"Love Hurts" song for review

Hi all,
For your review, a song written by Boudleaux Bryant for the Everly Brothers, which they first recorded in 1960. My version is based on a recent cover by Heart. I became aware of B. Bryant as a songwriter when I visited the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville in June 2003. Then when I visited the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum in Cleveland, OH this past June, I came away with the desire to study more about early Rock music. The Everly Brothers were part of that, and in studying their repertoire I came across this “Love Hurts” song, and then learned that B. Bryant was the author. As a side note, B. Bryant and his wife Felice are the first two people credited with moving to Nashville for the sole purpose of “making it” as songwriters. They were peddling a song they co-wrote in 1957 all over Nashville, with no takers, until an up-and-coming act called the Everly Brothers got a chance to hear it, and decided to record it. It was called, “Bye Bye Love,” and the rest, as they say, was history.

Any feedback you can give me on the production values of my recording will be most appreciated. I recorded on my Zoom PS-04, then mixed in n-Track 4.0, and some final touches in GoldWave. Follow the link in my sig to “Jeff’s Jukebox” and select #19 in the “Cover Song” section. (I hope I set my sig link up correctly!)
Jeff’s Jukebox

Jeff,

I like your voice. That said, I’m not sure what you want to hear about production… there seemed to be drums at the beginning, but they disappeared. The tune seems to be mainly vocals with a thin backing guitar…with Stevie Wonder on harmonica. To me, it is kinda haunting, but I’m not sure what you were after here. I’ve heard the original, and the Nazareth version was one of my teenage faves, your version puts yet another twist on the tune. Cool. I like the whole “dark” vibe it has. I’d lose the harp. Was this any help? Wanna do vox for one of mine? Seriously.
Peace,
-Ed

Yes, Ed, I’d be up for doing a vocal on one of yours. And your review was helpful. Voice is my strong point, and I was trying to highlight that with this mix, but it seems I mave have overdone it, pushing the drums (and maybe the bass?) too far back in the mix. Also the “dark” vibe you picked up on seems to be inherent in my style, or put another, what naturally comes out of me if I just take the filters off and let myself “sing” (if that made any sense).

Quite honestly, what I’m looking for with the cover recordings is to get better at the recording side of things while in the process getting a lasting recording of how I sound singing and playing a song that has somehow grabbed me inside. There’s also a songwriting side to me, that would love to get some original material together in a nicely recorded package, have a publisher take a liking to it, and set me up with a contract to sell my pop songs. Having admitted that here, I must add that I am also a realist who understands that there is almost no chance of that happening. But the dreamer in me says there’s at least some chance.

Bottom line, when I do one of these recordings by myself, cover or original, I come away with the feeling that if I had just gotten some other folks to play the instruments, and somebody else to do the recording, then it might have turned out pretty good. :D Actually, I’ve done some online collaboration already just along those lines, original stuff. I’ve worked separately with 3 other guys where they each did the instrumentation of the song, and handed it off to me to create the melody and lyrics, and sing it of course. Those are on my song site too if you want to check 'em out. Look for the original songs where I share writing credit with Andy, Paul, and Seth, respectively. Maybe you and I can do something like that? Or I’m open to other approaches, like if you already have a song done, and you’d like me to just do the vox tracks.

Hi all,
UPDATE: as of 10:30 PM PST Sunday night, I uploaded a new version of this song where I increased the levels of the drums and bass. To make room, I decreased the vox and harmonica. Listening to it again this morning, I agree with edmon that the harmonica has to go. So over the next few days I’ll try to practice a lead guitar part for it to replace the harmonica.

—weird…couldn’t log in with mozilla…hmmm.

Anyway, Jeffster, look HERE
One tune with lyrics, one tune with no melody or lyrics.
PM me, let me know what ya think…could be fun, ya never know…
EDIT–the tunes are: ‘JC 120 sept 19’ and 'Wont give in sept 19’

Peace,
-Ed

Hi edmon, PM is on its way to you. Let me know if you got it. First time trying PM here, so I hope I did it correctly.

Yeah,
I’m not so sure my PMs are getting to you either…hmmmm…I did get yours though.

-ED

Hey Jeff, you have a cool, soulful voice. I might be interested in requesting a collab sometime, 'coz I’m not so fond of my own vocals. BTW, do you like the PS-04? I thought about getting one before I discovered n-Tracks. I’ve seen a PS-04 Web site and forum that had some good demos and it looked like there was a software guy who offered lots of extra goodies to supplement the unit.

NOTE: NEW VERSION NOW UP (same filename and location as above) - lead guitar rep. harmonica

Hi ksdb, I appreciate the compliments on my vox tracks! It is my main instrument, and I do what I can with the rest to support it, so I think a collab might be fun sometime. I’ve done a few, and it’s always a kick for me to hear me singing that way.

I like the PS-04, and the PS-02 I used before that. For anyone accomplished with n-Track, the PS-04 might serve more as an notebook sort of thing to get ideas down when traveling. The link on my song site takes you to the PS-0x Forum where I also post as Jeffster, and there is a fella there named Armin who has written an editor for the PS-04 (and 02). I haven’t bought it from him so I can’t say from experience, but a lotta folks on the forum who have bought speak well of how much more productive it made it for them to program the drums, etc.

Jeffster -

I know how you feel about getting other musicians!!! I would love to have a real drummer, bassist, and vocalist on some of my recordings.

As for “Love Hurts”, I think that is the only thing that is lacking as far as arrangement goes. It seems like the drums and keys are “too obviously” MIDI.

Two things that have really helped me out were a very good MIDI to wave realizer called Audio Compositor and the NTONYX Stylizer 1.0. Unfortunately it looks like Audio Compositor is no longer available, but there are a lot of MIDI to Wav converters out there that will let you load your own samples, which really seems to be the key!

If you are into spending money, I’ve found Drumagog to be very useful. You could use the humanizer to adjust the midi volume and humanize the beat and then send the audio through Drumagog to replace your samples with high quality, slightly randomized hits from real drumkits.

Just a few thoughts aobut how you could fake the genius of real musicians on your tracks.

- Ben

Hi Ben, thanks so much for the feedback! I think you caught me in a transition of sorts. I think you’ve reviewed for me the version that I uploaded last night, and was just coming here this morning to update the info in this thread. I can’t take all the credit for it anymore. An online collaborator buddy of mine named Paul Tedeschi liked my simpler arrangement so much (my vocals are what he really likes) that, with my permission, he took my basic arrangement of vocals, rhythm and lead guitars, and synth. drums & bass, and added all the other sounds you hear. I’ll pass on your comments to him, and see if we can get him over here to comment on them. I think he did his work in GarageBand.

BTW, all, I’ll be out of town away from the Internet until Sunday night, so if you post here and don’t hear back from me until then, you’ll know why.