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Thread: I'd appreciate any arrangement suggestions on this acoustic-based song

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    I'd appreciate any arrangement suggestions on this acoustic-based song

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    Been a while since I posted. This is sparse and simple. A little EQ, a little compression, a doubled acoustic guitar panned left and right 75%, a piano, a vocal (with one little effect). I may shorten the song and put the piano solo right after the chorus instead of the repeated guitar theme and then the solo.

    Should I add bass? What do you think of the arrangement? Should I adjust anything mix wise as far as panning and volume? How's my vocal performance?


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    I like it with two exceptions. I hate the two effected I I I I sections.ma real acoustic sounding performance with a grating treated voice? For me, that ruins the song. The piano solo isn't a solo but just a few unnecessary plonking notes. Ok for a feature while something else happens, but it's the kind of solo you give the guy in the band who can't do solos? Jury out on the guitar ending? I like the song, but for me these things spoil it a little. Not sue you need the bass?

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    Wow. I didn't read Rob's response till after hearing the song. His are my thoughts exactly.

    The Ays do not have it.

    Musically it's simple and nice. But, a little too repetitive. It just needs a little more, so we're hearing new things.

    Nice song.

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    these are just my opinions but, I'd cut the intro in half.

    Ditch the piano and play a simple acoustic guitar solo, or maybe a flute. The piano is just to dominating, it might just be that particular piano sound, or remove the solo and put a nice little breakdown with a different strumming, and chord progression in place of it.

    The voice sound very harsh, not so much from the singing but the mic/ eq settings etc. I'd work on getting a better vocal recording, or used different processing on the vocals.

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    Nice work! Eliminate the pitch shift on the "I" part and you're close to done. You could add a bass, but I'm not sure it's worth the struggle. You would probably end up removing some of the low end guitar during the mix, and it might cause issues. If you want a fuller song and you add drums, a bass would make sense. Otherwise, keep it simple.

    As for the piano, try playing with the reverb settings, reduce the volume, and perhaps EQ some of the high end. The other approach might be to lower the part a couple of octaves. I'm not sure if this is a software instrument track or not. If it is, sometimes dragging the passage to another octave solves the problem. Otherwise, I would loose the piano or substitutes another software instrument or guitar lead.

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    The piano doesn't work for me and I'm in complete agreement with everyone about the I-I-I thing. I had a discussion just recently with a friend who likes to get a little "theatrical" with his vocals sometimes, and my feeling is that it only works in a theatrical type of song, and then a little can go a long way. This song is not that kind of song, so I'd probably just let the song break sooner (i.e., eliminating those Is), and if you want to introduce some rhythm maybe do that at the first break, then at the second, something other than the piano (depends on what you've built up to that point and the feel it brings).

    Whatever you do for the solo/instrumental, introduce that instrument a little earlier - I've heard the guitar motif enough by that point. I'd probably try some different styles and sounds of electric guitar, maybe something clean, melodic w/tremolo or even a little overdriven, but it depends on what you have access to. A different software keyboard might work, but whatever [solo instrument] I'd want it more legato than what you've got.

    The end could be shorter (IMO).

    Have you tried bumping it up a step (key-wise)? Your vocal sounds like it's almost out of gas at the bottom of its range.

    With all that, it's a nice song, and worth grinding away at a little more.
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    Well I took all of the criticism into consideration and tried a few different approaches to fixing things while trying to maintain my original vision and intent. I hired a cellist and an organ player and remixed the guitars, vocals and piano. This is the result.



    Just for some context the original template I used for this song was Nick Drake's song "Pink Moon". I also used bits of The Avett Brothers' "Ten Thousand Words", one of John Mayer's melodies (can't remember which song off of the top of my head), and the vocal effect on the original mix was inspired by Vampire Weekend's "Diane Young". After all of the feedback on here and from other musician friends this has turned in to an entirely different song, but I feel alright about this mix.

    Please do let me know if you have any additional criticism with this new mix.

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    I think you might have made a few improvements but a couple of things stand out a bit. Your voice is struggling to reach the lower end of the vocal range needed for this song and it causes your vocal tone / level / delivery to sort of drop out and down a bit too much at times. When we all hear our own recorded vocal track we can sometimes hear what's not there. Our brain tends to fill in gaps or correct the errors. Pitch perception can be an issue because as we hear our song back our brain is filling in what should be happening. That's not all all to say that your vocal performance is a big problem........but improving it would go a long way to making the song sound better. Have you tired bring up the key a note or so? Secondly.......the piano part / track is way too "fat" tone wise. It doesn't fit with the other instruments well at all. The octave it was played in might be the problem.......along with some EQ issues. As always........these are just my opinions and nothing says I'm right about any of them. Thanks for the listen.
    Just A Song Writer..........

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    It is better, especially losing the over-effected/affected I-s. I can see how they might work.

    The cello and organ are good thoughts.

    To me, that “piano” still sticks out like a sore thumb. Get rid of it. Why not just have the cello do that little riff if you need to fill the space before reprising the last verse and refrain? It would fit with everything that’s been heard until then.

    Whatever you do or don’t do with this, go write another song. Take what you’ve learned and build on that.

    Thanks for coming back with the re-do!

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    Gotta have violins in this puppy....A flute would be cool for a verse and chorus toosince it has that Irish feel. I would put the flute where the piano part is...

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