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Mix Logs

Weird Day

This track was made week of 4th of July 2020.

I was reviewing my stats for the last few months, some of my top played tracks on soundcloud are faster bpm / electronic leaning tracks with an industrial vibe (Come With Me, Stir Crazy, Waiting on Forever). I thought I would do another one along these lines and see if the trend could continue or not, I bumped the BPM up to 135 and started in on a new track.

I started with the quirky electric bass line, which is actually not a real bass. I used reason electric basses for it. I preferred the programmed / fakeish sound for the style of the track. I played it in on my Keystation 61, and quantized aggressively.

There is no main standout part of this track, I think this is a ‘production track’ in that its not about the lyrics, the bass playing, or solos, its just a wild and over-the-top production that is fun to listen to.

I wanted to spend more time in Izotope Trash, and used it a lot on this track. Trash has a lot of presets to browse, i started with combing through those while the track was playing to see what it did mix wise. I found a few i liked and put them it on various layers and places.

I’m going to start twitch streaming production as i do it, its not the most entertaining thing to watch, but it makes a nice video record of what im up to and in a way people can watch and ask question in real-time. I think its a good fit for the project. I will post 2 twitch videos per track , for a bit. First in early phases, and another one while working on feedback revisions.

Twitch VODS:

Updates after feedback review: Trying to extend the track, and bringing out the kick (night 1)

Compiled feedback and change idea review

Some of building the track on day 1

Just a small section of the rack, its huge as usual. Heres that electric bass mentioned above (bottom left. Its a ‘fake real bass’ with an amp, saturation , HIKU, and a pump.)

There are 7 drum kits used, these i play in segments via my keystation. Some percussive sections repeat and others i play all the way through for more variation. A big part of the ‘Somewhat Incognito’ sound (i think) is the densely layered percussion, and my style of doing it.

Several Serum synths, 3 Complex-1’s , A fake real bass, Tons of percussion, and layers of VOX. And some recorded guitar and shaker eggs.

The “POOF” Snare

Those 4 poofs on the bottom were Murr‘s idea, I love them- I learned something new here, there is a beatboxing term for a “PF Snare“. And when murr suggested a POOF im honestly not sure if this is what he meant. Some googling lead me to a term called “PF Snare”. I didnt know what this was until this track, and Murr‘s comment. Its basically a hard P and F sound at the same time beatbox style to make a PFFT kinda sounding vocal snare. I love the idea and what they do in the song (they hit at the end of first verse every other bar. However i need to work on them in regards to the mix a bit more i think. I think I want it to sound like its coming from all directions more, more high end to it as well.

I did a bunch of them in a row into my SM7B microphone. I took 2 that I liked and split them into 4 total layers.

I have not yet put the track out for feedback. I want to work on it a bit more yet before doing that. The 2nd verse needs more variation. I think might want to double the 2nd chorus and make it evolve a bit in the 2nd pass before ending.

In the context of the song, its a garnish of detail, but one i really like:

The distorted guitar part at the beginning is 2 layers panned and with varying guitar rig presets. Its got a really cool sound to it i think and fits in the mix well.

The High Voice

Getting those silly voice effects out of Nepune pitch adjuster. Its set to A Natural Minor with a 5 semi ton upwared transpose, and an uptick on the formant shift. Correction speed is set to high to make it more synthetic.

I’m using trash to get some extra character to the higher frequencies of it. Nectar to clean it up and even it out, pump to open space, and a retro transformer just because i thought it sounded cooler like that.

Theres a few things i think are part of my ‘sound’ at this point, which is the pump and HIKU, I use them EVERYWHERE The rest of the ‘high voice’ vocal is all this chain above. Neptune is doing the high voice part. Audiomatic Retro Transformer gets some tape like texture to it. Trash is distorting it a bit.

The MASSIVE Synth

There is this huge thumping kick drum like synth that hits throughout the track and is the most dominant sonic force in the layering. Its a serum preset called Downunder with PHATstat saturation, HIKU, and PUMP added in the reason rack.

The part is played on a keyboard and quantized.

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Mix Logs

Mini Vacay

I wrote and recorded this song between 06/23/2020 and 06/30/2020

Released.

Now on all streaming services

Final Note:

I didn’t do many extra passes on this one. I listened to it a bunch of times, and yeah , there are for sure problems with the mix. Theres still static in the bass guitar part, the ending doesn’t land on its feet, the vocals in the ending you can hear the headphones. I did run some extra de-essing before publishing, but other than that I decided to let the track be. Overall I am happy with the track and enjoy it.


Feedback Gathering is now in progress. I posted to IMF reddit, I made some adjustments after discord community review and posted it a day or so later. I also added the sub bass layer to the outro after review, its much better with that bass there.

The post is located here:
https://www.reddit.com/r/IndieMusicFeedback/comments/hj9ru2/somewhat_incognito_mini_vacay_i_miss_vacations/

This one didn’t get a ton of momentum with upvotes or comments. I however did get a couple more mentions of bringing the vocals out more. I think the 2nd pass when the vocoder layers exist needs some attention on the ‘primary’ vocal. Also the pre-chorus builds aren’t where I want yet.

I think the track is technically ‘structure complete’ , i may extend the outro a bit longer yet.

Things I want to do yet include :

Fluff up the pre-chorus guitar riff build that drops into the chorus (in 2 different ways , 1 for each time)

More EQ and effects passes tuning up the mix

Possibly record a new set of vocals for the 2nd verse. (I may not)

About the track:

This is the first ‘real track’ (bass house isn’t a real track) that uses Serum as the primary synth. I showed it in this weeks live community review session in Discord. Moonglow suggested bumping up the vocals so I went back in, and did some work to bring them out more all around.

On the Lyrics.

Its a straightforward summer bop, a crowd pleaser of a wonky pop tune. I started this track with the intro bass riff, a very simple pop-punk esq distorted chug that carrys on through the first verse. I did a short weekend trip last weekend (it wasnt a city trip) and the idea for a song about short trips in general came to me. I live in eastern PA and think about the kinds of things people might do on the weekend, a trip to Philly is a common thing to do). I already have a song about vacations (Big Break) it was the first song I did as ‘somewhat incognito’ and its nearing in on a 1 year, I think a having 2 vacation songs is ok… right?

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Mix Logs

Bass House

I Made this on the weekend of 06/20/2020. This was a birthday / fathers day weekend. I got some money as a birthday gift and decided to use it to chip down the price of Serum, and finally pick it up. I have been eyeing up Serum for a long time.

I called it ‘Bass House’ because it is 128 bpm, like a house track and is made almost entirely of bass like tones. When the last drum kit part comes in a 4 to the floor kick holds until the end for the full house vibe.

Whenever I listen to someones track and they have a really cool synth, I ask how they made it. 9 times out of 10, its Serum.

“Reason 11 has a wave-table synth, why should I pay extra for another one “

– Me up until now

To me it was immediately apparent, that at the least, Serum had much richer sounding presets than Eurpoa does. Move movement, more rumble, that sort of thing. I am sold that its a better synth. (I will still use Europa.. just less)

This isn’t really one of my usual tracks, its set at a lower bar than most of my material. It has no vocals for one, and for another its just a jam, it has little substance structurally.

Very simple track, it uses my 4 string bass (green), and my 6 string bass (whiteish green one).

A few Serum synths to get those dope synth bass tones

My usual assortment of reason drum machines

Despite this, i quite liked it and decided to put it up on my soundcloud page. I pinged the IMF discord asking for some ideas on what to do with it. NEON M suggested I use it as transition music, or for a live show. Both these ideas are great and I had not really considered transition music at all up until he said that. I needed a track for that! this is it! (and maybe a live jam, but im more pumped about the transition music / waiting screen music etc..) .

That being said, I’m not doing much of anything else with this track, its done!

The 4 String Bass:

Pretty standard electric bass stack for me.

Just a bunch of serum Presets:

All the serum stuff in this track, I did very light adjusting on one of the synths, the others were presets untouched.
I don’t use Europa in this track at all, however I thought I would show it next to Serum for comparisons sake, this is Reasons kind-for-kind alternative.

Some of the drums:

I use this ALL the time and love the old school drum sounds it makes.
HIKU is part of my produced ‘sound’ i use an instance of it on every individual layer, in every track.
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Mix Logs

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.

—————————————————————————————–

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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Mix Logs

Go for a ride

Current Status | Done, but not publishing to distrokid.

There were 2 main things I wanted to do with this track, first was to give rapping an honest try, I still may rework the lyrics, its repetitive, but I think most of the flow and vocal tones are where I want them. The second thing is I want to start compiling some ultra simple tracks, that are essentially layers of loops with the exceptions of the vocals and automatons.

I’ts a live performance track

The reason for this is to get a small pile of tracks that can be done fairly easily in a one man live-stream show environment. I would like to try a streaming show with a novation launchpad on ableton live, Reason running as a VST on it to power the sounds of the midi keyboard, with live looped bass lines, and live vocals. I am fairly sure I can execute this track with the set up, the one note bassline was also designed so it could be played with one hand (an open e string).

On the Lyrics

This started out as ‘I wanna do one of those Beck – Loser style nonsense raps’. Where the words just kind of sound cool and flow in a memorable way, but don’t add up to mean anything at all. As I went along I started to kind of actually tell a story, the current version is kind of a bit of both the beck idea, and driving around with friends on a joyride.

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Mix Logs

Put it Online

Version 3 is final. There were some light adjustments i was considering but i moved on to several other tracks and am overall pretty happy with the sound of this one. It has been put into distrokid with a release date of July 15 so i can roll the dice on a an editorial placement.

Updated 6/11/2020: Now on version 3: I worked some more on this track last night and made several changes. I tried to bring more clarity to the vocals, the levels came up and EQ adjustments were made.

I also spiced up the solo section, and played the beepy synth more in general from the solo section forward. I think its a little too high in the mix right now.

I adjusted the falsetto layers towards the end to send them back further into the mix

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I built this on the weekend of 5/31/2020. It is what I think is ‘structure complete’, with some smoothing needed. The transition into the 2nd groove is too harsh, and needs attention. I think something as simple as a SFX on the changeover may ease it, but I’m also going to try some drum stuff.

This track is doing a few new things. First is that I got my 4 string bass out of the closet, this is the first track to be recorded with it. My 4 string has a flatter, warmer tone. The 6 string featured on all my other tracks is unusually bright in tone, its what I like about it.

The bass line is 2 takes of the same part stacked. One layer focuses on bringing out rattly / roughness out of the sound. The 2nd layer focuses on low warm sounds and bringing those out. Splitting the track allows me to configure HIKU in 2 different ways for the bass – HIKU is great at bringing out both high and low tones, but the settings change.

The guitar is the first time ive used an instrumental sample, other than on Get to Know You, which was part of Lifes Everyday Soundtrack. I used Dr Rex in reason and a funky guitar riff.

I laid out the chord progression that utilizes 4 of these.

The vocals were done with my new SM7B microphone and cloudlifter set up. The quality is fantastic.

Lyrically its kind of a light hearted but heavy handed at the same time. Its about music becoming a legacy once its publicly spread around on the internet. I got the Izotope $50 bundle thing, and am using a number of the tools in the package. De-Noise is used on vocals, Stutter-Edit is used to do the vocal chops in the 2nd half. The tools are cool and I need to explore them more still.

I am currently gathering feedback on Reddit. I plan on doing a discord feedback pass against the track after reddit feedback, (I usually start on discord, but wanted to shake things up a bit)

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Mix Logs

Hey There Lurker

Submitted to DistroKid | Hyperfollow here

This one is part of a weekly game on the Indie Music Feedback discord server. Anyone can play, its a random genera assignment game where each person rolls a dice of around 118 possible genres, and then has a week to make a track.

The “story” of the track is a lurker wandering down a dark alley on Soundcloudand stumbling upon the Somewhat Incognito Soundcloud page. Hearing voices reflecting off the walls, a bit scared, the listener continues forward. A strange figure peeks around the corner and whispers ‘hey there lurker, do you follow me?’ as the listener gets cast into a well of off-kilter bangors, the track slowly turns more and more into a SI sound and leaves the listener a little perplexed, but now following a new found indie artist.

I rolled Orchestral, the track uses nearly all ‘Orkester Soundson NNXT samplers in Reason. This is a default set of orchestral like sounds that comes with Reason.

Orkester sounds aren’t the greatest sounding things, but I found using Valhala VintageVerb on them, along with HIKU gave a pretty good overall sound. Each layer has slightly different configurations of these 2. I selected reverbs by browsing presets and then tuning them up a bit for the track.

Current Outlook in the DAW (Reason 11) . There are 31 layers, some are sparse however, like backing takes for vocal layers on just some words. The track runs for 3:20 which is close to what I targeted at the beginning (3:30 is what I wanted). The timing consideration is mostly NOT to go long as this will be featured in a single sitting with many other artists and I don’t want to make a 8 min track and keep everyone waiting all day, but I wanted enough time to explore a few ideas within the track.

The colors start starting at the top:

Green: String Section & Piano – All strings are Orkester NNXT presets with some light changes. The piano is a ‘Processed Pianos’ preset (new in reason 11, sounds great)

Light Blue: Wind section – mostly flutes and Flutola (whatever that is)

Yellow: Brass – trumpets, trombones, and french horns

Purple – An upright bass positioned forward

Red – Percussion section – lots of things in here like wood blocks, triangles, mallets, and a few ‘cheats’ like ‘just trash’ and ‘processing’ which are NOT orkester percussion but they fill up some space I wanted better and are fairly subtle in the mix.

Tan – Vocals

On keeping the SI Sound

Most of the games and activities I do, I try to keep a profile close to the ‘Somewhat Incognito’ sound, this one deviates probably the furthest from that of all the tracks I’ve done recently. It does however (I think) pass as a Somewhat-Somewhat Incognito track and a ‘Somewhat Orchestral’ track , which is hopefully passable for the game. I plan on keeping it on my Soundcloud and putting it on Spotify with the rest of them.

It does have vocals, and lyrically its about lurkers on my Soundcloud page.

No feedback this time

It is not going through the usual feedback process to keep the track a surprise for the reveal, which I think is more fun for everyone. I will post it to my Soundcloud on the listening party day.

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Mix Logs

Let Me Have Me

Submitted to DistroKid | Hyperfollow here

This track was sort of an accident. I was having a conversation on discord with Striped McCoy (If you are reading this, and have not listened to Striped McCoy, stop now and go do that and come back later… trust me).

One way or another the topic of vocal chopping came up. I don’t usually ‘chop’ much of anything and started asking questions about how its done. Got some great pointers and my immediate thought was – do it to a bass!

LOHM chimes in at this exact moment saying “Justice does this a lot”.

Now the gears are turning hard.

I fired up reason immediately and recorded a quirky bass groove with the idea I would chop and pitch bend it into a new, cool sound.

This is what the bass ended up looking like. It looks like more than it is.

Its not even close to justice bass sound, however i thought it sounded pretty cool and extended it into a chorus section, now could try new things with the mic. I wanted to try something sung loud, as well as something kind of ‘medium’ in intensity. Low intensity I did play with but nothing fit the track.

I also had just received my new SM7B microphone in the mail. I wanted to try that thing out also, so I started singing lines in over the groove.

I ALSO got wrangled into buying Guitar Rig 5 after Murr said he thought it would sound good for my sound. I got the 30 min trial version, and was sold in probably about 10 minutes of that. I did use the full 30 and get locked out. I bought it and kept going.

Guitar Rig 5 is getting really good sounding distorted guitar. It sounds near pro level to me in its quality, with fairly little effort on my part – I am happy so far with the purchase. Its used on all the vocal takes, the guitars, and one layer of the drums. All of these are on guitar rig 5 presets with little configuration.

Lyrically this is kind of an embellishment of a frustrating week I had at work the few weeks prior. Dave Grohl said in an interview once “Lyrics should be like bumper stickers.” And this track is really kind of one of those.

Main VOX:


Cut at 197 ramping down. they are whiny and I want some low there to try to balance that a bit.
Top to bottom:

3 M-Class EQ’s : These are being used to subtract db from harh tones in the take. I scan for these and pull them down.

Selig DeEsser: This helps with harsh S sounds mostly. It adds a little polish to the overall sound as well.

Guitar rig 5: Set to the ‘many vocals’ preset (so manly)

HIKU: I just put this bad boy on everything, it makes things sound more crisp and clear in the mix and thats about all i understand about what its doing. Some kind of stereo / multi band effect.

Pump: Also used heavily – its basically a sidechain simulator.

——————————————————————————————–

Feedback is now gathered:

Overall very positive.

Neon M Suggested a guitar solo before the last chorus – i am totally on board with this idea and am trying it out.

Several suggestions to thicken the backing vocal, and bring it back in the mix. I will try this.

Suggestion to try to slightly thicken the lower layer the verse vocals to tame the ‘whine’ slightly – going to try this.

I want to also add more drum fills – (drum repetition mentioned)

The last chorus vocal / outro still does not feel right to me.

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Space Grave

Submitted to DistroKid | Hyperfollow page here

I wanted to slow back down a bit and do something a little lighter than Come With Me with a less serious lyrical tone. I set the BPM to 100 and put in a drum beat.

Lyrically the concept is about the idea of us currently living in a simulation while our real selves are cryogenically frozen in space after the failure of a space mission. (i know its odd, but thats what came out.. dont know what to tell you). It was supposed to be kind of silly / dark humor, but it didn’t really come out that way. Its asking a matrix-like question of if you knew you were actually frozen in space and could be recovered, would you want to wake up from the simulation? My answer, probably no.

It posed some challenges. I got wrapped up in the idea of having that extra count before the first chorus. Spent a bunch of time just trying to get that to feel good. Im not sure it worked but i do feel like theres something in there. It pushed the rest of the track out one count into the normal grid and messed with me a bit with timings later in the track.

I’m experimenting with a new effect – Valhalla Vintage Verb – and am playing with settings, and ways of using it in general.

The more I tried to work on this, the worse I felt it was getting. I decided to let it be and close the book on the track. I like the way it sounds overall, I have a few gripes but im OK with them.

Final Version Version 2 (05-13-2020):

I’m mostly just tinkering with vocal effects and ways i can mix it, i still plan on replacing the takes. I did do some adjustments to effects and EQ and compression on various layers. I thickened up the electric bass in the first (no vocal) chorus. I adjusted the kick drum during the bass solo to better align with the bass part. My new mic comes tomorrow and I’m excited to try new takes with it (hopefully tomorrow). Testing out High-Balanced LANDR settings for more compression, which i usually do not use (this version has it, last was open-medium)

Version 1 (05-11-2020):

I got my first rounds of feedback and started making adjustments.

Vocals got a bunch of cleaning, trying to pull out anything that kind of muddies up the sound of them they still arent good. I still want to re-take them but its unclear how long my new mic is going to take to get here. They still dont fit right and need more work but i need to go to bed.

A bunch of eq’ing adjusting saturation, compression, distortion etc just to get things cleaned up a bit and finer tuned in their sound.

I will probably still work on the ending more yet, a new take possibly there with a new melody or something.

The bass solo area needs a little adjusting with timings and feel.

More tuning of effects on various layers still wanted.

Subtractive eq’ing of vocals more still needed.

Notes from feedback:
The 2nd chorus vocal needed to stick around longer
The pulsing reverb synth got to loud in db
Vocals were too hard to understand layers were clashing
The wobbly bass in the 2nd verse has mixed opinions

structure complete (05-09-2020) Theres a fair bit of refinement needed I think. The high end feels lacking still, the mix does not feel right. The vocals I want to re do when my new microphone gets here, if it takes too long i may do a new take on a SM 58 instead.

Early Concept

I got a few hours in over the weekend on it and maybe 2 hours during the week since then. So its still very early phase of the track and not quite ready to post yet.

I have posted some early exports to the IMF discord.

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Come With Me

Current version is always on Soundcloud: This track was inspired by the bassline in Rattlesnake by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. I just heard the track for the first time this week in the IMF discord. What I like about it is how a dead simple one note bass line with a slight groove at the end of each phrase can almost single highhandedly carry an entire track. The layers around it can greatly change the vibe and feel of what the bass is doing. The track is intended to kind of morph from something sounds kind of like a rock band into a trance track, using the same groove for both. This track also breaks my standard structure of intro, verse, chorus , chorus outro, . verse 2, chorus, ending.

Final Version is Mix 7:

Now on streaming services

Im at the point where im not sure if what im doing is helping or hurting anymore. Time to move to the next track. I think this is pretty solid, with some minor quirks that im ok with.

Main quirk is the alignment of ‘if you stay here i think your gonna miss me’ not feeling quite right. I messed with this a bunch and just let it be.

Current is Mix 6:

Brought out the tap tap of the high hats more throughout. I think its important it be heard at all times.

Thickened up the chugging bass a bit , i think at the expense of the vocal. I may tinker them more later but that is all for today.

Mix 5:

Thickened up the vocals in a few spots.

Added light reverb and gating to the distorted bass thing that got adjusted in mix 4 – its got a cooler texture now (i think)

Added a pan automation to the dancy high eq synth thing in the middle of the track

Adjusted compression on the slap bass low hits.

Mix 4:

I doubled up several layers. The most important one being the distorted repeating bass line (one of many basses) but i split it more into the stereo field and used distortion to better sit it in the mix.

The vocals got a lot of reverb removed. Im tightening up the overall sound and am trying to get rid of some things filling spaces. This makes them easier to understand as well.

A high hat got copied in moved into a new spot in the stereo field as well.

The detuned bass fill got brought out more (it only happens once) but it sounds cool, so lets make it louder.

More spice in the synth garnishes : in 2 spots i added layers to just a few notes here and there in key moments.

The drums got worked on – with adjustments to pitch, pan, and eq.

More low end added to outro bass riff

Mix 3:

A lot more eq clean up, I took inventory of what sounds were peaking where, i tried to better give each element a spot in the overall eq.

There are a few parts not quite right but overall I think its much cleaner, the drums come through better now. I also raised a ‘fake real bass’ part that lays under the actual real bass part by an octave and upped its db a tad , its much more noticeable now and the ‘chug’ of the song holds better (i think).

The ‘rap verse’ was brought in a 2nd time in the trance break after the ohhhhh ahhhh thing.

A new bass part was added to the outro – i think its much more interesting now at the end.

A single note from a pair of distorted synths is added to the transition into the ending.

Slight tweaks to the vocal layers and their alignment – better but still feels kinda wrong just barely in a few spots.

I spiced up a few of the garnishes like the synth bass flair in one spot with an extra layer with digital delay on it – its still not spicy enough.

I also brought out a pitched down take of the bass part in one bar, it has an odd sound for the end of phrase lick and I kind of like it and used it for 1 bar.

Moved LANDR export back to medium intensity from high, the drums seem to punch a little better on medium.

Mix 2:
https://www.landr.com/signup?collaborationCode=651ea7fb-3318-4301-8fae-0eb11dc8847c

I fixed some slight issues with vocal alignment, and alignment of the bass parts – The timing still isn’t perfect on all the vocals, and will tinker with that more. . Misc EQ carving and adjustments throughout. More vocal processing and adjustments – they are getting a pretty cool sound / tone but need more brightness i think. Change the LANDR mastering settings from medium to high intensity. Im considering a synth solo in the 2nd break before the last ‘come with me’ chorus.

Mix 1:
https://www.landr.com/signup?collaborationCode=8a26289c-6dd4-4af6-91e3-2736d5ee5d3d
Its still not where i want it but going in the right direction . i thickened up the ‘mono voice’ sections a bit and applied more effects and processing – vocals are still not right and need more work , I also better time aligned the vocals theres a couple spots out of time still (just a hair). The bass solo forward got worked on with more layers, a new lead distorted thing, i brought back the rhodes organ and brought forward the deep pulsing bass. I think it now better holds the drive from the intro but in a new form – a trance track vs a more rock track in the first half. I need to re-take a few vocal sections on the low voice yet. I also want to consider changing the ending and extending the track a bit longer.

Feedback Phase :
https://www.landr.com/signup?collaborationCode=5ecb387a-11e3-4b8a-ad5c-02990ffbeb3c

Main take aways – all vocals needed adjusting -. Some of the drive of the track was being lost in the post bass groove section when the organ gets introduced. It should maybe go longer. There are clashing tones in the 2nd half especially.