Fragile Gods - "Step Outside the Frame" (video added Jan 1)

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KVRAF
5701 posts since 18 Jul, 2008 from New York

Post Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:46 pm

Emerging from musical hibernation, I offer this dark ditty for your amusement or bemusement as the case may be.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqIHjLE2M-4

https://soundcloud.com/fragilegods/step ... -the-frame

Synths: Monark, M-Tron Pro, Icarus, Electra2, BFD3, Mono/Poly, Diva

The lyrics are on Soundcloud. Any feedback is appreciated.

Nov 26 EDIT: Based on the very helpful feedback received, I made the following changes to both Soundcloud version and the MP3:
  • Different processing for the verse vocals.
  • Altered the chorus synth melody notes to reduce clashing with the backing track. Part of this melody now plays on a gentler piano-ish sound.
Jan 1 EDIT: video added
Last edited by Frantz on Sat Jan 26, 2019 3:44 pm, edited 8 times in total.

KVRian
893 posts since 12 Jun, 2006

Post Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:25 am

Hi Frantz:

Love the opening main riff - very strong hook.

Great rhythmic drive throughout with all those melodies and drum beats interlocking very effectively.

Combination of synth sounds in all sections is spot on.

Overall vibe is strong....dark 1980s!

I do have a few things I'm not so sure about:

Vocal performance loses it a little on the higher notes + I'm not keen on the constant use of that heavy processing on the verses...grates after a while for me + the deeper pitched 'watery' elements of it seem to intrude a little onto other parts...seems to dominate the mix too much?

Choruses - effects treatment on vocals works better for me.

Talking about the choruses - not keen on the synth melody behind the vocal...the choose of notes is not quite there for me in terms of fitting with the underlying harmonies and the vocal melody.

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KVRAF
7684 posts since 11 Jun, 2006

Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:48 am

ChamMusic wrote:=the choose of notes is not quite there for me in terms of fitting with the underlying harmonies and the vocal melody.
i think the underlying melody distracts from the vocals and can be done away completely or panned/ stereo spread where vocals are present to give them more focus.

full review comming later ;)
Last edited by layzer on Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
HW SYNTHS [KORG T2EX - AKAI AX80 - YAMAHA SY77 - ENSONIQ VFX]
HW MODULES [OBi M1000 - ROLAND MKS-50 - ROLAND JV880 - KURZ 1000PX]
SW [CHARLATAN - OBXD - OXE - ELEKTRO - MICROTERA - M1 - SURGE - RMiV]
DAW [ENERGY XT2/1U RACK WINXP / MAUDIO 1010LT PCI]

KVRAF
6151 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:36 am

Loved it, I find that the vocals were a little weak and it didn't work with the effects on top of them.
Other than that I think it was great production very cool punk-funk vibe calling back to a strange mix of David Bowie and Dan Hartman.
Synapse Audio Dune 3 I'm in love

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KVRAF
10298 posts since 13 Mar, 2009 from UK

Post Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:07 pm

I've listened 4 or 5 times this week. I think I'm in agreement with Mark on the synth in the chorus. It's quite upfront and I think the melody played is clashing with the vocals there.

I liked the verses, and the instrumental break towards the end, and the doubling of the synth line with MTron worked very well. The percussion and bass synths seemed to drive the song along effortlessly, and I liked the vocals which sounded more "musical" than those on some of your earlier tracks. It's quite a polished sound overall.

Good work :)

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

5701 posts since 18 Jul, 2008 from New York

Post Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:31 pm

Thanks all for the constructive comments. I am working on a new version based on your feedback. :)

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KVRAF
5047 posts since 15 Dec, 2011 from Bucharest, Romania

Post Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:58 am

Why no Q?

KVRAF
5421 posts since 23 Mar, 2006 from pendeLondonmonium

Post Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:18 am

Depeche Modeliciously David Bowiengly.

A lost Depeche Mode track that was written in collaboration with David Bowie?
http://www.electric-himalaya.com
VSTi and hardware synth sound design
3D/5D sound design since 2012

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KVRAF
7684 posts since 11 Jun, 2006

Post Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:26 pm

another fine FG that kept my toes tapping and brain contemplating.
this had a more mid-bassy tone to it, but was barely noticeable without
putting it under the microscope. a solid synthpop track all around with a nice sound set.
i liked the vocals and the lyrics too. great job, Frantz!
HW SYNTHS [KORG T2EX - AKAI AX80 - YAMAHA SY77 - ENSONIQ VFX]
HW MODULES [OBi M1000 - ROLAND MKS-50 - ROLAND JV880 - KURZ 1000PX]
SW [CHARLATAN - OBXD - OXE - ELEKTRO - MICROTERA - M1 - SURGE - RMiV]
DAW [ENERGY XT2/1U RACK WINXP / MAUDIO 1010LT PCI]

User avatar
KVRAF

Topic Starter

5701 posts since 18 Jul, 2008 from New York

Post Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:08 pm

ChamMusic wrote: Love the opening main riff - very strong hook.

Great rhythmic drive throughout with all those melodies and drum beats interlocking very effectively.

Combination of synth sounds in all sections is spot on.

Overall vibe is strong....dark 1980s!
Thanks Mark! Glad the riffs, rhythms, and vibe worked for you. Yes, dark 80s is my thing. 8)
ChamMusic wrote: I'm not keen on the constant use of that heavy processing on the verses...grates after a while for me + the deeper pitched 'watery' elements of it seem to intrude a little onto other parts...seems to dominate the mix too much?
In the new version, I changed up the verse vocal processing. I hope this works better. The watery elements, due to double tracking, are now gone.
ChamMusic wrote: Talking about the choruses - not keen on the synth melody behind the vocal...the choose of notes is not quite there for me in terms of fitting with the underlying harmonies and the vocal melody.
I originally created the synth melody by singing and converting it to MIDI via Melodyne without reviewing the notes. :clown: In the new version, I edited the melody to fit better with the rest of the track. Based on feedback from Layzer and Seismic, I also created a softer piano-like sound to compete less with the chorus vocals.

I really appreciate the detailed, helpful feedback. :tu:

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KVRAF
10298 posts since 13 Mar, 2009 from UK

Post Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:08 pm

I've just played the new version. I'm much more comfortable with that chorus after only one listen. However, now I'm thinking that the ending is a little abrupt. After the change at the end, it might sound more natural (and possibly predictable), if you went back to the 4 bars of the intro, ending on the downbeat in the fourth.

KVRAF
2093 posts since 22 Jan, 2011 from near Los Angeles

Post Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:12 pm

Frantz,
Thank you for the review! Now your song: instrumentally it mostly reminds me of Depeche Mode (a compliment!). The singing vocals are mostly good: some parts are a little pitchy, but nothing serious; the vocals add a lot to the song. I might have personally done a little less vocal synth stuff, but that's purely subjective: which synth is that by the way? Audio quality is all very good, including vocal effects. Overall I like the song!

I forget how long ago it was when I first tried Icarus: but my computer really struggled with the CPU load; Icarus was probably very new then. Then they must have made it less CPU intensive, because it later worked much better for me. I completed a song that has some (trial version) Icarus. I am now 90% done with a song that has several Icarus (still trial version) tracks. Yesterday, I bought it on sale, but I'm not letting myself really use it until Christmas; it's supposed to be a present. I've used Tone 2 UltraSpace (delay & reverb) for over 2 years. Do you have any particular thoughts on Icarus? Are there any free (legal) patches for it floating around the internet?
You can hear my original music at this link: https://www.soundclick.com/artist/defau ... dID=224436

KVRian
884 posts since 3 Jan, 2016

Post Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:29 pm

This song was kind of Bowiesque for me in a good way. Solid pop sensibilities here. Maybe it could benefit from some chiming in backing vocals?

I enjoyed it!

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KVRian
699 posts since 3 Jul, 2017

Post Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:52 pm

:tu:
I really enjoyed the alternating melody lines here. Seems as if you put some time into the arrangement, too. Very enjoyable, I think.
Greetings
HM

KVRian
893 posts since 12 Jun, 2006

Post Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:45 pm

Hi Frantz...

That new mix is much better to my ears...tighter and more cohesive in general with more room for the various strands to do their thing.

Vocals - sit better in the mix without swamping it at times.

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