"Graduation Day" - new orig, PS-04, nTrack

This song is written for a friend of mine who just went through a lot in her life, and helped me through a lot in mine, and how we both have the attitude that life throws things at us and we get past them and grow…in a sense, we “graduate” to the next level.

The intro, and one of the parts of the last chorus, is an actual sermon preached by my father when he was a pastor in the First Assemblies of God church when I was a kid. We were living in northern Missouri at the time, I was about 10 years old. When I was visiting him in Phoenix in June, I dug up these old cassette tapes of his sermons and listened to them, and realized that one called “The Fire of God” fit perfectly into the song I was recording while I was there, so I decided to use it in the song. I"m not religious in any way, but I thought it worked pretty nicely.

This is also my first foray into using FruityLoops as a tone generator - the sound effects under the sermon intro and various string/synth pads in the song, as well as the extra hihat & tambourine at the song’s start and end. I still can’t figure out how to do MIDI instrument direct into nTrack (see my previous threads), so I used my MIDI setup as a single instrument and recorded in real-time direct into my PS-04 instead.

Instruments are:
PS04 drums (funk kit) + FL hihat & tamb
acoustic guitar
electric guitar
electric bass
rhodes piano
FL analog synth pads
2 horns (flugelhorn & trumpet)
high analog synth melody
lead vocals


(Intro) “Fire of God,” Rev. Dan Gregg, October 1978 / Graduation Day

mp3
http://www.jamesmgregg.com/audio/audio/newtunes/graduation-day.mp3

lyrics
http://www.jamesmgregg.com/audio/audio/newtunes/graduation-day.txt

Also available on my Soundclick page…
soundclick.com/jamesmgregg

pretty good quality man.

the only parts that aren’t working for me are the vocals and those cheesey-ass horns. The vocals sounds like a home video. Perhaps, retrack them with a better mic and less room echo? The horns sound like something from NES. Maybe tht’s what you are going for, but are probably better samples out there to make your song more serious sounding. Good job with the fuityloops though, it is sequenced very well.

Minn - thanks for the feedback.

The tone on the vocals isn’t my favorite either, I’m still tweaking that.

To clarify - those are REAL horns, played by me on a REAL trumpet…this is just my hobby, I’m actually a pro jazz trumpet player and have been for 20-odd years.
I purposely played them in that 1970s Chicago/easy listening style because that’s the sound I was going for.
I’m not sure whether to be more offended that you thought they were samples or that you think a sample could improve on them : ??? :O

Also…the FruityLoops stuff wasn’t sequenced - I only used FL as a tone generator for the synth sounds, and I played in real-time directly into my recording unit. I didn’t use its sequencing capabilities at all, nor did I use it’s drum programming. The drums are built into the Zoom PS-04.

Quote (jamesmgregg @ Aug. 16 2006,11:24)

I purposely played them in that 1970s Chicago/easy listening style because that's the sound I was going for.
I'm not sure whether to be more offended that you thought they were samples or that you think a sample could improve on them : ??? :O

If that is what you were after, you nailed it. Burt Bacharach/Barry Manilow from the 70's for sure. Don't worry, it doesn't sound like a sample.

I think the horns sound very Chicago also, You might try detuning them a tiny bit then panning them out hard right and left.