What do you think of this?

The guitar school where I teach has “commissioned” me to record a young girl’s (16) songs and here is the result of one.

http://themarkangel.bandcamp.com/track/one-day

I’m interested in comments not of my sonic capabilities (this is only the first mix), but what you think of the song, the singer, the approach to the song etc.

She’s very single minded with what she wants (which is kinda good) - but very inexperienced so sometimes those ideas are crap (well I think they are). So this is kinda 50/50.

I programmed the drums and played bass. The rest is her. Oh I redid the electric parts playing (sort of) what she’d played - her playing didn’t quite cut the mustard.

Cheers folks

Let me listen at home Mark. Everything sounds crap on these lappy speakers. Sounds like a fun project though!

UJ

Actually, I’ve just listened for the first time in teh car. Sonically it’s pretty average.

Mark! So these are her writings, yeah? She’s got a crackin’ voice and one thing that caught my attention was the tempo, quite jolly for a sixteen year old - is it just me, or is that quite unusual?
:laugh:
Concept wise, I like it and I’ve certainly head worse.

Bring up the vocal in the chorus.
hard to hear.
:laugh:

She has talent. Your approach is good, with the drums in an out and such.
She needs vocal lessons.
The stuff around 2:30 is way off, although I hear what she is trying to do and it is good. Coupld of other intonation problems here and there. Sounds like a job requiring lots of edits.
But there is personality there.


What did you use for the drums?

i would agree with evrything thats been said her voice is good the acoustic playing is solid the song is pretty good as well
its all a bit clichayed tho but that is the problem with 16 year olds i have one myself they think they have real knoledge but they only have a set of clichays thats important to there peer group & they totaly mistrust anyone older
so the problem is how much do you interfear & stamp your own ideas on what she wants to do as you try to get the best out of
her
its very difficult to get a balance
i did this with my neice & now find it painful to listen
to what we got… i can never decide if i gave her enough help or two much help i just know she didnt realy like it

Thanks for the comments folks. I’ve listened to this a couple of times in the car and I’m not at all happy with the mix… but that can be fixed when I get time.

Quote:

Mark! So these are her writings, yeah? She’s got a crackin’ voice and one thing that caught my attention was the tempo, quite jolly for a sixteen year old - is it just me, or is that quite unusual?

Concept wise, I like it and I’ve certainly head worse.


Yes, this is her song. She has some others but they are not finished IMO. We started work on another one yesterday but it’s 3 minutes of the same 4 chords and no distinction between the verse, pre-chorus and chorus, so we’ve had a chat and there’s some rework to do.

This song is jolly, but the message isn’t quite so happy.

Quote:


Bring up the vocal in the chorus. hard to hear.

She has talent. Your approach is good, with the drums in an out and such. She needs vocal lessons. The stuff around 2:30 is way off, although I hear what she is trying to do and it is good. Coupld of other intonation problems here and there. Sounds like a job requiring lots of edits. But there is personality there.

What did you use for the drums?



Yeah, the vox need some volume evolutions. I’ve not really got to that yet. This vocal was done on day 2 after she heard her first vocal. I think it’s much better as it’s sung less “affected” and has much more rhythmic content to it. This is a comp of three takes.

I tried an autotune (in auto mode) in a few places but it messes with (this) voice too much. May have to do some manual work on those bits Tom.

I sang the BVs and then she learnt them and re-recorded them. Her “harmonies” were basically singing the same thing but changing the notes around. We thought this was better.

Drums: The drum sounds are my Boss Dr880 drum machine. I played in a kick/snare pattern for the verse and ch - recorded as midi - and then cut and pasted that around to get some structure. Next up I “played” in the hats and rides across the whole song and then cut and pasted the good bits.

The cymbals were played in in the same way (some be me and some by the young lady). I did the fills.

The whole thing was then recorded back in as a stereo track.

Quote:



i would agree with evrything thats been said her voice is good the acoustic playing is solid the song is pretty good as well
its all a bit clichayed tho but that is the problem with 16 year olds i have one myself they think they have real knoledge but they only have a set of clichays thats important to there peer group & they totaly mistrust anyone older
so the problem is how much do you interfear & stamp your own ideas on what she wants to do as you try to get the best out of her
its very difficult to get a balance
i did this with my neice & now find it painful to listen to what we got… i can never decide if i gave her enough help or two much help



The acoustic does need some help I think. The beginning is very noisy as she’s not used to keeping still while playing - and the playing is actually quite quiet. The strummy bits are a bit up and done and change in tone quiet a bit so I’ve been battling with that… eq compression etc, and not really getting there. We may redo the guitar.

As for how much help to give, yes it is very difficult. I’m just a boring old fart and I grew up a hundred years ago so what would I know… I found day 1 quite difficult in that respect but day 2 was easier. But of course, I’m thinking that my reputation as a recordist is at stake here too and that of the studio so I’ve had that to consider. We had a good long chat about songwriting and recording too on day 2 and that was useful.

I have helped my kids write stuff, but really only by listening and applauding and doing what they tell me to do. It so hard to step back and let them make mistakes, but that’s the only way they will find their own voice. I think your friend’s stuff is going to make her really popular at school. What could be better than that? :laugh: :agree:

I like where she’s headed Mark and I agree with pretty much all the comments you and the others have mentioned.

Just one thing… (always just “one thing” right?) Her acoustic sounds dead and boxy. It’s really annoying/distracting in the choruses where she’s strumming. You’re there and I’m not so I don’t know if it’s the usual suspects i.e. dead strings, less than ideal mic’ ing or just a lousy sounding guitar. It do need help though. :) (IMO of course!)

Let us know when you have some more. I like this stuff!

UJ

Quote: (Unblown_Jonson @ Jan. 14 2011, 2:42 PM)

I like where she's headed Mark and I agree with pretty much all the comments you and the others have mentioned.

Just one thing... (always just "one thing" right?) Her acoustic sounds dead and boxy. It's really annoying/distracting in the choruses where she's strumming. You're there and I'm not so I don't know if it's the usual suspects i.e. dead strings, less than ideal mic' ing or just a lousy sounding guitar. It do need help though. :) (IMO of course!)

Let us know when you have some more. I like this stuff!

UJ

Yes, dead an boxy. I spent quite a bit of time over the micing. I think it's 50% the guitar and 55% her style. Very little brightness in the fingers.

I'm just uploading another mix where I've taken a little bit more care. Some vol evolutions on the instruments and 'verb. Some more compression. Some re-tuning (ahem) of the vox.

There's a loose snare hit in there that I'll have to sort next.

I appreciate the listens.

Quote:

I think your friend's stuff is going to make her really popular at school. What could be better than that?


I hardly know her Tom :-) Yeah, might make her popular at school but we're doing this as a loss-leader for the studio because we've (potentially) 150 students who might want to record themselves, their band, etc. So we want it to sound great. :-)

New Mix is up

Actually, I wish I’d got her to use my Taylor. It sounds much better. Next time maybe.

Actually, this mix sounds quite a bit brighter than on my Daw. Maybe too much?

Chorus vocals are still buried. How about a bit of EQ lift at that point to bring it out?

Her voice has a great quality. I suspect the answer for the intonation problems is a lot of practice, a vocal teacher, and multiple takes with lots of editing. :)

She has a touch of ‘Jewel’ in her writing. Voice is a little raw but actually I really like the way she sings and I think with a little guidance, she has a lot potential. In spite of the obvious loss of control here and there, the voice quality and character is great. One to work with for sure Mark. :agree:

Thanks guys, comments greatly appreciated and you’re confirming what I already was thinking.

Jewel. Intonation. Control. Phrasing.

I might gently suggest some singing lessons.

The good news is that she is extremely excited by what we’ve done so far so that’s a good platform to build from. The guitar studio want me to continue, so that’s good too.

Just thinking out loud, I hear so many kids nowadays sing with really affected voices - if you know what I mean. I’m trying to encourage a little more of the natural voice to come out rather than the copycat voice of what she’s heard elsewhere.

Mark! Is the guit studio on a campass where she might get free singing lessons - kinda thing?

Quote: (Mark A @ Jan. 14 2011, 1:05 PM)

Just thinking out loud, I hear so many kids nowadays sing with really affected voices - if you know what I mean.
I'm trying to encourage a little more of the natural voice to come out rather than the copycat voice of what she's heard elsewhere.

Please... no... PLEASE!!! Encourage a natural voice. :)

I remember the first time I heard Taylor Swift live. I asked my wife; "Who the crap is THAT?" Oh that's Taylor Swift! She's the hottest thing going right now. "Well she can't sing for ****..."

They took away the "studio magic" and she was terrible. (IMO)

Learn to sing properly. The rest is cake after that.

UJ
Quote: (TonyR @ Jan. 15 2011, 8:30 AM)

Mark! Is the guit studio on a campass where she might get free singing lessons - kinda thing?

At present we run out of a school music block - looking to get our own place as we've out grown it. 18 teachers, 150 students.

We do guitar, bass, drums, band, tuition. Hoping to build on the recording. We don't do vocal tuition (per se) because we have good relationships with a couple of local singing teachers and don't want to tread on their toes. It is an aim though - maybe by bringing them into the studio staff. Trouble is they get well paid as an iterant in the schools.

This great… She’ll be back… she’ll be better…

Positive reinforcement… Don’t be tellin her what she should have done… She’ll figure that out all by herself… :agree: :agree:

Bill…