I finally recorded a song...

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kaniman2
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I finally recorded a song...

Postby kaniman2 » Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:34 pm UTC

Uh yeah. 9mb mp3 here

Random (sort-of) rant:
I've been playing guitar for a while and I wrote the music to this song in about half an hour one day last fall. After about six weeks I finally wrote some lyrics that I thought weren't terrible, so I stuck with those. Usually I can't write lyrics to music and this is the only song I've finished completely ever, although I have at least fifteen others that still need a few lines or a lyrical theme. This song is probably the most depressing thing I've written, which is weird because I wasn't depressed at the time, and the lyrics are meaningless because I've never experienced anything I wrote in the song, so really it's a pretty bad song. I decided to record it yesterday with the crap equipment I have (one cheap computer microphone, a guitar @ amp, and mediocre singing voice), so the quality isn't that great. (I don't know why I saved it at 320 kbps, because there wouldn't've been any difference if I saved it at 128, because the quality sucked so bad.) Some of the timing is a bit off too because I recorded them at different times and I was too lazy to re-record the parts that didn't fit perfectly. I also rushed parts of the song too. (My metronome is broken.) The reason I made the vocals slightly quieter than the guitar is because I can't sing. If anyone has any singing tips (apart from actually getting lessons, because I'm planning on doing that in the summer) please tell me. Any criticism is really really appreciated.

tl;dr -- This song sucks. Tell me why it sucks.
(RT: I like the word 'mediocre' because it's fun to say.)

Lyrics:
Spoiler:
“Once Upon A Time” (Working title)

Every time I rest and shut my eyes
Colours blank, blackening
All the angels fall right out of the skies
Skies in mind, blackening
Oh, one at a time, all the angels start to die
All the cries, deafening

Once upon a time, I was filled with hopes and dreams
The light might still be there, but it, I cannot see
Evaporate my fears just for all of them to rain down, again
Why can’t I do to them what I did to me?

Sometimes I get out and watch the stars
But the stars, never rise
Replaced by things that tell you all is fine
But we know, it ain’t fine
Oh, every time I stop to rest my eyes
Watch my world, blackening

Once upon a time, I was filled with hopes and dreams
The light might still be there, but it, I cannot see
Evaporate my fears just for all of them to rain down, again
Why can’t I do to them what I did to me?

Once upon a time, I was filled with hopes and dreams
The light might still be there, but it, I cannot see
Evaporate my fears just for all of them to rain down, again
Why can’t I do to them what I did to me?

Once upon a time, I may have been something real
None of you can fix me, there’s nothing here to heal
There’s nothing left to heal, there’s nothing left to heal
Hiya, I'm Kanavazk.
[(No longer) bored out of my mind...]
Spoiler:
[Well, it's better than Vista. --Meowgan]
(I DO realize that that quote was from an xkcd comic, thank you very much.)

Paranoid__Android
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Re: I finally recorded a song...

Postby Paranoid__Android » Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:54 am UTC

Time for some (hopefully constructive) points-
If you are having trouble with the tempo try recording say like the guitar first, and then play that through headphones while you record the other parts of the song so that it all keeps in sync.
I would say the best part is the fingerpicking becasue i can actually hear what is going on and it is a nice bit of guitaring.
Im not sure but it could be that when you are recording you are simply playing too loud and the mic cant handle it.

And I wasn't sure about one bit of the guitar solo(2:48) and your voice has a really harsh/rough/crackly tone to it- probably the recording, but that is what I have.
Also you could try changing the dynamics of the backing guitar, so it isn't allways being thrashed.

What software are you using to record all this?
The Great Hippo wrote:Paranoid__Android,
... truly, you are a champion among champions. ...

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kaniman2
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Re: I finally recorded a song...

Postby kaniman2 » Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:13 am UTC

Just Audacity, because I'm too cheap (and I don't have the money anyway) to get any good software. (It's in the comments.)

I listened to it again and realized just how bad my voice is (again, planning to take lessons in the summer), and how out of place the solo guitar is (it just tackles in, without any sort of introduction or anything, and I tried fixing and re-recording this part multiple times because it didn't quite fit with the fingerpicking but I think I'll have to write this out to see if there's a way for me to play it without making it sound terrible and clashy). I'll probably re-record this again once I get better software and an actual mic and get a drummer and another guitarist or something, which might be a really long time, if by then I still feel that this song isn't too bad.

There's only one guitar, except for the fingerpicking solo part. I think it's just the mic that's making it sound terrible.

(EDIT: If someone has any tips for lyric-writing (because I always feel un-inspired and stumped when I'm writing lyrics) that would be great too?)
Hiya, I'm Kanavazk.
[(No longer) bored out of my mind...]
Spoiler:
[Well, it's better than Vista. --Meowgan]
(I DO realize that that quote was from an xkcd comic, thank you very much.)

jacob
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Re: I finally recorded a song...

Postby jacob » Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:01 am UTC

First, you definitely need to get a cheap usb interface and a decent microphone, but of course you all ready knew that. I think the song itself is very decent, but I would make the intro about half as long. I thought the guitar solo was great. Not amazing, but great. I liked the way it started so abruptly and was slightly jerky and out of time. It was an interesting contrast to the rest of the song, whether that's what you were going for or not. I definitely see some potential here.

As for the singing, one thing you can do is to always hum the notes while you sing them. Hum a simple two or three note phrase. Try to hum so that you feel the vibrations in your throat and in your chest. If you can't feel it in your chest, try relaxing and saying "uh huh" a few times like you would if some one was explaining something to you. Sometimes this works. Then, when you can hum 2 or 3 notes, and you can feel the vibrations in your throat and hopefully a little bit in your chest, hum the notes while singing "ah". It's important to be focused on the pitch of the note you're singing and not so much the tone of your voice at first. When you hum, all you have is pitch. Now, as far as I know this isn't a formal singing practice technique, as I've never taken lessons or read any books on singing, but it is something I discovered while trying to learn how to sing, and it helps me a lot. Hope this helps.

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Dingbats
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Re: I finally recorded a song...

Postby Dingbats » Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:56 pm UTC

To be honest, I had expected something completely crappy, but this is actually pretty good for a first song. It certainly is way better than anything I wrote when I was fourteen. I like the energetic way you play the guitar, it suits the song. And there's a major chord foreign to the key that keeps recurring that's really nice.

To continue being honest, I think the lyrics are pretty bad. But lyrics are hard. I've been writing songs for about five years now, and there's still only a handful of the lyrics I've written that I like. Just keep on writing and you'll get better and better. I don't know what kind of music you listen to, but broadening your musical tastes is always a good way to get a perspective on songwriting.

Keep on doing what you're doing!

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kaniman2
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Re: I finally recorded a song...

Postby kaniman2 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:32 am UTC

@ Jacob - I considered shortening the intro in the past, but for some reason it feels rushed when I did that, so I might alter the intro a bit. Thanks for the singing tip, I'll try using it in the future. I feel that my solos sound like a Pink Floyd/Led Zeppelin hybrid dumbed down so that I can actually (kind of) play it (I still haven't perfected my own solo, which is kind of sad), so when I improvise them I always feel like I'm ripping off David Gilmour or something.

@ Dingbats - It's not my first song, just the first one I actually wrote lyrics to. I appreciate the comment on my lyrics, because that's the part of my songwriting that I worry the most about. I listen to a variety of (mainly rock) music, but I never really studied the lyrics very much, and I'm not that great at visualizing words. I also worry that when I write a song or lyrics that my music sounds too similar to another song, and that I might've ripped someone off, which is something that always bugs me whenever I do random jams (how I usually start writing songs).
Hiya, I'm Kanavazk.
[(No longer) bored out of my mind...]
Spoiler:
[Well, it's better than Vista. --Meowgan]
(I DO realize that that quote was from an xkcd comic, thank you very much.)

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Dingbats
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Re: I finally recorded a song...

Postby Dingbats » Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:42 am UTC

kaniman2 wrote:@ Dingbats - It's not my first song, just the first one I actually wrote lyrics to.

Oh, I got the impression it was the first song you actually finished.

Anyway, listen to lots of different music and write a lot. Don't try too hard to make the lyrics poetic, just write whatever comes out. Do that for a year or so, maybe less, and you'll see that the words start forming some kind of poetry naturally, without you having to force them into the mould. That's a great feeling when it happens.

Paranoid__Android
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Re: I finally recorded a song...

Postby Paranoid__Android » Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:03 am UTC

It may just be me but whenever I try to write lyrics it always helps if I am dead tired-usually at 3 in the morning.
The Great Hippo wrote:Paranoid__Android,
... truly, you are a champion among champions. ...

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kaniman2
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Re: I finally recorded a song...

Postby kaniman2 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:41 am UTC

It's usually around that time when I think of a couple lines that sound okay.
Hiya, I'm Kanavazk.
[(No longer) bored out of my mind...]
Spoiler:
[Well, it's better than Vista. --Meowgan]
(I DO realize that that quote was from an xkcd comic, thank you very much.)

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Sanctuary1
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Re: I finally recorded a song...

Postby Sanctuary1 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:07 am UTC

A cool trick with audacity is the noise removal feature. Select a bit of silence that your mic is picking up, and you can remove all the background noise. Most of the mic problems is that it's clipping, and I'm a newb at audacity aswell so, can't help you there. I do songs with it too, and although I usually use acoustic, not singing too close to the mic is always good. Another note about the mic is, I use the Rock Band 2 mic. It's actually really good in my opinion.

As for the vocals in total, I really love it. It may just be my taste for loud indistinguishable noise, but it was really cool. The guitar solo also reminded me of a perhaps more serious Moldy Peaches guitar solo. I really like the song, good job.
I can most accurately describe Death From Above 1979's genre as "Heavy Indie Alternative Progressive Punkcore Dance Funk Metal"

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kaniman2
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Re: I finally recorded a song...

Postby kaniman2 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:27 am UTC

Sanctuary1 wrote:A cool trick with audacity is the noise removal feature...

I can't use sound software well, so that never works for me. Anyway I decided that it'd be best to just leave the minor annoyance in without making anything sound worse, and I guess the noise made my mistakes a bit less noticible, so I left it in.
Hiya, I'm Kanavazk.
[(No longer) bored out of my mind...]
Spoiler:
[Well, it's better than Vista. --Meowgan]
(I DO realize that that quote was from an xkcd comic, thank you very much.)

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Sanctuary1
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Re: I finally recorded a song...

Postby Sanctuary1 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:50 am UTC

kaniman2 wrote:
Sanctuary1 wrote:A cool trick with audacity is the noise removal feature...

I can't use sound software well, so that never works for me. Anyway I decided that it'd be best to just leave the minor annoyance in without making anything sound worse, and I guess the noise made my mistakes a bit less noticible, so I left it in.

Fair enough.
I can most accurately describe Death From Above 1979's genre as "Heavy Indie Alternative Progressive Punkcore Dance Funk Metal"

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SkaBassist
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Re: I finally recorded a song...

Postby SkaBassist » Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:50 pm UTC

I thought it was quite good.

As for singing, just practice your ass off. Sing any time you're alone, sing when you're in the shower, sing along with songs in the car. For me, I got recording stuff last christmas. I was a horrible singer. Over the past year, I sang all the time, and gradually got better. I'm not a great singer or anything, but I'm good enough. Now, listening back to the stuff I recorded a year ago, I can hear the vast improvement.

And yeah, I'm gonna be honest, the lyrics are crap. I can't help you there, though, because my lyrics are pretty crap too.

kaniman2 wrote:Once upon a time, I was filled with hopes and dreams
The light might still be there, but it, I cannot see
Evaporate my fears just for all of them to rain down, again
Why can’t I do to them what I did to me?

Mystik Spiral, anyone?

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kaniman2
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Re: I finally recorded a song...

Postby kaniman2 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:04 pm UTC

I just searched for Mystik Spiral on Wikipedia. Never heard of it, but if I stole it from a fictional rock band pity me. (I've never even watched MTV.)

I guess I'll keep practicing then.
Hiya, I'm Kanavazk.
[(No longer) bored out of my mind...]
Spoiler:
[Well, it's better than Vista. --Meowgan]
(I DO realize that that quote was from an xkcd comic, thank you very much.)

Prospekt
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Re: I finally recorded a song...

Postby Prospekt » Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:55 am UTC

another thing you might wanna do is get a metronome & put it in your ear or something when you're recording.

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kaniman2
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Re: I finally recorded a song...

Postby kaniman2 » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:49 pm UTC

My metronome is broken (long story) and I don't have the money to buy another one, let alone one small enough to fit in an ear...?
Hiya, I'm Kanavazk.
[(No longer) bored out of my mind...]
Spoiler:
[Well, it's better than Vista. --Meowgan]
(I DO realize that that quote was from an xkcd comic, thank you very much.)


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