• Touchdown Into Grey (Fire the guitarist?)
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Re: Touchdown Into Grey
Reply #15 on: January 02, 2017, 11:32:09
The first impression I had when I heard your vocals was "Mike Silver" - we met him in Cornwall where my wife and me spend our honeymoon.
There are some similarities the way you play this song. It is just a wonderful rush back to those great times. (still my wife is my best friend and love!).

There would only one thing I would jump in.
The frequency range overall. Probably just an EQ thing. But strings and guitar play in the same frequency range. It might help if you lower one instrument with a Q 1.5 with 1db at around 1200 hz and the other the same around 600-800 hz. That would release the same range for the other instrument and make it more recognizable.

What a beauty of a song.


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Re: Touchdown Into Grey
Reply #16 on: January 02, 2017, 15:45:09
« Last Edit: January 02, 2017, 16:42:54 by M57 »
@Mar T.  Wow, thanks for your intent listening and taking the time to share such detailed thoughts. I'm grateful and humbled that both you and @smajor find value in seemingly different places with this one.

Yes, you're hearing 'crackling.' As I mentioned before, I intend to re-track the lead vocal at least in part because there is distortion on the track, but also because I'm planning on having a better mic/pre/comp chain going in this time.

First, I would preface this by admitting that I am somewhat of a theory nerd and I can easily get carried away so please excuse me if I geek out a bit too much..

As a songwriter, I go out of my way to use harmonic motion in ways that feel fresh to me, and that quest usually involves at least some exploration of modal harmony, jazz structures and the use of inversions.  What's unusual about this song is that I pretty much used none of the aforementioned techniques. Most every chord is in Root position (i.e. the bass note is the name of the chord) and with the exception of "Green and Blue." I'm pretty much sticking with the more common language of popular music ..triadic harmony (i.e. your basic three note major and minor chords and avoiding extra jazzy notes). But Mar T. you absolutely got it right when and where you mentioned "key changes."  What I did with this song was to explore quick switching to what could be thought of as 'keys of the moment,' especially in the chorus.  I mentioned Yellow Brick Road before as a model for how I wanted the band to sound, but I think the changes in the chorus of Touchdown fall in the same harmonic style category as those in the chorus of YBR, with its unexpected but satisfying twists that were ingeniously calculated to somehow come back to ground zero come the verses.  At least that was the plan with TIG  >:D

As for the drums, I'm tempted to post the drum track that I don't plan on using just to show you that the arrangement is better with drums. The one I have is pretty good but I'm hoping to improve on it sonically and I'm looking for a fresher approach.

Quote from: Mar T.
And you're saying you're not a 'skilled' lyric writer?

I'm saying I'm not comfortable writing lyrics.  And let's not confuse skill with artistry. Nor am I a confident lyricist, but I acknowledge that it is often the most critical element of the song. I do my best to with what I have but unlike with music, where I can 'un'-force things, I often feel like I end up writing a line in a lyric because I have to, not because I want to. Combine that mindset with OCD ADHD (and a bunch of other acronyms that end in D) and bake at 375° (~190 °C) for 50 years and well ..let's just say it's easy to burn things to a crisp.  (This is a kitchen, right?) Suffice it to say, it is what it is, and if people like you and smajor find value in it, I'm both pleased and befuddled.

BTW, I love your take on the lyric. I suppose everyone has a different set of criteria in mind when writing a lyric.  For better or worse, mine usually involves setting up a world with ink, suggesting a color pallet with the story, but from there leaving it so everyone can color it in differently based on their own life experiences and points of view.


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Re: Touchdown Into Grey
Reply #17 on: January 02, 2017, 20:45:58
off-topic:
But for those open to listening...? Hang in the Kitchen. If you're tough enough this is the place where you'll hear it all.
@smajor Wow I'm so happy reading these kind of comments. Great to hear that you experience the kitchen exactly how it's intended!!

on-topic:
@M57 you're welcome and great to read your reply. Yes I find it fascinating that every listener sees other value when listening to the same song. That's shy I completely agree with what you said here:
BTW, I love your take on the lyric. I suppose everyone has a different set of criteria in mind when writing a lyric.  For better or worse, mine usually involves setting up a world with ink, suggesting a color pallet with the story, but from there leaving it so everyone can color it in differently based on their own life experiences and points of view.

As for the version with drums: now you're making me curious!  ;)
About the lyric writing; yes that's recognisable. I'm not sure if it goes for anyone that lyrics are 'often critical'. We have a kitchen member 'Friedeman' that posted a video somewhere last year about 'lyricless' storytelling.
Although I'm somewhere in between your and Friedeman's I really enjoyed his vision, the more of the story is in the instrumental, the less words we need don't we?  ;) ;)
If you're interested in a link to his story let me know and I'll find it for you.

Thanks for the reply and I'll be following this thread with great interest.
Cheers!
:mart:
I'm proud of this track, check it out! https://soundcloud.com/martimedia/dreams


Re: Touchdown Into Grey
Reply #18 on: January 06, 2017, 03:28:53
@M57, @Mar T. said it very nicely I think. This is musical craftsmanship. Really truly complex and accomplished composition this one. Your execution...as we have come to expect...is flawless. In fact, your music really is at the level I think people would pay for. 

My critique would be the lyrics get a bit too impenetrable for my taste. I think they start out strong, painting a striking picture of someone alone in a house. But later in the song I felt a bit lost in the lyric. The part about "church’s engines" running oiled and up to form....When hopes are up - the gears come down " etc. 


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Re: Touchdown Into Grey
Reply #19 on: January 06, 2017, 13:08:12
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 13:13:43 by M57 »
..your music really is at the level I think people would pay for. 

@Olbigead Thank you! A very high complement indeed. The irony is, right now the only person who is paying for it is me!  Of course, this is fodder for another thread, but what people would end up paying for is the work that would go into marketing and distribution, and very very little of that would make it back to me. Worse still, in today's market, the recording itself is for all intents and purposes free.  It is pretty much considered part of the the cost of doing business, and the real money comes from performance venues and branding, placement in movies/videos, etc.

Regardless, I do have the goal of putting out an Album/EP/CD (whatever you wanna call it) before I retire from my non-career/hobby, and I would consider that about an hour of music would be necessary. On the other hand, I think the quality of even the best of my output does not meet with my standards from a production/mastering point of view.  Most of them have too much build-up in certain frequencies. I chose poor mics and pre-amps in some cases, so some of the recordings may be unusable, and my mastering skills are mediocre at best.  So I many end up not reaching that goal. Besides, then I'd have to deal with the silliness of pedaling/marketing - something I have little aptitude, less interest, and no time for.

Quote
My critique would be the lyrics get a bit too impenetrable for my taste. I think they start out strong, painting a striking picture of someone alone in a house. But later in the song I felt a bit lost in the lyric. The part about "church’s engines" running oiled and up to form....When hopes are up - the gears come down " etc.

Man, you hit the nail on the head.  Believe it or not, as I was writing those lines I was completely aware of the potential for that criticism, and in that sense I still consider those as potentially weak lines.  Yet, and as you can read from the posts of others there are those for whom those very same lines pop.  Sometimes you're damned if you do.. Go figure.  -Mark


Re: Touchdown Into Grey
Reply #20 on: January 11, 2017, 20:53:27
Hi Mark,

another great song from you. Like it a lot and I do not have much to complain (being German this is already a big compliment ;-)

Only thing is that you maybe can improve the strings which sound a bit "synthie" to me. Drums: I don't think you need them, it works without them (and if you add some drums, you have to reduce your piano playing quite a bit to avoid a too crowded arrangement).

Well done!

Fabian


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Re: Touchdown Into Grey
Reply #21 on: February 15, 2017, 03:16:20
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 16:11:20 by M57 »
Hey @Zedd and @Mar T. @junemay You all had comments related to how this may or may not work with drums.  Well I just got the tracks recorded and I'm starting to work with them. They're mixed a bit high at this point whilst I work on getting them balanced. The snare is giving me problems as usual.

The drum part has exposed the lack of rhythmic integrity in my playing in a number of places, so I've been trying to fix that in places, which I've already begun but it will involve a bit more 'flex' editing and maybe re-tracking here and there.  Bottom line there, don't blame the drummer - he's solid.

https://soundcloud.com/m57/touchdown-into-grey-wip-wdrums/s-fytc5

I'm working with three takes and comping/cobbling them into what you hear (so far).   I still want to add some electric guitar (mostly of the lead variety) OR maybe.. maybe an alto or even soprano sax of same persuasion.


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Re: Touchdown Into Grey
Reply #22 on: February 15, 2017, 10:43:40
Hey Mark.....

As usual I'll give you my raw first reaction. The drums were distracting to me through the first section. I might consider holding them back until 1:50. I love the natural flow of your playing and singing in this song and the drums through that first part kept trying to force that very subtle ebb and flow into something more perfectly structured.

At 1:50 the song shifts gears a bit and the drums really start to work for me. I LOVE what you do with them at 3:37 and when they disappeared at the end I felt like the song was able to float out on it's own wonderfully.

I REALLY like this song. Btw, these comments in no way reflect my personal natural free flowing style. No way. Not a chance.  ;D
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Re: Touchdown Into Grey
Reply #23 on: February 15, 2017, 11:50:03
this is so great! really like how the lyrics are leaving just the right amount to imagination.
and the eltnjohnish chord in the end of the verses too :) well executed as well.

i liked the drumless version better since the other sounds are so fluid.


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Re: Touchdown Into Grey
Reply #24 on: February 15, 2017, 13:07:58
Hey Mark.....

As usual I'll give you my raw first reaction. The drums were distracting to me through the first section. I might consider holding them back until 1:50. I love the natural flow of your playing and singing in this song and the drums through that first part kept trying to force that very subtle ebb and flow into something more perfectly structured.

At 1:50 the song shifts gears a bit and the drums really start to work for me. I LOVE what you do with them at 3:37 and when they disappeared at the end I felt like the song was able to float out on it's own wonderfully.

I REALLY like this song. Btw, these comments in no way reflect my personal natural free flowing style. No way. Not a chance.  ;D

@Leonard Scaper Thanks for the critical listen! Yeah, the flow isn't working (yet) in a number of places, mostly in the beginning.  Remember, none of the musicians (that would be me, me, and me) heard the drummer while 'we' were tracking, and I put down a number of those tracks thinking they would just be scratch tracks, with the intention of re-recording them (which I may just do with some of them).  Believe it or not, I may be able to fix a lot of it without having to re-record.  "Flex-Time" in Logic is a stupid amazing tool. Don't worry, I'm pretty careful when using things like that to keep it organic and never snap to the grid or make things "mathematically" perfect.


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Re: Touchdown Into Grey
Reply #25 on: February 15, 2017, 13:12:43
this is so great! really like how the lyrics are leaving just the right amount to imagination.
and the eltnjohnish chord in the end of the verses too :) well executed as well.

i liked the drumless version better since the other sounds are so fluid.

Thanks @tuff bransch Unfortunately, and for better or worse, I envisioned this one having drums from its very inception; I've always pictured those big fills coming into that chorus and things like that jazzy stuff in the Green and Blue section.  I agree its not fluid in places, but I promise that will improve as I continue to work on it.


Re: Touchdown Into Grey
Reply #26 on: February 15, 2017, 13:21:20
i just read the answer to leonards comment before mine now. if you fix it its gonna be great. the chorus
got way bigger with the drums on it. 


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Re: Touchdown Into Grey (now with drums)
Reply #27 on: February 15, 2017, 20:35:31
Hey @M57,
Thanks for tagging me in, loved to A/B both versions..
I love the attempt WITH drums better then the original, for
me it drives the track a bit more and got me more in that
groove that matches with the 'leaving this place' story the
lyrics are telling.
I heard a timing problem indeed, around 'As if it it keeps
the truth and can tell us what to say.', that was the most
obvious one. If you don't know there are timing errors nobody
would probably notice it when you can fix that one.
Ah that's pity when you receive/record the drumtrack and you
discover you missed 1 click when recording the rest without
the drums.. I know.. I know..
Another thing that came up when listening to the DRUMS version
is that the drums and bass might not really cooperate, I
can not exactly point out why, maybe the bass is just a bit too
low in gain, maybe it needs to follow the kick pattern in an
alternative way. I can't come up with other suggestions about
the bass atm (been really busy so right now I'm not really
creative). If you recognise that pointer as well, I'd be happy
to think with you about alternatives in that case (but I'm
afraid my musical skills are far worse than yours haha).
These are just my 2 cents, and I'm confident this is going to
be a fantastic production just like your other work.
I know you are a perfectionist, but I must say I've read above
about people willing to buy music. Apart from the reality (I
agree all commercial stuff is more about the merchandise than
the song) I do think you should be confident that your work is
way better than/above the imaginary 'quality gate' you're
defining. What I mean is: I believe people would buy your work
instantly.
Great to follow this one, and I'm happy the pointers you receive
from our kitcheners are helping you.
Cheers man!
Respect..
:mart:


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Re: Touchdown Into Grey (now with drums)
Reply #28 on: February 15, 2017, 21:51:24
Hi @M57

for me the drums before the fill at around 1.50 are a bit of a distraction and I'm not sure they are needed. Your voice sounds so good on this and the music itself was enough to get me hooked right from the start.

Once the "bigger" drums start at around 1.50 they work really well with the song.

This really is a good song and I agree with @Mar T. - this is definitely good enough for people to buy and I know a lot of people stream these days (me included) but it's of that quality.

cheers


Re: Touchdown Into Grey (now with drums)
Reply #29 on: February 16, 2017, 00:27:59
I Think You Write Great Lyrics,  Plus You Are An Accomplished Musician, You Don't Have To Talk About Music In Abstract, When Life Presents Itself Write About It Just Like You do With Your Music  FEEL IT, In Some Cases CARESS It,  Practice Makes For Familiarity. Really Enjoyed the Music And Lyrics You've Got Good Judgement in Your Music.......Trust Your Gut.....~~~~*BB
Life Is A Journey Of Different Trips, This Is What Makes The Fabric Of Our Songs, Look Upon It As A Resource..............~~~~~*BB



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