Another Friday sfternoon...


So I recorded this with my new/old/rebuild and racked Yamaha PM1000 preamps, most beautifully racked by clava of this fine establishment. Used three mics: 2 EV cardinals and 1 RCA 77.

Thanks for listening! "City of Trees"

City of Trees

Nice tune, me like.
The simple piano/organ/whatever theme in the chorus is REALLY good :)

Less focus on guitars & more organ with more grit @ 0:27, let it take center stage and yell ‘LOOK AT ME, I’M OVER HERE DOING MY THING RIGHT NOW!!’ but don’t overdo it, right? Hahaha – that one’s easy :wink:
Same thing @ 1:47. Or, if you keep it down during the latter bit, add some sort of lead part to it. Slide guitar? Organ? Voices? I dunno, but something to add spice & maintain interest…

If I were to put on my Nitpicky Hat (as I sometimes do) I’d say that the levels are a little too static throughout the song.
The guitars sound the same all the way through, there’s a certian ‘spotlight’ lacking on the attention craving parts during various parts of the song (see organ thing above).

The best snare sound I’ve ever heard from you (going by memory here…) :)
Nice & crisp cymbals but the hihat could use some of that too, IMO
Fatten up the handclaps (add more)

But most important of all, a good song!

Ehhh… that’s about it, methinks :)

Well, I’d have to say that I agree with everything you say.

I tried several things at the 1:47 and similar breaks, including acoustic, harmonica, ocarina (really), piano, but I didn’t try slide or voices - perhaps a Big Star Ooohh thing. Hmm…gotta try both.

To me the song is merely a justification for the piano/pad thing on the chorus. :)

Anyway, thanks very much for the listen and comments!

I liked it. Needs something in the turn around tho.
Getting close on that snare! :D

Well, I spent a couple of hours this afternoon playing with mics and snares and I have to say, an sm 57 sucks in my basement, a 421 is a bit better, and everything else was crap. Really I think it’s the basement as much as anything. The snare on this one is a combination of mics, but mostly the EV crystal mic I got a while back, and I think it is about as good as I’m going to get unless I can move into a house with a basement with 15 foot ceilings. :)

Well, perhaps if I tried some other snares.

Tom, this is your best yet - in every respect, I think. Two things really strike me about this recording.

(1) The song itself is really excellent, and I think that it will grow on people. It will go on my permanent playlist.

(2) Your singing on this seems so right for the song, and is delivered with such confidence.

I wouldn’t change much of what you’ve done, but I do thiink that a few subtle short licks - rally just accents- could be added to give a little variety to the backing tracks. MAybe just a couple of chords played with a different guitar sounds at strategic points to modifiy the sound, or play against the beat in a slighlty different way. I defiinitely wouldn’t clutter it up. The songs simplicity is part of its appeal.

Congratulations on reaching a new level in your music.


Nice one Mr Spademan :)

Like the song a lot. The piano is staying in my head even after the song finished, a sure sign of a winner for me.
Like it a lot (no cover version, I promise :) )

Even like the snare :)


Yes nice song and great vocal. I’m wary of hand claps but they work well here. From your comments up above, you do the drums live, yes? Do you put down a click track first and then put the drums on afterwards?

OK, I redid the organ just a little, not sure it’s much better, really only a tiny difference, but… :D

jm, the drums are not exactly live. Sometimes I play the kit live to a click. In this case, as usually, I started with a click and played a guitar part, then added kick and snare, which are samples from my kit, played from a midi keyboard, and then I mess around with the midi info to get them more or less in time. I am a wretched drummer. Other stuff gets overdubbed. Then I did the cymbals live. Often I also overdubb live extra snare hits or toms or whatever, but for this song I just left the kick and snare doing almost nothing interesting. I need a real live drummer.

The reason I am using my drums for things when I could be replacing them with better samples is twofold - first, I can overdub extra snare hits or whatever, and second I want to learn how to make things sound good without relying on pro samples.

Anyway, other than cheating on the kick and snare, everything else is a real human, and I usually race through stuff in one or two takes, so whatever happens, happens. Most folks around here are such craftsmen/women about things, like phoo, going through a ton of iterations, and their stuff demonstrates the virtues of that sort of effort.

I likes it! Organ sounds fine, like the guitars sound too!

It ain’t broke so don’t fix it!



Yes I love this one.
Weird thing is, when I listen to it on headphones, the guitar part is above my left eye.
How did you do that Tom?


Huh. I dunno, Beffy, I was aiming for the 3rd eye.

Gotta fix that.

I almost missed this one - had been away from the forum for a while and thought I’d already heard it.

This one’s really catchy. I was kind of expecting to hear the song fade out to a guitar solo but it didn’t.

I think the length of this one is perfect for the song too. It says what it means and leaves it at that.