Song for Review


Please take a listen, and feel free to comment.

I’d like to hear honest observations from every vector, and I’m especially curious to hear your impressions on the drums - as this has been a significant limiting feature for so much of my time on this forum.

I absolutely despise my vocals, but they’re are much improved from previous attempts (I’ve got the tapes to prove it), and I’ve never claimed to be a singer.

Always seeking vocal collaborators btw…

All the best,

Well, the guitar is pretty hideously out of tune - is that intended? It actually has a sort of garage appeal. I’m not very good at vox recording, others here are much better, but try backing off the mic a bit (is it a 57 clone?), rolling off a bunch of low end on the vox and compressing it pretty heavily.

Hey - Thanks for the feedback. It’s exactly what I need to get better - an honest assessment from someone with a critical ear, and suggestions to improve.

I do appreciate it.

It’s funny: my other passions have always come easily to me. I loved doing them, and I was naturally gifted at them as well. Everything was so easy. Music is just the opposite for me. I have to fight for everything musically. In many ways, I appreciate what I can do more, because I’ve had to work so hard at it (not that I’m accomplished in any way - just that I know where I was when I started).

Just from reading your posts, and listening to your songs, I know that you guys are light years ahead of me (as muscians, and with the studio), and may even have difficulty listening to something I consider a personal masterpiece, but I’m a motivated and teachable student, so I value your input. I also don’t get my feelings hurt. I just want to be the best me I can be. Any help you can provide to get me a little further down the path is sooooo welcome.

TomS by the numbers on your points:
1. Guitars out of tune:
There are four guitars in mix, the two rhythm guitars in the song: one that plays at the beginning w/ a little distortion through 1:00min, and the one from roughly 1:00 onward. There is also a grundge guitar in the middle, and the lead guitar playing solos on each end.

The guitar in the intro is badly out of tune. It’s out of tune by accident; more as an oversight. I meant to fix it, and then got used to hearing it that way, and then forgot it was out of tune altogther. I’ve been trying to record this song for over a year (fighting the drum program), and just overlooked it altogether. I’m miserable listening to it now. lol.

Is this the only guitar you were referring to, or do you think the others are bad as well? It also occurs to me that I got a new tuner midway through this song, and half the guitars are tuned to it, and half with the other.

I’m using a genuine Shure 57, and have gotten comfortable right on the grill, (to try and mask the difficulty I have when I try to project my voice). I’ll make sure to back off from the mic some (couple inches - what do you suggest?), and roll off the bass on the eq, and add heavy compression per your suggestion. Actually, what you hear on the song is vocals with no effects whatsoever. I only added the compression (soft knee) and reverb (Ambience 2) to the master channel.

I was listening to the song earlier this evening, and had a couple more observations:
1. The bass is probably a little to loud in the mix.
2. The timing on the outro solo loses tempo w/ the drums (that solo was played 13 months ago, and the drums were added last week).
3. I also think I got carried away w/ the drums in the chorus. I think it might be a little over the top.

Does anyone concur with me on these points, or have any other tips or thoughts on the song?

I know my vocals are not where they need to be. Talk about a thorn in my side… lol. Believe it or not, they’re getting better. You should have heard me 2 years ago. Practice Practice Practice… All I know is that my wife is going to kill me if I sing the major scale to her again. Somehow the girl was born with perfect pitch. Talk about a house divided. Needless to say, I drive her crazy… "Hey Jen, is this a “C?” “How about now?” “How do you sing with vibrato?” “How long can I hold this note?” Funny thing is, she could care less that she sings so well. :)

All the best,

Hey Iplan,

I like the tune, and glad to see you’re off and running - over the Ndrums hurdle :)

I agree with Tom on the guitar being pretty badly out of tune. I think it’s most notable in the rhythm parts, especially at the beginning, less so on the lead but I think it’s still detuned there too. Or maybe it’s an in-tune lead over an out of tune rhythm…

A couple of other things I noticed, for your consideration. The way the vocals and guitars were recorded the song has kind of a lo-fi sound (which personally I like and often go for on purpose). On the other hand the drums sound like pristine 96k close-mic samples. So you might think about doing something to the drum track to make it blend more with the rest of the recording if lo-fi was your intent. I’m not sure exactly how to tell you to do that. If it were me, I’d either search around the net for some drum samples that were mic’d/recorded differently, or maybe just play around with EQ and cut some high end out of them or even add some very light distortion and push them down in the mix a little. Or whatever, there are probaby a million things you could do and they’re all fun to try and see what comes out. That’s the beauty of the DAW - easy to try, easy to undo.

The other thing I noticed was that it sounds a little “flat” (spacially, that is, as opposed to intonation). I would keep playing with reverb, maybe adding different reverbs to the guitar and vox (maybe a tad more on vox than what you have but don’t go overboard.) You might also consider panning vox a bit to one side, guitar to another to give them some separation.

That’s just my 2 cents - I’m learning everyday myself, so take it for what it’s worth.

Nice job - keep 'em coming, and if you modify this one let us hear what you changed :)


I agree with the comments so far, but I think you already knew what they were going to be and have a desire to improve. That’s a great thing, much to be encouraged.

In my book, there are two things that make a performance stand out above the ordinary.
Tuning and timing.
You’ve got to work on those above all else, otherwise there is no foundation on which to build.
Of course, a fantastic performance blows everything else away, but that is the exception rather than the rule.

I think your arrangement of the song works rather well, and now you have your drum track, you might consider re-recording using that as a reference.

Don’t be shy of your voice. I know most people are, we find the sound of our own voices strange because we never hear them as other people do. It takes a while to get used to.
There are a couple of times in the song that you seem to “relax” your voice and it really begins to take off.

I look forward to hearing more, with you attitude you can’t fail!


Well ALL hate our voices. Well, maybe not all of us. Mostly because so few of us actually have “good” voices. I actually thought your voice fit rather well when it got toward the middle.

The out of tune guitar I heard was the beginning. It’s funny, one band I have always loved is (was) Dream Syndicate. They had this 4 song EP that was so screamingly out of tune, but somehow it just worked. But out of tune, at least the right kind of out of tune (whatever that is), to me is an artistic way of saying that the song is going to be critical of something. Like Dream Syndicate’s “That’s What You Always Say” - but the topic of your song isn’t exactly a criticism of something…so it sort of doesn’t fit.

I know what you mean about getting used to hearing stuff a certain way - it really gets in the way of hearing how something might be better, when just sounding different sounds “wrong” because it’s not what you’ve been listening to for the last 100 plays.

I won’t add to the previous comments about the music. You already heard it and seem to have the right attitude to listen and learn from some of the smart guys on here.

I do think your shying away from the vocals a bit. Singing is really all about confidence, if you don’t have that, it’s natural to “bury” the vox in the mix a bit. The 1st time you hear your recorded voice and like it, you will bring it way out front. Try adding a little reverb to the vox on this and finding a little more space in the mix for your voice.

One final comment is, I like the structure of the song a lot and if you have the stamina, stick with it and build from what you already have.

Good luck, and give us a listen to the progress.

(Iplan @ May 23 2007,17:54)
Always seeking vocal collaborators btw....

All the best,

BTW, if you are really looking for vocal collaborators, I'm always willing to have a go. After all, I could really screw up your song :)

Collaborated on this one a while ago!

In The Dark


That was a fine song you sent.

I’d love to have your vocal input on my song.

What kind of timeframe are we looking at, and what do I need to send you?

Also sent you an email…


The drive and heart is there for the music! Just 2 things.

1. Better vocal sounds!
2. Buy a guitar tuner!

Enjoyed it!

(Iplan @ Jun. 18 2007,21:34)

That was a fine song you sent.

I’d love to have your vocal input on my song.

What kind of timeframe are we looking at, and what do I need to send you?

Also sent you an email…


The music was written and recorded by a fellow n-Tracker called Chris Wilson and I added the lyrics and vocal melody over what was basically an instrumental. Chris did the final mix.

I will gladly have a go at yours, if you don’t like the results you can put my contribution in the recycle bin :)

If you send the backing and lyrics, or post them somewhere for me to download, I will work on it this weekend.

Got your mail thanks!



My Webpages


Sent you an mp3 by email. Hope you get it!!