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I need some golden ears to provide some insight, please.

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Benjamin Strange, Mar 12, 2008.


  1. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I'm slowly working on recording an acoustic album in between tours. It's just me and an acoustic guitar. What I'm trying to do is to capture the guitar and my voice as raw as possible without feeling sloppy nor sounding cheap. I have a very limited recording facility (a small room with a little bit of sound treatment, some cheap mics, and cheap monitors). I'm hoping to release this as an album and start selling them at shows.

    Right now I'm going through a period of self-doubt. I'm being forced to alter my performances to overcome recording and engineering obstacles, and I'm feeling a bit frustrated about the whole thing. Perhaps I could use some encouragement and/or criticisms from my peers regarding the quality of my work.

    I have 5 songs finished and mixed to the best of my ability streaming from my site and also on my Myspace (although Myspace is pointless to listen to for quality purposes, as they compress they hell out of every song). I'd appreciate any input you guys could offer.

    http://www.benjaminstrange.net (click on "music" - they are the first 5 songs on the page)
     
  2. We really are our own worst critics. That's the reason I hate recording, anyhow. To be completely honest Ben, I really liked your voice. I think you have a full, heartfelt voice. The guitar work was good too. I'm a fan of fingerstyle guitar stuff (you're doing the parts fingerstyle right), but I'm used to hearing it in more of a country setting (merle travis, chet atkins etc). Despite this, I think your guitar parts were good, slightly dissonant, and interesting. I thought the tone was fine too. Are you satisfied with the tone? It really all comes down to you, but for what it's worth, I think you've done a good job.
     
  3. I'm listening to the first song right now.
    It's pretty good, the guitar sound is excellent.

    However since this is the internet, I will give you some honest feedback. I think you are forcing your vocals too much. That is, trying to hard to sound 'edgy,' powerful, angsty, whatever. It's a little bit too 90's jock rock whine for me.

    The guitar arrangements are very unique, so I personally would go for a more unique vocal style to match. Try to mix up some honest emotion instead of trying to emulate a particular sound. Some whispering, some off key crackles, I think they would take your music from 'skilled but cliche' to 'highly unique and professional'

    Great tones, mix, and recording.

    Listen to some Neutral Milk Hotel for some dame fine singing with boat loads of emotion.


    Just my $0.02!
     
  4. ric1312

    ric1312 Banned

    Apr 16, 2006
    chicago, IL.
    When I started home recording my biggest problem on getting my voice to sound like I wanted it to, that is sound like when I sing live, was finding the right mic for home recording.

    I initially went out and bought a $600. baby bottle condensor mic. Sounded really good, but to me my vocal sounded to colored by the sensitivity of the mic. Also it was a sonofabitch to get the house quiet enough not to pick up exterior noises. I guess it recorded too good. What I really wanted was my live sound.

    Just fooling around I plugged in my performance mic a sennhieser 945e. And there it was my live sound.

    another tip I learned early on was that you should not mix with headphones on, everything sounds good on headphones. Also get a sound meter and mix at about 85. Any louder and you will start to hear the acoustics of the room more than what is actually coming out of the monitoring speakers. That and 85 won't fatique your ears from being too loud. When you get a good recording find someone good to master it for you, it makes all the difference.
     
  5. this burnt infant stuff is... interesting.

    loving the guitar in the solo work, but as far as "postive" criticism, i agree with the above- vocals are a bit strained/forced. my ex-lead singer did the same thing... he did a great nirvana, but, yeah. very, very cliche.
     
  6. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Thanks for the feedback. Regarding my vocals - that's just how I sound. I'm not straining, nor trying to emulate anyone. I've just naturally got a crackly scratchy voice. Granted, I am recording my vocals first thing in the morning as soon as I wake up, because I feel that's when they sound best before I'm warmed up.

    I understand they may sound a little cliche (ouch!), but I can't really do much to change my voice.
     
  7. stflbn

    stflbn

    May 10, 2007
    Nashville
    Love the guitar sounds on "a vision" and "found f years"... I really like your voice also.

    Honestly, I could listen to a cd of stuff just like that all day while working.


    Good work I say.
     
  8. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    I really liked it. Very enjoyable for me. I have real no criticism.


    The vocals are strange, but good. At least you can sing in key.

    I think the music would be cool with using a bit of the Burnt Infant type ambient noise here & there, kind of like Wilco does.

    It would add another element verses everything sounding similar.


    This Cd I would buy from you, the singing makes a big difference to me.
     

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