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Thread: 3 post-writers block songs for the judgement of your ears

  1. #1
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    3 post-writers block songs for the judgement of your ears

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    Hey folks. First of all - thanks in advance. This place looks exactly like what I've been looking for by way of a community of musicians providing feedback, so I just want to say that I'm looking forward to hearing the music y'all are producing and hopefully providing you with some constructive feedback.

    Without going into the details, the past year or so I've effectively had writer's block when it comes to music-making. A recent new approach has yielded some productive results, and these are the three songs I'd like to share with you today.







    To be clear - I'm not looking to commercialize/monetize these songs, these are purely for the enjoyment of getting creative. I'm not obsessed with really high-end, mainstream production and at times I am trying to avoid standard approaches to things like instrumentation, structure etc. - so I don't mind if some of the sounds are a little wonky or 'unclean' or jarring.

    With that being said, I'd still like them to not sound like garbage. General thoughts welcome, but I also have some feedback requests as follows:

    1) do the songs sound horrible? Is the mix at all painful or repulsive to your ears? I feel like I've gotten too close to these songs recently so am finding it tricky to judge the mix (this could just be that I'm out of practice - and intend to get back into practice).

    2) this is more a composition thing, but are the songs too busy? I like to work in layers, and try to create dynamic contrast where possible, but I have a nagging feeling (at least with these 3 songs anyway) that there might be too much going on at times? And, most importantly maybe, do they make you feel anything?

    3) this is more of a mastering question, and it's a question I really struggle with because it opens up the whole debate around the loudness wars but... are the mixes loud enough? I'm by no means a brilliant mixer or master engineer, so I struggle with this at times. I don't want to compress/limit the hell out of everything but I can't get these any louder without affecting the sound quality. Particularly frustrating when I compare to songs that have served as influences to these. Of course, I could pay for my songs to be mixed and mastered by someone else (haven't ruled this out) - but as I say, there's no commercial aspiration here. Maybe the songs are okay level-wise and this isn't something I need to worry about. Or maybe I need to work harder

    Thank you for reading my ramble. I really look forward to hearing what your objective ears make of these. Also, if there's anything in particular you'd like me to review of yours, please let me know - I'd be happy to.

    x

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    Listened to Welcome Paradox. While not my usual cup o' tea, I enjoyed it. I waited to hear what else you had to say, which is a great little gimmick. Engage the audience and keep them plugged in.

    Reminded me of this little ditty

    I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor.
    That's my dream; that's my nightmare.
    Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor...
    and surviving.
    Anyway. Your mix is loud enough. I don't have any real suggestions for improvement or changes other than some fine tuning. If it were a more straightforward rock song, I would probably have something more to add, but as it is, I think it's good to go.

    Welcome to the site.

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    Hey Charles,

    Welcome to the board!


    Old Taxi in Hallway - I think the mix is good, mastering level is good in my opinion. The biggest feedback I have for this song is the arrangement/dynamics. You may be able to take instruments out at the beginning to build the song as it goes (and therefore increase dynamics). I like how the voices come in at the end, they may be more impactful if they hit us when we least expect it and they are less prevalent.

    Relate - cool song. I like the beginning beat. Around the 2:3X mark there is indeed a lot going on, but that may just be the style you are after. The only thing that jumps out is the silenced gun shot (??), it seems to have a heavy presence at off times.

    Welcome to Paradox - I like the arrangement on this one. It's like going on a journey. The mix sounds a bit overloaded on the higher frequencies (crashes, hi-hats, electric drum beat, a whistle-like repeating, and a synth). Generally speaking there seems to be controlled chaos, but it may be refined if some of the elements don't appear as frequently (like the claps or the echoing weee-weeee with delay).

    After hearing all the songs. I understand what you said about writters block. I don't know how easy this is but sometimes less is more - I would try eliminating a few elements here and there in the song to help emphasize your desired dynamic curve. Most of the songs seems to have a common denominator across, I'd be interested in knowing what would happen if that "hook" was left to the listeners' imagination and it came back in forms of other instruments, sparringly throughout.

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    Hi Chilli, thanks for the welcome and the feedback, much appreciated.

    Just to clarify, the voice in Welcome Paradox isn't mine, it's that of German filmmaker Werner Herzog -he's recounting a dream he had during an interview on the WTF podcast. I've referenced this in the actual description on Soundcloud, but that doesn't show up in the embeds.

    Recognised that snail passage straight away - funnily enough I only watched Apocalypse Now for the first time last year. It's quite the film, and that kind existential horror is definitely an influence!

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    Yo Alex, thanks a lot for your considered comments, they are much appreciated.

    Old Taxi - yes, interesting you should say that about the voices as I had a similar suspicion that they might be too prevalent.

    Relate - I think the gunshot sound you're referring to is actually a clock ticking (run through a phaser I believe), so perhaps I need to rethink how this comes across.

    Welcome Paradox - controlled chaos... yes, that's pretty much what I was going for now you mention it!

    Less is more is definitely a concept I can get behind. The way I've approached these three songs has resulted in some quite dense sections at times, so this is something I will certainly be more mindful of moving forward. I can sometimes get quite bogged down in the layers I'm throwing at a song, so I think I'll have the confidence to strip things back with my next composition.

    Thanks again for the feedback

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    I like them

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    I had a listen to all three. The German dude's voice overlaid in Welcome paradox is well done. I like the sonic textures you've got going. I think everyone suffers writers block from time to time. My approach is to go into the studio with no expectations of anything happening and if it does it's a bonus

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    welcome paradox. is this werner herzog speaking?

    yes it is

    Werner Herzog wants to tell you about this dream he had | The Independent

    i must study this

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    I listened to Welcome Paradox.

    The percussion on the edges was kind of cool.

    The synth tones were nice.

    The kick sound was a little muffled. I would have liked a more natural kick tone with a more defined attack.

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    I Listened to the first song, very ethereal, and haunting (in a good way).
    Regarding writer's block, what works for me is - Don't start off with paper and pen (keyboard and DAW) and say to yourself, "I'm need to write a great song" Instead, un-pressure yourself by starting off by saying to yourself, "I'm going to write a mediocre song, have a few laughs too yourself about how bad it starts out, then allow yourself too build on that. Pretty soon the creative juices start flowing, you have 30 crumpled up papers on the floor (or Recycle Bin) and you've written the next Bohemian Rhapsody (or a good song).
    If your government slows down or stops your internet, it's time to slow down or stop your government!

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