New (old) Song - what do you think?

ddewerd

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Here is a working draft of a song that I helped write a couple of decades ago. Would love to get any opinions on it.



Back in the 1990's I played a bunch with a great blues singer in Houston (Paula F). I wrote the music and she did the lyrics for this song way back then, but sadly, she has had some health issues and can no longer sing.

We never played it live or recorded it. I was chatting with her a few months ago and it came up as a long lost memory. I thought I would see if I could get a decent version to surprise her with. No delusions of grandeur or big plans for it, mainly a fun gesture for a dear friend.

So I put it into Band in a Box, and then in Reaper. BIAB is doing drums, bass, organ, and a second guitar, while I added rhythm guitar and solo tracks, plus a rough version of the vocals.

The song is written from a woman's perspective, but I wanted to capture the vocal melody as best as I could (before I forget again!). I am working with another singer to try to get her vocal take on it, so this is really kind of an interim thing (you may remember my discussion on here a few weeks ago about recording using a phone). It needs to be sung at least an octave higher (maybe 2) and have a "real" singer's vocal embellishments (at best, I am just an OK singer on a good day, downhill, with the wind...)

But I would love to hear any opinions - the good, the bad, or the ugly. I am still pretty new with Reaper and BIAB, so I know I have plenty to learn.

Cheers,
Doug

P.S. Also posted in "Twanger Central" forum
 

suthol

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Nice song, nice playing and a really nice thing you are doing for a friend, you are right it does need a female singer.

Did you export individual .wav files from BIAB or just the single backing track, or load the project into Real Band and export from there.

When using BIAB to create a backing I always use the individual instrument stems from either BIAB or RB, RB does change the flavour of the instruments so sometimes BIAB export is better suited depending on how we want it to sound.

Both BIAB & RB use Real Tracks but RB seems to sometimes makes different decisions that don't have the same feel

RB also exports stereo stems for some instruments which I render as mono for more control

I always export the drums from BIAB as Midi ( drag & drop ) so I can break the kit up using SD5, add the treatment and volume automation to the kick & snare in particular and then send the lot to a drum master bus.

On one track we are fooling around with I exported a finger picked guitar as MIDI and applied that to an orchestral harp VSTi

There's so much flexibility in BIAB if you experiment with it a bit.

As Woody would say, get the hammer out and start swinging, through the monitors I listened through which are a bit bottom heavy it sounds a bit thin and bright with little bottom end.
 

ddewerd

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Thanks suthol

I did import the individual wav track files from BIAB, with the exception of the drum track. For some weird reason the drums wouldn't render all the way through, maybe only about 75% of the way through the song and then it would crap out. So I had to render that in BIAB separately and import it into Reaper as one single drum track. The good thing is that the BIAB mix was pretty balanced. So the drums are all consolidated into a single track.

I have hardly scratched the surface of BIAB, and haven't even looked at RB at all. This is only about my 4th or 5th attempt with BIAB. The more I see, the more I realize I don't know yet.

But it's all good, you gotta learn somehow!

Thanks for listening and for providing your feedback. If you grow a teeny bit at a time, eventually you pull your head up to look and realize you've actually made progress!

Cheers,
Doug
 

suthol

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You are more than welcome Doug, I have learned so much here it's not funny and there's so much still to learn.

I've found that when you put a mix up for comment it takes a while before people chip in and sometimes it can be a bruising experience but it is also educational if one listens.

This started out as a BIAB -> RB track that I added bass and guitars to and then had one of my mates put down some pedal steel, Max, Bob (RIP) and I did the vocals.

The song was recorded, mixed and mastered in Reaper by yours truly

 
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ddewerd

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You are more than welcome Doug, I have learned so much here it's not funny and there's so much still to learn.

I've found that when you put a mix up for comment it takes a while before people chip in and sometimes it can be a bruising experience but it is also educational if one listens.

This started out as a BIAB -> RB track that I added bass and guitars to and then had one of my mates put down some pedal steel, Max, Bob (RIP) and I did the vocals.

The song was recorded, mixed and mastered in Reaper by yours truly


Nice!

I like the vibe and the message, which hits home with me.

I retired about 6 months ago. Been playing guitar, and in bands, for 50 years, but always as a hobby. So I bought BIAB and got Reaper set up as part of my retirement plan.

Although my wife is super supportive of my music, she's had me working on her honey-do list of everything I've put off for 30+ years while working. So I haven't had as much music time as I'd hoped.

But it's all good. This is all for fun and to keep me involved in music and mentally challenged.

And like you say, "it's never too late to try"!

Cheers,
Doug
 

Lizard

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ddewerd - It sounds good! Nice tune. I would bring the bass up a bit. I would like to hear more of it. Maybe low cut eq on the other instruments to make space? In the same vein (and this may not matter if you wind up using another singer), I would cut some frequencies in the rhythm guitar that are clashing with the vocal. It feels like they and fighting with each other. Maybe boost those frequencies slightly in the vocal. It will take some trial and error to find the right frequencies. Basically, dig a hole in the guitar frequencies to find a spot for the vocal to occupy.

Great work! These suggestions are minor.
 

ddewerd

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Thanks Lizard, great suggestions!

This is a decent, but certainly not final, mix. I'll have to see what it sounds like with the new singer (still working all that out). You're right about the vocals and guitar clashing - I have a pretty low register, so that's not surprising.

I'll also work on carving out some more space for the bass.

Thanks!

Cheers,
Doug
 




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