Please have a listen and tell me if I’m on the right track

Discuss everything related to production, recording, composition, etc.

Moderators: Kent, Joe., luketeaford, lisa

Post Reply
User avatar
BenA718
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:09 am
Location: NYC

Please have a listen and tell me if I’m on the right track

Post by BenA718 » Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:01 am

About a year ago I started toying with the idea of something I call the Soundtrack Machine: a way to perform with orchestral sounds, synths, and live guitars, without using a tablet or computer live. This started me down a rabbit hole to the current system which exists in three parts
Part one is an MC-500 playing orchestral sounds from a JV-1080
Part two is a NerdSeq playing sounds from my modular
Part three is live synth, guitar, and vocals on top

After a couple of trial passes, this is where I have ended up. I would greatly appreciate any feedback on the overall approach, sounds, or whatever else.

Stylistically, this is prog rock meets soundtrack/soundscape music. It uses the modular heavily but it isn’t necessarily ‘modular music’, if you follow.

Anyway, here’s the first piece as it currently stands, no vocals recorded yet.


User avatar
commodorejohn
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1082
Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 4:19 pm
Location: Placerville, CA

Re: Please have a listen and tell me if I’m on the right track

Post by commodorejohn » Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:17 am

I dig it! Guitar is maybe a tad too loud relative to the other parts, but my only real criticism is with the gaps between sections - they either need to be shortened up so that they're more of a brief downbeat, or that space needs to be filled with some kind of linking element, sonically/musically.
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000, Ensoniq SQ-80

"'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

User avatar
BenA718
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:09 am
Location: NYC

Re: Please have a listen and tell me if I’m on the right track

Post by BenA718 » Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:42 am

Thanks for the feedback, it’s appreciated!

Forgot to mention, the gaps will probably be reduced or eliminated entirely. The reason they are there is because that’s where I had to change floppies!

TRUE DEEP
Common Wiggler
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:32 am
Location: Belgium

Re: Please have a listen and tell me if I’m on the right track

Post by TRUE DEEP » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:21 am

This sounds decent ... maybe look into the drum programming side of these tracks, i think you can get more out of them. And post some versions of your songs that include vocals because i'm curious to hear the finished songs.

User avatar
BenA718
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:09 am
Location: NYC

Re: Please have a listen and tell me if I’m on the right track

Post by BenA718 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:10 pm

Thanks so much for listening and feeding back! The drums, well specifically the snare, has been the focus of my attention the past couple of days. This is the current state of affairs with the latest drum sound changes:


User avatar
BenA718
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:09 am
Location: NYC

Re: Please have a listen and tell me if I’m on the right track

Post by BenA718 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:12 pm

TRUE DEEP wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:21 am
And post some versions of your songs that include vocals because i'm curious to hear the finished songs.
This one is from the last album, released two years ago.


User avatar
naturligfunktion
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 684
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:07 am
Location: Sweden
Contact:

Re: Please have a listen and tell me if I’m on the right track

Post by naturligfunktion » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:54 am

That guitar solo roughly 14 mins in sounds great mate! :)
A new track for your enjoyment

Technologear?
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 350
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:08 am
Location: Straya

Re: Please have a listen and tell me if I’m on the right track

Post by Technologear? » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:53 pm

Fun stuff Ben, keep making more music.
You're on the right track.

I liked the snare better in the rough mix. The reverb on v2 is a bit much. I'd consider burying the drums in the mix so they are there but not focused on.
I'd also roll off the high end snap on the snare and make it much duller.
Guitar got a little less clear in latest version, did you send it through your reverb too?
Reverb will make it harder to discern everything clearly in a full arrangement like you're doing.
Cheers

User avatar
BenA718
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:09 am
Location: NYC

Re: Please have a listen and tell me if I’m on the right track

Post by BenA718 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:09 pm

naturligfunktion wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:54 am
That guitar solo roughly 14 mins in sounds great mate! :)
Thanks so much for listening!! :D

User avatar
BenA718
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:09 am
Location: NYC

Re: Please have a listen and tell me if I’m on the right track

Post by BenA718 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:12 pm

Technologear? wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:53 pm
Fun stuff Ben, keep making more music.
You're on the right track.
Thanks for listening!
I liked the snare better in the rough mix. The reverb on v2 is a bit much. I'd consider burying the drums in the mix so they are there but not focused on.
I'd also roll off the high end snap on the snare and make it much duller.
Guitar got a little less clear in latest version, did you send it through your reverb too?
Reverb will make it harder to discern everything clearly in a full arrangement like you're doing.
Cheers
Thanks for the detailed feedback, I really appreciate it! The rough got up to v5 before I set the song aside awaiting vox and final mixing. In the end I went with a very different treatment of the snare, which I'll post when song is done-done.
Re: the guitars, oh yeah, there is quite a bit of reverb going on there as well, and the version where I left off is a lot less reverberant. Thanks for your observations, though, I totally agree!

User avatar
BailyDread
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 265
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:55 pm

Re: Please have a listen and tell me if I’m on the right track

Post by BailyDread » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:46 pm

definitely a cool sound you're putting together there... my only suggestion would be to add a bit of vibrato/subtle pitch modulation to the synthesizers and maybe the guitar. the synthesizers are in such perfect tune, while the guitar has all the guitar-specific things related to intonation etc. this makes the guitar sit in the mix a bit differently from the synths and I think it could probably be massaged a bit. other posters suggested lowering the level on the guitar but I liked them bold and loud like that, they just could use a bit of polishing.

with a bit of modulation on them, I think you'd find the synthesizers and guitars mesh more naturally. I'm talking like the slightest little pitch wiggle or something, nothing to obscure your composition or distract from your intent.

User avatar
BenA718
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:09 am
Location: NYC

Re: Please have a listen and tell me if I’m on the right track

Post by BenA718 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:30 pm

BailyDread wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:46 pm
definitely a cool sound you're putting together there... my only suggestion would be to add a bit of vibrato/subtle pitch modulation to the synthesizers and maybe the guitar. the synthesizers are in such perfect tune, while the guitar has all the guitar-specific things related to intonation etc. this makes the guitar sit in the mix a bit differently from the synths and I think it could probably be massaged a bit. other posters suggested lowering the level on the guitar but I liked them bold and loud like that, they just could use a bit of polishing.

with a bit of modulation on them, I think you'd find the synthesizers and guitars mesh more naturally. I'm talking like the slightest little pitch wiggle or something, nothing to obscure your composition or distract from your intent.
Thanks for listening! Some great advice there, I think. Thanks!

James_Fredrickson
Common Wiggler
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 11:49 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Please have a listen and tell me if I’m on the right track

Post by James_Fredrickson » Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:29 pm

Sweet instrumental! When I'm listening I don't hear any focus. It sounds like each instrument has equal weight in the mix. At 1.06 I want to hear that guitar (too wide) or arp leading, but not both. At 1.50 I want to hear those sweet 80's synth chords cut through the mix. At 2.11, let the guitar lead the way!

Snare is too loud and kick has no transient. Rock kicks don't need big-ass transients, but this one needs a little acoustic umpf for definition. Bassline needs more presence (distortion), it gets lost on my bass heavy cans.
No hats, off beat high perc, or on beat ride tucked away to fill in some gaps?

Don't fuck with any effects other than your faders, EQ and, compression until you feel you've reached an impasse.

Making room and highlighting each track when it's their turn will definitely elevate this sweet tune to the next level!

Cheers

User avatar
BenA718
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:09 am
Location: NYC

Re: Please have a listen and tell me if I’m on the right track

Post by BenA718 » Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:42 pm

James_Fredrickson wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:29 pm
Sweet instrumental! When I'm listening I don't hear any focus. It sounds like each instrument has equal weight in the mix. At 1.06 I want to hear that guitar (too wide) or arp leading, but not both. At 1.50 I want to hear those sweet 80's synth chords cut through the mix. At 2.11, let the guitar lead the way!

Snare is too loud and kick has no transient. Rock kicks don't need big-ass transients, but this one needs a little acoustic umpf for definition. Bassline needs more presence (distortion), it gets lost on my bass heavy cans.
No hats, off beat high perc, or on beat ride tucked away to fill in some gaps?

Don't fuck with any effects other than your faders, EQ and, compression until you feel you've reached an impasse.

Making room and highlighting each track when it's their turn will definitely elevate this sweet tune to the next level!

Cheers
Thanks so much for listening and for your insights!

Post Reply

Return to “Production Techniques”