My first real song with Cubase. I'm a newbie

Hi guys.

I’m a newbie so some help would be great… I have a song but the vocals aren’t laid down just yet…

All the instruments are from the built in VSTs in Cubase 5.

I’m just not sure what to do as far as EQ and things like that which I hear about and how to make it right… any advice? Take a listen? Also any advice as far as notes and things like that will be appreciated since I’m just a self-taught musician(I hope I’m a musician…)

I’m a newbie so I will gladly try to learn from any posts that come here. Please don’t be too harsh hahah. :imp:

If you have iTunes on your computer it should play through that , but just give it some time to open cuz it has to download.

Good first song. Nice atmospheric opening. It would be interesting to hear it with the vocals.
The nylon guitar type patch that you use as the main instrument for the first half of the song would be good if you could play a real guitar or get someone to do it for you. I find some of the cut-off’s leading into a new section a bit abrupt, but maybe it would sound different with the vocals on there.
Keep 'em coming,
Cheers Steve

Thanks Steve,

The instsrument in the start is actually the VST Harp in Halion. It was the closest sounding instrument to my preferred piano sound.

welcome to the show.
yup, nice piece, very cinematic movements with a ton of possibilities. I enjoyed the arrangement. curious how you’ll finish it.

Really good ideas in this. Hard for me to comment as you’re heavily invested in drum programming that ,to me, doesn’t fit or compel the song. Lots of people like the kind of thing you’re doing with the drums. I 'd tend to feel they could be understated and the tom/bass drum fills are too much out front. The mood is great and ideas you throw in on transitions are great also. Hard to believe you’re a newbie but as you say you are ,I’ll go along with you. One thing to keep in mind is that almost all sampled orchestral sounds ,even from specialized libraries, are unlikely to really fool an audience into thinking they’re real. So ,to me, its best not to play a naked cello ,for example ,out front in the mix unless its blended with another string to add a little gravitasse.

I listened twice, worth it for me.

Yeah, I’d say the drum fills sound a little “clumsy”, probably not idiomatic of a drummer, I’d expect them to flow more naturally. Pretty good piece though. I think the key with VST instruments is to make em as human as possible, even if that means an instrument coming in a 16th early (or late). Put brief fade ins (and outs) on some of em to give them a more human feel. Towards the end of the piece you have the acoustic and cello moving almost as if they’re in blocks. That’s someting Mr M alluded to also.

Enjoyed the music though :sunglasses:

I’m not sure what to do since I have only vst to work with, so it is going to sound “fake” in a sense as you guys state.

Mr M and otherse,

Naked Cello, i assume you mean at the end? If so, It is supposed to harmonize with the missing vocals, but I will have to lower the volume on that so its not so much in the open. I guess that is what you mean?

As far as tom/bass out too much front, can you elaborate so I can fix it? And what do you guys mean by clumsy drums on some part? Can you tell me which time in the song and what I can do to fix?

Thanks for all your guys’ help.

And yes, this is the first one I worked on but I have been analyzing music and playing drums for like 5 years. When I hear good stuff I just try to take it and put it in this song. I have been working on the song for a long time that is probably why it sounds like its not my “very” first time. But I’m just scared it will have some serious issues cuz I’m doing it all self taught and thats why this forum is great. If I can understand exactly how to fix the things u guys are saying.

Thanks, again! :smiley:

You’re crazy to be afraid of anything. You’ve got some good things going here. Saying you’re a drummer puts it all in perspective. Often the instrument that you play will influence its level in the mix. The cello I referenced was at the end but if you have nothing else to work with just dial it back a tad. You should be on the lookout for additional sample libraries. Audio Midi often has “no brainer” sales as does Guitar Center. I recently got a Sonnivox Soundstage for $10 and Miroslav Vitous Philharmonic for $20. You could also download the free Kore player at Native Instruments ,it comes with a 500mg library. The point is to blend another cello or string ,from a different library ,always helps a little.Otherwise buy Kontakt

As far as drums ,the online player has no time so hard to pinpoint but the fills are choppy in just a few spots and the speed fills don’t fit my taste but thats personal.

Anyway trust your instincts.

Okay I’m reassured that you say these things now.

Now if I could only find those steal deals you had found :slight_smile:

For a first song, we’ve all heard a lot worse than this. Well done. :wink:

It’s very hard to work with all-VSTi elements, but you’ve done a great job really.
My only suggestion is to make the guitar more real by playing the parts differently.
As it is, you have the loud attack of each chord at the start of each bar (more or less)
that screams “punched in” not played, whereas I can imagine how better it would sound if
it were played fluidly without so much grid-locked mechanicalness to it. Right now it’s
a series of boxed bars rather than an evolving and fluid melody.

It’s a nice piece, well put together and very musical.
You can only get better! :wink: Look forward to more from you.


Hey Jet,

Thanks for the info. Can you let me know which guitar? You mean the electric which starts in the beginning of new section such as the verse or chorus’ ?

If so, how can I make it sound like it is not “punched in” as you say. Should I start it a 16th early or something like that?

Sorry if I’m asking for too much.