symphonious7

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symphonious7 last won the day on March 5 2014

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About symphonious7

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    United States of America

Music Background

  • Band / Artist Name
    Symph
  • Musical / Songwriting / Music Biz Skills
    I have written and recorded over 300 different songs in many many genres.
  • Musical Influences
    T-Rex, Beatles, David Bowie, Prince, The Kinks, AC/DC, Beastie Boys, Bjork, CCR, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Rolling Stones, Adam Ant, Bob Marley, Smashing Pumpkins, Alice in Chains, Toadies, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden

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  1. When I was first creating music as a teen, I would do whatever I felt when I mixed, I had no fear, no method, just feel. None of these mixes were as they should be, but many of them were very vibey. Then I met a producer who mentored me 5 years and taught me all kinds of things about mixing. None were very easy to implement, but his ideas of sonic correctness, creating space, making room, what eq does, what makes a good mix, what makes a bad mix etc. These ideas went whirling through my head, I decided "he makes good productions, he knows what he's talking about" and began implementing such ideas when I mixed. I'm not saying these ideas were bad, but they took over, and I lost something. My mixes just got worse, and worse, and worse, I began to fear mixing, feel it was never ending, and never release my songs, I am still kind of at this phase, but I'm nearing the end of it. Recently, I've begun asking God to show me what it is I'm missing in my mixes, and whether or not you believe in the source this is how He has been changing my thought patterns and I'm hearing improvement. I feel like rather than the rigid philosophies that my producer taught me, the philosophies I get through faith are more life engaging and freeing. So here are some things I believe I have learned. They are true for me, and apply to me, decide for yourself if they may be true for you. 1. Do not FEAR your controls and do not believe in "perfection". There is no perfection, there are vibes and you are pulling them out of the frequencies you have to work with. If you strive for perfection you will nitpick and pull yourself out of a creative and inspired mindset and into a scientific and rigid one. Fool around, play with the controls, have fun, see what can be done. You can't screw up what isn't right yet, just be sure to remember anything you may want to get back to before you tinker with it. 2. PAINT. Every sound has a shape, a thickness, a weight, a color, a coolness a warmth, a tone, use these to paint a picture. Rather than focusing on one single instrument at a time and thinking "How can I bring that out" or "I want to hear more of the umph of this sound" or trying to emulate things you imagined in your brain, try to listen as a whole and paint a picture. Once you get it in the ball park volume wise, what kind of picture do you have? Is it flat? Hollow? Not giving you a feeling? Boomy? What do your ears want to hear, and I don't mean idealistically. It's not what your brain wanted to hear when you wrote the song, or imagines on the radio, what does your brain want to hear from the real sounds coming out of your speakers. examples: There's no rhythm, I'm not feeling the beat. It all sounds apart from each other, there's no congruency. My voice is piercing. 3. MIX FROM THE HEART. If you are trying to emulate something you've heard or a band you want to "beat" or your motivation is to be the most "slammin" or "poppin" or whatever it is, you are probably not being very realistic and not getting very good mixes. Center yourself, be honest, quench pride, now listen, and pull out something that is compelling. This is your chance to make yourself feel something from your creation, come to that with reverence, awe that you are allowed to do something so expressive and wonderful and now see what can be done! See what can be done! 4. LEAVE NOTHING OUT. Keep a watchful eye over your whole creation, don't let anything go left amiss, it's easy to think guitar and bass or voice and piano are all there is and then Mr. Hi Hat or Ms. Snare are destroying your whole world. Be conscious of your entire creation from the commanding guitar solo to the sprinkles of a shaker. You can liken this to the love you would put into fine cooking or building a home, love your entire mix. And if you don't love a part? Get it out, and replace it with something you do love. 5. KNOW WHEN TO QUIT. Your brain is a divinely created machine, but it is still a machine and one that isn't even functioning at high capacity! (various reasons, wrong thinking, state of the environment, health etc) Sometimes the desire to finish is so strong that we keep going even when we know we aren't having fun, aren't feeling it, we're tight. It's always good to stop then, even if it's 5 or 10 minutes, just be peaceful, let your brain stop straining, get back to the essence of your song, all of mixing should be a joy, if it's a chore, stop. 6. LISTEN HONESTLY. Sometimes I find myself mixing as I think about other things, mixing but focusing on the sounds and not the feeling, and the whole time I'm telling myself "this is sounding pretty good, it's going alright, I'm making progress" but in reality I'm aimlessly making changes, mixing but not LISTENING. You've got to let your song take you on a journey, that means learning to space out, not having expectations, not dwelling on the last moment, not anticipating the next, but LISTENING. This is also a huge part of hearing the voice of God but that's for another blog and possibly another forum But yes these principles apply to life but they apply to mixing as well. Being in the moment, having a still heart, closing your eyes and being taken off on a journey, this is how you will know if you are really getting what you want. I think sometimes it's easier to just pretend the journey is going how we want and not listen for fear of disappointment, but if you have faith you can correct the problems and achieve your goal, it's the only way to truly know what's wrong. You have to be unafraid to close your eyes and objectively listen and see if you are happy with the journey you've created, if not, don't fear the correcting process, it's how you grow as a mixer. You tinker, honestly, and are unafraid to acknowledge the flaws. And DON'T be afraid to re record, sometimes you can't make a sound work because the sound ITSELF doesn't work. 7. KNOW WHEN TO QUIT FOREVER. A mix can always be changed and made better, but usually by the time you have something you can really live with (if you're being honest with yourself and it gives you good feels every time you hear it) the audience would rather just have it than have you tinkering away forever. At some point you have to consider it good enough to put out there, and this is usually when you are already happy but your brain keeps wanting to go "weeeeell... I mean maybe I could get that just a liiiiiiittttllleee more" or when you start to think it's ready but say "well it doesn't sound like this band..." or you get fearful people will compare it to *blank*. At that point? Just put it out, if there's something wrong with it the people may tell you, but who cares, we get better at mixing by sharing mixes, you won't bust out of nowhere with perfect sounding songs, you will grow and grow and grow forever and ever. Amen. Most churchy mixing post ever hahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahhahaahahahahaha Deal with it. I might make more of these as more come, let me know what you think my friends.
  2. I do this thing sometimes, just wanna say, like... what you have here has a vibe, and it's kicking ass, and sometimes I personally will tinker myself out of a good thing based on suggestions, so whatever you do, make sure YOU want to make any changes you make, and recognize that while some suggestions may have the ability to make the song pop a little more, none are necessary, this is compelling as hell as is.
  3. I'm really not worried about being able to sell my stuff if I can just get it to sound sellABLE. Once I have the ability to produce quickly (I'm having faith it's gonna happen) Once I have the product I plan to use every internet tool I can find to learn how to market it, I've already seen a few seminars on how to acquire passive income (I think that's what they call it) and definitely seen some eye opening stuff. Seems to me that there are people who will buy your music if you will take the (painstaking) time to get it where they can find it and give incentives to share and buy it. It does sound like you'd have to really throw yourself into the business side of things too and you may be looking at a year or two of grinding before you see the pay off, but there are sites that walk you through these things, tedious as they may be.
  4. I just get this image in my head of you taking a girl on a first date, turning on the music and she's like "Ummm... why does it sound so bland?" And you're like "Just hang on a sec..." then you floor it and right as you hit 88 mph BASS.... and you go back to the future too.... lol that car sounds hilariously messed up Whoa I didn't realize how far back that post was, should have quoted @Just1L
  5. I don't think people are any more capable of choosing to love themselves than they are choosing to love everybody else though personally. I think both are outside of our willpower's grasp, the key will be an intervention from God, which I fully believe is on the way. But that's just my theory, your thoughts on the matter are very relevant. Up there I saw Starise talking about cars and their stereos, I have a toyota corolla myself and I can't get it to sound good at all! I don't know if it's the eq settings or that I have just destroyed the speakers with all the blasting I did in my early 20's haha Regardless it's always like... you hear all these deep bass and crisp high's in the house, get it in the car and it's like "MID MID MID MID MID" I try to mess with the eq and it just gets weirder lol The system is from 96 though and it came with the car so... can't expect too much I guess
  6. Omg I LOVE this song!!! It's so so soooooo good!!! Your harmonies your lyrics your piano parts the changes the... omg it's just, I can't say enough good things about this song as far as the idea and the beauty of the execution performance wise, my wife heard it and she just said "this is what Tori Amos SHOULD have been" hahaha Seriously, writing wise and idea wise and parts wise this is just FLAWLESS to me, I'm very interested in your work now. The only thing is like... the production is GOOD don't get me wrong, it's just kind of... mid tone heavy and the piano seems to be.... you have a keen sense for production, it's very like... you nicely edged out the vocal and placed it in the crevass underneath the piano, I think this was however backwards to how it should be, the piano should be underneath supporting the vocal, so we get all those nuances in the delivery, I see why you would have mixed it this way, I just think a move vocal prominent mix might be more powerful, though you wouldn't want to lose those hard hitting piano creciendos from it! So definitely wouldn't want it to swallow the piano, these things are usually just a matter of volume and compression I think. That "accordian" sound as the previous poster called it is definitely lacking, but I mean, you're clearly a writer so I don't know how much you consider yourself a producer, but yeah it's in an odd tonal realm and a bit lack luster and buried, parts themselves are perfect though, just... honestly all I that I think this song is lacking is a punchier mix vocally and with a few backing parts, get them to zing a bit more and you have yourself a slice of audio perfection imo. Even without a better mix it's still amazing, just... keep doing what you're doing I love it!
  7. Yeeeeah... I got a presence alright. I haven't gotten to show it in front of too many people, it happens when I'm mixing or showing people my music mostly though I HAVE seen it come out a few times in jams and stuff, kind of... begin to feel really powerful and I began take on a very commanding and royal sort of demeanor, it's kind of bowie meets jagger, like a more prim and proper jagger, or a bowie that moves, and I do dance, ALOT. And my dancing can get crazy when it's my own songs, the energy just gets me and I do stuff I don't even know how I'm doing, for example at an appropriate time just falling on the floor but doing it fluidly!! Like... I try doing these things when I'm not "in the zone" or "feeling it" and I have no IDEA how to do them, could even hurt myself trying some of them. But get me performing one of my songs for people and suddenly my body is doing stuff I don't know how it knows to do, it's being propelled by a jet stream of energy, it's... it's like the greatest thing ever. Just gotta get the album and the band together and start doing it more and more in front of people, I need to get healthier too. Thanks for your comments!
  8. It's a chorus on one vocal and then another vocal underneath that one with a delay, I think the chorus has a stereo widener on it too that makes it really like.... cool lol I dunno music stuff.
  9. To HoboSage: Thanks so much man!! Yeah I'm finally starting to like my own stuff again. When I was a teen I literally didn't hang out with friends, didn't go out to bars, didn't do ANYTHING cause all I wanted to do was create song after song and listen over and over, but I lost that for years, never felt like myself since, now I'm married, 32, and something in me is starting to snap and I'm really digging making this stuff again! But as you said, I gotta learn how to record better! I just bought this mic for micing my amp but I've never mic'd an amp before, it's giving me alot more information which is good I just don't know what to do with it all yet. Where could I go for more advice on mixing? I feel like I really just need kind of... more muscle memory but with direction, if that makes sense... mixing is a feel thing but also a science thing, I think I'm good with the feel thing and I need more of the sciency thing haha But thanks again man, I'll try to reel it in and I SEE what you're saying! Oh and as for the song's length, YESSSSSSS MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Been listening to Wire alot, don't know if you're familiar but they're first wave 70's punk and they are incredible, they have really taught me how powerful it can be to make your songs VERY short, just get in, get out, make a big splash, GONE. It's been my... thing lately. To Iron Knee: That makes me really happy!! Glad you liked it, more to come! To Vara La Fey: Thank you for the in depth perspective! I think you and I see song writing a little differently but you help me to make sense of the way people I've know have written before and common criticisms I've gotten on my own music in the past. I don't really think of my work as all that... like I don't plan any "fusion", I've actually been kind of convinced I may be writing in a new genre which could be called "gospel glam" most accurately, but that's not for me to decide. But the fusion you're talking about is ALL my songs and it just happens, I saturate myself with 60's and 70's vibes all day and then 60's and 70's vibes come out but in a hodge podge, and since I grew up with smashing pumpkins and bands that surprised you with sort of... unnerving things with beautiful things. But yeah, all my songs are frankensteins like that, this one isn't even all that many styles in one. As far as the chorus's.... I THINK that it's probably not so much about how much I have going on and how the mix is, I really feel like the sharp "worm and a tool" vocals in this mix were just too present, and too sharp, not sure how to fix it yet but I'm a gonna try by golly. Anyway, thanks for your feedback everyone!
  10. I think I'm getting close with my mixes, I'm pretty dang happy with this, I see it's not... it's sort of crammed together, or like... forced to work, but I kinda like that. Reminds me of those 70's and 80's punk bands that produced themselves and it came out awful and gorgeous at the same time. Still suggestions are appreciated cause it could always be better. Oh yeah and the song too, I'm not... the vocal isn't kiilllling me, but with all the difficulties I've had lately I feel like I need to settle at some point just to get something out there, confidence will probably come as I get positive feedback again. Anywho... I'm talking too much, here's the song.
  11. That making it up as you go thing really hits me, that's how artists like Hendrix and Janis Joplin would hit me, like people would go "Give us all the answers!!" And they'd say "If I have any answers it's only cause I'm as much a part of this ride as you are, I'm not a guru I'm tool" And yeah that's me paraphrasing something I think they MIGHT have agreed with haha who can say, but it's the sense I get from that time, these people were cool cause they were honest and confident, not all knowing or enlightened. Oh and that's not tool negatively. I mean like, "an instrument of the higher power" or whatever they may have believed in, most people were spiritual in some way at that time.
  12. Oh and I can stop if we wanna go back to the literal listening devices theme haha sorry guys I'm very.... I trail alot...
  13. Loved that Starise, very thought provoking, and I've never truly thought about it with all those angles in mind. I want to see young people get excited, old people get inspired, uptight people lighten up. I wanna see people dance for fun and not to look cool or be sexual. I want to see people's hearts awaken to good messages, instead of spiraling further and further down into a depraved state of carnal and materialistic messages. I want the sense in the youth to be "Guys we have to love each other" Not "You have to learn to love yourself". I guess it IS a hippy movement I'm after. I see substance flying away, I see character disappearing, I see honesty being traded for facade, I look back to these people from 30 or 40 years ago and I say "THERE. There we still had SOME semblance of reality, it wasn't always perfect but it was SOMETHING." And truly... what do we have that could at least slow down this juggernaut of soullessness? Cause in my opinion, soulless music makes soulless people. Music has a HUGE affect on how a society thinks, and when we have a generation who thinks Little Wayne is a poet and the Beach Boys are cheesy boring old people music, I see a dumbing down of the soul there. I am NOT of the opinion that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I believe that beauty is in the eye of the creator and the creation can become blind to this beauty as it rubs more and more mud in it's eyes. Anyway... I want to see something cool exist and have a voice again, something I can latch onto, something I can look forward to and have a handful of bands I'm just waiting for their next albums, watching their every move, loving their every interview, digging their ideas, and seeing other's sort of, wake up and go "Whoa, forget that crap I was listening to THIS is where it's at!" Nothing inspires ME anymore. I want to PERSONALLY be inspired honestly, that's the biggest thing. I mean some of those brazillian bands come close, but just... why should I have to travel back 50 years to find stuff that truly excites me fully? Or travel to brazil and listen to music in languages I don't understand? I see why the lightbulb is getting dimmer I really do, I just... it's not over yet man. It can't be. Something WILL hit those airwaves that blows my mind with every single song over and over and over, it's gonna happen. You may saaaay I'm a dreamerrrrr.... but I'm not into that Lennon sceeeene anymore than you areeee.....
  14. Hey David! Good to see you still posting man!
  15. I feel like my image is just innate and inside me. When I was in highschool and my friends were dressing in all black and wearing baggy jinco pants etc, I began wearing flared leg jeans and cutting up socks to wear on my arms and hands, putting on ties without a collar or wearing boas usually with very loud sunglasses, and just... I dunno I had a very clear style that was my own and it just felt right. My friends would comment on how I was the hippy among us or I was unafraid to look how I wanted. But other parts of my image seem to have been handed to me as well, when I play my songs and get amped up with energy I tend to put on this mock british accent and my eyes get really wide and my movements become whimsical like that of jack sparrow meeting the cheshire cat. I've always loved fortune cookies and decided that tie dye fortune cookies with contact info should be thrown into the crowd and a fortune cookie should be on the kick drum. Where do these ideas come from? I dunno, just seems like what's natural to do for some reason. I wish this picture wasn't cropped so tight but this is an idea of what I'm talking about. I guess I don't really have much to say about the impact of image or it's necessity, I just feel really fun when I look how my music sounds to me in my mind, playing the role of an other worldly being comes naturally to me, I hope to be able to at least be seen in this light by a few some day.