*note* New Mix: VOCAL demo from "Dorian" - my musical
update 4/15/07 - Mark Petruzzi, the singer on this demo from my stage musical, has re-recorded the vocal track in order to eliminate the close-room-ambience which leaked into his mike on the first version. I have re-mixed the tracks with a convolution reverb at a higher saturation level, better matching reference Broadway CDs.
The changes were inspired by the excellent replies on this thread which pointed out the disparity in sound between vocal and backing tracks.
I hope those who listened before will try out this new mix. It's very important to me to test this new version. Thank you!
I'll leave my original post as it was written, but add the link to the new mix: ---------------------- Since joining the Forums in November, I've posted the first four numbers from my stage musical, "Dorian - The Remarkable Mr. Gray," based on the novel by Oscar Wilde.
Some of you expressed interest in hearing vocalists on the recordings, since most of the score is music intended as accompaniment to singers.
I've gone through many trials attempting to produce vocal demos of these pieces. For months I tried to enlist singers from online, posting calls at numerous bulletin boards. But there isn't a budget for this undertaking, and that's a big disadvantage. I didn't have enough people expressing interest, and the majority of those who did just weren't up to the demands either technically (in the way of the requisite home studio equipment) or vocally.
BUT, there is one fellow who worked hard and came through with very useful tracks . I've recently finished mixing his work with the master of what I posted here previously, "Every Picture Painted," the second number in the show.
MARK PETRUZZI is the singer. We've never met, doing our collaboration through emails and the Box storage site. He has stage experience, and his primary musical interest is composing and singing post-modern-folk music. Please visit his site:
"Every Picture" is the first scene following the show's Prelude. Basil Hallward is intensely working at finishing a painting which is turned away from us, the audience. His cynical friend Lord Henry Wotton is egging Basil on to tell more about the young man who is the subject of the portrait.
On stage, the story Basil tells would be dramatized, so we can see the party scene he describes.
Finally--a glimpse of what the show could be like on stage! You'll hear that it's a scene set to music, not a "song" in the strict sense. The scene's short dialogue sections are included, so you'll hear how the music shifts from accompaniment to underscoring.
For purposes of comparison, here is the link to what I posted earlier, the song/scene without vocal:
I'll be posting more of the show which follows this scene---it will be without vocals again, alas, but I enjoy playing my work for this, my Garritan family of musical friends, so the lack of full recordings (sans vocals) won't stop me!
NOTE: The majority of what you hear is GPO. My motivation for buying GPO was specifically so I could re-record the entire score of my show with the great Garritan library of sounds. I used some hardware synths and a few soft synths in addition.
MORE LINKS--to the other pieces from "Dorian" which I've posted.
The recording of the voice sounds a bit strange... the reverb/ambience or something just sounds a bit off, as if the room he's in is just a bit too closed in... maybe there's not enough of it?
That said, it is a great thrill to finally hear main melodies and the lyrics! Wow! This is very catchy and addicting... I can't stop listening... I love the variety in rhythms and the variety in orchestration really stands out to a greater extent with the presence of the lyrics. I'll have these lyrics memorized eventually... Fantastic work, thanks for sharing! And many thanks to the fine singer for lending his voice!
I LOVE this!!!!
it's modern in a Sondheim-ish way.
I am so tired of the too pop/rock trend in Broadway music in the last while (like Les Miz, Rent).
I'm glad to hear something that is more "symphonic".
This is a genuine thrill, to finally have a vocal on at least this one scene/song, and to have it available for sharing.
THANK YOU for listening, Sean and gccowboy. Your enthusiasm is really making my day. I loved hearing that the orchestration is more interesting with the vocalist there--that's a "mission accomplished" for me as composer and arranger that warms my heart.
AND thanks for the technical feedback, Sean. To be fair to Mark, the singer, he expressed pretty much the same thing when he heard the mix. He noted several places where the reverb does strange things. Then he realized that for some of the takes, he had his microphone set to an Omni pattern, picking up too much of his room--while on the rest, he had it in a Cardiod pattern, cutting out the live room sound to a greater extent.
I was just so thrilled to finally have a vocal track I told Mark I was willing to overlook it for now. If he wants to re-do some tracks, well then fine.
It's too bad that flaw is this noticeable though--sigh--I'll have to curb my enthusiasm and see if we can re-do. Argh--two solid days of mixing his vocal in, but--that's the name of the game!
i'd love to listen, but once again i can't get it to work. whatever site you have i can never get to work, no matter who is using it. i use a mac, and i think thats the problem. if you can figure out a way for me to get it let me know, cause i'd love to hear it (and the rest of your music). thanks.
Thanks for dropping by, Larry!--and for the great response you posted. Believe me, I will let you and the whole Garritan gang know when there's an opening night. We could have a quite an opening night party, don't ya think?!
And Jeff, thank you also for again listening to one of my posts. Your positive support is much appreciated.
"...a good audio engineer could sit this track right into the score nicely..."
Well, for now the engineer has to be me, and I'm doing the best I can. But I'm fairly certain that it wouldn't matter how top-notch the engineer is--you can't remove the effects of reverb once it's embedded on a track. Vocals just Have to be recorded as dryly as possible so they're a blank slate when it comes time to mix. Reverb is added to suit the material and the backing tracks. But if there's an unwanted room ambience on the track--you're stuck with it. And this sounds like the fast slap-back of a small studio room,--because that's what it is!
HOWever, I'm going to try an experiment with adding a Lot more reverb to Mark's tracks to see if I can disguise the problem sufficiently, without making it sound like I've plunged him into the Grand Canyon. The tracks are Very wet right now on a large concert hall program, but I'll see what happens when I crank that up--I'm not holding my breath on it working.
Mark's a busy guy, but when he heard this, he immediately offered to re-record the tracks, using my mix as a guide, since I did a lot with the dynamics and phrasing in this complicated mix.
We'll see. I'm not sure how pressing an issue it is right now. I Do want demos as good as possible to submit to producers, so, at some point I will have to grin and bear it--do it again.
Well done, before talking tech about the right and wrong way to mix lets just sit back and enjoy your hard work to get this far. You are one of very few people in this world to get this close to your dream of publishing and performance of musical theatre like this, working alone. Bravo!
I'm not an expert but when I mix a vocal track emailed to me with my backing tracks I usually process the mix down track with a studio reverb adding just enough to create the illusion of all being in the one space. I'll send you a link to an example rather than posting here Randy.
It was a pleasure to work with you on this one. Thanks for placing your trust in me to work on this fine project.
Time consuming? Sure. Like many valuable things, it was worth the time and energy. It's not an easy bit to sing, after all, and every time I sang it, I noticed something that I could do differently to improve or a nuance here or there that I missed that I would like to add.
The significant difference for me in working virtually on opposite sides of the country vs. face:face, is that coaching/direction that takes minutes face:face, takes hours and days and is open to interpretation when done through e-mail and sound files!!! LOL.
That said, you provided extensive notes, and I appreciated the uncommon care you too to give the best direction you could under the circumstances!
One plus for me, is this score is truly great. It was a delight to listen to, and stuck in my head during the days after the nights I would record.
My thanks to those here who made kind comments about my effort.
Further, my apologies on the mic miss! Yes, I am almost set to do another take...(if requested, and as soon as I finish recording some tracks on a new original song I am working on ) ...and Randy, I have a superb "Stage" reverb in Samplitude's Variverb. If you are curious, I can literally "print" a track of the reverb-only for the takes that I sent you, and you could try it.