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Richard Tracey

Charon (new vocal and new mix) - 07/08/2017

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Richard Tracey    280

Hi all - I haven't visited this song for a while, so decided to record new vocals today and tried to tidy up the mix. I thought I had done a decent job of the vocals, but listening back on my iPhone there are still some pitch issues, so I will need to address them. Otherwise, I would appreciate any comments on everything else.... Cheers

 

https://soundcloud.com/moodman-1/charon-07082017-1653

 

 

CHARON (music and lyrics by Richard Tracey)

 

Can you pay
The ferryman
There's a cost
He will demand

 

If you don't have the coin
He'll not take you on
He will leave you to wander
In Acheron

 

Charon
Help me out
Please
I just want to see my family
If you can let me on your boat
Then I know that I can go on home

 

If you're lost
Or if you know
Just how far
You must go

 

With the souls
Of the others
Who can't move on
Please don't leave me to wander
In Acheron

 

Charon
Help me out
Please
I just want to see my family
If you can let me on your boat
Then I know that I can go on home
 

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Jenn    249

I think the piano could be slightly louder

I think you could make your vocals more legato

I know this is your style, but I think it would be really dramatic with some vibrato and sustained notes, if you can

 

I really like the rest of it honestly.. these are minor/nitty-picky thing

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Richard Tracey    280
3 minutes ago, Jenn said:

I think the piano could be slightly louder

I think you could make your vocals more legato

I know this is your style, but I think it would be really dramatic with some vibrato and sustained notes, if you can

 

I really like the rest of it honestly.. these are minor/nitty-picky thing

 

'Ha ha - I actually reduced the amount of vibrato, as it sounded too much. I might put some back in again. I originally had sustained notes in this, it didn't go with what I was trying to achieve.

 

This was a song I had a lot of feedback on from David, Mark and Dek in particular when I originally posted it. I couldn't get it right, so left it for a while and decided to go back to it today.

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MonoStone    912

Very good! Tidy the vocal performance and vocal mix, and it's done!

 

I suggest you have a click/beat in your ear when you sing, because there are a few spots where your vocal timing feels a tiny fraction out.... such a small thing, the timing of phrasing, but I think it needs to be really on it in order to keep under the spell. 

 

Mix - I think I heard the vocal enter? Just be sure to trim it to remove any unwanted sounds... aside from that I thought the vocal mix was ok, I think for my taste your vocal covered the music a bit too much and you could help that by making a dip in the eq and just moving that until it seems to sit better. I am not smart enough to know exactly what frequencies to lower/raise just from listening ...but I think you could sit into the track a bit more yet still cut nicely. I enjoyed the music mix, I thought it had a lovely atmosphere.

 

 

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Richard Tracey    280
44 minutes ago, MonoStone said:

Very good! Tidy the vocal performance and vocal mix, and it's done!

 

I suggest you have a click/beat in your ear when you sing, because there are a few spots where your vocal timing feels a tiny fraction out.... such a small thing, the timing of phrasing, but I think it needs to be really on it in order to keep under the spell. 

 

Mix - I think I heard the vocal enter? Just be sure to trim it to remove any unwanted sounds... aside from that I thought the vocal mix was ok, I think for my taste your vocal covered the music a bit too much and you could help that by making a dip in the eq and just moving that until it seems to sit better. I am not smart enough to know exactly what frequencies to lower/raise just from listening ...but I think you could sit into the track a bit more yet still cut nicely. I enjoyed the music mix, I thought it had a lovely atmosphere.

 

 

 

Cheers Dek - yeah, I've found issues in the vocal which I didn't hear in Logic when I was listening, but I don't know if it was due to trying hard to get the vocal to sit nice in the mix. You will not believe the problems I had with this. It would sound perfect in Logic, but the minute I uploaded it to iTunes the vocal was really loud. I had to lower it way under in the mix to get it to this stage. I don't know what is causing the issue on this track, but not on others, but I had to strip out and re-do the piano as it had screwed up somehow and the distortion on some of the sounds was unbelievable, even though I had no distortion and hadn't touched the mix since the last time I posted it.

 

I had a fade in at the beginning of the vocal, but yeah, it does still sound like there is something at the beginning as it comes it, I think it is a slight breath.

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Oswlek    89

Very cool.  Other than the minor timing issues with the vocal, I'd say it is a done deal.  If you have audio stretch capabilities on your DAW, you might be able to get away with fixing the few offending spots, because the vocal is quite good most of the time.  

 

Well done.

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JH Michaels    74

I heard a couple of pitch issues, but nothing that I felt was egregious.  It's a very good mood piece and I think that you did a nice job with the production and music.  The opening was a tad too long to me at a full minute before the vocals started....but that's just a matter of personal taste.  good job!

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Richard Tracey    280
16 hours ago, Oswlek said:

Very cool.  Other than the minor timing issues with the vocal, I'd say it is a done deal.  If you have audio stretch capabilities on your DAW, you might be able to get away with fixing the few offending spots, because the vocal is quite good most of the time.  

 

Well done.

 

20 hours ago, MonoStone said:

I suggest you have a click/beat in your ear when you sing, because there are a few spots where your vocal timing feels a tiny fraction out.... such a small thing, the timing of phrasing, but I think it needs to be really on it in order to keep under the spell. 

 

Could you both do me a favour and let me know where you hear the timing issues, I think I am to close to this track.

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Richard Tracey    280
7 minutes ago, JH Michaels said:

I heard a couple of pitch issues, but nothing that I felt was egregious.  It's a very good mood piece and I think that you did a nice job with the production and music.  The opening was a tad too long to me at a full minute before the vocals started....but that's just a matter of personal taste.  good job!

 

Thanks JH. You are right there are a couple of pitch issues that I need to fix. I wasn't sure if the mix and production was good enough, so I am glad you think it sounded nice.

 

I like the beginning at this length, but I agree that it will be divisive and down to personal tastes.

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MonoStone    912
7 hours ago, Richard Tracey said:

 

 

Could you both do me a favour and let me know where you hear the timing issues, I think I am to close to this track.

 

For me it's too subtle to easily explain exactly where.... I just felt like you sometimes phrased a touch too fast, sometimes a touch too slow, and it felt like you weren't always quite in with the timing' I felt, so it threw me out a bit. So I just thought that using a beat or click temporarily while you sing, would help really nail that... but I mean a simple beat (or else you might end up changing the feel of the vocal totally).

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M57    262

Sounds much better to me.  I don't remember much of the comments I gave you, but I do remember the vocal had more pitch issues before.  It does sound quite different than I remember. Yeah, there are still a few places where the pitch is a little ambivalent.  I think it's not so much about your ability to sing in pitch (or use auto-tune), but I'm noticing that you both over-aspirate and over-accentuate the very beginnings of a lot of your words, which not only tends to start you off above the pitch, but also creates a disjointedness in the lines. There are times when I think this technique actually works in the context of this tune, but I feel like because you do it ALL the time it becomes more of a tick than a purposeful artistic expression.  Just a thought - I may be way off-base.

 

One other thing I don't remember is that sawdusty insect-like noise that seems to be part of the bass on the right hand side - for instance at 1:47-1:48.  It's an interesting effect at first, but over time it begins to grate on me.  It's minor and probably intentional on your part, but I just thought I'd let you know. -Mark

Edited by M57
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HoboSage    1,993

Here's a monkey wrench for ya. :)

 

In my opinion, you're not following the beat in the way it should be followed - and not just with the vocal, with everything - starting with the piano.  This is how I think the piano should go given the drum beat.  

 

https://soundcloud.com/hobosage/richard/s-gviHV

 

 

Edited by HoboSage
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Oswlek    89
On 8/8/2017 at 1:22 PM, Richard Tracey said:

 

 

Could you both do me a favour and let me know where you hear the timing issues, I think I am to close to this track.

 

It's trivially present throughout in ways that are largely personal preference.  Certain words stressed, syllables elongated, that sort of thing.  However, there are times like, "He'll not take you on" that sound too clumsy to leave as is, IMO.  If you hear what isn't working about that phrase, you'll likely be attuned to what else feels off.  

 

Keep or sweep, of course.

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M57    262
1 hour ago, Oswlek said:

 

It's trivially present throughout in ways that are largely personal preference.  Certain words stressed, syllables elongated, that sort of thing.  However, there are times like, "He'll not take you on" that sound too clumsy to leave as is, IMO.  If you hear what isn't working about that phrase, you'll likely be attuned to what else feels off.  

 

Keep or sweep, of course.

 

+1 It's not that anything is technically far off - it really is a matter of your musical aesthetic.  Metal players get on top of and push the beat, while some jazzers play so far behind the beat you think they're playing in a different time signature. Listen to Mingus's "Ah Um" sometime.  I get the sense that you like to phrase behind the beat a bit, and if you combine that with the comment I made about your articulation in an earlier post, it's just unusual - not wrong per se.  I'd say if you're aware of what you're doing and like it, don't change it.  It's you.

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MonoStone    912

Help me out please... See my FAMILY (especially family). These bits are just wrong in the timing, it's not a preference thing because you set the feel yourself, so it's only when YOU wander off what YOU set up that it feels wrong. 

 

Just sayin... it's not down to your musical aesthetic...unless your aesthetic is to constantly change your aesthetic throughout the song ;)

 

But I agree, and as I said before, it's not far off... For me personally it's enough off in the places I mentioned, and more subtly in other places, to break any spell the moody song creates. If you can't hear it...add a click, just to hear where you're on/before/after beats.

 

I certainly agree with Mark about the way you attack words, it's what I've tried to explain before about the way you attack then trail away... he articulated it better, and I would have said 'BUT, it's your style'...except... I agree that it's something to use more sparingly and it will still be your style. I do like it...but... when I imagine you singing this with a less attacking technique all the way, it sounds even better. I think it's a moody, dark tune...and catchy even though quite ambient...but the emotion doesn't get me, I don't feel for the person begging the ferryman...because you overstate the emotion with that attacking style, and it stops you from holding notes that would resonate with me.

 

 

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M57    262

Richard, I'm a baritone just like you.  If you send me a mix minus the vocal  (you don't even have to give me the whole thing)  I'll record a verse or so.

I can try to come close to your phrasing but with less attack on the beginnings of words to model how you might try to do it. - OR if you like - record an alternative - the way I might approach it.  Just PM me with your email - Uhm.. and give me the weekend. :)

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Richard Tracey    280
On 10/08/2017 at 1:57 AM, HoboSage said:

Here's a monkey wrench for ya. :)

 

In my opinion, you're not following the beat in the way it should be followed - and not just with the vocal, with everything - starting with the piano.  This is how I think the piano should go given the drum beat.  

 

https://soundcloud.com/hobosage/richard/s-gviHV

 

 

 

Thanks David - I'll give your idea a try and see how it fits with the track.

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Richard Tracey    280
On 09/08/2017 at 11:44 PM, M57 said:

Sounds much better to me.  I don't remember much of the comments I gave you, but I do remember the vocal had more pitch issues before.  It does sound quite different than I remember. Yeah, there are still a few places where the pitch is a little ambivalent.  I think it's not so much about your ability to sing in pitch (or use auto-tune), but I'm noticing that you both over-aspirate and over-accentuate the very beginnings of a lot of your words, which not only tends to start you off above the pitch, but also creates a disjointedness in the lines. There are times when I think this technique actually works in the context of this tune, but I feel like because you do it ALL the time it becomes more of a tick than a purposeful artistic expression.  Just a thought - I may be way off-base.

 

One other thing I don't remember is that sawdusty insect-like noise that seems to be part of the bass on the right hand side - for instance at 1:47-1:48.  It's an interesting effect at first, but over time it begins to grate on me.  It's minor and probably intentional on your part, but I just thought I'd let you know. -Mark

 

On 11/08/2017 at 0:13 AM, M57 said:

Richard, I'm a baritone just like you.  If you send me a mix minus the vocal  (you don't even have to give me the whole thing)  I'll record a verse or so.

I can try to come close to your phrasing but with less attack on the beginnings of words to model how you might try to do it. - OR if you like - record an alternative - the way I might approach it.  Just PM me with your email - Uhm.. and give me the weekend. :)

 

Thanks Mark - I think when I re-did the mix and tweaked some of the sounds, I highlighted certain hidden noises from the synths. I will need to look and see if I can re-hide them;)

 

If you are still up for it, I will prepare a mix minus the vocal to send you.

 

Dek has also mentioned how I phrase some words, so this will be something I'll need to look at.

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Richard Tracey    280
On 10/08/2017 at 5:15 PM, Oswlek said:

 

It's trivially present throughout in ways that are largely personal preference.  Certain words stressed, syllables elongated, that sort of thing.  However, there are times like, "He'll not take you on" that sound too clumsy to leave as is, IMO.  If you hear what isn't working about that phrase, you'll likely be attuned to what else feels off.  

 

Keep or sweep, of course.

 

Yeah, this seems to be a common comment on my tracks. I will need to have a look at how I am wording the phrases, I feel I am over compensating for something.

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Richard Tracey    280
On 11/08/2017 at 0:00 AM, MonoStone said:

Help me out please... See my FAMILY (especially family). These bits are just wrong in the timing, it's not a preference thing because you set the feel yourself, so it's only when YOU wander off what YOU set up that it feels wrong. 

 

Just sayin... it's not down to your musical aesthetic...unless your aesthetic is to constantly change your aesthetic throughout the song ;)

 

But I agree, and as I said before, it's not far off... For me personally it's enough off in the places I mentioned, and more subtly in other places, to break any spell the moody song creates. If you can't hear it...add a click, just to hear where you're on/before/after beats.

 

I certainly agree with Mark about the way you attack words, it's what I've tried to explain before about the way you attack then trail away... he articulated it better, and I would have said 'BUT, it's your style'...except... I agree that it's something to use more sparingly and it will still be your style. I do like it...but... when I imagine you singing this with a less attacking technique all the way, it sounds even better. I think it's a moody, dark tune...and catchy even though quite ambient...but the emotion doesn't get me, I don't feel for the person begging the ferryman...because you overstate the emotion with that attacking style, and it stops you from holding notes that would resonate with me.

 

 

 

'Cheers Dek. I do use a click, but hate it, it puts me off. I am going to look at my direct monitoring, as I have a feeling it isn't set up right and causes me more issues than I want.

 

I discussed this today with the producer and it could be the reason why I emphasise my wordings, as I am not hearing myself correctly and trying to compensate.

 

I am going to have a re-think on how I sing this one and give it another go soon.

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MonoStone    912
2 minutes ago, Richard Tracey said:

 

Yeah, this seems to be a common comment on my tracks. I will need to have a look at how I am wording the phrases, I feel I am over compensating for something.

 

Maybe fun to try to sing in a totally different style.... Or maybe try singing really straight without stylising at all.... Not permanently but as an exercise which you might take something from, maybe gain a few more tricks so you can mix things up a bit... (hope that made sense?)

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MonoStone    912
2 minutes ago, Richard Tracey said:

it could be the reason why I emphasise my wordings, as I am not hearing myself correctly and trying to compensate

 

I hope I'm not interfering too much, tell me to shut it if so... and I like the style you go for, for some of the time...but to my ears you're stuck in a certain 'style'. To me it's very stylised singing and just a bit overused ...hence my last post. You'll have more than one voice, but they'll all be you...and in time you'll merge them to be one more varied voice (wow I am crap at explaining...sorry...doin me best to!)

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Richard Tracey    280
2 minutes ago, MonoStone said:

 

I hope I'm not interfering too much, tell me to shut it if so... and I like the style you go for, for some of the time...but to my ears you're stuck in a certain 'style'. To me it's very stylised singing and just a bit overused ...hence my last post. You'll have more than one voice, but they'll all be you...and in time you'll merge them to be one more varied voice (wow I am crap at explaining...sorry...doin me best to!)

 

I tend to let the music dictate how I sing a song, which is probably why a lot of them sound similar, as I have been going for a certain style with the music. The track I did to Servus's lyrics called Not Good Enough is a bit different. Have a listen to that, its in the lyric critique section. I am going to take the music and melody and write my own lyrics in that style.

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MonoStone    912

The main thing I think you could focus on is holding some notes... I've said before you sound a bit like Midge, but you sound like just the short stinted bits he does without any of the long held notes. So hang on to the end of some words....and really hold some long big ones.... as in -

 

 

You won't sound like Midge exactly, and not many can do it that well anyway, it'll be you still...but those held notes are important.

 

Actually great practice and beneficial to sing along as closely as possible with him or any other artist you choose... pick up a few extra techniques that way.

Edited by MonoStone
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