new song

Hi…A new song…pop/dance I reckon…maybe you could have a listen…cheers, Kevin

https://soundcloud.com/knmac/let-me-know

Hey Kevin mate, hope you had a nice xmas holiday.

I like the relation between the vocal melodic line and the chords. Simple and it works, but I think I’d have liked some chord variation at some point, even if it’s substituted chords.

I think it’s harmonically a bit weak throughout. It begins nice and light and airy and sounds good. But as it progresses and repeats it just becomes stale so I think adding extra notes into the chords as it progresses may make it sound better and keep interest (although make sure those extras notes have the proper voice leading.)

I didn’t like the percussive clicking sound that entered at around 1:40. It’s not a nice sound and it’s annoying sorry :stuck_out_tongue: I think you definitely need counter-melodies to the vocal melody. Even if you have to Google counter-melodies and how to write them effectively, do it. Layer in other synth sounds. If it sounds too cluttered or wrong then it’s simply not orchestrated the right way. Orchestration at least applies to every genre that can have combinations of instruments in such ways and electronic sounds give a lot of room for some great and colourful combinations.

I don’t like the actual sound of the vocal, my voice is much, much worse of course. That doesn’t mean the vocal is bad, it’s decent by any standard. However, I’m looking at it from a composers/record executives commercial selling prospects perspective, and given the nature of the genre of the music, I think you should do that also if you already aren’t. It’s good enough to give someone a good idea of the song and vocal line but you’d really want a professional singer on it :stuck_out_tongue:

So to sum up the initial idea which is the relation between the simple chords and the melodic line is good and strong, a lot to work on though and I think the skills such as being able to write counter-melodies and harmony are something that would give an extra layer of depth to a very good start. It’d be great to hear these with those things incorporated.

Lot to think about there, I’m into songwriting, not production or arranging and if you say it’s good enough to put the song across then I’m happy with that, there’s a load of very successful songs out there that don’t have counter melodies and while I agree counter melodies may be a good thing they’re not always necessary to get a song out there, my production and arrangement is always gonna be simple ( unless I manage to figure it out ) got too many songs to do…I would love to hear a simple piano line recorded over the top of the song showing where the counter melodies could be because I wanna learn and would love to able to do it but gotta admit I’m a bit confused about it…maybe you could do a demo to show me so’s I could incorporate the counter melodies, as always I appreciate your learned comments…Gonna get rid of the percussive sound…thanks, Kevin

An after thought Jonathan…could you point me to a song that is rich in counter melodies so’s I can figure it out please, That percussive sound is gone and your right …it’s better without it…Ta, Kevin

I like it. And I like the vocals too. But I agree about the drums. Too heavy handed in parts. Maybe just some ‘light’ percussion at 1.11? Just a thought. But hey, I love the song. Short and subtle. Nice. - Matt

Well it doesn’t require a counter-melody and definitely not a full one. Just figured it may work in fragments because the vocals leave enough room for it.

Pretty sure you’ve added some layers in there since my first listen :stuck_out_tongue: Because I remember it being flatter.

The chorus just isn’t a big enough deal, the idea is there but it just goes straight into it from the verse which I think may be part of the problem of it not being a stand out part of the track. Try to introduce a second half to the verses maybe and see if you can set it up so the chorus has more impact. Introduce a variation on the chords perhaps so the chorus section doesn’t sound too pasted.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGJuMBdaqIw

I happen to quite like the song, but I refer to it because it reflects a similar layer of orchestration and dynamic layers. I think your song may be better if you followed the same structure in regards to the arrangement and the orchestration. (Note; by orchestration I don’t mean just the orchestral instruments. I refer to it as the combination of all electronic and acoustic.) Even if it’s additional electronic sounds, subtle sustained guitar or string notes just doubling certain notes in the chords then it’d help.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=k0BWlvnBmIE

In the second verse and chorus it does have fragments of a counter-melody or “question and answer/call and response technique” such as at 2:37 only it stays exclusively on the vocal, which is fine, but it can work between any voice/instrument. These techniques do help to keep the listeners interest though throughout.

Of course this is how I think the song would sound better :stuck_out_tongue: Maybe it wouldn’t work, maybe it will ^^

To really hear what is happening in detail you need headphones, not speakers. Speakers are obviously great with a decent pair at a decent volume and although I have to do both composition and mastering on headphones the mastering should always be done with good quality, big studio monitors. But for analyzing the music any kind of speakers just don’t cut it sorry.

Thank you matting 175 I appreciate your comments and I have changed the percussive element after Jonathan’s advice…
Jonathan, I really do wish you lived next door to me…you talk so much damn sense…gonna take on board what you say and try to do a bit more with the song even though I hate going back ( at least I kept this project anyway) by the way I never added any layers or anything, just took out the percussive bit so I’m dead chuffed that it sounded better when you listened again, best to you mate, Kevin

I’d anaylze the structure of those 2 songs I linked as well as the layers of instruments in each section. I think it’ll help a lot. At least I hope it will :smiley: They were the best two examples I could think of at the time.

Yeah…been lookin at them,

It’d be helpful to put the name of the song in the thread title.
I listened to the first song on the page you linked to, As Far As I Can See, but after listening, I wonder if
I’m listening to the right song because of the comments it’s generating.

I think you did a good job on this production. While I’d tweak a few things, such as the vocal being a bit strong in the mix, and the pad being a bit strong on the first section - and the bass could use a bit of punch and the percussion a bit of boost - otherwise I think you did a good job of having the production evolve, with different instruments coming in on different parts - I like the feel of the vocal - and there was always something going on to hold my interest to the end. Nice little stop leading into the guitar solo - though I’d boost that solo a bit.

Nice work, Kevin! :sunglasses:

Oh sorry…didn’t realize the title of the song was gone…the song in question is “let me know”…gotta put that right…Kevin

I like the song, I’m a bit of a fan of your songs and voice actually. :slight_smile: Sure, there’s potential to do other things with the arrangement and mix, and we all have our own style, tastes and preferences. If your goal was to produce an “internationally competitive” track then sure, there’s work to be done, but otherwise the essentials are all there.
Nice :sunglasses:

I listened before your updates, and after. I like the improvement. Lately I’ve been thinking I should stop advising people to have more complicated arrangements, meaning b sections or bridges, different tonalities… Seems that current pop stuff has given up on all that. I liked it overall, I like your singing. Nice job.

Good job on vocals Kevin very catchy tune. Like the breaks where drums stop…

Hi…sherz, I agree with your comments regarding arrangement and mix…I think my songs will always be lacking in this area because, basically…I’m rubbish at it but am always keen to hear people’s opinions and hopefully include them in new songs. hopefully some of it gets through !!
trouble is I’m trying to catch up on around 40 songs already written…problem !!

Hi early 21, I am trying to write songs for the “pop” genre based on what I hear which, as you say seems to not bother with bridges and suchlike which is sad…because “better” songs are written this way and I do have them in my song bag but need to get round to doing them, in fact my next song is quite a distance away from this one so please don’t stop saying what you think…I believe the only reason I’ve got to this level (still low I know) is because of comments from you guy’s…most people just post something for comments then you never hear from them until they want to post something again but there is a solid core (such as the people on this post) who know how a forum should be…anyway, thanks for your comments.

kzrider…Hi, I appreciate very much you taking the time to comment on my song, thank you…cheers everybody, Kevin

Good job. Nicely sung (sang? can never get that right… :sunglasses: ). I think the track could do with some vocal variations/adlibs in the last chorus. Even just simple thirds up on one of the “Let me know’s” just to give it a bit of lift at the end.

Cheers,
Wes

Thanks wes…and your right, it could do with a lot of things really…Kevin

Some pop uses the exact same chord progression for the entire song, but the layering of instruments/sounds varies to help elevate the chorus particularly and the melody line isn’t just a variation it’s usually a completely different thing for the first half of the verse, second half of the verse and then the chorus.

Take Cher Lloyd’s - Want U Back song, it’s how I described above. Really awful teen pop, that would only appeal to teens, but the layers of instruments vary enough for the verse/chorus to make the chorus stand out. Yours does not. Her song also has two completely different vocal melodies for both halves of the verse which helps it progress to the chorus, rather than just sounding stale and it’s just the same chords throughout.

Pop stuff like the Backstreet Boys actually has some good arrangements, although naturally their songs don’t appeal to my taste. That isn’t modern pop, but pop from any decade remains pretty much the same. You’ll find songs with great composition, arrangement and productions and songs with very poor standards. But even songs like that ‘Want U Back’ garbage you can learn a whole lot. Though as someone pointed out it depends on your goals as to whether there’s any point to study that craft. The composers/producers of pop music know exactly how to manufacture music to sell to their targeted audience. A similar thing happens with orchestra music too, there’s a lot of copying and bosses are specifically telling the composer to copy others music as legally close as possible. So it’s not confined to just pop music where music is less artistic and more manufactured.

Kinda veered a bit off topic, but my point was advice is only applicable if it matches your goals.

well jonathan, I reckon if I had all the people around me that those people you mentioned have ( arrangers/producers etc) then my stuff would be “window dressed much better” I’m doing everything on my own and I consider myself a songwriter only…the rest I find hard to do and if “will I am” can make millions singing…" I wanna scream and shout and let it all out" then I reckon I’m doing ok, after all, all I’m trying to do is demo’s of my songs…no more …no less, if I could produce to a world class standard I would, I think your missing the point somewhat…yeah we all wanna get better and looking at my stuff from a year or two ago…I am but I’ll never be Dave Pensado…and I’m pretty sure there are 3 separate melodic parts to the song…all on the same chords of course which a lot of successful people are doing with their “really awful teen pop” which is not my favorite genre but one I try and write for because there may be money in it…

If I to compared your work to anything by Beethoven conducted by Barenboim… or Mozart’s Seraglio you’d be doomed to failure…and this would correctly be considered unfair comparison…best to you…Kevin

Then I didn’t really miss the point. :stuck_out_tongue: If that’s your goal with this specific piece and your learning into this area of the music industry then drawing comparisons to and suggesting some studying and emulation of some aspects of the pro’s isn’t missing any point.

As for ‘William’ (I refuse to put spaces between the letters of his name, it just sounds retarded…although it fits him quite nicely) as you cited, and the many like him, well I guess there are too many factors involved, outside the realm of musical ability, in the sales to discuss here.

Comparing your work to Beethoven or Mozart is just as incorrect as comparing mine to them. I don’t wish to and don’t write in a classical and mathematical manner, even if there were enough money in it I don’t think I could force myself to write in styles I don’t enjoy. I do quite like those two Katy Perry songs that I linked though, and those are firmly in the pop genre. My own goal with this area of my work though is to get as close as it is possible to achieve the production standard laid down by Thomas Bergersen in regards to the production aspects that is what I try to emulate and it really helps.

Unless you meant it in the way of Beethoven and Mozart being the finest. In terms of modern day computer orchestra Thomas Bergersen is the heavyweight equivalent of the big name composers from centuries ago (and his music touches me in ways that any music from the big name classical composers music doesn’t.) So I’d absolutely expect to be compared against the best, I don’t see how I’d improve if I were not comparing myself against the best and constantly thinking on how to improve my craft. But that’s just how I think I continue to learn and improve. I understand that it may not work for everyone to be such a brutal self-critic. I spent the last week failing to be able to write anything and thinking how much I suck each passing day, until I did come up with something.

Anyway, back to the topic :stuck_out_tongue: My fingers seem to have a mind of their own. I like your songwriting ideas and my original comments about the chorus not really having much impact or standout quality due to the reasons, I at least suspect and stated I stand by.