Some new songs

Encouraged by comments on a separate thread I have uploaded a few more songs. I know, I know - too much in one go. But if anyone has the patience to listen to any one of them and provide feedback I would welcome it. It is only ever going to be a hobby and I’m still very much on the learning curve so negative comments are as welcome as positive ones, and both are welcome if they help me improve (not my singing tho - it’s beyond help at this point I fear).

Full disclosure - I had a friend do the lead guitar on this.


Jakers, he shared an entire bloody album!’
(See what I did there? :wink:)

Welcome again John.
For someone bringing babies into this world, thinking no one else will love them, you’re sowing a fair few oats, my friend :laughing:
I happen to run a caring ‘orphanage for originals’ where we appreciate all creative endeavors, even if they don’t conform to society’s norms. I’m pretty sure your music will have plenty of willing adopters.

A couple of quick thoughts on your offspring:
Altogether, very impressive selection. Even more so, if you’ve only been playing for a couple of years. Bravo!

  1. Nice simple progression. Your lead guitarist did an ace job, squeezing all the goodness out of it. Tasteful introduction of background synthy sounds halfway through. (A couple of tiny parts where I thought there was either a strum to many or missing, but that’s probably me)

  2. Loved the dirtier guitar tone. Song structure, progression, melody all good stuff.
    Low-hanging fruit: the vocals. You have a easy-to-listen-to voice and can carry a tune :smiley:
    I thought the main vocals were a bit ‘boomy’ (not the right word, but I’m only learning how to use a DAW). The backing vocals were good, but very different texture. I presume you did both and manipulated them? I’d like to hear a version where there was maybe less of a contrast.
    If you go to the trouble of writing lyrics, you might as well add them to the page, so listeners can follow them if they like. I could make out the words when I focused on them, but I would not have been able to give you a synopsis of the content at the end of the song.
    You do solos?!? :open_mouth:

  3. And now for something completely different!
    I liked this a lot and was better on second listen. Something Mark Lanegan-esque about it. The same contrast on vox/backing but works better on this song.

(Keep this up and you’ll be giving @think2100 a run for his money as my current favourite original penster here :rofl:

Proletarians of all countries, unite! :wink:


Brian - you are incredibly generous with your time and attention. I can’t thank you enough. In response to your comments:

  1. I’m sure my strumming got erratic in place - good job I had a capable guitarist to do the heavy lifting alongside me.
  2. I don’t know what to do about vocals. I appreciate you not finding them offensive but I think it is a bit like seeing photos of yourself - they often seem a bit off/alien. Consequently I tend to mangle them somewhat in post-recording production. I think that’s probably what you are picking up on with the lead and harmony. I’ve discovered that production is a skill in itself, just as challenging as playing or writing, Whether I have the time and ability to get good at it, I’m not sure. I also don’t belt out my vocals in case I wake up next door’s baby or scare the cat so they are a bit one dimensional. I wonder if that’s a hindrance? If you (or anyone) has any further thoughts on improving singing I will be very interested. Good point about the lyrics although I’m not sure I want to expose them to public scrutiny. Yes, I do solo although every solo sounds pretty much the same as I’m only confident with the major scale and minor pentatonic positions (I’ve strated working on arpeggios but I’m a long way off using them). Anyone who has done Justin’s blues soloing course will recognise the influence that course has had on me!

Thanks again Brian - I really appreciate your thoughts.

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Weekend and time to catch up on what I’ve been missing. And I’ve missed this, glad I scrolled down and found these songs, John.

All three were really enjoyable, productions with many good qualities in terms of the arrangement, recording, performances.

I agree with Brian … your voice and singing falls in that category, an enormous group, of singing that sounds better to us the listener than you as the performer.

I also agree that for my taste the vocals could be a little more present in the mix … but that is my taste. You could experiment with just lifting the level a couple of dB … I suppose your own experience of your singing may cause some reluctance.

From an EQ perspective, if you are not using filters, then I think a High Pass Filter to cut out the lows may help. even if you don’t hear a big difference I think it does make a big difference in the overall mix. Perhaps also a high shelf to add some brightness … not huge and obvious but again can be something that you might not notice directly but hear the difference when you turn it off.

I think that is a good mixing tip … Find things that don’t sound obvious but make a difference when turned off.

Keep up the great work.


Thanks David. I really need to up my game on production skills - right now I can only just follow what you are saying in that respect! I do have some a plug-in called Nektar 3 that has default vocal styles and I usually apply one of those but unless you are looking for clearly distorted vocals it usually sounds a bit off (artificial) to my ears.

Nice tip re mixing - I will use that as a rule of thumb.

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I really enjoyed listening to those tracks, John! I have no advice to add to the wonderful tips you got from Brian and David. I think you have a great singing voice, and your production skills are coming along nicely. It’s good not to over-do the effects anyway. I look foward to hearing more songs from you soon!

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John, when I started down the recording and mixing path I learned a lot on the Recording Revolution website and YouTube channel. His free guides and introductory videos served me well.

But there are so many sources. So many it can be overwhelming.

I use Reaper as my DAW and one of it’s biggest plusses are the videos provided on their website that have helped me both with using the DAW but also some of the basics of production.

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Thanks very much @DonnatheDead . I’m very appreciative when when people listen to just one track by an amateur they’ve never heard before. Listening to all 3 is more than generous.

Yes, I use Reaper too and as you say @DavidP the resources are fantastic. I’m at a stage with productin where I often don’t know what question to ask - I can tell something’s off but I don’t know why or precisely what. Hence I tend to use presets for reverb EQ etc. Not ideal really so I’ll check out those links you’ve kindly provided and hopefully move along the learning curve.

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I think that is a good way to get a departure point when setting up Fx. And the plugins provided with Reaper eg ReaEQ, ReaComp are pretty good with good presets.

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Really enjoyed those tracks John. I started listening over the weekend and got to the last one this morning. I love checking out originals as it’s an area I am dabbling in myself and you certainly didn’t disappoint here. Superb stuff and keep them coming!

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Thank you! I look forward to hearing your work Eddie - I assume you haven’t posted any songs yet?

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Aha - a perfect opportunity to use the Tags search function …


3 great tracks there John. All nicely played and your singing voice is nice. I think you are being to hard on yourself where your voice is concerned.

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Thanks you @SgtColon. Honestly, the generosity of time and spirit shown by people like you on this site is amazing. It’s not false modesty when I say my songs are nothing special, particularly when compared to people who do this stuff for a living, so I am immensely grateful when people take the trouble to listen to the songs.

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First track was nice, the lead had a nice sorta smokey feel to it. Perfect accompaniment to the guitar rhythm. I like how there strings came in as well, not overdone. Sometimes people add too much and the elements are fighting but this had really great overall balance.

Second track is real nice, it’s a fun rocking tune! I personally would like to hear the vocals a bit louder though, your voice has a great tone, let it shine! My main thought is that since it’s lower register, it may be overlapping with the guitar tone or even piano at some points. If you’d like specific suggestion, I’d try to experiment with using EQ to cut a bit from other instruments, or to boost your own voice. Basically finding the sweet spots where your voice can peek out more :sunrise:

Third one has a sorta smokey vibe similar to the first track, it’s lovely! I get a sense that you had a good vision of how you wanted it to sound :+1: I really like the string bits on this one too, they fit in really well. Only real feedback is that to me it sounds like you may have been a bit too close to the mic.

There’s a thing called proximity that can cause things to become very bass-heavy when they are very close to a microphone. The human voice is most present to our ears around 200-5000hz so when those bass frequencies in speech/vocal become dominant, it can be harder for our ears to hear them clearly.

I did a quick google for some (hopefully) helpful resources on that bit:
Wikipedia article on Proximity Effect article on human voice presence

Keep in mind any feedback I have is 100% subjective. If you think, “But that’s what I was going for…” then you’re right and I’m wrong! :wink: If you want any more details on that “cutting/boosting” bit, I can elaberate more. However, again, music is subjective so I can only ofter suggestions, not solutions :face_in_clouds:

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Great and generous feedback @eisei .

I had already decided that I need to re-record some of my vocals and the resources you found for me are going to be a real help in that respect. I am terrible at mixing tracks. I just increase the volume on a track I feel is too low, then do the same on another track and eventually end up with everything turned up to 11 as they say. Hopeless. There’s just not enough hours in the day to add production skills to the list of things I need to get better at.

Thanks again.

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