[Music] 'Stay'

Here’s a finished co-write I’ve been working on. Guitars using RealLPC. And Realguitar2. Both with Cubase Amprack. Everything else Cubase 6

“Stay” http://soundcloud.com/al-james-1/stay
(Al James/Michael Gordon © 2011)


Thats darn good! It’s a perfect example of a well crafted formula pop tune. And dont misunderstand me, when I say formula I mean in that in in an entirely good and complementary way! Excellent structure, with clear verse, chorus and bridge sections arranged in a well thought out structure. Nice and well developed hook.

Nice variation in the bridge, the intensity of the tune builds through the bridge and a great example of a momentary release of tension at the end of the bridge (3:18) when you drop the dynamics into the softer 8 bars then build tension again and drop into the chorus out sections.

Very good/tight production. My comments would be…

The mix sounds pro, maybe a wee bit crunched but the sound works for the tune so I dont know that I’d necessarily change it. Me personally, I’d like to hear perhaps a touch more snare…or maybe just a bit more high end/crack on the snare to get it to cut through the mix just a little more.

In the chorus sections, it sounds like you’ve doubled the lead vocs but I’d bring the back vocs up just a little more and spread them a bit wider. The lead voc sounds quite good but getting a little fatter overall vocal punch in the chorus would make the chorus sections pop a little more.

The track as a whole is a bit too long I think. When you come out of the bridge section, there’s that 8 bars of quieter section that builds into the end chorus’. I think I hear, on the second chorus repeat, a lead guitar kind of thing coming in there but it’s rather far back in the mix. I’d try adding a more distinct, up front lead guitar at the end, perhaps a thing where the lead guitar provides some strong little fills lines between (answering) the chorus vocal phrases. The tune makes good use of building intensity as it plays through, a nice pullback after the bridge, then build again but the out chorus’ sound the same as the chorus’ earlier in the song. Adding some kind of lead element (guitar or whatever) in the final chorus’ would give them a final crescendo thing that would cap the tune off perfectly.

lastly, shorten it a bit. Perhaps begin to fade it out at the start of the third end chorus (4:09). You could do a nice fade there and be out well within 4:20…

Again, an extremely well structured and produced pop tune. Sounds radio to me! Well done.

All the best,


It’s a wonderful tune, on a par with the other tune you posted back a few weeks ago.

I like the wall of sound… but I think it would be even better if the drums got more share of the sonic space. Also, it’s a bit loud and when I turn it up there’s a bit of harshness/distortion apparent in the lead vocal.

Well I’d give good money for constructive feedback like that. Especially Karl. Thanks mate so kind to give detail.

Having lived with the mix for a couple of days I echo most of your points and going to revisit the mix to fix most of them.

Will repost nice it’s done

Thanks again


My pleasure, glad/hope it was helpful. BTW, I just checked out your web site. very nice! Is that a picture of your DAW system? If so, I think I envy you. very clean and organized and nice desk/workspace. Like the Euphonix control surfaces too (are you happy with them?).

Lastly, I’m wondering who created/hosts your web site? Nicely done, very cool and pro looking!


Thanks Karl. Those are actually Mackie MCU pro series controller.

They’re great however I’m actually thinking of selling then now as really I do all mixing purely in cubase. Nice to see those faders move with my automation but really redundant for my needs. If you hear of anyone looking to buy such a device let me know.

Thanks on the website too. It was my own build. I read some books and learned how to build websites. Hate paying someone to do a job I can do myself :slight_smile:

Anyway. Cheers again

Hi Al,

I like this, this is a great pop song.

I think Karl and Doug gave some good points about the mix.
I don’t have much to add, other than that I enjoyed this very much. :sunglasses:


Thanks Wim.

And Im revisitng the mix now…

Really nice, pro sounding production, Al. I love your voice. This reminds me a bit of Keane. Are you familiar with them? If not, I think you’d dig’em.

Looking forward to your updated mix.


Thanks Lenny. Ye Keane great band and songs. I do one of their songs ‘somewhere only we know’ live and the people like it.


Cool. ‘A Bad Dream’ from ‘Under The Iron Sea’ gives me the chills. :sunglasses:

Yup… gotta agree this is a very commercial sounding production. I like your singer… though I think when he gets into that higher register there’s a frequency in there that could be tamed a little I reckon - it seems to penetrate the ears a little harshly. Overall the mix does seem quite compressed and that combined with and what is a fairly ‘thick’ arrangement… well, I did wonder whether the dynamics were somewhat compromised?

Anyway, all that aside it really is a great track. Well done! :sunglasses:

Excellent :sunglasses: