Shadows of our Former Selves - 2024 Version

Hi all,

It’s been a couple of months since I last posted an AVoYP. Things have been busy but I have continued to keep practicing guitar. I’m still working my way through Beginner Grade 3.

I decided this month that it was about time that I revisited the original songs that posted last year and further develop them. To kick things off I decided to revisit my Second Original - Shadows of our Former Selves.

This was first time that I’ve attempted to produce a full band version. For the virtual instruments in the track I have used EZdrummer 3, EZbass and EZkeys 2. For the electric guitar parts I used Guitar Rig 7. For the mixing and mastering I was very fortunate to have the support of @DavidP.

I learned a lot from this project, what I was doing wrong, how to do it right :slight_smile: I’m sure that I will learn a lot more on the next project.

As always feedback is appreciated.

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Shadows Of Our Former Selves Production - frame at 0m2s


**Shadows Of Our Former Selves **

Verse 1:

Every night I close my eyes
I see through all your alibis
Excuses in the making
Promises forsaken

Verse 2:

You tell me this, you tell me that
You say you’ll never hold me back
Words without conviction
Emotional affliction


We are shadows of our former selves
Trapped in a past, never built to last
We are strangers to our future selves
Beyond recognition, a social condition

Verse 3:

Every time we work things out
My head is filled with seeds of doubt
Uncertainty growing
Anxiety echoing

Verse 4:

No matter how hard we try
It feels like time has passed us by
Stranded in existence
Emotional resistance


We are shadows of our former selves
Trapped in a past, never built to last
We are strangers to our future selves
Beyond recognition, a social condition


Looking at myself through your cold cold eyes
No bond to be broken, no emotional ties
Every dream we had as children, never realised
Destiny came calling and took us by surprise


Now we are shadows of our former selves
Trapped in a past, never built to last
We are strangers to our future selves
Beyond recognition, a social condition

We are shadows of our former selves
Trapped in a past, never built to last
We are strangers to our future selves
Beyond recognition, a social condition


That was brilliant James. I loved this the first time around but boy did you take it to the next level. An absolutely superb performance! You should be very proud of this and proud of how far you have come as a musician!

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James @Socio
That was fantastic, sounded very professional.
Well done.

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That was great James. Every time I hear something well produced like this I think I should give it a go … and then I never actually do. Definitely this year!

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Wow, James! That’s certainly next level, very well done! :clap:

I liked the plain version before, I also like this full band production a lot! The piano had a great drive in the tune, bringing it forward and fits nicely. Besides the whole-band-context, this is the addition I liked most in this production. Very well arranged.

There is one thing, but this is probably more a thing of personal taste than anything else: I’d prefer your vocals a tad bit louder in the production as I feel the virtual band is there to accompany your singing, not vice vera. :slight_smile:

The effort is definitely paying off nicely, the tune sounds round and polished. Even better it’s so rewarding as you learned a lot during the process. The outcome is impressive, James! Very well done.

Can’t wait to see/hear how you will develop the other originals - looking forward to it! :slight_smile:

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What a treat, James! Sounds awesome! :clap: :smiley: I revisited your earlier acoustic version, which I really enjoyed too, and you’ve certainly made a professional mix to be proud of! Well done and congrats! :sunglasses: :+1:
Having (as you know) just been working through this process of bringing a song together with essentially a virtual band, I am with you on the whole “learned a lot” aspect! So many things to consider when pulling all the elements into a mix and I thought you’ve done that amazingly well with this. Love the addition of the drums, bass and keys, you’ve clearly spent a lot of time on those elements, and it was time well spent. :clap: :clap: :clap: The timing of the drum fills worked really nicely for me and sounded cool! With EZdrummer and EZbass, did you buy full versions of those or are you using free ones? They sound really good.
Well done again mate! :partying_face:

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Bravo, James, taking the next step in producing original music. You’ve done excellent work in arranging and producing this full band version of the song. It sounds really good, has great energy, and catchy feel.

I’m glad that I can pass on a little of what I have learned to support and encourage you. I love this about the Community, that over the years @LBro has been generous in supporting me and now I try to pass it on as best I can.

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Hi James,
That sounded absolutely fantastic and the learning process you go through with this will also be invaluable, and if I didn’t know the original I would have continued with the accolades :sunglasses: :clap:

But I actually thought the original was good enough and that is my personal preference and didn’t need all this frills. Still, I think it’s really good to hear this because it’s the way to compare things and if you had asked me in advance to make this 2nd version I would have said a resounding YES,
So many thanks for this :sunglasses:



Thanks for the listen and comment, Eddie. I’m pleased to hear that you thought I took it to the next level. I’m very proud of how far I’ve come as a musician in such a short period of time. The support, encouragement & inspiration of the community has played a big part in my development.

Thanks for the listen and comment, Michael. I’m very pleased to hear that you enjoyed it and thought it sounded professional. It was an enjoyable learning experience.

Thanks for the listen and feedback, Paul. I’m glad that you enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to listening to the production you’re going to record this year. Seriously, if the interests there, go for it


Hi James, I thought it was brilliant, just the sort of song found on some of my Spotify playlists. Well done, great achievement. :clap::clap::clap: Occasionally I thought your vocals went a little bit low in the mix, in parts of verses and bridge, possibly as your trying to get the more complex lyrics out. Or could be my ears, I really enjoyed it though. Best wishes Alan

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Next level stuff James!!
Very nice production,sounded great!
How does this work? You play everything youre self and layer it down? Or is it a software that helps you out?

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Thanks for the listen and feedback, Lisa. I’m pleased to hear that you liked the full band production, especially the addition of the piano. Yes, the vocals needed to cut through the mix more. This is something I’ll be working on in the next production (though it won’t be a previous original).

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Congrats on developing your song James. Definitely had that British pop ballad vibe to it. Must have been a huge amount of work to do the piano, drums, etc and produce this!

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Morning James :smiley:
Great to see you grabbing the ‘full production’ by the horns. And woah… You killed it!
I got a strong Lloyd Cole & The Commotions vibe off it.
Cool :sunglasses:
Here’s the list of minor niggles that would make the song work better for me
As a couple of others mentioned, vox level could be raised.
Th beginning sounded like it sounded mid-note or ‘chopped off’. Was it cut/pasted in the DAW? I also prefer a proper ending than fade to grey (although that’s a legit strategy)
Perhaps a (bigger) variation in the drum beat for the different parts of the song could add a lot to the dynamics/ feel of the song. That’s a lot of extra work though.
Lastly, your vocals tend to be on and emphasise the beat. I love it when vocals carry a melody over the rhythm but not being a slave to it (except of course for rap :wink:)
As i said, all minor, and only mentioned in the hope of being useful positive feedback.
Kudos and take a bow :smiley:

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Wow James! That’s an excellent production, it must have taken a lot of work and I’m sure you learnt as much in the process! Bravo :clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:

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Hello James, oh wow, I’m very impressed by this next step in producing your music :star_struck:. I’ve just relistened to your first version to have a point of reference.
Personally, I’m a big fan of unplugged versions, but I can clearly hear how much work and effort must have gone into this new production. I don’t have a clue about all the big and smaller aspects which are necessary to make it sound the way it does, so a big compliment from me for this sucessful learning process. Very impressive work, James :+1::clap::smiley:!!

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Thanks for listen and feedback, Jeff. Yes, it’s a lot to taken in and to think we’re only just scratching the surface. I’m sure I made a lot of mistakes as I tried to grasp an understanding of everything. It makes you realise how much value the mixing and mastering engineers add to the track. In the end we both did well in our first attempt working with a virtual band, mixing and mastering an original track. So well done mate. With EZdrummer, EZbass and EZkeys, I purchased the full versions when they were on sale at Thomann. I didn’t know they had free versions.

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Well you’ve certainly given this one a good polish James. I won’t add to the critique as there’s been a lot of suggestions for tweaks here and there, so I’d only be repeating some of the things already said and adding nothing new. Thought the mixing and production was pretty slick. On the drumming side with EZ its worth scouring the samples via the browser and mix and matching what’s available. I tend to do that off line then stack them in the song maker (assuming EZD3 looks the same as 2) the just drag the midi across to the drum track in Reaper and extend and mix up as required for each section of the song. Be careful EZD is a deep deep :rabbit2: :hole: :sunglasses:

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Thanks for supporting me with this project, David. It has been a very enlightening project. I’ve learned a lot from it. I’ve gained a better understanding of how to use the various software including reaper and the general process of producing songs. And most importantly nothing should be red :slight_smile:

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Excellent work, James. What a great production and well done on learning and achieving everything you have with this song.

Your musicality is coming on in leaps and bounds.

Bravo! :clap: :clap:

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