MikeRobinson

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MikeRobinson last won the day on June 2 2016

MikeRobinson had the most liked content!

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About MikeRobinson

  • Rank
    Senior Member

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    United States of America

Music Background

  • Musical / Songwriting / Music Biz Skills
    Composer, Scoring. Computer programmer.
  • Musical Influences
    Zappa; Metheny; Enya; Ray Lynch.

Collaboration

  • Songwriting Collaboration
    Not Interested
  1. "God help them both" ... Mr. and Mrs. Barak Obama are striving to raise-up their daughters in a fish-bowl. The Carter family strove to raise-up Amy in similar condiions ... ... and the Trumans ... ... and ...
  2. To my way of thinking, "super-duper über-sequenced god-knows-what ..." ... is just ... ... the 21st Century version of ... ... ... "an instrument." "An instrument," simply stated, "is nothing more than potential." It is, "a starting point, nothing more." Anyone can get there, without effort. "T-h-e Question" is: "what happens next?" In "the old days," the next step required hand-eye coordination and perhaps-years of physical training. Today, those physical constraints might be removed. But the objective has not changed. You must connect to your audience. And, by the way, "your audience neither knows nor cares 'how the trick was done!'"
  3. My personal enjoyment of [computer-based ...] music originates from realization that computer technology ... I am a software consultant by trade ... "liberates me from the limits of my music lessons." While I am a reasonably-adept keyboardist by now, "the keyboard" is to me "a manual typewriter." I am both fascinated and excited by the realization that I don't have to be "a paragon of hand-eye coordination" in order to render the music that has always been running around in my head. Of course, "this comes at a price." "With great power comes great responsibility." Unfortunately, even though modern computer software might put an entire (virtual) symphony orchestra at my command – with a generous choice of "halls" in which my virtual symphony is to perform – I must somehow(?!) figure out what to do with it. However, I guess that this is just yet-another extension of "my crazy life-long affair with digital computers." I've been utterly fascinated by these machines since I was (literally) six years old, and that fascination shows no sign of stopping. (I like that ...)
  4. So, let's try to rescue this thing ... Chop off "the first-X critical seconds." Leave no split-second for a "musical-pad intro." Instead, drop straight into the vocal within the first two seconds, and make extremely sure that the first phrase of that lyric contains: "an irresistible 'hook.'" Next, go after the listener with "a wall of sound." Add multiple layers of instruments – by gawd, a virtual symphony orchestra – covering all the octaves. "You've basically got five seconds." Grab a few YouTube snippets of The Gong Show to see exactly what I mean. Yeah, that show was brutal ... it was "Name That Tune" in reverse. But – it was real.
  5. Aww-w-w-w... this is easy. How many people, during the ordinary course of their ordinary work-day, ever get to connect with any person that they meet ... as a person? Uh huh. Therefore, all of us, after suffering through yet-another day (Abba's "The Day Before You Came" comes to mind right now ...), go in search of some emotional connection. Maybe it's just the satellite radio on the way home. Maybe it's live music at a convenient bar as we limit ourselves (old-pharts that we by-now are ...) to one drink. A musician ... and, a songwriter ... is privileged to have the opportunity to speak to that thoroughly-anonymous person, and to do so using a product of his-or-her own personal creativity. "Our Audience" wants to be "pleasantly surprised" for at-least the next three minutes. "Our Audience" seeks what we may offer. (Feelin' "pressure" now? Uh huh. If you're a serious artist, you should!) However, that 'pressure' should just be what a craftsman ordinarily feels. "Making music" is an incredible privilege ... and a driving force. (If you "are a musician," you can never not be one ...) Even if you never make a dime from it, you are among the most-incredibly-lucky people in the world.
  6. First of all – foremost(!) of all – it is a strong lyric. Very clearly-identifiable images ... (we've all been there). Very good vocal performance. Drag yourself back, now, from "the author's position." Just listen to it, as though you'd never, ever heard it before. You happen to have a gem here. A diamond in the rough. What you should now consider is ... "what additional instruments, and instrumental parts, and orchestrations and so on," might amplify the present simplicity of this piece, without subtracting from what it says?
  7. The first thing that I would do with this, for the time being, is to subtract the "ocean sounds," and build-up the remaining instrumental for maximum impact before adding the ocean sounds back in.
  8. "Something to seriously think about" (with regards to frankly-all such lyrics like this...) is that they very-easily devolve into a rant ... if not a whine. Basically, in lyrics such as these, there are two parties: (1) "the jilted lover," and (2) "the jilter." Which unfortunately leaves no place for the third party: "the listener." The guy or gal who you earnestly hope will buy a copy of your recording, and listen to it over-and-over again. Strange as it may seem, a song like this i-s n-o-t(!) "autobiographical," even though it might use this point-of-view. Whatever "the jilted" might say to "the jilter" must be ... a work of fiction to the songwriter, who is devising a fictional scenario that is engineered to "resonate" with the only "non-fictional" party in these contretemps: the listener. The potential buyer.
  9. As I listen to this tune ... receptively ... openly ... encouragingly ... ... I'd simply suggest that it needs some serious mixing. Although the various sounds are "okay, by themselves," (albeit rather mechanical ...), there's no cohesion to it. The various parts, each at their various (wildly different ...) volume levels, make no particular attempt to "get along with one another" to present the listener with ... a singular musical experience. Take each of the component tracks and, first of all, normalize their respective volume levels: make sure that none of them overpower any of the others. Then, "plan the performance" in which all of these various instrumentalists are intended to be players. Imagine that these "people" really are performers, all on-stage at the same time in front of an eager and appreciative audience, and plan just how you intend to let each one of them, in turn, "shine!" At various points during the performance, some of them will "step up to the microphone," while others will "step back" and support them. During each musician's "moment of glory," their particular sound will be front-and-center. At other times, their sound will "continue to be heard, therefore be familiar," but will not take the lead. I have no "tomatoes" to lob at you, Chris. Instead, I invite you to take what you've got now and plan a cohesive musical presentation. Every one of your musicians has already handed you a very fine performance: you have all of them "in the can." What you need to do now, is to construct "a show." (And, fair warning, this happens to be "one of those things that Experienced Folks do so well, that we fail to realize that they are actually doing it.") "Doesn't it, like, just happen that way?" Uhhh... "no."
  10. Meh ... Logic Pro X, just because I own a Macintosh. And: "if you can't do it with that, don't blame the software."
  11. Ready for a little surprise? The melody of Fitzgerald was not(!) an original Lightfoot tune! He didn't write it!! The tune already existed (in the public domain ...) and he set his poem to it. Which, by the way, is a perfectly-legitimate artistic thing to do, and a thing that is very often done.
  12. new songs

    Personally, I, as a music consumer, am craving "something 'actually new.'" In particular, a truly new sound, as in "production techniques." Freely confessing to "my age" here ... ("harrumph... these kids today ...") ... I vividly remember the first intrusion of technology into music-making: MIDI, and the electronic sequencer (which, at that time, was a physical device). These innovations produced a series of long-lasting musical "tropes" which, in my opinion, persisted for a full twenty-five years. Both "hip hop" and "EDM = Electronic Dance Music" are, in my humble, merely extensions of the original "80's music." Right now, we're wallowing in "uh-oh plus-one" music: Taylor Swift meets AutoTune™ meets "wuh-wuh-wuh-wuh wuh-wuh-wuh-wuh wuh-wuh-wuh-one syllable words stretched-out to twelve (or more)." "Been there, heard that." As for me, I'm frankly hoping to hear music that is a lot more musical. I'm encouraged to hear popular tunes that are being preceded by "truly orchestral" passages (lifted from public-domain music sources), and I am frankly hoping that the next decade of music will strive to serve us things that are genuinely imaginative and interesting.
  13. My wife and I have not "had a TV at home" for nearly thirty years. When we want to watch video programming, we simply buy it ... (commercial-free, of course). I'm happy to purchase(!) "audio/video content," but I/we have zero patience with "the broadcast model." ("How 20th Century ...") And of course, with that simple re-arrangement of venue, "the traditional blow-hards and would-be kingmakers" are essentially deprived of their Bully Pulpit ... which of course suits us just fine.
  14. Dunno ... I thoroughly enjoy the musical tracks that both of these people manage to bring to my XM Radio as I while-away the miles on an otherwise thoroughly-boring highway. Therefore, may I suggest that "Charles M. Schulz (Peanuts ...) was probably on to something." He didn't wait for 'inspiration' to strike. Instead, he gave it a daily appointment. Even if it didn't show up, he expected it. And in this manner he produced a vast number of iconic comic-strips. Whether or not he ever "lost interest in" producing comic strips ... doing so was "his life." And that is why he succeeded.
  15. Don't forget The Great Secret Of Art: "Hell, it isn't 'easy' ... it never was! We just prefer to make it look that way to the Great Unwashed (who buy our stuff)." Therefore, let me let you in on a Great Trade-Secret: In the real world, songs don't arrive "like Venus in a clam-shell ... fully-formed, drop-dead gorgeous, and by-the-way totally ." Never did. Never could. (And if it could, none of us would have a job ...) Creativity is mostly a process of selection. There is no "right answer," and this is actually a good thing, because it means that "You really do(!) get to choose!" Don't be alarmed if you find yourself with "half-a-dozen equally-good alternatives" that "could go 'here.'" (Pick one, then save the other five for your next song(s). "And so it goes.") If "creativity" were not "a decision-making process with no deterministic answers," then no-one in the world would need us ... at all! Fortunately, they instead expect us to wrestle with all of this "process" ... of which they know nothing and care less ... and to subsequently surprise them with: "art." (Shhhh... don't tell 'em!! They want to gawk at Michelangelo's finished sculptures. They do not want to see: "marble chips!")