Out of Mind by Masseve

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Out of Mind by Masseve

Postby Andresgp » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:31 pm

Hey guys,

My partner and me just finished this piece. Its an electronic experiment with some Drum and Bass influences. Like always, we were searching for organic elements that we can make sound very robotic and unnatural to give it a futuristic vibe.

It was tons of fun creating this song, specially the vocal, and hope those of you who give it a listen enjoy it as much as I did.

Likewise, all comments or questions are always more than welcomed and appreciated!

soundcloud link: https://soundcloud.com/masseve/out-of-mind
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Re: Out of Mind by Masseve

Postby MFox » Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:47 am

I'm not a fan of these 1980's alien voices, but I think this song has so much potential. All the rest is absolutely a pleasure to listen to, I'm a fan! Just bring in normal vocals. Michael.
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Re: Out of Mind by Masseve

Postby shadowfax » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:19 am

Agree with mfox on this one...Kevin
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Re: Out of Mind by Masseve

Postby DanielAyo » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:57 pm

I think having both a normal vocal and the vocoder effect mixed together would sound epic!

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Re: Out of Mind by Masseve

Postby kzarider » Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:43 pm

Well I hate to beat the drum, but I agree with Vocal comments. It would be be better as an occasional effect. The track is slamming would love to hear with an unprocessed (unprocessed lol) vocal. Love the transition at 2:00 and the ending is so cool
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Re: Out of Mind by Masseve

Postby Bane » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:11 pm

So funny I had also already listened to this tune on my dashboard and already thought the same about the robot voice. :P

Really nice work, I'd personally like to see more snare work before the very end, but that is all to taste.
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Re: Out of Mind by Masseve

Postby Andresgp » Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:01 pm

Thanks for all the comments and feedback guys, it's all really welcomed on this end.

Very interesting to see the general consensus around the vocal! What is it that turns you guys off this particular one? I'm genuinely curious. Is it the tone? The clarity of the words? The particular effects?

I should mention that the vocal was artificially made using a vocoder. The "raw" vocal sounded very different I must say (since we are not singers). :lol:

That also leads me to ask, do any of you have had experience with vocoders? If so, which ones do you use? Any techniques to help give the words clarity and definition? This is our first time playing around with a vocoder, and although it was a blast I can definitely see room for improvement.
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Re: Out of Mind by Masseve

Postby Bane » Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:32 pm

You nailed it. The lack of clarity doesn't sit well with the rest of your mix, mainly because it's hard to tell what is being said. Time after time, I've found that working with audio recordings in a MIDI driven track is so hard, due to the fact that you are stepping out from the digital framework that's been layed down by professionals and into the home recording dimension with all of it's challenges.

Maybe someone has some experience in this area...
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Re: Out of Mind by Masseve

Postby kzarider » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:41 pm

Andresgp wrote:Thanks for all the comments and feedback guys, it's all really welcomed on this end.

Very interesting to see the general consensus around the vocal! What is it that turns you guys off this particular one? I'm genuinely curious. Is it the tone? The clarity of the words? The particular effects?

I should mention that the vocal was artificially made using a vocoder. The "raw" vocal sounded very different I must say (since we are not singers). :lol:

That also leads me to ask, do any of you have had experience with vocoders? If so, which ones do you use? Any techniques to help give the words clarity and definition? This is our first time playing around with a vocoder, and although it was a blast I can definitely see room for improvement.

My opinion is that any effect in a production should be used only on occasions to make a point or turn someones head. Sorta like a what was that moment. The lyrics are really good but if you hadn't written them down I would have never known what you were saying.

The only thing I have ever used was a talk box on a Clav back in the 90's so can't help you there lol...maybe ask Daniel or BAB or other volunteers to help you with the vocal, after just listening to their stuff I'd say both have world class voices
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Re: Out of Mind by Masseve

Postby Andresgp » Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:10 pm

Bane wrote:Time after time, I've found that working with audio recordings in a MIDI driven track is so hard, due to the fact that you are stepping out from the digital framework that's been layed down by professionals and into the home recording dimension with all of it's challenges.


I agree with you completely here. One of the biggest challenges we always have is matching the sound quality of our own recordings with professionally built sound libraries or vst's. Unfortunately, a high class signal chain we can use for our vocals or recording instruments is still way out of our budget. It's a slow process, but hopefully we'll get there.

kzarider wrote:My opinion is that any effect in a production should be used only on occasions to make a point or turn someones head. Sorta like a what was that moment. The lyrics are really good but if you hadn't written them down I would have never known what you were saying.


Thanks, I appreciate that! Sometimes we do get carried away with the effects haha. There is so much to choose from and so many sounds to discover! Likewise, we are relatively new to music production and mixing so we are still in the search for that sweetspot. I can see how a more refined effect usage might strike the listener in a better way.

kzarider wrote:...maybe ask Daniel or BAB or other volunteers to help you with the vocal, after just listening to their stuff I'd say both have world class voices


Would not be opposed to that idea in any way!
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Re: Out of Mind by Masseve

Postby Suprawill1 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:18 am

Liked it. A professional performance, good mix and an avant garde approach. I think that most of the sounds used are in "an effect" catagory so the vocoder vocals didn't bother me. Maybe because I'm more an instrumentalist which makes mine a unique opinion but if you're looking to expose this song, you heard it from the majority ... at least so far. :)
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Re: Out of Mind by Masseve

Postby Andresgp » Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:09 pm

Suprawill1 wrote:Liked it. A professional performance, good mix and an avant garde approach. I think that most of the sounds used are in "an effect" catagory so the vocoder vocals didn't bother me. Maybe because I'm more an instrumentalist which makes mine a unique opinion but if you're looking to expose this song, you heard it from the majority ... at least so far. :)


Thanks for the comments my good man. We are more instrumental oriented too. It wasn't until recently that we started adding vocals to our songs, although I still feel we treat them more like another instrument than a vocal. Glad you could listen to the song under that point of view!

The general opinion does seem to be that the vocal needs to be clearer and less effecty, not only in this forum but from a lot of other people that have had a chance to hear it. We are still fans of effect, but its been interesting seeing these contrasting opinions. Hopefully we can refine the technique for later productions where we can meet people in a happy medium. We definitely don't want something as important as the vocals to turn off people from our music.
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Re: Out of Mind by Masseve

Postby Suprawill1 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:56 pm

Andresgp wrote:
Suprawill1 wrote:Liked it. A professional performance, good mix and an avant garde approach. I think that most of the sounds used are in "an effect" catagory so the vocoder vocals didn't bother me. Maybe because I'm more an instrumentalist which makes mine a unique opinion but if you're looking to expose this song, you heard it from the majority ... at least so far. :)


Thanks for the comments my good man. We are more instrumental oriented too. It wasn't until recently that we started adding vocals to our songs, although I still feel we treat them more like another instrument than a vocal. Glad you could listen to the song under that point of view!

The general opinion does seem to be that the vocal needs to be clearer and less effecty, not only in this forum but from a lot of other people that have had a chance to hear it. We are still fans of effect, but its been interesting seeing these contrasting opinions. Hopefully we can refine the technique for later productions where we can meet people in a happy medium. We definitely don't want something as important as the vocals to turn off people from our music.


Hard to please the masses, isn't it? :)
As previously mentioned, the vocoder effect may borderline a retro 80s atmosphere. Maybe you can change your effect approach and not loose sight of keeping your vocals in the electric realm. I would suggest using a more contemporary approach by employing the cher-bot technique that you can achieve by using almost any of the vocal pitch correction programs. It is widely used by R&B, techno and electric artists. It would keep your vocals clear, be more recognizable and retain the robotic effect that would keep them in the spirit of your instrumentation. LMK what you think.
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Re: Out of Mind by Masseve

Postby tex » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:29 pm

quite liked it dude, not gonna echo above but keep doing what u doing, not many songs i listen to the lyrcs, but did on this one. it is a kool message
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Re: Out of Mind by Masseve

Postby Andresgp » Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:23 pm

Suprawill1 wrote:I would suggest using a more contemporary approach by employing the cher-bot technique that you can achieve by using almost any of the vocal pitch correction programs. It is widely used by R&B, techno and electric artists. It would keep your vocals clear, be more recognizable and retain the robotic effect that would keep them in the spirit of your instrumentation. LMK what you think.


We have actually experimented with VariAudio and the Pitch correct plug-in that comes with Cubase in some of our earlier productions this year. Like you said, it does keep the vocals clearer and its an easier approach if you have a well recorded vocal. The problem we were running into was that our outboard gear doesn't match the sound quality of our software gear. It was specially hard to match the crisp high mids end or cutting bass you get out of the box with some of these synths. The advantage of using the vocoder was that we could use the awesome sound of the synth + essentially any input source (our voices). Likewise, we didn't have to find an actual singer to sing the part :lol: .The downside though, was the loss of intelligibility in the words.

I'm really curious about how bands like Daft Punk managed to get such a crystal clear sound out of their vocoder in their latest album. They have sure mastered this type of technique.

tex wrote:quite liked it dude, not gonna echo above but keep doing what u doing, not many songs i listen to the lyrcs, but did on this one. it is a kool message


Thanks a lot man, and really glad you enjoyed the theme of the song. We were fond of these lyrics too; they had a clear "mood," yet they are still pretty open to your own interpretation.
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Re: Out of Mind by Masseve

Postby Suprawill1 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:40 pm

Andresgp wrote:
We have actually experimented with VariAudio and the Pitch correct plug-in that comes with Cubase in some of our earlier productions this year. Like you said, it does keep the vocals clearer and its an easier approach if you have a well recorded vocal. The problem we were running into was that our outboard gear doesn't match the sound quality of our software gear. It was specially hard to match the crisp high mids end or cutting bass you get out of the box with some of these synths. The advantage of using the vocoder was that we could use the awesome sound of the synth + essentially any input source (our voices). Likewise, we didn't have to find an actual singer to sing the part :lol: .The downside though, was the loss of intelligibility in the words.

I'm really curious about how bands like Daft Punk managed to get such a crystal clear sound out of their vocoder in their latest album. They have sure mastered this type of technique.


Just another idea - maybe you can keep the vocoder part but lace it with your vari-audio version. Just enough to articulate a little more. But then again, maybe it was your intent to keep the vocals vague.
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Re: Out of Mind by Masseve

Postby Andresgp » Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:13 pm

Suprawill1 wrote:Just another idea - maybe you can keep the vocoder part but lace it with your vari-audio version. Just enough to articulate a little more. But then again, maybe it was your intent to keep the vocals vague.


Actually that's not a a bad idea at all, I almost don't know why I hadn't think of it before :lol:
Thanks for all the input, I will sure experiment with that, see what comes out of it.
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Re: Out of Mind by Masseve

Postby HornForHire » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:18 pm

Hi there,

I like it, and I even like the vocoder part.
It fits in nicely with the rest of the sounds.

Reminds me of the latest Daft Punk record, which isn't a bad thing. 8-)

Well done!

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Re: Out of Mind by Masseve

Postby Andresgp » Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:57 pm

HornForHire wrote:Hi there,
I like it, and I even like the vocoder part.
It fits in nicely with the rest of the sounds.
Reminds me of the latest Daft Punk record, which isn't a bad thing. 8-)
Wim


Thanks! Daftpunk was definitely the main influence for trying out the vocoder. They are masters of that technique though, they make those synths really speak! Hopefully we can eventually fine tune it as good as they do.
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