'Fantasy' - critique wanted please!

my first finished track ‘fantasy’

I’ve been singing and recording for a while, but this is my first ‘finished’ track for the upcoming CD. I’ve used n-Track (flute as 1 track, guitar and vocals as 1 track).

Any comments or feedback would be greatly appreciated!!


Ange x


I love how delicate your voice sounds.

Are you using a wind screen in front of the vocal mic?
It doesn’t sound like it - some popping and breath and spit sounds, also perhaps something bumping a cord or a stand, maybe? Maybe it’s something else…

Also - I’ve spent a a lot of time recording flute, one of the few things I’ve gotten reasonably good at - it sounds like this one was close miced (except for the high notes towards the end were you backed off from the mic I think - the room sounds very boxy there) with a dynamic mic or a cheapo LD condesor of the MXL type in a smallish room - maybe that’s just the mp3, hard to tell - I hear the keys flapping - flutes need big rooms in which to bloom and to let the sound jell…

But I like the sound a lot - your voice and guitar and flute fit together very nicely.

I really enjoy how you’ve created an intimate performance. It felt like a live performace with an audience of just me.
Very well played. Kept the serene nature throughout.

I personally would’ve liked the guitar to be brighter in tone. Was it mic’d? It sounds like direct in. I always prefer acoustic instruments to be mic’d. More natural sound and can get natural room atmospherics.

Overall, a very pleasant performance that was very well written!

I thought the mic sounds added to the intimacy of it, although it would be nice to have two versions to compare… :p

WOW!!! this is my first forum experience and amazing to get some ‘real’ feedback, thanks :)

I was hoping to achieve a live acoustic sounding CD to give a realistic representation of my abilities. (The purpose of my CD is to promote myself for gigs and songwriting, with a view to finally either sell my songs / be famous / ‘take over the world’… any which way I’m happy!).

I am using a mixing desk from a ‘Stagepass 300’ and a Samsung Q7 mic for vocals ad flute, a direct line from a dean guitar. It’s all very amateur but I’m trying to make the best of what I have (from my bedroom!!!) kinda figured a recording contract will pay for upgrades! :wink:

Aha. A Samson (not samsung) q7 - sn sm57 knockoff.
Live vocal mic.
Big presence peak.
Not a good sound for flute.

As a demo for getting live gigs it’ll do quite nicely.
I wouldn’t release it with the breath noises and other noises I hear, but then I am not too picky about that stuff myself anyway.
You know that you can edit a lot of stuff out in n-Track, extraneous noises like spit sounds when you breath.
I wonder if some of the “bumping” noises I heard were from the guitar itself.

Get or make yourself a popscreen to put in front of the mic, that’s a cheap way to reduce the breath noises.
As to using that mic for the flute, well, you might consider getting a small mixer with phantom and then getting a small diaphram condensor, if your budget will allow it.
Or Audix makes a nice little mic that attaches to the head piece that can run on battery without phantom. here:


Also, try a bigger room in your house, if possible, e.g., a nice living room, and one with walls that aren’t so lively.
Move the couch pillows around to get it under control a little.
Or just try different rooms.
The high notes don’t sound as good to me as the low notes, because you hear so much more of the room when you pulled away (I assume you pulled away on them, to avoid over loading).

Anyway, just my 2 cents worth, which is really worth about 1/2 cent in this economy.


You know that you can edit a lot of stuff out in n-Track

How do I do this? (and could you point out some examples on the track for me please? I'm kinda new at this whole recording thing!)

Thanks for the other advice, but finances restricting the mic isn't an option, however the popscreen sounds like a vital addition to my set up. (i must admit i hadn't heard all those noises but have never had a comparison to go by!

Aside from the choice in pick ups / mics do you feel the song itself is well written / sung? it was one of the first i wrote? (also I'm still finding my voice!)

Ange x

Apologies for the quantity and range in questions, it's so nice to have some honest / non bias feedback!

Everyones reviews summed up what I heard also - great performances - vocal track needs some tweaking.

Here’s how you make a home made pop screen - go get a metal hanger out of the closet - bend it into a big enough circle to cover your singing into the mike area - mine are around 8 inches. Get an old pair of pantyhose or leg stockings and stretch them over the hanger - use the length of the hanger left over to to tape to your mike stand. you’ll be able to bend it into position, and it saved you 20 bucks and 5 days of waiting.

Really nice work, welcome to the forum!

pop screen:

angel :) got it, thanks.

ps…love your work, been snooping a little;) vocals are really strong, (I’m a big country fan, one of few in england!)
do you write all your stuff?x

Dang, Poppa, shaving your beard took years off your face!

Ange, if that is your first song/recording, or one of your first, it is not just good, it is amazing.
In every way.
No fooling.

As for editing out extraneous noises in n-Track, basically you want to click on the button that displays volume evolutions (“draw volume envelopes”), and then click on the vocal track (or whatever) to insert nodes as needed.
The nodes can be used to increase or decrease volume, and you can use as many as you like/need. You can also often use a noise gate - the n-Track compressor has a gate setting, that basically mutes the track when the level is below a threshold you set.
That won’t take care of the spit noises, however.

you know, I bet if you posted the raw wave files somewhere, some folks here would have a go at mixing for you.
It’d be fun to see how different various mixes can make something sound, and this song only has a few tracks, so it’d be kind of fun to play with.

Also, be sure to remember to enter something in the upcoming n-Track song contest.
You could really have fun with the PSP mixpack, e.g., and do some great things to make it sound even better.
(yes, folks, that was an advertisement…)

i thought personally that the song was well written, and it seemed the mood/vibe you wanted to establish was successfully done so. there’s something capturing about the vocal melody, but i haven’t put my finger on it. listening to it again now…

got it. the use of appogiaturas. very cool, qute rare these days. It’s like we have our own Mozart! lends depth and emotion to the writing. :)

i still wish the guitar was mic’d. and as a (once and former) classical guitarist, i selfishly wanted to hear a classical guitar. I love the two flutes, though. :agree:

I, too, heard the breathiness but I don’t edit it out of my own stuff, so I’ll let the experts give you the DIY how-to.

Wow, are you guys always gonna be this nice?!
(I wasn’t really expecting to be compared to Mozart!)
So here’s the deal…I can’t afford a new mic and the guitar and vocals were recorded at the same time, so do I…

a)record the two tracks separately (loosing some live feel and adding recording time) allowing me to mic the guitar

b)carry on doing what i’m doing but tweak some levels?

c)attempt to use the mic to pick up both vocals and guitar?!

ange x

ps, jdet…great use of the word appogiaturas (confirming a great need for google and the wikipedia :laugh:)

I would suggest you try to mike the guitar - use the freedom of not having to sing as a motivational to play more freely… then use the not having to play guitar and just sing as the same tool to sing more freely.
I don’t know, but I suspect your level of talent is up to the task.

Capturing an intimate performance without distracting ones ear is not an easy thing. You are very close though.

If you are going to mic the guitar and then sing the vocal over that track, why not both mic and DI the guitar? Mix the two sounds together or whatever. I kind of like some of the aspects of the DI sound - clarity, note separation.

Good idea - always helps to have options.

'mazing :;):

Ok, so I’m gonna make a start on the next song today, I’ll try doing all the tracks separately, using my home made screen and the guitar both DI and mic’d. I’ll keep you posted on that. x

Any comments on my vocal abilities? as i said, i’m still finding my voice and not sure whether to push myself as a rounded artist,or as a writer?!

Thanks Ange x

Ps…I’m gonna try to post the raw files for ‘fantasy’ anyone Fancy’s having a go at mixing it, feel free :p
I have a six week deadline for the cd so it’ll have to do for now, but i will re-record it if i get time after all the other songs, i think that’s good logic!? :s)