How do you make this song sound contemporary?

Songwriting, songwriters, etc

Moderators: admin, mdc, TAXIstaff

breezeplay
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:09 pm
Gender: Male
Contact:

How do you make this song sound contemporary?

Post by breezeplay » Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:18 am

I'm having trouble making my songs sound contemporary. Any suggestions??? Could you have a look at "Like A Dream" under David Schwan and make some comments please.

Thanks,
David

joematzzie
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:55 am
Gender: Male
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: How do you make this song sound contemporary?

Post by joematzzie » Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:25 am

Hey David,
I'm not sure how to find your page? Could you post the URL?
Joe

breezeplay
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:09 pm
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: How do you make this song sound contemporary?

Post by breezeplay » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:06 am

I'm having trouble making my songs sound contemporary. Any suggestions??? Could you have a look at "Like A Dream" under David Schwan and make some comments please. https://soundcloud.com/the-maestro-2

Thanks,
David

andygabrys
Total Pro
Total Pro
Posts: 5388
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:09 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Summerland, BC by way of Santa Fe, Chilliwack, Boston, NYC
Contact:

Re: How do you make this song sound contemporary?

Post by andygabrys » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:59 am

sounds like you just have an older songwriting / production / mix / vocal sound.

You have a lot of reverb in your mix, and while not every song is really dry these days and the space of reverb is coming back, the way its used is different than it used to be.

You can get "contemporary" in your songwriting / vocal / and production approach, but its something that's going to happen organically by listening and trying new ideas.

I would consider filling your ears with sounds like this: https://www.musicbed.com/playlists/autumn/153

Check out Robin Frederick's books on songwriting too. They are jam packed with ideas.

Paulie
Serious Musician
Serious Musician
Posts: 1998
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:23 pm
Gender: Male
Location: San Antonio, TX
Contact:

Re: How do you make this song sound contemporary?

Post by Paulie » Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:10 pm

Nice song David.

There are different ways you can make it sound "contemporary". Instrumentation, arrangement, etc. I would suggest you listen to current recordings of artists that you like or want to emulate stylistically. Listen for what they include in their songs, how they mix them. For example, the intro to Like A Dream was nine bars, you could cut the first four bars, or keep it at nine but add another instrument or layer starting in bar five. I thought this was going to be just vocals and guitar, then the drums came in. The rim shot is a title far back in the mix, and the guitar seemed hot to me still. The bass could be more present and "bassier." Additional layers like synth pad, strings, some light percussion or sequence elements all can add to the sound.

Just my $0.02, hope this is helpful.
Paul "yo paulie!" Croteau
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." Beethoven
http://www.yopauliemusic.com | http://www.taxi.com/paulcroteau | https://soundcloud.com/yopauliemusic

melodymessiah
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 381
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:16 pm
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: How do you make this song sound contemporary?

Post by melodymessiah » Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:54 pm

i totally agree with paulie on the intro, cut it in half, or bring in something extra after 4 bars. being so used to listening to the hits of today, i expected the vocal to start on bar 5. i've listened to several of your songs, and the biggest issue for me is the singers you're using. the tone in their voice, phrasing, articulation reminds me of something from the seventies.

Kolstad
Serious Musician
Serious Musician
Posts: 4301
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:19 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Denmark
Contact:

Re: How do you make this song sound contemporary?

Post by Kolstad » Wed Sep 02, 2015 4:36 am

I don't think you can make this sound contemporary. It's more of a classic singer/songwriter song a la Kenny Loggins, James Taylor and Jackson Browne. Back off the reverb quite a bit, and try it for those types of listings, imo.

mojobone
King of the World
King of the World
Posts: 11748
Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 4:20 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Up in Indiana, where the tall corn grows
Contact:

Re: How do you make this song sound contemporary?

Post by mojobone » Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:19 am

Maybe you shouldn't change a thing. I absolutely loved it, on first listen. Then again, I'm old enough to really miss Dan Fogelberg. It could be pushed in a more modern direction with different instrumentation/production, but it could as easily do very well, for a retro singer/songwriter pitch, IMO. It's well-recorded enough to pass muster in that genre, even across different eras, but if I were you, I'd let the song be, cuz I think it'll find a market.
The Straight Stuff; Roots, Rock & Soul

http://twangfu.wordpress.com
http://twitter.com/mojo_bone

garywhite
Getting Busy
Getting Busy
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:25 am
Gender: Male
Location: Wales, UK
Contact:

Re: How do you make this song sound contemporary?

Post by garywhite » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:38 am

Hi David,

For me it's all about the vocal.

Firstly, your voice is amazing - just the kind of vocal I love recording when I have my 'purist' hat on. The thing that REALLY 'dates' it is the long notes and the vibrato. It straight away puts you in the Carpenters / Neil Sedaka / James Taylor bracket for listeners (NOT a bad thing at all, but also not contemporary). The only thing I might suggest if you really want to sound more contemporary is to shorten the notes and lessen the vibrato, or change the character of the vibrato. (listen to Rhianna's vibrato - quite fast and character-full and she often takes the notes sharp within the vibrato..)

All that said, I'm not criticizing at all - like I said, your voice is amazing, and I reckon, definitely has a place in suitable film and TV placemnts for sure!

Hope this is helpful - just my opinion.

Gary
http://www.taxi.com/garywhite
http://www.musicsynctank.com
https://soundcloud.com/musicsynctank
gary@musicsynctank.com

Songs for Artists, Film and TV
All manner of Instrumental Cues and Underscore

AndrewCavanagh
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:20 am
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: How do you make this song sound contemporary?

Post by AndrewCavanagh » Fri May 13, 2016 7:36 am

Professional songwriters immerse themselves in the music coming out making hits, learn to play it and then try to go beyond it.

It really is just about falling in love with modern music and learning how to play it.

You also have to pay attention to the language younger people use and the language being used in songs.

Writing uptempo, positive love songs also helps enormously because the reality is only a tiny percentage of ballads ever make it to the radio and mid to uptempo songs are easier to rework into contemporary grooves.
Andrew Cavanagh's songwriting notes...
http://www.andrewcavanagh.com/sw

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests