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Thread: Waits cover- (a capella by request of people who clearly want me to embarrass myself)

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    Smile Waits cover- (a capella by request of people who clearly want me to embarrass myself)

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    I want to apologize to all the Tom Waits fans in the clinic for butchering this beautiful song. But I quit my job yesterday, and rather than sit around getting drunk all day I decided to experiment with this a bit.

    I used the original Tom Waits melody, but I wrote my own harmonies for it (there are none on the original. Also the original has organs and other instruments).

    I used no "phantom" tracks, so I probably ended the song like a 1/2 step flat for all I know. It will also be obvious that I don't have perfect pitch, and my voice is not pretty naked, but it really wasn't about that for me. (Echoes of mixmkr's "Your voice sucks, but in a good way" ringing through my head...)

    Everything on this is done without an anchor, so to speak. There's no metronome, no EQ, just some verb and 1.5:1 compression. I'm nervous as hell about posting it, but there's gotta be at least one person out there who will enjoy it.

    As Lt. Bob said in another thread, I'm throwing caution to the wind...

    (Alright, shut the fuck up and link the tune, Tom... )

    Briar and The Rose

    (Triple M, at 2:38, that's not a pop. It's my tongue smacking my lips. Just thought I'd save you the trouble. )

    [Edit]- I just re-read this and it sounds like the reverse psychology approach you get a LOT around here from people who just want you to make them feel good about themselves, but I am looking for honesty. I know most of my weaknesses and don't need any candy coating. Thanks!
    Last edited by SLuiCe; 08-28-2003 at 10:06.

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    Well I am impressed

    That is so hard to do! well done.

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    Great job. I love the harmonies.
    My website
    [url]http://www.solowayguitars.com[/url]

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    Re: Waits cover- (a capella by request of people who clearly want me to embarrass myself)

    Originally posted by SLuiCe
    Triple M, at 2:38, that's not a pop. It's my tongue smacking my lips. Just thought I'd save you the trouble.
    Downloading now. It's safe to say that I'm going to be doubly vigilant for pops on this one Mr. SLuiCe.

    Smacking my lips.... yeah smack my ass.

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    Nice harmonies. Real pretty and tight. Almost a baritone on the low-end part. Very expressive without being "over the top." Nice little tremelo you had going.

    Small pitch things here and there. Interesting that they're either not there or not apparant during the sections with harmony. Oops caught one near the end during a harmony.

    Heard the 2:38 thing. Honestly I heard a pop at 3:00 or 3:01 too. Could be the same lip smacking thing.

    Yeah it's gotta be nerve racking to post an acepella thing. I don't think I'd ever do it myself.

    I thought it was, on balance, very good. Kudos for the courage.

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    Unhappy Re: Waits cover- (a capella by request of people who clearly want me to embarrass myself)

    Originally posted by SLuiCe
    [Edit]- I just re-read this and it sounds like the reverse psychology approach you get a LOT around here from people who just want you to make them feel good about themselves, but I am looking for honesty. I know most of my weaknesses and don't need any candy coating. Thanks!
    SLuis-guh

    Wait a minute ... reverse-reverse psychology?? What do we do, now???

    Wow, eh... think you could pull off "Old Man River"?

    Sounds like the kind of thing you play when pall-bearing a friend's
    casket out of the church... ( sorry to bring the thread down there )

    Oh ... "when I'm buried in my grave"... now I SWEAR I wrote the above
    sentence before hearing that... wow... it sure does convey the right
    feeling then, huh...

    Wow... trying to be a smart-ass about this is really hard... how about
    this... you suck ... nah, that's a lie...

    Really nice stuff

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    Before I listen, I will say that now that you have quit your job, take heart in the fact that getting re-employed in your current field shouldn't be to difficult.

    I'm looking forward to all the music that will be coming out of you. The viola tracks for 'Taken' are nearing completion, they are simply going to be perfect, and you will have plenty of time now to mix stuff and that's great !

    I'm proud of you for not getting drunk today and instead working on your music ... now you have the whole night to get 'shitfaced' and feel good about having done something constructive already.

    Get back to you on this one, D/L'ing now.
    Performing and recording with real violin, viola, and cello for bands and artists.

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    Thumbs up

    Originally posted by SLuiCe
    I'm just about to post my a capella cover so just pretend it sounds good and I won't delete it. (kidding...it stays no matter what abuse I take.)
    It sounds good!

    I still got the first version on my disc. It's a lot better than that one. Pitchwise a little shaky at times, but you already know that. Inventive harmonies though.

    Enjoyable listen, however. I like the warm reverb you added. It seems warmer than usual.

    And again, what a courage! You get loads of points for trying, man! Don't expect something like this from me in the near future.

    And I'm not pretending I like it....I really do...
    http://www.nowhereradio.com/trojka
    http://www.nowhereradio.com/trafo

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    Thanks a lot guys! I probably should have laid down a guide track or something to keep the pitch more in line for you, but I'm not really going to do anything with it. It's not my song. It's just a hell of an excercise and I recommend it for anyone trying to learn to sing!

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    Well, the huge iron balls clanging against the thick steel plates as you walk into the studio don't seem to interfere with the mix at all !!!

    At 0:32, remarkable intonation with your harmony vocals, stunning, and of course you want this quality throughout ... but ask yourself, isn't a 'perfect' acapella performance kind of ... sterile ? How many cents in pitch can you be from the 'starting pitch' and still have a 'great acapella performance' ?

    What might you hear from three chaps in a tavern on a cold new england evening, and how ruddy would yer blushing be at the sounds o' that crooning eh ? And how might the mugs be slamming on the table at the end of some good 'ole lang syme such as that ...

    At 1:52 the relative pitch amongst the harmonies is very nice, while it is not as good as at 0:32, we know why, it's because you are human and don't have perfect pitch, which some folks find very pleasing, they expect this, and frown on perfection at times like this in a performance ... it's sterile, inhuman ... it's 'ho-hum' ... this is Sluice, our buddy.

    At 2:14 you are taking a huge leap here with respect to that 'relativity' of pitch, and you are doing an amazing job of being very close to the 'starting pitches', and I don't know how close, I couldn't care less, I'm enjoying this ... it's almost scary

    I do not have perfect pitch. We both have good 'relative' pitch, which means of course that we are constantly basing our next pitch on it's relationship to the ones that have come before, and the ones that we know come after ... The instruments I play are a lot like this, and of course pedullist understands that 'fretless' phenomenon, but the vocal is even more difficult, it's the ultimate intonation challenge, and perfect pitch can be such a fucking bore.

    The more recent a previous pitch, the more bearing it has upon the production of the next pitch, and the more fragile our approach to the next note, perhaps a break from lower body, to chest, and then to head voice, these are 'fragile points' ... The more recent and the more fragile 'perceptions of pitch' that we relate to the next note are our only cues. Confidence is very important to maintaining good processing of the 'relative pitch algorithm'. And that means practice ... or does it ? Confidence in the emotions you are feeling during the performance perhaps ?

    If our vocal over the course of a song falls flat 1 single cent for each measure in a song, if there are 100 measures in the song, well, you can see where I am going. It is said that 1 cent of pitch is the smallest degree of intonation that the human ear with the finest 'relative pitch' can detect.

    As we examine further this 'algorithm' in our brain's ear that keeps us 'in tune', we can see certainly that we will not fall 1 cent each measure or any average of that, what happens is we fall 20 cents at one particular point in the song, (perhaps we are moving from chest to head voice at this point, a fragile point), and when our brain tries to average all the 'relativity' of the pitches that have come before, we fall perhaps 3 cents in pitch total ... say 20 measures after that little 'wobble'.

    We monitor ourselves, and our speaker setup changes as we move from lower body voice, to chest voice, to head-voice and just like monitoring a mix with headphones, or near-field monitors or full blown wide dispersion home stereo speakers, our perceptions of all the elements change, and this is an acapella vocalist's greatest challenge. Can the relationship of pitches be maintained as the 'monitor setup' changes ?

    Technically GREAT recorded performances of acapella vocals are very different in my opinion from 'highly entertaining' performances. And almost everybody cheats, unless it's live, and there are still very good ways to cheat when it's live. The air-conditioning unit running at a perfect Bb ... if you know the club or venue well, and other cues ...

    And of course, everyone on this board is stunned by this kind of performance and gutsy effort. Yes ... you'ze nekkid boy and everyone is looking at yer member ! But you've prepared yourself well psychologically for this eh, and you have to for this kind of performance.

    The harmony vocals are 'relatively' dead on considering intonation and the 'acapella genre', we simply can't demand better unless it's perfection, and I don't think anyone gives a shit about perfection in a tune like this.

    Oftentimes if you end a 1/4 pitch flatter or sharper than you began, well, that's just part of the story isn't it, if you and I met upon a road and we were travelling the oppostie ways, and you finished your story as you hefted your pack once more, and began moving down the road ... wouldn't I as I moved away from you, and turned to continue my journey ... wouldn't I percieve your voice differently, in relation to our previous positions ?

    Yes, I think the whole performance is a story, including the coloration of any falling, or rise in relative pitchiness, it's all part of the scenery.

    There is so much more to what you are doing here than just the 'pitch' of the notes, don't be too concerned with pitch, I know it's important, but it's not the most important thing in a work like this.

    And the mix is nice, the lead is left obviously leading while the harmony vocals are close enough to the volume level of the lead where we can enjoy them easily.

    This is a great example of how a vocal mixed on the dry side can have a powerful impact.

    Now ... how do we cheat ? Well obviously you could sing the lead while wearing headphones and monitoring some type of 'tone generation', you could do this with a guitar nearby, just pick a note when you feel you need 'relativity' ... and I"m sure you can think of lot's of others. That's how I did the first vocal take of 'The Park', I just plucked the viola every now and then while singing to a click.

    If you want to re-track this using a 'tone cue' system in your monitor, I think you could lay down an awesome lead line and then track the backups without any pitch cues, and maybe you could get closer to 'pitch perfection'.

    I think what you have done here is awesomely entertaining, especially since we know you.

    Now ... go get shitfaced ... you deserve it.
    Performing and recording with real violin, viola, and cello for bands and artists.

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