Sorry, another how can I improve thread.

witm8

New member
Thanks for the feedback, I'll definately take it on board. I know that I'm never going to make a singer or anything, but I'm doing it for fun, but that's never an excuse not to improve or at least try and be better.

However, moving onto:

Mickster;4314337........you seem to have the same problem many people have who first try to record and mix their voice have. They make the vocal too low. Bring it up a bit.[/QUOTE said:
That sentence scares the life out of me. Increase my vocals, what, so that people can actually hear them. Oh my lord, whatever next! I think that I like hiding me vocals at the back I guess, however, always one to move forward, that's exactly what I did, no additional EQ as I'm only on an iPad so nothing fancy.

hey ho, nothing to loose, have a listen:

https://soundcloud.com/tim-summers/listen-up-increased-vocal
 

Armistice

Son of Yoda
Nothing to be ashamed of ... but unless that's your actual "in the room" sound, FFS take some reverb off it. If that's your actual "in the room" sound, find another room...

Pitch needs some work, in places, but tone's very pleasant. Practice, practice, practice...

And, in general, you have a shitload to learn about recording and mixing, but that's OK, we all start somewhere.

I wouldn't be auditioning for England's Got Talent just yet, but plenty there to work on.
 

witm8

New member
Not posted on this forum for a while - doesn't mean that I've not been reading, or have put down my guitar.

What I have found positive for me is setting myself exactly 1 hour to learn, record, and do everything on a song to completion. This may seem a strange strategy for some, but personally speaking - I'm a nightmare for constantly messing around with a semi-finished version and usually making it sound so much worse by the constant tinkering.

Also, I don't usually get any more than 1 hour to myself anyway.

So, I've decided that's what I'll do for a while. I find a song that I like - listen to it a few times then start the watch. Learn the chords, practice them a few times and try and record them first time. Next vocals - just bang them out 1st 'take' unless things go disastrously wrong. Layer them together - this usually takes up the first 30~45 mins (don't really know where the time goes), then listen to the proper song again and pick up maybe another layer somewhere - bang that down. If there's time left - maybe pop in a harmony somewhere.

This is one that I did last weekend, 1hr and 5 mins actually:

https://soundcloud.com/tim-summers/why-worry

I know it's not great, but I honestly couldn't care less, it was such fun to do and for me personally that's what it's all about. The strings on my guitar are too ‘heavy’ as there is some buzz on the occasional bass note where it’s hitting the frets. I’ve got some lights on my ‘pick-up-and-play’ guitar so I’ll whack a set on my ‘nice’ guitar soon.
 

Mickster

Well-known member
I think you've come a long way since my last listen to your other work. And you've already identified some of the issues on this track. The last time I commented on your work I advised you to raise the volume on your vocal. You've got that done right. So.......just staying with the vocal.......you could think about reducing the reverb and taking a bit of mid out in EQ. You have a bit too much of both and it's giving your vocal a muddy sound to some extent. As well........play around with the reverb settings so that you get more of a "feel" of reverb than actual long lasting trails. The resonant tone of the reverb itself is too "present". Sometimes to get the effect you want..........less is more and "illusion" is even better. Well done and keep it going.
 

witm8

New member
Quick update: We're moving house :thumbs up:

The Mrs says that if I make the double garage into a gym for her, then I can have the 'study' as my music room.

No more waiting for the ultra rare moment that the house is quiet, spending 1/2 hour getting everything ready in order to record something, I'll have my own room.

Happy about that ! - Right I'm off to the studio building area of this forum to start spending money!

All-the-gear with-no-idea .... that's how I roll :eatpopcorn:

Hopefully I'll get something better than what I recorded last night whilst the Mrs was working late:

https://soundcloud.com/tim-summers/toothpaste-kisses-my-cover-the
 

witm8

New member
Well, I did another song yesterday. I really wanted to try and take on-board the comments that people have given me, so I worked my way through this thread and eventually landed with this:

https://soundcloud.com/tim-summers/suck-it-and-see-alex-turner

It's a very simple song, in quite a low key, which initially made it easier for my vocal range.

I tripple tracked the guitar - Neck (then panned left), 12th Fret (kept it central), sound hole (panned right)
Messed around with the levels so that the left and right were only in the background, and the central was more dominant.
Single tracked the vocals - but copied the track and panned left/right to give it more depth.
Didn't add reverb afterwards - I did use AD480 and set it on 'Small Recording Studio' as completely 'dry' sounded poor
Tried breathing properly whilst singing.
I acutally learned the lyrics, rather than reading off a bit of paper - This made a massive difference as I could try and put some 'feeing' in there
I dropped the volume of the guitar track, and made the vocals more dominant - I used to hide the vocals behind the guitar to start with.

With regard to 'mixing' at the moment I physically don't have the capability of doing much more than this, as the only equipment that I'm using is my iPad with Garageband, a USB Apogee Mic (cardioid condenser) I'm using for recording guitar and a Shure SM58 (dynamic) for the vocals.

Any feedback that I can work with would be greatly apprichiated.
 

witm8

New member
Quick update: It's been a few months since I posted here last. Since then, I've moved house, and changed the downstairs office into a ........ music room. I wouldn't push it as far as to call it a 'studio' - but it has my 5 guitars (my Gibson J45 and Gibson Les Paul Traditional being my absolute favorites), my new VOX AC15 valve amp, my acoustic amp, a couple of microphones, and a drum kit. I've been having my mates around once a week for beers and a jam. It's been absolutely awsome.

Don't worry, I'm not expecting to now be churning out song after song, but this has definately re-lit the fire in my belly for it. Absolutely love plugging the Les Paul into my VOX, cranking the volume up, adding some gain and smashing out some tunes.

11l0xw4.jpg
 

witm8

New member
:eek:

Was happily messing around with my guitar last night - and something weird happened.

A 'song' started to unfold right in front of me. First came a little 'hook', then the chords, then a baseline quickly followed.

I started to panic like a 16 year old lad who was imminently going to lose his virginity - I'd heard about it, I knew all about it, I'd read the articles - but when it came down to the business end of the deal, I wasn't entirely sure what I was supposed to.

Ahhhhhh, the good old days :rolleyes: So I did what I did all those years ago ......... I winged it.

By that I mean, plugged everything in and pressed record. Recorded each track individually - popped them together - and hey-presto - out came something resembling a song.

I was on a roll !!

I grabbed a pad and a pen - and the lyrics just fell out onto the page, and vaguely made sense - to me anyways.

I’d been listening to a lot of old indie music from the 90’s (my prime) – so that’s why there’s a definitely a distinct Madchester vibe – intentionally may I add.

Here it is:

https://soundcloud.com/tim-summers/josephine-my-origional

I may leave it like this – or I may re-do some of the individual tracks, as some of the guitar playing is a little dodgy to say the least.
 

witm8

New member
Well, I've finally got around to completing a couple more songs.

I've recently found myself with quite a number of new songs, so I start on them, but I soon get bored and move onto another. I'm not sure if that's just my personality, or (which I suspect is the case) the songs are shyte and don't keep my attention.

Anyway - since the last time I posted, I've upgraded my iPad to an iMac, and also GarageBand has been upgraded to Logic Pro X.

It's been a monstrous learning curve consisting of forums, and endless contradictory YouTube videos, but last night (before I started getting bored) I committed myself to completing a song and publishing it:

https://soundcloud.com/tim-summers/picture-with-you

Apologies if the levels are a bit all over the place, but this is what you call learning from scratch - I've tried my best what with being an absolute beginner in 'music production'

T'ra
 

witm8

New member
Back again ....

So recently I've picked up my guitar again - for some reason my playing/interest seems to come in waves, it's either all or nothing with me. I've had other things going on which have taken up a lot of time, but I'm back.

I've done a couple of new tunes recently, both pretty different from each other:

At the corner again by Random-Tangent | Random Tangent | Free Listening on SoundCloud
(acoustic, folk style - purposely mixed like I was outside)

See The Sun by Random-Tangent | Random Tangent | Free Listening on SoundCloud
(kinda late 90's, early 2000's indie style)

I'm planning on trying to find a style and make an EP of some description - not for making money, or anything like that, just to add more focus to what I'm doing.

I started another one last night - it's only in the idea stage at the moment - but this again, is different to either of the two above. This is what I mean about needing to focus.

Anyway, that's all. Have a listen and if you have any comments then I'm all ears.
 

kickingtone

New member
Had a listen to 4 or 5 of your clips just now.

Good, round, balanced tone, imo. It carries the right vibe for the songs you are singing. I particularly liked "Why Worry".

I think that something to work on would be the higher notes. I can hear a slight faltering on those notes, and your tone comes in a smidgen late. That is symptomatic of low breath support.
 

witm8

New member
Hi guys - it's been a while and I'm still trying :guitar:

I'm really enjoying things musically at the moment. I'm constantly learning, and I'm even trying different genres of music - why? - because I want to really. I'm starting to get more into the mixing of the songs after I've recorded them - mastering I can't seem to understand - maybe because it's all about making small tweaks here-and-there, and I guess that the quality of my monitors, my ears, are not quite good enough so I personally don't see a difference after the mastering process (yes, I know it's not supposed to be majorly different but as my time is pretty limited, taking an hour to add a little bit of shine to a finished track doesn't do it for me. I'd prefer to spend that hour smashing out some more songs).

Anyway, This is one that I finished yesterday: Home Is Where It Starts by Random-Tangent | Random Tangent | Free Listening on SoundCloud

And last week I tried something completely different (mainly because I bought myself a AKAI MPK and wanted to play with it): True Love Flies by Random-Tangent | Random Tangent | Free Listening on SoundCloud

^^ both of these could do with some more 'work' but I tend to leave things pretty raw on purpose, as when I try and make some monumental masterpiece I just end up messing things up.

Amazingly looking at my soundcloud account my first track was 'published' 7 years ago :eek: Listening to some of the ones from so far back I don't know why I even thought that they sounded good enough for people to listen to. Drowned in reverb !!! I admit that I still do use reverb on all of my vocals, probably still too much, but it's like an addiction lol. I'm slowly removing it though.
 
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witm8

New member
I started a song over the weekend, and finally got around to finishing it last night. I was dangerously close to tinkering too much and killing it completely so I called it a day.

Please feel free to have a listen and critique - all feedback is good feedback.

CRUSH by Random-Tangent | Random Tangent | Free Listening on SoundCloud CRUSH by Random-Tangent | Random Tangent | Free Listening on SoundCloud

I had a flick back through my soundcloud, it really is quite amazing how you change/grow over the years. Some of the tracks that I originally did just sound awful to my ears now - drowning in reverb was my biggest mistake.
 

ladewd

New member
Really nice song. Singing was very nice. You’re still drowning a bit in reverb. Can you shorten the reverb tail about half way and lower the reverb in the mix? That would bring your voice more up front, which it deserves.
 

Illsidgus

Desiccated Member
I agree with ladewd, to much reverb. Let us hear your voice, what I can hear sounds good and your phrasing is very good.
 

Mhcapa1

New member
Man
Your voice is on point
Like really on point
But you ask how you can
"Up the vocal quality a bit more?"
Fine
but first I want to reiterate - you voice is so on point.

If you want an answer to how you can up your vocal quality - first Id see a recording engineer hah
But
If anything Id say on some of the lyrics (not chorus) Im hanging a little for something behind your voice
Like that deep throaty oomph or the vocal gravel
I say talk to a recording engineer
But if youre trying to improve on just you in a bedroom with a guitar - Id just say vocal exercises man.
And I dont know how much theyd help - or if you do them already... I mean your voice sounds on point.

If you want to look into that tho Id say google Erik Arcenaux.

Bravo bro
Im still listening... On song 3 as I type - on point ?
 

witm8

New member
Over Run by Random-Tangent | Random Tangent | Free Listening on SoundCloud

It's Temporary by Random-Tangent | Random Tangent | Free Listening on SoundCloud

I think that I'm getting slightly braver as to not hide behind all the reverb, and I've tried to mix the vocals to they are a bit more stand out. Well, that's on 'over-run', the other song that I've posted here _does_ have reverb, but I'm kinda thinking that it's the general vibe of the song. I would have gone back and tinkered with both of these, but things caught up with me and I just wanted them 'finished'.

I'm really pleased that I started this thread, as I looked back at some of the comments over time, and also listened to some of the songs that I've put out there already. Isn't it amazing that something that you were quite happy with say 2 years ago, sounds completely shocking now that one has developed more, understand more, and your ears have developed more.

Thanks for your help everyone
 

witm8

New member
Hi,

I've finally got around to 'releasing' another track. This is one that I was working on for months and months, then completely ran out of steam and lost interest in it, but I rediscovered it over the weekend and jumped back into it with new vigour. I re-recorded some parts, re-mixed, and also added some more 'depth' in the mix.

I really think that I'm starting to get somewhere with my style of mixing now, it's taken long enough. I'm trying not to hide so much behind the reverb - just little things, but I think that I have a direction to follow. I'm planning on going back over my library of old songs in various states to see if there is anything there that I want to start back on.

Anyway, have a listen and let me know what you think. Any comments would be welcome, not to change this, but on the next song that I do.

Feeling Lonely by Random-Tangent | Random Tangent | Free Listening on SoundCloud

Here are a few others that I've done recently if you fancy a listen :)

Break My Heart Again by Random-Tangent | Random Tangent | Free Listening on SoundCloud
(Pretty Far From)MILAN by Random-Tangent | Random Tangent | Free Listening on SoundCloud
 
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