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Thread: Eyes in the night-early demo version

  1. #11
    Axellent Member anfontan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edandis View Post
    Sounds good. All it needs is more cowbell.
    Thanks to you as well edandis, I have to get me one of those Cowbell Maximizer pedals to kick that cowbell into overdrive!!!!!!!!!
    "Minister of useless trivia-that says it all!"

  2. #12
    Axellent Member Braindancer's Avatar
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    Is there another place to get your songs, anfontan? I'm on dialup. SoundClick downloads are blocked for me (I get a "membership denied" message), and even the lo-fi playback is taking about 12 minutes per minute of audio...would rather get a hi-bitrate download if it's going to be that long.

  3. #13
    Axellent Member anfontan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Braindancer View Post
    Is there another place to get your songs, anfontan? I'm on dialup. SoundClick downloads are blocked for me (I get a "membership denied" message), and even the lo-fi playback is taking about 12 minutes per minute of audio...would rather get a hi-bitrate download if it's going to be that long.
    I could email them to your email address, I could send one to see if it comes through okay. All of my stuff on Soundclick is in the MP3 format, send a PM to me and I will send one through, Braindancer.
    "Minister of useless trivia-that says it all!"

  4. #14
    Axellent Member Braindancer's Avatar
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    Ok I've finally gotten a chance to hear more than 10 seconds at go. I've got a few comments...hope this is helpful rather than harsh...compliments never improved MY music.

    I didn't start out as a musician. Back in high school the local paper got me to do a record review column as something to pull in the youth market, and a couple of years later that column was syndicated in Canada...not very profitably, I might add, but I had a good little sideline going for a while re-selling all those promo copies of albums that the record label offices sent me!

    I'm saying this because it never failed to astonish me how harsh music critics always seem to be with riff rock...most of them think it's dead easy stuff to write, so why does so much of it sound so ordinary? The fact that so many of us TRY to write it and so few ever actually get to have that kind of music heard just underscores the difficulty. It's BRUTALLY hard to do well, because you can't just write it, or write your way through a weak or mediocre idea...so much of it has to be done with feel and with your sound; there's no formula, and most of the best stuff is either inspired genius that comes together really quickly or a long process that comes thru a LOT of trial and error.

    First thing that struck me...kudos on the break! Too much of this kind of music still tries to repeat the main riff under the lead break, and that was old news by 1970. Nice change of pace there...good foundation to build on.

    You've probably figured this out yourself, but that main riff, however good it is by itself, is overused here. There's all kinds of variations you can throw on it so that it's got more variety...a double C-A at the end of the riff, finishing it with A-E every other time, even just going to the A and hanging there for the full 4-1/2 beats...what this does is free up the opportunity to incorporate the main riff into the lead break itself without running the risk of overdoing it. Some riffs really have a powerful emotional impact and can take almost-infinite repetition ("Bo Diddley", "TV Eye", etc.) You kind of have to be harsh on stuff like this and really ask "is this riff enough to be a foundation for a whole song, or does it only work as a reference point?". It's a tough call to make.

    In a case where your vocal chops are limiting what you can do with a vocal track, there is still a way get more out of the chops you have...took me over a year to figure this out: over-enunciate everything. The actual content of the lyric just sort of faded into the background for me; what registered for me was the vocal line over the guitar. That's fine on generic cars-girls-and-f***-the-establishment stuff, but Eyes in the Night has an intrigue that I want fed. I want to hear the vocals OVER-enunciated - in hard rock, you can be almost cartoon-like in your over-enunciation without sounding corny - so that the words really register and by the time you get to the chorus, even the first-time listener has at least some idea of what Eyes in the Night really means. Over-enunciation is mostly done with the lips and teeth...force them a lot tighter or thinner or wider than you normally would, and the lyric really starts to pop over top of the backing tracks, and this is one of few types of music where this actually sounds good.

    I can hear you struggling to find a bassline with this. You might be further ahead trying to find a complementary rhythm guitar first, then filling the bottom based on what's left. I used to find myself using drum beats to write over, and what I discovered was that the beats were limiting what I was able to come up with. Now when I'm sketching out structures, I only use a simple kick-snare-kick-snare beat now to make sure I don't try to force a rhythm onto something, or worse, not try a rhythm on something because it doesn't fit with the drum pattern I originally picked as the metronome beat.

    The one part of the song that I thought was noticeably weak was the resolution from the bars in E down to the A again...the chromatic off-beat chords. It could be an illusion caused by a repetition of the main riff...it might not be nearly as noticeable if the main riff was more varied. I can hear you trying for something strong there, and what you've got might work OK with a different treatment of the main riff, but you might find that it needs to reworked somehow...maybe with more space in the arrangement, maybe with a different rhythm (staccato 8ths, maybe even 12ths)...I just wanted that turnaround to set me up so that the first beat of the main A riff leaves parts of my skull on the back wall instead of just sounding like something that was just supposed to be there.

    Another thing I do is keep SoundForge open on the desktop and a desktop mic connected whenever I'm just messing around. Any time I hit a riff or line that I really like, I record it and file it in an "ideas" file with a few keywords in the filename so that I can find it again whenever I'm working on something with a similar feel. It's damn hard to write this kind of music right out of your head...it becomes a LOT easier...a LOT easier...once you've got a "library" of riffs and rhythms that you can browse thru for stuff that might work with other stuff. I think that's one of the reasons why most riff-rock bands either only ever hit stride with their first album, or with their third or fourth, or with just one or two songs, and rarely ever sound as good again...they accumulate certain riffs and licks from jamming, and they always seem to raid their "library" of all the very best stuff on just one or two albums, and never seem to come up with enough ideas again to match that achievement.

    Anyhow...hope there's one or two things you can use here. 128kbps was just fine for me...feel free to shoot me another by e-mail the next one you post to AT, and if you decide not to, I'd certainly understand why! ;-)

  5. #15
    Axellent Member anfontan's Avatar
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    I totally welcome a good honest critique of any songs I do, as a musician I think you have to take it all in and learn from it and don't be 'thin skinned' with the replies. After the return to school I must admit the song is in a very early stage and needs a lot of polish to reach the pride in performance stage level.
    When time is willing I will be reworking this and I want to thank you for the great assessment of the tune.
    --Tony
    "Minister of useless trivia-that says it all!"

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