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Topic: Please Comment On New Piece: Trick or Treat

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  1. #1

    Please Comment On New Piece: Trick or Treat

    Well, its been almost a year and I am finally finishing up a new piece. I am calling it Trick Or Treat. It still needs to be mastered, and I am hoping to get some final comments on the mix from the talented people here.

    It features EWQL Choirs, Prominy LPC, EZ Drummer, Broomstick Bass, z3ta+, with some "spice" added by Bela Medial Lyrical Distortion, Bela Media Diva Collection, Tascam Ultimate Orchestral Percussion, Wusikstation, Cameleon, as well as some (free) sound effects.

    You can access it here: http://www.box.net/shared/x0uf2pg7tz

    Or here: www.soundclick.com/jeffreynaness

    Thank you for any comments and help in finalizing the mix before I send it out of mastering.

    jeffn1
    For original progressive electronic rock influenced by J.S. Bach and (old) Rush, check out: www.soundclick.com/jeffreynaness.

  2. #2

    Re: Please Comment On New Piece: Trick or Treat

    Hey Jeff,

    First off, good stuff. I enjoyed it. A bit different vibe from your usual material. So the rest of this is simply to give you some pointers towards realizing the full potential of this excellent music.

    Hilarious opening chorals. Outstanding enunciation with EWQLSC. I think I hear some weirdness in the bass section, though, near the end of the opening passage - they kind of fade out and back in, like a noise gate or something... did you effect them? At the end of the piece I hear the same thing. I dunno. I'm not quite diggin' it, whatever that is, deliberate or otherwise. Some quick sentences at the end, as far as EWQLSC is concerned. Turned out pretty good.

    Did you do a three-mic mix with the choirs? Sounds like C mics + reverb to me.

    Now, I find this to be true of most of your music... the guitars, dude. Bring them way up in the mix. They should be very loud and dominant - compressed and punchy. It just sounds like the guitars, which ought to be your central harmonic anchor and main driving rhythmic force, are merely a weak background texture. Kicks the legs out from under the piece before it even has a chance.

    The whole thing could be louder and more present, I feel. But the guitars for sure. Maybe double-track 'em, if you feel so inclined. Could be all it needs to fatten 'em up and bring them out.

    And some of that lead work needs more room to breathe. More delay, perhaps.

    All a matter of sheer opinion and taste, of course. I'm not listening through the best monitoring system, either. As aforementioned, I'm a fan, so if this come off harsh, it's only because I care so much. You solicited advice!!

    Louder guitars!!!!!!!!

    -Tom

  3. #3

    Re: Please Comment On New Piece: Trick or Treat

    Hi Jeff,
    I'm really enjoying this piece, and I'll post some more comments later. Initially though, I'm getting a really sudden drop in overall level just before 41'' - I'm listening on Hi-Fi, haven't tried the other options yet, but it's happening every time.

  4. #4

    Re: Please Comment On New Piece: Trick or Treat

    Hey, thanks for the listen, guys. Pingu, I am looking forward to seeing your comments. Tomdini, you know I am a huge fan of your music (and I print out all your posts on using guitar sample libraries with the hope of learning from your techniques).

    With regard to the choirs, I did not use any effects. I think I just used the full mics for everything. I might have also used the close mics for the boys choir. (It is tough too remember now). I think I am done messing with the choirs (they took up a lot of time as is).

    I am going to work on those guitars. I will try increasing the level in particular places (the power chords that are not present enough). I will also try some modest compression and also see how a little delay effects it.

    The guitars are already double tracked. The tracks are panned 50% left and right. One side uses the distorted LPC library just with a little EQ. The other side is the LPC clean library run through Guitar Rig 2. (See, I have already learned something from you!)

    Now, the guitars still might not be as dominant as you like (I sort of want an ensemble piece, rather than a guitar piece), but I am going to push them some more in that direction.

    I am confident the piece as a whole will be louder and more present when it is done, but I am leaving that to a friend of mine (Kilroy, from k-v-r) who is going to master it for me.

    Thanks again for listening and commenting.

    Oh, and Pingu, I will check out what is happening just before 41 seconds into the piece.

    jeffn1

    PS: Does anyone know a halloween tv special that is looking for some music?
    For original progressive electronic rock influenced by J.S. Bach and (old) Rush, check out: www.soundclick.com/jeffreynaness.

  5. #5

    Re: Please Comment On New Piece: Trick or Treat

    I enjoyed this a lot. I am listening to it again as I write this. The opening is charming. I am not much of a rock fan, but this mix sounds great. I like the synthesizer lines in particular.

    Very nice use of the choir.

    Marko

  6. #6

    Re: Please Comment On New Piece: Trick or Treat

    Quote Originally Posted by Marko
    I enjoyed this a lot. I am listening to it again as I write this. The opening is charming. I am not much of a rock fan, but this mix sounds great. I like the synthesizer lines in particular.

    Very nice use of the choir.

    Marko
    Thanks, Marko. You can see how there might be a little difference in perspective/taste between you and Tomdini. So, at some point I have to decide how much the guitars should dominate. I don't want to lose the synth lines (or anything else).

    jeffn1
    For original progressive electronic rock influenced by J.S. Bach and (old) Rush, check out: www.soundclick.com/jeffreynaness.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Re: Please Comment On New Piece: Trick or Treat

    Not my kind of preferrence, yet I listened to the whole piece. The choir using a sing-song kids chant is absolutely precious. Because it is low key, I liked it. I imagined a couple of choir oos (like friendly ghost rises and falls) and even two well-placed kids giggles to keep it all in perspective. The sing-song choir chants are an impressive touch.

    This is a good Halloween piece. I think I'll listen to it again. As reasonable a use of synths as Manhiem (?) Steamrollers.

    Good luck,
    tony h
    tony h
    Master Comp. P5 deluxe intel dual core, Windows XP Pro, 4G ram, HD's=OS Audio, two samples, Cubase 3/4 , GVI Kirk Hunter Concert strings, KH Concert brass, Emerald, Miroslav strings, brass, Quantum Leap brass. DAW and Master comp by pcaudiolabs- Slave Comp for VI only, Gigabyte Intel ,8G ram, ethernet, Windows Vista Ultimatex64, VI Ensemble,VI SE Appasionata strings.

  8. #8

    Re: Please Comment On New Piece: Trick or Treat

    Quote Originally Posted by jamiha
    Not my kind of preferrence, yet I listened to the whole piece. The choir using a sing-song kids chant is absolutely precious. Because it is low key, I liked it. I imagined a couple of choir oos (like friendly ghost rises and falls) and even two well-placed kids giggles to keep it all in perspective. The sing-song choir chants are an impressive touch.

    This is a good Halloween piece. I think I'll listen to it again. As reasonable a use of synths as Manhiem (?) Steamrollers.

    Good luck,
    tony h
    Thank you. Those are some good ideas to consider.

    jeffn1
    For original progressive electronic rock influenced by J.S. Bach and (old) Rush, check out: www.soundclick.com/jeffreynaness.

  9. #9

    Re: Please Comment On New Piece: Trick or Treat

    New mix up. I beefed up the guitars.

    jeffn1
    For original progressive electronic rock influenced by J.S. Bach and (old) Rush, check out: www.soundclick.com/jeffreynaness.

  10. #10

    Re: Please Comment On New Piece: Trick or Treat

    Ha! I can actually hear the double-tracking now. Hey, my idea sounds pretty cool, doesn't it?

    Nice. I dig it, man.

    On second listen: yeah, that sounds great!

    Only two nagging critiques remain.

    One - near the end of the opening choral passage, something screwy happens with the basses/tenors - they kind of drop out then fade back in. It doesn't sound good... I don't know what it is. Near the fourth bar after the Diva soloist starts singing. Seems like an EWQLSC/Wordbuilder glitch to me.

    Two - On all the lead guitar stuff, but especially when those single e-guitar notes ring out, after you hear that first synth arpeggio... with the vibrato sustains and unison bends... those notes, but really all the lead guitar material, absolutely beg for some kind of delay/reverb/sparkling, shimmery high-end. I think making that lead guitar a more cosmic/spacey/electronic/synthy-sounding lead, is gonna sound real effective with all the synths and other electronic textures you got going on there. It's much too dry, it blends in with the rhythm guitars and gets a little lost in the mix as a result.

    You used EZ Drummer? I'll have to give that lib another consideration. The demos didn't sell me entirely, but the drumming in this track sounds very natural and tightly engineered - the former due to your excellent MIDI chops and the latter due to Toontrack's good sampling technique.

    Okay, one more critique that just slapped me in the face. I think you should use more mutes when doing staccato stuff on guitar. Rule of thumb is, multi-note articulations (like power chords or other chords), use a bridge mute. Single note articulations (like those harmonics you have in the rhythm guitar when LPC first comes in, and the unison bends later on), use a pick mute. It just sounds so unnatural to me, that those notes are played staccato but I don't hear a little "plink" or a "click" as the guitarist mutes the notes.

    They don't need to be everywhere (but they should be, whenever a guitarist would use them ), but at least use them in exposed passages where their absence is obvious... they don't have to be loud, either. Subtle, but audible. Maybe they're already there, but I sure don't hear 'em.

    I like your changes, though. I'm really only nitpicking on the lead guitar sound and the mutes (though I think they're both important!!). But do fix the weird choir thingy at the beginning.

    -Tom

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