HMHS 211 - Lyrically Speaking (3/18/11)

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HMHS 211 - Lyrically Speaking (3/18/11)

Post by tonyoci » Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:46 pm

http://www.homemadehitshow.com. Lots of videos are embedded on this weeks post so go check them out.


Dave & Tony return to discuss many interesting home songwriting and recording subjects.

This weeks topics include
  • "Borrow" a chord progression from an existing song
    Recording with a click track drum then replacing with hand percussion
    Playing drums is really hard viewtopic.php?f=4&t=16278
    Laptops or Desktops for recording
    Ron Sexsmith
    Walk The Moon http://walkthemoon.bandcamp.com/
    Why do pro recordings sound better
    Rychie Floyd's songwriting philosophy.
    Chordbot http://chordbot.com/
    Lots of Lyrics discussion

This weeks songs
  • Ian Holtaway - Colour White
    Mike Anderson - I'm Still Taller Than You
    Rychie Floyd - Everybody Wants To Drink Your Water
    Andrew Richardson - Mary Cries (words by Alan Gentle)
    Edward Wainwright - If You Don't Want Me
There are a bunch of videos below related to the show this week

Walk The Moon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW7f54tVRmQ

Ron Sexsmith - See It To Believe It
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFww3fLhjl8

Justin Currie - No So Sentimental Now
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDEYxkaTZo0

Justin Currie - I Guess I Didn't Love You makes Chris Difford from Squeeze Cry
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9xS1WkJ ... re=related

A search for the BBC Songwriters Circle stuff on youtube.
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_q ... e+BBC&aq=f

Fran Healy Buttercups (not Daffodils as I said on the show)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSRpATc0lz0
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Re: HMHS 211 - Lyrically Speaking (3/18/11)

Post by MikeA » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:05 pm

Thanks for including my song... but Dave was right, he has heard the song before because you played it before.

I'll try to get something new to you soon. Maybe a song about being shorter than someone. Or at least less silly and more Zappa.

Mike
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Re: HMHS 211 - Lyrically Speaking (3/18/11)

Post by tonyoci » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:58 pm

Interesting, I did a search of the shows and could not find it :)
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Re: HMHS 211 - Lyrically Speaking (3/18/11)

Post by lucas » Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:43 am

This weeks topics:

- "Borrow" a chord progression from an existing song
and then change it to a different key.

- Laptops or Desktops for recording
My laptop can't utilize the full resolution of my 24" LCD.
My desktop does, and is also much more powerful to boot.
I use a fan controller to turn the case fan speed down to the point I barely hear them, so it's almost as quiet as the laptop.

- Walk The Moon http://walkthemoon.bandcamp.com/
great sound for a cornfield or even a real studio.

- Why do pro recordings sound better
if we knew, we'd probably sound like that good too. :)
I think 'training' has a lot to do with it.
I'm all sad, all of of sudden. :(

- Chordbot http://chordbot.com/
apps like this & Voice Band make think seriously about getting an iPhone or iPod Touch

This weeks songs:

- Ian Holtaway - Colour White
a little too quiet, but pretty - good sound on the acoustic.
so.. not colour with a 'K'?

- Mike Anderson - I'm Still Taller Than You
fun
short people got...

- Andrew Richardson - Mary Cries (words by Alan Gentle)
why does this seem so familiar?
I swear i've heard this before.

- Rychie Floyd - Everybody Wants To Drink Your Water
I didn't hear this one on the show, where was it?

- Edward Wainwright - If You Don't Want Me
synth sounds seemed distracting, but liked his voice.
his voice hints at Sisters of Mercy to me or Peter Murphy, not sure why.

videos related to the show this week:

- Walk The Moon
good stuff

- Ron Sexsmith - See It To Believe It
like that chorus

- Justin Currie - No So Sentimental Now
more good stuff

- Justin Currie - I Guess I Didn't Love You makes Chris Difford from Squeeze Cry
didn't see this on the list that came up from the link

- A search for the BBC Songwriters Circle stuff on youtube.
no time now, will have to check this out later, KT Tunstall's pretty cool

- Fran Healy Buttercups (not Daffodils as I said on the show)
really like this sound.

Thanks for Show! :D
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Re: HMHS 211 - Lyrically Speaking (3/18/11)

Post by Polly » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:33 am

lucas wrote: I think 'training' has a lot to do with it.
I'm all sad, all of of sudden. :(
Be of good cheer. I was talking about this with a buddy on Thursday. In most modern music the singer sings and specialist miusicians play each instrument. There may be a songwriting team.The recording will be done by a trained sound engineer and mixed by a different specialist, maybe someone trained to use the most expensive gear. The master edit is also a specialist job with equipment we wouldn't recognise. We try do all those jobs on our own. Worst of all we are recording artistes and sound engineers at the same time.

When you think about it it's amazing we reach the levels we do. :noway:
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Re: HMHS 211 - Lyrically Speaking (3/18/11)

Post by ferret » Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:07 pm

Dropped in for a listen after a long absence.

Colour White. Good ambience from that guitar loop – very Wintery. And I like the lyrics. Reminds me of the cover of Thorn Tree in the Garden on Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs.

I'm Still Taller Than You – short and to the point – good rocker.
Everybody Wants to Drink Your Water – wow. Bags going on here. Love it. I really admire short songs that pack such a punch. Damon Albarn does it well and he would have a lot of fun with this.

Mary Cries. Lovely song. Interesting lyrics, with The Hog's Back and references to the shores of Normandy. I used to live at Christmas Pie so I get the pun, but to explain it to others, there is a place in Southern England called Normandy which has a road running past it called the Hog's Back. (As an aside, there was a factory in Normandy during the war owned by Vokes Industries. Amongst other things they made the air filters for Typhoon fighter bombers, which in June 1944 were busy carrying out bombing and strafing attacks over Normandy...in France. Non-English listeners are permitted to be thoroughly confused by this.)

IF you Don't Want me – excellent. You have a great voice and you use it well. (Reminds me more of Bowie than Ferry as it happens).

Thanks for another fine show guys.

Tim
PS I Sometimes use Band-in-aBox to fiddle around with chord progressions. Is this similar to ChordBot?
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Re: HMHS 211 - Lyrically Speaking (3/18/11)

Post by criddlerus » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:49 am

ferret wrote:Tim
PS I Sometimes use Band-in-aBox to fiddle around with chord progressions. Is this similar to ChordBot?
Yes, they are very similar. Though Chordbot is a lot simpler. I am really liking Chordbot. It is quick and easy to make great sounding progressions. It is fun to play with some more eclectic cords... like E7... lol. Seriously, EmSus9 and stuff like that can sound really cool.

I am also looking into NanoStudio but I think it might be a little too complicated. Yup, after looking at YouTube I can't imagine playing synth parts on the touch screen. Way too frustrating. ChordBot is much better imho for what I want to do, which is use it as a songwriting tool. I just don't see actually performing songs on it. It is much better to select the chords and progressions and hit play like in ChordBot. The music apps may be fun to play with though.

FYI - I just found KVR has a good roundup of mobile music apps for:
iPhone/Touch:
http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=299291
and Android:
http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=4105857

Dave
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Re: HMHS 211 - Lyrically Speaking (3/18/11)

Post by fabkebab » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:54 am

Firstly - Thanks for putting one of my creations on the show - It was easy to record an introduction using the google voice thing on your webpage!

Enjoyed the show as always - Although I didnt write the lyrics for that particular song, I do try to pay attention to them - They are a funny "medium" - you can't write a whole story, but if you want them to have any meat to them, they do need to take you somewhere - a glimpse of a scene with the rest of the story implied. Lyrics are the "youtube video" of the cinematic world - they have to do their work in 3 minutes. My favourite lyricist of the moment is the dashboard confessional guy.

I was intrigued by the looping song at the beginning - I would never have guessed it was assembled from loops. It had a classic "pink floyd echoes" sound to my ears.

Enjoyed the musicommercial song too (and the concept!)

Liked Tony's idea of having one month for brainstorming new music and another month for refining the ideas.

One final note - On Tony's reccomendation, I went with the desktop. No regrets so far. I also couldnt find my CubaseSE installation CD so I have switched to Reaper. I am still on a quest to find a decent reverb sound (essential when there is just your meek voice singing along to a midi piano!) - I think I might be settled on LiquidSonics reverberate - I am on the 30 day demo period, although I see they have a stripped down version listed as "charityware" for the UK cancer society)


Anyway - keep up the podcasts; they always inspire me!
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Re: HMHS 211 - Lyrically Speaking (3/18/11)

Post by criddlerus » Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:27 pm

fabkebab wrote: One final note - On Tony's reccomendation, I went with the desktop. No regrets so far. I also couldnt find my CubaseSE installation CD so I have switched to Reaper. I am still on a quest to find a decent reverb sound (essential when there is just your meek voice singing along to a midi piano!) - I think I might be settled on LiquidSonics reverberate - I am on the 30 day demo period, although I see they have a stripped down version listed as "charityware" for the UK cancer society)

Hey - As a former Cubaser, I have to say that I am quite pleased with Reaper. I don't miss anything about Cubase. If you need any help figuring the Routing Matrix out, drop me a line. Once you understand that Routing Matrix view, it becomes a very easy and very powerful tool! Grouping tracks is very handy as well.

Reverb - My favorite is the Ambiance Reverb from a guy named Magnus. It is free and works great:
http://magnus.smartelectronix.com/
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Re: HMHS 211 - Lyrically Speaking (3/18/11)

Post by fabkebab » Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:45 pm

criddlerus wrote:
Hey - As a former Cubaser, I have to say that I am quite pleased with Reaper. I don't miss anything about Cubase. If you need any help figuring the Routing Matrix out, drop me a line. Once you understand that Routing Matrix view, it becomes a very easy and very powerful tool! Grouping tracks is very handy as well.

Reverb - My favorite is the Ambiance Reverb from a guy named Magnus. It is free and works great:
http://magnus.smartelectronix.com/
Well the two things I miss about not having cubase are

1 ) The reverb (which was simple but sounded warm) - I have already worked through my Ambiance Reverb "phase" - I might not have mastered the settings, but on the pre-configured settings I just didnt like the sound much. Better than the abomination which came with reaper, but still not quite what I wanted

2 ) All my existing projects (about 60 of them) - is there a tool for switching projects from cubase to reaper?


Thanks for your offer of help - I just looked at the "routing matrix" and I have no idea what it is/what its for!
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Re: HMHS 211 - Lyrically Speaking (3/18/11)

Post by criddlerus » Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:03 pm

Ambiance - There are a pretty good variety of sounds in Ambiance. My key was finding some of the smaller ones that weren't so bright. Did you check http://www.vst4free.com? http://www.vst4free.com/index.php?plug-ins=Reverb)

Routing Matrix - What you can do is, say, create an empty track 8 called Reverb and just put a Reverb insert on it (once you find a reverb that you like. lol ) then you can go to the Routing Matrix and click on all the tracks you want to send to Track 8 for reverb. Very easy. Just put dots on the ones you want reverb on. You can also click to change the send volume for each track to the reverb. Makes it very easy to rout sends. You can do all kinds of crazy routing with the Routing Matrix.

Another cool thing you can do is track grouping. I will do this when I want to run a set of tracks through a common compressor and want to have a volume control for the group. I will often take all my vocal tracks and drag them so they are all together; say tracks 3-6. Then I will insert a track 2.5 and call it Master Vocal. There is a little file folder icon just to the left of the IO button. Click that on track 2.5 and make it have a box pointing down. Then go to track 6 and click on the folder icon until you have a box pointing up. Now you have a master volume for all your vocals. Very handy.

Cubase - Not sure about converting the old sessions. You may need to have a working copy of Cubase to do that. Sounds like a lot of work. I didn't bother doing that with my old Cubase sessions. I just have the master mixes unfortunately. That is what I like so much about Reaper. You don't have to re-buy the da#* thing every few years! If you do, it is cheap.
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Re: HMHS 211 - Lyrically Speaking (3/18/11)

Post by lucas » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:22 pm

Polly
LOL, yeah, that's why I was sad. ;)
criddlerus wrote:Routing Matrix - What you can do is, say, create an empty track 8 called Reverb and just put a Reverb insert on it (once you find a reverb that you like. lol ) then you can go to the Routing Matrix and click on all the tracks you want to send to Track 8 for reverb. Very easy. Just put dots on the ones you want reverb on. You can also click to change the send volume for each track to the reverb. Makes it very easy to rout sends. You can do all kinds of crazy routing with the Routing Matrix.
The 'Routing Matrix' can seem confusing.
it might simpler for him to:
- create a new track
- put a reverb on it
- click on it's I/O button (2 above the 'FX' button) and in the I/O popup
- click on the 'ADD NEW RECEIVE' and select all of the tracks he wants to use that FX.
criddlerus wrote:Another cool thing you can do is track grouping. I will do this when I want to run a set of tracks through a common compressor and want to have a volume control for the group. I will often take all my vocal tracks and drag them so they are all together; say tracks 3-6. Then I will insert a track 2.5 and call it Master Vocal. There is a little file folder icon just to the left of the IO button. Click that on track 2.5 and make it have a box pointing down. Then go to track 6 and click on the folder icon until you have a box pointing up. Now you have a master volume for all your vocals. Very handy.
for this I use the 'Send' function again, just like for my Reverb & Delay FX.
- create a new track
- label it VOCAL, MSTR VOCAL, or whatever suits you
- click on it's I/O button (2 above the 'FX' button) and in the I/O popup:
- click on the 'ADD NEW RECEIVE' and select all of the tracks he wants to route in to that track
- now click on the I/O button for each track being sent to that master (or 'sub-mix) and uncheck the box at the top for 'Master/Parent Send'
it's important to do this, otherwise the tracks will be sent to the Master main mix as well as the new Master sub-mix (which defeats the purpose).

I use sub-mixes for Drums, Guitars & Vocals.
Lately, I've been create a stereo sub-mix of everything including the reverb & delay.
I pull the volume down on all but the vocals so it's easier to hear what I'm doing while tracking them.
I always leave this track muted and SOLO it while I'm tracking.
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Re: HMHS 211 - Lyrically Speaking (3/18/11)

Post by Chris C » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:23 pm

Enjoyed the show. Great variety of tunes, all good!

Speaking of lyrics, I read where Alex Chilton said that Big Star's approach to lyrics was to "try to get through 2 verses without saying anything really stupid."

Sounds about right for a pop song.
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Re: HMHS 211 - Lyrically Speaking (3/18/11)

Post by The Cracks » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:20 pm

I can only do this in sessions this week.

Begin session 1:

Ian Holtaway - Colour White - love it! What a great vibe you've captured. Great work.

RPM every month! :noway:

Actually, Dave, I thought of doing some kind of modified RPM type thing. I think I'll not do it.

Okay. End session one. (Memo to self: 8:14 mark).

I am going back to listen to first song with attention to the loop.
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Re: HMHS 211 - Lyrically Speaking (3/18/11)

Post by The Cracks » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:57 pm

Session 2: Yea, Dave, that is a very short loop on that first song. What a great song.

Paul McCartney can play drums. I can't. I can keep time when slapping my knee for about six beats. By the eight beat, I am out of time. I am finding the same thing when playing bass piano with my left hand.

Ron Sexsmith...doesn't ring any bells...wait, someone on this forum did mention this guy to me before. I'll check him out on Youtube.

Walk the Moon...doesn't ring any bells. I'll check them out. If they are so big, why are they on bandcamp? Is bandcamp that hip with the pros? That would be neat.

Plus they have the best recording equipment (instruments, mics, amps, etc.). At least better stuff than I have.

Mike Anderson - I'm Still Taller Than You - Good but too short. That one seems like it would have been easy to make longer. But the song was good.

Rychie Floyd - Everybody Wants To Drink Your Water - Interesting, I'll say that. Funky. No instruments in that one? I don't think so.

End Session 2. (Note to self: 22:21)
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Re: HMHS 211 - Lyrically Speaking (3/18/11)

Post by Zoetrope » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:24 pm

Ian Holtaway - Colour White
A mellow opener. Sounds great.

"Borrow" a chord progression from an existing song
Bad artists copy. Great artists steal.

Why do pro recordings sound better
Because they're pros. :D

Mike Anderson - I'm Still Taller Than You
Weird, creative, and fun.

Andrew Richardson - Mary Cries (words by Alan Gentle)
Nice clear recording. Oh, it's Chordbot. Cool.

Edward Wainwright - If You Don't Want Me
I love this. Reminds me of Stranglers with a bit of Iggy Pop vocal tossed in. Cool synthy tune.

Great show. I seem to have missed one of the songs somehow. It's a mystery.
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Re: HMHS 211 - Lyrically Speaking (3/18/11)

Post by Stevie Z » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:49 pm

Hey all - long time listener, first time poster (damn that sounds stupid, doesn't it?)

Having recorded myself and other people using the same equipment in my little 'studio' in my basement I started to notice that a lot of times when I record other people, it seems to sound better. I think there are 2 reasons for this:

A) I'm less critical of the works of others then I am of my own stuff. In much the same way as most people think food prepared by other people always tastes better, I think it's the same for music.

2) Most of the other people I record are just better players. Never underestimate how important a good performance is to the sound of a recording - especially if it's an acoustic instrument (guitar, piano, horn, etc). Quite often the magic of the tone is in the fingers of the person playing the instrument.

Also, as others have mentioned - most of the time the pros have better equipment, more time, better work ethic and are, well, pros.

Stevie Z
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