one last breath

June 11, 2010 2:11 AM

This is a cover of that Creed song from 2002 in a style somewhat evocative of Owl City or The Postal Service.

It was a pretty fun cover to do. I spent a lot of time tweaking the synthesizer segments and then I spent the most time on the auto-tune elements, which I did by playing the melodies on my microKORG (using it as a MIDI controller) live while I went through the recordings — very entertaining to do. :)

Hope you enjoy.

posted by dacre (9 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Really lovely, clean, poppy, tuneful synth programming... really like that... but (nothing personal -- it's everywhere) I can't take any more autotuned/vocoded vocals. One of the pleasures of TPS is the confluence of the sweet natural vocals and the electronica. On the other hand I have enough problems singing myself to totally sympathise with wanting to autotune the shit out of everything.

(My heart really lifted when I heard the opening though, what a great intro).
posted by unSane at 6:50 PM on June 11, 2010

Thanks! Valid and constructive constructive criticism. Auto-tuning and using Baroque-like fills and stuff is just the style I like to work in because of the effects that can be achieved, but durr obviously not everyone has to like the same thing, and I certainly can't blame you as Auto-Tune does seem to be becoming almost an assumption rather than a supplementary mix improvement or a "sometimes" effect.

Thanks for listening and offering some constructive points — and I'm glad you liked the arrangement! Maybe I'll try a version with subtler (or no) vocal effects. :)
posted by dacre at 7:37 PM on June 11, 2010

It's a personal thing -- you'd have to figure out how much you agree with it -- it's not like the vocals were badly done or anything, quite the opposite, just a pure taste issue, and de gustibus non est diputandum.
posted by unSane at 9:21 PM on June 11, 2010

Yeah, I dig the vocoded (sometimes autotuned) vocal thing because it's largely part of a cohesive style you've got, I think. Of course, the autotune is heavier on this track than your others, so I can see how that'd jump out at someone.

But I love it. I won't say "it's better than the original" (that would damning it with faint praise, I think – "hey, this is better than shit") but I will say that this makes me actually kind of like the original; there's an interesting melody there that you're drawing out.

Great stuff. Thanks for this.
posted by koeselitz at 12:48 PM on June 13, 2010

Thank you!
Yeah, that was what attracted me to covering it. The songwriting was actually pretty good and it really has a chillingly pretty melody — it's just unfortunate that when Creed played it, it was more of a "Check out how loudly I can yell this melody! Real loud, huh?" than anything else.
Thanks again! :)
posted by dacre at 2:56 PM on June 13, 2010

Yeah, I totally agree it smokes the original. I love bombastic songs done well... Aztec Camera's cover of Van Halen's JUMP is a very different but related outing.
posted by unSane at 4:34 AM on June 14, 2010

I'm not familiar with the original but this is really super, super sweet.

I have no issues with vocoder; it's unfortunate that they're in this backlash-inviting phase right now. In another decade they'll be just another possible tool, like gated drums once they dropped out of ubiquity and lay fallow for a while. So you're ahead of the curve!

I've got a microKorg but never tried anything with the vocoder -- that's what you're using here, huh? Makes me want to try it out.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 1:58 AM on June 15, 2010

The primary featured effect on the vocals here is Auto-Tune. The way I'm working with it is I have the microKorg basically being used as a MIDI controller, connected to the computer with a USB/MIDI interface. I already had my vocal track layed down. Auto-Tune is in an instrumental channel, and is side-chained to the vocal audio that I already recorded. Then I went through the song and played the melody as I wanted it to go on my voice on the keyboard (with the comp recording the MIDI input into the sequencing of the Auto-Tune).

That sounded a lot more complicated than it actually is...hopefully it made sense, lol. It's basically the same idea as vocoding, except you're going for more of the voice sound as opposed to synthesizer sound. Vocoding you're more embracing the synthesizer sound. Although both of them come across pretty robotically... and the vocoder on the microKorg is awesome. I highly encourage playing around with it — you can achieve some very nice nice stuff with it.
posted by dacre at 3:06 AM on June 15, 2010

The intro made me smile. It's lovely : )
posted by pheatherwait at 8:59 AM on June 23, 2010

« Older Ha Ha Ha   |   My Train is Coming Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments