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Thread: Do more with less

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    Do more with less

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    My tip is this:.take one element of your song and ask if it's working to its absolute best rather than wondering what to add next in terms of other instruments . Rather than keep going forward.keep coming back
    Last edited by maxman65; 05-27-2018 at 04:45.

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    a good tip. ive heard some great recordings where just one line makes you cringe, like McCartneys Shes a Woman..."my love dont give me presents, i know that shes no peasant" ...and one of my favorite tacks is It Dont Come Easy- Ringo (by George H)...and the words could have used some more pre-thought but they both did ok without my help.

    i guess its like writing books and editing before print. I know with my homemade crap its not going to get re-done unless Im real bored 5yrs later.

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    Yeah, but to a point. Sometimes having a plan and some time constraints keeps you from getting in a loop just tinkering on stuff that ultimately may not matter, once the other tracks are in there. Or you may decide the whole track needs redone once other instruments/voices come in.

    I'm still using everything I do as a "learn from my mistakes" education, so can honestly say I'm almost always surprised by how often, especially when I go back and listen weeks later, I realize the things that work and don't work often aren't at all what I was focusing on at the time.

    And don't get me started on how some of my favorite recordings are ones I did 5 years ago when I didn't know anything...
    "... 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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    I've done stuff before and had a tendency to want to add instruments to create interest really in fact (probably without realising ) to compensate for some pre existing inadequacy . It's important I think to go back to the core of the song and ask yourself if it's really working as it should with say a guitar and vocal on its own . Melodically, dynamically ,in clarity of recording technique , lyrically every possible way. The chances are there's 10 times more to improve there than moving on at all. That's really what I'm consciously learning from past failures

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    Quote Originally Posted by keith.rogers View Post


    And don't get me started on how some of my favorite recordings are ones I did 5 years ago when I didn't know anything...


    I think everyone has felt like that, because when you are starting out with recording, you initially approach it like a pure musician/songwriter, and it's all about the passion....plus, everything feels new and exciting, so those songs are associated with that.

    After you've done some recording...you start to approach it more as an engineer, and your use of the tools becomes more critical and clinical, and you start to listen in a different way.
    You have to push through that...and eventually the engineering part becomes comfortable and you can then marry the technical with the creative to yield better results than you had in the past.

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    maxman65......I have to say that I have to disagree a bit. Yes....of course you always want to be sure that every track or part works as intended....as best you can do. And that can be done as you go........or later in retrospect. To me it doesn't matter as long as you're not under some time constraint or contract for results. As well.......anything done.......such as adding instruments or whatever.....to add to or enhance or take further along a song........in an effort to improve it.......or out of curiosity or for any reason.......can usually be removed or discarded or tossed out of the composition if you realize that it works better without them. Experimentation has always been a huge tool for learning..........and in my experience......many of my tunes have benefited from it....and even better......I've had a blast doing that.

    That's not a knock on a song with a guitar and vocal at all. Just saying that stopping too soon can be as bad as not going further. Of course........taking a song out of the scope of how you originally thought it should be also happens when others hear your version. I can't tell you how many times friends....musicians and not........have given me great ideas for additions.....after the fact.

    All of this depends on how much you can do with your recording device / DAW. If it's limited to start with........you will think limited when you make your plans to put your song together.
    Just A Song Writer..........

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    Quote Originally Posted by maxman65 View Post
    I've done stuff before and had a tendency to want to add instruments to create interest really in fact (probably without realising ) to compensate for some pre existing inadequacy . It's important I think to go back to the core of the song and ask yourself if it's really working as it should with say a guitar and vocal on its own . Melodically, dynamically ,in clarity of recording technique , lyrically every possible way. The chances are there's 10 times more to improve there than moving on at all. That's really what I'm consciously learning from past failures
    going back to the core and re-working the song often loses something in it for me.
    i was thinking as I read this the skill level is a huge player....take a McCartney "demo" like Come and Get It, done in 60minutes and very few tracks, sparse but yet it sounds releasable imo.

    just thinking with skills there is probably less reworking needed.

    seems a fine line between fun and fast with vibe and excitement vs....perfection and sterile and 45th take.

    Adeles big number Rollin in the Deep used her "demo" vocal cut ( 6176+Rode) into the master which might be why it kept some of the fresh vibe.
    then again shes probably sang it 400 million times and for a crowd it works which means the first take magic isnt really true all the time.

    how many takes does it take? with high skill level not many, I will assume.... I usually require unlimited takes and if I go with the first ones the flat notes are all over the place like a Waffle House.

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    Not all songs which are done in an hour are great . You can get lucky every now and then but it's the exception rather the rule . If you want to quote McCartney then it's fair to say maxwell silver hammer was not amongst his very best . They spent more time on that song in the studio than any other on abbey road and it was universally hated by the other band members . Conversely yesterday came to him in a dream and he jotted down quickly when he woke. It's probably their most covered song . Most material needs work genius or no genius

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