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sjm
KVRian
 
1189 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:26 am Where Eagles Fly | Guitar-based upbeat pop

Edit: I've made some changes to the version I originally posted to address some of the feedback. The changes are relatively minor. The Soundcloud links all go to the same (latest) version. I've left the original post unchanged below for context.

Started this one about half a year ago, and every time I opened it, I recorded some new guitar tracks. It soon mushroomed into a huge mess of guitar tracks all over the place and I put it to one side.

Dug it out again a week or so again, and more or less finished the song. I'd love some input on the mix in particular - I get the feeling it's lacking a little bit in the lower mids. However, I've reached that point where I'm making changes that are possibly detrimental, which suggests I no longer have the distance I need. I'd love some fresh perspective here. I've already got some good feedback on the Image-Line forums, but the users there are probably sick of this one by now :)


The project was at 100% CPU load, so there's not much I'm going to be able to do with the arrangement any more. Now I just need to clean up what I've got and call it a day.

https://soundcloud.com/steevm/eagles

While it's pretty poppy and upbeat, I found this one interesting musically. The key signature is F, but the verse starts on C and the chorus starts on Bb. I found that lack of a real tonal center gave the whole thing a feeling of freedom, and of swooping up and down like a bird on wind currents. Especially the shift from Bb to C from chorus to verse.

If anyone with musical theory knowledge wants to explain what's going on here, I'd obviously be quite interested. Nothing earth-shattering, I know, would just love a bit of perspective from someone who knows their stuff.

Chords:
Verse: C Dm Bb F
Chorus: Bb Dm C Bb Dm F C Bb


Feather-coated apprentice, but not yet tarred
Holding on to the sunbeams, but not yet charred
Tired of battling, but not yet scarred
Up here I tell you there are no holds barred


I’m sailing on the light winds, I’m free up here
I spread these wings so I can disappear
I want to meet you up in the sky
I want to take you where the eagles fly


Wind swirling around, the storm begins to brew
The eyrie here is big enough for two
Come under my wing while we lay down and wait
The thunder and lightning will soon abate

I’m coming up, I’m taking off, I’m swooping down
The trick to flying is to miss the ground
Eager-eyed and racing, let your vision sweep
To the mountains facing the valleys deep

CHORUS/SOLO/CHORUS

You’re looking around, now give the ground a glance
Your mortal problems are the size of ants,
A fresh look will put your mind on track
Race to the peaks and don’t look back


---
This song uses samples downloaded from http://soundbible.com. These files were kindly made available under a CC 3.0 Attribution license.

The following samples are used:

Mike Koenig:
Hawk Screech Valley
Hawk Screeching

PyschoBird:
Eaglet Bird
Eaglet Bird 2
Hawk Call 2x
Screaming Hawk

Thanks guys!
Last edited by sjm on Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:26 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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vurt
addled muppet weed
 
34378 posts since 25 Jan, 2003, from through the looking glass

Postby vurt; Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:18 pm Re: Where Eagles Fly | Fix the Mix | Guitar-based upbeat pop

nice work, has me in mind of xtc perhaps

fraid i cant help with the theory biz though, not something ive really looked in to much...
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Frantz
KVRAF
 
4519 posts since 18 Jul, 2008, from New York

Postby Frantz; Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:39 pm Re: Where Eagles Fly | Fix the Mix | Guitar-based upbeat pop

Good song. Regarding the mix, I would lower the vox and make the drums louder.

The instrumentation in the verses and choruses is very similar. I would prefer if there were more differentiation between the two.

Each of your songs has a different vocal style. This is one is kind of Falco-ish speak singing. :)
sjm
KVRian
 
1189 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:43 am Re: Where Eagles Fly | Fix the Mix | Guitar-based upbeat pop

vurt wrote:nice work, has me in mind of xtc perhaps

fraid i cant help with the theory biz though, not something ive really looked in to much...


Cheers, didn't think this was your kind of thing tbh.

Frantz wrote:Good song. Regarding the mix, I would lower the vox and make the drums louder.

The instrumentation in the verses and choruses is very similar. I would prefer if there were more differentiation between the two.

Each of your songs has a different vocal style. This is one is kind of Falco-ish speak singing. :)


I hear you about the lack of variation. I think this is due to the "main" guitar that plays throughout. Thing is, when I take it out, the whole thing falls apart. That suggests I'd need a completely different arrangement at some point. Given the whole CPU is at 100% issue, I shied away from that one. I've tried to use the synths to couteract this a bit, and there's an extra guitar in the chorus. But it's not enough to create a different timbre.

You're probably right about the drums/vox. Had trouble with the drums being too quiet from the start, and I think I never quite addressed that properly. I turned down the guitars slightly at some point, which might have made the vox overly present.

A lot of people say I sound like Falco, especially in German (which isn't actually my native tongue). There's a couple of half-finished tracks on SC with me singing/rapping in German. I've got a bit of the Viennese accent and a similar tone, so in parts it's almost 1:1 like he'd sound (and in other parts, I sound like Herbert Groenemeyer, if that means anything to you). In 4 days, it'll be 20 years since Falco died (OMG).

At some point I'll hopefully get around to doing some punk again - then you can hear my shitty voice in its true element :D

On the subject of unfinished songs with me singing in German, if donkeytugger's reading this, what's with the acoustic guitar thing we were going to do? :x
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vurt
addled muppet weed
 
34378 posts since 25 Jan, 2003, from through the looking glass

Postby vurt; Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:10 pm Re: Where Eagles Fly | Fix the Mix | Guitar-based upbeat pop

sjm wrote:
vurt wrote:nice work, has me in mind of xtc perhaps

fraid i cant help with the theory biz though, not something ive really looked in to much...


Cheers, didn't think this was your kind of thing tbh.


i like all kinds of things, cant be too narrow when theres so much great music in all genres :)
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Frantz
KVRAF
 
4519 posts since 18 Jul, 2008, from New York

Postby Frantz; Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:02 pm Re: Where Eagles Fly | Fix the Mix | Guitar-based upbeat pop

sjm wrote:A lot of people say I sound like Falco, especially in German (which isn't actually my native tongue). There's a couple of half-finished tracks on SC with me singing/rapping in German. I've got a bit of the Viennese accent and a similar tone, so in parts it's almost 1:1 like he'd sound (and in other parts, I sound like Herbert Groenemeyer, if that means anything to you).


I just listened to "Der Plan (Kinderleicht)" and it is indeed very close to Falco. :D I heard of Groenemeyer when a German friend gave me a tape saying you should hear some intelligent German pop instead of dumb Falco music. :lol:
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ATS
KVRAF
 
5557 posts since 20 Dec, 2002, from MD USA

Postby ATS; Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:11 pm Re: Where Eagles Fly | Fix the Mix | Guitar-based upbeat pop

I love it!
fastlanephil
KVRist
 
391 posts since 3 Jan, 2016

Postby fastlanephil; Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:40 pm Re: Where Eagles Fly | Fix the Mix | Guitar-based upbeat pop

I think it’s a good tune. Maybe it could use some sort of break or turn around or possibly modulation. Mixing in a little acoustic guitar might add interest. I was also hearing something like a old vox organ dropping by here and there.
sjm
KVRian
 
1189 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:19 am Re: Where Eagles Fly | Fix the Mix | Guitar-based upbeat pop

vurt wrote:i like all kinds of things, cant be too narrow when theres so much great music in all genres :)


Seems we have a similar philosophy. There are very few genres where I draw the line and say "NOPE!". One of which is called "Schlager" (which means "hit" in the sense of a number 1 record). It's basically a German-language version of something like Engelbert Humperdinck meets Abba (Abba definitely qualify as Schlager in my book, and I really detest their music). Very popular with the 50+ yokels, but absolutely and totally uninspiring across the board. Can't find any redeeming features :(

Very much a local phenomenon. Easy to avoid except when skiing, so I was subjected to this torture yesterday :(

Frantz wrote:I just listened to "Der Plan (Kinderleicht)" and it is indeed very close to Falco. :D I heard of Groenemeyer when a German friend gave me a tape saying you should hear some intelligent German pop instead of dumb Falco music. :lol:


I quite like them both. Groenemeyer tends to have the much better lyrics. They are well-thought out and have an actual message. Falco less so, it's more fun/silly/pop. Like "mum, the man with the coke is here; yes my son, I know that; I've got no money, you've got no money - who ordered the man with the coke?" Where coke is both used in the sense of fuel (coal) and cocaine.

ATS wrote:I love it!

Well that's great to hear! Thanks!

fastlanephil wrote:I think it’s a good tune. Maybe it could use some sort of break or turn around or possibly modulation. Mixing in a little acoustic guitar might add interest. I was also hearing something like a old vox organ dropping by here and there.

Yeah, the old not enough variation in the instrumentation beast. Just don't think there's much I can do about that now with the project barely playing as it is.

Acoustic guitar is always a problem; not that easy to record well. The vox sounds more doable - were you thinking that it would be something that might only come in for the odd verse, or were you thinking more along the lines of little accents here or there? The Combo V is pretty light on CPU, so might just be possible to squeeze that in.

One thing that crossed my mind was to pare down the third verse a bit. My big problem is that removing the main guitar creates massive hole that desperately needs filling, and that filling it up with a few percentage points of CPU might be difficult.

Unfortunately, most of the CPU issues are down the mix FX rather than the instruments, so it's not like bouncing out the instrument tracks will make a difference. Most of it is already audio takes to start off with.

I absolutely refuse to use the "up a whole tone at the end" trick. I really dislike it. Not sure if that's what you mean with modulation.
sjm
KVRian
 
1189 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:23 am Re: Where Eagles Fly | Fix the Mix | Guitar-based upbeat pop

So I'd like to thank everyone for their feedback, and I've gone and made some relatively minor changes as a result.

  • Turned down the vox a tad (I think)
  • Turned up the drums
  • Fixed a whole bunch of issues with the kick playing at the wrong time
  • Tweaked the drums in general in Kontakt's mixer
  • Added a Vox organ
  • Pared down the last verse
  • Added a little break before the last chorus and some more spot FX
  • Screwed with the mix in general; for better or for worse? You decide!

Non-scrolly link for those of you who are lazy:
https://soundcloud.com/steevm/eagles

I know that didn't necessarily totally change the overall sound of the sections, but there's just a little bit more variation.
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thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
 
21823 posts since 27 Jul, 2005, from the wilds of wanny

Postby thecontrolcentre; Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:48 am Re: Where Eagles Fly | Fix the Mix | Guitar-based upbeat pop

Nice work. Reminds me of early Talking Heads. The little synth solo at the end really lifts things. I would maybe drop it into the middle eight (instead of the guitar solo).
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htcnext2
KVRist
 
163 posts since 3 Jul, 2017, from Austria

Postby htcnext2; Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:46 am Re: Where Eagles Fly | Fix the Mix | Guitar-based upbeat pop

Nice work. Enjoyable chords and neat guitars here. Enjoyed listening.
Greetings
HM
sjm
KVRian
 
1189 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:53 pm Re: Where Eagles Fly | Fix the Mix | Guitar-based upbeat pop

thecontrolcentre wrote:Nice work. Reminds me of early Talking Heads.

Thanks! You're the second person to mention the Talking Heads in the context of this song. They're one of those bands where I know a lot of their tunes, but they just predate my conscious musical memory (i.e. knowing who performed what song) by a couple of years. It's funny going onto YT and looking up well known bands from just before I started getting into music (ELO being another) and going, "yeah I know that; of course I know that" to multiple songs in a row. Songs you never knew who the artist actually was :)

thecontrolcentre wrote:The little synth solo at the end really lifts things. I would maybe drop it into the middle eight (instead of the guitar solo).

Yeah, I like that sound too. The original idea was actually suggested by Fred on the IL forums. He writes some great tunes (with so-so mixes). He sent me an MP3 with the basic idea for the synth and I nicked it gratefully.

But I do want this to be guitar pop, so I want to keep that solo. There's not enough of this sort of thing anymore. There's also a nice symmetry with the synth at the start and end. I'm thinking: keep the best for last, then the listener might come back for more. Overfeed them, and they'll move on to something new.

It would work though, I can see that! So I appreciate the feedback, but exercise my right to be lazy ;)

htcnext2 wrote:Nice work. Enjoyable chords and neat guitars here. Enjoyed listening.

Much appreciated. A shame no one's had anything more to say about the chord progression itself from a more theoretical point of view. Ah, well, I guess the chaps from the music theory forum tend not to listen to mindless upbeat pop :)
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layzer
KVRAF
 
4879 posts since 11 Jun, 2006

Postby layzer; Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:45 pm Re: Where Eagles Fly | Fixed the Mix? | Guitar-based upbeat pop

good catchy, poppy little tune.....go Eagles - SuperBowl LII Champions!
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Brother Charles
KVRian
 
860 posts since 2 Jan, 2012, from Alberta, Canada

Postby Brother Charles; Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:30 pm Re: Where Eagles Fly | Fixed the Mix? | Guitar-based upbeat pop

Dandy tune! I like your cool, 80s pop vibe.
Thanks & God Bless,
Bro. Charles
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