[Music] Flight

I just finished recording this today. The song was originally written / recorded in 2004, and is autobiographical in a way. It’s called Flight, and it’s about a man who has a normal life: corporate job, wife, kids, etc. But he dreams of being something extraordinary: a mover and a shaker, a captain of industry.

The chords of the secondary rhythm guitar during the outro rise in their sequence as a metaphor for him “taking off,” while the lead solos on top of it.

The original liner notes are below:

The music for this song starts as a “typo,” so to speak. I was carrying his classical guitar upstairs (strapless! Don’t try this at home, folks!) and was twiddling around with it when I reached out to grab a doorknob. The resulting riff sounded neat and became the basis for the song.

The lyrics, on the other hand, were composed while sitting on a park bench waiting for some hopefully soon-to-be business partners to arrive for dinner. (It was one of my many business ideas that never went anywhere.) In any case, they are semi-autobiographical.

The singer keeps asking the person of whom he is singing, “Are you ready?” to which the reply is always, “Yes, I’m ready.” Maybe one of these days I will come up with a business idea that’s worth something.



A man by day, a boy at night
He tries to keep his dreams alive
But reality keeps pushing in
Fight and push and pull away
Try to keep that monster at bay

He gets up at 6:15
Showers, shaves, and stops to preen
Wants to look the corp’rate man
But when his brain stops to take a rest
He flies to places only he knows best

A famous musician or a fireman
A pilot or whatever he can

Are you ready?
Yes, I’m ready.

A family guy when he’s home at night
Loves his wife, and he feels alright
But in his heart he’s taking off in flight
And while in bed he savors the dreams
That make reality more than it seems

He wishes he were a captain of industry
A mover and a shaker is his destiny

Are you ready?
Yes, I’m ready.

Are you ready?
Yes, I’m ready.

Vocals - Neumann TLM103 to the outboard pre.
Guitars - '79 Strat played through my outboard pre. Any overdrive / distortion is Kuassa’s Amplifikation Creme.
Bass - Kontakt
Drums - Battery

I liked it. Your singing reminds me of Joe Walsh.
I think the mix sounds pretty good. Towards the end I was expecting a “bridge” or some interesting departure from the basic verse.
Nice Job.

standouts for me, cool lyrics, cooler bassline, coolest guitar fade in on the outtro

Very nice, Larry!
Good clear mix :sunglasses:

some Gremlins…1.33, 2.03 and 2.36 (you might already know about them… should be easy fixes :wink: )

Im getting a nice kinda laid-back Van Halen vibe from the Geetar riffs :smiley: :sunglasses:


(It seems I can’t do multi-quote replies, so I am doing them individually.)

I think my singing sucks, actually. I would love to have someone with a better voice sing this - since this is more James Taylor style music, MKP would be a good choice. :slight_smile: But thanks for the compliment.

As far as the song structure goes, I was still very immature in my songwriting when this was conceived. (Arguably I still am but that’s another discussion entirely.) This is why the structure departs from the typical “radio friendly” format.

When I first wrote this, my very close friend (and outstanding bassist) Lee told me that he absolutely loved the baseline, and it was a really humbling comment to hear because I respect his creative and songwriting skills so much.

The bassline just before the “are you ready” sung parts was blatantly stolen (conceptually at least) from Styx’ Too Much Time on my Hands.

The secondary rhythm in the outro (the distorted one) used the Envelope Shaper insert (stock effect under the Dynamics section with the E-Bow Like preset). The lead used automation to fade in the first note.

On what track are the gremlins? I didn’t hear anything at 1:33 so I’m undoubtedly not listening for the right thing. Are they timing related? Pitch? Help me out. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thank you for the compliments on the mix, by the way. This has been an albatross on my neck for a number of years but I think I finally licked it after doing a lot of reading here (supplemented with other sources) of stuff you gurus have written and then developing the recording technique that I documented in my thread for Scab.

Ah, sorry, forgot to say :blush:
If what i’m hearing is right, should all be on the vocal track.
I think some lip-smacks at 1.31/1.32 (not at 1.33 as 1st thought)
Sounds a little like a mic pop/click at 2.03
a couple more of those lip-smacks around 2.36

Great document you posted!
That Blue Cat Freqanalyst plug is a crackin freebie, I think you were the one that posted the link to
it a while back…cheers for doing that by the way, I’ve found it to be a massive help! :wink: :sunglasses:



The frequency analyst plug-in helps considering in developing a clear mix because if I have a relatively even distribution of frequencies I get predictable results when I sculpt the EQ on each track. (There are times when exceptions are required, e.g. the bassline to Hunger [from the Haiti project] was intentionally skewed in the EQ department to give it more of a funk feel.)

But the peak meter plug-in helps ensure consistency in “loudness” from one song to the next. That was always annoying as hell to me, so in my opinion the money was well spent.

Ever since I read this I have thought about it. Lenny once posted in here that he copies and pastes a lot when working with vocal lines. I don’t remember the specific topic of the thread where he said this, but thinking about his own vocal harmonies, I always imagined those harmonies being built by copy and paste.

I’ve never, however, tried it on my own stuff until now. Just today, I built a harmony line for certain phrases in this song and have uploaded the result to the same URL. The only other change from the original version that I posted here is that I EQ’d the vocal group channel so that it doesn’t sound mid-heavy.

Your thoughts on the harmony would be greatly appreciated. Can you hear artifacts? I copied phrases from the original vocal line and used Melodyne to shift them up. Is the level correct? What about the EQ: does the vocal line now sit better in the mix? Etc.

Hi Larry,

I like it, good song. Great guitar riff.
Your voice really sounds like Joe Walsh! :sunglasses:

About the Melodyne: yes, I can hear it.
Is that a problem? Don’t really know… it’s used a lot these days as an effect, but I’m not sure if it fits the type of song…

I never use Melodyne or Autotune, I always sing the harmony parts, I believe the small differences in timbre and timing bring it to live.


In all honesty, I would have liked to sing the harmony live. The problem that I have is that I don’t have an iso-booth so I have to wait to have some time alone to do it. That is a challenge for me since my wife is frequently at work when I’m not = I’m with our 3 year old daughter (who makes a lot of noise).

Thanks for the compliment on the song and playing, by the way.

Sound is very good overall. Some suggestions from my 3 listens: you could vary the guitar part on subsequent repeats, or add some other element to the arrangement. I like the bass line, seems to be eq’d very deeply, might back that off a little. My feeling about the song is that it needs some more variety.

Listening now Larry. Geetars, bass, drums and vocals sound good to me. Nice mix. Agreed there could be a better bridge and a few more chord changes therein but you got the thing nailed in all other respects. Good work :sunglasses:

Yeah, I agree about the variety. If I were writing the song now I would have structured it differently. But since this is a re-record almost note for note of a song I wrote many years ago I didn’t want to change it.

The EQ on the bass is quite heavy. I’m using the Be a Bass EQ preset, if I recall. However, it didn’t sound bad on my system (which doesn’t have a subwoofer). Are you using one? If so can you turn it off and see if the bass is dialed back enough? If so then perhaps I need to do a HPF in addition to the current EQ with a cutoff of about 40 Hz.

Larry, in my case, I’m not using a subwoofer.

Thanks! I’ll have another listen to it and see what I can do without sacrificing the backbone it brings.

Though the harmonys have a hint of the ‘robotic’ sound, I still like them or like the idea.

Gaffa tapes pretty good! hehe

Listening for the third time now and I like it.

It is very subdued, but very cool nonetheless.

That said if I were producing it I’d probably try to clean it up just a little and beef it up to be louder without hitting the -9 rms limit.
The limit for me goes at -13 to -12. Loud but not excruciatingly so


Really good song

Coming from someone that I respect and outright admire as a guitarist, I’m humbled that you feel this way.

I know this song needs some work and, true to form, I released it prematurely. As soon as I get some time I plan to record a true vocal harmony line (rather than use Melodyne on the original vocal). I’ll see about “beefing it up” though I don’t really know what specifically you have in mind. I also need to fix the bassline’s EQ.