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This is a popish sort of tune I made up in Sonar 8.5. I know, I know, it would have fit in back in the late 60’s or early 70’s. But that’s the pop music I love. I’m interested to hear opinions on composition, arrangement, melody, and how everything comes through in the mix. It badly needs a vocal. I have the lyrics written, I just don’t have a singer. I tried to get that awesome bari sax sound on The Beatles “Savoy Truffle”, it’s no where close, but it’s the best I could do with the sample libraries I have.

First person to say “It needs more cowbell” wins a brand new shiny car.

EDIT: I've also uploaded the piece without horns or synths because it's more raw and I'm really not all that happy with the horn arrangement.

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Dane,

Wow, nice words indeed! I know exactly what you mean about McCartney's short adventure into classical music. I still to this day cringe if I try listening to it... and I'm like his biggest fan!

Feed McCartney bean burritos and he'll fart a beautiful melody out of his arse, but feed him Mozart and all he can give you with a full orchestra is stuff Mozart would have used as toilet paper. Go figure. On the other hand, if Mozart had been given an acoustic guitar he could never hope to have written something as beautiful as "Michelle" or "Blackbird".

About the saxes. Yeah, I know what you mean. I have very little, if any, volume headroom left with them. Maybe I'll try a volume enhancer plugin effect. Again, you've given me a great idea!

I've been too busy lately to listen to your stuff, or anyone else's for that matter, but as soon as things slow down I'll be able to focus on other music and give some feedback.

You live in England, tell McCartney to give me call about the demo tape I personally handed to his assistant back in the 90's when he gave a concert in Seattle. That bum never called me back! hehehe BTW, his Hofner case was right there in the trailer and I touched it! Not the bass guitar mind you, but the case... and they didn't even arrest me!

Later,

Rick

Dane Aubrun said:

I can only repeat myself, Rick. If indeed you're at an early stage of reading music you have a remarkable command of harmonic progression/harmony/balance. You do a surprise, daring key change then get back to the home key so naturally that it's barely noticeable. And there are niceties that theorists spend of a lot of time learning rules about come naturally to you so it could be best if you don't get tangled in the theory. I mean, Paul McCartney didn't....until one day he did, wanting to write "classical" and it hasn't worked. 

It's another winner. The balance and scoring are dead on. My only comment is that the saxes can barely be heard - not that it makes any difference to the song, just that you made mention of them in your intro.

Just an aside but you missed one of your songs from the list. :)

Very nice. Always happy to listen to your music. 

Cheers (as ever) Dane

:)

Hey Rick, you mentioned overloading your DAW when you've turned up your faders, I'm just wondering if you have done any EQ on your tracks?  Samples and instruments tend to build up lows and low mid-range frequencies and there is not as much room for the larger heavier vibrations in any sound system, so what many of us do is to use the EQ system in your DAW to cut down on a lot of the lower stuff to make room (improve clarity). Just a thought.

Ingo Lee,

Thanks for the advice. I didn’t know that about the lows building up as more instruments get added. Do you mean adding an EQ plugin for the whole mix as in sending all the channels to one dedicated EQ bus? That sounds easy enough, or do you mean applying EQ to each individual channel because I can see that getting very complicated. So I hope you mean the first method. I get really frustrated trying to understand dB levels by reading the numbers and or looking at graphs. All I can rely on is my ears, and to make things worse I mix in my flat response studio headphones. Sometimes it really helps me to pull the headphone cups about an inch from my ears because things on the high end will jump out. But doing this also makes the low end especially the bass guitar disappear. Such goes my struggle on my less than ideal setup.

Thanks again for the helpful advice.

Ideally you would have an EQ plugin and a compression plugin on every channel.  That will give you a lot of control over your instruments. The plugins typically have presets that handle a lot of situations for you.  What you are looking for in the EQ plugin is called "high pass".  This allows high freqs to pass through but limits the lows.  The graph should look like a hockey stick with a sharp dip on the left side where the lows are. If you put this on every channel  you will hear more clarity but probably a lack of low end.  Then you adjust the bass and drums with a little less hockey stick and you should be closer to what you want.

Compression flattens dynamics, so when things "jump out"  or disappear in spots you can force them to behave.

It sounds like you have good headphones which is fine for mixing.  You have a good DAW, a good listening device and talent. That's all you need.

No problem with that. I haven't posted anything for a while now. Trying to finish a project I haven't had much time myself. I'll put up this thing for soprano and ensemble (not really a song) shortly - once I can take a break. 

I'll have words with Sir McCartney....he lives just a few miles down the road but he's a bit stingey I understand. Catches a bus rather than spend on a chauffeur. Probably dilutes the booze... :D

Talk later.

:)

Rick said:

  

I've been too busy lately to listen to your stuff, or anyone else's for that matter, but as soon as things slow down I'll be able to focus on other music and give some feedback.


Dane,

You're kidding right? You're just f*ing with me about McCartney living just down the street from you. Tell me you're pulling my leg. And that he takes public transit. No... know I know you're just messin' with me. You are aren't you? I know you have a sense of humor (yes, that's how we silly Americans spell "humor"). But in the off chance you run into him at the corner store you tell him there's a guy in the US (me) who will buy his famous Hofner bass for $50, maybe $75 if I can scrape up the cash. Of course for 75 bucks I'll expect an autograph too!

Well, he owns properties all over the place, several in the States, but his "home" is in a village just outside Rye, 45 miles from me on the A272. No doubt when he's performing he uses more appropriate transport but I promise you he was known for travelling to London to business meetings by train/bus (Mind, London is no fun place to drive, I can tell you.) There must be written biographical stuff confirming this.

I know Rye quite well. It's a pleasant seaside resort just a few miles beyond Peasmarsh Farm. 

It's impossible to get direct to him on the blower as he has a proper secretary since he got rid of that gold-digging peg-leg but he is more approachable in his elder years they say. And I reckon that if I made a real effort he'd agree to a short visit especially from someone who truly appreciates his musical skills. As a fan you'll know that he's done the lot, way beyond just singing and playing.

I'm being deadly serious here. No frivolity. 'onnist, guv.

.



Rick said:

Dane,

You're kidding right? You're just f*ing with me about McCartney living just down the street from you. Tell me you're pulling my leg. And that he takes public transit. No... know I know you're just messin' with me. You are aren't you? I know you have a sense of humor (yes, that's how we silly Americans spell "humor"). But in the off chance you run into him at the corner store you tell him there's a guy in the US (me) who will buy his famous Hofner bass for $50, maybe $75 if I can scrape up the cash. Of course for 75 bucks I'll expect an autograph too!

Yeah I kind of agree with the others.  It's a bit too MIDI sounding.  I do everything virtual as well, and mostly use virtual versions of real instruments rather than synths, so I know it's hard to get it sounding natural.  Most DAWs should have an option to humanise MIDI notes, which randomises the timing and velocities within a chosen range.  Give that a go.

But yeah it's fun. I can imagine it playing while people are dancing on the beach in the 60s.  I could also imagine something like this going well with a computer game of some sort.


Wow! You weren’t kidding?! This is bizarre to say the least! You mean that Paul McCartney the greatest musical composer in the known universe has been known to take public transit? But he’s freaking Paul McCartney! A Beatle for shits sake! I always knew he liked just being just a simple everyday guy but wow! I never imagined that he’d actually walk among the real world like a real human. Good on him! Thanks for that amazing bit of trivia, it makes me respect my musical idol even more. Okay, you tell him I’ll go as high as $80 on his Horner but that would need to include a lock of his hair along with the autograph. hehehe

Truth is... if I ever saw that Hofner bass for real with my own two eyes I’d faint away right there on the spot. And if I ever saw McCartney on a train I’d just drop dead from shock. Consider yourself fortunate if you’ve never idolized another human to the degree I do. He has literally been like my alter ego pretty much my entire life with comments like; “Wow, you sound like McCartney.” or “You even look a bit like McCartney”. I know he’s just a fellow human being, but the music that’s come out of his brain is.. well... it’s kind of beyond human (excluding those classical monstrosities of course.)

I don’t know what it’s like to have my own personal musical identity so, like I said, consider yourself fortunate to just be Dane a musical composer with an original sound. But of course, for all I know, you might have your own struggles with not trying to sound like the composers you favor, but I wouldn’t know as I’m unfamiliar with your genre. So, to my ears, you are truly original. I wish I could be thought of as original, but alas, I’ll always have a little McCartney in every piece I write. Make that a lot of McCartney.

Cheers!

Rick


Dane Aubrun said:

Well, he owns properties all over the place, several in the States, but his "home" is in a village just outside Rye, 45 miles from me on the A272. No doubt when he's performing he uses more appropriate transport but I promise you he was known for travelling to London to business meetings by train/bus (Mind, London is no fun place to drive, I can tell you.) There must be written biographical stuff confirming this.

I know Rye quite well. It's a pleasant seaside resort just a few miles beyond Peasmarsh Farm. 

It's impossible to get direct to him on the blower as he has a proper secretary since he got rid of that gold-digging peg-leg but he is more approachable in his elder years they say. And I reckon that if I made a real effort he'd agree to a short visit especially from someone who truly appreciates his musical skills. As a fan you'll know that he's done the lot, way beyond just singing and playing.

I'm being deadly serious here. No frivolity. 'onnist, guv.

.



Rick said:

Dane,

You're kidding right? You're just f*ing with me about McCartney living just down the street from you. Tell me you're pulling my leg. And that he takes public transit. No... know I know you're just messin' with me. You are aren't you? I know you have a sense of humor (yes, that's how we silly Americans spell "humor"). But in the off chance you run into him at the corner store you tell him there's a guy in the US (me) who will buy his famous Hofner bass for $50, maybe $75 if I can scrape up the cash. Of course for 75 bucks I'll expect an autograph too!

Trouble is, by the time he got on with Revolver he was less a Beatle than Paul McCartney. If my reckoning is even partly right, he was the push behind a more progressive, adventurous music that ended up with Sgt Pepper (surely one of the greatest albums of all time) and Magical Mystery tour. They say this is what caused dissent in the band and put Lennon's nose a bit out of joint as 'manager'. You are right to acclaim him among the top musicians of all time....and he couldn't read music? WHAT?! But he could play the recording studio like no other (including Pink Floyd (of Atom Heart and Dark Side) which is saying something coming from me). But then, after the Beatles he went on and on. The rest...they would never have survived. (Sadly, Lennon didn't anyway. We all know that story.)

The mum of a Marine Commando friend worked as a maid in the McCartney household and she has stories to tell all right! 

Ok, you may have McCartney in your songs but that doesn't make you less original. You aren't plagiarising. What does show is an advanced sense of harmony and progression. (Whether this arose from study of the music in question doesn't matter - you're still a great musician)  I still don't know how you 'resolve' some of your remarkable key changes. 

Look forward to hearing more.

Until later....

Dane,


Yup, Revolver was a seismic shift from the mop-top sound with Harrison’s eastern influence, Lennon’s psychedelic sound imagery, and McCartney’s solid grounding in traditional western melody and let’s not forget Ringo’s absolutely brilliant ability to find the perfect drum parts, especially those fills!

Dane, you’re really too kind with regard to my musical abilities, but can’t say I mind... I think I’m pretty good too.. hehehe.

As for changing keys and bringing the airplane back for a smooth landing, I had a great flight instructor.  https://youtu.be/T9rdFXixSDg

:)

-Rick

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