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#85438 by Kramerguy
Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:50 pm
Not my usual home recordings, but actual studio demos!

Check out my profile, the two newest are:

Ordinary Celebrity
Holding on to Hope

"Naive" was one of Val's originals that we re-recorded because a publisher wanted to license it for tv/film, but wanted a fresher approach / arrangement from the original, so we took a stab at a new arrangement :)

Feedback / comments welcome, even bad ones! prffft!

#85439 by CraigMaxim
Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:23 pm
Ordinary Celebrity is well... ordinary. LOL

Sorry. Just doesn't grab me strongly. Seems a little disjointed. Forced is a better word. It seems like everyone is forcing things together to make it work. But it just doesn't get there. IMO - I think a better arrangement would help some.

I liked the second one alot better. "Holding onto Hope" - Sounded more thought out, and more complete. Flowed better from part to part.

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#85441 by Chippy
Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:30 pm
Kramer.

Ordinary Celebrity.... What struck me was the beat and melody. It's not that they don't go well. I loved the drum beat Dude. However it didn't change and when you went into Chorus it sort of stayed there.

I know her voice is raw on this but she does have a fabulous voice.

Holding on to hope is a different kettle of fish. How are you recording these please? This is a STRONG track and has lots of goings on.

I really liked this and I really did like that addition of MySpace/Facebook in Ordinary.

All in all very cool stuff.

#85445 by Kramerguy
Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:44 pm
CraigMaxim wrote:Ordinary Celebrity is well... ordinary. LOL

Sorry. Just doesn't grab me strongly. Seems a little disjointed. Forced is a better word. It seems like everyone is forcing things together to make it work. But it just doesn't get there. IMO - I think a better arrangement would help some.

I liked the second one alot better. "Holding onto Hope" - Sounded more thought out, and more complete. Flowed better from part to part.

.


Thanks for the input Craig-

Yeah, O.C. is still a trial of errors possibly- the piano part is really busy, so adding busy guitar, drums, and bass lines doesn't stack too well. We've tossed around the idea of dropping the piano, and the guitar transition (like the speedy guitar riff after the first chorus) I felt was "shaky" (rather than forced), but since it was a demo and not an actual track for an album, we didn't want to fall into the pit of over-correcting every nuance, burning valuable studio time (and $$$).

The mini guitar solo lost a lot in the final mix.. It had a lot more personality in the pre-mix, but that was one of those nuances that I knew could have been done better (I thought to re-do about 25% of the guitar tracks, but time/money... sigh)

And yeah, holding on to hope we wrote a while ago, so the song has had more time to breathe on it's own through live performances and practices, that we all knew exactly what we wanted to do with it.

Oddly enough, HOTH was the most forced song in the studio (difficult to record) because of the intro and some other really annoying aspects of the tempo and timbre of the song. It came out much better than I expected.

We all thought celebrity was the more "catchy" song of ours though.. hmmm

#85449 by Kramerguy
Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:50 pm
Chippy wrote:Ordinary Celebrity.... What struck me was the beat and melody. It's not that they don't go well. I loved the drum beat Dude. However it didn't change and when you went into Chorus it sort of stayed there.


Yeah, I can't remember the exact reason, but it was intentional- I think it was because of the rest of the instruments being so busy that he felt the drums needed to be more persistent to maintain the feel.

Chippy wrote:I know her voice is raw on this but she does have a fabulous voice.


Not sure what you mean by raw? We actually re-recorded some of the vocals over three separate visits to the studio. It's a very tough song for her with the highs and lows.

Chippy wrote:Holding on to hope is a different kettle of fish. How are you recording these please? This is a STRONG track and has lots of goings on.


not sure how general or specific of an answer you are looking for there.. this song we used a click track for the opening only, then we actually had the click drop out (really a rare thing in a studio), but the song had some serious tempo changes that a click track couldn't support.

Other than that, there's three separate guitar tracks in stereo (6 actually, if you could R and L as different tracks), one clean, one VERY heavy, and one "shimmering"... the super heavy track was originally intended to be even more in the background than it is.

Thanks for the input Chippy

#85453 by Chippy
Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:13 pm
Hey not knocking on the door.
That was how I heard it and I know I'm a stupid gluke amongst mysterons.

I just thought the drum track was repetitive but GOOD. (Ordinary Celebrity)

On the other song "Holding on to Hope" I think you have something there.

Hey I'm a drummer, what do I know? :D

#85455 by ColorsFade
Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:20 pm
Your vocalist is great.

I really like the professional quality of the recordings.

"Ordinary Celebrity" sounds like the opening song to a sitcom. I expect to see Tom Arnold or Kathy Griffin smear my TV when I listen it.

"Holding On" - definitely a different vein. Seems like it's fighting to figure out which genre it belongs in.

Same goes for "Ordinary Celebrity" though.

I listen to both songs, and the production and studio work is obviously there, and everyone is playing their instruments at a professional level, and the singer's voice is very nice, and the songs are loaded with competency... But I struggle to figure out who the target audience is for this music?

"Holding On" sounds like something that one might find at a Christian Music store. It's like female REO Speedwagon. "And baby I can't fight this feeling anymoooooooooorreeeeee!" Late 80's slow dance.

They're competent recordings.

#85461 by Kramerguy
Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:35 pm
colors- Holding on to Hope was actually written for the National Vigil for Hope (charity) as a theme song. The struggle to find it's target audience is unfortunately people who've lost loved ones by kidnappings/runaways/disappearances, which is why it seems so misplaced.

The other songs like Celebrity, Naive, and a couple of dozen others, are more on the Indie Pop scale, think KT Tunstall, Norah Jones, Colbie Calliat, even the old Jewel stuff(?) maybe. It's very much a college-chick thing, but there is a market out there for it...

Now.. when we play bars.. it's all about "What I like about you", "free fallin", etc.. lol, we're not crazy haha, but we do still slip in the originals, and still do a lot of college-like and indie shows (as much as possible)

#85465 by sanshouheil
Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:46 pm
Very well produced and played for the most part.
Naive sounded tinny, perhaps just my cheap speakers.
Wonderfully sung, she has a great voice I think.
Not my cup of listening pleasure tea altogether but well done.
Thanks for posting this.

I love the music . :D

#85484 by ratsass
Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:00 am
Good songs, well played and produced. I'm with Chippy on the drums on Ordinary Celebrity though. Could use some change ups. I would have mistaken it for a drum machine if I hadn't known better (that's kind of a compliment to your drummer for being super steady). Nice simple melodic solo you did in it. It's the mark of a good guitarist to hold back and keep it simple for the good of the song. I woulda been Van Halening it to death. :) Nah, not really.
Holding on to Hope does fit into the target audience that you mentioned, I'm just not one of them. Would be like me throwing a worship song in to my bar set. (sound of brakes screeching) :)
I'm getting more enjoyment out of Strange Surf right now. That's what I can listen to all night. Not as wild as Satriani, so, much more listenable to me.

#85491 by thelonerambler
Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:18 am
original celebrity...not really crazy about this one but that's just me
holding on hope.... like that one, definitely like the cause
naive...little redundant but o.k.

The quality is great on all the songs. What instrument are you playing?

oh yeah...

Strange surf.....badass

#85493 by Kramerguy
Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:27 am
lol the badass song winner is the one I did with a drum machine on a home 8-track...

Lone - I play the elec guitar on all tracks, and all instruments, including drum machine :P on strange surf

#85500 by philbymon
Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:14 am
The main prob I have with OC is that she seems to be having a problem with the key. It's too low for her. She's losing her breath & it's affected her phrasing & the consistant volume & power she needs. She needs to play with this melody more to keep things more interesting. This song (though it sounds like an after-school special kind of thing to me, lyrically & melodically) needs a LOT more energy to pull off. It should keep building at every chorus, & then drop back to the simple on the verse, The bridge should be much bigger, as well - huge, in fact. The drums are okay as they stand, if it just gets bigger as it goes. He's one great drummer! It's a fascinating rhythm, nearly hypnotic. It could even be a touch higher in the mix to bring out that hypnotic feel more. I wouldn't change that. I like the tones of your axe in this. Sweet lil stuff you got going on.

HOTH - lyric is awkward at :55. She needs to be more consistant with her use of vibrato, imo. I like her voice much better than the material. It's well produced & performed, but I'd like to hear some songs that have more meat in them. This one's nice enough, though. I like the way you come in with the power chords on the 2 count in the chorus. It echoes the emphasis on the 1st beat really effectively, but it could be a little louder. I like the effects switch & arpeggios at around 2:30, too. Your effects changes at around 3:30 are cool, but they sound out of context to me at the very end. It's not bad or anything, just my initial reactions flowing. I know it's the same one you used earlier. As I go back to the beginning, the piano surprizes me. It could well have ended with that to bring it full circle. That awkward phrasing at :55 still hits me hard, though.

She's got a sweet voice. It's almost country in its approach, with the semi-yodel she tosses in occasionally. If she added just a few more sweeteners into these, they would wow me more, cuz the songs themselves aren't as strong as she should be doing. I don't think she should hold notes as long as she does without some vibrato or other sweeteners, simply because of her vocal tone, & it's most apparent on the long "E's." (In that respect, she & I have the same problem, btw! I think it's a nasal thing.)

#85504 by fisherman bob
Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:50 am
I like both of these and the others on your profile page. I can see why you might be excited to be in this band. It sounds all good to me...

#85513 by CraigMaxim
Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:48 am
No problem Kramer

I agree with Colors too, that it has potential as a theme song or novelty song. Just needs a little more tweaking.

All in all though, sounds like a promising project you're involved in brother.

Wish I had one going on. LOL

Sooner or later though, I am going to take one last stab at this. I'm getting alot of people from Jax signed up on my MySpace accounts, in the hopes some good musicians come out in the mix somewhere.

But very best to your band. Hope it takes you where you need to be bro!

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