Author Topic: You and Me - A WIP  (Read 1673 times)

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Offline Nosugrof

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You and Me - A WIP
« on: August 21, 2017, 01:20:46 am »
I've been working on this for a while. This is an original song I wrote earlier this year. I have what I thought was a finished version on Sound Cloud but then I wanted to see if I could get to the next level of production with this so I started over with recording it.

I'm using Audacity On Linux for my DAW feeding everything into a Yamaha 12 channel mixer. For instruments I'm playing a Martin acoustic, a Fender Strat, a Jazz bass, drum simulation on a Yamaha keyboard and a Honer Special 20 harmonica. First I laid down a drum track using a metronome to keep me on a solid timing at 120 BPM. Then I added an acoustic rhythm track and a vocal track. I tried adding a second rhythm track using a Strat miced out of a blues jr but I wasn't happy with the result and it's muted in the current recording. I panned the acoustic guitar full right and the strat track full left but I wasn't able to make it sound even as good as the acoustic by itself. I also added a bass track alternating between major and minor arpeggios and just using root notes on some progressions. The last pieces added to the mix are toying with some candy tracks with lead guitar and harmonica although right now they're pretty rough and I'm just kind of sampling the water if you will.

At this point I've listened to it so many times I'm getting numb so I think I have to walk away for a bit. There are still some parts where I just don't feel the rhythm. I'm not sure if I'm making it too busy with too many elements or if it just needs more polishing. I'm also thinking it needs a bridge as there are really only two chord progressions and it might benefit from shaking things up a bit. I wonder too if I should wedge in an instrumental verse or chorus and play a longer lead over that. Might be cool to get the lead guitar and the harmonica going back and forth over the instrumental section. I'm open to hearing any suggestions anyone has for improving this song.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7hnahhvdI01eGpJQktRWW9Od0k

You and Me – Lyrics
Last Updated: 2017-06-04
All rights reserved

[verse 1]
Now I was on the run, when I met you.
I did not stay, but could not forget you.
All that Spring, you were on my mind.
I was finding my way, and passing time.

[verse 2]
When I returned, I tried to court you.
I worked at romance, loved and adored you.
We weren't patient but we, let our love grow.
We were happy, that's all that I know.

[chorus]
We've seen hard times, run into bad luck.
Together we worked, for all that we've got.
Of all I know this much I'm sure is true.
You've got me, and baby I have you.

[verse 3]
Now I've hurt you, and you've hurt me.
But I can't think where I'd rather be.
You made me crazy and I drove you nuts.
We were both too stubborn to ever give up.

[verse 4]
Now I was on the run, when I met you.
But that's in the past, that's all through.
I'm not sure how but now you're part of me.
Wherever I turn, you're all I see.

[chorus]
We've seen hard times, run into bad luck.
Together we worked, for all that we've got.
Of all I know this much I'm sure is true.
You've got me and baby, I've got you.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 11:42:49 am by Nosugrof »

Offline DarrellW

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Re: You and Me - A WIP
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2017, 07:59:18 am »
Like it, shades of Bob Dylan / Johnny Cash; interesting having the electric riffs but watch the bends I think a couple sounded a bit discordant!
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Offline DavidP

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Re: You and Me - A WIP
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2017, 05:05:35 pm »
Nosugrof,

Lovely song, I really enjoyed it.

I got some echoes of Tom Petty ... guess we'll all hear different influences  ;)

Only piece that stuck out for me as maybe needing some minor tweak was the instrumental between v4 and final chorus, perhaps it was tempo or a phrase that just didn't quite fit ... not sure.

Thanks for the detailed description of the arrangement and mixing; I appreciated that for my own education.

Well done.

Offline Nosugrof

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Re: You and Me - A WIP
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2017, 03:08:40 am »
Like it, shades of Bob Dylan / Johnny Cash; interesting having the electric riffs but watch the bends I think a couple sounded a bit discordant!

Thanks for the like. I've heard Dylan before but you're the first to mention Cash and yes I was moving a little fast and loose on the lead guitar. It's kind of an odd chord progression anyway so the leads going to be tricky. The verse is F/Am/Em/G and the chorus is Am/C/G/Em and Am/C/G/D which doesn't really fit any single key. It's probably closest to the key of C with the II chord played as a major. I don't remember where I heard it but the quote was something like "music theory is fine but if it sounds good then it's right".

Offline Nosugrof

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Re: You and Me - A WIP
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2017, 03:12:18 am »
Nosugrof,

Lovely song, I really enjoyed it.

I got some echoes of Tom Petty ... guess we'll all hear different influences  ;)

Only piece that stuck out for me as maybe needing some minor tweak was the instrumental between v4 and final chorus, perhaps it was tempo or a phrase that just didn't quite fit ... not sure.

Thanks for the detailed description of the arrangement and mixing; I appreciated that for my own education.

Well done.

You are the first to give me a Petty reference - thank you very kindly. I hold Mr Petty in high regard. Very well rounded musician. I think there are still some spots where something just gets a little out of sync - the guitar, bass and drum aren't quite aligned. Maybe I'm getting too critical too - I've been listening very hard. I'll give it a rest and see if I still hear anything. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to listen and post.

Offline DarrellW

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Re: You and Me - A WIP
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2017, 06:46:09 am »
Thanks for the like. I've heard Dylan before but you're the first to mention Cash and yes I was moving a little fast and loose on the lead guitar. It's kind of an odd chord progression anyway so the leads going to be tricky. The verse is F/Am/Em/G and the chorus is Am/C/G/Em and Am/C/G/D which doesn't really fit any single key. It's probably closest to the key of C with the II chord played as a major. I don't remember where I heard it but the quote was something like "music theory is fine but if it sounds good then it's right".
Yes it is an interesting chord progression, and I agree about your comment on theory, when you don't stick to the rules sometimes something magical can result. One of an old blues players I think was Freddie King used to say 'there's no such thing as a bum note if you're like an old tomcat - good at covering sh1t over' unfortunately that takes many years of experience.
Don't worry it will come, it's just a matter of listening very carefully.
As I said overall very nice and pleasant to listen to - I have listened several times :)
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Offline KasperFauerby

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Re: You and Me - A WIP
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2017, 08:42:46 am »
Nice job!

I think you've written a very nice song, and it must have been a lot of work to record all those parts and put together the mix. I know well the feeling of tired ears ;)

I think the main problem with the song is the two rhythm guitar tracks. They do not lock tightly with the drums and bass. I think you need to sit down and work on some different strumming patterns that match the drums. They don't need to be rigidly the same of course, but it doesn't work when you accent a lifted beat with the guitars if the drums are playing it straight. That causes a lot of "mess" in the overall soundscape.

Eventually you'll also want to bring the drums and bass up higher I think.

Offline Nosugrof

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Re: You and Me - A WIP
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2017, 10:10:19 pm »
Nice job!

I think you've written a very nice song, and it must have been a lot of work to record all those parts and put together the mix. I know well the feeling of tired ears ;)

I think the main problem with the song is the two rhythm guitar tracks. They do not lock tightly with the drums and bass. I think you need to sit down and work on some different strumming patterns that match the drums. They don't need to be rigidly the same of course, but it doesn't work when you accent a lifted beat with the guitars if the drums are playing it straight. That causes a lot of "mess" in the overall soundscape.

Eventually you'll also want to bring the drums and bass up higher I think.

The observation about the accent on a lift beat muddying things up makes a lot of sense. The first time around I recorded the guitar first and was never able to add the drum track. I would lose the beat every time and it was probably happening right where I embellish a little with the guitar strumming. I had hoped laying down the drum track first would correct the problem. I think I'm better at putting the guitar back in sync but it doesn't prevent that bit of a stutter where things aren't right. Now I have to consider how I can play around with strumming patterns without disrupting the beat of the whole thing. Without the occasional accents the rhythm gets pretty boring. Thanks for the feedback and the compliment. It's definitely been a lot of work but it's been fun too. You've certainly given me something to think about.

Offline embishop

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Re: You and Me - A WIP
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2017, 06:50:37 pm »
Overall as a musical piece I find it very good, and musically interesting. Your voice has a lot of character in it too. You've done a great job of putting all the pieces together. I haven't got any input to all the tracks you have going on, and the recording itself, but I did hear some issues around lining up the lead bits, they are sometimes out of sync. I really like the lead being first on guitar then harmonica, but then I wanted that to continue alternating, or maybe bring one into the verses. I found the lead bits kind of abrupt on the starts and stops, rather than a natural part of the song. The song is also a bit bouncy for me, if that makes sense. Have you tried changing up the main strumming pattern to emphasize the bass note on the first beat?

Re-reading what I've written I have too many suggestions and not enough compliments! That's not the case at all, though, so last comment just to say I really enjoyed it, and I listened to it again and liked it even more.
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Offline Damien

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Re: You and Me - A WIP
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2017, 07:24:21 pm »
Nice job


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Offline Nosugrof

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Re: You and Me - A WIP
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2017, 11:30:42 pm »
...I did hear some issues around lining up the lead bits, they are sometimes out of sync. I really like the lead being first on guitar then harmonica, but then I wanted that to continue alternating, or maybe bring one into the verses. I found the lead bits kind of abrupt on the starts and stops, rather than a natural part of the song. The song is also a bit bouncy for me, if that makes sense. Have you tried changing up the main strumming pattern to emphasize the bass note on the first beat?

Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback - I appreciate the effort. The lead guitar and harmonica were the last pieces I added and it was at the end of a marathon day. Not really an excuse but more to say I was just sampling them and playing with ideas. I started off thinking I would alternate between harmonica and guitar at each transition between bridge and verse but then thought at least one without either would be better. Now I'm leaning toward keeping them light in the transitions but injecting one instrumental section where I can get a little more depth in the solo parts.

The strumming is probably the biggest problem I have right now. I keep trying to add emphasis and break things up switching to upbeats but when I do the guitar is at odds with the bass and drum tracks and it just sounds like I lost the rhythm. I need to figure out how to break up the monotony of the strumming without disrupting the rhythm of the song.

I don't have much free time before the weekend but I'm hoping to manage another marathon session then. I'd like to start over and put in an instrumental section that I can try to fill in with some lead work. Hopefully I'll have another version to share soon.

Thanks again.

Offline Nosugrof

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Re: You and Me - A WIP
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2017, 11:32:51 pm »
Nice job

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Thanks for listening Damien (and for the compliment).

 

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