Feedback on early demo / not sure what direction to take

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chriswattsuk
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Feedback on early demo / not sure what direction to take

Post by chriswattsuk » Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:02 pm

Hey guys,

I've got a very very early demo of a song that I am in the 'pre-production' phase with currently and unsure on what path to take production wise. Disclaimer, it's very raw and poorly performed currently!

https://soundcloud.com/chris_watts_uk/a ... early-demo

I wanted to use you as a sounding board if at all possible, :D I've got some specific questions to hopefully focus things a little:

1) What course do you think the production should take on this? Stripped down and simple / more orchestration / percussion?

2) Do any examples of other songs spring to mind that are in the same ballpark as this song that might help me on where I go with the production?

3) What do you think the song is about? Below are the lyrics for info.

Any feedback welcome!! I'm all ears, thank you!

It pains me now to think
How long you hoped for something beautiful
You can’t sleep a wink
And now you’re holding a miracle

It wasn’t supposed to be like this,
It wasn’t part of your plan
Now your hearts have melted
Yet you still can’t understand

You keep searching high and low for answers
But you don’t know how perfect you are for him
You glide the floor poised like perfect dancers
In a single moment you became his miracle

You’ll always find the time to comfort him
And marvel at his beating heart
If you could only change one thing
You’d change the hardest part

It wasn’t supposed to be like this
It wasn’t part of your plan
Now your hearts have melted
Yet you still can’t understand

You keep searching high and low for answers
But you don’t know how perfect you are for him
You glide the floor poised like perfect dancers
In a single moment you became his miracle

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Re: Feedback on early demo / not sure what direction to take

Post by NaeDae » Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:23 pm

I like the vibe you're going for, even if it doesn't sound finished yet haha.

So when you're arranging I've always just paid attention to other songs that are similar in genre and tone to yours and pretty much just copy what they do arrangement-wise.

Look through some early 2000's soft-rock songs for songs that have a similar layout and just mimick their dynamics (trust me they're mimicking someone else's). An example would be the song "How to Save a Life" (Warren Huart, the producer for that song, has a youtube channel, by the way).

So yeah I'm not an expert but if you want my opinion, I'd keep it how it is up until where the bass starts. Then I'd add drums in when the bass comes in, as well as backing vocals in the second verse (probably just "ahhh's" that follow the chords, and/or harmony parts to the lead). I'd build energy up to the second big silence, and then explode after. Then come in with strings or something droning around 2:18 (when you say "you keep searching high and low").

Then kinda repeat that until the end.

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Re: Feedback on early demo / not sure what direction to take

Post by chriswattsuk » Sat Nov 26, 2016 4:56 am

So helpful thankyou!! I'll be sure to post back when this one is complete. :-D

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Re: Feedback on early demo / not sure what direction to take

Post by Casey H » Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:09 am

Hi Chris
It reminds me of John Lennon's solo work, maybe early 80's "Beautiful Boy" era. And your voice has a Lennon quality. :D

It's a little hard to hear how well the lyric/cadence/syllables fit the music here. In places I wasn't sure. It might be better to record one with simple strumming to help flush that out (not sure).

If it's too hard to 'get' what the song is about, it probably won't work. If it's about the love of a new baby, make it clearer. However, for Film/TV, stay away from things TOO specific.

One thought I had was to produce it as a lullaby. We see requests for that style in Taxi listings and elsewhere. Or a Lennon 80's knock-off.

Good luck with it! Right here on Taxi, there are many who can assist with co-write/production. I've seen (and personally experienced) rough tracks like this become total winners that way.

Best
:D Casey

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Re: Feedback on early demo / not sure what direction to take

Post by Len911 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:17 pm

2. Death Cab For Cutie - I Will Follow You Into The Dark

1. yes. the guitar needs to not interfere with the vocal, but adding bass and drums would be a nice addition, ok the bass is there already. Maybe pause the vocal between every 2-4 bars for a transitional fill with the bass and drums minimum, instead of a run on of the vocal phrases, and also transitional fills between the sections instead of only a small vocal pause.

3. I'm not sure what it's about. The perspective is weak. Me is like a friend to the she, offering a perspective of the him to the she, whilst secretly preferring the she was his, though not really indicating that, me seems to be hiding me's motives? Me is the him? No clear perspective, confusing perspective? It's like when people say it's a friend of their's but it's actually them. If you want to be cryptic, use metaphors instead of dodging perspective. People relate better to clear perspective. And I'm not so sure I know what I'm talking about! :? :o :lol:
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Re: Feedback on early demo / not sure what direction to take

Post by chriswattsuk » Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:19 pm

Hey guys, just thought I'd check in with progress! Here is a bounce - I'm almost done tracking and going to be moving into mix phase soon. Do let me know if you have any feedback - as always its invaluable!

https://soundcloud.com/chris_watts_uk/answers-pre-mix

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Re: Feedback on early demo / not sure what direction to take

Post by NaeDae » Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:26 am

chriswattsuk wrote:Hey guys, just thought I'd check in with progress! Here is a bounce - I'm almost done tracking and going to be moving into mix phase soon. Do let me know if you have any feedback - as always its invaluable!

https://soundcloud.com/chris_watts_uk/answers-pre-mix
Sounds pretty good so far. A few things about the instrumental kind of distracted me from the song (which sounds great as is IMO, so great job on that!)

So yeah the things that bothered me:

-The shaker was super panned and was pretty distracting (Keep in mind I'm listening on earbuds).

-The drum samples didn't really fit at all and were sorta distracting. For this song, I'd just use an accoustic beat and keep it simple. The song itself has words that carry emotion and I feel like a complicated drum beat distracts from that.

Take what you want from that man. Great job on the singing and the rest of it, though!

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Re: Feedback on early demo / not sure what direction to take

Post by SteveC » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:27 pm

Hi Chris,

works in progress are soooo much fun. I too am not quite sure of the drum pattern, it is a bit distracting....maybe keep it simple? The shakers are interesting and maybe could work if you're just looking for some subtle movement, but if the idea is acoustic then keep it simple...vibe is heartfelt. Vocals are cool , you're getting closer and closer...

best

st

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Re: Feedback on early demo / not sure what direction to take

Post by becw75 » Sun Dec 25, 2016 4:34 pm

Hi,

If you are mixing, then all tracks need to be tighter - on the beat.
Some bass line notes are "too low".

Too much of a gap at the breakdown toward the end. Last section needs to start earlier.

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Re: Feedback on early demo / not sure what direction to take

Post by SpeakLifeSasha » Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:13 pm

Hi Chris.

I really liked the vibe of the song. It seemed you rearranged the lyrics in the revision. The vibe was reminiscent of James Blunt circa 2005. I really focus on lyrics and I wasn't able to identify a clear melodic and lyrical hook, be it chorus or refrain. I did hear some repetition but I found myself having to read the lyrics in order to try to separate the sections. If you desire, consider finding a clear central idea that your lyrics point back to throughout the song. Have you decided what the song is about yet? I also agree with NaeDae and Steve about the drums. When they dropped in, it took me off guard and I found them a bit out of place for the vibe of the song. If you want spice it up like that, then they need to come in from the outset and your cadences lyrically and melodically should probably change to reflect that vibe. Just my thoughts. Good luck and Happy New Year.

Sasha
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