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My first semi-serious attempt at making a decent DIY recording... input please. :)

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by HamOnTheCob, Dec 6, 2004.


  1. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    Well, I'm not a virtuoso bass player, not much of a guitar player, and certainly not much of a singer, but I decided to write a song a while back and recorded it on my computer soon after finishing it. I recently ran across it again, and am looking for some encouraging/constructive remarks. Not butt-kissing remarks, just polite suggestions of things I could do better next time, things I did alright on, etc. I'm not an engineer, so of course it's nothing special. I'm just trying to decide whether I should bother to invest in a little bit of outboard gear (like maybe an MBox) to do future recordings, or if I should just forgot about it.

    EDIT TO INCLUDE THE ACTUAL LINK BECAUSE I'M A MORON haha: http://users.1st.net/milk/Projects/Jacob_Hamilton_-_Half_Way_Demo.mp3

    I borrowed a good friend's Guild acoustic/electric with Fishman electronics to record the rhythm and lead tracks. The bass was recorded on a 96 Warwick Corvette Std 4 with EMGs.

    I recorded into the mic input on my old desktop PC, which has a SB Live! soundcard and used CoolEdit Pro to track and mix everything.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions and comments you guys have to offer.

    - Jake
     
  2. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
  3. fretbuzz85

    fretbuzz85

    Nov 1, 2004
    Very nice. This is not butt kissing, i don't fake my comments.
    Excellent tone for the guitar and the bass.
    Decent voice, suiting for the song. At least you know how to keep within your limits, haha.

    Anyone watch the Idol shows in your own country? The idols in mine go terribly out of tune during the show. Horrible stuff.
     
  4. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Germany
    pretty cool song. i'd suggest adding some more development to the arrangement, it's stays very same throughout the song.

    i guess you could add some more glamour in the mix (not so "dry") but it sounds nice already.
     
  5. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    Thank you to everyone who provided feedback. I sincerely appreciate it.


    I've actually been trying to find someone to do just that. :)


    You're not the first to recommend a spicier arrangement, I just haven't come up with a better way yet. :meh: Ideas?

    And by adding glamour to the mix, do you have any specific suggestions? I don't have a whole lot of options, but I can do a little bit of stuff with the effects in the software. I didn't like chorus or reverb on my voice or the guitar for whatever reason, but maybe I wasn't using it right... hehe

    I thought about trying to throw some percussion on it, like a simple tambourine or shakers or something. You guys think that would help?
     
  6. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Its really good.

    The feel reminds me of a lot of early 90s rock but not anyone in particular.
     
  7. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Germany
    hmm, percussion sounds like a good idea. maybe a second guitar line playing single note lines at certain points. a piano. bg vox.

    it's important that the whole sing "leads" somewhere. if you add a shaker and it's there from the beginning to the end, nothing has changed at all. you have to introduce various "waypoints" of interest during the song.

    maybe change the guitar line a bit when adding a shaker in verse two... than backing off a bit for fill ons of a second guitar.

    just try out some things, it's amazing how little change can give a new feel to a section. consider how you want the song to feel. how you want it to develop. don't think about shakers or percussion. think about musical events that capture the listener.
    sorry if that sounds obvious, but i think arrangement is a big part of what truly seperates the good from the bad.

    uh, this is getting long, but a few words about the fx:

    this is a can of worms. in my head, i think the song would need a bit more space. i can see that you'd want an intimate atmosphere, but at the moment it seems "too tight", if that makes sense.

    reverb and delay can help, but they have to be used in a very subtle way... a good "space" can be very hard to achieve in a mix and it takes some practice to get it right.

    i hope this helps a bit, sorry to be that vague.
     
  8. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    for some reason it makes me think of Alice in CHains meets like Howie Day :p I kinda like it.
     
  9. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    the vox need compression and reverb..that would make a huge difference..also they sound a bit flat to me. If you want to get crazy throw in some light delay timed at around 20ms.
     
  10. Vox Populi

    Vox Populi Reggae Loving Honkey

    Jan 27, 2004
    Poulsbo, WA
    Is your real name Jerry Cantrell by any chance? The guitar has a striking resemblance to his style, and the vocals as well, to a lesser extent.

    Very Alice in Chains-ish.
     
  11. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    Thanks buddy. :) Yeah I'm real into the early 90s rock. I don't know "chords" per se on a guitar, but the opening chord of the song is an F# (an E chord capo'd at the 2nd fret) inspired by the main E chord in the Toadies' "Possum Kingdom":

    e|-0-
    b|-0-
    G|-1-
    D|-0-
    A|-2-
    E|-0-


    The singer in my band Dogwood Tree, who I think is an outstanding songwriter, also suggested that it needs some room to breathe. I guess I was just worried about it getting much longer than it is. It's already over 5 minutes. How long can a song be before it just gets annoying (In your opinion)? I don't personally think this song is worthy or able to take up 7+ minutes. Do you think laying back on the guitar in the second verse and adding accents with something else will be enough? I thought about putting some keyboard on the song, as I've been learning a bit lately. I've also been considering the use of a melodica. If you don't know what that is, it's sort of like a recorder, but with keys on it like a piano. And it sounds like a harmonica.


    I'm glad you kinda like it. :)


    As a bass player, you'd figure I might know what I'm doing with compression, but I'm completely ignorant in that area. I would use it if I knew what the heck I was doing. haha I'll try the delay. I'm not a big fan of applying reverb myself, though, as it always seems to get washy. I find it's hard to work on my own vocals. Anyone else have that problem? And yeah, it might definitely be flat throughout. As I mentioned, I'm not the singer I'd like to be. :)


    I actually never got heavily into Alice in Chains, and after "I Cut You In" I never gave Cantrell a chance. LoL But my best friend/guitar player in my band Dogwood Tree absolutely idolizes Cantrell and loved Chains. I take your comments as compliments, though. :) If you like Alice in Chains, maybe check out our song "California" at http://users.1st.net/milk/Dogwood_Tree as it gives off a Chains vibe, IMO. I guess Jelloman does too. I have tons of old music from Dogwood Tree if you're interested, and we're recording an album right now as well.
     
  12. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Germany
    well, there are two kinds of "space" - i mostly meant "mix-space".

    that you can achieve with (as mentioned) subtle use of delay and reverb, but it will take some time to learn and get musical results.

    your friend was probably talking about "song-space", and that is what i meant with arrangement. i agree that the song is already long enough.

    but as of now, the guitar is pretty much staying the same throughout the song. the dynamics could need some variation.
    as said above, maybe play some single notes in the second verse and let a piano come in with some soft chords. the strumming takes up a lot of place.

    maybe start out slow with only the guitar and add the bass in later, probably together with a rhythmic/percussive element.

    having another melodic instrument like the melodica you mentioned is a good idea, too.

    arrangement is a hard skill to learn, and i'd suggest just trying out a few things. just play around with how you can make the chords sound through different instruments or playing techniques.

    in the end, though, i depends on the vision you have for a song.
     
  13. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    Thanks man. :)
     
  14. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    very nice!

    I've been listening to a bit of Edwin McCain again recently and I can almost hear his stuff in yours...

    Your tune has a good feel to it, I'll be watching for more clips from you :bassist:
     
  15. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    Hey thanks for the encouragement. Maybe I'll record another song or two, along with working more on this one of course. :)