Comments solicitted.. Comments to improve my production etc

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TimWalter
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Comments solicitted.. Comments to improve my production etc

Post by TimWalter » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:09 pm

https://soundcloud.com/bluzmannn/its-a- ... l-nite-rev

Hey everybody

This was submitted for the movie scene listing where two beautiful women were descending a staircase. They wanted "Dancing in the Moonlight", updated. They also specifically wanted the "bubbly" Wurlitizer type sound that King Harvest used. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5JqPxmYhlo

I got a return on the song (I didnt really expect otherwise, still waiting for my first forward, and I knew the bar on this would probably be high). The main critiques were Vocals and broadcast quality. ( the song was not broadcast quality).

I used the same BPM and the chord progression (almost with just one small tweak), and I think I did it in the same key, although I actually forget now (wow, how soon I forget stuff these days!! lol).

I am not too discouraged because 1) all this was done in 24 hours (I usually cant work that fast), including writing, recording, mixing, and mastering. and 2) I am a complete newbie keyboard player. I still marvel at folks that turn stuff around so quickly, maybe with practice I'll get there. lol

If you have time, pls give me comments on how to improve the points that got it rejected. I am attending Ronans Home Recording Boot Camp later this month, (6 intensive days), I really hope that helps me get better results. I just want to improve to eliminate the "Not Broadcast Quality" issue, so that I can find out what other stuff I need to work on, etc.

Also, any comments on how you successfully modernize a classic like this. I considered using electric guitar (like in the original), but just decided to use nylon string on a whim. (there was no time to analyze that decision with time so short, but now I can second guess my choices after the fact lol)

Thanks in advance. I know all your time is valuable, and if I just get 1 or 2 constructive comments that I can hopefully implement, I will be very thankful.

Peace and love.
Tim
Tim Walter
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"Fresh Americana Music for Film and TV"

www.soundcloud.com/bluzmannn

"Formerly known as bluzmannn on these forums (and still on Taxi TV)"

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Re: Comments solicitted.. Comments to improve my production

Post by Russell Landwehr » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:13 pm

Heya, Tim.

I'm not gonna speak directly to your song "It's A Wonderful Night." It seems that your post may be asking for more general observations.

I skipped around in your soundcloud to try to get a general feel for your stuff and how you are constructing your mixes. There are two things that jumped out at me and I hope I can articulate this properly.

The first thing I hear in your stuff is that the different instruments don't sound like they are in the same room. The style that you are predominantly writing/recording in should sound like the "band" is in a room and all playing at the same time with mic bleed and room slap-back and reverb plus maybe a speaker-and-mic-in-the-stairwell fx send/return for ambience and "oh crap that take was no good, we're cutting to 2-track so we ALL have to play it again." (how was that for a run-on sentence? LOL) For example, the Drums and Bass in your songs sound very up-front and dry (and the drums synthetic but that's my point #3. ya I know I said "2" in the 2nd paragraph) In the style of most of your stuff that I listened to, the recording engineer would have used just a couple of overheads on the drums, a mic in front of the bass and guitar amps, and made the vocalist back off of the mic a bit. What you've got goin' on in your mixes sounds like some tracks are dry/direct with very little fx and others are fx'd and eq'd to the point of not fitting with the other tracks. (And possibly vice-versa. (sp?))

Now point two. It seemed to me that the instruments in your tracks are often playing different grooves. Grooves are the slight nuances in performance that are not "exactly" in the grid that tell you "OH! This song is Country or Pop or Blues or Funk or Rock or... etc" For example, I tracked a Drum and Bass recently in a straight up Rock-Click style. I didn't like the feel of it so I experimented and found some kind of afro rhythm groove (that I could apply in my DAW) that shifted my drum track into a really good feeling realm. But until I applied that same groove to the bass track, it sounded like the drums and bass couldn't agree on the style. Over the years there's been tons of stuff written about styles and "pockets" and "rushing" and "grooving" and "laying back." Sometimes the articles are so anal-retentive that they actually describe it in milliseconds. GEEZ! I can't cite any here, (I'm typing off the top of my head.) But mebbe if you took a www-rabbit-hole adventure on the subject you'd find what I'm talking about, eh?

So, to summarize, your songs are very "niche" in style. So the "band" needs to sound like they are in the same room, and the "players" all need to agree on the groove. Additionally, maybe you need to lay some bucks down for some good drums? (or at least put the drums in the same room with the other instruments) I would think that Addictive Drums would be good for your style. I 'specially think that the use of the room mics in Addictive Drums would fit your style very well.

I searched some posts, rdance touched on some of these things in your thread http://forums.taxi.com/post430693.html#p430693

Best to ya, Tim. Hopefully some other much more knowledgeable members can chime in on this.

Russell
Multi-Genre Composer and Producer of TV and Film music Providing Easy to Use Cues for Every Scene

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https://www.taximusic.com/hosting/home. ... l_Landwehr
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Re: Comments solicitted.. Comments to improve my production

Post by TimWalter » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:19 pm

Russell
Thanks for the comments.
I guess I was hoping that my mixes are getting better. I guess that;s why I posted the last song, hoping it was an improvement over previous mix wise.. i am been studying trying to improve incorporate stuff comments, etc. but if the improvements are showing thru, than so be it. Thanks for your comments.
Tim Walter
South Dakota

"Fresh Americana Music for Film and TV"

www.soundcloud.com/bluzmannn

"Formerly known as bluzmannn on these forums (and still on Taxi TV)"

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Re: Comments solicitted.. Comments to improve my production

Post by Russell Landwehr » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:33 pm

Well, Tim.

I haven't been following your stuff from the beginning, so I don't know what the differences are. (sorry :oops: ) I am wondering, though, what DAW are you using? What is your audio interface? What is your vocal mic? How do you track your drums and bass and guitar and vox?

Russell
Multi-Genre Composer and Producer of TV and Film music Providing Easy to Use Cues for Every Scene

http://www.sensawehr.com
https://www.taximusic.com/hosting/home. ... l_Landwehr
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Re: Comments solicitted.. Comments to improve my production

Post by TimWalter » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:49 pm

Russell thanks for your post. There is no reason that you should be familiar with my rocky journey thru mediocrity, so sorry if I implied you should be familiar with where I've been. Thanks for taking time. The members of this board have been very generous with comments suggestions, etc, including yourself.

My DAW is Presonus Studio One
Interface is Presonus Tube Firestudio
EZ DRUMMER is my midi drum instrument. A few of the tracks (the ones Richard kindly commented on) had drums played by a real drummer. Those tracks were done a few years ago before I had the DAW. They were done using a Fostex 16 track recorder (16 bit). Some of the board members have suggested that I try and import the ez drummer tracks into my daw into separate tracks, and I recently finally figured out how to do that in Presonus and ahve been doing that for recent tracts, and then compressing, equing each track separately (or not compressing equ, but track by track)

Usually I use an AT 3035 or Blue Spark mic for vocals, recently tried a EV Cobalt 9. Bass is recorded direct into the the interface. guitar is usually recorded using Shure 57 , although i've tried some other mics.

When I listen to tracks I did about a year ago, I think they are greatly inferior to my later mixes (I have been reading and trying to learn), but maybe I am deluding myself into thinking I am making more progress than I actually have. Like I said, I seriously hope to improve, and have allocated the funds to go to Chris Ronan Murphy's boot camp end of this month (someone on this board said their production.sound recording ratings went from 5 and 6s to some 8s and 9s after attending his camp. I am hoping and praying it might do the same for me.)Thanks.
Tim Walter
South Dakota

"Fresh Americana Music for Film and TV"

www.soundcloud.com/bluzmannn

"Formerly known as bluzmannn on these forums (and still on Taxi TV)"

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Re: Comments solicitted.. Comments to improve my production

Post by Russell Landwehr » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:16 pm

Well, man, if YOU can hear a difference in your mixes then you gotta be on the right track. I would hazard a guess that your independent track processing may be getting in the way of the mix "gelling." But you know what, experimenting and discovering what DOESN'T work is just as important as following the "rules." Ask Thomas Edison, or any pro basketball player. ;)

Ronan's boot camp should be awesome. I envy you that!

Russell
Multi-Genre Composer and Producer of TV and Film music Providing Easy to Use Cues for Every Scene

http://www.sensawehr.com
https://www.taximusic.com/hosting/home. ... l_Landwehr
http://soundcloud.com/russell-landwehr

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Re: Comments solicitted.. Comments to improve my production

Post by andygabrys » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:37 pm

Hey Tim,

if you can take this stuff that people are giving you as feedback and make gains, you will get there eventually. First off congrats on making this in 24 hr or less. Right there that is kind of the equivalent of the 4 minute mile. Being able to do that yourself is a great thing.

Now for what I hear, and what you could do with this - and please take with salt:

When I listen to your mixes, I hear 3 things (and this is based on listening to many of your tunes over time on the forum here and also they correspond to some things Russell said) and basically they all relate to developing a PRODUCERS ear - i.e. knowing what's wrong with the production by listening, having objectivity enough to see the trees for the forest:

1. the groove is all over the place
2. elements in the mix are not leveled well / evenly (I.E. volumes are not similar for important parts of the mix)
3. you haven't tremendous chops on how to use eq, panning and ambience to put the different elements of the mix in a virtual soundstage in front of you, and how to make some of those elements support the message (the vocal) and how to make things come in and out to provide interest.

Having more exposure to other peoples work and trying to mix it would help.

Mike Senior has a great book "mixing secrets for the small studio" which addresses all those things I just mentioned - but he also has a website where he has multi-track sessions that he has mixed for the "Mix Rescue" Column in SOS Magazine. here is the address:

http://www.cambridge-mt.com/ms-mtk.htm

Download one of these and try to mix it. Some of the mixes have just the chorus part so you don't have to waste a lot of time on the whole song. There are also usually his mixes and sometimes other peoples, and discussion about the mixes.

Everyone of these you do will give you more chops and make you more aware of when stuff sounds right, and when it needs work.

I am sure Ronan's course will be awesome. But its unlikely to be the only stop you have to make on the way to Broadcast quality.

remember there are many free videos on youtube and pay per view / pay for download sites like:

the recording revolution
Puremix.net
groove3.com
macprovideo.com

I think the videos are unbelievable because you can see what kind of care some people take when re-grooving things and editing, and what some typical tricks or standard workflows are, and how they go about balancing a mix.

Good luck!!

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Re: Comments solicitted.. Comments to improve my production

Post by Kolstad » Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:18 am

What Russell and andy said, really! If you work on the pointers they gave you, you have feedback enough for two years ahead..

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Re: Comments solicitted.. Comments to improve my production

Post by CHuckmott » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:00 am

I agree , especially the Mike Senior suggestion. That alone if you dive deep into it will take a solid year of wrapping your ahead around but written simply enough where you start hearing some immediate differences in your mixes. Also The Recording Revolution. And no substitute for putting the time in. I all but guarantee doing that will get you closer to achieving the sounds you are hearing in your head so definitely worth doing.

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Re: Comments solicitted.. Comments to improve my production

Post by TimWalter » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:02 am

Thanks guys, thanks very much. I am very grateful for your time, suggestions, comments, advice.
Tim
Tim Walter
South Dakota

"Fresh Americana Music for Film and TV"

www.soundcloud.com/bluzmannn

"Formerly known as bluzmannn on these forums (and still on Taxi TV)"

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