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"Jacob's Song" - An Original

Songwriting
btimm  
18 Sep 2013 22:42 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
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Karma: 16
Hey guys! I am back with another original tune, called "Jacob's Song" (Yes, I realize I lack creativity with song titles, lol). This is a song I wrote for my oldest child, Jacob. Like my first song, it's acoustic-based and sappy. It's important for me to give my family something they can have forever, if I leave this world too soon, something they can always have, so that is why I am doing this first. Anyways, I will have three more tunes to write (for my daughter Jordan, my 3-month-old son Joey, and my wife Jasmine) before I really get into the style I want to play, which is primarily experimental rock and progressive. And no, the J names were not done intentionally, LOL.

Anyways, here is my second track. I hope you like it!


btimm  
18 Sep 2013 22:59 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
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Karma: 16
Just posting a pic of me with my little guy for the sake of the thread. :o)


Empirism  
21 Sep 2013 13:12 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
Lessons: 4
Karma: 35
You still are as good singer as I am :D... I liked the song, simple or not. Is it that pick noise on some parts little distracted me, but overall very nice song man.

-Emp
btimm  
21 Sep 2013 13:41 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Licks: 1
Karma: 16
Pick noise? I am not sure what you mean.
Empirism  
21 Sep 2013 17:56 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
Lessons: 4
Karma: 35
did you use pick when strumming?
btimm  
21 Sep 2013 19:24 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
United States
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Karma: 16
Yeah I do, I simply can't get the acoustic to sound good without it. Need more practice. :o)
Empirism  
22 Sep 2013 05:19 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
Lessons: 4
Karma: 35
Yeah, with pick it have little more attack (which is not bad), but need a bit mixing if want to "hide" those pick sounds :)
btimm  
22 Sep 2013 20:10 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
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Karma: 16
I didn't know about that, something I can look into now and learn about. Thanks Emp!
nullnaught  
22 Sep 2013 23:39 | Quote
Joined: 05 Jun 2010
Karma: 22
That was nice. :)
Guitarslinger124  
2 Oct 2013 20:44 | Quote
Joined: 25 Jul 2007
United States
Lessons: 12
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Karma: 38
Moderator
So, first, sorry it took me so long to give this a listen.

Sustains:
The piano added a cool touch and you picked good harmonies
You're still singing!
You did a much better job recording your guitar parts this time around
That bit around 2:30 was pretty darn cool

Improves:
The drums sounds way off to me
Consider the different frequencies that each instrument is most prominent in - this will really aid your mixing process
Volume leveling, what headphones/monitors do you use?
Don't be too impatient to do that one extra take to get the best track
Bass?

So, overall, better than your last track. Which is awesome. If there was one thing I'd like to see improved in your next song is your mixing process. Like I said above, check your frequencies. You'll find that each instrument and pitch range really has it's own place on the sound spectrum. Look for that spot and utilize it.

Here's an example. Just take guitar and bass. Clearly bass is king on the low end, while guitar dominates the higher end. However, there are spots where the instruments will lay over each other and degrade the quality. The simplest way to fix this is by adjusting your guitar tone. Consider cutting low end [bass] tonality from your guitar sound. This way your actual bass can and will fill that void naturally.

That example was pretty vague, so if you want I can give a more in depth explanation. Of course it isn't always that simple. But the idea is always the same: Let the instruments speak where they are comfortable naturally.

In your case, I would say that the bass takes the lows the piano takes the mids and guitar takes the highs. Now what I meant with volume leveling and Left/Right leveling for that matter, is that you are going to have over lap no matter what. So using simple math/physics you can understand that when two objects occupy the same space crazy junk happens. The same goes for sound.

Consider that your head is placed in a giant sphere. This sphere represents all that you can hear. It is also a physical and very tangible element. Think about the difficulty you have picking out two sounds that come from the same direction that are similar in pitch. The cool thing with recording as opposed to what actually goes into your ears, is that you can manipulate those sounds to come from whatever direction and frequency you want them to. This way by the time they reach your ears, you can have them complimenting each other, instead of cancelling each other out.

btimm  
4 Oct 2013 09:19 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
United States
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Karma: 16
Thanks for the post gs. Regarding all the things you think I did well, thanks! I was pretty pleased with how the piano turned out, especially since it was a free virtual instrument. As time goes by, I will be able to upgrade equipment and software, but I was really impressed with this, especially since it was free. There are no options to change the sound at all, but it's still pretty sweet given it is free. The part around 2:30 I liked a fair amount too! I made a post here a while back discussing moving the same chord position up and down the neck and how it sometimes sounds awful, but sometimes sounds pretty good. In this bridge, that's exactly what I did where I shifted an C chord up two frets. Sounded kinda dissonant to me.

The improvement items:
The drums: I am not sure what could be done here. It was weird for my ears a little in the sense that I stop the guitar with my hand after the second strum in the verse pattern. I didn't want any drum sounds there as I thought it would sound kinda weird. So I could improve upon it, but wasn't really sure how I would really go about doing that. I made the bass drum essentially occur on the accented notes in the progression. That might not be the most appealing sound though.

Consider the different frequencies: That is something I need to really learn about, because at this stage of my learning about mixing, I am still very very new. I didn't really mess with the that at all on either song. It makes sense though and is definitely something I will be looking into for my next song. Do you do this by compression or gates or something? As I said, I know very little about this stuff, it's a work in progress. I think I saw on a video, where a guy was changing the frequencies by using the ReaFir feature in Reaper. I know you don't use Reaper, but it essentially is a tool that allows editing a track, by using EQ, compressor, gates, convolve, and subtract. The subtract is something I use, and it's why for now there is a little delay before the song begins. By using the subtract, I can subtract off the noise of the room, which is done in that first measure. Pretty amazing feature. I am sure all software has this, but it still amazes me, hahaha.

Volume leveling: I use cheap $20 headphones from GC and I have no idea what the brand is. I have M-Audio AV40s, because again I don't have much extra cash for a while. I heard that the best monitors for the money are the KRK Rokit 5s.

When trying to get the sound right, I did the same thing for both songs. I listened to it on my computer through the monitors until I liked it. Then I listened to it on my iphone through headphones (***ty ones) and tweaked it. Finally, I listened to it in my car and tweaked it again. It's interesting because of how different it all sounds on different devices. You mentioned bass? It's actually in the song. LMAO I hear it in my car at the right proportion to other instruments, go figure.

Patience for one more track: Yeah, I am about the most impatient person ever. lol I do take a fair amount of takes though tbh, I just need to improve my playing significantly. I had some trouble on the chorus switching to the D chord.

Another thing: The chorus guitar is difficult for me to hear sometimes, but the chord shifts from a D to a Dsus4, then a C to a Cadd9, and then to a G. Kinda experimenting with slightly modifying a chord, it's pretty fun.

Thanks for the great comments. I have a lot to work on now and hopefully my next song will be much better!
MoshZilla1016  
4 Oct 2013 20:29 | Quote
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
United States
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I like it but that's not what matters. I bet Jacob loves it, that's all that matters.
Guitarslinger124  
4 Oct 2013 21:54 | Quote
Joined: 25 Jul 2007
United States
Lessons: 12
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Moderator
Hey, remind me in a couple days to post something about equalizing and frequencies.

And get some damn headphones! The phones I use were $169 I think, but that was ten years ago.


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