New instrumental - Mischievous Swing (remix uploaded)

mr_crowleymr_crowley Posts: 6,158
edited November 13 in Recording
Been a really long time since I released something I've recorded unto the world. Have been really busy with life in general but also not really getting there musically... I've written tons and tons of stuff, even completed whole projects just to scrape 'em and throw them in the trash.
The sort of tipping point came about a month or two ago, I worked really hard on a song I was happy with. Was getting some pretty kick ass sounds and was really happy with it overall. But I just couldn't get the mix right, it was something like 35-40 tracks on that fucker so it was waaay beyond what I am capable of really, haha! I ended up just having to give up after working on it constantly for about a month (or more..). As shit as that felt I thought I'd focus more on just playing some nice rock n' roll instead, trying to find the joy in music!

I've played a shitload of guitar the last month or two. Been a blast. I am also itching to get back in a band or something. I am technically still part of The Gloria Story but my status there is more or less just a hired gun and as they are off doing lot of other projects (acoustic stuff, their touring the UK in december with the acoustic trio) that I am not involved I got nothing to scratch my itch to play some rock n' roll. I am new to this town I am living in, I've lived here for a year and got lots of friends and everything but not any "rock" people that likes to hang out and jam, maybe have a few beers :p 

Well, I am getting way off track, haha! Sorry!

Anyways, I made an add that I was looking for a band and was getting a few responses. I was even in talks with a heavy metal group in the more thrash kind of style, I know those guys, they opened for Gasoline Stars a few times back in the day! Eventually that didn't work out. I am not really picky but I wanna play with relatively good people. I much prefer guys that are better than me so I can pick up a few things but at least that they are capable of ripping out some old school heavy metal on an acceptable level you know.

Well, I thought it will be hard getting any serious attention without any proof of what I've done. I really don't want to make an add filled with links to records and live clips and what-not. I just feels like a dick move, sort of humble brag. So I've just stated that I've done some records and a few tours, contact me and I tell you more...

But then I thought, why not record something cool which I can refer to. I mean, I would love to record and write - getting back up on that horse and I wanna do some ROCK again.
Wrote a little piece earlier this week when I was doing the laundry. Recorded the basics in a couple of hours and did like two sessions for overdubs over the course of this week. Thought it came out really cool.

Also a chance to break out and record my JCM, haven't done that in a long time. Doing more pop oriented stuff recording and writing wise last few years, it has been easier just sticking with built in modelers since the guitars aren't that prominent anyway it doesn't really matter...

My signal chain for the "lead" or "main" guitar or whatever was as follow: banez RG550 -> Dunlop CryBaby 535Q (cooked Schenker style) -> MXR Micro Amp -> Marshall JCM1 (boost channel) -> Palmer 1x12 (w/Celestion V30) -> Shure SM57 -> Focusrite Saffire 6 USB -> Logic Pro X (minimal processing just some EQ, delay and reverb).
For the rhytms it the same except straight into the amp and on the "regular" channel. I am really happy with the guitar tones, I think they came out super cool.
That is basically also the sound I use when I sit around and home and play. Only difference is that I am getting my ambience from a TC Flashback instead of a Logic plugin...
Overall I am really happy with the sound of the recording. For me personally I think it is among the best things I've done this far. There is certainly room for improvement so any pointers are welcome.
Other than guitar there is some Logic drum loops, some percussion (also loops) and some MIDI horns and an organ. Overall very simple but I think it works great.

And the song I think is really cool. I wanted to do something a bit raw and in your face. Came up with that first lick (which is what the whole songs revolves around) and thought I just go with it - it sounded sort of dirty and bluesy with a lot swing and swagger so I went full blast in the direction.
The solo sounds like it is getting out of control but I liked the vibe of it so I kept it.
I tried recording the rhytms very fast and loose to really get that sloopy, kind of relaxed feel and thought I scored on that one too. The progression under the solo I am really happy with.
After the guitars were recorded it was just basically to embellish it a bit which was quite easy. I really made an effort to try to keep it simple, haha! Just added some nice textures :)

Anyway, I've gone on and on and on... Here it is, 
Mischievous Swinghttps://soundcloud.com/pontusgustafsson-1/mischievous-swing

Hope you guys enjoy it! I sure as hell enjoyed making it! :D 

As I've getting big time back into guitar and trying to really get my chops together and ultimately getting better than I was before (I am not there yet, I still feel sloppy and kind of sucky overall but I try!) any criticism is welcome. I need to know what to work on. I badly need to score a place in some cool bands in order to do that I gotta have my chops together :)
Post edited by mr_crowley on

Comments

  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 16,008
    edited November 3
    That's really cool.  I like the main theme and hook. 

    My main feedback would be on your mix.  Your center lead guitar is at least a couple of db too loud compared to the rest of the band tracks. I know it's the main thing -- in place of a vocal, but it's overpowering everything else. It needs to sit better with the backing tracks, and then maybe you bump it up a db for the guitar solo, then back down. I sense your rhythm guitar parts are pretty strong, but I can't hear any detail in them because the melody guitar is killing them. 

    Having a hard time hearing any kick drum, and is there bass guitar on this? Do you know how to add compression to those tracks?
    Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
    Life is easier, so much easier, life is easier now.
  • mr_crowleymr_crowley Posts: 6,158
    Thanks for the response and feedback Dave! Much appreciated :) 

    I am happy you found the overall track cool 'cause I thought it came out just that: 'cool'. Bit of an oddball but it got something, if I may say so :+1: 

    Yeah, I hear you. The lead guitar is probably a few notches too loud, I tried to percieve it as a lead vocal but it got lot of 'cut' as it is so I probably overdid it. I'll try and bring it back some - as I said in my post, I thought the rhytm tracks came out cool so it is a shame they don't really cut through.
    There are some healthy compression and sqaush on both the bass guitar and the drums in general. I even parallel compressed them really hard and blended that in, pretty loud. Probably was to conservative with that too though.

    Gonna give it another shot, adressing all those issues! Thank you! :)

    Not trying to gloze my lack mix but unfortunately Soundcloud's compression of what you upload these days those not work in your favour. I do hear a quite dramatic difference in what I have in a high-res .wav file on my computer and what streams off Soundcloud. Gonna try some other medium for the remix ;) 
  • Cool piece. The Crybaby gives it a strong Schenker feel, which is always a good thing in my book. I didn't particularly think the lead guitar was THAT overpowering compared to the other instruments, but I agree with Dave on the drums. He already addressed it in a way better that I ever could so I won't go there...
  • TravisWTravisW Posts: 747
    The best parts performance-wise, are the second part that ascends and the solo. The main theme seems to have two issues: the pitch of the bend and the timing of the picking.  I think if you practice it slowed down a bit and firm up the bend and picking approach, the final outcome will be more balanced. 

    That said, the piece itself is cool 
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 16,008
    edited November 3
    Thanks for the response and feedback Dave! Much appreciated :) 

    I am happy you found the overall track cool 'cause I thought it came out just that: 'cool'. Bit of an oddball but it got something, if I may say so :+1: 

    Yeah, I hear you. The lead guitar is probably a few notches too loud, I tried to percieve it as a lead vocal but it got lot of 'cut' as it is so I probably overdid it. I'll try and bring it back some - as I said in my post, I thought the rhytm tracks came out cool so it is a shame they don't really cut through.
    There are some healthy compression and sqaush on both the bass guitar and the drums in general. I even parallel compressed them really hard and blended that in, pretty loud. Probably was to conservative with that too though.

    Even if it were a true lead vocal, it would be too loud.  (And singers always want their vocals too loud ;) ).  Try backing it off TOO FAR, and then bring it up slowly while listening carefully to the backing tracks. Stop before you lose the nuance details of your backing tracks. 

    As for the rhythm section, there is where you don't have to be as conservative. Try slamming the shit out of your parallel compression tracks.  They're not supposed to sound correct on their own -- you just blend them with their parent tracks until they give you the oomph you want out of them. So you can really slam them.

     I literally couldn't hear bass guitar.  See if you can get kick, snare, and bass to come out some more. Those are always the hardest elements to get sounding right (IMO), but they're the foundation of everything.


    mr_crowley said:
    Not trying to gloze my lack mix but unfortunately Soundcloud's compression of what you upload these days those not work in your favour. I do hear a quite dramatic difference in what I have in a high-res .wav file on my computer and what streams off Soundcloud. Gonna try some other medium for the remix ;) 


    Always check your mixes on a few, reliable, "real-world" reference sources -- preferably ones that you know how things sound on. I always checked mixes on my car stereo, and on Apple earbuds (which are now the most common listening media). In the old days, we'd check on boomboxes too. 


    Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
    Life is easier, so much easier, life is easier now.
  • BytorBytor Posts: 1,237
    We don't use soundcloud much these days but when we did I set the tracks to private until we got something acceptable given SC's idiosyncrasies 
  • mr_crowleymr_crowley Posts: 6,158
    edited November 7
    TravisW said:
    The best parts performance-wise, are the second part that ascends and the solo. The main theme seems to have two issues: the pitch of the bend and the timing of the picking.  I think if you practice it slowed down a bit and firm up the bend and picking approach, the final outcome will be more balanced. 

    That said, the piece itself is cool 

    Thanks a lot! Some good stuff in there. I should probably have practised it more before recording but felt I wanted to do it right away not get all "burned out" working on it. But definitely, pitch and timing has sort of always been my weak points. My overall speed and technique chops are coming together more and more, probably take some more time practice that stuff. Thanks :+1: 

    Dinosaur David B said: mr_crowley said: Thanks for the response and feedback Dave! Much appreciated :) 

    I am happy you found the overall track cool 'cause I thought it came out just that: 'cool'. Bit of an oddball but it got something, if I may say so :+1: 

    Yeah, I hear you. The lead guitar is probably a few notches too loud, I tried to percieve it as a lead vocal but it got lot of 'cut' as it is so I probably overdid it. I'll try and bring it back some - as I said in my post, I thought the rhytm tracks came out cool so it is a shame they don't really cut through.
    There are some healthy compression and sqaush on both the bass guitar and the drums in general. I even parallel compressed them really hard and blended that in, pretty loud. Probably was to conservative with that too though.

    Even if it were a true lead vocal, it would be too loud.  (And singers always want their vocals too loud ;) ).  Try backing it off TOO FAR, and then bring it up slowly while listening carefully to the backing tracks. Stop before you lose the nuance details of your backing tracks. 

    As for the rhythm section, there is where you don't have to be as conservative. Try slamming the shit out of your parallel compression tracks.  They're not supposed to sound correct on their own -- you just blend them with their parent tracks until they give you the oomph you want out of them. So you can really slam them.



    I will do another mix as soon as I get some time. Currently pretty crammed between private life, school and work. Need to do some regular woodshedding as well ;) 

    That about backing it off too far and then bringing it up is a really good advice. Gonna try that! :) Will not be as gentle on the compression for here on!




    Dinosaur David B said:mr_crowley said:Not trying to gloze my lack mix but unfortunately Soundcloud's compression of what you upload these days those not work in your favour. I do hear a quite dramatic difference in what I have in a high-res .wav file on my computer and what streams off Soundcloud. Gonna try some other medium for the remix ;) 
    Always check your mixes on a few, reliable, "real-world" reference sources -- preferably ones that you know how things sound on. I always checked mixes on my car stereo, and on Apple earbuds (which are now the most common listening media). In the old days, we'd check on boomboxes too. 
     
    I usually do that. Always on my HS7 (Yamaha) and built in Mac speakers. Also always through my AKG KT77, not the greatest headphones in the world but I really know how those do sound. I've listened music to them at least a few hours a week (usually more) for five years. I will be devastated the day they give up on me <3

    Usually also take stuff to the car and listen through my cell phone. Didn't do that this time becuase I just felt it sounded decent anyway. Lesson learned :astonished: 


    Bytor said: We don't use soundcloud much these days but when we did I set the tracks to private until we got something acceptable given SC's idiosyncrasies 


    Have had that problem both on Soundcloud and Spotify (the song I uploaded on Spotify got totally wrecked!) lately. It drastically alters what I uploaded... Probably has to learn to work around that. I wonder if there are any plug-ins that emulates the compression and sound loss you got on various platforms so you sort of can listen already at the mixing stage if stuff is gonna end up sounding as you intend.
    Post edited by mr_crowley on
  • Seven MoonsSeven Moons Posts: 7,972
    I think it's a really cool little piece, the main theme is quite catchy (and with a Schenker vibe, which is an obvious bonus in my book ;) ).  I like the greasier blues feel of the second riff (starting at 0'26), and the melodic approach of the solo. I agree with the remarks on the mix, as others said, the lead guitar is too loud (I guess we're all a bit guilty of this =) ), especially on the main theme and sometimes it makes little inaccuracies more noticeable.  In any case, I'd sure be happy to hear another mix when you'll find some time! 
  • mr_crowleymr_crowley Posts: 6,158
    Thanks Vincent!

    Always pumped when someone mentions Schenker (twice in this thread, major!). It was certainly the original thought with having the cocked wah throughout the song. I've always loved that sound and that has a lot to do with Schenker. I think when it comes to rock instrumentals he is the king. Awesome melodies and cool ideas combined with flawless playing without being so extremely precise that it sucks the "life" out of it (like Vai tends to do sometimes. I love some of his stuff but it sometimes becomes a little too precise and avant-garde for my taste).

    Gonna try and squeeze some time remix this today or later next week! :) 
  • mr_crowleymr_crowley Posts: 6,158
    edited November 13
    Well, I've worked quite a bit on this piece today - probably more than I should 'cause I nothing I planned to do have been done, haven't even made the bed...
    Had a lot of trouble getting any volume at all from it. It is still pretty quiet - I think I need to buy some kind of faux-master plugin becuase it doesn't matter what I do, I can even have the whole tracks balancing around 0dB and 7-8 LuFS, still doesn't get that kick out of it volume wise. Any ideas? I know I won't get pro-levels but at least a bit more 'in your face'.

    I think it sounds much fuller and fatter now. Thanks for the heads up and pointers, very grateful :) I think the better sounding backing track also helps the lead guitar sounding better, it doesn't get so brittle and detailed with all the noise and stuff.

    Left the old one up for reference :+1: 

    Further ideas and feedback are very much welcome. I feel quite finished with this one but it is always good to have new knowledge, ideas and pointers to bring into future projects :) 
    Post edited by mr_crowley on
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 16,008
    edited November 13
    Big improvement!

    A much better balanced mix, and I can hear the rhythm section better.  If you return to it, you could bump the guitar solo (only) up .5 to 1db to make it pop more. But you have the melody guitar placed well, now. 

    To get more volume out of it, you'll need to run it through Logic's Multipressor and faux master it. There are videos on that on YouTube. Just search for them.  I'm sure the Recording Revolution guy probably has some how-to videos on that too, but he works in ProTools -- but the concepts will be the same. 

    Once you have that on your mix buss, you could see if it has any pre-sets on it as starting points. Find one that sounds good to you, and tweak the individual parameters from there.  
    Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
    Life is easier, so much easier, life is easier now.
  • mr_crowleymr_crowley Posts: 6,158
    Thanks Dave!
    I think the difference is really remarkable in the whole feel of the song with the backing louder and fatter. 

    Multipressors. I've tried those but never really got the hang of how to use them. Will check out some tutorials and keep that in mind for the future! Thanks a ton!

    And yeah, I forgot to post a direct link to the remix yesterday... That is here if anybody wanna have a listen without having to browse around a few clicks:
    https://soundcloud.com/pontusgustafsson-1/mischievous-swing-remix
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