VoiceCentric (Backing Vocals), Panagement 2 (Heaven)
Picked Guitar: Panagement 2 (Heaven)
Rhythm Guitar: TrackSpacer (driven by Lead Vocal), Panagement 2 (Heaven)
Bass: Panagement 2 (Heaven)
Piano Buss: TrackSpacer (driven by Lead Vocal), Panagement 2 (Heaven)
Drums: TrackSpacer (driven by Lead Vocal), Panagement 2 (Concert)


-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?
dcuny #770702 07/10/23 12:39 AM
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David,

Pretty amazing stuff! The production on this song sounds great.

Lots of nice subtle touches here - excellent work.

Bob

dcuny #770749 07/10/23 05:22 AM
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Hello David
Nice calm song with great melody
The vocals sound really good
Your info text reads like the space shuttle manual ;-)))
It's really too complicated for me -
but it's great that there are people like you who are getting
closer and closer to human singing in this field.
Many greetings
Andi ;-)

dcuny #770752 07/10/23 05:25 AM
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Hi David ...

Listened to part of this yesterday but had to help Di before the song finished. This is a genre I've always enjoyed - both to listen to and to write in. Smooth jazz and Easy Pop always settle so calmly in my ears.

Very nice production on this. I gather it's hard enough to do one AI voice, let alone two. Must be a lot of finite adjustments to make. I like Natalie's voice better than Jun's, but their harmonies sounded great!

That was a very pleasant listen!

Best to you,

Alan


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dcuny #770756 07/10/23 06:00 AM
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Very pleasant song to listen to. The amount of software used was an eye-opener. I like the Natalie voice. Jun is OK but not steller. Combining the two worked well.

The continuing evolution of AL vocals will be fun to watch.

Billy


New location, new environment, new music coming soon

Seize the moo-ment
If you feel like you’ve herd all these cow puns before, you probably have deja-moo
dcuny #770794 07/10/23 01:13 PM
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I don't recognize the lyrics as being anyone else's.

You regularly write lovely melodies. This is another one. Smooth.

dcuny #770800 07/10/23 01:57 PM
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David, you are the master of synth vocals.

Great song, mix, and arrangement.

If you hadn't said they were synth vocals I wouldn't have known.

Outstanding work.


Me, it's not about how many times you fail, it's about how many times you get back up.
Cop, that's not how field sobriety tests work.

64 bit Win 10 Pro, the latest BiaB/RB, Roland Octa-Capture audio interface, a ton of software/hardware
dcuny #770820 07/10/23 09:38 PM
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Yep, you picked a good place for the voice to come from.
Lyrics are fine, melody is super fine.


Cheers
rayc
"What's so funny about peace, love & understanding?" - N.Lowe
dcuny #770823 07/10/23 11:33 PM
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I can only echo what’s been said by others. Such lifelike vocals.

Vic

dcuny #770843 07/11/23 03:31 AM
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You're right, David, those harmonies are much fun. Semantically speaking I'd say skies; grammatically it would be sky. Assuming of course that the "blue skies" is a metaphor for "good things." So she only took one blue sky from you. Nah, let's talk about the song. The harmonies ARE fun. Very good work with AIs. Excellent job of lining them up, and the lyrics give them life. Very cool floating melody so appropriate for the lyrics. Hey, now don't go replying to my pedantic rant --it's all wrong anyway. Hey, but I was definitely right about this being a good write.


Enjoy whatever happens!
marty

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dcuny #770849 07/11/23 04:39 AM
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David,

A lovely opening. Both the piano and the bass sound great.

LOVELOVELOVE the Melody!!!

Sweet harmonies.

A very effective little "drop" for the ending...

I like your chorus. Simple, yet effective.
Not sure Skies Hiding works as an image?

Your work with the voices is nothing short of stunning.

"Show you work". Lucky for us that advice (wherever it might have come from) pays off...

fj

rsdean #770910 07/11/23 03:04 PM
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dcuny Offline OP
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Hi, Bob.

Originally Posted By: rsdean
Pretty amazing stuff! The production on this song sounds great.

Lots of nice subtle touches here - excellent work.

Thanks! smile


-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?
PROJECT M #770911 07/11/23 03:05 PM
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dcuny Offline OP
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Hi, Andi.

Originally Posted By: PROJECT M
Nice calm song with great melody
The vocals sound really good

Thanks!

Quote:
Your info text reads like the space shuttle manual ;-)))
It's really too complicated for me -
but it's great that there are people like you who are getting
closer and closer to human singing in this field.

The good news is despite all this technology, singing the song yourself is still the best choice. smile


-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?
Al-David #770912 07/11/23 03:10 PM
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Hi, Alan.

Originally Posted By: Al-David
This is a genre I've always enjoyed - both to listen to and to write in. Smooth jazz and Easy Pop always settle so calmly in my ears.

Sleepy time music - it's not the best, but it goes down easy. wink

Quote:
Very nice production on this. I gather it's hard enough to do one AI voice, let alone two. Must be a lot of finite adjustments to make. I like Natalie's voice better than Jun's, but their harmonies sounded great!

Yeah, there's not yet a male voice to match the female voices, but Jun is pretty easy on the ears.

There are a bunch of small adjustments, but mostly they're tweaking the timing.

You'll notice that I like Natalie's voice so much that I couldn't bear to keep her in the background.

Heck, Jun doesn't even get a first verse in before Natalie comes in. wink

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?
Planobilly #770913 07/11/23 03:12 PM
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Hi, Billy.

Originally Posted By: Planobilly
Very pleasant song to listen to. The amount of software used was an eye-opener. I like the Natalie voice. Jun is OK but not steller. Combining the two worked well.

Yeah, they're a nice pair.

Compared to most of my songs, the amount of plug-ins used here is pretty minimal. GW VoiceCentric tends to "just work", so it almost always goes on vocals. And Panagement goes on all the tracks, because I think it just makes things sound better.

The fact that this entire song all be done in software is something that still astonishes me.


-- 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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Hi, Scott.

Originally Posted By: Ezekiel's Storm
I don't recognize the lyrics as being anyone else's.

Good to hear!

Quote:
You regularly write lovely melodies. This is another one. Smooth.

Thanks! I appreciate you taking the time to comment! smile


-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?
MarioD #770915 07/11/23 03:17 PM
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Hi, Mario.

Originally Posted By: MarioD
David, you are the master of synth vocals.

Thanks! blush

Quote:
Great song, mix, and arrangement.

If you hadn't said they were synth vocals I wouldn't have known.

Thanks again!

I can cheat - if they don't sound good, I can always have them sing a different note or word - something I choose to do fairly frequently while editing.

The people who try to do the cover songs - those are the ones who have the tough job!

Thanks again for the kind words.


-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?
rayc #770916 07/11/23 03:18 PM
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Hi, Ray.

Originally Posted By: rayc
Yep, you picked a good place for the voice to come from.
Lyrics are fine, melody is super fine.

Good to hear!

Thanks for the nice comments. smile


-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?
vicarn #770917 07/11/23 03:18 PM
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Hi, Vic.
Originally Posted By: vicarn
I can only echo what’s been said by others. Such lifelike vocals.

Good to hear. smile


-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?
BabuMusic #770918 07/11/23 03:27 PM
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Hi, Marty.

Originally Posted By: BabuMusic
Semantically speaking I'd say skies; grammatically it would be sky. Assuming of course that the "blue skies" is a metaphor for "good things." So she only took one blue sky from you.

Now you're sounding like me. laugh

Quote:
The harmonies ARE fun. Very good work with AIs. Excellent job of lining them up, and the lyrics give them life. Very cool floating melody so appropriate for the lyrics.

Thanks!

Quote:
Hey, now don't go replying to my pedantic rant --it's all wrong anyway. Hey, but I was definitely right about this being a good write.

Ha! you forget -I was the one who started it! wink

Thanks for the nice 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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