Instrumental - "Grand Escalante"

Acoustic morphs into electric guitar

Haven’t posted any songs here for a while, so I thought debut something new for comments. This is based on a pretty basic chord progression, but the idea was to start with a simple arrangement and make it more complex as the song progresses. There’s also a little fun here with sound effects.

ksdb’s “Grand Escalante”

It’s been a long while since I’ve noticed anything from you, so I gave “Grand Escalante” a few listens. I like a lot of things about it - the complex soundscape, the nice build up. Did I hear something that sounded like backward-tracking or a noise gate set at a high threshold? The only thing I had some problems with is the drums; for some reason I find it a bit distracting.

Overall very enjoyable.

DC

Quote (digitcallous @ Feb. 13 2006,15:19)
It's been a long while since I've noticed anything from you, so I gave "Grand Escalante" a few listens. I like a lot of things about it - the complex soundscape, the nice build up. Did I hear something that sounded like backward-tracking or a noise gate set at a high threshold? The only thing I had some problems with is the drums; for some reason I find it a bit distracting.

Overall very enjoyable.

DC

Thanks for listening. It has been several months since I posted anything (sort of a creative dry spell). That was backward-tracking you heard which was applied to one of the acoustic guitar leads; it seems kind of cool if you don't overdo it. I appreciate your comment about the drums. I used a band-in-a-box type of program to produce the drum track and I think I need to tweak it to be a little less busy sounding.

Very First Listen:

I like this - a lot. I get a sense of ‘Echo & The Bunnymen’ meets ‘Sigur Ros’ and I mean that in a very good sense. Film music. Definite potential for that - and again, I mean that in a very good sense.

I. too found the drum track distracting. At first. Then it seemed to settle in quite nicely with the whole and I thought you’d intended it to feel a bit ‘off’. I don’t know that I’d change it substantially - maybe mix it in much lower and allow it to build very gradually which would be very much in keeping with the feel of the piece.

At this moment I have given it exactly ‘one’ listen. I’ll listen again a few times and re-post if I have any other comments. But whether I do or not, it is a very impressive piece of work with much more to recommend it than to decry - nice work.

Hey Bill, thanks for taking the time to listen and comment. The music forum hasn’t been getting a whole lot of traffic lately. I appreciate the feedback. I went back and touched up the drums a little. I could see where it still might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think this is relatively close to how I’m wanting this to sound. I liked your comment about film music - in an offhand way, this chord progression was loosely modeled after a Tangerine Dream piece from a movie (I think “Risky Business” with Tom Cruise). Anway, here’s a link to the remix in case anyone wants to check it out.

ksdb - Grand Escalante remix

I am going to have to (reluctantly) modify my previous comments.

Don’t get me wrong - I still think this is an excellent piece and I think your re-mix is superb.

I made it a point to play your (remixed) piece to a few non-musician friends and, to a man, they all commented that they found the drum track distracting. I couldn’t get them to specify what it was about the drums that they found ‘distracting’ beyond saying that they found it ‘off’ - I assume they mean in terms of rhythm.

So I made it a point to listen again with that in mind and even though I disagree with their comments I think I understand what they are hearing. It’s almost as if the drum track anticipates the down-beat - ever so slightly.

I could be wrong and it may have more to do with the accents than the actual beat but I think when you get the kind of universal response that I am getting it is wise to pay attention.

You may want to consider re-tracking the drums with just a tabla or something else organic. I’m convinced that you don’t need a bold rhythm track to make the piece work - it really does cook. But the human vs machine dynamic appears to come through to non-musicians and, let’s face it, that’s 99% of the audience.

Absolutely 100% guaranteed that I am speaking out my a$s. I think the piece is splendid as it stands - I am just reporting what I am being told.

BIG PS: Oh - Oh - Oh - Oh - I really meant to say this – add a very basic bass track - nothing fancy - 2s and 4s - I think the result will please you tremendously.

Quote (BillClarke @ Feb. 16 2006,14:16)
I am going to have to (reluctantly) modify my previous comments.

Don’t get me wrong - I still think this is an excellent piece and I think your re-mix is superb.

I made it a point to play your (remixed) piece to a few non-musician friends and, to a man, they all commented that they found the drum track distracting. I couldn’t get them to specify what it was about the drums that they found ‘distracting’ beyond saying that they found it ‘off’ - I assume they mean in terms of rhythm.

So I made it a point to listen again with that in mind and even though I disagree with their comments I think I understand what they are hearing. It’s almost as if the drum track anticipates the down-beat - ever so slightly.

I could be wrong and it may have more to do with the accents than the actual beat but I think when you get the kind of universal response that I am getting it is wise to pay attention.

You may want to consider re-tracking the drums with just a tabla or something else organic. I’m convinced that you don’t need a bold rhythm track to make the piece work - it really does cook. But the human vs machine dynamic appears to come through to non-musicians and, let’s face it, that’s 99% of the audience.

Absolutely 100% guaranteed that I am speaking out my a$s. I think the piece is splendid as it stands - I am just reporting what I am being told.

BIG PS: Oh - Oh - Oh - Oh - I really meant to say this – add a very basic bass track - nothing fancy - 2s and 4s - I think the result will please you tremendously.

I appreciate your thoughts on the drums. There is a bass guitar part already in the song, although maybe it needs to brought it up in the mix. Thanks again for taking the time to listen and comment.
Quote (ksdb @ Feb. 16 2006,16:29)
I appreciate your thoughts on the drums. There is a bass guitar part already in the song, although maybe it needs to brought it up in the mix. Thanks again for taking the time to listen and comment.

Maybe not - might just be that I was listening on my (admittedly crappy) computer speakers.

(For this example think of your song’s time signature as 4/8 instead of 4/4 - it’ll be a lot easier to explain this way.)

You’re swinging the eighth notes on the guitar parts, but not the drums - that’s why it sounds like the bass drum is rushing the song. This is a very crude illustration of how things are lining up:



Listen to “It’s Good To Be King” by Tom Petty for an example of what you need to be going for (as far as the drums are concerened).

Just ask if you need a better explanation, or post this up for Mac to hear - I’m sure he could do a waaay better job of getting the point across.

Quote (Former Member Gone @ Feb. 18 2006,19:06)
(For this example think of your song's time signature as 4/8 instead of 4/4 - it'll be a lot easier to explain this way.)

You're swinging the eighth notes on the guitar parts, but not the drums - that's why it sounds like the bass drum is rushing the song. This is a very crude illustration of how things are lining up:



Listen to "It's Good To Be King" by Tom Petty for an example of what you need to be going for (as far as the drums are concerened).

Just ask if you need a better explanation, or post this up for Mac to hear - I'm sure he could do a waaay better job of getting the point across.

I appreciate the interest in the song, but it looks like we're getting a little too carried away with overanalyzing something that's not going to be changed.

Quote (ksdb @ Feb. 19 2006,00:34)
I appreciate the interest in the song, but it looks like we’re getting a little too carried away with overanalyzing something that’s not going to be changed.

Since three out of three people who responded to your thread (not including BillClarke’s pals) can hear the timing errors in your song, I don’t think I’m “carried away” or overanalyzing. The mistakes are obviously pretty obvious.

But hey - if that’s your thing (having notes and beats outta sync), it’s fine. Just specify that you don’t want advice next time you post a song!

:D

Quote (Former Member Gone @ Feb. 19 2006,02:24)
Quote (ksdb @ Feb. 19 2006,00:34)
I appreciate the interest in the song, but it looks like we’re getting a little too carried away with overanalyzing something that’s not going to be changed.

Since three out of three people who responded to your thread (not including BillClarke’s pals) can hear the timing errors in your song, I don’t think I’m “carried away” or overanalyzing. The mistakes are obviously pretty obvious.

But hey - if that’s your thing (having notes and beats outta sync), it’s fine. Just specify that you don’t want advice next time you post a song!

:D

Why would you presume that songs are posted here looking for advice?? Besides, this is a recording forum, not music theory, so maybe advice should be relevant to the topic. The people who are looking for technical help are usually pretty specific about asking for it.

Quote (ksdb @ Feb. 19 2006,02:45)
Why would you presume that songs are posted here looking for advice?? Besides, this is a recording forum, not music theory, so maybe advice should be relevant to the topic. The people who are looking for technical help are usually pretty specific about asking for it.

Oh, okay.

How about this:

DUDE! YOUR SONG IS AWESOME IN EVERY WAY! IT TOTALLY ROX!

:D :D :D

Seriously, bringing up timing problems in a public “n-Track Studio Music” forum is taboo? Gimme a break!

:laugh:

Quote (Former Member Gone @ Feb. 19 2006,03:20)
Quote (ksdb @ Feb. 19 2006,02:45)
Why would you presume that songs are posted here looking for advice?? Besides, this is a recording forum, not music theory, so maybe advice should be relevant to the topic. The people who are looking for technical help are usually pretty specific about asking for it.

Oh, okay.

How about this:

DUDE! YOUR SONG IS AWESOME IN EVERY WAY! IT TOTALLY ROX!

:D :D :D

You can hate the song for all I care, just keep unsolicited advice to yourself, or at least ask before you offer.
Quote (ksdb @ Feb. 19 2006,03:27)
You can hate the song for all I care, just keep unsolicited advice to yourself, or at least ask before you offer.

Uh, don't post it in a public music forum in which people critique songs!

By the way, I never said I hated your song.
Quote (Former Member Gone @ Feb. 19 2006,03:30)
Quote (ksdb @ Feb. 19 2006,03:27)
You can hate the song for all I care, just keep unsolicited advice to yourself, or at least ask before you offer.

Uh, don't post it in a public music forum in which people critique songs!

By the way, I never said I hated your song.

Critiques are fine; advice unrelated to n-Track is unnecessary.

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Quote
Critiques are fine; advice unrelated to n-Track is unnecessary.

Ohhh. It’s okay to critique your song - but not talk about the music?!?

Whatever, man.
Quote (Former Member Gone @ Feb. 19 2006,03:36)
Critiques are fine; advice unrelated to n-Track is unnecessary.

Ohhh. It's okay to critique your song - but not talk about the music?!?

Whatever, man.
Talking about music is one thing; detailed analysis such as posting timing charts is over the top.
Quote (ksdb @ Feb. 19 2006,03:39)
Talking about music is one thing; detailed analysis such as posting timing charts is over the top.

You're acting like I kicked you in the nuts or something. It's just a chart.