I kind of agree with Dave about the arrangement, which was fine. But I think the orchestration and scoring of the instruments in this song could be improved quite a lot (mainly the strings) and so that’s really nothing mixing and production skills can improve, but you know for Disney songs for example the composer just writes the song as a piano piece, then they hire in an orchestrator to then write it out properly for the orchestra, so you never expect a producer to take the job of the orchestrator, but I think orchestrators aren’t common to come across so I think you done a good job making it sound to the good standard it’s at. My ears aren’t that attuned to mixing/production yet really but I’ll try to comment on those things also.
I thought the mix was good overall, the balance between the piano and vocals was good. The thing that stood out was the quality of the recording on the vocals and clarity. But part of that is due to the fact that she has excellent enunciation, which I’ve found to be a pretty rare thing actually. The clarity of the pitches of the notes are also excellent, as are the legato transitions (particularly at 0:34.) It’s very, very rare that I’m impressed by someone’s voice.
The percussion could have been mixed a lot better, although could be mixing and mastering things to make it more defined. The strings I just feel weren’t very confidently written parts and that’s why they’re so quiet because they could build and be a lot more audible if written well for a full string section in more of an SATB choir kind of way.
Some of the lyrics I honestly thought were a little bit meh. But her voice takes a lot of focus because it’s very, very good. Only thing I think needs some improving is the vibrato technique.
I’ve played guitar for some years before I got into orchestra music, and the guitar solo firstly was using the wrong pickup, I know from experience playing this kind of stuff that it’d sound a lot better using the bridge pickup, although that’s dependent on the guitar and amplifier as to whether it’d sound sweet and singing or just harsh, but bridge is what to use for this style. The style of the guitar solo was right and sounded good but the performance I have to say wasn’t upto the proficiency it should be Also the sustained notes should really have vibrato on them to make them really sing musically, just like a violin, flute, oboe etc would. Try to imagine a solo violinist or cello player not using any vibrato in a performance, that is how guitars without vibrato sound also, not good
However I thought the acoustic guitar part fit in very well and was balanced very well.
The recording, mix, clarity and performance of the vocal track are what impressed me here. But a lot to improve in the compositional elements.
I think this Holly would be really suited to singing songs in the compositional style of: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDGMU6sdVBE&feature=related and I think this is really how the strings etc should be scored for a song like this.
Since I got into music I always wanted to write these kinds of songs with strings like that. Looking forward to hearing any more songs you produce for this client.
Sorry for ranting a bit and I hope it’s constructive But it’s pretty rare as I said that I’m impressed with someones singing voice. Thanks for posting it.