• New song "Love Spell" - questions about layering instruments?
  • Started by Kellyanneg
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Hello...I hope you all are well.  I have attempted layering "instruments" with my keyboard, but I'm unsure about when or what parts to bring instruments in and out, like obviously we want the chorus stronger, but how bare should verses be? I think I have too much coming in too soon, parts seem empty, but is there any type of standard way?  Are there certain parts that are normally part of the structure of the sound? Like maybe strings for a "filler", a base obviously, an instrument to highlight parts etc, and when? This is a single drum sound on my keyboard I tapped on the whole way through  :lol: but I'm getting a feel for it!  And I can only do five tracks on my keyboard, but again, it's my first attempt, be gentle ha ha.

Love Spell

I'll keep whispering your name
stare into the dancing flame
swirling smoke begins to fade
magic on the way

Lilacs in the midnight air
can you feel the angel near?
whispering my name so clear
three times she will say

CHORUS
a little love spell
a little love spell
comin' through
a little love spell
a little love spell
back to you

Dancing in the morning sun
rock me like you've always done
in my dreams, you've carried on
yet I wake alone

You know all the words that sell
there's a secret I won't tell
floating in the wishing well
a song already sung

REPEAT CHORUS

traveling man with bottled dreams
close your eyes, come back  to me
I'll wait by the evergreen
with lilacs in my hair

REPEAT CHORUS

https://soundcloud.com/kellyannegsongs/lovespell3
Do what makes your heart sing :)


This music has a lot of strength
I think it's a good job  ::thumb::
Congratulations


  • Mar T.
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« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 01:02:58 by Mar T. »
Hey @Kellyanneg , I'm seriously impressed reading how you created this tune.. You multitracked into your keyboard? Wow.. Tapping the drum all way through.. And the result was a pleasure to listen to imo. Good job and beautiful voice!

You're asking a lot of questions in the 'arrangement' category. It's impossible to answer them. First of all I'm a strong believer in expirimentation, and you did very well! Sky is the limit, you can create what you want, try whatever you want.. Total freedom! There's no right nor wrong..

That having said of course there are best practices, such as 'usually you build up (add a few variations/layers) during the verse, the choruses sound more full of orchestration then the verses etc', but those are such general tips and tricks.. Should you want to develop better 'awareness' of how one could arrange songs, my advice would be: pick a few songs from other artists that you really like, and listen closely how they've arranged their song. That may help you learn.. But I'm not saying that you need to do that, cause what you're creating sounds beautful to me!

Cheers!
Mar T.
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I'm proud of this track, check it out! https://soundcloud.com/martimedia/dreams


Hi @Mar T. !  All of the sounds are my keyboard. I found a drum sound, tap the key(s), flute, play the keys etc. It can record up to five tracks. Then I played back and sang in the mic. That's a great suggestion, to listen to songs for study.  I thought maybe there is a general method to follow, and then spice it up as one would feel for the song. Thank you!!


@Marcus Nalgaber thank you very much!!


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Hi @Mar T. !  All of the sounds are my keyboard. I found a drum sound, tap the key(s), flute, play the keys etc. It can record up to five tracks. Then I played back and sang in the mic. That's a great suggestion, to listen to songs for study.  I thought maybe there is a general method to follow, and then spice it up as one would feel for the song. Thank you!!

Hey @Kellyanneg , yeah I figured that out, hence my respect for your work  ;) ;)
Great to read you appreciated my suggestion. Of course I was searching for your approach/perspective. The downside of my suggestion might be that it limits your creativity  ;) ;) Nice paradox..
As for general methods, yes, there are sooo many best practices. But applying them would probably also limit your creativity..
That's why I thought it was an impossible question to answer..
If you promise me to stay close to who you are and expiriment a lot (and breaking rules when you 'feel' it adds to your creativeness) I promise you to start a thread in the 'Songwriter Ingredients' section of this forum to discuss 'the (general) arrangement tips/tricks'..
I hope that helps in your search for answers, and my wish to not ruin your creativity ;-)


@Mar T. That would be a great thread! And I love to be creative, as we all do. Sometimes my puzzle needs a frame. I actually ordered a book on Audacity. To finally get somewhat of a feel of multi-tracking is like finding another stepping stone, and there is more I would like to do, such as harmony/back up vocals, edit, etc. It's so much fun.  You guys are such great  support and guidance, and I am grateful for that.    :thumbsup:


The piano melody is incredible though it is very similar to T'Pau's 'Heart & Soul' - which in itself is an amazing song.
I'm pretty blown away by this actually the more i'm listening. You'll get there with the recording thing - it does sound very tinny and unpolished here.


Hi @realkevm !  Well I'm glad it sounds like another amazing song ha ha!  But thanks, and yes, it's recorded with my phone sitting on the keyboard, the keyboard playing and me singing into a mic.  Let's say I'm on chapter 2 with this recording thing, and "polished" is chapter 52.   :lol:  I'm getting the foundation down, and having a blast learning.  You guys have been great!  Thanks for the listen and your insight!!  ;D


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I like the eccentricities of your language. The phone sitting on the keyboard.....
The thing to consider when you layer instruments is the following:
One or two instruments are OK, but from a certain point you will probably need a bass or at least something in lower register to give it 'bottom'.

And I don't hear that in your current layering. Is there a way to make bass noises with your keyboard?
Can you lend a bass from a friend to experiment?

I am curious of how your voyage of discovery will develop.
Kind regards, Gus


Hello @LePlongeur ...  I have bass sounds on the keyboard, yes. Should a bass be used throughout the whole song? Thank you for listening and your insight.  :)


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You don't have to thank me, @Kellyanneg !

But to answer your question:
I really don't know.
It depends on a lot of variables (?).
My music is rather bass heavy and bass driven. I would rather let the bass roll on and add keys in certain portions of the song. Or cello. The lighter sounding instruments, during lift/bridge and/or chorus/refrain. Or nifty vocals (choir/harmonies) like the Association for instance.
Their guitar playing was very OK, but no virtuoso tricks. Basic even here and there.

Maybe it also depends on what you want to highlight in your song. So there are different requirements for different songs.

I believe there are no rules. Or there maybe rules but i don't care as long as the sound is the kind that I like. Which cannot be measured, so there's no objective approach here.

Maybe anyone of the Kitchereers can be lured into thinking about this. Then we both learn. I would like that a lot!
Have a nice weekend, Gus


Yeah this is good, you sound like a natural at this songwriting thing.
I think the flute, strings and piano you got on this do a grand job of presenting the song.
The more you add to a mix the more in danger you are of  losing sight of the  pure song and submerging it in stuff you dont need.
You have the voice and the melodies, personally  I'd spend more time on the lyrics. These are a bit corny and nondescript.
If you want to climb above the others, put effort into lyrics that really grab people. Choose your topics well , tell a story, like in your one about the down and out in the shopping centre.


@eric craptone hello! Yea it's a different type of lyric and song. I'm getting the general feeling that the sound produced with layering instruments really is based on feel, and that I need to experiment with sounds to apply the energy/feel as it is needed. I would like to be able to musically put together these songs to step up from just guitar or keyboard and voice.  Thank you for the listen and opinion...much appreciated! 


The song itself sounds really good!

The DAW will change your life when it comes to recording, arranging and/or "layering" instruments. If you are able to record something that sounds this good with a phone ... seriously then ... a computer, interface, microphone and DAW is going to be unbelievable.  :)

btw - I have used audacity quite a bit and I find it to be difficult to use  ... especially use of cursor and selection tools  .... compared to Cubase or Protools ... I know others like it because it is free. Often times Cubase or pro tools will come free when you buy the interface.  You can get some good results with Audacity but I just want you to be aware that if you can't - then it's not simply because you're "not good at technology" or something like that.
Bill
Songwriter, Keyboards, Arranger, Producer & Engineer for November Sound

November Sound is based on the Mother, Father & Son musical trio of Melissa, Bill & Will. I'm the father so anything I post will have my wife singing and/or my son playing percussion.



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