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View Full Version : Prob the most maudlin song I've ever written


sammydix
10-29-2014, 09:01 PM
I wrote the lyrics some time ago after a breakup, and finally put some music to it after seeing the words sitting around forever.

I mixed this to help get over my plugin-itus--you know, where you have tons of plugs that you mix and match or never really use. I've disciplined myself and will allow myself only two eq's: 1 clean, and 1 vibey; two compressors, same as eq; two verbs: 1 algo and 1 convo, and any two forms of Nebula.

what I'm using on this song is highly likely what I'll constantly stick with until I get as good as I can possibly get using them.

Back to my real $40 pawnshop bass, acoustic guitar, and keys played on my ancient Oxy8. Drums AD Fairfax kit.

Thanks for listening and any comments.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6968026/The%20Last%20Song.mp3

Pardon the squeaky chair near the end.

msundh
10-30-2014, 12:43 AM
Got Beatles vibes when listen to this. Nice cozy song, despite the lyrics;)

Fex
10-30-2014, 03:59 AM
I like it. It's a sparse production, which suits the song, yet there's plenty going on to engage the ear.
It makes me want to listen to an entire album, and that's quite rare these days.

J9mm
10-30-2014, 05:06 AM
I like that! It's got a really cool vibe :)

Dream Of Sleeping
10-30-2014, 05:47 AM
I really liked the production and general sound. The only thing I didn't like, was the sound of the snare. Maybe it's just my speakers but it seemed to have an annoying sound that seemed too loud for the vocals

I liked the synth and organs but there is a couple of off key notes playing on the organ 1:46 for example. You must have noticed, so I'm assuming you did it on purpose, but not sure how that adds to the song.

I really liked the bit that starts at 1:50. The melody and singing is nice too.

sammydix
10-30-2014, 06:34 AM
@msundh
since the plugs i used in this will be my standard chains, i wanted to ease in a bit.

@Fex
Totally cool to read that. thanks much dude.

@j9mm
thanks for stopping by to listen. and yeah, on this I went for the 'vibey' eq/comp.

sammydix
10-30-2014, 06:39 AM
I really liked the production and general sound. The only thing I didn't like, was the sound of the snare. Maybe it's just my speakers but it seemed to have an annoying sound that seemed too loud for the vocals

I liked the synth and organs but there is a couple of off key notes playing on the organ 1:46 for example. You must have noticed, so I'm assuming you did it on purpose, but not sure how that adds to the song.

I really liked the bit that starts at 1:50. The melody and singing is nice too.

Frankly, that snare kinda bugged me too, so i know what you mean.
1:46 wasn't 'on purpose' because i didn't think it was off. i'm playing a Cmin on the acoustic and i thought that fit the chord, seems i was wrong.
1:50 i gotta keep it simple if i'm gonna touch a keyboard. :)

Fex
10-30-2014, 07:05 AM
I noted the odd snare sound, the bum notes, and a discordance to what sounds like an organ. And the squeaky chair.

I actively like all of these elements. I am sick to death of sterile, over-polished tripe.

sammydix
10-30-2014, 07:16 AM
that's due to my 'hurry, rush, 1st or 2nd take' attitude. I do know I do better when i rehearse (as when in a band). but sometimes when recording quick songs at home, i just throw stuff together...and it shows. ha!

Fex
10-30-2014, 07:36 AM
I do know I do better when i rehearseThen I encourage you to stop rehearsing!

mschuster
10-30-2014, 08:42 AM
love this Sam! great, great vibe. you really create some really beautiful melodies and harmonies! you work that vox well! nice composition.

i saw the notes above about the snare, and to be honest i did notice it - but i didn't really find it too distracting. i think it's mixed well, it's just the tone and "ringyness" of the snare you chose that perhaps is distracting. and of course because this song is slower and you can really hear that snare on 2 and 4, it's much more open to all kinds of interpretations and scrutiny. Maybe a fatter, less ringy, snare might have fit better - but these kinds of things are very subjective. and then you have what verb to use!!! enough to make you go mad.

in the end, beautiful song - and beautifully executed! that's what i'll remember.

flickervetigo
10-30-2014, 06:17 PM
one man's maudlin is another man's deeply moving

*shrug*

maybe we could have a first annual sammydix/reaper maudlin song convention here

I got a couple well-qualified entrires

sammydix
10-30-2014, 07:20 PM
love this Sam! great, great vibe. you really create some really beautiful melodies and harmonies! you work that vox well! nice composition.

i saw the notes above about the snare, and to be honest i did notice it - but i didn't really find it too distracting. i think it's mixed well, it's just the tone and "ringyness" of the snare you chose that perhaps is distracting. and of course because this song is slower and you can really hear that snare on 2 and 4, it's much more open to all kinds of interpretations and scrutiny. Maybe a fatter, less ringy, snare might have fit better - but these kinds of things are very subjective. and then you have what verb to use!!! enough to make you go mad.

in the end, beautiful song - and beautifully executed! that's what i'll remember.

I tried gating that ringyness out, but it took away too much from the body. Frankly, though it's not the kit's fault, I don't really like that Fairfax sound.
I went convo with the verb (on the everything in this one). Think i used "golden room" or somthinganother w width turned down to 50%.
Thanks for the notice.

sammydix
10-30-2014, 07:21 PM
one man's maudlin is another man's deeply moving

*shrug*

maybe we could have a first annual sammydix/reaper maudlin song convention here

I got a couple well-qualified entrires

LOL!!! I mean quite literally!
thx flick

Garrick
10-31-2014, 01:06 AM
Holy fuck sam very nice.

Makes me sad George Harrison has departed, i think he would have played on it hands down.

Dude ye are legit :)

msore
10-31-2014, 08:21 AM
I noted the odd snare sound, the bum notes, and a discordance to what sounds like an organ. And the squeaky chair.

I actively like all of these elements. I am sick to death of sterile, over-polished tripe.

me too.

The 'off' organ was suggestive, tense, disconcerting. I took it as purposeful, especially knowing you don't let stuff out without paying attention to it. I also noted that the dissonance occurs NOT the start or at the end, so I took it as part of the arc. I would go further, and suggest that the effectiveness of the dissonance could be amplified by a little dissonance or tension in the vocal.

even if you didn't mean to at first ...

But then you might lose points in the maudlin dept.

I liked the song, and the arrangement.

kindafishy
10-31-2014, 09:52 AM
Great vibe. I really like the vocal melodies here. I find them flowing and intuitive. The verses and choruses both have distinct and strong melodies to them. I can hear some of your influences here, but I am going to throw one at you that you might not expect. This is not a "sounds like" comparison, but this reminds me of something that Weezer might do, just in the sense that similar influence can be heard there, and they also wear their influences on their sleeve, which in my opinion is a big part of the beauty of art and expression.

Other good stuff I noticed includes the pleasing and very steady sound of the acoustic guitar. Nicely played! The interaction between the guitar and the drums is also really nice. Good sense of gelling there.

The snare gets a little up on me a bit because of how prominent the ringing is, but my brain normalizes it pretty quickly and I don't notice it after a short time. I am also finding that I am kind of yearning for a little more level and clarity from the backing vocals. I have to listen just a touch too intently for them.

A very good tune, Sammy! Into the sammydix folder...

msore
10-31-2014, 10:45 AM
Maudlin is good (sometimes someways). This song and Garrick's thread about women have got me in a sappy mood. A song competition would be fun. Bring out our softer sides eh? Who's up for it?

barrymk
10-31-2014, 02:01 PM
Nice song Sammy - England 60s/70s vibe pretty spot on. Only thing - the dissonant notes, for me they were intrusive and distracted from the song.
I guess you could call it jazz........:)

sammydix
10-31-2014, 05:50 PM
Holy fuck sam very nice.

Makes me sad George Harrison has departed, i think he would have played on it hands down.

Dude ye are legit :)

I suppose I wouldn't have minded that too much.
appreciate it Garrick.

MSORE

"..especially knowing you don't let stuff out without paying attention to it."
you know me better than I thought.

sammydix
10-31-2014, 05:54 PM
Great vibe. I really like the vocal melodies here. I find them flowing and intuitive. The verses and choruses both have distinct and strong melodies to them. I can hear some of your influences here, but I am going to throw one at you that you might not expect. This is not a "sounds like" comparison, but this reminds me of something that Weezer might do, just in the sense that similar influence can be heard there, and they also wear their influences on their sleeve, which in my opinion is a big part of the beauty of art and expression.

Other good stuff I noticed includes the pleasing and very steady sound of the acoustic guitar. Nicely played! The interaction between the guitar and the drums is also really nice. Good sense of gelling there.

The snare gets a little up on me a bit because of how prominent the ringing is, but my brain normalizes it pretty quickly and I don't notice it after a short time. I am also finding that I am kind of yearning for a little more level and clarity from the backing vocals. I have to listen just a touch too intently for them.

A very good tune, Sammy! Into the sammydix folder...

The right backing definitely could come up. Left ones too?
Damn man, I gotta stop posting wo my favorite second pair of ears having a listen first. esp with the new home studio and monitors.

sammydix
10-31-2014, 05:56 PM
Nice song Sammy - England 60s/70s vibe pretty spot on. Only thing - the dissonant notes, for me they were intrusive and distracted from the song.
I guess you could call it jazz........:)

thx Barry, yeah, i can have that effect. gotten used to it.
definitely not jazz, though. not sophisticated enough.

barrymk
11-01-2014, 09:50 AM
thx Barry, yeah, i can have that effect. gotten used to it.
definitely not jazz, though. not sophisticated enough.

I'll never be old enough to understand jazz... Keep on chooglin'

morgon
11-01-2014, 10:04 AM
Cant load the page atm, will try again tomorrow..

Jorgen
11-03-2014, 12:47 PM
Cool music, it stood on it's own, so to speak... the vocals were soft... nice backing-arrangement, too...

I'm a die-hard Beatles fan and don't take lightly that somebody is using their palette... it must be Prince or somebody for me to only accept it... or something camp from back in the day, like Wizzard or whatever... however, since you're the closest thing we got to the Minneapolis wonder kid, you got my blessing... and you never get any mixing tips from me, so...

So, my only complaint would be the lyrics. It's a confession/setting things straight kind of thing... I just can't relate to the story, never had those reflections, or message, to give a former lover. It's kind of depressing... what made you do this to each other? How did you end up like that? And I become suspicious: am I listening to a true story about real humans? Don't kill me now... I just ask, is this true? And since it's a song, the words matter... Now, you said it's a true story, I must believe you... so, I just can't relate. They hurt each other in a game...? I don't like these people. I don't want to hear about them. Maybe I misunderstand, but I probably skip this song. That's the truth, and nobody should feel sorry about it.

sammydix
11-03-2014, 04:41 PM
Cool music, it stood on it's own, so to speak... the vocals were soft... nice backing-arrangement, too...

I'm a die-hard Beatles fan and don't take lightly that somebody is using their palette... it must be Prince or somebody for me to only accept it... or something camp from back in the day, like Wizzard or whatever... however, since you're the closest thing we got to the Minneapolis wonder kid, you got my blessing... and you never get any mixing tips from me, so...

So, my only complaint would be the lyrics. It's a confession/setting things straight kind of thing... I just can't relate to the story, never had those reflections, or message, to give a former lover. It's kind of depressing... what made you do this to each other? How did you end up like that? And I become suspicious: am I listening to a true story about real humans? Don't kill me now... I just ask, is this true? And since it's a song, the words matter... Now, you said it's a true story, I must believe you... so, I just can't relate. They hurt each other in a game...? I don't like these people. I don't want to hear about them. Maybe I misunderstand, but I probably skip this song. That's the truth, and nobody should feel sorry about it.

The lyrics are 100% my real feelings, but not for another person. So your suspicions were quite correct. It's about my "relationship" with another music site that I no longer frequent.

Here on Reaper we say both/either what we may or may not like about a song/mix. and for the most part, the OP learns from that (but I can speak only for myself). So that sort of critiquing is what i'm used to and what I like. On the other site, if I'd say something as simple as "oh, i think the drums could come up a bit, or maybe you could have a little more low end, or somethinganother, then the following comments would purposely oppose or negate whatever I said--either directly or indirectly. Like "the really like the drums, their so big and wide" "super nice lows in this one", or some other overblown hyperbole to totally discredit my opinion.

Now I'm not talking something common sense like real, true differing of opinions, that's fine and beautiful; I'm talking purposeful contradiction just because I wasn't a plastic, phony, sunshiny person that commented on everything everybody on the site posted like it was the greatest song or mix ever. so even the slightest crit was equivalent to being a troll. result? this person with a horrible mix or whatever has now been confirmed that his 'too low drums' or 'not enough lows' are just fine and will continue to mix that way because of lies.

Also, if i tried to get involved in forum discussions i found interesting, any comment i may have made was pretty much skipped over. like i was invisible and was to be ignored. just all that sort of shit. why'd I stay in the first place? there were genuinely ppl there whose music i really like and admired. some brilliant artists and musicians and among those few, it was fairly reciprocated. those were the ones that kept me there...until The Last Song.
Now re-read the lyrics on msore's maudlin post...

ps. didn't understand your last two sentences at all.
my only interpretation is that you didn't like it and shouldn't have to feel bad about it?
if that was the 'essence' I say "hear hear!". You certainly have that right.

Jorgen
11-03-2014, 05:49 PM
ps. didn't understand your last two sentences at all.
my only interpretation is that you didn't like it and shouldn't have to feel bad about it?
if that was the 'essence' I say "here here!". You certainly have that right.
Yes, that was what I wanted to say, flat out right... but it was directed at somebody/something else, in another thread... but as a principle, or a practise, it should be allowed, why, I skip some of -insert world famous artist's- songs, why couldn't I skip one by a forum member? Without resorting to the patronising s-word?

But I should have taken that discussion to its proper thread. I regret I finished off like that.

edit - went back and re-read the lyrics, they make much more sense to me now... I just assumed it was a love affair between two people...

hamish
11-03-2014, 06:53 PM
Hi sam, I listened a couple of times. I like your vocal production best in this. For me some uneven bass dynamics are the most off-putting thing. The odd bum note less so.

I guess the lyrics and sentiment are the most important thing here, and it's one of those things you just had to get out of your system.

sammydix
11-03-2014, 07:20 PM
Hi sam, I listened a couple of times. I like your vocal production best in this. For me some uneven bass dynamics are the most off-putting thing. The odd bum note less so.

I guess the lyrics and sentiment are the most important thing here, and it's one of those things you just had to get out of your system.

'bout sums it up. but i do like the song itself as well.
thx Ham.

morgon
11-04-2014, 04:10 AM
Enjoyed, good easy listening, Im terrible at mix critiques as a) im usually using phone
b) I mainly tune in to the feel and arrangements so if something is in the ballpark of a good mix its fine with me.
The organ tbough strikes me as a fraction loud at times not ducking the vocal quite enough, apart from that I enjoy the vibe overall, cheers.

barrymk
11-04-2014, 02:36 PM
It's really nice on those occasions when you get upbeat, positive crits that don't point out any apparent shortcomings but when it happens I sometimes wonder what the listener missed! No pleasing me I guess. Anyway, we're all grown ups and if we don't want to hear different views we needn't post up our stuff. When we do we take it in spirit, just like Sammy.

sammydix
11-04-2014, 04:05 PM
Thank you Barry. But there was a time when I would get a little testy at something harsh (or something i agreed with, but said the 'wrong' way). But the irony is, the more confident I became, the less it bothered me. These days, I take it and learn from it, or dismiss it if it's of no value. World still spinning.

Jorgen
11-04-2014, 05:58 PM
If I knew Dylan, and he asked for my comment, I'd probably tell him just about the same things about Positively 4th Street and Idiot Wind.

Or maybe it's just me, not in the mood for "showdown" songs atm. I read the lyrics, and the word "relationship", before I listened to the song, and that mattered in this case... like I was biased to begin with, and dissed the song unjustly... because it's a song about social play/interaction (which I find interesting) not a lovers revenge, as I mistook it for... The music and the performance didn't say "had it with you!", so I was confused, too...

sammydix
11-04-2014, 06:25 PM
I didn't say what I did as an implication to you directly. I learn from or dismiss universally--music or otherwise. Keeps my head at peace.

i completely agree that lyrics can help the 'holistics' of a song, and if they're "out of synch", it can sort of mess up the listening experience. I've experienced this myself. so what you said wasn't something i considered "of no value."

"I'd probably skip this song..."
yes, that was dismissed. :D
Some folk like it, some folk don't.
It would matter to me most if all (or most) folk didn't like something i did. then it would be time to re-think.

sammydix
11-04-2014, 06:27 PM
Enjoyed, good easy listening, Im terrible at mix critiques as a) im usually using phone
b) I mainly tune in to the feel and arrangements so if something is in the ballpark of a good mix its fine with me.
The organ tbough strikes me as a fraction loud at times not ducking the vocal quite enough, apart from that I enjoy the vibe overall, cheers.

glad you listened, Morg. i think the vocals as a whole could have come up just a bit more, so i hear what you mean.

m5blackmond
11-04-2014, 09:09 PM
This makes me happy and sad at the same time. It's truly inspiring to be able to pull those types of emotions simultaneously.

From what I've heard from you Sammy, this seems a bit different, and I definitely like it. I also get some beatles and/or phish vibes (with less jam-band per the phish reference ;) ). The vocals harmonies starting at around 1:23 are really nice. Although, now that those dissonant synths come in at 1:50, I'm feeling a bit more of that phish influence, but maybe actually more of a psychedelic feel.

The bass guitar is very engaging, which I always love (being a native bass player). I really like that you put the notes in there but they aren't trying to be the forefront. This is a delicate balance that you nailed.

Good song, once again! Love hearing them!

sammydix
11-04-2014, 09:30 PM
thanks man, but why the "sad" part?
And I forgot to mention earlier, knowing why I get a "don't like" is help in itself. As Jorgen did when he said the lyrics didn't jibe, and Barry (and others) when they said some elements were distracting.

And the keyboard 'dissonance' thing, is still flying over my head.

The chords are:

G--E--C--Cm

then

G-E-Am-Fm

chorus

G--Bm--Am--C

someone who has time please play along with the mp3 and tell me what notes on the keys are "wrong".
I think I may have taken a few "privileges" in the chorus, but I seriously thought the verse notes were in key.

m5blackmond
11-04-2014, 09:40 PM
thanks man, but why the "sad" part?

And the keyboard 'dissonance' thing, is still flying over my head.

The chords are:

G--E--C--Cm

then

G-E-Am-Fm

chorus

G--Bm--Am--C

someone who has time please play along with the mp3 and tell me what notes on the keys are "wrong".
I think I may have taken a few "privileges" in the chorus, but I seriously thought the verse notes were in key.

Maybe less sad and more like apathetic, perhaps. It's one that makes me want to just forget about it all, strip it all down, and take a deep look at myself (and that is sad). It's just kind of a dark tone, but at the same time very fun. Hard to explain.

So I didn't read any other comments before listening originally, but now that I look at them -- I DEFINITELY hear that note at 1:46 that Dream of Sleeping is referring to. It just sounds off. BUT, that's the only one I hear. My original comment was more referring to the dissonance of the back and forth panned synths at 1:50. This is definitely really good. I think the dissonance comes with playing notes that are close to each other back to back (in addition to the sustained nature of the synth carrying over to the next note). That makes that dissonance of clashing frequencies, for sure. But, it's cool. None of those notes are wrong.

m5blackmond
11-04-2014, 09:42 PM
And shit, what makes a note wrong, anyway?

sammydix
11-04-2014, 09:54 PM
immediately got it. makes perfect sense.

And no M, it's not complete apathy. it does bug me like anyone else if someone doesn't like something, but if I know why, like everybody did here, it's not so bad.

what I'm saying is how I chose to use that info. That is, if it's something I see that can/should be changed, I'll now be aware of it, but if it's something I don't particularly agree with, then I sweep. Everybody does this (unless they're neurotic or something), I'm just flat out saying it. I actually feel that's a good way for me to be. But no, definitely not an uncaring cyborg. You'd stagnate with no growth or improvement.

Add that to the fact that nobody likes everything anybody does, prob even their favorite bands or artists, adds up to a simple fact of life type attitude. Some folk like it, some folk don't. Worry when most don't--and learn from it. Peaceful otherwise.

m5blackmond
11-04-2014, 10:02 PM
And no M, it's not complete apathy.

Oh, please please please don't think that I think you didn't have any emotion in writing/producing this song. Honestly, I can't really explain what I got out of it. It's just that songs with that kind of tone invoke a certain emotion out of me.

That's the beauty of art, isn't it? It's up to the viewer (or listener in the case of music) to interpret. And that is how I interpreted it. It seems that far too often the interpretation is FAR from the artist's intention.

But, just to reiterate -- I really liked it.

Also, if we have misinterpreted each other in anyway, I apologize. Text is super really great at conveying tone and sarcasm and the likes.

sammydix
11-04-2014, 10:16 PM
fugetaboutit. :)

barrymk
11-05-2014, 03:59 AM
And shit, what makes a note wrong, anyway?

You haven't heard me play...........

sammydix
11-05-2014, 08:44 AM
And shit, what makes a note wrong, anyway?

me. :D

Barry, i like your style.

msore
11-05-2014, 09:19 AM
A note can only be wrong until you change it.

barrymk
11-05-2014, 10:26 AM
me. :D

Barry, i like your style.

Taking yourself seriously can severely damage your life.

sammydix
11-05-2014, 07:34 PM
A note can only be wrong until you change it.

Taking yourself seriously can severely damage your life.

double "Amens"

m5blackmond
11-05-2014, 08:04 PM
You haven't heard me play...........


Haha.. gave me a laugh. We all have a bad note now and then.

Some good wisdom on this thread!