new original song

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Member Since: Dec 13, 2004

This one's called "Broken Bird". All-acoustic affair, no drums (nor will there be). Not sure if the guitars sound "organic" enough...hard to tell without good monitoring equipment. General comments encouraged.

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Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Jan 02, 2005 10:05 pm

Kinda Bob Dylan like with the harmonica there. Well the mp3 might be at fault here but the guitars did sound a bit dry, and maybe not as full as they could be. Organic, not sure if the mp3 would project that. I will say that it did give me the feeling of listening to some older vinyl though. And that is a bit of a compliment really.

Overall I liked the tune. A couple moments there when it seemed as though you were stretching to hit some of those notes with your voice though.

Since: Dec 13, 2004

Jan 03, 2005 11:55 pm

Well, I was kinda going for the Dylan/Neil Young hybrid on the harmonica, so I guess that worked. :)

I'm not sure how to improve the acoustic guitar organism(?) with my current it is, the wav files are awfully noisy with hiss and so forth, and it took quite a bit to even get them back to decent levels that weren't plastic-sounding. Any ideas? I'm using CEP 2.0, so VST is out.

Glad you liked it. And yes, the vocal stretches a bit, but that's not really in my range. Didn't want to re-chord the song, though. :)

Since: Jul 02, 2003

Jan 04, 2005 02:51 am

Nice tune thermo. I really like the harmonica, nice job with that. Vocals sounded good. I agree with Noize the guitars could be a little fuller/warmer, but they don't sound bad.

I did hear some clipping, you should use the hard limiter in CEP to protect against, just enough to keep it from clipping. Have you tried using CEP's noise reduction for the hiss/noise? It works really well if you play around a bit with it. It's better to make a couple of passes on really noisey stuff, rather than 1 big pass.

Overall though really nice song, well done, I liked it. :)


Czar of Cheese
Since: Jun 09, 2004

Jan 08, 2005 09:38 am

I hear Neil Young...and that's a good thing! The guitar works for me. Could maybe use a little more bottom end to warm it up a bit. Harmonica sounds great! Your voice reminds me a lot of Jerry Garcia! This song could have easily come from "american beauty" or some such album.

Great song...keep up the good work!


Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Jan 09, 2005 09:39 pm

Jim that was it. I have listened to this about 6 or 7 times now tryng to rmember who's voice it reminded me of. And indeed, early Jerry G is a good call for sure.

And that is a defo a compliment thermocaster.

Since: Apr 22, 2004

Jan 10, 2005 07:33 am

I concur...I liked particular the lyrics and the overall feel of the song. I agree with Jim re the song having a soundtrack feel to it.

But mostly, I feel it's an inspirational song that might have the potential to become the backdrop for the tsunami victims and the recovery effort. In particular, I liked the ring of 'Iím just another broken bird
But I can still get in the sky', the key its in and the way you sing it.

Another standout for me, was the harmonica...there's something there, more than just a players familiarity.

I'm not good at mixing I leave that to the experts.



PS I'm also not an expert on lyrics or anything else.

Since: Dec 13, 2004

Jan 10, 2005 11:22 pm

Well, gosh, I'm blushing. :) Thanks for all the kind words and kudos!

Olddog, I did indeed use hard limiting in CEP, although I'm still messing around with how exactly to set it up. Unless I'm reading the statistics wrong (which is completely possible), I had it limited so that only about .020 was getting clipped. Is that too high? It seems like when I set it significantly lower, then the volume doesn't come out very strong.

I also have tried the noise reduction feature, but it seems like it leaves a "plastic"-sounding residue on the edges of the track. I hadn't tried multiple passes, though...I'll give that a shot.

GuitarJim, I must admit that I've never had anyone compare my voice to Jerry Garcia. Thanks for the compliment!

BM, I've never really tried to write anything inspirational, but I'm heartened that you got that feeling out of it.

Again guys, thanks for taking a listen.

Since: Jul 02, 2003

Jan 11, 2005 12:44 am

What I usually do for noise reduction is to take care of that on the individual tracks rather than the complete mix. I set the % slider to no more than about 75% and adjust the dB reduction to a point where it gets rid of <most> if not all of the noise. Then in areas where there is silence in a track I'll put digital silence there if noticable in the mix. If you make double passes you can reduce the % adj some. You can also control the frequencies to where it's not affecting frequencies that don't need NR. If you don't go overboard on the settings you can really clean up some pretty noisey recordings with virtually no effect on the overall sound.

For limiting I use -.3, which should be plenty loud. Make sure that none of your individual tracks in the mix are clipping as well.



A small pie will soon be eaten
Since: Aug 26, 2004

Jan 11, 2005 10:56 am

Is there a cheeky bit of chorus in there?

Since: Dec 13, 2004

Jan 11, 2005 11:57 pm

Olddog, I'll give that a whirl. Thanks for the tips.

Bleak, if there's a cheeky bit of chorus in the song, then it certainly wasn't added by me. :) Here was the basic rundown of the recording/mastering:

- Recorded one acoustic guitar, panned 20% left
- Recorded a second guitar, panned 20% right
- Recorded the vocals, center-channelled
- Recorded the harmonica, also centered until the end
- Recorded a low synthesizer and set it back in the mix considerably
- Added a slight echo/reverb to the ending vocal line

From then on, it was just the normal EQ tweaks, a broader EQ for the wav as a whole, a soft-limited compression, and a hard limit to -.1.

Actually, on an unrelated note, if anyone gets a chance to give the "foreign language division" song a listen when you have some spare time, I'd greatly appreciate the feedback. It's fallen down the page a bit but it's still there. Thankx/ :_)

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