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Am I Wasting My Time? Should I take Up Golf?


DesertRatt
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This took me most of a day (around 10 hours). I am just starting to learn the basics of LogicPro.

 

"A Place In the Sun" - Stevie Wonder cover.

Guitars: Me on acoustic and electric

Vocals: Me

Basic Apple Drummer track (something I have a hard time with).

 

 

If it's total crap, don't be afraid to say so. I'm trying to measure my progress using people who REALLY KNOW production. So, I won't be offended by any comment. And, any constructive tips would be cool too!

Cheers,

Mark

Old guy trying to keep up in techno-world.
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I can think of a few things that would make this production better. The first thing that jumps out is the balance of levels: your vocals are way in-your-face (loud, present), while the drums are very soft, completely behind the mix. I think that the drums could come up and then you could convert them to MIDI to continue editing them so the kick drums plays a less busy pattern.

 

Then the choice of the guitars... one is really mid rangy in the center and the other is fuller but panned left? That sounds a little skewed. I would try to make them sound closer in timbre and pan one left the other right to leave the center as a place to put your vocals. Then you can lower the level of the vocals and they won't be competing with the guitars.

 

Then you could add a little reverb to the vocals to make them sound like they're sitting in the mix a bit better. Right now they jump out a bit too much, almost like you're in my room singing over the top of an instrument recording playing back on a speaker.

 

So there you go, a few things to fine tune, not necessarily an insane amount of work either, I mean after all you don't have dozens of tracks, so take the time to give your full attention to each one.

 

Hope that helped!

My new Logic Pro Book is out!

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Hope that helped!

 

Yes! Thank you so much for taking that time to help such a noob as myself. That's exactly the sort of critique that I can learn from. As an old coot (73) sitting down here in the desert with a million Bingo players, I have no friends or acquaintances that would know a DAW from a McCaw. I'm trying to learn as fast as I can, but the range and breadth of the task is sometimes overwhelming. I bought my first guitar 2 years ago to "plunk around" and next thing I know I've got a recording studio in my den! I'm trying to learn guitar, piano, singing, and using a DAW all in one bite. Last night I was watching YouTubes at 2 am trying to learn about the "sampler" function, which I did not even know was IN Logic Pro!

 

Again, many thanks and a ^5 to you for your time. I am going to take your input and see if I can apply it to that track and make at least some improvement.

Old guy trying to keep up in techno-world.
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Ditto to everything David said.

 

Also the piece lacks bass frequencies which can be provided by a bass guitar. If you don't have one, here's a bass which you can play with the keyboard:

 

bass.thumb.gif.c3cc39ddce15032d48241b3639dfc571.gif

If you don't know what to play, mimic the kick drum for rhythm and the root notes of the chords for pitch, then go from there.

Christian Obermaier
Contact me for private Logic Consulting, Training, Troubleshooting via Skype, Zoom or Teamviewer
1 x MacPro 6core 2010 24Gb RAM, 2 x MacBookPro i7 2012 16Gb RAM, OSX.14.6. Mojave, Logic X.5.1

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Ditto to everything David said.

 

Also the piece lacks bass frequencies which can be provided by a bass guitar. If you don't have one, here's a bass which you can play with the keyboard:

 

bass.gif

If you don't know what to play, mimic the kick drum for rhythm and the root notes of the chords for pitch, then go from there.

 

Hi - -

Thanks for the more advice! I did discover that bass instrument and I played it in on my Midi. Not great, for sure, but it did make a very big difference to have that bottom end!

So far, I did this:

-Re-wrote all the drums using Drum Designer instead of DRUMMER.

-Played in a bass part (sorta basically playing root, 5th on the three chords using the "Fingered Bass" instrument as you suggested.

=Wrote a drum fill

- changed all the panning/levels and EQ on the guitars. And backed way off on that electric guitar fill.

- I tried to re EQ the vocal and I think it is better.

By this time, I'm sick of hearing it! (Of course). I can't make a silk purse out of it, but I think it is a little bit improved.

 

I dare ask if anyone would listen to the re-do and just see if it is any better? I'll post it on SC in a little bit. I'm just tweaking the levels yet.

Thanks again folks for indulging me. I learned a BOATLOAD in the last 24 hours!

 

Cheers,

Old guy trying to keep up in techno-world.
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A Place In The Sun - RELOADED

 

If anyone has the patience.....I'm just hoping it is "better" -- and then I'm moving on to a new project where I can employ all the new knowledge. Cheers to all - - I owe you a beer, if you can tolerate a second bite here!

 

Old guy trying to keep up in techno-world.
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A Place In The Sun - RELOADED

 

If anyone has the patience.....I'm just hoping it is "better" -- and then I'm moving on to a new project where I can employ all the new knowledge. Cheers to all - - I owe you a beer, if you can tolerate a second bite here!

 

Ugh... no sorry but the first one was much better. Too many musical issues with that one make it hard to listen to. I would forget about the bass for now, and keep the Drummer track instead of what you just did (which does not work). Once you've got your Drummer track you can control click the Drummer regions and convert them to MIDI regions, then you can remove some of the extra kicks, that's what I had in mind when I suggested earlier to convert the Drummer track to MIDI.

My new Logic Pro Book is out!

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Oh man!, Now, for sure, I'm going to fire that engineer!

 

I'm putting that project into the FAIL BIN. I did learn a lot from it, and I'm going to start fresh with a new project and try to build on those lessons. I can't bear listening to another bar of that one!

 

Thank you David, and Fuzz, for your time and comments. It's hard to learn 10 new skills without some kind of expert feedback. It's amazing how far off the mark one can wander in their own vacuum chamber!

 

::Thumbing through songbook::

 

Cheers!

Mark

Old guy trying to keep up in techno-world.
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Actually, I think it's a great idea to bin this one and to move on, I have seen too many song ideas beaten to death just because someone (including me) could not let go of it, butchering the music in the process.

 

There's a few things to take away from this crime scene:

 

- Use Drummer when and where you can. You're not a drummer, and it shows. Nothing to be ashamed of and using Drummer takes one of this multitude of tasks out from your basket. Set up drummer to play simple stuff and you're set, one thing less to worry about.

- Build the bass (guitar) part as a rhythmic instrument (reinforcing the drums) with a tonal quality (connecting rhythm to the chords). As I've said, if the bass mimics the kick drum, you're off for a good start.

- Make all instruments play the same song. Bass complements drums, guitar complements vocals, rhythm section complements harmony&melody-section

- Make each instrument leave room for the rest of the band. As Brian Eno once said: "An arrangement is when not everyone plays all the time." So simple it borders on silly, yet so powerful and true.

 

Here's an exercise for another song:

Make all instruments including vocals equally loud and 'mix' by how and what they (don't) play. Drums too overpowering ? Play less. Guitar too dominant over the vocals? Play simpler stuff and leave the cool licks for the space where the vocals need to breathe (Sultans Of Swing comes to mind as a good example for this). Bass playing three-octaves-melody is constantly stepping on singer's toes ? Remember - it's called *bass* guitar for a reason, etc...

 

If in doubt: KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)

Edited by fuzzfilth

Christian Obermaier
Contact me for private Logic Consulting, Training, Troubleshooting via Skype, Zoom or Teamviewer
1 x MacPro 6core 2010 24Gb RAM, 2 x MacBookPro i7 2012 16Gb RAM, OSX.14.6. Mojave, Logic X.5.1

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Play simpler stuff and leave the cool licks for the space where the vocals need to breathe (Sultans Of Swing comes to mind as a good example for this).

Or don't play at all when the vocals come in! Stevie Ray Vaughan gives you a great example! Complete with built-in mixing skills (watch him play the volume knob just when needed to change his tone and volume appropriately in different parts of the song.

 

My new Logic Pro Book is out!

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Beautiful SRV video! THX.

 

Before I got the DAW, I was just recording myself on guitar and vocals to an analog 4-track Tascam. With no other players or instruments to worry about, I just jammed with NO METRONOME or drum track. So, I just didn't learn to properly keep time. If a song was 120BPM, I'd be somewhere between 112 and 130 depending on feel in the song. Getting the DAW introduced me to the GRID, and I must say, I did not embrace it with the respect I needed to. Thus, I was continually recording without attention to time, and then trying to fuss other sounds into the mix when the basic track was out of time. I was sort of duplicating on the DAW what I had been doing on the cassette recorders - freeform fireside noodling.

 

I joined METRONOMES ANONYMOUS now, and will faithfully stay away from that Devil Brew of freeform jamming in favor of Click Tracks.

 

BTW, I've never even held a drum stick in my hands. Well, other than turkey drumsticks.

 

Many thanks guys. I'm deep into PLANNING my next project which is a cover of Willie Nelson's "All of Me." There's a simplicity to it, that I think I can comprehend and work with.

Cheers to you all,

Mark

Old guy trying to keep up in techno-world.
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  • 5 weeks later...

"Funny you should mention 'Golf.'" Alice Cooper® is now a semi-professional golfer, and he attributes his obsession with that game for keeping him alive and his marriage together. ("Alice" doesn't do anything 'halfway.')

 

His autobiography is very interesting and very good reading. (I was actually sitting in a pew in the Phoenix church one fine Sunday morning when he was baptized, but that's another story for another day.)

Mike Robinson - "I wanna quit being a computer consultant and become a composer and arranger at age fifty-nevermind."
Logic Pro X, MacBook Pro, 88-key MIDI controller.

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