The Final Wave - Eighties rock-ish track done mainly with free instruments/FX

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crimsonwarlock
KVRAF
2261 posts since 18 Apr, 2001 from The Netherlands

Post Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:29 pm

This is my new track, an eighties inspired power-ballad kinda rock track. Of course done with Reaper and mainly free plugin instruments and FX.

Instruments used:

- Tyrell N6
- Synth1
- Ragnarok
- The Deputy
- DeadDuck E-Piano
- Revitar
- SSDS-5

... and loads of FX, I'm happy to share FX-chain information for specific parts of the song.

https://soundcloud.com/gridlockmomentum/the-final-wave
CrimsonWarlock aka TechnoGremlin, using Reaper and a fine selection of freeware plugins.

Ragnarök VST-synthesizer co-creator with Full Bucket

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wagtunes
KVRAF
17437 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: The Final Wave - Eighties rock-ish track done mainly with free instruments/FX

Post Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:15 pm

This is living proof that you can make great sounding music with free stuff. I'm curious as to what you used for the drums. Is that the SSD-5? I could never figure out how to get it to work so I just forgot about it. Anyway, very well done.

Mikelo
KVRian
1426 posts since 10 Mar, 2004

Re: The Final Wave - Eighties rock-ish track done mainly with free instruments/FX

Post Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:45 pm

Wow. This immediately reminded me of Ultra Vox. I like! Nice work!
Look at the size of my dongle

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Bansaw
KVRian
793 posts since 19 Aug, 2008

Re: The Final Wave - Eighties rock-ish track done mainly with free instruments/FX

Post Sat Oct 26, 2019 2:17 pm

Nice, reminds me of the 80s well. Vocals get a little lost sometimes in the mix, but the FX are good.

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Benedict
KVRAF
3094 posts since 5 Mar, 2004 from Gold Coast Australia

Re: The Final Wave - Eighties rock-ish track done mainly with free instruments/FX

Post Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:03 pm

First few bars lean rather heavily on Holiday but who cares as it goes its own way after that.

Yes vocal mix is troubled overall which is a shame. More worrying is that sometimes things feel out of time. Mostly this is in transitions.

If you can sort these and would like to be part of my Mix Walkthrough thing, I could be interested as this is a nice track that can sound a lot clearer and punchier.
:-)

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crimsonwarlock
KVRAF
2261 posts since 18 Apr, 2001 from The Netherlands

Re: The Final Wave - Eighties rock-ish track done mainly with free instruments/FX

Post Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:25 am

Thanks everyone for the comments so far :D
wagtunes wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:15 pm
This is living proof that you can make great sounding music with free stuff.
I can't see freeware being inferior in any way to payed stuff. There are so many great devs building free plugins so kudos to all who gave us these toys.
wagtunes wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:15 pm
I'm curious as to what you used for the drums. Is that the SSD-5? I could never figure out how to get it to work so I just forgot about it. Anyway, very well done.
It is SSDS5 indeed. All instruments output to an individual track and some things with additional processing. Especially the snare that has FreeVerb2 on it for that gated snare sound.
Mikelo wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:45 pm
Wow. This immediately reminded me of Ultra Vox. I like! Nice work!
I'm a great UltraVox fan so there's definitely some inspiration from that in the track ;)
Bansaw wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 2:17 pm
Nice, reminds me of the 80s well. Vocals get a little lost sometimes in the mix, but the FX are good.
Did some things that are very eighties sounding, like heavy gate on the snare and some production tricks (watched way too much eighties tracks production videos).

About the vocals level; I mixed against several reference tracks from that period and style, vocals tend to sit 'in the music' more then 'on top of it' (which is more of a thing with today's music, especially pop/R&B etc.) I tried to get the vocals a little louder but every option to do that made the vocals immediately dominate everything (especially as there are several layers going on there as well).
Benedict wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:03 pm
First few bars lean rather heavily on Holiday but who cares as it goes its own way after that.
I don't get that reference but any few chords will sound like something else already and the synth sound is definitely very close to countless records from the eighties and nineties, specifically why I went with that :hihi:
Benedict wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:03 pm
Yes vocal mix is troubled overall which is a shame.
See my comment above.
Benedict wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:03 pm
More worrying is that sometimes things feel out of time. Mostly this is in transitions.
That is deliberate. Everything besides the drums is played, not sequenced. I like that 'live' feel in my music and tend to NOT edit the snot out of everything as that completely kills the vibe for me. Many famous rock producers quote leaving mistakes in for the exact same reason.
Benedict wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:03 pm
...this is a nice track that can sound a lot clearer and punchier.
It is pretty easy (even for me :clown: ) to make the mix sounding more modern, but that is not what I was going for. I think production-wise it hits the era-target pretty well (especially in relation to the reference tracks I used).
CrimsonWarlock aka TechnoGremlin, using Reaper and a fine selection of freeware plugins.

Ragnarök VST-synthesizer co-creator with Full Bucket

aaron aardvark
KVRAF
1638 posts since 22 Jan, 2011 from near Los Angeles

Re: The Final Wave - Eighties rock-ish track done mainly with free instruments/FX

Post Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:16 pm

crimsonwarlock,
Thank you for the review! Now your song: vocals are pretty good; I did not notice a Dutch accent, if that was your goal (it sounds American, and I'm from the U.S.A.). You might think this is strange, though one of the synth melodies reminds me of a Rush song; can't think of which song. The song has nice melodies and sounds. Really nothing to complain about. Nice job! :)

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crimsonwarlock
KVRAF
2261 posts since 18 Apr, 2001 from The Netherlands

Re: The Final Wave - Eighties rock-ish track done mainly with free instruments/FX

Post Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:34 pm

aaron aardvark wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:16 pm
Now your song: vocals are pretty good; I did not notice a Dutch accent, if that was your goal (it sounds American, and I'm from the U.S.A.).
Nice to hear that my singing doesn't show my Dutch roots. So yes, me sounding 'American', or 'international' as I would like to call it, is indeed a goal for me. If you say I nailed it..... :D
aaron aardvark wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:16 pm
You might think this is strange, though one of the synth melodies reminds me of a Rush song; can't think of which song.
Not strange at all, Rush is one of my main influences. Let my wife listen to 'Afterimage' and she immediately said 'ah, it's clear where your inspiration comes from'. Can't tell you which melody it actually sounds like though.

EDIT: If you mean the synth line at the end of the song, you are maybe thinking of the second part of the synth solo at the end of 'Countdown' from the Signals album. That (almost) same sound is also in Subdivisions (at around the 2 minute mark).
aaron aardvark wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:16 pm
The song has nice melodies and sounds. Really nothing to complain about. Nice job! :)
Thanks 8)
CrimsonWarlock aka TechnoGremlin, using Reaper and a fine selection of freeware plugins.

Ragnarök VST-synthesizer co-creator with Full Bucket

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Frantz
KVRAF
5215 posts since 18 Jul, 2008 from New York

Re: The Final Wave - Eighties rock-ish track done mainly with free instruments/FX

Post Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:38 am

The song is very good. A little on the long side but there is enough variation to keep it interesting.

I am hearing mix issues with the synths more prominent than the vocal. There is also a general lack of clarity in the mix.

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thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
24960 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Re: The Final Wave - Eighties rock-ish track done mainly with free instruments/FX

Post Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:49 am

Very early 80s vibe to this ... vocals remind me of John Foxx. There's maybe a touch of Cindy Lauper in the opening chords (the sound not the progression). Sounds good in mono (listening on my phone speaker). Nice work.

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crimsonwarlock
KVRAF
2261 posts since 18 Apr, 2001 from The Netherlands

Re: The Final Wave - Eighties rock-ish track done mainly with free instruments/FX

Post Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:07 pm

Frantz wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:38 am
The song is very good. A little on the long side but there is enough variation to keep it interesting.
Thank you. The length is of course also an eighties thing :D
Frantz wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:38 am
I am hearing mix issues with the synths more prominent than the vocal. There is also a general lack of clarity in the mix.
I don't hear problems with the instruments specifically, everything sits nice in the mix and has its own place frequency-wise. I do agree on the clarity though.
thecontrolcentre wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:49 am
Very early 80s vibe to this ... vocals remind me of John Foxx. There's maybe a touch of Cindy Lauper in the opening chords (the sound not the progression). Sounds good in mono (listening on my phone speaker). Nice work.
The John Foxx reference is surely a compliment to me :hail:

I do stretches of mono-mixing for a track, nice to hear that's working out. As for the synth sound reminding you of Cindy Lauper, I think back then this sound was overused even more than the DX7 e-piano :hihi:, But I wanted to go for that vibe specifically.
CrimsonWarlock aka TechnoGremlin, using Reaper and a fine selection of freeware plugins.

Ragnarök VST-synthesizer co-creator with Full Bucket

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