• Tides (Collaboration with guitarist Alan Catton)
  • Started by MrBouzouki
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« Last Edit: March 24, 2019, 10:24:34 by MrBouzouki »
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I am so pleased to have been able to collaborate with stellar guitarist Alan Catton to take one of his instrumentals, write some lyrics then add my vocals to the piece. One of the great things about SoundCloud is hearing a track and being inspired to want to add to what you've just heard. This happened to me with Alan's haunting instrumental "Tides.

It only took around 40 minutes for the words to coalesce around Alan's playing and a few days to finalise the vocal performance. It's great when that happens :-)

Given the title of the song, I added some waves sound Fx too but otherwise it's just voice and guitar that hopefully gives a very earthy and organic feel to the track.

It's nice to get back to songwriting again and having a chance to collaborate with a guitarist of Alan's ability is a real plus.

 ::OSMAN:: ::OSMAN:: ::OSMAN::

https://soundcloud.com/mrbouzouki/tidescollaboration-alan-catton

Lyrics

Tides (P Goodrich 18/03/19)

I watch the tides
The ebb and flow
A restless calling
For those who know
A broken heart
A lonely walk
The tides take all
And leave me all alone

I watch the tides
The ebb and flow
Reliving memories
Of long ago
Of When we kissed
And when we loved
The tides take all
And leave me all alone

(Chorus)
Once you said you loved me
Once you said you cared
But now my heart is aching
And my tears they won't wash away

I watch the tides
The ebb and flow
I often wonder
Where did you go
As darkness falls
The light it fades
The tides take all
Here in the afterglow

(Chorus)
Once you said you loved me
Once you said you cared
But now my heart is aching
And my tears they won't wash away
I watch the tides ...

I watch the tides ...
I watch the tides ...
I watch them flow



"Love and Life is all about connections"


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Re: Tides (Collaboration with guitarist Alan Catton)
Reply #1 on: March 24, 2019, 03:08:31
Oooh Pete I loved listening to this track! You invited Alan into our kitchen immediately didn't you?  ;) Indeed that's stellar guitar performance..
Did you do the production? Love your voice! I'm bad at this myself, but did you try to make the amount of reverb a function of the vocal pitch? Lower amount of reverb when you sing low notes, more reverb when the pitch is higher. Just an idea I got when listening to this beauty, inspired on a tip from @Bill from November Sound when I was remixing his sax performance.
Loooved to listen to this gem, thanks so much for sharing this one to our kitchen campfire listeners!
Cheers!
Mar T.
:mart:


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Re: Tides (Collaboration with guitarist Alan Catton)
Reply #2 on: March 24, 2019, 09:23:36
Hey, @MrBouzouki, is there something you are not good in/at?
The red button (don't know why - perhaps I need to paste a picture some day) in the line with SC is mine.
No pompous things, just a red button. I like that.

And yes, I agree with @Mar T. , you don't need to disguise things in your voice. It's as good as one could ask for.
No yodeling...., Great!
Kind regards. Gus


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Re: Tides (Collaboration with guitarist Alan Catton)
Reply #3 on: March 24, 2019, 09:25:17
Cheers @Mar T.  Alan is aware of the kitchen ;-)

I was quite pleased about the 40 minutes songwriting time for the lyrics to be done. Quite a simple song, with repeating bits but I feel it gives a nice cadence to the track as the uses is familiar with the pattern quite quickly. The 'here in the afterglow' bit is late so it catches people out and makes them reflect more on the lyric.  I enjoyed the "... and when we loved ... the tides take all" bit.  It came out very well I think. 

Just guitar, voice and one of my trademark waves FX. I need to stop doing songs with a white noise backing track but it drops you in the moment from my viewpoint.  ;-P

The reverb question is an interesting one as I wanted a more 'out there' sound for this one despite it being  a reflective, almost intimate song.
Mainly because I wanted to try and match up to Alan's space but also because I wanted a bit of openness to the song, not claustrophobia. 

I used the side-chained reverb trick where it disappears to an extent when I'm singing then it blooms as the phrase ends so you get the ring at the end. My go-to reverb doesn't have side chain so that follows the reverb plugin in the FX channel, effectively closing it down when a threshold is reached with the vocals.

Alan commented on how in some ways his guitar playing  sounded better than on the original. The only thing i can think of is I let the music 'breathe' by standardising on -11dBfs and allowing all that headroom for the voice and instrument to expand into. I tend to use minimal compression, just enough to get the job done. I'm usually peaking at around -0.4 / -0.2 dBfs so I'm just below digital clipping.  A limiter just acts as a safety valves for inter-peak transients.




Re: Tides (Collaboration with guitarist Alan Catton)
Reply #4 on: March 24, 2019, 17:27:53
Nice work @MrBouzouki . Very nice production!
I also think it is a cool concept to take a completed instrumental work and create lyrics and additional melodic content. It's what the great jazz singers did. It's also what early composers did basing the musical work on the cantus firmus. You, of course, are doing it within a different genre but it really works!
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.


Re: Tides (Collaboration with guitarist Alan Catton)
Reply #5 on: March 24, 2019, 18:05:31
Hola @MrBouzouki

It is seen that when you are inspired you are an ocean, wave after wave the words appear, one after the other, forming a sea of feelings. Beautiful song and beautiful guitar, very beautiful.
I think the same as @Mar T. about the reverb.
Congratulations.
I did not know that to live I had to die so many times
My Youtube channel:
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Re: Tides (Collaboration with guitarist Alan Catton)
Reply #6 on: March 25, 2019, 18:52:48
@MrBouzouki  that is simply beautiful.
Do what makes your heart sing :)


Re: Tides (Collaboration with guitarist Alan Catton)
Reply #7 on: March 26, 2019, 05:09:04
such calming sounds, the beautiful guitar playing and the waves crashing  :loveit:! also your voice and when the note was hit at 'and when we loved'!! that was so great! i wish i could write such nice lyrics in only 40 minutes. all of the aspects of the song dance together and create a  hauntingly beautiful song


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Re: Tides (Collaboration with guitarist Alan Catton)
Reply #8 on: March 26, 2019, 11:58:02
I am playing this loud in my office as I type. This is a wonderful mix of guitar and vocals......it really works SO well. Beautiful playing and good lyrics.....and your performance is fearless.

Second listen now and I have company in here.  :)

Regarding the reverb, I don't know how you side chained it but if you put a compressor after the verb on the bus and key that compressor with the vocal it will give you an amazing amount of subtle control over how much of that verb is in the body of the vocal. 
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

 "In a world of robotic conformity, the only originality left in music is the imperfections" Eric Craptone

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Re: Tides (Collaboration with guitarist Alan Catton)
Reply #9 on: March 27, 2019, 10:56:50
An excellent collaboration
The lyrics are very nice and applicable to the yearning in the music.
The voice sounds very sincere. 
A moving piece. Well done.


Re: Tides (Collaboration with guitarist Alan Catton)
Reply #10 on: March 27, 2019, 20:29:33
Ah the cruel sea, we are like pebbles tossed by the tides of love.
A sonorous vocal rises above the crashing waves. A simple lyric that connects us all to the singer.
A difficult song to sing as the vocal is very exposed in this setting and a few wobbly bits are noticeable, but you do well.


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Re: Tides (Collaboration with guitarist Alan Catton)
Reply #11 on: March 27, 2019, 22:05:04
Cheers all.

Glad you liked it @Bill from November Sound. I so often hear melodies and counter-melodies when hearing stuff. It's sort of programmed in. As I said before I don't tend to think vertically (harmonically) but more interlocking melodies.

I do like the sea @Mora Amaro La Loba ... and the natural world in general. I'm not really an urban-sort of guy.

That's exactly what I'm doing @Leonard Scaper8)

I'm glad it connected for you @Rightly - that sort of comment about it seeming sincere is the most a songwriter can ever achieve.

Aye the vocal was a tough one @eric craptone being low in the voice at times. and it was quite emotional to sing. I try and put myself in the moment and capture that feeling, not perfection and I don't hold with tweaking stuff with autotune. What you hear is the real McCoy. I was stressing for a while that it sounded like "I watch the TIES" as the soft D tended to disappear at first.



xx
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