HMHS 210 - Stop Your Engines (3/4/2011)

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HMHS 210 - Stop Your Engines (3/4/2011)

Post by tonyoci » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:02 pm

http://www.homemadehitshow.com for the show.
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More mysterious and deep discussion of songwriting and home recording from your master - Dave Criddle - and slave - Tony Butterworth.

This weeks discussions
  • A charity CD ??
    Home Made Soundbooth (from John Poulton)
    Covering your own songs in a different style
    Revisiting Tunes
    More structure helps Dave
    Having a strong theme helps Dave
This weeks tunes.
  • Back To The Beginning - Ronnie Marler
    Peoria - Frank Canonica
    Windwalkers - Richie Floyd
    Wave - The Experiments

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Re: HMHS 210 - Stop Your Engines (3/4/2011)

Post by Polly » Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:46 am

Listened to last week’s show but didn’t find time to post. Sorry chaps, I enjoyed the show as I recollect.

A charity CD ?? What a coincidence. :shock: I’m about to do the same at school. I’ve put the idea out that I’ll make a CD of songs - many of which will be written and performed by the pupils. I’m raising money for Rwanda. I’ll have the ‘why is my song not on’ etc problem. But I shall be a dictator, benevolent to most I hope. Good idea to get the charity to do their bit. I’m doing this for CAFOD’s connect2rwanda project. They have links across the country, especially around the North of the UK. I’ll let you know how I get on. I got volunteers already (an indie band, a rap duo, a girl band all with songs ready) and the first meeting is not till next Wednesday. What? With their musical talent and my technical genius… :D oh dear… :oops:

Home Made Soundbooth. Ha ha! Yes, 10 inches would be about right, maybe nearer 6. Can’t remember to be truthful. Oh No! The sample! Ouch. :oops: Neither has any other fx on. The first one is with the ‘box’ the 2nd without. The 2nd has more toppy hi end reflections. One issue here is that the two were recorded a year apart. I don’t think the first take (with) has as much zest as the 2nd (without). That doesn’t help comparison. The ‘box’, no it needs a name. It needs something naff and 60s, a mix of ACME and sci-fi, with a hint of Bazooka Joe, X Ray goggles it won’t actually workness. How about the “VOX-O-MATIC”. Yup. That does it for me.

I would settle for anything that improved the sound of my den/room. I think this is an improvement, I’m not claiming perfection.

Revisiting Tunes. Covering your own songs in a different style. Another coincidence? Get out of my head, you head spies. What was the movie that took that storyline? Being John Malkovich? Anyhow, I plan some recycling. Agreed how the old 6 string is less audible these days. A full strum on the guitar seems too much in the mix. I might have to do this to generate material for my charity CD. I need some young peoples dance tracks. I’ve been listening to suss out the instrumentation and editing/mixing style. I think I get it, let’s see if I can do it! I’ve had a dabble on Mixcraft with synths. I’ve bought a CD of dance drum loops.

More structure helps. I think I’m very traditional because of my musical education, I can’t seem to shrug it off. I settle for writing one verse and one chorus. then I can leave it for work on another sitting. Once I’ve written something then I can re-write it at my leisure. But I need enough raw materials to do this.

I can grab a chord sequence I’ve come up with whilst experimenting previously, I always write down good ideas. I tend to play my acoustic with my laptop at the ready. Another idea I’ve used is to steal a chord sequence from a successful song that I don’t know, via a cheat book, off the internet, and come up with my own variation of it and my own tune. Since I don’t know the song or its rhythm I won’t be copying.

Tony you are spot on here about the ‘one verse too many’ syndrome. It becomes really noticeable when the bridge comes too early; it makes the 3rd verse a verse too far. Often, not always. I’m guilty of that. My latest song ‘Shanklin Beach’ has a third 3rd but I only sing that 3rd verse live. I don’t think I’ll record the song with it now. The tune would have outstayed its welcome.

Having a strong theme helps. Good idea. Like mining a seam. I’m impressed you did the rpm challenge. Not had time to listen yet, it’s been a busy week and it’ll get busier if the pupils get enthusiastic about my CD idea. And fear they may be. Hmmm. How can I crush that youthful enthusiasm, optimism and innocent joy? Come up with all the obstacles as to why it won’t work? :twisted: Oh go on then. I’ll actually try and make it work. :roll:

Keeping ideas; like I say, I have my laptop around but I don’t record, I write down what I discover. I can’t write lyrics then add a melody later. But I may be wrong, I may have to do this with my charity project.

This weeks tunes.
Back To The Beginning - Ronnie Marler
Lovely clear, crisp you have there Ronnie. I found the stark simplicity of the mix refreshing and uplifting. Nice ending.

Peoria - Frank Canonica
Love the intro! But you lost me on; “List what songs are other people’s favourite of theirs”, this reminded me of the ontological argument for the existence of God, ‘that than which a greater cannot be conceived cannot be thought to not exist’ etc. Lovely fading in of the song there Frank. A blending which is evident in the way you mix the backing vocals there. In fact I like how I just blended my opening remarks into a critique of the song. Great clarity and separation in this, really good clarity. Not sure about the vocal soundscape though Frank. Could I interest you in purchasing a Vox-o-matic? A snip at $370. You owe it to yourself. I have access to, shall we say, a ‘source’. Good song! Do we write what we like to listen to? I think I do. But not quite as well!

Windwalkers - Richie Floyd.
Strong left field with a big flavouring of native American. Great bass riffing with the drums going on. Powerful. Ah. I hear the explanation after the song – and I got it right. A very ‘rooted’ vibe here. I liked this.

Wave - The Experiments.
Now, in that kind of environment boys you’re never gonna get the right vocal space. Did I tell you about my Vox-o-matic? I can hear wood cutting equipment here; you could isolate yourself from these echoes and flutters for a mere $370. And a song of this quality deserves the finest gear to set down for eternity. What do you want the grandchildren to say? ‘Nice song gramps but is the reflection of a bandsaw in the background? Aren’t we worth a pure recording environment?’ imagine the disappointment on their little faces. You owe to them and your music.

Well played guys!
Song writing is its own reward

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Re: HMHS 210 - Stop Your Engines (3/4/2011)

Post by criddlerus » Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:23 am

Polly wrote: It needs something naff and 60s, a mix of ACME and sci-fi, with a hint of Bazooka Joe, X Ray goggles it won’t actually workness. How about the “VOX-O-MATIC”. Yup. That does it for me.
Absolutely. You got it! Maybe the "Owl-O-Matic"?

You didn't answer the question... How far are you singing from the mic? Especially on the second sample...

Polly wrote:Another idea I’ve used is to steal a chord sequence from a successful song that I don’t know, via a cheat book, off the internet, and come up with my own variation of it and my own tune. Since I don’t know the song or its rhythm I won’t be copying.
That is a very cool idea. You can learn something from their writing structure too. Hmmm. May have to nip that idea too!

Thanks for the comments Polly!

Dave

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Re: HMHS 210 - Stop Your Engines (3/4/2011)

Post by Polly » Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:23 am

I usually sing about 6 - 8 inches from the mic. But I'm not strict on it. I'd never be as far as 12 inches away. I don't think. :?
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Re: HMHS 210 - Stop Your Engines (3/4/2011)

Post by davecooper » Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:38 am

:lol: Back to the beginning – Ronnie Marler
Really good acoustic song – well recorded guitars and vocals.

Perioa Frank Canonica
This is well recorded and sounds so professional – like the mix of the guitar and organ – good vocals too.

Windwalkers - Richie Floyd
Very interesting song – really unusual and very goog.

Wave – The Experiments
A lot like the Ramones – excellent stuff

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Re: HMHS 210 - Stop Your Engines (3/4/2011)

Post by criddlerus » Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:20 pm

Polly wrote: I usually sing about 6 - 8 inches from the mic. But I'm not strict on it. I'd never be as far as 12 inches away. I don't think.
It was just that the second sample sounded like a WHOLE lot of room sound. That usually happens when you are singing pretty far from the mic. Maybe you just have an incredibly live room too! :D

Your next experiment would be to sing 1-2 inches from the mic and compare that to 6-8 inches and see if it makes any difference.

I may try putting my packing blankets I bought for sound buffering into a storage tub like the Vox-O-Matic and put my mic in the middle. I have a little mini mic stand I could stick in there and see what it does. I think I may end up building a vox-o-matic..... when the spare time I ordered on Amazon finally arrives.. :esp:

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Re: HMHS 210 - Stop Your Engines (3/4/2011)

Post by Ran » Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:06 pm

Back To The Beginning - Ronnie Marler- Liked the vocals and the overall sound very much.

Peoria - Frank Canonica-Liked this alot too. Found the intro very compelling. Wanted to hear more. Speaking of rerecording vocal tracks-I believe they are almost always better than the demos. After listening to a first take for a few days, I always hear ways to improve upon them, i.e phrasing, pitch, words choice etc...

Windwalkers - Richie Floyd-Loved this. Very impressive. I would listen to an album of material like this.

Wave - The Experiments-Another nicely done tune. The quality of the material lately has been first rate.

About the Charity CD, I'm in. What kind of song do you need?

Structure? My best songs are written and practiced before I record them.

Keep up the good work guys!
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Re: HMHS 210 - Stop Your Engines (3/4/2011)

Post by Polly » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:17 pm

criddlerus wrote:I think I may end up building a vox-o-matic.
:noway: What? When they're available at the give away price of $370? You couldn't get a large hadron collider for that.

I'd happily do a track for a charity CD too.
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Re: HMHS 210 - Stop Your Engines (3/4/2011)

Post by The Cracks » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:31 am

Back to the beginning – Ronnie Marler

Lovely tune. I would swear that was Jam Studio instrumentation. Makes me want to resign up with them.

I tried doing some of my songs using Yamaha styles backing. It gives them a different feel, that's for sure. I actually did "Closing Down the Night" using styles at an open mic one night and it went over pretty good. I should do it again.

Perioa Frank Canonica

Nice. John Cougar Melloncamp could have done this one (maybe he will if you submit it to him). This one has depth. I like it.

Windwalkers - Richie Floyd

This hits me as a World reworking of David Essex's "Rock On". I am not saying it is plagiarized, just same feel. I like it. Lots of real soul. Good one.

Yes, many of my songs (RPM included) have no lift. Take "All Summer Long" from the RPM. It's all the same. No lift. No chorus to speak of. I really need to rewrite that one (and many others).

90% of the ideas I do record, I never go back to. The other 10% that I do return to, I end up wishing I never had.

Wave – The Experiments

Yup, a Ramones style rocker. No nits. Rock on!
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Re: HMHS 210 - Stop Your Engines (3/4/2011)

Post by Polly » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:32 pm

The Cracks wrote:John Cougar Melloncamp!
I wonder if that's his real name? I'm gonna Google him.

(opens new tab)

Ahh. Its 'Mellencamp' and a brief survey suggests the 'Cougar' was a stage name from early in his career. Perhaps he inspired 'Tiger' Woods. It may all date back to Richard the Lionheart; I doubt he was named after his transplant surgery.
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Re: HMHS 210 - Stop Your Engines (3/4/2011)

Post by criddlerus » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:11 pm

The Cracks wrote:90% of the ideas I do record, I never go back to. The other 10% that I do return to, I end up wishing I never had.
LOL. That is my fear! Maybe I should just leave them be. It is very frustrating when you make them worse! :shock:

Polly wrote:Ahh. Its 'Mellencamp' and a brief survey suggests the 'Cougar' was a stage name from early in his career. Perhaps he inspired 'Tiger' Woods. It may all date back to Richard the Lionheart; I doubt he was named after his transplant surgery
Growing up a stones throw from Indiana, the whole John Cougar thing was huge around here. That was a huge deal when he dropped the Cougar thing. Always loved his stuff. Jack and Diane is a classic.

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Re: HMHS 210 - Stop Your Engines (3/4/2011)

Post by Grandma Melonhead » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:11 pm

We used to call him John Melon Cougarcamp -- which, when you think of it, isn't really any less silly than the right way round.

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Re: HMHS 210 - Stop Your Engines (3/4/2011)

Post by tonyoci » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:30 pm

In England he was just Johnny Cougar for the Jack and Diane hit, which, for any old Brits here, was the name of a wrestler in my favorite comic book of the time, called Tiger.
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Re: HMHS 210 - Stop Your Engines (3/4/2011)

Post by storpotaten » Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:05 pm

Great show. Thanks guys.

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Re: HMHS 210 - Stop Your Engines (3/4/2011)

Post by The Cracks » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:51 pm

Polly wrote:
The Cracks wrote:John Cougar Melloncamp!
I wonder if that's his real name? I'm gonna Google him.

(opens new tab)

Ahh. Its 'Mellencamp' and a brief survey suggests the 'Cougar' was a stage name from early in his career. Perhaps he inspired 'Tiger' Woods. It may all date back to Richard the Lionheart; I doubt he was named after his transplant surgery.
Mellencamp? Who is he? :oops:
My albums

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"The chords inspire the melody and the melody inspires the lyrics." Brian Wilson

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Re: HMHS 210 - Stop Your Engines (3/4/2011)

Post by Grandma Melonhead » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:55 am

VOX-O-MATIC
I’m gonna make one of those! I would have thought though that it would be more important to dampen in front of the (cardioid) mic rather than behind and to the sides?... Anyway it seems to work given your samples.
Question. How do you get it to stay up? Is that a broom stick under one end? It seems to me that you could probably get a little platform that attaches to a mic stand… Anyone know?
DAVE. Before I went out and bought a bunch of heavy blankets I did a test where I recorded a vocal completely underneath a heavy comforter (that is, I crawled under a blanket with a mic) and found that even that didn’t really work. The room still made the vocal sound thin and you could hear the reverberation. So I didn’t bother getting all the blankets and hooks.


Hey frank,
You didn’t really finish your thought about your favorite songs of yours vs. other people’s favorite songs of yours. My guess would be that Peoria is a favorite of other people’s and not yours. Did I get it right? I’m guessing that because it’s very catchy.


Having had the privilege of hearing the original version of this song, I have to raise my hand as preferring the first vocal. That said, I must add that I am probably the only person in a crowded room who would think so. -- the second vocal was better in most every way except that it wasn’t the first vocal. noamsayin? To me there is something about resigning that is like tracing. Resinging generally improves things but it doesn’t have the same integrity. I am kind of an idiot about this.


I'm guessing that your cold-compromised voice is what prompted you to resing this one?? Looking for that extra texture?

Keeping ideas
I keep most all ideas. And while I seldom go back and use them I still do, and that is worthwhile. I used to simply record any riff or bit that I came up with but then found that I sometimes couldn’t figure out how I had played it from hearing it. SO now I make a quick video recording when I have a bit so I can see my hands. Also, I often think of parts for songs I’m working on while I am out and will hum them into my phone or mp3 player to retrieve them later. After a while I began to make a point of stating the name and section of the song before I hummed. This after unearthing piles of interesting sounding parts and not knowing which songs they were for.


Windwalkers - Richie Floyd.
R
eally, really like this one. I agree with Dave that it sounds quite like a band. Vocal and bass are brilliant.

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Re: HMHS 210 - Stop Your Engines (3/4/2011)

Post by Polly » Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:57 pm

Grandma Melonhead wrote:VOX-O-MATIC Question. How do you get it to stay up? Is that a broom stick under one end? It seems to me that you could probably get a little platform that attaches to a mic stand… Anyone know?
LOL :lol: Its a mic stand holding it up. I used a speaker bracket to fix onto the box and that slips over the stand. The clamp on the keeps it up (with a bit of gaffer tape).

You could make an arrangement that sits on a desk on a stand but I didn't have a desk the right height.
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