New piece - Incontinental Drive with live drums

Updated to point to version with Spencer on drums.

This one should be ok to share at this point, I think. I have been working on this one over the past summer. Piece composed by me; guitar and bass are played by me; everything else is midi-programmed by me. Piano is from Kontakt – NY Studio Grand; drums are NI Studio Drummer. Got way jazzier than I usually do. Still hoping for a real piano solo from a colleague, and possibly a real upright bass one day. Would appreciate comments about the mix, the composition, etc. Hope you enjoy. First one in the list.
Be sure to check out the most recent recording that features the live drums of my friend Spencer here:

wonderful recording,great mix ,i can`t tell the kit was programmed cause it sounds so real ,how did you do the keyboard was it midi guitar? and excellent guitar work as usual reminds me of mike stern or if the playing was a little more abstract(wacky) john scofield, enjoyed it much ,nice to hear you twiddling again , composition sounds clever, only nit is i would like to have heard the guitar in mono at times ,

Thanks for listening, Polgara! For keyboard, I use my fingers on a keyboard, although I play in the parts in a very simplified way and then fix through midi editing. I might slow it down to get the midi in. I’m not claiming to be any sort of keyboard player, but I can play a little. I do the drums that way too. I don’t have any midi guitar setup. I love John Scofield and Mike Stern! I don’t know exactly what you mean about hearing the guitar in mono sometimes… do you mean, turn off the delays once in a while?

Hi Leon,i asked about it because the lead guitar is kind of stretched across the stereo image and it really was just a ,“i wonder what it would sound like in mono”, type of thought . i dont mean lose the reverbs or delays cause you can even set those effects up in mono buses. but there is nothing wrong with how it is at the mo cause it sounds great ,it`s just a curiosity thing.

Nice to hear something from you Mr early21, I echo polgara’s remark regarding the drums…just sounds like you’ve got a damn good drummer in the studio, great playing and it actually sounds like a composition…sometimes jazzy stuff just sounds like an adlib.
very clean and atmospheric production, played it extremely loud on my monitors and it sounded absolutely fantastico. :slight_smile:
very accomplished musicianship goin on here :mrgreen:

respect in spades…Kevin

Thanks, now I got it. It’s a really good observation, and one that a couple of other people noted. Seems most every guitarist’s album that’s recent has this effect where the guitar is everywhere and nowhere at once. I’m thinking Johnny A, Mike Stern, for two examples. I was trying to do the same, but I think it’s too much for this piece. Also, in Guitar Rig, you get a slider for “air”, which is supposed to give the sound a roomy feel, and I had it full on. That’s too much I guess. Thanks again!

Thanks for giving it a listen, Kevin. I do have a lot of fun working on the drum programming, and I’m pretty happy with the sounds of Studio Drummer from NI that comes with Komplete. Anyway, I appreciate your comments!

FWIW I thought the effect on the guitar was perfect for the track :slight_smile:


Brilliant! The best yet. Great guitar, fluid jazzy melodies and impressive mix of instruments and keyboard playing. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I personally liked the contrasting ‘spacey’ solo with the more regular guitar sound.

Er…at some point you’ll explain the incontinence theme? Or perhaps best you don’t…


Thanks for listening, Steve! The name comes from the name of my once-in-months band, the Incontinentals. Although the core has played together for over a decade, it seems we can’t get together very often, so I throw my energy into recordings, which should be demos for the band. Busy guys! The name “The Incontinentals” was just for fun, and does not necessarily reflect on any members personal health condition!

:open_mouth: Wow…didn’t see that coming! I get the Stern/Scofield references (I’ve worshiped at their altars for many years) but holy cow your arrangement, phrasing, tone, effects, reminded me so much of Steve Kahn. THis is not directed to anyone commenting on this thread but I just wanted to share a side note. I’ve repeatedly said to my friends who can’t stand to hear the tone of Stern or Scofield (they specifically hated the chorused effect) to shut up and listen to WHAT they’re playing!!! :mrgreen: :laughing:

I thought the drums were great too (I’m a guitarist also and have a lot of fun when I actually fool a drummer with samples :smiling_imp: ) I understand why you hear an upright on this track but the electric bass holds its own here. Did you mic the guitar amp? Is the bass d.i.?

Such clean picking and chordal adventures. A pleasure thanks for sharing this!

Now why don’t I know more about Steve Kahn? I am familiar with the name, but admit I never focused on him. Now, thanks to YouTube, I see I missed somebody major! Somebody else to be envious of! I see he favors an ES-335 too, which is what I’m using on this track.

I hear Stern/Scofield and have similar complaints! Who else but Stern plays a Tele or Tele clone for jazz? And Scofield is a guy who takes his Ibanez endorsement too seriously! But I love them both, and agree that it’s not the guitar, but the player! But you did notice that I was thinking of Scofield in the chorus sections, absolutely admit that!

As far as guitar amp, it’s Guitar Rig. I have miked my amp in the past, and I have come to believe that unless I’m in a well prepared studio, it’s hard to get a good sound because the room and mic position make such a difference, although I am very happy with my amps (an Egnater Rebel 30 and a Yamaha G50-112II- solid state (Mike Stern uses Yamaha solid state)). My room is not “treated”. I’m sure there are good places to record in one of the rooms in this place, but I actually like what I’m getting from GR. Almost always the “Citrus” amp. Based on Polgara’s comments, I’m playing around with the “basic jazz” amp, and that’s probably where I’ll end.

Bass is direct into GR, lots of tweaking of the amp.

Thanks for listening, aMUSEd!

I amended the mix to address the guitar’s overall prominence and positioning, as suggested by Polgara and other reviewers. Same link as before:

its still excellent Leon ,im only suggesting mix ideas ,the keyboard appears very stretched now and is kind of blocking view of the kit .i havent listened to any of this style of jazz for a while so i dont know what you are basing your mix on .but i would have tried to visualize a band setup in a room or stage and place them in the mix accordingly, just very basic like old 70s type recordings, guitar on one side ,keyboard on the other and allowing spill ,and fatten the solos up .bass and kit in the middle .

He tends to be overshadowed by the shenanigans of his older brother Genghis…

Thanks – my first mix was more along these lines, and it seemed a little drab. For reference, I was listening to an album by Bill Connors from 2005 called “Return”. Same instrument lineup, and a very straight-up jazz sound to it (especially considering he’s well known as a fusion guy, having been the original guitarist in Return To Forever). Anyway, that’s where I got the idea to spread the piano, and the instrument in Kontakt will do that… drums spread too… it’s like everything is in the middle but spread for a great stereo feel. I’ll give it some more thought and experimentation. I’ve still got tons to learn!

i would liked to have heard it ,i like steely dan type mixes or invisible mixes(boring, lol) i think they call them, for that style of music . i see what you mean about the bill conners mix ,you did a great job replicating that mix .all the best

This song is going in my collection. Stat.

Excellent song.

Couple of critiques:

  1. The stereo image of the guitar doesn’t bother me. However, it does seem to be a bit “left biased,” i.e. it’s more prominent in the left speaker than the right. This is certainly a matter of taste because I know I have, in the past, arranged panning according to where the instrument would sit in a live situation. However, I’ve since come to the conclusion that having solo instruments panned dead center makes for a better listening environment in a car. And it doesn’t detract from listening to it at home.

  2. The bass is really lacking punch. It’s not just the attack - the entire sound is too far back in the mix. I’d push things up a few dBs. If, however, you switch to an upright bass I’d definitely give more emphasis to the attack since that’s where a lot of the upright sound comes from.

  3. The drum line is wonderful. I’d push the snare a bit - not much because it’s already there and there isn’t too much competition for its frequency band. I’d push the kick more than you push the snare, though, because it’s virtually non-existent.

Overall, I love this track! The guitar playing is very tasty, and now I know where I’m going when I need a jazz soloist. :smiley:

Thanks for listening, Larry! I’ve been back and forth on the positioning. I started trying to give the instruments placement at first (guitar left, piano right), then went to the everything in the middle idea, with reverb and delays giving the stereo effect, and then sort of compromised here. Agree with you on the snare; had already worked on it for the next generation. I appreciate the suggestions!

Sounds very polished and authentic to me! :sunglasses:
I think the mix is fine… you could tweak 'til the cows come home but I’m not convinced there’s really much to be gained.

Nice! :sunglasses: