its been a while

all comments welcome

Its been a while since I posted anything for a critique. I have been working on this one for a little bit and would like you all to give a listen. I’ve tried to put a lot I have read about here into practice. There are things I could comment about, but would like second opinions. As usual, all comments will be appreciated. Thanks…

Combo Rockers - Experiment With MIDI

This is an edited post: While I work on my previous effort that was posted here, I have replaced it with an experiment with MIDI…for what its worth.


Can you speed it up around 10-15%?

Too long for my tastes…couldn’t you communicate everything you needed to in half that time?

Good recording quality, have you looked into more pro-sounding drums?



I really enjoyed the feel of this. Nice playing. To be honest though the drums really let it down IMO. If this was my track I would perhaps use a nice low key percussion/bongo track rather than what you’ve done.

Sorry if this sounds harsh,


comments noted…
there is also a song posted there which contains my first attempt at using MIDI…

Pretty heavy, the effect you’re getting. I like the sound of the guitar, it’s unreal and electric-chimey. Kind of unnatural, but dreamy. I find it relaxing, actually. I have to (I get to) let go of the concept of it actually being a guitar. Good!

The vocal is pretty great! Sounds just a tad like the guy from Butthole Surfers. Puts a scary, end-of-the-line vibe on the presentation. That’s cool- kind of Mad-Max Apocalyptic, that dangerous, mellow tone. Great for the song.

The drums are very electronic, and a bit cheesey. I don’t mind the cheesey-ness, I think it’s kind of working. Yeah, they could be better, but I don’t object. The only things: Snare. And Cymbals. The snare is too quiet, and too thin. Also it goes away (decays) like beer with no immediate aftertaste (read: watery). And the “toy cymbal” just totally gives it away!..

What if you stayed with that not-real-acoustic-instruments idea, and rather than make the drums sound more like better drums, do something really outside with your “drums”? Either that or borrow a snare drum and a couple cymbals. But I kind of dig the other drum sounds, because your voice does indeed sound real against all the pretty obvious artifice, and rather grave. That’s what, for my ear, makes the thing work.

One more tedious note: It’s a great song, but it does take a long time to go by. What can you do to keep the feel of it, and the desolation of the message, but bring it into a pop-sensible frame, more listener-friendly? “Pop” is “Popular” for a reason, I always say.

But I dig it.

Hi Cliff,

Listened to the song. Love the sound of the guitar and the suitably desolate voice. Drums everyone else covered, but I do I think if they were more ‘real’ it would really complete the thing.
The comments about making it shorter are a bit strange, how can you shorten Bob Dylan too much without losing the message?
Nice recording and mix, if you redo the drums post it again!!

i used a roland dr550 for the drums. is it that in itself or do the drums need some sort of tampering (FX)? would ns-kit work better for drums? i also have several soundfont players and Steinberg VSC (i haven’t attempted to do MIDI drums yet…maybe that is the answer). your responses seem to be a consensus though i don’t quite understand the ‘real’ vs. ‘unreal’ sound of the percussion. my son had already told me the same thing…

is the song long, yes…its dylan. in fact, there are several more verses which i left on the table.
because of the song’s message, i was looking for “desolate” (lyrics) and hard-hitting (percussion).
i only do this in my very simplistic “walk-in closet” studio. like others on this forum, i would like to get a clearer sound where each part has its own space…and not all run together…
as usual, everything i do seems to be a ‘work in progress’…thats ok cuz i love it.

Yeah, you know I was hesitant to re-iterate the “long song” thing, since true, Dylan… covering Dylan. You’ve taken that on! But you have a good device, I’ll insist.

The real/unreal maybe comes from the very ‘gated’ sound of the drums… but now it goes on and on! And I am no one to get into a hard critique of anyone else’s work. You can hear my state of affairs above! The “name” of my little studio is “The Laundry Room”. Guess why… :D And so far it sounds like it. I’m working on it.

Anyway Cliff, you have achieved your aims just mentioned. The whole of the vibe is hard-hitting. Pretty good, man. You gotta love it when a thing works.

thanx all for the input…working on drums now—

p.s. as a guitar player working on drums is “working” on drums…


Very nice playing indeed. Everything seems to sit well. There is some white noise…what are you using for a pre-amp? You may be able to eliminate a small bit of it, but gating each track. Or just getting a wide seperation on your signal to floor ratio.

Again, very nice and soothing. After a day like I had at work yesterday, this was the right prescription. Thanks.