Substance D deep tech house

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amrita
KVRer
16 posts since 29 Mar, 2006

Post Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:54 am

Hi, I have got back into making music after taking some time out having a kid and a career but have recently reawakened my love of making music. Here is my latest track and I would love feedback on it in terms of composition, mixing, effects etc. I haven't fully finished mixing it yet let alone mastering it but wanted to get some feedback first so any comments gratefully received.

Hope you and your loved ones are all staying well in these strange times...
https://soundcloud.com/billy-baghead/substanced

HotCoffee
KVRer
25 posts since 6 Sep, 2011 from Sweden

Re: Substance D deep tech house

Post Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:40 am

Great track, I really like it! Not sure if the fast melody that comes in at 3:20 is the right choice for this track though, but it could work if you make it less prominent, e.g. move it to the background and tighten up the sound (make it less wide, more plucky and decrease reverb wetness). Try making it something that you don't immediately notice, but will miss when it's gone.

Other than that, a very enjoyable piece of music and well worth keep working on!

amrita
KVRer
16 posts since 29 Mar, 2006

Re: Substance D deep tech house

Post Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:31 am

Thanks man. That is great advice and I will play around with with your tips which I kind of understand in terms of "less is more". Thanks for taking the time to listen and giving some good feedback. I will try reducing the volume, reducing the decay, sustain release envelope to make it more plucky and maybe trying it through a high pass filter as well as autotmating those perameters a bit. I take your point about the the melody but I wanted to add something to increase the energy of the track as it were.
I guess its these little details where we can improve on and up our game.Its good to be able to use different ears in order to fine tune ours and I am still getting used to how all this shit works. Thanks once again and I hope you have a great weekend.

recursive one
KVRAF
4773 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Re: Substance D deep tech house

Post Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:40 am

Very very nice

I can agree that the plucky melody doesn't quite fit here, it has a kind of 80's disco vibe which somewhat breaks the mood of the track. Not sure I'd notice that if HotCoffe wouldn't have said though. Also the speech samples are too loud imo. They fit the track and serve their purpose, just make them quieter a tad.

Other than that, really good. Great melodic work.
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

amrita
KVRer
16 posts since 29 Mar, 2006

Re: Substance D deep tech house

Post Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:24 am

Hey Recursive one, Thanks for your kind words and feedback. I've listened to your stuff and am blown away by the sound quality and production so I get the sense you really know what you are talking about :).When I added that pluck I really liked it and thought it added energy to the track leading up to the drop but now you and Hot Coffee say you don't like it I have started to dislike it and question its role (?**). I will try playing around with it later but since you have responded I would like to ask you (or anyone) what kind of element can I add after the 3.20 mark to build energy leading up to the drop? Would you add another percussive element, or a different type of pluck/arp or something else entirely? Obviously I don't want someone to write the track for me but I get there are certain tricks of the trade that help add energy and I can stumble around in the dark trying things out for myself until I find something that works or I can ask experts (like your good self) for how they create subtle energy shifts. Saying that I should put some rides in it which I think will help.

Also I will adjust the levels as you have suggested but can I ask what you are monitoring on as the vocal samples seem good on my ageing Adam A5s?

Thanks once again. I am very open to learn how to improve my music making/production skills so any feedback is gratefully received.

Peas and love :)

recursive one
KVRAF
4773 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Re: Substance D deep tech house

Post Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:14 am

amrita wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:24 am
what kind of element can I add after the 3.20 mark to build energy leading up to the drop? Would you add another percussive element, or a different type of pluck/arp or something else entirely?
I don't know. This plucky melody fits the track musically but sounds somehow "ordinary", the rest of the track has sad and somewhat mysterious mood which I liked very much, but this melody makes it sound more like a pop song. Instead of it there might be a 303-ish line, a subtle arpeggiated line, additional percussion or even the same melody played by a synth having more interesting texture/modulation. Can't really suggest anything specific, try whatever fits
amrita wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:24 am
Also I will adjust the levels as you have suggested but can I ask what you are monitoring on as the vocal samples seem good on my ageing Adam A5s?
Dynaudio BM5 mkIII, treated toom. But I just listened in another place through some shitty PC speakers and the samples still sounded too loud.

I think a good idea is to listen to your mixes at a low volumes and if something sticks out it's too loud.
amrita wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:24 am
I've listened to your stuff and am blown away by the sound quality and production so I get the sense you really know what you are talking about :).
Thanks :)
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

amrita
KVRer
16 posts since 29 Mar, 2006

Re: Substance D deep tech house

Post Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:44 pm

Hello again,

I have adjusted the track by swapping the old pluck sound with a filtered pluck sound. I have also tried to mix the drums in to to make them a little punchier as well as lowering the volume of the vocal samples. I would be very grateful for any mixing tips particularly around the percussion and low end.

Thank you all again and hope you are having pleasant days/evenings wherever you may be.

Heres the link

https://soundcloud.com/billy-baghead/substanced

recursive one
KVRAF
4773 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Re: Substance D deep tech house

Post Tue Apr 28, 2020 10:58 am

Sounds better now. The new incarnation of the plucky synth fits much better and the samples are the right volume.

Great track, the first version already was and it's even better now
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

HotCoffee
KVRer
25 posts since 6 Sep, 2011 from Sweden

Re: Substance D deep tech house

Post Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:21 pm

Now we're talking! Great job, I absolutely love it!

amrita
KVRer
16 posts since 29 Mar, 2006

Re: Substance D deep tech house

Post Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:29 pm

Wow thanks guys for your kind words of appreciation, encouragement and tips. It was really useful to have specific bits of feedback to work with. I am really enjoying getting to learn how to use all this new software and how to bring things together. If you have any tips for how to mix and arrange drums, percussion and low end that would be great. As I have said Recursive one your tracks sound amazing, so textured, layered and deep. I would love to have a fraction of your mixing skills. I am busy working on my next track so hopefully I will have improved and learnt a little and will post it when its ready. Do you have any track up anywhere Hotcoffee? I would like to hear what you are doing if so, if not no biggie, thanks for the helpful feedback. X

recursive one
KVRAF
4773 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Re: Substance D deep tech house

Post Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:53 pm

Thanks for your kind words, TBH in my own opinion my mixing skills are very ordinary, I just try this thing, that thing etc until it somehow fits. I'd rather die than do a passable mix of someone's else track.

Regarding the drums, it mainly depends on your genre (deep/tech house i understand), which I like overall but don't produce myself. For your next track I'd probably think about giving the kick more midrange punch as well as more pronounced transient on the clap/snare. It least that were my thoughts when I heard the latest version of your track in my monitors.

I think you should leave this as it stands in this particular track though (it could benefit from more defined kick imo, but if you work on it too long you could ruin it instead of improving - i know that well myself - so don't touch it, it sounds accomplished).
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

HotCoffee
KVRer
25 posts since 6 Sep, 2011 from Sweden

Re: Substance D deep tech house

Post Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:03 am

amrita wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:29 pm
Do you have any track up anywhere Hotcoffee?
No, actually I'm in the same situation as you, kid + career. I recently sold a bunch of stuff here on KVR since I don't have a lot of free time, but I have come to regret that decision. One should always be able make some time for your favorite hobby, especially in times like these. Anyway, I still have some stuff lying around and if I get something even remotely OK out of it, I'll be sure to post it here in the café.

In the mean time, stay safe and good luck with your new track, I'm sure it will be awesome. :-)

amrita
KVRer
16 posts since 29 Mar, 2006

Re: Substance D deep tech house

Post Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:27 pm

Hey,
recursive one wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:53 pm
Thanks for your kind words, TBH in my own opinion my mixing skills are very ordinary, I just try this thing, that thing etc until it somehow fits. I'd rather die than do a passable mix of someone's else track.
I think you are well above ordinary listening to your mixes but true greatness is humble they say. Can I ask how many tracks you have going on in an average project? It sounds like a lot. And do you bounce stuff to audio (if you are having a large project with lots of tracks rather than keep it in midi/vsts? Also, how long will you spend on an (average) project? And finally, I agree with you with working on a track too much. I see it similar to cooking, if you overcook food it always ends up tasting like shit :0

HotCoffee wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:03 am
I'm in the same situation as you, kid + career. I recently sold a bunch of stuff here on KVR since I don't have a lot of free time, but I have come to regret that decision.
Yeah my daughter is 11 now and work doesn't really interest me that much and I just use it to pay the bills and am tired of the slog. I realised I wanted to do things that made me feel good to be alive and music is one of them. I took 10 years out and am trying to catch up with the software revolution that has taken place. things are so much more awesome than they were. I came into a little bit of money last year and treated myself to some studio music ware but I ended up spending money on things I don't really need. I think you can go along with just a DAW and a few choice plug ins but time is often the most precious factor. Enjoy your kid, they are truly great and I hope you get back into making music again soon if its something you love.

Thank you (both) again.

recursive one
KVRAF
4773 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Re: Substance D deep tech house

Post Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:50 pm

amrita wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:27 pm
Can I ask how many tracks you have going on in an average project? It sounds like a lot.
About 100 average, give or take. But that's my genre (psytrance).
amrita wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:27 pm
And do you bounce stuff to audio (if you are having a large project with lots of tracks rather than keep it in midi/vsts?
Sure, otherwise no CPU would handle it. Typically when I enter the final mixing stage I have 1-2 synths in the project, everything else is audio. This also allows slicing and rearranging the audio, as I often have sounds with lots of random LFOs, chaos modulation etc, this is often essential. I also have a couple of HW synths which I may or may not use depending on the project, these are immediately recorded to audio of course.
amrita wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:27 pm
Also, how long will you spend on an (average) project?
1 month to few years. Of course I don't spend all this time with a single project, I typically have lots of them going on in parallel and often lay them aside for few weeks or months because at some point I usually hit the wall and run of ideas or do many wrong mixing choices, then I return to them with fresh ears and try to save them from the disaster.
amrita wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:27 pm
my daughter is 11 now
My son is 10 and my daughter is 3. This fact of course doesn't speed up my music making progress but you know, life would be different without them :)
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

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