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This Byzantine Game (80's-style moody/gothy synthpop)

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Moderators: Scoops, Moderators (Main)

Atin Dasgupta
KVRer
 
1 post since 26 Apr, 2014

Postby Atin Dasgupta; Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:10 am Re: This Byzantine Game (80's-style moody/gothy synthpop)

As someone pointed out, the low end is definitely muddy and lowers the production quality and enjoyment factor. The levels of the bass drum, snares and hi hats must be raised. Prominent hi hats / shakers will add the sizzle. You cannot blame your monitors for that! It doesn't matter what monitors you are using as long as you know what good recorded music sounds like on those same exact speakers and you are able to adjust your mix accordingly.
pilgrim_heart
KVRist
 
148 posts since 20 Jul, 2004

Postby pilgrim_heart; Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:45 am Re: This Byzantine Game (80's-style moody/gothy synthpop)

@bluedad:
This is a bit late as I reconsidered making specific replies to shorter messages but: thanks a lot for the kind words.

@Robmobius:
Thanks for the comment on the vocals, very nice to hear.

I've looked at some of the plugins you recommended and especially Satin has a lot of drool factor for me given that it's U-he. Unfortunately I have to prioritise quite a bit about what I buy at present so for the time being at least I'm unlikely to buy anything for this purpose. My first priority should probably be a better monitoring setup (which I'd really like to have for general listening enjoyment as well). I should probably look a bit more at the other Bootsie plugins for other saturation flavours, I've used the saturation in ThrillseekerVBL in another track and that seems to be a bit brighter and of course there's also FerricTDS. Still, big thanks for the recommendations, they're likely to come in useful in the future when money is (hopefully) a bit less tight.

@AstralExistence:
Thanks for the kind words, it's much appreciated.

@Frantz:
Thanks for the kind words. I'm especially happy that someone mentioned the lyrics as lyrics are important to me, IIRC my first attempt at actually writing a song was after hearing Leonard Cohen's Famous Blue Raincoat for the first time and being so completely enthralled by the lyrics that it felt sort of like getting a bucket of cold water over my head (come to think of it frequent listening to Cohen might be a reason why I've mixed the lyrics quite high, they usually seem to be pretty high on his albums and I guess I might have gotten used to that). I basically agree about the lack of variation in drums etc., at present I'm trying to force myself to work a bit faster and not get too caught up in details as I've often found myself spending way too much time on that before to the detriment of actually getting anything finished.

Since nasenmann mentioned that you'd posted some 80's style stuff I checked out your soundcloud channel BTW. Good stuff :) I recommended it to a friend of mine who I thought might like it (he has one song up himself, can be found at https://soundcloud.com/van_caine)

Also, saw that you're a fan of DAF :D I'm living in Duisburg right now, that's right next to Düsseldorf and one of my first outings after getting here was going to visit the location where Ratinger Hof used to be (now there's some rock club there), naturally I also visited the old location of the Kling-Klang studio ;)

@nasemann:
I started listening through your soundcloud channel as well, listening as I write this in fact so I haven't gotten very far yet. Plausible is really nice, reminds me a lot of some Pat Metheny tracks.

@Atin Dasgupta:
Thanks for the input on levels. I didn't really want too prominent hi-hats or anything like that as the kind of drum sound I had in mind was the stuff you hear on The Sisters of Mercy's Floodland (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuezNswtRfo , also I can not praise that album enough). I guess I could have boosted the highs on the snare though and maybe added a bit of a sizzling reverb or something, that might have improved the situation.

I sort of agree with the general sentiment of not blaming stuff like this on gear, still I think there is a point to trying to recognise when some piece of equipment isn't quite good enough and might need to be replaced.
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Frantz
KVRAF
 
2669 posts since 18 Jul, 2008, from New York

Postby Frantz; Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:17 am Re: This Byzantine Game (80's-style moody/gothy synthpop)

nasenmann wrote:with this one, i didn't mind the monotony at all - i think it has to do with how much the vocal style carries the tune.


Yes, pilgrim_heart is a strong vocalist. He can carry a song with his vox as the focal point.
Fragile Gods: SoundCloud | Facebook
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Frantz
KVRAF
 
2669 posts since 18 Jul, 2008, from New York

Postby Frantz; Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:02 am Re: This Byzantine Game (80's-style moody/gothy synthpop)

pilgrim_heart wrote:I'm especially happy that someone mentioned the lyrics as lyrics are important to me, IIRC my first attempt at actually writing a song was after hearing Leonard Cohen's Famous Blue Raincoat for the first time...


I know of Leonard Cohen but haven't really listened to much of his stuff yet. I was reminded of Peter Hammill when listening to the lyrics of your song. There is a similar sort of literary approach I think.

You might consider posting your lyrics on SoundCloud. I found it made mixing my material easier knowing if the words weren't always audible, you could read the lyrics on SoundCloud.

pilgrim_heart wrote:Also, saw that you're a fan of DAF :D I'm living in Duisburg right now, that's right next to Düsseldorf and one of my first outings after getting here was going to visit the location where Ratinger Hof used to be (now there's some rock club there), naturally I also visited the old location of the Kling-Klang studio ;)


Yeah, I loves me some DAF. Ultra-minimal synth perfection. 8)

A pilgrimage to the Düsseldorf "holy" sites. :) I was on a Kraftwerk mailing list when the web took off in the 90s. There were a number of people who were determined to find Kling Klang. When they finally posted pictures, it was naturally some anonymous building, nothing special. :D

And thanks for checking out and recommending my stuff.
Fragile Gods: SoundCloud | Facebook
nasenmann
KVRian
 
575 posts since 24 Oct, 2005

Postby nasenmann; Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:18 am Re: This Byzantine Game (80's-style moody/gothy synthpop)

Pilgrim: "plausible" is by Datroof, not me. Check him out instead! His stuff is most excellent.
pilgrim_heart
KVRist
 
148 posts since 20 Jul, 2004

Postby pilgrim_heart; Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:38 am Re: This Byzantine Game (80's-style moody/gothy synthpop)

@Frantz:
Thanks for the tip about Peter Hammill, I'd never heard about him before (I think I'd heard about Van der Graaf Generator but that could also be due to having heard the term before and fooling myself into thinking I'd heard about the band). I started checking out some stuff with him on youtube, anything in particular that you'd recommend?

Cohen has shifted his style quite a bit throughout the years and the early stuff is mainly a-man-and-his-guitar kind of music. He had some fairly synth-sounding tracks during the 80's, especially First We Take Manhattan so if you're interested that might be a good one to start with (provided you haven't already heard it of course, I guess you might have as it's probably among his more famous ones). Come to think of it I was in New York last year and made sure to go by Chelsea Hotel which was mainly due to Cohen having stayed there, although of course that place is quite legendary.

I'm often blown away by how well DAF does that minimalistic thing, it seems like it must take some serious talent to be able to write good songs in the very limited format that they've intentionally restricted themselves to. And yeah, the Kling-Klang studio location didn't exactly look like much, just a normal building. Still cool to have seen though.

I chatted a little with that friend over facebook yesterday, he enjoyed your stuff :D


@nasenmann:
Oooops, embarrasing. Shows how much I know about soundcloud... ;) When I first listened through your channel I didn't really think about the differences in style, maybe a bit of confirmation bias at work. When listening again after reading that it's more apparent to me but I think it's still pretty close, at least some of your stuff also gives me a bit of that Pat Metheny vibe. I guess it also factors in that my own output is very disjointed as I tend to go with whatever I think the song calls for so I guess I just assumed that this is common with a lot of people.

I'm really impressed with the amount of detail in the stuff you've made. That seems to be some serious amount of programming etc. going into it.
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Frantz
KVRAF
 
2669 posts since 18 Jul, 2008, from New York

Postby Frantz; Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:55 am Re: This Byzantine Game (80's-style moody/gothy synthpop)

pilgrim_heart wrote:I started checking out some stuff with him on youtube, anything in particular that you'd recommend?


Yes, my favorite is a solo album called The Future Now. Van Der Graaf is prog rock and tends to be long winded. He recorded The Future Now in his home studio, playing everything himself, and wrote more concise songs. There's some very strong material there I think. There is a very low quality version (240p) of the entire album on YouTube. It sounds awful like that. :( Lyrics are here.


pilgrim_heart wrote:He had some fairly synth-sounding tracks during the 80's, especially First We Take Manhattan so if you're interested that might be a good one to start with.


Listening now. I like it. You're right he does mix his voice super loud like he's reciting poetry over a backing track. I will check out more of his stuff.

pilgrim_heart wrote:I'm often blown away by how well DAF does that minimalistic thing, it seems like it must take some serious talent to be able to write good songs in the very limited format that they've intentionally restricted themselves to.


Yes, it was brilliant how they got rid of the band and stripped it down to the classic two man format - vocalist and synth guy. Suicide preceded them by a few years. Nitzer Ebb virtually cloned their sound a few years later.

I wouldn't underestimate how important Conny Plank was in the DAF sound. Nothing they did later without Conny worked as well IMO. Conny was also involved with Kraftwerk, Neu!, Cluster, etc.

pilgrim_heart wrote:I chatted a little with that friend over facebook yesterday, he enjoyed your stuff :D


Thanks again. :)
Fragile Gods: SoundCloud | Facebook
nasenmann
KVRian
 
575 posts since 24 Oct, 2005

Postby nasenmann; Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:18 am Re: This Byzantine Game (80's-style moody/gothy synthpop)

no problem at all dude, i get confused with the linking to other artists in playlists as well.

thanks for the nice words, but again, i wasn't just diverting attention from your little error, i really wanna recommend Datroof's music! can't quite fathom how he hasn't more listens.
pilgrim_heart
KVRist
 
148 posts since 20 Jul, 2004

Postby pilgrim_heart; Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:21 am Re: This Byzantine Game (80's-style moody/gothy synthpop)

@Frantz:
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll soon start listening to it I think, I've been busy listening through soundcloud channels the last few days :)

I think poetry recital is a very good description of how Cohen sounds. There's an enormous amount of covers of his Hallelujah out there (seems like almost every talent show results in at least one new version although to be fair many of them are basically the Cale/Buckley one with another singer) and I think that recital feeling is often what I miss in those compared to Cohen's own versions as I've never been that keen on any of the covers. It's taken me a long time to find ways of accompanying Cohen songs on the guitar that I think sound appropriate and that's also probably for this reason, just strumming the chords or plucking them in typical up-down patterns doesn't sound right to me. BTW some more songs that I really like are: Suzanne, Famous Blue Raincoat, Story of Isaac, Avalanche (that might be the most depressive song in the world though), If It Be Your Will, Everybody Knows, Take This Waltz, The Future.

Interesting stuff about Conny Plank. I'd never really looked into who had produced/mixed the classic DAF albums, he's been involved in quite a bit of really interesting stuff (saw that he had also worked with Astor Piazzola, cool).


@nasenmann:
Yesterday I started listening through Datroof's channel as well. You're absolutely right, very good stuff. Thanks for the tip :D


Oh, and I'll be going away for a few days so I'll likely be a bit delayed in answering stuff for a while.
mrblitz
KVRAF
 
2620 posts since 21 Jul, 2009

Postby mrblitz; Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:48 pm Re: This Byzantine Game (80's-style moody/gothy synthpop)

really like this singing. maybe the 'sss' 'kk' type of sounds could be edited out by hand from the waveform? quick and dirty would be to put a notch in there and move it around until you find where it has the best effect (attenuates the 'problem' bits without ruining the overall vocal sound).

if the bottom is 'flabby' maybe investigate making some cuts on the various parts at 100-300hz?

really coo song.
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