New song: "To Be Missed"

comments welcome

Hi everybody,

I’ve been planning for a long time to make a bunch of songs with English lyrics: most of the 20+ years of making songs I’ve written in my native tongue, Finnish.

Finally, there’s at least one song done. It’s called “To Be Missed”. It’s somewhat reggae-ish, rootsy tune with a couple of (hopefully) interesting twists. All played by me and sung by me, unfortunately - I’m not a great singer, hardly even a mediocre singer, so you’ll find the vocal delivery to be somewhat, eh, laconic…

All comments concerning the song, playing, recording and mixing are truly appreciated. (Of course, I’d like very much to know if you think I’ve inadvertently nicked somebody else’s song. ??? )

Thanks,

Mwah

Update: I uploaded a new, remixed, improved, smaller sized (128 kbps) version of the song. I’d still love to get comments.

And yes, it’s recorded and mixed with the n-Track Studio, using mostly UAD-1 effects.

Thanks,

Mwah

Hello:
I think your song is interesting, it could be the tempo that bugs me, seems a little slow. I do like the dark sounding vocal, that’s the beauty of original music, you can give it your own personal style. The overal mix is good but I’m noticing that a lot of home recordings have drums that seem very wide sounding. To me that sounds to spread apart and unfocused and 80’s sounding. I think that drums should be more direct to drive the beat of the song.

Thanks for the comment, unirail. You’re right about the drums being spread quite wide - if you listen to tem separately and without reverb etc., the stereo spread sounds OK (as the kit feels like it’s very close). And, of course, it’s always easier to narrow the stereo picture than to widen it, so there’s a point a sound bank is spread quite wide.

Considering tempo… a lot of my songs seems to be around 100 to 120 mark, so in their context it’s a good idea to have something a bit slower… but you may be right that listened in isolation (as I don’t have other songs uploaded so far) it might feel a bit too slow.

Thanks,

Mwah

hi mwah,

i think it’s a very good song, i’m listening to it now and i like it

the tempo is cool

the only thing i would change is about the drumkit (toms & snare and kick), they really have got no ‘‘sound’’! anyway i think you give to the percussion the ‘‘right place to stay’’, behind and not in front of the music

the synth is good but maybe it could be a little better, maybe
is that kind of envelope who can’t satisfy me

gun_club, I sort of targeted to a sort of not-so-prominent drum sound. One, because it’s a sequencer playing the drums, and two, because I like the way Daniel Lanois keeps the drums as a part of the overall rhythm and not as a featured thing.

The ‘synth’ - a sampled didgeridoo, in fact - is pretty loud and a bit obnoxious at the beginning and the end, I know. I sort of tried to achieve a sense of a band, and the ‘keyboard’ player needed to get some space, too: the other “keyboard instrument” - a bandoneon sample during the chorus parts - is buried deep down with my falsetto backing vocals. :p

right mwah, i said i like the drum behind as it is in your song (i would be very pleased if you could teach me how to do that!), the only thing who loses is the deeply absence of toms, kick & snare…they sound flat to me (sequencer apart, is just a matter of sound) IMHO!

Well, I guess it’s a bit either/or: either you got a prominent drum sound, or they sit well behind the mix…

Anyway, the original drumkit sounds are from Yellow Tools giga soundbank (actually, a combination of several YT drumkits). I recorded them to three tracks (Kick in mono, the rest in stereo) with Gigastudio’s Audio capture feature. Next phase was to run the stereo track through SIR with a dry-ish snare drum impulse to get some sense of actual kit instead of several pieces of kit recorded completely separately.

(The YT kits are pretty dry, which gives you the opportunity to add just the amount of processing you want. In fact, I used the snare drum impulse to “keyboards” and other percussion instruments, too.)

While mixing, the stereo drums and the rest of the percussion (the hand cymbal track and the hand drum on the far left) were routed to a group channel with a just touch of chorus… actually, I might take some of the chorus off when I re-mix the song. Leave just a tad. I guess that would bring some life back to the drum sounds. The individual tracks were routed to a aux channel reverb, too: just a tad to the stereo drums, more to the hand drum, a lot to the hand cymbals. A “studio-sized” room simulation from the UAD Realverb Pro plugin.

Meanwhile, the kick drum track was routed to another group channel with the didgeridoo sample track and the (real) bass guitar. The idea here is, as a friend once said, “to get the kick drum to send the bass note off, not to be heard as itself” (except when it plays on its own during the intro and outro). Here I had some compression (UAD 1176SE) and eq (UAD Pultec) plugins active.

I’m just learning the ropes with the UAD plugins. This is the first time I’ve mixed with them. They’re an interesting bunch, I’d say…

well, i know Sir reverb but never learned to use well! i think i’m gonna start to use it again!

i’m listening to the song again, the hand drum panned all on the left (did you use a delay to repeat?) is very very fine, other ‘‘comping’’ percussion are not so widely panned, isn’t it?

so, is the snare impulse who keep together the instruments and create that kind of atmosphere?

and obviously i think also the voice effects (reverb+delay?) are a part of the overall sound

and what about the rythm guitar? how is it recorded?

and (too much question!) what’s that analogic (like listening to a vynil) hiss who come on in the bridge at 2:53 and 3:03?

thank you a lot mwah

did you have other songs posted here?

Long Live Reverb.

Anyway, its an interesting. It feels more pseudo-surf than reggae with the guitar in the back and in the left channel. I like it.

Quote (gun_club @ July 05 2005,17:07)
i’m listening to the song again, the hand drum panned all on the left (did you use a delay to repeat?) is very very fine, other ‘‘comping’’ percussion are not so widely panned, isn’t it?

Yes, the “drumkit” has much more narrower stereo spread. No delay on the hand drum, there are separate (midi) hits.

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so, is the snare impulse who keep together the instruments and create that kind of atmosphere?

Well, at least it helps, methinks… one of the fun things with impulse reverbs is that you don’t need to use them just to get things reverb-y…

I originally got the idea to use snare rattle with other instruments from Keith Richards… in his first solo album, there’s a track (“Big Enough”, I think) where you hear snare rattling all the way trough the opening solo guitar riff. Creates nice little sense of expectation. I have yet to find a snare sample that sounds that good and prominent, but even smaller amount dialled in gives the clean, sample sounds a sense of being in a room with others.

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and obviously i think also the voice effects (reverb+delay?) are a part of the overall sound

Yes. Basically, there’s delay lines that’s shouldn’t sound like delays (just to add some more weight) and smallish reverb space.

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and what about the rythm guitar? how is it recorded?

There are actually three guitar tracks, two on the left and the slide guitar thing more on the right. All were recorded through H&K Cream Machine preamp/small power amp/power soak/cabinet simulator to EMU 1820. With the slide track (Gretsch Duojet) the CM had slightly more gain than with the two rhythm tracks (modded Squier Strat). The second rhythm guitar track was just an afterthought: a fingerpicked line to more or less double the original track, just an octave higher. It just sounded better than the original, so I panned them likewise and had the octave line a bit louder than the original.

When mixing, all three guitar tracks went to same group, with some compression, eq (mainly to drop out some bottom), and Steinberg Karlette tape delay sim.

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and (too much question!) what’s that analogic (like listening to a vynil) hiss who come on in the bridge at 2:53 and 3:03?

That’s iZotope Vinyl plugin. I wanted to get a different sound to the bridge vocal so I processed some noise there.

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did you have other songs posted here?

Not yet. There’s some ambient and experimental stuff at
my “Anxiety Closet” page. I’ll probably get another song done next week and I’ll link it to my music page.

Thanks for the comments!

I dig this song.
Very dark and brooding. I wouldn’t really call it reggae though…
Kinda reminds me of 60’s avant garde stuff.
Very cool.
Has quite a “jam” feel to it.

At first I didn’t really like the drum sound, but on the second listen I think they suit the style and the song and probably add to that jam feel.

I think the overall mix sounds good.
In some parts the snare sounds a tad too loud, but most of the time is at the right level for me.

I really like the clean guitar part in the verse (I think it’s a guitar…)

Rich

Rich,
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Has quite a “jam” feel to it.

Thanks, that’s what I was trying to achieve…
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I really like the clean guitar part in the verse (I think it’s a guitar…)

Yep, it is! :p

Thanks for all the comments so far. You’re a great audience! :laugh:

Just in case everybody’s not yet fed up with the song, there’s a new version: http://www.yrttimaa.net/audio/songs/ToBeMissed.mp3 (If you’d like to compare, the old version everybody’s been talking about is now at http://www.yrttimaa.net/audio/songs/ToBeMissed-old.mp3).

(This is a perfect example of the modern computer-enchanced tinkeritis: You have an instant recall and you can remix and tweak even when the cows have come home… After not listening to the song awhile and then listening again - always a good practice - I didn’t like the amount of reverbation and echoes, so I took some of them off. A little eq’ing here, a little eq’ing there… and yes, finally I run the whole mix through UAD-1’s LA-2A with very mild settings.)

Don’t worry, I’m not planning to became a one hit wonder. :p Probably will get another song recorded and mixed by tuesday… I’m just on the last planning stages of my second SF novel (plan to start the actual writing before the end of the month), so there’s lot of other things in my mind right now…