Shadows of our Former Selves - 2024 Version

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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Hi Rogier, thank you for the listen and feedback. I’m glad to hear that you thought it sounded fantastic and was worth making this version. I completely agree with you though that the original acoustic version is more personal and holds more charm. The good thing is that while I was developing this version I got to improve the unplugged version along the way and it gives me joy playing it :slight_smile:

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That’s what I was waiting to hear you say before commenting :slightly_smiling_face: Don’t get me wrong, I greatly admire all the hard work you put into this and I greatly appreciate your musicality and I do think the musical skills you developed along your journey are fantastic. I really do, no doubt about it :slightly_smiling_face:

But… And here I do agree with Rogier and Nicole… Personally I prefer the style of the guitar driven style of the first version. It’s hard to explain why. Maybe because it sounded warmer and more unique, a bit quirkier somehow :slightly_smiling_face:

I would be very interested however how your “produced version” would sound if you would perform it in a real band setting. I guess, it could be easy to preserve the charme of your song when working on it together in a " real band"… Maybe just use the piano a bit more sparsely, make the guitar and your voice more prominent… As usual, my imagination is running away with me :slightly_smiling_face:

Any chance of you sharing the improved version of your song in unplugged mode, btw? :smiley:


Ahhh, right, cool! Yeah, I just checked and you’re 100% right, it’s not a free version but a 10 day free trial, enough time for sorting out one song I guess, might give it a whirl myself next time :wink: Thanks again mate! :smiley: :+1:

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Hi Alan, thanks for the listen and feedback. Pleased to hear you enjoyed the production. Yes, the vocals could have been raised in the mix where there were dips and also made to cut through the mix better. That’s something I’ll definitely be exploring. The good thing is I can always go back and remix in the future :wink:

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I wonder if they have a free trial for the Superior Drummer 3. That would be fun to give a spin.

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Thanks for the listen and feedback, Trond. All the tracks are laid out in Reaper. Plug Ins are used to generate the drums, bass and piano. Guitar and vocals recorded. Plug In used for guitar tone. The tracks are then mixed and mastered in Reaper using a variety of plug ins. The software is quite intuitive and there are lots of reference videos on YouTube.

Thanks for the listen, feedback and kudos, JK. I think the hardest bit was getting my head around the software. I’ve still got a long way to really learn to use the software and understand how to use all the features properly as well as fully comprehend the mixing and mastering process.

Good evening Brian :smiley: useful positive feedback is exactly what the doctor ordered. Thanks for the listen, feedback and kudos.

Absolutely, agree that the vox level would have been better raised. I’m sure you clocked on that I probably ran out of headroom and got myself into a bit of a pickle :crazy_face:

The virtual instruments were done on the plug in and then the midi dragged across. I think I may have applied a fade to grey start and fade to grey end. I figured at the time that was the thing to do.

Though in saying that I did have an interesting occurrence which I couldn’t work out. When I was trying to get the master track to the appropriate levels I applied a plug in and adjusted the settings of the plug in to get the levels to the correct parameters for streaming. I rendered the file and listened to it and the full track sounded good. When I imported the audio file into DaVinci Resolve the video render was missing out a certain word in the chorus. So I tried another render on Reaper but with a different plug in for the levels and the issue I was having with DaVinci Resolve disappeared.

That’s a good point with the drums. I just need to make sure I don’t hit the other extreme.

Interesting point on the vocal emphasis on the beat as I wasn’t thinking about the beats when I was recording the song. I was thinking I wished I didn’t have monitoring on as this echo is doing my head in :slight_smile: You had me singing my latest original to see what beat that tends to be on which was interesting. I seem to start the opening line of the first verse on beat one but after that the vocal lines tends to fall on beat 2 , back to the chorus for beat 1.

Thanks for all these helpful pointers. You’ve gave me plenty to think about.