"What Would You Do?"

Edit: did some significant modifications on the mix; auditioned it in several environments; and published it on Bandcamp. Updated URL is at the bottom.

Resurrecting an old song that I’ve always liked in spite of the angst/punk style lyrics. I originally produced this in 2002/2003.

Everything has been retracked in the past few days. I’ve tried to mix it properly, but now need to give my ears a rest for a few days. That’s why I’m putting it here: so that I can get suggestions to improve the mix.

What should I do?
All of my world’s gone crazy
Could it be you?
Maybe my sanity’s hazy

Walking around
Head’s way up in the sky now
I’m not feeling down
People are asking me why now

Couldn’t stop smiling right from the start
And now I can’t get you out of my heart

What should I do? / I can’t stop what’s happening
I haven’t a clue / My head’s spinning fast
How did you do / This to my heart girl?
Now that you’re with me / I just couldn’t go
I love you girl / Don’t you know?

Where should I go?
I just can’t live without you
Wouldn’t you know?
I don’t want to live without you

(Repeat bridge)
(Repeat chorus)
(Guitar solo)

Now that you’re mine
Everything else is new
I think I’m fine
Tell me now, what would you do?

What would you do?
What would you do?

Guitars: all done on a 1987 JB Player > EnVoice MK II > Guitar Rig 5 > Cubase
Bass: 2003 Fender Jazz > EnVoice MK II > Guitar Rig 5 > Cubase
Drums, Synth: VSTs
Vocals: Neumann TLM103 > EnVoice MK II > Melodyne > Cubase

Non-stock plugs:
Guitar Rig
Battery 3
BlueCat Frequency Analyst
BlueCat Peak Meter Pro
SoundToys Little Microshift

Comments, suggestions, etc. are always welcome.

What Would You Do?

Good tune and good lyrics. I liked the guitar solo with the guitar harmonies going on. The vocal performance was fine but I think vocals could use some ‘sparkle’ they sounded a bit lifeless. Maybe it’s the style of music…

Not sure I’m a fan of the drums, they sound quite over compress and/or distorted.

Good job overall.

It’s my singing: it sucks. I need Lenny to add that grit to it. Hahaha

The problem with the drums is more the rest of the mix, i.e. I need to find some way to add more room to it so that there isn’t as much competition in the various EQ bands for the kick and snare. Believe it or not I’m not using any sort of compression on the drums.

Thanks for the feedback though. I am hoping that revisiting the mixing in a few days will give me a fresh ability to figure out some of these types of issues.

youve got good vocals ,id put you in a willie nelson or Neil young type category, check out Craig Anderton as regards mixing tips ,i`ve been reading some of his stuff recently, he makes a lot of sense.http://www.musiciansfriend.com/resources/article/Mixing--The-12-Step-Program/m710630?src=3NL8AO

Anyone who doesn’t list Nightfly (Fagan) as the first reference CD loses credibility in my opinion. :wink:

In all honesty, thanks for the link. I’m reading it now.

funny thing is though he does mention Roger Nichols who was the recording engineer on that album ,i think anybody who doesn`t own a copy of that album is missing out full stop.

Ha Larry another great tune. What’s with the last note the bass player plays when song is over?


For what it’s worth, a lot of the content in that article doesn’t seem to be as applicable to me since it seems to be discussing mixing “the old fashioned way” whereas I use a DAW exclusively. But I will say that I used two of his tips, which I’ve never done before:

  1. Mix in mono primarily and use stereo just to do a sanity check periodically, at least until you’re ready to set the stereo field.

  2. Mix the drums first, then the bass. Afterward, I did the rhythm guitars third, followed by solo guitars (there are 6 tracks ugh), synth, and finally vocal.

It’s an E. There’s a descending run (E major scale) from a high A (14th fret, G string), but there’s also a brief low E (open E string) right after that riff.

Thanks for the compliment too! That’s me on bass, btw. :smiley:

That was interesting, Larry. lots of oddball chord changes, and a couple that sorta made my head tilt sideways. :slight_smile:
I like stuff like this. Sorta reminds me of early XTC or something.
One thing it would benefit from IMO would be to to bring some of the bass parts down an octave.
Not sure why you chose to play it this high, but lowering an octave would add a low end fullness to the overall
sound. You needn’t even lower entire parts, for instance:
On the verse you play E/F#/A/B - try playing the E-F# as it is - then lower the A-B an octave.

Anyway - just a suggestion. It’s an energetic tune, so I think it would benefit from some more heft in the low end.

Yeah, I agree. I tend to approach bass riff development from the perspective of a lead guitarist. This isn’t the only song where this has either been suggested by someone else or noticed by me.

On the positive side, I tend to get comments that the bass lines are more melodic. :laughing:

I’ll give this a try. I’m not a huge fan of the tone I got on the bass so I may either retrack it or convert it to the Scarbee VST. If I’m going to do this (especially the latter) then it would be easier to experiment with dropping it down an octave.

I didn’t want to say that, but Larry a Bass isn’t a guitar,ah unless it’s a bass guitar? There is a lot going on in track Lenny is right about need of Bass holding the fort down for the other instruments I think.

So I tried playing through the song a few times an octave lower. It sounds weird to me, but that’s because I know the bassline note for note from when I first wrote the song in 2002. Old habits die hard, I guess. Still, I won’t really know how much more backbone the song will get from the lower notes until I get a moment to retrack the bass.

Stay tuned.

Well, well, well…at least now I know why the bass lacked “oomph.” Since I tracked it last (read: after the guitars) I neglected to turn off the HPF on the outboard tube preamp. :confused:

No matter. I re-tracked the bass an octave lower with some adjustments to playing style. Then after I know how I would play it live, I duplicated it in Scarbee MM-Bass (VST).

The link to the new version is here:

What Would You Do (with new bassline)

I’m not yet replacing it so that you can listen to both versions if you choose. While I’m stuck on the old bassline for historical reasons I imagine this one will grow on me as I listen to it more and more.

Comments are always welcome.