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Thread: First Reaper song

  1. #1
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    First Reaper song

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    It's taken a few months due to a rather steep learning curve and a lack of time at home, but i've just about finished my first song using Reaper...actually my first recorded song in 11 years and also the first time i've used a DAW.

    The working titled version posted is not yet mastered and still have a couple of keyboard parts to add but i was hoping to get some feedback about the mix and sound when played on your own systems before moving to mastering. As i've mentioned before, i don't have a treated room or proper monitoring kit. Still doing it through my old sony stereo.

    To my ears, the balance of the mix is pretty good, however i think the overall sound is a bit bright and thin and i'm not quite sure how to rectify that. I've applied little EQ to anything on this aside from the acoustic guitars.

    I know there's a MP3 forum but as the songs not quite finished and i've managed to get here with Reapers users help, i thought it'd be more appropriate to post here.

    The song is here:



    Cheers, Mark

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    Listening on my PC speakers (little box Gateways). The bass sounds a little muddy. I heard some guitar string squeaks that stuck way out. Cymbals/hi hats can't be heard.
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
    My Bandcamp site: http://mikebirchmusic.bandcamp.com

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    I listened on my larger stereo, bass is muddy. I didn't hear any HH or cymbals. Guitar scratching didn't bother me. Vocals were just slightly loud to me, but not excessivly on top.

    Overall not a bad mix.
    DM60 Tunes: The Collection

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    Thanks for feedback. I wrote the drum track to be fairly subtle but I guess as other dynamics developed in the recording it may now benefit from some tinkering...I'll have a look at the guitar scratches and eq on the bass to see if I can make it clearer. Interesting that no one mentioned the sound being overly bright / thin sounding as that was my main concern.

    Cheers

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    I was pleasantly surprised.

    I like the voice and I like the song. The structure is good and the changes are interesting.

    String squeaks didn't bother me, nor did the cymbals being subdued. I agree with the bass being muddy. It's a vague sort of sound with neither top end character nor bottom end presence. I've always like vocals bewing up front, so that was fine by me.

    The synth sounds were great.

    Areas where you could look at making considerable gains are:

    1 Tighten up the playing. There are quite a few things playing at once, and there are areas where they are not totally together, which makes it messy
    2 In any case, you do have lot of things going on, so it would be interesting to see what gains you could make by judicious culling
    3 Specially to create differences between the various parts of the song. At the moment there is not much dynamic variation.
    4 It's worth you checking the vocal melody at the end of some of the phrases where the voice seems to be hunting a little for the right note. Given that you've got interesting key changes, you need to make the most of these by having vocals (and instruments) hitting these changes strongly.

    All in all, a great start.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gecko zzed View Post
    I was pleasantly surprised.

    I like the voice and I like the song. The structure is good and the changes are interesting.

    String squeaks didn't bother me, nor did the cymbals being subdued. I agree with the bass being muddy. It's a vague sort of sound with neither top end character nor bottom end presence. I've always like vocals bewing up front, so that was fine by me.

    The synth sounds were great.

    Areas where you could look at making considerable gains are:

    1 Tighten up the playing. There are quite a few things playing at once, and there are areas where they are not totally together, which makes it messy
    2 In any case, you do have lot of things going on, so it would be interesting to see what gains you could make by judicious culling
    3 Specially to create differences between the various parts of the song. At the moment there is not much dynamic variation.
    4 It's worth you checking the vocal melody at the end of some of the phrases where the voice seems to be hunting a little for the right note. Given that you've got interesting key changes, you need to make the most of these by having vocals (and instruments) hitting these changes strongly.

    All in all, a great start.
    Thanks for the detailed feedback and kind words Gecko 👍

    When I recorded the bass I recall I'd forgotten to put the line in boost button on...it was a good take and not knowing better I decided it sounded ok. That may well be the reason it sounds indistinct.

    I'm glad you like the synth parts...I generally have little idea what I'm going to do until I start playing along and am just using presets on on the VST Synth 1. First time I've used midi and I like how its come out on this.

    In relation to the other points

    1. I agree its loose at times...I am (with no false modesty) a very average musician and rely heavily on punch in/ out recording...are there any particular parts that sound out of kilter or is it a general overview?

    2. The chorus has 4 guitar parts tripping over each other so I know what you mean...I just wonder if removing a part may further reduce the dynamics as mentioned in point 3

    4...yeah I agree although there was some intention in the vocal sounding a bit strained and pained in those passages...it was less tuneful in an earlier version 😆

    Btw, thanks for all your help and advice over the past few months..hopefully my questions have gotten less dumb as the weeks have gone by!

    Mark

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    I've made a few adjustments...

    1.Lowered the level of all Rhythm guitars in the two 'bridge' sections..Hopefully creates more dynamic between the chorus and those parts.
    2. I've completely removed one of the guitar lead parts in the chorus...wasn't adding much and i think i'd accidentally left the level higher than i wanted anyway.
    3. Added some more synth sounds to the second bridge part
    4. Removed almost all of the fret-board scratches.

    Hopefully some difference discernible! Link below...I've left the original up for now

    Cheers, Mark




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