Another tune for your approval

yeah, right. :slight_smile:

“Life is a Silver Stream”

I’m actually rather proud of a couple of things about this song - the cymbal sound is pretty much what I was aiming for. And I kind of like the piano/epaino/synth layered thing. I think I was thinking of echo and the bunnymen for the vocal sound. Anway, let me know if you can stand it. :D
Life is a Silver Stream

Great tune! I think this is my favorite you’ve made since “I’ll Go Anywhere.” Something about it has a real dream sequence feel to it, which (IMO) is tougher than you think to achieve :)

Like the sounds in this a lot, the way they’re put together, and the lyrics too.

At the end there - about the last minute - the piano/epiano is repeating a sequence that starts with a sixteenth-note C-D-E (I think, if my pitch is on today) at the tail end of 4, and there is something low-ended going on underneath this that sounds really cool when layered like that. What is that I’m hearing?

And how did you get the cymbal sound? I think they contribute a lot to the dream feel.

What - you got perfect pitch or sumptin? I dunno what’s going on under at that point, but you got the notes right…

The recording actually has a lot of stuff in it: acoustic guitar, PRS 6 string electric, Ric 12 string, a sampled piano with only one velocity, a sampled wurli doubling the piano, a wave table synth doubling the piano again with a long release pad, and Big Tick’s Cheese Machine, along with bass and drums and 4 vocal tracks. The kick is my goodwill ludwig. :)

The cymbals - yes, I like that sound - just quick beat hihats and my crapo sabian crash and ride recorded with a pair of EV Cardinal mics (which I now like better for OH than my rode nt5 pair!) played lightly with light wood tip sticks, pretty compressed when recorded with a dbx 266 chepo comp that I bought off a very kind person here, and though SIR with a plate impulse.

Yup, perfect pitch. Or close to it. I couldn’t tell you if that C was off by 2 cents or not. In fact, for some reason I have kind of a hard time tuning my guitar without a tuner. But assuming it’s in tune to start with I can usually "name that note."

Well whatever it was underneath, it worked out well.

And the cymbals were a perfect match for the tune. EV Cardinals, eh? I haven’t encountered those in “real life.” Is this it? Man, that is a pretty mic.


I listened to it early morning Tom, it helped me gently glide from that hazy, indeterminate state into full wakefulness.
Thank you very much.


Thanks, Beefy! :)

Yup, HotDog, that’s the mic - a fellow over at had purchased a bunch of them, and was selling them for 150 usa dollars each. Not the greatest sounding mic, but very good. And I do like they way they sound on cymbals. Not so much on guitar amp, or acoustic guitar, or my voice, but then again nothing really helps my voice anyway. :)

Don’t know how I missed this one!

Superb Tom!

What a nice mellow song - the sound is big and round (I know that probably doesn’t make sense) - the only thing I would say is there is no kick drum in the mix that I could hear, but then again, you don’t want a loud kick for this kind of tune. I like the vocals alot - soothing is the word I would use.


Hey Tom, just got DSL here, so wuz able to give an ear. Listened to about 10 songs. Singing Neanderthals seemed to stick in my head more than others. Liked the writing and playing, just one suggestion tho, maybe a little more clarity on final mix.


Sorry bout posting as a guest on the last post Tom, forgot to log on.


Well, Yaz, I haven’t a clue how to do clarity. Really. :D

Although the full 16/44 mixes sound very clear enough on my big speakers at home. And I have always liked things that just sort of mush together.

Anyway, I do thank you very much for the listen and the comment.

Seriously, what makes a mix clear? I’ve no talent for making things sound clear. I know it.

I was listening to your songs on JBL 4311 studio monitors. Maybe a little EQing on instruments will help. Sometimes my stuff will sound boomy, may not be the whole mix but just one guitar causing it. I try to get as flat a sound before adding effects too. Playing my stuff on others media helps me too. Just something to play around with dude! Still enjoyed the music.

Tom, I think the biggest issue in your mixes is the drum sounds. The snare sucks. Sorry, but it does suck.
Maybe bringing the drums out in the mix may help too. I’m not a big fan of heavy effects, that’s just a individual thang tho.
But I’m really enjoying your tunes. They are great! Guitar playing is good too. But I think u need a Paul here and there LOL.

Lots of those guitars are PRS with p90 pickups. :)

Snare sucks, well, that seem to be the general consensus. I can’t believe how hard it is to get a good drum sound. Of course, the snare is a student model tama that I got at a garage sale. Perhaps recording it with the kick drum mic was not such a good idea. :D

You are mixing using those speakers? Unbelievable! (in a good way!) I don’t understand how folks get good results with sort of minimal monitors. Anyway, it’s pretty clear to me that I don’t really have the ears for this sort of thing. But it sure is fun. And truth be told, I’ve become much better over the years.

Anyway, I deeply appreciate the frank comments! If you want to hear some of them in 16/44, drop me a line and I will send of a CD or two!

Well, Frank Zappa’s ‘Ship Arriving to late to save a drowning witch’ album credits read JBL 4311 studio monitors used in mixdown. Everrything was mixed flat. Was enough for me to contact my brother in law (who was in high end audio sales at the time) and have him aquire me a pair. HOLY MOLY, the sound from these babies are something else. Very precise on frequencies. BTW I got the pair for cost +10% and at the time the list price was $1200.00 a pair. My cost for the pair was $380.00 . Quite a mark up in audio equipment eh?

Best sound on snare I’ve been able to re-produce is a SM57 on bottom outside toward high hat. I think alot too is the room acoustics you record in. My little studio is Half a garage closed in with peel and stick tile floors. Sound sucks in this room, so I built a little protable iso booth with plywood and 2x4’s,foam inserts,piano hinges for fold out wings and locking castors so I can roll it out of the way for storage. It works pretty good. With the mic arsenal you own, you need to try 20 or 30 different mics on that snare!

And recording and learning about recording is a HOOT! I LOVE IT!

PRS guitars are awsum! So are Strats actually, I like anything with strings and a straight neck!

The PRS rocks, and it’s just one of their budget ones.

Yep, you are right, I need to try out a lot of mics. Wish I had more time…and wasn’t quite as lazy…

Still, you woulnd’t believe how good this stuff sounds compared to what I was doing just a few years ago. I dunno why, but I’ve always been drawn to the things for which I have only a moderate amount of talent, and the things I am good at, I find boring. So I’ve been a paragon of mediocrity. but St. Salieri has absolved me.

I’m one to give advice Tom. When it comes to lazy, if you look up the definition in the ol Webster’s, you’ll see my PIC! :D

Yep, you’re so lazy you don’t even have an avatar. :)