Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

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Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby Bane » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:56 pm

Hi,

Please check out my newest song: A Bright Day. It’s meant to be a rather upbeat light rock piano-led instrumental. I would especially appreciate feedback on the musical properties and arrangement, since I want everything sounding good before I send it to a company to mix and master it.

I will also post the final copy as soon as I get it.

Thanks!
Last edited by Bane on Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby Bassbase » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:31 am

Hi

The melody fits the musical theme bright day. Love the theme upliftign and full of joy
Would like to give some advice but thats not my gerne.
Make some electronic trance beats and i could help more :lol:

But i think we have here indeed masters for this gerne, also interested now their advices now.

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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby shadowfax » Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:52 pm

Hi, so this is a light rock piano instrumental for sure and it has a good melodic line, the end, which seems to start at around 3 mins is too long...just repeated chords with nothing else happening and the melody should have a "middle eight" peaceful part which would draw attention to the piece when you go back to it..it's such a nice melody..it needs to be exploited more...you should maybe start in half time with the main melody (which would be beautiful) then build to the track as it is now, I reckon around 30 seconds for a slow start with that excellent melody..then take off into the main piece, really good work..needs the right window dressing !!Kevin
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby Bane » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:32 pm

Wow, I got to working with this and see there's alot of potential in the arrangement. So here's what I'm hearing, please correct me if I'm wrong:

-Shorten the end. No problem. I knew someone would say that. ;)

- A middle eight. Where are you thinking to put it about and with what material, obviously no drums, correct?

-A 30 second build up from 1/2 speed to the first verse. I would visualize taking out the drums, right? That drum build at 8-9 seconds would ruin the effect in my opinion.

Any of you other guys feel free to chime in here. Advice is gold. :)
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby shadowfax » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:57 pm

Hi, Middle eight should be in a place where the listener might be thinking about getting bored, usually two thirds..ish, through the song, of course the drums need to be adjusted in the intro and the left hand needs to play arp instead of block chords during the intro..just needs to carefully and quietly build, the middle eight could be a revisit of the intro but with a bit more going on..such as drums but less of them and you should rest the block chords with the left hand during the M8, IMHO this will (should) make the track more interesting combining a sad but beautiful slow melody with the uplifting feel of the melody played faster....cheers, Kevin
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby Bane » Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:04 am

Ok worked on the intro and that's going pretty well. I also shortened the ending.

But the M8's just not working man, the minor chords from the intro are just bad and the rest of the intro mirrors my main melody too much. Any hints? The main chorus section flows so well into the next section that it's hard to break up. My main decline is where I drop the hi-hats and break into the tom build section.

Should I forget it or is there something I can do? Please take a closer look man and see what you think. Then I'll upload what I have so far.
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby shadowfax » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:54 am

Hi bane..you need to upload what you've got so far please, it's difficult to comment when I don't know where your at..If the M8 isn't working maybe you could consider a key change or just write a short piece to fit..just a variation of what you've got, I find that listening to it backwards can often inspire something else for the M8..you don't need much...Kevin
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby Bane » Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:55 pm

I actually have nothing on the M8, I was just playing around variations on the keyboard. But I'll tweak the intro and upload it later today.

Also on the first chorus I have taken out the drums (you'll see why) cause it sounds really good when they come in on the verse, but the first chorus needs more than just piano and bass. I think I need something to accompany it, but I hate to bring in my strings that early. Like I say, I'm gonna perfect what I got then upload it later today.
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby Bane » Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:49 pm

Ok here's my 2nd upload. The end was shortened 7 measures, the intro is re done but still needs some work, and no M8. :evil:

MIX1 is still there for reference.
Last edited by Bane on Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby Bassbase » Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:57 pm

Wow intro love it ;) your on the right way
In the last part the chords dominnate do much for my taste ;)

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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby Bane » Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:00 pm

Bassbase wrote:Wow intro love it ;) your on the right way
In the last part the chords dominnate do much for my taste ;)

Greetz Bassbase


Thanks for listening. Those block chords are actually part of my building up to the upcoming crescendo. Might need to crank 'em down a bit though. ;) Any other thoughts as to what I can do to the 1st chorus to make it more natural?
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby shadowfax » Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:15 pm

sounds better to my ears..starting to become more interesting I think you may already have your M8 at 1.41 to 1.58, you could maybe try taking the drums out for the first part of it and bringing them back in the second part and change slightly the way you play the piano or maybe play it an octave down...or maybe no left hand, just something to make it slightly different from the rest of the piece, I think the 4 times repeated section at 46 to 1.21 should be halved..you've gotta bite the bullet !!! the piece IMHO will benefit from it and be more dynamic and musically more interesting, these are only my takes on this and are not necessarily right...so, just trying to help a fellow musician ..best to you, Kevin
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby shadowfax » Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:18 pm

another thought..you should maybe try and introduce a bit more light and shade in the way you play the keys..it lacks dynamics in that area..the end part doesn't really build..it starts off how it finishes..needs to build, Kevin
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby foolomon » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:51 pm

Song has great potential! Love the new intro. Song length seems about right too.

My nit is with the drums.

1. They lack punch. This is for a few reasons: the kick and snare attack is far, far too soft. The...uh...ride cymbal? Hi-hat? Hard to tell. Whatever it is, it has a sustain/release that is far too long for a hi-hat. If it's a ride cymbal then the decay isn't sharp enough. And finally they need more presence in the mix - bump up the volume on the kick and snare by a few dBs.

2. There is also a weird delay thing happening with the drums. I want to say you used a stereo delay on them, but I can't tell for sure. My only guess is that you did this to thicken them up. Instead, record the drums on separate tracks in the following manner:

a) On the MIDI track, use the Transformer insert to weed out all notes but the ones you want. For example, I have 5 different presets on the Battery Tight Kit. Each one literally deletes from the MIDI note stream all notes but the ones that represent the kick, snare, hi-hat, cymbals, and toms (one group for each preset).

Image

b) Perform a mix-down for each type of drum and import into your project. Only the toms and cymbals should be stereo exports. The rest should be mono.

c) Send the snare, hi-hat, and cymbals to a group channel with the 120 Hz HPF EQ preset. Send that group channel + the kick and toms to another group channel that you can automate to control the overall drum volume in the mix. Use the Spatial insert on this channel with the More Room for Drums preset.

Now you can push the snare and kick up a bit. You can also EQ each drum component separately or add reverb on the snare only, for example.
___________________________________________________________________

This is only a suggestion based on how I do things. I did not mean to insult your intelligence in any way in case you do stuff like this or something else that you're comfortable with.
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby Bane » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:21 pm

Alright and I have a third upload that I'd like you guys to check out. I've implemented many of Kevins latest suggestions and I really wanna know what you think.

Foolomon: Thanks for the advice. You definitely found my weakness, which of course is drums and drum management, and I knew I'd be exposed. The first verse uses a ride, but the rest is an open hi-hat or an open max hi-hat.

1) I am using EZDrummer, so any tweaking is gonna have to be done outside my instrument. As far as the attack, you're talking about velocity, right? Most of the velocities are around 100, but I'll give everything a good bump up before my next mixdown.

2) Strange, cause there's no stereo delay or anything. I'm using the default mixer setting for EZD, and no EQ or reverb has been added yet. I like your method there, and I'll definitely be caught giving it a try.

Thanks for taking the time to write that, and please everyone give my new mix a listen! :)
Last edited by Bane on Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby foolomon » Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:21 am

Ah, that may be it. Assuming it has different velocity layers, I tend to use 120 for kick and snare (save for fills) and 90 / 75 for the toms (strong / weak hand). For the hi-hat and cymbals I'll use 100, though sometimes a particular cymbal will be a tad weaker so I'll push it to 120.

Remember the strong / weak hand part. If you're a right handed drummer, you tend to emphasize the right hand hit a bit more. So you'll have (LRLR) 120 100 120 100 for velocities. But there is also emphasis placed on the quarter note (assuming 4/4 time) so you'll get (LRLR) 120 90 105 90. Etc. Same goes with toms, hi-hat, and ride cymbals.
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby shadowfax » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:59 am

Well, it's sounding really good I reckon, keeps moving on at just the right time, the M8 sounds much better than I expected, much more interesting piece of music !!!..your final end chords are very nice but I believe you should move it up to around 3.14...the end is a little long and lets the rest of the piece down, If you condense everything you do in the end piece so that it ends at around 3.14 I think you've cracked it..but you still need to take foolomons advice regarding the drums..happy new year to you, Kevin
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby Bane » Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:21 pm

Happy New Year to you guys. I'm glad you approve of the M8. :) I will work on the end a bit and then upload one so you can hear my changes to the drums. Thank all of you for your musical advice; cause now my piece is sounding much better.
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby foolomon » Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:33 pm

Okay a couple of more comments.

For the intro, I'd add a slight bit of delay on the piano track. I don't recall if Stereo Delay has a Sweet Solo Delay preset (Mono Delay does) but that would work as long as it wasn't above 5% mix. Alternatively, you could use the Arena Reverb SE preset but with a very low mix (3%). That would have a nice long tail without muddying up the mix.

For the middle 8, what about a synth lead on top of the piano line? I'm thinking the Halion Sonic preset Solitude Lead.
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby Bane » Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:30 pm

Ok here's a touch up on the drum velocities, please see what you think Larry. The ending is shorter as suggested, and I did a little something to the M8.

As far as reverbs and delays, I plan to leave that to the guy I'm sending it to. He has better reverbs than Roomworks or Reverence.

I couldn't find the Solitude Lead preset in Sonic SE (Artist 7), but there are strings in the background. I'm having a hard time finding anything better in my sound library than what I'm using right now.

One thing that bothers me is when you hear the piano parts without drums, there's not alot of nuance in the performance, this is of course because I'm using a Yamaha C7 which is notorious for being a bit bright with too much bite. I've tried replacing it altogether with a Bosendorfer or Steinway but neither has the balls to pull off the rest of the song. Would it be bad to introduce for instance a Bosendorfer on only the solo parts or would that be a bad practice?
Last edited by Bane on Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby shadowfax » Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:26 pm

there's no such thing as bad practice..if it makes it sound better ..it's good !! you do whatever it takes to make something work !! the end justifies the means..Kevin
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby shadowfax » Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:31 pm

well...every time you put it up it's better and better, well worth the extra work IMHO..M8 improvement works well..I hate to say this but I reckon you've overdone the bass drum in the beginning section..but that's just my opinion, if you think that's ok then it should stay..cheers and well done, Kevin
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby shadowfax » Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:34 pm

I reckon "smooth room" in roomworks se would be a good verb for your piano..
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby Bane » Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:04 pm

Glad you're liking it. Of course, I'll have that arpeggio section in the M8 bleeded in a bit better pretty soon. I'll also give the different piano a try but if it sounds unnatural will take it off.

Concerning the bass drum, Larry recommended a velocity of 120 on the quarter beats and 105 on the remaining. I want to know his opinion of the sound now, but I can certainly have it turned down-piece of cake. I believe he does his drum tracks with Battery and Jamstix, which are very different from EZDrummer.

We're getting closer guys, I could never do this well without you.
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Bane
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Re: Piano Rock Song-Need Feedback Please!

Postby foolomon » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:26 am

Bane wrote:Glad you're liking it. Of course, I'll have that arpeggio section in the M8 bleeded in a bit better pretty soon. I'll also give the different piano a try but if it sounds unnatural will take it off.

Concerning the bass drum, Larry recommended a velocity of 120 on the quarter beats and 105 on the remaining. I want to know his opinion of the sound now, but I can certainly have it turned down-piece of cake. I believe he does his drum tracks with Battery and Jamstix, which are very different from EZDrummer.

We're getting closer guys, I could never do this well without you.


I always use 120 for the kick except when it's part of a bounce kick, i.e. two hits 1/8 or less apart at 100+ BPM. In that case, the first hit is 100.

If you want me to render the piano part using Alicia's Keys let me know and we'll coordinate the transfer of the MIDI file to me and the 44.1 / 24 stereo WAV back to you.
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