Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

I don't usually write pop music. This creation is in response to a contest. The challenge was to write a song about a misunderstanding.

I did something I shouldn't have-scanned a new plugin folder during creation. My DAW shut down do reload and I lost everything the first time. Lessons learned. 

I couldn't quite get the same feel in the new reconstructed version of this. This version has a darker feel for pop music and I felt it sat better with the words.

Pop is actually harder to write for me than those who haven't done it might expect. Seems simple musically. The details are what can kill you. Pop seeks to "hook" the listener. Hopefully this does that.

A Man I Cannot Be

https://soundcloud.com/starise/a-man-i-cannot-be

Words- 

I acted the fool, really wasn't me
I really love you, didn't want you to see
I pretended to be a man who wasn't me.

I pretended to be difficult
I needed to believe I didn't love you
I need you to see a man that isn't me.

I pretended I don't care, you are unaware
My lying eyes can't hide what I feel inside.
A man you cannot see

Can't hide those lying eyes x4

I pretended I don't care, you are unaware
My lying eyes can't hide what I feel inside.
A man I cannot be.

Can't hide those lying eyes x 4

Views: 97

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Timothy -  I think you've done a good job with this song. I think the lyrics and music are well written and you are a good singer.  Since you writing a pop song here I think that the accompaniment might be done a bit differently.  Your instrumental work is good but you're relying mainly on a string "pad" behind the vocals which is fine for a ballad but this song has a definite rhythm to it so I think you need something more like a guitar or keyboard in a percussive mode added to the strings.

The drums sound too "drum-machiney"; drum machines are all over pop music but you need some punch and more variety to support the feel here, listeners expect that. The vocals are the main focus and as such should be more up front.  There is a lot that can be done to "process" vocals to make them more appealing.  Singers don't like to deal with that but for better or worse it is standard industry practice.

You do have "hooks", good work!

Thanks for your thoughts on this. This is a great idea. To put some rhythm behind the strings. I appreciate you're saying that about the singing. I have done much better in the past. I'm looking into solutions. 

Maybe a retake is in order. I haven't liked the vocals since day one. The mix seems to need some glue to blend the voice when I bring it up. Easy enough to bring the voice up. That seems to throw several other things off.This isn't a new thing for me attempting to mix pop. I always get it close, but never get it exactly right. I'll keep trying. Maybe this time I will.

Thank you.

Good material but the elements don't blend together. For instance, that electric piano solo comes as a complete surprise. There was no piano before, and there is none after, except for the second solo. Also, things like the drums (around 1:40) simply cutting out at the end of the measure are clumsy.

Maybe on the vocals you could try some eq sweeps to find your sweet spots and then some compression to give it presence.  Most vocals need a bit of tuning as well. Parallel tracking the vocals with some thickening and varieties of compression, reverb and/or delay, all in small amounts can help. Then some more light compression and light reverb on the stereo master buss can help "glue" it all together with the other tracks.  Just suggestions.

Timothy Smith said:

Thanks for your thoughts on this. This is a great idea. To put some rhythm behind the strings. I appreciate you're saying that about the singing. I have done much better in the past. I'm looking into solutions. 

Maybe a retake is in order. I haven't liked the vocals since day one. The mix seems to need some glue to blend the voice when I bring it up. Easy enough to bring the voice up. That seems to throw several other things off.This isn't a new thing for me attempting to mix pop. I always get it close, but never get it exactly right. I'll keep trying. Maybe this time I will.

Thank you.

I have a totally new mix. You may need to refresh your browser or phone to hear it. I began to try a few of the suggestions and ended up with almost a totally different piece of music.

@Ingo Lee I pursued your suggestion and added more rhythmic elements to this tune. I think it made a world of difference and thank you. I hope I can repay the favor sometime.

@Saul,

I brought the drums in more slowly as you mentioned. I believe it added more authenticity to the piece. Thanks for that suggestion.

@Victor Eijkhout, I changed the drums based on your suggestion. If you notice there are cymbals bringing in new section like a real drummer would do. Thank you for that suggestion.

Additional changes include a more diversified instrument set ,a major vocal retake. I really had to conjure the emotion but it finally came. I am better pleased with this new vocal approach as compared to the old crappy vocal recording I made. I mixed this all over in a different DAW that was better suited for finish of the project.Thanks to all. It really helped.

https://soundcloud.com/starise/a-man-i-cannot-be

Wow Timothy, big difference,  I'm impressed!  A lot of writers would not be willing to dive in and rework a piece that well.  To my ear you are definitely in the ball park now. I'm sure professional engineers and producers would have additional suggestions but everybody gets that so keep on writing, you're good at this.

Well hello Celtic Star Rise!

I was introduced to your music on another forum. You are a Pro in my opinion.

I didn't hear the first version but the song is very good, nicely constructed. I definitely feel the "Hook" in the refrain about "...lying eyes" with the duo vocal. Nice voice by the way. Warm and genuine.

I, for one, like the piano solo coming in from out of nowhere.. it's refreshing. My only critique is that the "ping pong" panning... especially in that piano solo is a bit much... repetitive and dizzying.

Solid piece of Pop... I especially like that it has a "happy" (Pop!) beat but a dark subject and vibe... especially the vocals.

Excellent!

Well, being a rather narrow minded fellow when it comes to 'Pop' music and having tried and failed miserably to write something in that vein myself (difficult for a classically trained bloke) you have my admiration. This is very listenable to and has some interesting stuff in the background. The outstanding thing for me is your voice - terrific, with precisely the correct amount of vibrato and a good tone.

The song isn't yet perfect as there are a few lumpy changes between the sections that need smoothing out IMO....also I'd suggest dropping the duet bits - your voice describes what you've written with just the right element of emotion and that's the high point for me - as it's that good I would recommend you don't muddy things just because you can.

I must say there has been some interesting collaboration shown in this post which has led to successful improvements throughout - CF at its best.

With a little more tweaking this could, in my humble opinion, become a commercially successful song. Good luck and keep up the excellent work.

Thank you @ Stephen Lines  for your comments.

I hope I don't need to write any more POP for a little while. It isn't my favorite genre, though fun temporarily. I am hopeful the song will win a contest. The prize? To win. No prizes for this per se. I am a bit competitive, so when I seen the contest I entered it and spent way too much time on it.

I am a music co ordinator/musician at a church and so I sing fairly often. I think this might have helped me some when singing this. I took your suggestions partially to heart and changed the vocal duets to make them blend. I couldn't bring myself to delete it entirely. My logic in doing that was mainly because if the parts are more cohesive they make it better. I do thank you for your suggestions.

I hesitated to post this here for critique because I see this site as mainly a classical music composition site. Frankly this kind of music is probably below most of you by a long shot.I appreciate that some commented on it regardless with very good suggestions. 

Musically this tune was very simple, though I needed help on some of it. Technically it was a nightmare.I enjoy these kinds of challenges though.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Sign up info

Read before you sign up to find out what the requirements are!

Store

© 2019   Created by Gav Brown.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service