The new song is called “The Firehouse”. It’s not actually new as I wrote it in 2005, and it has a faster and a slower version, but this is the one I like the best.
Please give it a listen and let me know what you think.
IMHO, it has a cool thing happening at about 2:42 - the end of the song that is supposed to be an electric guitar’s sonic equivlant of a fire burning out of control/ or a really powerful wind.
An extended guitar solo goes over this part once it “gets going,” but I haven’t gotten it the way I want it yet, so I left it out for now.
Any thoughts or critiques would be helpful, as I learn so much from your comments and insights.
Well, I hope you’re all doing well.
All the best,
PS: The background of this song can be found in your Bible (Acts 2:1-4)… a pretty exciting time to be a disciple, and the song is written to be an eyewitness account of the events that occured in this passage.
I’m guessing that the guitar sounded great in the room, but it seems just a little muddy on the recording. You might try it again with just a little less of the overdrive; it should still sound nice and furry, but with a little more definition. I would also lower the vocal a pinch; as is, it seems to be ‘floating’ over the rest of the music, and pulling it back a hair will help it fit in better. And a little reverb might give more of a sense of space.
But overall, a pretty nice song and performance. Keep up the good work!
'til next time;
Listened to your track - could be a rough diamond.
I have no experience producing - so this is not going
The riff (A m G F) or what ever tuning your using,
is there - maybe use a tone pedal to add some varying high end
while you’re playing (or use more tracks)
I’d like to hear the bass and drums more defined - again
I think it’s an eq/compression thing.
So, I guess use more tracks, more definition of each instrument,
maybe streo placement (open it up a little).
Well worth polishing up.
Hi Iplan, pretty much what wynot and sevenOfeleven said above, and maybe the timing of the guitars with the drums are off in a few spots. Waiting to hear the guitar solo.
Keep on chooglin’
Version II of The Firehouse (w/ the changes you guys suggested) is up on soundclick. Version I is up there for comparision purposes.
The Firehouse II
I made the following changes:
1. Pulled back 4db on rhythm guitar 1 (the one playing the main riff)
2. Added a second rhythm guitar (following the chords) in the left channel (the rhythm guitars are panned 30 right and 30 left - to try and create some space)
2. Dickered w/ the drums in the 2nd part of song - to try and make it sound like something a drummer would play.
3. Mixed vocals (using first verse and refrain from the take last Tuesday), and the 2nd take for the second verse.
Gutiar solo would come in at 3:33
The outro vocals aren’t loud enough… I’ll bring them up next time.
To me, pulling back the rhythm guitar makes the song feel a little less “crowded” - and drawing an even bigger distincition between the two parts of the song. I was having the same problem on my other songs.
As a guitar player, I automatically “crank” the guitar too high in the mix (as if it were a mix I wanted to hear in a stage monitor or something).
BTW, someone suggested cutting out the bottom 500 khz on the guitar w/ and EQ, because they say the rhythm is a little muddy, but I’m not sure now that I’ve pulled the volume down. It sounds really thin when I do that…
Try cutting the guitar off below 200/250 instead of 500Hz. That should clean it up without making it wimp out so badly!
I haven’t time to listen to the changes right now (at work), but I will DL it later, and let you know what I think, okay?
Funny, rewriting a song about a prostitute to make it about speaking in tongues…although I don’t get “firehouse” from Acts 2:1-4 - probably missing something…
Ah, after Black Diamond we get Freebird!
I dunno, Iplan, I think you are pulling our collective legs here…
I know you’re gonna say “what?” but, take all guitars and bass and vocals and put thru eq with high pass filter set at 100hz (killing everything below that for a starting point) this will clean up the garbage on it. Makes the mix cleaner. Do a solo of each instrument bypassing the kill on the eq to see what crap isbeing taken from the total mix. Kick drum is only thing I let below 100hz thru.
Ah, after Black Diamond we get Freebird!
Man, and all this time, I thought I was copping that riff from the "Progressive Car Insurance" television commercial..... ;)
By way of background, I came up with the idea for this song while listening to KISS's Firehouse driving down I-20 from Florence to Columbia.
Of course KISS's version (predictably) is focusing on a girl, but I thought that there could be a spiritual element to the song as well ... eg: the first Christian Firehouse being located in Acts 2.
15 minutes later... I had a song - and hadn't killed myself writing it (which was fortunate as I wrote it while driving 70mph down the interstate) - driving w/ my knee, and writing it down on a notepad pressed against the steering wheel.
BTW, I think that's illegal in most states, so don't try to write while driving at home.
The reference to The Firehouse is two fold:
"Fire" refers to the description of the Holy Spirit coming down and descending ... "appearing on like tongues of fire on their shoulders" (and is referenced in Acts 2)
As to the "house", many Biblical scholars believe the disciples were located in the "upper room" at Pentacost (the same place they had communion - where Judas left to betray Jesus) re:
Luke 22:8-39 - hence the reference to a "house."
Put them together, and out comes "The Firehouse."
All the best,
Is it just me, or is your "Quick Post" option not working either?
Take all guitars and bass and vocals and put thru eq with high pass filter set at 100hz (killing everything below that for a starting point)
Do a solo of each instrument bypassing the kill on the eq to see what crap isbeing taken from the total mix. Kick drum is only thing I let below 100hz thru.
I'm going to do this Yaz, and post it up for review(it'll be version III).
It might take a day or so, but I'll post back on the forum to let you know when it's up.
Thanks for all your input and help.
You guys are awesome.
Iplan (the artist formerly known as KISS)
Thanks for the clarification, Iplan - the fire part made sense, now the house part does as well, I guess.
But you aren’t re-doing Firehouse, you are re-doing Black Diamond, with the tail end of Freebird tacked on.
I still think you are pulling our collective legs, Iplan.
For anyone’s amusement or nostalgia - KISS Firehouse live, 1974:
And Black Diamond, 1976:
Although I’ve long thought that the Replacements version is better…
No leg pulling here!
Bro, I’ve got to take issue w/ the association to the Freebird song — My song features different chords, different effects (no flange, echo, or grunge in Freebird), and I’m strumming a different rhythm than the Skynyrd’s Freebird.
In fact, Skynyrd steals their rhythm part from the old Chuck Berry rhythm form
G5 G7, G7 G5/ Bb5 Bb7 Bb7 Bb5…, etc.,
Besides that, what everyone hears in that part of Freebird is Alan Collins’ Gibson Explorer shreading the faces of everyone w/in 50 feet of the stage - not the rhythm guitar hidden in the background…
In my song, the rhythm guitar is the focal point.
That said, I’ve got no problem w/ giving a nod to the Black Diamond riff - that I used in the verses of my song, as it is certainly KISS influenced (all the way down to the suspended G chord shape hammer-ons - which KISS stole from the Rolling Stones), but if you listen to the Black Diamond riff, and the riff I carved out from it in The Firehouse (side by side) the differences should be clearly apparent).
Finally, who was it that said…
But who cares whether something is ripped off?
We remake the stolen bit, and change it to make it ours.
Who were the greatest plagiarists anyway?
Bach…Mozart…Beethovan…the question is: did you rip them off in an interesting way?
Strongly Influenced - Absolutely. (In fact, if anyone ever does listen to one of my songs for entertainment purposes, I want their reaction to be… “Hey that kind of sounds like an old KISS song”).
That’s really my goal.
Plagiarized - Hopefully not.
FYI, I just read the other day, that Led Zepplin completely stole Stairway to Heaven from another band… All Zepplin did was add the lyrics to an already completed song.
All that said, I’m not really sure I understand what my objectives as a songwriter should be…
Writing songs and recording them is all pretty new to me.
I hear parts of songs that I like, and think to myself, “That’s a cool riff, I’d like to use something based on that in a song I write some day.”
Is this the wrong approach to take?
You tell me, because I honestly don’t know.
I don’t buy into the must be “original” idea.
Most of the good ideas have already been thought of, and played by everyone, and the ideas that haven’t been thought up will be discovered by someone w/ much more talent than me.
Finally - in the interest of full disclosure - the intro to The Firehouse is closely tied to KISS’ "Rock Bottom."
All the best,
Firehouse III is up at Soundclick w/ the eq changes recommended - cutting everything except the kick drum at 100hz.
I finally got a guitar solo on the end (still rough - and a combination of no less than 5 separate takes… sounding like as many guitarists). I think I like it though, so I’ll plan on redoing the solo in one take now that I’ve got it figured out.
I thought I’d put it up there for comment.
The Firehouse III
All the best,
Kiss and Freebird…hmm, don’t listen to either one here, so…
EQing is better, first time I could distinguish your bass guitar in the mix, very good! Don’t stop at 100hz eqing. That’s just a starting point, play around with each instrument.
You have a 200ft stage with the entire band thrown in the middle, using only 60ft of stage. The guitarist has a long chord snaked up in a pile on the right side, the bass player tripped over it pulling his Marshall stack over onto the bass players Ampeg, thus knocking the drums over, breaking the drummers leg, which in turn knocked the other guitarist Mesa Boogie onto the lead singer killing him! You get my point?
Spread out the instruments to give it space and this will help clean up a mix. Position everything, close your eyes and imagine a live performance, you’re standing front row center stage! Don’t forget to A/B the mix from stereo to mono just to make sure your panned instruments aren’t to soft or loud.
Still having fun?
Keep on keeping on, you’re getting there!
When you said “Black Diamond” I thought you meant the song by Stratovarius. Memories of flying from Dubai to Paris to watch them came flooding back
Heh heh, Bruffie, nope, there was an earlier tune by that name.
Iplan, I have no idea what it means to be a songwriter, or what one’s objectives should be. Yesterday I found myself ripping off “Sparks” by The Who. I’ll post that tomorrow…
Y’know, Iplan, writing a Christian song with the title “Firehouse” might suggest to the reader that it’s about a rather warmer place that this. And using a song by a band famous for use of Satatic iconography, a song about a prostitute…I’ve concluded that you have a healthy sense of humor, at the very least.
#1 Stradovardious is one cool band. That is some talent on display. Thanks for the post Bruffie. Talk about a road trip… Dubai to Paris for a single concert. That’s awesome.
#2 TomS - man I’m glad you’re not upset at me. I really value your insight to what I’m doing, and I certainly might have gone off a little half cocked earlier in reply to your earlier post. All that said, too true on the symbolism, and that’s probably fitting in many ways to look at a song about a prostitute, and “refocus” it. (check out John 8:3-11). Irony at the very best in my opinion. At the very least, I figure “turnaround is fair play.”
You know, when I used to think of heaven, I used to wonder what it would be like, as sitting around w/ a harp seemed really boring. Lately, having spent quite a bit of time in the Bible looking at what heaven might be like, (I can forward the notes), I actually think heaven will probably be more like going to a KISS concert than hanging out on some cloud w/ a harp. I could site references, but I don’t want to seem like some wacky preacher just yet… maybe later. lol
It’s just that the people in heaven are very involved once they get there… like a concert crowd (but instead of celebrating rock and roll, they focus on saving grace instead).
I’ve got Firehouse III up as mentioned w/ the solo. I figured I’d hate it after a day or two, and wanted your feedback to confirm the fact that it’s bad, but it’s been a day and a half, and I think I’m starting to like it. Which could be a bad thing. So… show of hands… Who thinks the guitar solo sucks?
All the best,
PS: My quick post is still not functioning properly.
Oh noooooooo, I hope you’re not right Iplan. Heaven is like going to a Kiss concert, One Man’s Heaven is anothers Hell! LOL Just to clarify, I don’t like or listen to Kiss, no offense to any who does, just my personal preference.
My idea of Heaven would be a nice quiet peaceful lake, springtime with temp of about 72degrees, a cane pole for fishing, a recliner to sit in…oh, and Jessica Alba in a bikini serving ice cold lager!
Jeeezzzz, I am a Redneck!!!
Now, you shouldn’t post “who thinks the guitar solo sucks” !!! Now one guitar solo that I would think is great, you might think sucks, while Tom might be indifferent to it, and bruffie might say if he heard it again he would blow up his speakers! LOL
Pay me no mind, it’s 5:30am and I’m babbling from lack of sleep!