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Inspiration

This track was written and recorded on the weekend of 06/13/2020.

Current Status

06/27/2020 Version 4: Its really still mostly version 3. I did a few eq passes against each layer looking for areas that could be tuned up. I adjusted the EQ on the chorus bass line to try to get a bit more high tone back into it. Its still not right.

I also added the tiny piano riff that first appears at the end of the first chorus, then comes back a few times.

Overall its pretty close to me being done with it. I will do a few more light adjustments yet.

06/19/2020 Version 3:

I ran all the vocal parts through Izotope Nectar, and made some adjustments. I think they sound overcompressed a bit, and not quite right still. The vocals in the outro bridge are not right either, and 2nd verse entry of the high take also feels off. I think ive got most of everything else where I want it at this point. Going to make a few more vocal adjustments before moving to the next track.

Updated 6/17/2020: Mix is now version 2

Its not quite right still but a number of changes were made from feedback received on reddit. I got some good pointers from Murr, and chatted a bit about it on Discord. I had kind of a misshapen overall EQ / sonic balance on the structure complete version. Tones in the 50-80hz range (sub bass) were peaking too low. I think theres a bit too much of it now actually but I do prefer this way, it just needs adjusting.

I reworked layers in the chorus. There is now a grand piano following along with the bass. The sub bass moved from short quick notes, to long slow notes for the section. They are filling up space on the low end in the section

A new drum layer was created for the chrous, its the big thump kick, and it hits a little too hard right now.

The Ending / outro bridge got updates, with a change to the lead synths part. The bass extends further with a new riff on the sub layer.

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Note History:

Structure Complete:

I made some updates to fix the timing issues in the WIP version, I also fixed up those sloppy notes. I think the vocals are too loud in the first part but not fixing it yet. Adjusted layers and eq with a focus on the chorus, added a new drum take for the super washed out drums in the section.

Worked on the tone and eq of the synth bass to bring out its wonkyness more.

Changed the last chorus piano to a honky tonk style sound.

Added more drums to the outro section

Still not quite ready for feedback. I want to adjust the 2nd chorus some more, and possibly the ending a bit.

Posted to reddit to gather feedback:

The post got a lot of upvotes! I think this is the most upvotes I ever got on the sub. I did try to time the post, but not when i was thinking. I saw 250 people were currently online on reddit. Ive never seen it go that high and rushed to post the track to try to take advantage of the situation.

After hitting submit, I noticed the counter was now reading 54 users. Oh well… Welp turns out it didnt matter I got a lot of feedback and positive comments. I cant figure reddit timing out, might just be luck.

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WIP – not yet out for feedback, theres a few major timing issues I want to iron out first , as I know most of my feedback will get pointed at these problems and I already know they exist.

The basis for the track comes out of an IMF genre spin challange that was about 2 weeks ago. I never posted that track as I didnt feel it meet the bar for ‘Somewhat Incognito’ sound. I did however get some very positive feedback and encouragement to further explore the piano pop sound.

Technically there is not much new going on with this track. The idea I am exploring is more about getting a loud, belting, piano pop chorus, something that could almost be sung by a Disney character. I think the overall end product is very ‘cheesy’ in this way, however I actually do quite like it for what it is.

My Genre Spin “Piano Pop” track , i actual rolled Piano. This track is in a misfit tracks pile, but the feedback I got on it lead to the sound of Inspiration (the track this post is about).

Lyrically, it’s about inspiration, how it can be fickle and moody. How as an artist it is a desperate roller coaster of grasping at this intangible thing that seems to choose its own time to emerge. I often go from ‘whelp, I’ve used up all the ideas I can think of, there’s nothing original left in me’ to ‘this is the greatest thing I’ve ever worked on’ in the span of a few hours.

The songs structure alternates between this depressed mood and this triumphant chorus in the same way. I do think inspiration will come with steady effort, the song is not suggesting to sit around and wait for it, its more about how it comes in waves and is unavoidable and overpowering.

This is a simple track in its layering for me. Lately I’ve been pushing 30-50 layers on a normal track. Currently there are 20 layers, many of them stacked up vocals.

Currently I’m not out for feedback as I need to retake the ‘default keys’ and piano parts. I recorded them and then quantized at 1/32T which I think was a mistake, they feel ‘off’ , the chorus sounds too dense and needs EQ attention. The ending isnt interesting enough. All of these will be worked on over the next few days before I drop links on my normal feedback channels. In the meantime, feel free to follow along here with changes as I make them.

This take in particular is where the problem is. It just sounds ‘off’ to me. I did not pencil this in, it was played in by hand on my midi piano, then quantized. I think I should re-take and re-evaluate how it gets qunatized when fixing.

Also, the chorus bass park needs a re-take, the cowbell doesnt sound right, and a few other details that I want to address.

The Bass

This is the FX chain for the bass, its very simple, just my playing with a reason bass amp, HIKU , and some light pump compression. I should probably work on this chain a bit more.

The Organ

Radial Keys sounds awesome, some really good sounding Rhodes style pianos and electric pianos. I am cutting a bit off the 150-300 ish range with the m-class subtractive eq, this is exactly where the peak of the vocals sit and its opening up a little extra room for my the vocals, which are the ‘star’ of this track.

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