April 16, 2009 7:46 AM

Please listen to, think about, and heavily critique this song! I'm working on mixing it and finishing up the recording, and would hugely appreciate any constructive criticism! Thx!

posted by tmcw (13 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

This is really awesome. Good pace, great vocals, catchy. To me, I thought the levels and everything were fine. The only thing I didn't like is the glockenspiel-esque sound that comes in at 2:41. I think this could easily have been on a Band of Horses CD, and you didn't even need to drape your vocals in reverb!
posted by Corduroy at 5:03 PM on April 16, 2009

Thanks! You're probably right about that keys part - I originally had the riff just easing out to a single note for the last bars, but I think I might sustain it and thus eliminate that keyboard - it's the only electronic thing in the mix and I think it kind of stands out in a not-great way.
posted by tmcw at 6:11 PM on April 16, 2009

Song and performances are excellent!

I would mix the guitars down a bit, and the vocals and drums up a bit. But that's more my taste than something being wrong, and depends on how much you care about people catching the lyrics (i got about half).

I love when the banjo (or banjo-ish thing) pops out at 2:07 or so, and wonder if it would be even better to have that happen more than once.

Anyway, I would totally buy this. Let us know when it's done!
posted by doubtfulpalace at 6:17 PM on April 16, 2009

I would cut the guitar intro and let the drums start it. That particular guitar phrase is good with everything else, but on its own seems too weak an opening. You have good melodies. I would try doubling some of your lines on the vocals. For example: "..the light.... side."

Maybe harmonizing on the chorus part (sorry if you don't call it a chorus) would be a nice touch on the anthemic side. Basically whenever the guitar plays that 3 note hook and you're singing, I think you should back up the voices to make it like a chanting melodrama.

Good song dude.
posted by dobie at 7:00 PM on April 16, 2009

I really like this song, and the recording. It's got a great off-kilter feel that sort of goes in and out of locked-in, which is actually pretty cool. The play between the guitars and the vocals works really well.

Mixwise, I'd prefer more "modern rock" drums. And, even if you wanted to keep the sort of lo-fi vibe, if you've got the tracks to do it, I'd mix the drums for more punch. You've got a lot of sizzle and width right now, and very little impact. If all you've got is a 2-track of drums, and this is it, I'd maybe make it a little narrower and see if you can get more punch that way.

I'd also maybe slide the guitars further out (probably hard-panned, or close to it), and stick a (quiet) short slapback delay on the lead guitars to give them a little space. That's purely stylistic, though; I don't see a huge "radio-rock" mix, but I do think a little more separation might increase the overall impact of the track.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:44 PM on April 16, 2009

Thanks a ton guys!

@dp & uncleozzy: You're definitely right about bring the drums up and making them harder on the impact - I didn't know about the whole parallel compression technique doing this mix, and I'm going to see if that will make them a lot more punchy. The drum recording is luckily pretty solid (and it's a four-track), I just need to tweak it much more than I have, definitely more impact.

Good observation on the vocals during the chorus - the song actually ends in a 'round' of those lyrics, and there are some extra harmony parts during the verse which make it just a little more complex and kind of explain the lines I take here - just need to get that girl in the studio soonish.

Ha, I might mix the vocals up eventually. It's hard to listen to a song a ton of times with yourself singing on it. It's like looking in a high-def mirror for hours at a time. Erg.

And, on this song I definitely call that a chorus :)
posted by tmcw at 8:13 PM on April 16, 2009

I was going to say something very similar about the drums. They sound rather dry, and playing with their eq or putting some effects on them might add something else to the song as a whole.

And sorry to disagree with Corduroy, but I really like that glockenspielesque thing.

I also really like how the song takes a break at 2:03. Overall, this song reminds me of "No More Parties, No More Fun", which is my favorite of the songs you've posted (or was, until this one). I agree with everyone that it's a very good song and I'll add that it has a personality of its own (or of its own kind, given that it sounds similar to No More Parties, No More Fun).

I can't favorite stuff because of some technical detail, but if I could, I would.
posted by micayetoca at 8:31 PM on April 16, 2009

You're joking?
Why would you change anything? It's lovely, leave it alone.
posted by chococat at 9:24 PM on April 16, 2009

Yeah, crank up the vox a bit. I feel like they're being hidden a little and it makes me think you're not confident about them. Turn 'em up and OWN them!

About the glockenspeil -- I like its role in the song -- try replacing the keyboard with an actual glock and see it that feels more organic to you.

I dig the banjo that doubtfulpalace pointed out -- but I think it's fine showing up only once in a song this short -- it's like a little Easter Egg.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 1:57 AM on April 17, 2009

Man, I'm listening to this again on my bitchen new headphones and it sounds great!

The play between the guitars and the vocals works really well.
uncleozzy. THAT is right on, and that play is the big sonic engine in this song! With that in mind, all I can suggest is pulling the effects back just a little on the vocs while kicking the volume up just a bit.

I'm really digging this and I hope you'll post the resulting mix!
posted by snsranch at 4:36 PM on April 17, 2009

I was taking a look at that "recent Flickr photos by mefites" thing and I noticed this, had you seen it?
posted by micayetoca at 3:25 PM on May 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

Whoah, meta :)
posted by tmcw at 6:35 PM on May 10, 2009

That's very cool.
posted by chococat at 7:46 PM on May 11, 2009

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