Sign Of The Times

work in progress

Danny Milligan - Sign Of The Times (master)

Okay, I’m still writing lyrics for this, it’s going to be a very socially conscious song, and will probably piss a few people off… oh well (shrugs).

I am going to tear my hair out on mixing this one, I just know I am, the piano keeps disappearing during the bridge sections. sigh

Please listen all the way to the end, the intro keyboards are only about a minute and a half, but they ARE part of the overall theme of the song, lol!

That’s going well, Danny. Dive into the piano-roll and tweak the velocities around a bit - bingo!

lol, Tony, this wasn’t done on a piano roll, it was done on my Casio keyboard, played it by hand…

no midi on it?

None at all. Did everything with either my keyboard or my guitar…

I can already see the drums will have to go. sigh that’s 8 tracks it took me to do those, too, but oh well. I’d rather do the extra work and redo them than to have it sound like crap…

I mean, has your keyboard got no midi? Cause if it did, you could record midi at the same time and have the luxury of editability and freedom of instrument selection (post recording).

Nope, keyboard has no midi out, just a headphone jack, that I run into the input on my digitech pedal…

Oh, man! Danny! You (like me) need midi.
n-Track, or any other daw, has so much more to offer. Trust me - all/most of the little issues that you have encountered could be edited.

PS. You have tried maximising the piano track and then applied a drawn volume envelope?

Quote: (dannyraymilligan @ Dec. 30 2010, 10:52 AM)

Nope, keyboard has no midi out, just a headphone jack, that I run into the input on my digitech pedal...

Yep, you need to get into Midi for the drums at least.

So no midi out on your keyboard.
Man that's unusual - unless it's one of those little ones.

If I were you I would take a little bit of time out from recording and get our head around doing drums in Midi.
Grab some of the free Midi drum loops from the Internet (try Groove Monkee - I think they have some).
Load one up in n-track and stick a drum Vst on the track.
Figure out what does what.
Then you can start editing the loops or making your own ones for the song.

Please tell me you recorded this to a click track lined up with the grid in n-track....

Actually, my metronome has never worked on this computer, not sure if it’s the sound card or what. I started out with a simple high-hat tap playing 1-2-3-4 for 8 straight minutes, then built everything on top of that, but it’s not matched to a grid. This is one of the reasons I don’t use piano roll, because I can’t get anything to sync to the grid.

Hey Danny
Coming on nicely.

First impressions…and these are purely constructive…

Mix-wise it sounds GREAT in my cans. Everything seems to be where it needs to be.

However, the whole beat is definitely off time.

I’m hoping you can rectify the metronome here but try nTrack drums (even just a click track) on a piano roll at the tempo you want. Mix that down to a .wav and reinsert into N.

Yes the drums sound naff on nTrack, but with a little tweak here and there and some reverb they sound a whole lot better.
There is an nTrack drum tutorial somewhere on here.
I think thats all that is needed!


Ok, Danny. We’re on your case. Get yourself a note pad and pen.
Just what is this keyboard with no connectivity? - find a mini, cheap as chips controller on ebay - there must be something for $30. Failing that - get into the grid and step writing.

Okay, redid the drums, and I am MUCH happier with them now, lol! I also messed with the mix a bit. In the bridge sections, I had the guitars too loud, and no matter how much I raised the levels on the piano, it got drowned out. I wiped the lead breaks in the first two bridge sections out, which helped, then adjusted the other guitars’ levels, and now you can hear the piano melody, drifting behind the beat, lol!

Much better, I think. Here’s the link:

Danny Milligan - Sign Of The Times (Master)

Okay, made some slight changes to the drums in the intro, boosted the piano a little in the mix, and tweaked it a little. This is the final mix, it will be what I layer my vocals over… Lyrics are finished, will be recording them soon, and if all goes well, this song will be a punch in the guts.

Danny Milligan - Sign Of The Times (Final Master)

I said I was writing a socially conscious song, but I don’t think anyone will be expecting what I am about to hit them with…